Absolutely’s Guide To Vegan Beauty, Plus The Best Brands To Try Now

vegan beauty

Happy Veganuary! Make sure your makeup arsenal matches up to your diet this month with Absolutely’s vegan beauty guide

Words Joy Montgomery

What is vegan beauty?

As a result of the renewed enthusiasm for a more mindful and wellness-focused approach to living, veganism and vegan beauty has gone mainstream. This has resulted in initiates such as Veganuary, a charity which inspires people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.

In food-terms, veganism encapsulates a diet that excludes food that comes from animals, including dairy products and eggs. In beauty, the same principle applies, however things get a little tricker…

In short, vegan beauty refers to products that don’t contain animal ingredients, aren’t tested on animals and do not harm animals directly or indirectly in any way. This seems simple enough, however spotting animal produce in a lengthy list of ingredients isn’t easy, especially when they’re hidden in scientific labels.

How to shop vegan

There are various ways to ensure your beauty is animal-friendly. First of all, it’s worth looking out for the leaping bunny logo, which will ensure your product is cruelty-free – however this doesn’t guarantee an absence of animal ingredients. With this in mind, it’s definitely worth getting to know your beauty lingo so you can decode ingredient lists. For example, Carmine (also known as cochineal, crimson lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, E120, carminic acid) is colour taken from the bodies of crushed insects known as cochineal. Similarly, Guanine (also known as CI 75170) are fish scales taken from dead fish to add shimmer and glimmer to beauty products.

It’s also worth checking out vegan retailers and blogs, such as Vegan Beauty Review, which will help you navigate the world of vegan beauty and recommend reputable brands. Finally, don’t forget to check your tools. Make-up brushes could be made using goat, squirrel or horse hair. Overall though, there are plenty of good quality synthetic options available, including Ecotools and Spectrum.

Need a starting point? Check out our edit of the best vegan brands below…


vegan beauty

The Noir 29 Eau de Parfum, £165; lelabofragrances.com

MARIA NILAvegan beauty

Heal Shampoo, from £24.98; marianila.com


vegan beauty

B. Confident Night Serum, £9.40; superdrug.com

ELLA+MILAvegan beauty

Drippin’ Gold Nail Polish, £8.58; ellamila.com

AXIOLOGYvegan beauty

Philosophy Lipstick, $28; axiologybeauty.com


vegan beauty

Marbleous 5 Piece Contour Set, £39.99; spectrumcollections.com


Cosmetic Colour Pencils, £11.25 each; beautybay.com

KORA ORGANICSvegan beauty

Clay Purifying Mask, £38; net-a-porter.com


vegan beauty

Got You Covered Mineral Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15, £31; arbonne.com

PER-FEKT BEAUTYvegan beauty

Eye Perfection Gel-Refreshed, £39; houseoffraser.com

COVER FXvegan beauty

Custom Infusion Drops C + Lemongrass, £40; spacenk.com

ECOTOOLSvegan beauty

Bamboo Large Powder Brush, £9.99; feelunique.com

SKYN ICELANDvegan beauty

Pure Cloud Cleanser, £18; feelunique.com


vegan beauty

Certified Organic Lip Tint, £15.50; naturisimo.com


vegan beauty

Pacific Coast Pirouettes Nail Polish, $16; luckyvitamin.com

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