Vegan Beauty: Ethical, Natural Makeup and Skincare

Vegan Beauty

05 January, 2016 Vegan Beauty: Ethical, Natural Makeup and Skincare

Good morning all! Today, I’m sharing Making It Up’s first ever guest blog post. My sister Katie has kindly written an epic post all about vegan beauty – why she advocates ethical purchasing, why she believes in organic, natural and vegan products, and which retailers and brands she recommends to indulge in some vegan goodness. She has quickly become my go-to resource for natural product recommendations, so I know you’ll love reading this as much as I did. Enjoy!

Veganism isn’t just about avoiding animal products: it’s about being conscious of the effects our consumption has on our health, and the health of the environment we live in. Women on average absorb 5lbs of chemicals from cosmetics through our skin every year. Jess and I, as self-confessed beauty addicts, probably absorb a lot more than the average woman, let me tell you. But jokes aside, these findings are worrying because so many women and men aren’t aware of what they put onto their skin, because cosmetics aren’t regulated in the same way that food is.

The main harmful chemicals in most of our cosmetic and toiletry products are:

  • Petroleum
  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Phthalates

Whilst my main concern is to avoid parabens, proven to disrupt female hormones and linked to breast cancer, I try to be as cautious as I can. When considering buying a product that doesn’t list the ingredients on the label, I look online. Sephora is great because they always note in the online product description if the product is free from any harmful ingredients.

Cruelty-free beauty products are essentially cosmetics and tools that haven’t been tested on animals, nor contain anything which once came from an animal. This is quite a hard one to avoid, as most high-street cosmetic brands test on animals. However, a browse online will leave you with a range of cruelty-free and natural brands to choose from, such as RMS Beauty. I bought the seriously luxurious Zoeva Vegan Brush Set almost 4 months ago, and they haven’t disappointed me at all.

On the same note, opt for products that have a more positive impact on the environment. Buying products with sustainable ingredients or recyclable packaging saves from needless wasting, and you’ll be helping the environment by keeping microbeads and other harmful plastics from entering our water supply.

Disclaimer: It’s very financially demanding to restock your entire makeup and toiletry collection in a day, so if you want to make the switch, do it gradually! Every time I use up a product filled with harmful ingredients that I bought a while ago, I replace it with a natural one.


The bareMinerals Oil-Control Primer reduces shine, makes my makeup last the whole day, and nasty-free.

After a night out I lost my Fresh Lip Treatment in Sugar Honey and I’m still sad about it. It’s such a universal color, features all-natural ingredients, and is really comfortable to wear. Will be repurchasing! The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Lip Balm is another rescue product for those who prefer a glossier look.


I got a tester size of the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, and I was seriously impressed at how well it removed a full face of going-out makeup, as well as how long such a small tub lasted. Definitely SLS, mineral oil and paraben free, its well worth the money. I also use the NUXE Melting Cleansing Gel to remove heavy makeup.

 Natural and paraben-free, this Elemental Herbology Detoxifying Face Mask has Amazonian clay in it, drawing out impurities and giving your skin a deep clean.

The Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray is a delicious-smelling gentle toner without any nasty chemicals, and a great buy at £5.95 for 118ml. For a slightly cheaper option, Boots Botanics does a 150ml 100% Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz, for only £5.99 which also does the job well.

The Detox Night Oil from Caudalie was a bit of a splurge at £29 for 30ml, but it really does help if you have oily skin with frequent breakouts. It’s also ethically sourced and has all-natural ingredients.

I love Boots for their really affordable Botanics range, including their Radiant Youth Super Serum and their Hydrating Eye Serum with age renewal properties. Whilst not all of its ingredients are certified organic, it is sustainably and naturally sourced. Plus, Boots Points! Another Botanics product I love is the Microdermabrasion Polish, which does an amazing job on dry, dull skin.

I’ve discovered that purchasing a Clarisonic is a fantastic way to make your skincare last months longer than it would do with a muslin cloth or just your hands, helping the environment and your pocket. I put one pump of the Organic Surge Refreshing Face Wash, or Tisserand’s Tea Tree Cleansing Wash onto the brush head, and let it do its deep-cleansing magic.

Hair Care

To wash and condition my hair, I use Dr. Organic’s Argan Oil Shampoo and Faith in Nature Coconut shampoo– both really cheap! Every time I use heat on my hair, I first spray the ends with this Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray that lasts ages and also tames any frizz. Its ingredients are all eco-certified, fair trade and certified organic. Good stuff!

 Body Care

 I’ve tried the Jason rosewater body wash, as well as this lavender shower gel by Organic Surge, but my favorite has to be the Trilogy botanical body wash which smells like a spa. To moisturize, the scent of Korres’ vanilla cinnamon body milk stays on all day and is so warming and Christmassy. For perfume, Korres has a great selection. My favorite is the Velvit orris, violet and white pepper scent, and it’s so cheap for a 50ml bottle. I’ve recently discovered Salt of the Earth lavender vanilla deodorant spray and it really is the best deodorant I’ve ever used. It takes a while to get used to because it’s a liquid spray rather than an aerosol, but it truly works and doesn’t stain clothes either.


I use the Korres Chamomile Bar Soap to wash my makeup brushes and BeautyBlenders.

Trilogy’s All-Purpose Balm can be used on dry patches on the face and body. I mainly use this on my cuticles and elbows before I go to bed!

The Real Luxury Organic Candle by Neom is divine and lasts way longer than I had expected. For a cheaper option, go for the Oliver Bonas Amber candle, which is made from natural refined paraffin wax and essential oils.

If you would like to have a look at anymore natural and organic products, here is a list of sites I always rely on:

Look Fantastic and Feel Unique are great for so many natural and cruelty-free brands such as Green People.

Space NK, the beauty mecca, and Bath and Unwind are also great for products that are good for you, such as Caudalie, NUXE, ThisWorks and Neom, and BAU stocks the affordable natural skincare brand Alba Botanica.

Love Lula stocks ethically-sourced candles and Hurraw’s fair trade, raw and organic lip products.

Sephora’s Natural Section is home to an abundance of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products.

Naturisimo specialise in natural and organic beauty. I’m after the ILIA lipstick crayon.

Even Debenhams now has an online department for natural and organic and vegan beauty products, where you can find the more high-end brands such as Aveda, Origins and L’occitane.

Trusty Ocado sell around 300 organic and vegan beauty products, ranging from Fushi beauty oils to Dr Bronner and Neal’s Yard.