As a vegan, I first transitioned to cruelty-free, vegan makeup, then focused on changing my diet, then changed my shampoo and conditioner, body wash, all that. I found that most of my makeup was already vegan, much to my surprise, and so that became my first focus at the time. Seemed easy enough.
And truly, it is remarkably easy, because there are so many brands to choose from. Testing on animals has become sort of a taboo, so much so that brands will often lie claiming to be cruelty-free when they’re not. Unless it has that bunny on it, don’t use it.
In that same vein, many brands have taken a step toward using all plant-based products to create their products, because using animal products has kind of died down in makeup. Sure it happens, and it definitely is common still, but it’s… not as popular as it used to be. In fact, there’s a huge movement. For instance, Hourglass Cosmetics has announced that they’re aiming to be completely vegan by 2020.
And ever since going vegan and switching out what little products I used that weren’t vegan, I’ve found TONS of new favorites. I don’t know if I’m just biased or not, but I find that vegan makeup lasts longer, looks better, and is affordable. I mean with $20 I can pretty much be set for 2-3 months worth of makeup, all great quality.
Here’s my top 3 that I absolutely can’t live without:
1) Nyx Eyeliner and Smudger Gel
When I was younger, we’re talking high school and college, I used all sorts of eyeliner. I used the basic pencil liner and found that it would bleed into my foundation after about two hours, making me look a bit of a mess. Still, I stuck with it until I found liquid eyeliner. Now, upon using it, I began a sort of a trend in my school, where every girl got their mommy to buy them liquid liner too, and I found that to be highly annoying, so I stopped using it and stuck to mascara and no liner anymore.
Fast forward a few years to about 2016, and I got my grubby little hands on gel eyeliner from Nyx. This thing is the only eyeliner I will ever use for the rest of my life.
It lasts all day, a little goes a long way, it’s cheap, effective, vegan, cruelty-free, and it doesn’t smear into my foundation. It stays put exactly where I set it every morning. It adapts to thin eyeliner brushes for a subtle look, and it makes for striking, thicker lines as well.
I’m glad I found this product, even if I was stuck using shitty eyeliner pencils until the age of 25. It’s true what they say, with age comes experience. As you get older, you realize what works on you, what doesn’t, and the few products you absolutely swear by. This one is mine.
*Upon doing research for this post, I found out that NYX has been getting a little shady in terms of telling people whether or not they’re vegan. They claim to be mostly vegan, with most of their products being vegan friendly, but they don’t outright state which ones. What is known is that they’re 100% cruelty-free, they even have the bunny on their packages/products. I called NYX to be sure, and did research and this is vegan, at least in Betty (Black), which is what I checked.
2) Elf Foundation
This stuff is like…. I don’t know, lifesaving maybe. I have an olive skin tone, which is great because it’s a year-round tan, but also, it makes for some annoyances. Too much sun, and I develop some darker areas on my face. Nothing terrible, but certainly that overly sunkissed glow, which surprisingly, just isn’t my thing. I prefer fall and winter when my complexion is on the paler side, just because it evens out my skintone. It’s like during summer, my T-zone soaks up the rays, but the sides of my face don’t, so it’s like a reverse contour. Gross.
If it was the other way around, I’d be set for half the year dammit!
But alas, life is a cruel mistress, so I used concealer for the longest time. Like years, man. Years of gliding that stuff on my face, blending it, getting annoyed at it, walking around with cakey-looking makeup. Especially if I had a pimple!
Well, not anymore. This foundation is amazing. All I ever do now is use a blender sponge, soak it in a little water, squeeze out the excess, and then use some tinted moisturizer as a base, just so my skin isn’t dry. Then I add a little of this foundation on the sponge, and blend it all. I mean, it looks like I have nothing on, just pretty, dewy skin. From there, with a concealer brush which is nice and small, I apply a little extra foundation where I need it. Literally, it’s one dot of makeup on the back of my hand. I dab at it with the brush, use it on my face, and repeat until it’s all gone.
When I’m done, I use translucent powder, which sets the makeup without adding any additional, artificial color. It all makes for a very natural, blended, thin makeup application that lasts all day.
3) Medusa’s Makeup Powdered Eyeshadow
This particular product holds a dear place in my heart because I found it in Galveston, TX, courtesy of a store called Synister on the Strand. Synister is this goth/punk boutique down there, a few blocks away from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s filed with all sorts of goodies, like Medusa’s Makeup. I got it on a whim, something they call eye dust. It’s techically powdered eyeshadow that sticks on brilliantly, in bright pops of color, and stays on all day long. It’s blendable, easily pairable with other eye dust colors, and 100% vegan and cruelty-free. More so, it’s cheap. It’s only $8 for one shade, but before you go on about how that’s expensive, a little goes a long way. I mean one little tap with a pinky finger is enough product for an eyelid. Two tiny taps and you’re done, that’s all the product you need.
I have two shades right now, Big Bird and Volcano. But I’m always dreaming of new shades. I have my eyes set on Fascination and Pennywise.
Well, that’s it, friends! I hope you’ve all found something you enjoy. If not, let me know which products you swear by and why!
Writer. Marketer. Vegan.