Vivacious, vegan and kind
Katie Wright gets the lowdown on avoiding animal products in the beauty department should you turn vegan
IF you’re one of the thousands of people who’ve decided to cut out meat, dairy, eggs and all other animal-derived foods from your diet, you might not yet have considered that the products on your bathroom shelf don’t necessarily adhere to your new lifestyle.
Animal ingredients in cosmetics aren’t always easy to spot, but more and more companies are committing to remove them, and that can benefit not only those creatures, but also us humans too.
“Choosing cruelty-free skincare is something that everyone can do and helps to prevent unnecessary animal suffering,” says Charlotte Vohtz, founder of Green People.
And if you choose wisely, you won’t have to compromise on quality — as long-term #veganlife veterans can attest.
Here, Vohtz talks us through the vegan beauty basics, and we round-up the best plant-powered skincare, hair and make-up buys...
What are the benefits of using vegan beauty products?
“Skincare that has been approved by the Vegan Society will not have been tested on animals or contain any animal byproducts.
“Green People’s vegan range is Vegan Society certified and is also plant-based. This means that each product contains a complex of plant (phyto) actives, which restore the skin’s pH and moisture balance, without the need for added harsh chemicals, known to have a detrimental effect on the skin.”
Are vegan products better for the environment?
“Animal welfare aside, by simply going cruelty-free, you won’t be affecting your environmental impact through your cosmetic choices.
“To help preserve the planet and support the growth of our natural world, look for products that are certified cruelty-free and organic.
“This way, you can be sure the products you put on your skin are produced in an environment that won’t harm our planet for future generations.”
What are the most common animal-derived ingredients found in beauty products?
“Some of the most commonly-used animal ingredients are fatty acids derived from tallow or lard. These include stearic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid, all of which can be extracted from animal fats obtained as slaughterhouse by-products.
“Milk is also used as a source of some ingredients that can be used in cosmetics, such as the proteins casein and albumin, and lactic acid, which is sometimes used to adjust the pH balance of skincare products.
“Keratin helps make your nails and hair strong and healthy, but can be derived from ground-up horns, hooves, feathers and animal hair.
“Love the wobble of your jelly face mask and jelly cleanser? Much like the jelly in desserts, jelly-based skincare can be made of gelatine, a protein obtained by boiling animal carcasses with water.”
What are some more unusual ingredients that people might not know come from animal sources?
“As Korean beauty has risen in popularity, so has the use of snail secretion as an anti-ageing ingredient in moisturisers, serums, face masks and foundations. Harvesting the ingredient is thought to cause the snails distress, as they produce secretion as a response to feeling threatened.
“Seventy thousand female cochineal beetles are boiled and crushed to produce 1lb of carmine, a red dye which is used in lipsticks, eyeshadows and nail varnishes.
“Lanolin is a water-repelling ingredient often found in balms and salves, and is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep and other wool-bearing animals.
“Squalene is derived from the livers of deep sea sharks, which are threatened with extinction. It’s uncommon to find it in cosmetics these days, but can be found in some moisturisers.”
What vegan alternatives are used for these ingredients, and how do you ensure the quality of the products is maintained?
“The alternative ingredients we use include squalane instead of squalene, quinoa in place of keratin and natural oils in place of tallow.
“We maintain the quality by formulating our products using only certified organic plant actives known for having beneficial properties.
“We also never compromise the quality of our products by adding synthetic ingredients such as SLS, parabens or silicones.”
Best of vegan beauty
Green People Quinoa & Artichoke Shampoo, €17.45
Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil, €80, Arnotts
Trilogy Cream Cleanser 200ml €28.50, Holland & Barrett
Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cream, €55, Marks and Spencer
Yope Yunnan Shower Gel, €7.90, Nourish.ie
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Amethyst Eau de Parfum,€108, Brown Thomas
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 4, €81, Arnotts
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup, €34.50, Debenhams
B. HD Dual Wand Mascara, €12.45, Superdrug
Axiology Lipstick in Attitude, €24.90, Content Beauty & Wellbeing One of the major trends on the AW18 catwalks was graphic black eyeliner. The feline look ruled everywhere from London — where Molly Goddard’s models were given thick wings — to Milan, where a sharp matte black flick was painted with liquid eyeliner at Alberta Ferretti. “Liquid liner is great to create a clean and defined eye and is never far from the catwalks every season, however many women avoid this look,” says Collection make-up artist Francesca Neil. That’s because the shape of your eye can greatly affect what type of eyeliner suits you. Get it right, and you’ll really enhance your eyes — get it wrong and you risk making them look smaller, which nobody wants. So what’s the best approach for your peepers? Here, Neil sets out the best kind of eyeliner for each eye shape and we select five affordable liquid liners so you can get practising... Close-set eyes If you’ve got close-set eyes, Neil recommends a double wing look. “This is a really fun look to play with for a night out! A winged end will draw attention towards the outer edge of the eye, making them appear wider apart. Double the wing? Double the effect...” Downturned eyes “Those with downturned eyes can find winged eyeliner really frustrating,” Neil says. “If you stick with a regular cat-eye shape, this could exaggerate the downward shape.” “The easiest technique for lifting the eye is to stick to applying liner to the lower lash line. Follow the natural line and extend the mini-flick directly up.” Hooded eyes “The thick winged look is perfect for hooded eyes as it will lift and open them,” Neil recommends. “Draw a line from the corner of your eye towards the brow bone and join up before using a kohl pencil across the outer lower lash line to create a perfectly lifted wing effect.” Large or round eyes If you’re blessed with Bambi-like eyes, use an eye pencil on the waterline rather than a liquid liner on your lids. Neil says: “This is a great look for large eyes as tracing the waterline will accentuate the shape of the eye, it is also a good option if your eyes are wide set as it will draw attention towards the inner corner.” Smaller or monolid eyes “You really just need a very simple line to enhance the shape. You don’t want anything too heavy otherwise you could risk your eyes looking smaller,” Neil says, recommending a fine wing on the lids. “Drag the eyeliner straight across the lid and extended the line out to roughly the end of your brow. “Adding a little drama such as metallic or glitter to the top eye line only is a great way to open them up and draw attention to the top lashes. Apply over black liquid liner or pencil to complete this look for smaller eyes. “To intensify, curl lashes and coat the top lashes with plenty of mascara or false lashes.”