Veganuary might have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean our awareness of vegan alternatives should stop. Have you heard of vegan makeup? By definition, they’re products that don’t contain any animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients. Some common ones you may have heard of, like honey or beeswax. In fact, many conventional makeup products actually contain ingredients like lead, animal urine, and even crushed-up bones and beetles, not to mention chemicals and pore-clogging ingredients like talc and mica.
By choosing cleaner, toxin-free vegan cosmetics, you’re ensuring that your skin and our furry friends are happy. Thankfully, there’s an increasing number of green and vegan-friendly beauty brands on the market, all with something unique to offer. From versatile multi-use products for everyday to bold, pigmented shades of lipstick or eyeshadow, the industry is starting to make vegan makeup more accessible to us all. Read on for some of our favourites. And if you find any of the terms in this guide confusing, here’s some common green beauty terms demystified!
1. Solos Cosmetics
Solos Cosmetics is a local brand offering makeup that is not only vegan, but also affordable. All the ingredients they use are vegan, don’t contain harmful ingredients, and do not test on animals. Instead, the team tests all the products on themselves and their close friends. This way, they can ensure the quality of every item, which all perform well in Southeast Asian climates – where high humidity is a concern for long-lasting formulas.
2. KVD Vegan Beauty
Originally founded by Kat Von D, KVD Vegan Beauty has grown into an esteemed brand, without losing any of its core values—high performance, cruelty-free, vegan makeup, well-known for their highly pigmented formulas. Their cult-following dispels any myth that vegan makeup doesn’t perform, and they replace commonly used animal-derived ingredients with smart vegan alternatives like olive oil and bamboo powder.
Inika is an Australian brand that focuses on clean, organic beauty without toxic chemicals. They are a pioneer in the vegan makeup industry, paving the way for many brands, by setting the strictest natural ingredient criteria. They leave out any synthetic preservatives such as parabens, silicones, and fragrances, ensuring makeup that is not only friendly to animals, but also to your skin!
- Long Lash Vegan Mascara in Black, $45 AUD
- Certified Organic Lip & Cheek Cream, $39 AUD
4. Amplio Beauty
Singapore-based cosmetics brand Amplio Beauty creates makeup that enhances your natural beauty and can withstand tough climates. In fact, Amplio is Latin for ‘improve’ and ‘heighten’ — very apt! Each of their products, from lipglosses to eyeshadows, are paraben and gluten-free, made with natural ingredients and suitable for sensitive skin types.
- Amplio Complete Make-up Brush Set, $50 USD
- Amplio Lip Kit, $50 USD
5. e.l.f. Cosmetics
e.l.f Cosmetics is a favourite amongst makeup enthusiasts, and to no surprise. They are committed to creating an inclusive beauty brand for everybody, that means it is affordable, and there’s something for every face and every look. As true champions of change, not only are they 100% vegan and cruelty-free, but they also give back to charities such as Angel City Pits and Color of Change.
- Best of e.l.f. Kit, $20 USD
- 16hr Camo Concealer, $6 USD
6. Lime Crime
Lime Crime proves that vegan makeup is anything but boring. They are vegan and cruelty-free, certified by both PETA, and The Leaping Bunny Program. Their bright and colourful makeup have started trends and taken the industry by storm, a testament that their products are high-quality and have great colour pay-off. Beyond makeup, they are also famous for their hair dyes!
Homegrown brand Sceptr is made for the modern woman. Their products are not only cruelty-free and vegan, but are also halal friendly, free from parabens and toxic ingredients. Their in house formulas use rich pigments mixed with skin-loving ingredients, creating lip products that are non-sticky and long-lasting. What’s more, they also dedicate 10% of their profits to help women in developing countries become entrepreneurs.
- The Sceptr Brush, $200
8. Velvet Vanity
Velvet Vanity is a proud Malaysian brand. They strive to create hassle-free beauty products perfect for everyday wear. As a result, their versatile shades are meant to compliment any skin tone, ranging from bold colours to neutrals. Their most popular product is their liquid matte lipsticks, which are argan-oil infused and nourishing, a far cry from the usual drying matte liquid lip products.
- Super Slim Stick in Muhney-Honey, $35.90 RM
- Glo With The Flo + Glossy Glo Lip Oil, $99.90 RM
9. Milk Makeup
Despite their name, renowned brand Milk Makeup is actually 100% vegan, on top of being paraben-free and cruelty-free. Their secret weapon is their Milk Melt Technology, resulting in a formula made up of a unique blend of coconut waxes that melt into skin on contact with body heat, thus helping your makeup blend seamlessly into your skin, rather than sitting on top of it. They also create skincare products as well.
- Hydro Grip Primer, $30 USD
- Flex Concealer, $28 USD
- Kush Fibre Brow Gel, $20 USD
10. PHB Ethical Beauty
PHB Ethical Beauty from the UK is home to the world’s largest collection of natural, vegan & alcohol-free (and thus halal!) beauty products. They also carry skin care, baby products, hair products, and many more. Their ingredients are 100% organic and naturally derived, free from GM, artificial fragrances, and blended with an incredible array of superfoods. Thus, all their products are perfect for sensitive skin, pure and effective. Their cutting edge formulas have won over 25 industry awards in 5 years!
- Bare Skin BB Cream + SPF15, $20 GBP
- Pressed Mineral 3 Piece Palettes, $29.95 GBP
Acclaimed brand Tarte is high-performance natural beauty (yes, they carry skincare products too!). That means that all their ingredients, such as fruit and plant extracts and the highly nourishing, non-greasy maracuja oil, are naturally sourced, efficient, and designed to perform. They also place emphasis on sustainability, health & giving back to local communities, working with a myriad of charities as well as their own non-profit organisation.
12. Liht Organics
Liht Organics from Singapore is an highly acclaimed, award-winning brand. Their vegan products are formulated with certified organic ingredients, contain no nano-particles and no harmful chemicals. This results in organic makeup that is not only safe and beneficial for your skin, but can also heal and improve your complexion with regular use! They ensure that your skin not just looks good when wearing it, but even after you take it off.
- Youth Elixir Liquid Foundation, $58 USD
- Sheer Radiance Blush, $48 USD
- Moisture Burst Lip Glaze, $35 USD
13. Dear Dahlia
Dear Dahlia is inspired by the dahlia flower and its timeless beauty. That is also why all their products are infused with Dahlia Variabilis flower extract, which contains skin-conditioning properties in order to offer long-lasting protection and a natural glow for your skin. Their makeup is also enriched with skin-nourishing ingredients, including shea butter, and sweet almond oil. Their makeup not only looks sweet, but is also incredibly gentle on the skin.
14. Juice Beauty
The founder of Juice Beauty created the brand to find healthy skincare solutions that deliver visible results. Formulating with an antioxidant and vitamin-rich organic botanical juice base helps the products yield better results than conventional or natural products. It helps to reduce residue from pesticides, unnecessary synthetic chemicals, and synthetic fertiliser residue as well. They also support local and limit fuel waste by purchasing ingredients from local West Coast USDA Certified Organic farms.
15. Cover FX
Cover FX formulates makeup meant to be customised, in order to suit your individual skin needs, shade preferences, and style. Formulated with clean ingredients such as soothing green tea leaves and antioxidant-rich algae, and without parabens, fragrance, sulphates, and all the other harmful ingredients, their makeup products are guaranteed to be kind to your skin while still delivering results.
- Contour Kit, $74
- Correct Click, $28
Wan Ling is an Environmental Studies student from Singapore. She believes conversations and empathy can go a long way in accelerating climate solutions.