Vegan make up came as a surprise to me when I heard about it. When first studying about vegan diets, I didn't give much thought to anything but food. It wasn't long before I stopped wearing my leather jacket, and replaced my shoes with non-leather pairs (well, after my favorites wore out anyway – every day I thanked the generous animal where the shoes came from). But what? My make up relied on dead animal ingredients? Shudders. I switched immediately to brands that I know are vegan make up.

Is your makeup vegan? Know the ingredients.

Don't be fooled by the ingredient names. According to, companies are careful about the words they use, so as not to turn off consumers. Just like the word “leather” is used for “dead animal skin”, knowing the trick to words and hidden meanings helps us see clearly. In a path towards a vegan lifestyle, our best defense is to educate ourselves on what exactly is meant by some of these words, like “collagen” for example.

Here's what PETA has to say about cosmetics and vegan (not):

Cosmetics companies use animal ingredients such as tissue and tallow (fat) because they’re cheap, not because they’re better than plant-based or synthetic ingredients. Slaughterhouses kill billions of animals every year and have to dispose of the “byproducts” somehow; selling them to cosmetics manufacturers is one easy solution.

Unfortunately, even avid label-readers can’t always determine what they’re putting on—and in—their bodies. There are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations, and many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable, or synthetic origin. And if that’s not confusing enough, some companies have slyly removed the word “animal” from their labels in order to avoid turning off consumers. For example, instead of saying “hydrolyzed animal protein,” companies may use a term like “hydrolyzed collagen.”Want to know more? Read PETA’s factsheet about hidden animal ingredients.

[NOTE: We know some of you think PETA is hypocritical. But any information that reveals how we mistreat animals is better than saying nothing at all, we believe. Thank you for your tolerance.]

Even though there are more and more companies that are not using animal products, many still use a lot of harsh ingredients. On the next page is my favorite of all time that uses mostly natural botanical ingredients. Click on the round “2” or arrow below to see the video.