While my first passion is food, I also love good-quality vegan beauty products. This is a running list that I will continue to update as I discover new HG (“Holy Grail”) products. For more info, check out my: Vegan Beauty Product Reviews Pinterest Board – “Vegan Beauty Products – Reviews” Pinterest Board – “Vegan Beauty Products To Try” (my wishlist)
Last Updated: August 23, 2015
Pacifica – Perfumes
From candles and diffusers, to sprays and lotions, I love everything from Pacifica. They’re a 100% vegan line of home and beauty products that smell absolutely incredible. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be their solid perfume tins. They’re affordable, lightweight and air-travel friendly. I always have one or two of them in my handbag, and I love giving them to my girlfriends. My favorite scents right now are Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Indian Coconut Nectar, Tuscan Blood Orange and Mexican Cocoa
Alba Botanica – Body Lotions
I’ve been giving Alba Botanica Kukui Nut Body Cream to friends for years and now so many people I know are hooked on this awesome vegan body cream! It’s rich and creamy and smells kind of like chocolate. I use it year-long, but it’s especially essential if I’m going somewhere tropical and my skin needs some after-sun pampering.
Update: Lately I’ve also been loving Alba Botanica Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion. It has a great consistency and smell, and I prefer the tube over the jar used for the body cream.
Giovanni – Salt Scrub, Cool Mint Lemonade
I used to use regular body wash and an exfoliating glove for my weekly scrub down, but ever since I discovered Giovanni Cool Mint Lemonade Salt Scrub my life hasn’t been the same. This scrub smells incredible and is so wonderfully refreshing – it’s like a frosty margarita for your body. Makes a great gift too!
Dollar Shave Club – 4X Razor
I’m a big fan of Dollar Shave Club. Great-quality vegan razor blades delivered monthly. What’s not to love? I share a subscription of the “4X” blades with my man, and we have more than enough blades to get us through the month. I even had to pause our subscription recently because we had blades piling-up, but that’s not a problem because you can pause/cancel anytime.
Where to buy:
Dollar Shave Club
Alba Botanica – Cream Shave
I’ve been a soap-and-razor girl my whole life. But I recently discovered Alba Botanica’s Very Emollient Cream Shave in Mango Vanilla and the smell alone has me actually looking forward to shaving. It also comes in aloe mint, coconut lime, sea mist, and unscented scents, as well as a foam formulation. Bliss!
Serum / Heat Protectant
I love this 2-in-1 product! I apply Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Serum after washing and before heat styling to protect my hair, and also a bit to the ends on non-wash days to prevent frizz and add a bit of shine without weighing my hair down.
Lush – Fresh Farmacy Soothing Calamine Cleanser Bar
I’ve been using Lush’s Fresh Farmacy Soothing Calamine Cleanser Bar ever since my university days. The formula is so creamy and calming, perfect for when my skin is breaking out or just feeling overly sensitive.
WotNot – Facial Wipes
These are my favourite facial wipes – strong enough to remove stubborn makeup, yet gentle enough to not sting my sensitive eye area. I use the sensitive and regular ones interchangeably and find they’re equally good. I leave a pack by my bed, so if I’m too lazy to wash off my makeup in the bathroom, I can quickly swipe it off in bed.
Where to buy:
Paula’s Choice – Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 15
The Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 15 from Paula’s Choice is my new favourite daytime moisturizer. It’s got SPF, works well under makeup, and doesn’t leave my face oily at all. Folks with dry skin might need something more moisturising, but this is perfect for all the combo/oily skinned people out there!
Where to buy:
Derma e – Evenly Radiant Overnight Peel
Eating right, drinking lots of water, working out, and using a good SPF can go a long way in making you feel and look younger than you actually are. But sometimes you need a little help, and that’s where AHAs come in. The Evenly Radiant Overnight Peel With Alpha Hydroxy Acids from derma e gets a great review from beauty product reviewer Paula Begoun. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I’ve been very pleased with the way my skin looks and feels in the morning. Derma e is a family-owned 100% vegan skincare line that doesn’t contain harmful parabens, phthalates,sodium lauryl sulfate, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors or GMOs.
I’ve replaced margarine with coconut oil in most of my baking, and I’ve also been using it in my beauty regime for some time now. My favorite uses for it are as a deep conditioner for my hair (put it on, wrap a warm towel around your head for 20 minutes, wash it out), and as a gentle eye makeup remover (it does wonders on waterproof makeup). Try to buy cold-pressed extra virgin organic coconut oil if you can. For more info and tips on using coconut oil, read my “What is Coconut Oil?” post.
Natio – Cleverstick
I’ve been using Natio Cleverstick SPF 15 in “Natural” as my concealer for years now, but it’s actually an all-in-one foundation, concealer and powder. Natio is an Australian company that makes affordable makeup and beauty products. They don’t test on animals, and while a few of their products aren’t vegan (because they beeswax, carmine, honey or lanolin), all ingredients are clearly listed on each product page of their website, so it’s very easy to tell what’s vegan or not.
Where to buy:
Too Faced – Kabuki Brush
This is my #1 favorite beauty tool. Too Faced sweetly claim that their cruelty-free Kabuki Brush is made with “100% teddy bear hair”. Love it! While this brush may seem on the pricey side, it’s a good quality tool that will last you for years. I use mine with my bronzer everyday and hand wash it every other week. I even bought it for my mom a few years ago and she still talks about how great it is. I can’t say enough good things about this brush!
Too Faced – Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer
This is another product that I’ve been using for years. There are certainly cheaper alternatives on the market, but I keep going back to the Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer from Too Faced because of how natural looks. It gives me a sun-kissed glow any time of the year, the packaging looks great, there’s a mirror inside the compact’s lid, and one of these babies lasts me about a year and a half. Love!
100% Pure – Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain
I’ve just recently discovered Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain from 100% Pure (July 2014) and I just love it. It has a similar effect to Benefit’s (non-vegan) cheek stain, but it’s coloured from fruit and vegetable pigments and like most products in the 100% Pure range, it’s vegan and gluten free. I love the rosy pink tint it gives my cheeks, which lasts for hours (if not all day). And it stains your lips with a beautiful colour, as though you’ve just eaten a cherry-flavoured popsicle. See my Instagram snap to see what I mean.
Wet n Wild – Mega Last Lip Color
Super affordable and providing great coverage, Wet n Wild’s Mega Last Lip Color is my go-to vegan lipstick. I particularly love the shade #902C (Bare It All) – it’s the perfect nude matte lipstick, and you can top it off with a bit of gloss if you want a shiny look. (Note: not all Wet n Wild products are vegan, as some do contain carmine. Here’s a complete list of Wet n Wild’s vegan products.)
Milani – Power Lip Lasting Gloss Stain
My latest obsession! I love how the brush applicator in these Milani Power Lip Lasting Gloss Stains lets me apply just a bit of product for a light stain, or more for a glossy look that eventually wears down to the stained look. They’re a great option for long work days when I don’t have time to think about or touch-up my makeup. My favorite shares are Creamy Cafe, Mango Tango, Red Control, Cabaret Blend and Pink Lemonade.
Lime Crime – Velvetines
The standard in liquid-to-matte lipsticks for a reason, Lime Crime Velvetines smell incredible, feel great on, and last all day. I own the shades Red Velvet (and I wear it all the time – it looks great on everyone), and Suede Berry, and I’m planning on trying more ASAP.
Sleek Make Up – Matte Me
At a fraction of the price of Lime Crime’s Velvetines, these Liquid to Matte lipsticks are also one of my favorite lip products. While they’re a bit more drying, they do have great pigmentation that lasts a good part of the day. I’m not usually a pink/purple person but I adore the rich orchid colour of Fandago Purple. I also love Rioja Red, Party Pink, and Birthday Suit for an everyday nude look. And at under $10, they’re an absolute steal!
Ofra – Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick
I got a tube of Ofra – Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in the “Plumas” shade in the January 2014 Vegan Cuts Beauty Box. I absolutely LOVE the way this feels and smells (like chocolate/vanilla). It’s very long lasting and feels great!
Annabelle – Skinny Brow Pencil
If you live in Canada you’re in luck because Canadian-owned Annabelle’s Skinny Brow Pencil is the best brow pencil I’ve ever used. It’s a skinny retractable waxy pencil similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Whiz, but it’s a great dupe at over half the price. A must for anyone looking for a more defined brow!
Where to buy in Canada:
Shopper’s Drug Mart
Too Faced – Bulletproof 24-Hour Eye Liner
Another winner from Too Faced! I wear the Too Faced Bulletproof 24-Hour Eye Liner in the “Dirt Bag” shade almost every day these days. Beautiful rich colour, easy to use, and long-lasting. What’s not to love!
Urban Decay – Lush Lash Mascara I really love the vegan Lush Lash Mascara from Urban Decay. It’s got a great brush and the mascara itself is very wet so you can layer it without it looking brittle or clumpy. Update: March 3, 2014 – Urban Decay is now owned by L’Oreal, a company that performs cruel and unnecessary animal testing. Urban Decay is therefore no longer considered a cruelty-free (and therefore vegan) company. Since finding out this news, have not repurchased this mascara. Instead, I now use:
Milani – Distinct Lash Mascara
I used to use Wet n Wild – MegaVolume Mascara, but this Milani Distinct Lash Mascara has since replaced it as my favorite every day mascara. It has adds good volume and length, doesn’t flake and is a steal at under $10.
Butter London – Nail Lacquer
I absolutely love Butter London’s Nail Lacquer in “Come to Bed Red”. It’s the perfect bright red and looks so perfectly polished on short nails. It goes on so smooth and dries in a flash. It also has really good staying power when topped with a top coat. I really need to try more shades as this one is so impressive.
LVX – Nail Lacquer
I’m not usually a “pink” girl, but I really like this LVX Nail Lacquer in “Orchid”.
Like the Butter London polish I mentioned above, this also goes on very smooth and dries quickly. And I can even get away with one coat!