Once upon a time, finding vegan beauty products was a real chore. Vegan-only brands were rather niche, more closely associated with the food industry and often tucked away in your local Holland & Barrett or gathering dust at the back of Whole Foods. In 2021, though, veganism is increasingly mainstream, with 20% of Gen Z in the UK adopting a meat-free lifestyle. In the beauty world, veganism is now its own distinct market, with dedicated retailers and major brands allocating entire edits to the stuff. It’s also being championed by more and more non-vegans each year.
If you’re keen to switch up your makeup and skincare routines, we’ve got you covered. Here are the 14 best vegan beauty brands which are really pushing the industry forward. Some are familiar favourites while others are exciting newcomers but each one has been accredited, either with The Vegan Trademark or PETA Approved Vegan logo (though it is important to note that vegan brands or products aren’t always cruelty-free and vice versa). If you’re looking for a brand that is both vegan and cruelty-free, in addition to the above accreditations you'll want to keep an eye out for the cruelty-free Leaping Bunny logo.
If you’re not necessarily a beauty obsessive, you may not have heard of Versed, which has quickly become an industry and consumer favourite for its kind to skin, kind to the planet, results-driven ingredients. Aside from being vegan, you can be assured that Versed is cruelty-free accredited, uses low-waste packaging and is dedicated to being more sustainable, supporting The Rainforest Coalition.
delilah proves that vegan makeup doesn’t need to be complicated. It offers everything any major brand might offer, just with vegan, plant-powered and paraben-free ingredients. It's also certified cruelty-free, including the companies that it sources from.
Gel Brow And Eye Liner (various Shades)
Time Frame Future Resist Foundation Spf20
Any self-described skincare junkie can identify The Ordinary’s frosted glass jars. The brand serves up results-driven products that are affordable and often go viral. But did you know that the entire range is vegan? While The Ordinary itself is cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified, it’s important to note that its parent company, Estée Lauder, is not.
Australian-based INIKA Organic is not only a vegan, cruelty-free and halal brand, it is also accredited with some strict certifications. The ACO Cosmos Standard means that it uses only pure botanicals and earth-derived minerals, and its formulas are free of synthetics. Its organic range is also backed by the Australian government’s Organic Food Chain (OFC).
Certified Organic Liquid Foundation
£33.00Wolf & Badger
Certified Organic Liquid Foundation
£33.00Wolf & Badger
Pai was born out of founder Sarah Brown’s frustrations with so-called ‘hypoallergenic’ and ‘organic’ beauty while looking for her own skin saviour that wouldn’t irritate. Now it's a bathroom cabinet staple, certified by COSMOS (Soil Association), Cruelty Free International and The Vegan Society, and with the Leaping Bunny cruelty-free logo.
Middlemist Seven Camellia And Rose Gentle ...
In 2013 Ericka Rodriguez was horrified to find that all the lipsticks in her kit were tested on animals. Wanting to do better, she started to shop vegan brands but found that their formulas were super drying. Inspired, she founded Axiology – vegan, cruelty-free, ultra moisturising and nourishing lip products (which she dreamed up in her kitchen!). We especially love the Lip-to-Lid Balmies. Packed with oils, butters and antioxidants like hemp and plum oil to soothe dry skin, they’re also 100% waste- and plastic-free. What's more, they are tube-free and cap-free, wrapped only in paper and packaged in a recyclable carrying case.
Spectrum is another household name, its brushes beloved by makeup professionals and amateurs alike. Not only pretty to look at and display in your #shelfie, the high quality, vegan, synthetic fibres enable you to apply makeup seamlessly for a flawless finish.
Spectrum Millennial Pink 10 Piece Essentia...
5 Piece Zodiac Brush Set
£34.00House of Fraser
Don’t be alarmed by Medik8’s very medical-sounding name; it only emphasises the brand’s connections to the worlds of science and nature. Founder Elliot Isaacs has a background in physiology, pharmacology and biochemistry, plus 15 years of experience with developing professional-grade skincare products. The brand itself is dedicated to making anti-ageing skincare more transparent and accessible, with products that are as driven by results as by sustainability. As of 2019, all Medik8 products are vegan and cruelty-free, and the brand is dedicated to becoming more sustainable. Medik8’s unique selling point is its tried-and-tested ‘CSA philosophy’: vitamin C with sunscreen by day and vitamin A (otherwise known as retinol) by night.
Champion of biotechnology Biossance is accredited cruelty-free and vegan by PETA and much of its range bears the EWG VERIFIED™ mark, meaning that it meets the Environmental Working Group's strictest criteria for transparency and health. The brand uses only sustainably sourced, plant-based squalane – a wonder ingredient typically found in sharks, which have been hunted for decades as a result.
Milk Makeup isn't just worth the hype, it's also cruelty-free, paraben-free and 100% vegan. Since its arrival in the UK in 2019, its powerful combination of formulas that work and aesthetically pleasing packaging has earned the brand a top spot on beauty It lists.
Besides having the coolest name in the beauty game, Korean brand Sweet Chef is powered by nature’s goodness. Inspired by healthy smoothies and salads, its products are packed with plant-derived extracts, vitamins, minerals and luminosity-boosting oils: a veritable five-a-day for your face. A bonus USP? Its founders are also the brains behind fan-favourite Glow Recipe.
Made by hand in small batches at a studio in Hertfordshire to ensure the freshness, Evolve Beauty’s range is all about honest, natural and organic beauty. The brand formulates each product to be extra gentle on sensitive skin.
Clean, vegan and cruelty-free, everything Tower 28 Beauty does is designed for sensitive skin – a personal passion of founder Amy Liu, who has had eczema her entire adult life. The brand follows the National Eczema Association’s ingredient guidelines entirely and all its products are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (so less likely to clog pores), dermatologist-tested and – a boon for those with coeliac disease – gluten-free.
NatureLab TOKYO’s haircare range combines traditional Japanese beauty rituals with cutting-edge clean beauty technology to give dry, damaged hair a new lease of life. Dubbed ‘skincare for hair’, the range uses nutrient-rich plant stem cells to treat your scalp as well as your hair, encouraging healthy growth from root to tip.
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