Sustainable Make Up – Vegan Style
Sustainability can be interpreted differently by each of us. Is there a way to measure sustainability across all mediums? Not really. Can we be 100% sustainable in our day-to-day lives – the dream answer would be yes, but achieving it is so much harder. If you look around you, you’ll see you are surrounded by plastic, items that we don’t use that much, items that we use regularly but can’t be easily recycled, and items that can be recycled.
My passion is beauty. Over the years I have tried to do my best to use beauty products that are sustainable. It’s definitely not been an easy and straight forward journey, so I’ll share what I’ve learnt with you to hopefully make it a little easier for you. A bit of background about me – I’m an Award Winning Vegan Bridal Makeup Artist. I’ve been working in the beauty and wedding industry for 10 years and I am also Brand Manager for Blooms By Vanita, another Award Winning Wedding Business.
My ‘sustainability’ journey began in 2017. My sister turned vegan overnight after watching a show. The next day she shared the experience with us. I have to say I was little taken back by her reaction. We’re a vegetarian family and do love our diary, so for her to make a massive decision overnight, it was big. It immediately made me think of what I was putting onto my skin. I started researching how products were made, where they were made, what the ingredients were and it struck me that most of the products I had in my professional kit and my personal kit had been tested on animals. I decided I wanted to change all of my products to 100% cruelty-free and by 2018 I had done this. It was a big investment financially as it took some testing of products, I needed products that would match my skin colour and also work for my clients. I wanted products that would last long enough for my Brides. As the information wasn’t readily available, I had to email brands to ask them directly. Some ignored me and some came back with a vague answer. I found the easiest way to work it out was if the brand sold in China then the products were tested on animals.
After putting together a 100% cruelty free kit, I felt proud, but I hadn’t finished just yet. When researching product ingredients I was shocked to learn about some of the ingredients being extracted from animals.
Lanolin: derived from sheep wool
Shellac – obtained from lac bugs
Mink hair – found in fake eyelashes
Squalene – derived from shark liver oil
Glycerine – made from animal fats
Keratin – extracted from horns of animals
Carmine – extracted from beetles
The whole process started again and took around a year. So in 2019 I had a full vegan kit for my Brides and a personal kit too. I am now working to buy from companies who use eco-friendly packaging, naturally derived ingredients and in the same country as me to cut down on carbon footprint.
As promised here’s a list to buy beauty products more sustainably –
- Take all your beauty products that you own out in front of you – opened and unopened, and take a moment to take in how much you have. Do you need that much? Will you be able to finish it all?
- Get rid of items that are out of date – wash and recycle the packaging, or reuse the packaging
- Buy cruelty free & vegan (look out for official logo’s on the packaging.)
- Only buy products when you need to replenish.
- Open products when you know you’re ready to start using and commit to it.
- Choose plastic free or zero waste beauty products.
- Make a wish list of products and don’t buy them straight away – do your research, read reviews and check if it will actually work for you before buying.
- Follow influencers that have similar skin or beauty concerns as you to see their recommendations.
Most plastic is wasted via the bathroom and makeup products.
Once beauty is sorted start looking at your cleaning products as this can also effect the skin, and whatever we pour down the drain can effect wildlife and water.
Remember take it a day at a time and do what you can. Every change you make has an effect somewhere.
All the best in your sustainability journey!