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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bugs in my blush?! Veggie-friendly cosmetics picks for Earth Day

Thank goodness, there are no actual physical bugs crawling around in any of my beauty products. But we all know that carmine, the red coloring that's used a lot in food as well as cosmetics, comes from little bugs, right? (That's them right there. Sorry.)

And while I'm not vegetarian or vegan, I'm definitely interested in learning more about make-up that doesn't require bugs as an ingredient. (I'm really interested in experimenting with dye-quality cochineal for fabric, though... but that's fabric, not my face.) Because even though I do use regular non-veg cosmetics, it's still pretty gross to stop and think about it.

So, because it's Earth Day and living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is every day, here are some lines that let us know what's in (and, more importantly, what's NOT in) their products.

If you're looking for a soft natural look with your cosmetics, there are several lines you can try out. Ecco Bella is sold at natural food stores like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and some drug stores (!). They address what products aren't vegan in their FAQ, so you can know what products have carmine or beeswax and avoid purchasing them.

Did you know that Origins is veggie-friendly as well? They say that the only animal products they use are cruelty-free beeswax and honey. I'd recommend going and checking out the products in person if you're looking to avoid beeswax and honey, since the ingredients are listed on the packaging but not on the website. (Booo! List your ingredients on the website!)

So while the soft, natural, pretty "office-ready" look is all well and good, it's not the only thing you can do with veggie make-up. Some of us like a little more color and sass, and it's awesome to know that there are animal product-free choices for bright colors as well.

Both Urban Decay and Hard Candy have made shopping lists and face charts available for vegan shoppers. I'm glad to see a lot of my favorites (a lot of the eyeshadows, most of the 24/7 pencils, lots of lip products) are veg*n, so I can recommend those whole-heartedly. (I am, however, dismayed that Primer Potion isn't on the list! What's in it?? In looking at Sephora, it's beeswax.) In addition, all Urban Decay brushes are made of taklon fibers and are cruelty-free.

If you'd rather shop a little more indie than hitting up Sephora or Macy's for your cosmetics, I've heard really good things about Fyrinnae cosmetics from the various make-up forums I haunt. I haven't tried any of their products, but with over 130 colors of eyeshadow (!!) at $5.25 or under each (!!!!), it's certainly tempting! (Check out their Steampunk eyeshadow -- gorgeous!) Alas, no lip products that I can see, but the variety in loose pigments (some of which are lip-safe) makes up for it.

In Googling around, I found another company that I think would be fun to try out if you like bright primary colors: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics specializes in airbrush and effects make-up that's completely vegan and says so right off the bat in their FAQ. While most of the products are for airbrush and professional make-up, they do offer loose pigments for eyes and body in a variety of bright bright colors.

And for bonus, they also offer vegan nail polish in a whole bunch of colors, including several reds and pinks, royal blue, dark grey, black, and "wasabi" (neat!). And if they're as quick-drying as they claim, I'm all for it.

This is just a jumping-off point for all of the cool veggie-friendly cosmetics lines out there -- I'm sure there are plenty more I haven't heard of!

Do you take ingredients like carmine and beeswax into consideration when you buy your products? Are you a vegetarian or vegan beauty addict? What lines or products do you like most, and what are you curious to try?

images from aurorasilk.com and urbandecay.com


JanelleGrace said...

I care more about finding ingredients that I have no clue what they are.


This is an interesting website- I plugged in Ecco Bella and they ranged 0-4 (most of the fours were moisturizers)

Jeanne said...

Hi JanelleGrace!

Thanks for the link -- that's really good information! And I completely agree that ingredients that you don't know are the scarier ones -- what is it and what does it do?

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