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Last updated on April 15, 2022

There’s never been a better time to give your makeup collection a vegan makeover. As the vegan beauty sector in Canada continues to flourish, more and more people are opting for cruelty-free alternatives to their favorite skincare products. Not only are vegan makeup products equivalent in performance, they’re also better for the environment, the animals, and your skin too. Indeed, vegan skincare products tend to be chemical-free.

How to know if makeup is vegan?

Due to increasing demand, most vegan makeup products will proudly highlight the fact that they’re cruelty-free. And for that reason, more and more cosmetics brands are launching cruelty-free skincare lines. Despite the popularity of cruelty-free makeup, there are still tons and tons of makeup products that are not vegan or cruelty-free.

The best way to know if a makeup product is vegan is to examine the label to look for the words cruelty-free. Even better, look for a Leaping Bunny or Beauty Without Bunnies logo on the product. Either or these logos will guarantee that the product and its ingredients are certified cruelty-free.

Leaping Bunny is the leading organization that certifies cruelty-free products in Canada and the USA. In addition to cosmetics products, you can find this logo on personal care products, household products and cleaning products that have not been tested on animals. Take a look at their growing list of brands offering certified cruelty-free products.

Natural does not mean vegan and especially does not mean cruelty-free. That’s because a makeup product labeled as natural can still be tested on animals. Not to mention, makeup marketed as natural can also contain non-vegan ingredients. When it comes to figuring out if a product is vegan, the term natural is pretty much meaningless.

Still not sure if a makeup product is cruelty-free? Some brands are slow to update their packaging and marketing materials. Other brands cannot afford to obtain a cruelty-free or vegan certification. If you’re still interested in potentially supporting these brands, try contacting them to find out if their products or their products’ ingredients are vegan or tested on animals.

Why is most makeup not vegan?

There are a few reasons why a makeup product would not be considered vegan:

  1. The product contains animal-derived ingredients or animal byproducts
  2. The product contains ingredients that have been tested on animals
  3. The product itself has been tested on animals

When it comes to skincare products, the term cruelty-free is often used to describe the products. That’s because skincare products have a tendency to be tested on animals, especially if they’re being sold in countries like China where it’s required by law. Cruelty-free implies that a product has not been tested on animals.

Unfortunately, cruelty-free does not necessarily mean vegan. That’s because a product that has not been tested on animals can still contain animal-derived ingredients or byproducts and can still contain ingredients that have been tested on animals.

Common Non-Vegan Makeup Ingredients

Some examples of non-vegan ingredients commonly found in makeup products include honey, beeswax, lanolin, keratin, collagen, carmine, shellac, casein, and animals fats like glycerine*. Beyond the makeup itself, makeup accessories can also contain non-vegan components. Mink hair can be used to make fake eyelashes and animal hair is also commonly used in the bristles of makeup brushes.

Lucky for us vegans, there are more and more vegan alternatives to these ingredients. For example, glycerine can also be derived from soy and vegetable oils and keratin can be substituted by almond oil. When it comes to makeup brushes and fake eyelashes, there is really no logical reason to continue using animal hair considering the amount of high-quality synthetic options available.

A skincare product sold in China is automatically not cruelty-free since animal testing in mainland China is mandatory by law.

7 Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands You Can Find in Canada

While many beauty brands offer a few vegan-friendly products, here is a growing list of 100% vegan and cruelty-free beauty brands.

Kat Von D Beauty

Kat Von D Beauty offers vegan and cruelty-free makeup products, including eyeliner, lipstick, foundation, and more.

See their collection

Cake Beauty

Cake Beauty’s products are certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA’s organization Beauty Without Bunnies. They offer vegan products for the face, hair, skin, and even vegan bath products.

See their collection

OSEA

OSEA offers a wide range of vegan, cruelty-free and sustainably-sourced skincare products for the face, hair, body and more.

See their collection

Rahua

Rahua offers vegan and cruelty-free hair care products. They also don’t sell their products where animal testing is legally required.

See their collection

Nudestix

Nudestix offers a variety of vegan and cruelty-free makeup products. Their most popular products are vegan makeup crayons.

See their collection

Cover FX

Cover FX offers vegan and cruelty-free concealer and foundation products.

See their collection

Pacifica

Pacifica offers a range of vegan skincare and beauty products that are vegan and cruelty-free.

See their collection