So we made it through Veganuary! It was a long month (for many reasons other than being vegan). If you made it through your first month as a vegan though, what an amazing achievement, and I wanted to share something a bit different on my blog for those who might be planning on making this a permanent lifestyle change. To the majority of non-vegans, it is easy to get confused between vegan, and ‘plant-based’. While even just cutting out animal products from your diet does have an impact of the suffering of animals and damage to the environment, many people may not realise that the exploitation carries through into so many other aspects of our modern lives, and you’re missing the point of veganism if you’re still actively participating in that. Obviously we can all only try our best in the situation that we’re in, but since transitioning to a vegan lifestyle I’ve realised how it can often be the cheapest and easiest option that is also cruelty-free. I often get asked questions about where I buy make-up/shampoo/soap etc, so I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite brands and products.
Superdrug is a UK vegan’s go to for your daily essentials. Most of their own brand products are vegan, but their labelling is excellent so you can always spot if something has animal products in. I buy make-up wipes, hand soap, deodorant, toothpaste and mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner, and shower gel from here.
100% cruelty-free and vegan make-up brand E.L.F. can be found in larger Superdrug stores round the UK, and it is by far my favourite budget brand. I prefer though to do my shopping online in the sales, when you can get ridiculous bargains (I bulk ordered my current mascara at 80p a time). If you don’t mind being slightly bombarded with email, it’s well worth signing up to their newsletter, as they always feature a discount code for either free delivery or a free gift with your purchase.
I’m currently using E.L.F. mascara, highlighter, contouring kit, and brushes, which aren’t bad at all for the price point.
I came across this brand in my old Birchbox subscription, and they are definitely my favourite make-up brushes to use. I’m not a huge make-up wearer but the application with these brushes is great, and they also look really pretty. Just remember to take care of your brushes (which I’m very bad at, as you can see from the well-loved brushes in the photo above) as they can shed and get ruined if you don’t.
I have a huge collection of Barry M nail varnish from before I was vegan so was happy to learn that I may have been buying vegan products without even realising, and was at least not contributing to the testing of animals for make-up, an absolutely pointless and unnecessary exercise. Though not all of the Barry M line is vegan, most products are, – check online for confirmation of which ones, where they’ve helpfully added a vegan label on all the product pages it applies to.
Lush claim that around 80% of their products are vegan, which means in store is a relative haven (if you aren’t too averse to the smell that pumps out the building). I buy my face scrub, lib scrub & balm, body and hand moisturisers from here. Of course there are also the famous bath bombs for when I’m looking for a treat. Look out for the vegan trademark on the products, as some things do contain animal products such as honey, or beeswax.
Don’t laugh – I know this isn’t really a brand, but B&M is actually a vegan haven if you know what to look out for. They almost always have Original Source body wash and scrub for a third of the price you find elsewhere. They often stock vegan shampoo and conditioner brands (I spotted and nabbed bottles of Inecto on my last visit). Similarly with soap, I’ve found Astonish in here a few times. It can’t go without mentioning either that you can stock up on BBQ flavour pringles, Elizabeth Shaw mint chocolates, vegan custard creams, and a number of other accidentally vegan snacks at a great price. I’ve seen other similar stores such as Home Bargains have very similar offerings, so it’s well worth a visit to one of these discount chains if you have one nearby.
It’s clearly labelled on most of Tesco’s household items that they don’t test on animals and actively fund research into alternatives (though do check labels as this doesn’t mean a product is vegan). Recently though Tesco have been upping their vegan game massively, including launching their new ‘Eco Active’ range. I picked up a huge bottle of laundry detergent for cheaper than any branded alternatives. The range also includes washing up liquid, anti-bacterial spray, and other cleaning products which smell great and do the job just as well with less harm to animals and the environment.
The Body Shop were recently sold by L’Oreal to cruelty-free company Natura so their heavy marketing around their vegan products can actually now possibly be justified. Lots of their make-up range is vegan, and the staff are also really knowledgeable about which products you might want to use. I use their vegan foundation range, and eye shadow for shading my brows. If your taste in make-up is a bit more expensive than mine though and Body Shop doesn’t cut it, I’d recommend brands such as Kat Von D, or Charlotte Tilbury. You can find an amazing list of vegan make-up products on Cruelty-free Kitty.
The perfume shop in Brighton can often be found with a stand at vegan fairs round the UK, with their natural, cruelty-free and vegan range. They produce, very accurately, replicas of well-known high street brands, and even better – for a fraction of the cost. You can buy a bottle at their store or a festival stand for £15, but keep your empty bottles and refill it in store for only £13. If you can’t see them in person, there’s always their online shop, where you’ll have to pay for postage but it’s still a steal. I use numbers 78 and 309, copies of the old perfumes I used to use (Lady Million, and Marc Jacob’s Daisy).
I’m adding this in here as my favourite vegan fashion brand. It’s a little piece of luxury – though still a lot cheaper than designer brands using animal products. They’re super eco-friendly, with the linings of their handbags all made out of 100% recycled bottles. If you’re looking for an ethical alternative to leather this would be my suggestion. TK Maxx also stock Matt & Nat products from time to time where you can steal them at a fraction of the price.
I hope this will help some of you who’ve made it through Veganuary and plan to carry on living the vegan life! Got any specific questions or things that you’re looking for? Let me know in the comments and I’ll hopefully be able to suggest a vegan alternative. Or even better – suggest some new finds for me!