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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

Guide to Going Vegan

Beauty and Self-Care

by Alice McLeman

image courtesy of

When I first went vegan five years ago, it was completely different to how it is now. Every supermarket carries vegan substitutes for British staples like meat, cheese and milk and most corner shops have at least one type of plant-based milk. I had to Google every brand and food product before I bought it and my meals were far healthier because vegan junk food was simply not readily available. Although it is much easier to go vegan now – whether it’s because of animal rights, environmental or health reasons – there is still a lot to learn if you want to completely overhaul your lifestyle.

That’s why we’re bringing you a four-part series on the essentials to either completely change over to a vegan lifestyle or make small changes here and there. This first part breaks down everything you need to know as a vegan consumer for beauty and self-care products.

Some brands test on animals, but most that are not cruelty-free are because they still sell their products in China – where animal testing is required by law for cosmetics. Other brands are considered cruelty-free by some but not by others – due to their parent company being a brand that tests on animals. This was the case when The Body Shop was owned by L’Oreal until it was sold to Natura in 2017 – claiming a full cruelty-free status.

These lists are not exhaustive but do provide a quick guide to some of the most popular brands in the UK.

100% Vegan Brands

  • Arctic Fox

  • Beautyblender

  • Cover FX

  • EcoTools

  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics

  • Lime Crime

  • Pacifica

  • Real Techniques

Cruelty-Free Brands (with vegan products in range)

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills

  • B. (by Superdrug)

  • Barry M

  • Boots (own brand)

  • Bulldog

  • Colourpop

  • elf

  • Glossier

  • Kiko

  • KKW Beauty

  • Kylie Cosmetics

  • LUSH

  • Makeup Revolution/Revolution

  • Manic Panic

  • Marks & Spencer (own brand)

  • No7

  • NYX

  • Paul Mitchell

  • Sleek

  • Smashbox

  • Sugarpill

  • Superdrug (own brand)

  • Tarte

  • The Body Shop

  • Too Faced

  • Urban Decay

NOT Cruelty-Free Brands

  • Nars

  • Max Factor

  • L’Oreal

  • Bobbi Brown

  • Estee Lauder

  • Chanel

  • Mac

  • Bourjois

  • Benefit

  • Armani

  • Lancome

  • Tom Ford

  • Maybelline

  • YSL

  • Rimmel

  • Dior

  • Revlon

  • Avon

  • Clinique

  • Dolce & Gabbana

We recommend:

- If you take supplements, Superdrug and Holland and Barrett have vegan-friendly supplements of almost any kind.*

-  Look out for the following common ingredients which are not vegan-friendly: cera alba/beeswax, carmine/cochineal extract/crimson lake/carmine lake/natural red 4/C.I.75470/E120, silk powder, honey, lanolin, collagen, L-cysteine, gelatin, keratin, linoleic acid, panthenol, shellac and stearic acid.

In the next edition, we will present part two of our guide: food.

*Do not change over any supplements that have been recommended by a doctor without consulting them.


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