Veganism is more than a diet

The vegan lifestyle is taking the world by storm with its diet and clothing choices, and according to a 2016 poll conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group, about 3.7 million Americans ages 18 and up are vegans. Veganism, according to, is choosing to refrain from not only consuming but also using anything containing animal products.

This trending movement is becoming easier to keep up with because the makeup industry is changing its ways, making its products not only cruelty-free but vegan-friendly. PETA stated that cruelty-free makeup is makeup that was not tested on animals, while vegan makeup has not been tested on animals nor does it include any ingredients derived from animals.

Many well-known cosmetic brands, such as Too Faced, Tarte and wet n wild, are converting to the new vegan trend. Eyeshadows, lipsticks, foundations, brushes and many other cosmetic products are being made without using any animal-derived ingredients, so an entire face of makeup can be completely vegan. But how good can vegan makeup really be? I tested both cruelty-free and vegan versions of three types of cosmetics – foundation, mascara and lip gloss – to see if there were any differences between the two types.


The vegan products were Milani Smooth Finish Cream-to-Powder foundation in the color soft beige, wet n wild Mega Volume Mascara in the color C138 very black and wet n wild MegaSlicks lip gloss in the shade 553C rasp-berry voice. The cruelty-free products were CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB cream in the color 805 fair to light, Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel waterproof mascara in the color black and CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor in the shade 541 crushed shells.

The foundations had the most significant differences in application. The vegan foundation from Milani had far better coverage than the non-vegan foundation from CoverGirl. The Milani foundation was very light on my skin but covered up the marks and redness on my face. With the CoverGirl foundation, I felt like I had to keep applying the foundation and it still did not cover anything. The different mascaras and lipsticks, however, had very similar, positive results. Both mascaras provided great lash lengthening results and had a deep, black color. Both lip colors were vibrant, with easy application and a light feel.

It is simple to find vegan cosmetics by searching online, but the product label will show this as well. Products displaying a rabbit signify that the makeup is cruelty-free, but the ingredients list is the key to determining if the product is really vegan. PETA’s website has a list of ingredients found in non-vegan cosmetics and foods.

No diets have to change to take part in this animal-loving trend.


Photo credit: R. Hirstein


Left: Non-vegan makeup
$7.99 CoverGirl CG Smoothers BB cream in 805 fair to light
$9.49 Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel mascara waterproof in black
$8.49 CG Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in 541 crushed shells

Right: Vegan makeup
$9 Milani Smooth Finish Cream-to-Powder makeup in 13 soft beige
$2.99 Wet n wild MegaVolume mascara in C138 very black
$1.99 Wet n wild MegaSlicks lip gloss in 553C rasp-berry voice

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