Makeup,  Skincare

Cosmetics – Is It Vegan?

So I already have a blog post on how you can tell if a brand is cruelty free, but I don’t yet have one on how you can tell if your cosmetics are vegan. So here we go.

Vegan cosmetics are set to be one of the biggest makeup trends of 2018. With more and more people opening their eyes to veganism, it’s no wonder that the cosmetic industry has a part to play in this. But how can you tell if your makeup is vegan?

Check The Website

Some brands such as ELF and B. are 100% vegan, this makes life so much easier when it comes to choosing cosmetics. Unfortunately though, that’s where the list ends for readily available highstreet vegan brands. Thankfully, many cruelty free brands now offer vegan options and you can find out what they are by looking on their websites. Brands such as Barry M, M&S Autograph, Urban Decay and Makeup Revolution (LH Grey Area) have this information available on their websites.

Check The Ingredients

So, if a brand doesn’t have any information on their website about their vegan status then you can try checking the ingredients. Some ingredients will almost always be animal derived and some could be plant or animal derived.

These are almost always animal derived:

Beeswax/Cera Alba – Derived from bees
Honey – Derived from bees
Lanolin – Derived from sheep’s wool
Carmine/Cochineal/CI 75470 – Crushed beetles
Guanine – Derived from fish scales
Gelatine – Animal bones
Squalene – Derived from shark livers
Collagen – Derived from animal tissue
Estrogen – Derived from horse urine
Shellac – Derived from lac bugs
Animal Hair – Usually from mink, horse, squirrel, fox or goat
Keratin – From the horns/hair of animals
L-cysteine/E920 – Derived from bird feathers
Silk – Derived from silk worms

These could be plant or animal derived:

Glycerine – Derived from animal fats OR soya, coconut oil or palm oil
Casein – Derived from cows milk OR plant milk alternative
Tallow – Derived from animal fat OR nuts, coconut or olives

If you’re not sure or the product doesn’t have the ingredients written on the packaging then if you can find the product online, you can use a very useful tool called This website is a life saver, you paste in the ingredients and it will flag up any non-vegan and possibly non-vegan ingredients.

Email The Company

However, if picks up any possible non-vegan ingredients your only other option is to try to find an UP TO DATE list online (within the last year is best) if one exists. Or email the company directly and find out if these ingredients are plant or animal derived.

I hope this has been somewhat useful and I haven’t bombarded you with too much information! Remember, everyone makes mistakes so don’t fret, just do your best.

Stay cool x


  • Kirsty

    This is a good post! I mainly buy KVD or illamasqua who are both really clear about vegan products (especially Kats since they are all vegan). I wish other companies were easier to tell, I hate having to go hunting for the info. Xx

    • theethicalevolution

      Kats isn’t ALL vegan at the moment but everything she is releasing recently is! I think she has some old stuff that’s still non-vegan but that info should be on the website!x

  • Clara

    Becoming a vegan changed my life completely. For good ofc and I am sooo happy about it. It was the best decision in my life. Not only have I changed my diet but my whole life. I also changed my shopping habits. I tried many cosmetics before I found the perfect sets for my daily routines. I can really recommend Virginic products ( They have nearly everything I need (except make up 🙁 ). They are a vegan, organic and cruelty-free brand. If you go on their page you can see the ingredients for every product which is amazing. So I really hope it’s true otherwise I don’t know what to do ;__;

  • Sabrina sabby

    I honestly asked myself this everytime “is it vegan” when i come to buy cosmetics. i make sure i know exactly what i put on my face. because my skin is the best outfit i can wear and i really try very hard to care for it. i found out about a recent brand and ive been ordering insanely from them lately

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