July 20 2020

Vegan and Cruelty-Free Makeup: What it Means and Why You Should Care

What does vegan makeup mean?

After months of quarantine snacking, you’ve decided you wanna become more conscious about what you’re putting into your body.

But what about what goes on it?

That quick swipe of lipstick before your Zoom meeting. Or that dab of blush before your FaceTime date.

Do you know what’s really in the stuff you’re putting all over your face?

Listen. Unless your makeup is 100% vegan, you should probably be looking into those ingredients.

Obviously, veganism isn’t new. But in the beauty world, it kinda is.

What’s all the buzz about anyway? And what does vegan even mean when it comes to cosmetics?

The basic definition of “vegan” is any item that doesn’t contain any animal products or by-products.

Animals? In beauty products?

Oh yeah. You’d be surprised at the amount of animal goop that’s lurking in your makeup bag.
It's freaking disgusting.

And the way these companies get these animal ingredients is downright inhumane.

Trust me — once you go down that rabbit hole in Google, there’s no going back.

I know what you’re thinking.

Throwing out my beautifully curated routine to create a brand new one?”

“What if the quality isn’t as good?”

“What about the prices??”

I hear you. I thought the same things. But then I replaced my entire makeup routine with vegan and cruelty-free products.

Yup. I did it. Was it worth it?


My new products are actually better than what I had. And affordable vegan, high-quality makeup brands — like us — do exist. It’s totally possible to make the switch without breaking the bank.

I can finally put on a full face without feeling a pit in my stomach. I was sick of giving money to brands that were okay with making animals suffer just to make a tiny tube of lip gloss.

So I decided to do something about it.

And by the end of this, you’ll wanna join the movement too. 

What does vegan makeup mean?

What’s the Difference Between Non-Vegan and Vegan Makeup?

Let’s go ahead and rip the bandaid off.

Your favorite things about your beauty products — moisturizing properties, rich pigment, luxe shimmer... It’s probably from animal grease, insect eggs, and fish scales.

Some of the most common animal by-products in makeup (and what they’re used for) are:

● Lanolin (grease from sheep wool) — used as a moisturizer

● Carmine (acid from beetles’ bodies and eggs) — used to create red pigment

● Beeswax — used to moisturize and strengthen skin

● Collagen (animal tissue) — used to promote skin elasticity

Harder-to-spot ingredients are:

● Guanine (fish scales) — used for creating reflective shimmers

● Allantoin (cow urine) — used to heal minor wounds (like acne)

● Squalene (oil from shark livers) — used as an anti-aging ingredient

● Lecithin (substance from nerve tissue) — helps mix ingredients together

Thousands of animals are mistreated and killed to produce that crap. There are plenty of vegan options — coconut oil, shea butter, plant fats, minerals, and almond oil — that work just as well.

And when it comes down to it, ingredients like lanolin can clog your pores and cause acne. So non-vegan products aren’t even your best option.

Your skin is gonna love you for trading those harsh, heavy animal ingredients for lighter, gentler ones.

Let’s go over some of the reasons to use vegan makeup:

1. Vegan products tend to have fewer ingredients — this means less chance of clogging/irritation and a lighter, more natural feel overall.

2. For my sensitive skin babes: vegan makeup is typically way more gentle on the skin. Say goodbye to redness and breakouts, baby!

3. With vegan makeup, it’s easier to find formulations without toxic ingredients — namely parabens (M2U NYC never uses these). Parabens get soaked up through your skin and can cause all sorts of hormonal problems. And when you wash your face, they get sucked down your drain and end up hurting the environment too.

4. Peace of mind. Knowing that your products aren’t made at the expense of animal lives takes a huge weight off your shoulders.

By choosing vegan, you’re choosing products that are better for you, wildlife, and the environment. It’s kinda hard to go wrong here.

But to be absolutely sure no animals were harmed when making your products, you’ll also want to buy from cruelty-free brands. 

Cruelty-free makeup

Are Vegan and Cruelty-Free the Same Thing?

 Some people think these two words are interchangeable.

And man, I wish you were right.

Cruelty-free refers to products made without any animal experimentation during the creation process.

See? Not the same.

Makeup that’s tested on animals can still claim to be vegan — if it doesn’t contain any animal products. And cruelty-free brands can sell non-vegan products. So it’s definitely possible to have one without the other.

It can be hard to tell which brands are legit. Some of them just slap the words “cruelty-free” on their packaging to make their makeup line look better.

Things you should know before blindly trusting a brand’s “cruelty-free” status:

● A “cruelty-free” label may only refer to the final product — the ingredients could still be tested on animals.

● Companies can claim they don’t test on animals, but pay other companies to do it for them.

● Animal testing is NOT required in the U.S. So it's absolutely possible for brands to be completely cruelty-free.

● Brands that sell their products in China aren’t generally considered cruelty-free — animal testing is required by law there for all imported cosmetics.

● Some brands can claim to be cruelty-free but are owned by parent companies that test on animals.

Choosing to shop from cruelty-free makeup brands comes down to saving lives. Each year, the U.S. tortures, tests on, and kills over 10 million animals. They’re kept in unlivable conditions, chained inside their cages, and forced to sit in their own filth.

The worst part is, it’s not even necessary.

In vitro testing, synthetic skin, and vegetable protein are all alternative options for animal testing that work just as well.

So really, a brand’s decision to test on animals is their choice. Crazy, right?

When in doubt, always look for a little bunny logo. If you see a PETA (this is the one we have!), Leaping Bunny, or Choose Cruelty-Free logo, you can be sure that the products in your cart are 100% cruelty-free.

Cruelty-free makeup brands

Now that you know exactly what you’re putting on your eyes, lips, and face, it might be hard to go back to your non-vegan makeup (from those non-cruelty-free brands).

After I learned about the awful things animals went through, I stopped wearing makeup altogether for a while.

But, now that I use only vegan and cruelty-free products, I wear makeup all day without the guilt.

If going back to your old makeup sounds a little nauseating, I’ve got awesome news for you.

You can replace your makeup bag with affordable vegan and cruelty-free products right here, right now.

Join the movement. Your skin, the animals, and the environment will thank you for it.

Click here to see Our Story

Continue Reading: Why Is Makeup So Expensive? The Ugly Truth: What You Need to Know About the Beauty Industry.


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two hands respectively holding lip gloss in different shades
two hands respectively holding lip gloss in different shades
excited girl holding two bottles of lip gloss looking at one of them
girl wearing lip gloss- shade love making curious look
one stright horizontal line of the lip gloss in different shades
lip gloss in shade "Crash" (nude brown)
Lip Gloss
lip gloss in shade Love (red)
Lip Gloss
Lip Gloss
color swatches of lip gloss in nine shades
lip gloss in shade "clear"
lip gloss in shade "crystal" (crystal shimmer)
lip gloss in shade "Lucky" (nude shimmer)
lip gloss in shade "First Kiss" (nude pink)
lip gloss in shade "Cherry Blossom" (shimmer pink)
lip gloss in shade "Crash" (nude brown)
lip gloss in shade "Love" (red)
lip gloss in shade "Unicorn Blood" (red shimmer)
lip gloss in shade "Fortune" (purple)

Lip Gloss


Add this ultra-shiny lip gloss to your perfect smile! Lightweight and creamy, without feeling sticky, wear it alone or over your fav lipstick for a hydrated look. Come in 2 finishes – high shine and shimmer. Available in 9 shades from clear to fully-pigmented red and purple.

See Details

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