A lipstick...that’s vegan? Going vegan is already a major talking point, and not just for society's trend-setters. In fact, veganism is first and foremost a renewed sign of respect for the living creatures around us. Going vegan, by definition, means adopting a new diet, though the movement has understandably spread to the world of cosmetics, which all too often uses ingredients that exploit animals some way or another.
What animal-based ingredients are in a non-vegan lipstick?
It should be known that vegan makeup is not quite yet the norm. Animal-based ingredients are still very often used in the products on the market. The two most common non-vegan ingredients you can find in your cosmetics are the following:
- carmine from the cochineal, a red pigment that is made by grinding up an insect, the cochineal (gross), and then presented under the very appealing name of CARMINE in ingredient lists... Unimaginable cruelty for a vegan brand.
- beeswax, a large majority of the beeswax in cosmetics is made in Asia, and the methods used are far from the picturesque image of a healthy hive in an open field tended to by a dedicated beekeeper. Yeah, it’s more like a factory farm where bees are worked until they drop dead, and never seeing a flower in their (very short) lifetime.
A vegan lipstick is totally against using any kind of animal-based ingredient. There are plant waxes that can act as an alternative to beeswax. And there are synthetic pigments that can be used instead of carmine. We’ll get into that a bit later on in this article.
If you are curious about the animal ingredients in your beauty products, take a look at the list of animal-based ingredients often used in conventional cosmetics.
What's the difference between a vegan lipstick and a natural or organic lipstick?
One thing that should be pointed out is that not all vegan brands are green brands. In fact, it can be quite the opposite! American brands, which really started the vegan trend, often opt for lipstick formulas that are completely synthetic. So, while they don’t contain any animal-based ingredients, they don't contain any plant-based ingredients, either... Cosmetics chock- full of chemicals are still vegan cosmetics. In Europe, though, we generally associate vegan lipsticks with a natural formula.
So, watch out! When you’re shopping at Sephora or other stores that feature vegan lipsticks (where a fair amount come from the other side of the Atlantic) make sure you're checking the ingredient list with, for example, your favorite app.
That’s how one of the ALL TIGERS convictions for its lipsticks came to be: vegan must go hand in hand with natural ingredients like plant waxes and plant oils, to make our brand as green as it can possibly be, And the result? Bold, long-lasting colors, a formula that’s up to 100% natural, and...100% vegan. So, it’s possible! ALL TIGERS has proven it!
Does a vegan lipstick always mean a cruelty-free lipstick?
Oh, the fatal question! It would seem so, right? You can’t be against using animal ingredients but for animal testing, that wouldn’t make any sense! In theory, yes...but in practice?
Testing cosmetics on animals has been criticized for quite some time, and the European Union banned animal testing in 2013. But, it’s only a partial ban, as this article shows. While they are supposed to guarantee greater customer safety and prevent dangerous products from going on the market, these tests don’t actually do much to prove that. Plus, we can’t forget about how these poor animals are subjected to such cruel treatment for the “good of the cause”... When we need to test a product, we should already be pretty confident that it’s safe, right? Like there aren't already tons of perfectly safe ingredients already available...
When we talk about cruelty-free, we’re referring to the brands and products that refuse animal testing, which can still happen in North America, South America, and Asia, where it is still legal.
But we’ve also seen brands claim to be cruelty-free, even though they use lipsticks that contain the famous carmine pigment extracted from cochineal insects. Since boiling and crushing isn’t cruel, right? Okay...
So, when a European brand declares itself cruelty-free, it doesn't make much sense, since...well, it’s banned already. Actually, in theory, brands are not allowed to use the “cruelty-free” argument, seeing as it is simply stating something that is already legally binding. By using this statement, brands risk getting in trouble with the law.
But in practice, China (the primary market for major brands) requires that any makeup sold in stores be tested on animals. So there are some pretty shady European brands that know how to play the game and call themselves vegan—since their products don't technically contain any animal ingredients—but they do allow these same cosmetics to be tested on animals in China. Hypocrisy at its finest, much? We think it needs to be brought to people’s attention. If you have your eye on a particular brand but see it is all over China, watch out! Fortunately, China does seem to be moving towards getting rid of these tests, though when this will really happen is another question completely.
In any case, ALL TIGERS has decided to avoid any launch in stores in China until these rules are changed.
It therefore might be a good idea to look into how different cosmetics brands export their product. You research may reveal quite a bit.
The Best Vegan Lipsticks
Now let’s move on to something a bit more pleasant: what are the best shades of vegan lipstick? Without red pigment, striking shades of lipstick might be a difficult to recreate. Most red and pink tints are made from a mixture of pigments where red, even if it’s not the classic red, plays a big part. What’s the alternative? Iron oxide, a synthetic red pigment very often used by makeup artist brands. Other pigments don’t have so many limits. Another way to go is by having a high concentration of natural ingredients according to the color wanted and pigments used.
The best vegan lipsticks offer a range of colors comparable to their non-vegan counterparts. And what are the best vegan lipstick colors according to the polls? Check them out below!
The classic: vegan RED lipstick
Pure red for a lip that is bold and bright: this vegan red lipstick is the star of the show, hands down. Learn more
100% vegan lipstick formula with 82% natural ingredients and 35% organic ingredients. Long-lasting and comfortable.
Discreet: vegan PINK BEIGE lipstick
New to shelves this year, the Pink Beige is the perfect choice for those looking for a blend between subtlety and shine. Learn more
100% vegan lipstick formula with 96.5% natural ingredients and 28% organic ingredients. Long-lasting and comfortable.
Unforgettable: vegan ROSEWOOD lipstick
Rosewood is the shade to bring out your lips’ gorgeous natural color simply and easily. Learn more
100% vegan lipstick formula with 95% natural ingredients and 30% organic ingredients. Long-lasting and comfortable.
But our large scope of vegan lipstick shades doesn’t stop with just the classics. You can find all of the colors of our vegan range here!
Whether you’re #TeamVegan or #TeamOrganic, the queen of the jungle is YOU. You want to take the reins of ALL TIGERS? There’s one thing you can do: follow us on Instagram and let your voice be heard. We consult our community every step of the way. Ready to roar? ROAARRR!