Are you thinking of a new spring look? Full disclosure: I do not wear a lot of makeup, shop for a lot of cosmetics or beauty products. That means when I do, it’s a big deal! Recently I ran out of mascara. I had been wearing Pacifica, but thought I would branch out and learn about new vegan mascaras. Well! It is a big beautiful world out there! Who knew how many brands there are now! First, let’s clarify terms.

What is a vegan cosmetic vs. a cruelty free cosmetic?

Vegan and cruelty free sound similar but vastly different when you get right down to it. If you want a more detailed answer, please be sure to watch Tashina from Logical Harmony to learn more about the difference between vegan and cruelty free products. Her detailed up to date site has been my go-to resource for years!

  • Vegan cosmetics and beauty products are not tested on animals and do not contain animal-based ingredients such as, but not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others.Use a variety of apps (listed below) to help you shop. You can also look for Vegan Action’s green V inside a heart logo.
  • Cruelty free cosmetics and beauty products are not tested on animals yet still use animal-based ingredients. Cruelty free products are not 100% animal friendly. They are a step in the right direction! If this is best you can do, as you transition, then celebrate that. Remember it is all about progress not perfection.

Let technology be your friend when shopping for vegan cosmetics and beauty products.

  • Logical Harmony is a great site that contains a large database of both vegan and cruelty free beauty products available at upscale shops as well as big box stores.
  • The Bunny Free app is free and is available for both Androids and iPhones. This app lets you check to see if a company is cruelty-free or not. Bunny Free lets you search for companies by name and tells you whether they test on animals or not.
  • Animal-Free is an iPhone app, which includes a database of animal-derived ingredients to help you make compassionate choices every time you head to the store.
  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) offers a cruelty free pink bunny logo on cruelty free cosmetics and beauty products.
  • The Cruelty Free app is just that. A shopping guide that lists over 200 U.S. and Canadian companies that do not test ingredients, formulations, or finished products on animals. The Leaping Bunny Program certifies that no new animal testing is used
  • The Skin Deep app for both iPhone and Android is made by the Environment Working Group, the makers of “The dirty dozen and clean 15″ that informs us of pesticide usage on everyday fruits and vegetables. Skin Deep is a bit different from the others listed here but does indicate how clean a cosmetic or beauty product really is.

Every time we buy something, we vote with our wallets. Our actions, as consumers, make a huge difference. Companies pay very close attention to our shopping preferences. If you have strong feelings about either vegan or cruelty free cosmetics and beauty products, I suggest you study some of the databases, download some of the apps, and make your choice load and clear. I’m thrilled with my new vegan mascara! I hope you are thrilled with your new purchases as well!


Photo: Thank you Alexandru Zdrobau at Unsplash