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The Lowdown On Cruelty-Free vs.Vegan Makeup

...asking for a friend.

With conscious shopping at the frontier, we're clearing up the facts as to what makes a product vegan. 

Vegan beauty is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing categories in the cosmetic world, with more and more brands making a conscious effort to provide animal-free options to their customers. 

In 2014 there were 150,000 vegans which rapidly grew to 600,000 in 2018 and thanks to Beyoncé asking us all last year to become vegans, that number has risen rapidly. 

Bord Bia estimates that 8% of the Irish population are now vegetarian, while 2% are vegan. The National Dairy Council also discovered that 41% of Irish women are limiting their dairy consumption for both ethical and health reasons.  

READ: McDonald's is Launching A Full Vegan Menu From January

The recent growth of veganism has seen high street stores adapting to their customer's needs with incredible speed. Last year Guinness changed it's two and a half centuries-old brewing process in order to become vegan by no longer using fish bladders. Only recently, Marks & Spencer launched a vegan range, Plant Kitchen (the cauliflower popcorn bites are actual bites of heaven) which offers everything from on-the-go sandwiches and grain bowls to hearty quick-fix suppers, plus staples like substitutes for mince and milk. 

And it's not just culinary stores that are going vegan, both Boots and Superdrug have begun selling vegan beauty brands. Superdrug even launched their own animal-free brand, B.which has been a triumphant success as sales have rocketed by 414% since 2015. The Body Shop (a 100% vegetarian retailer) recently revealed that in 2018, they sold over 3 million vegan products in the UK alone, at the rate of 1 per second. 

But what's the big deal? The majority of your makeup is bag is already cruelty-free so surely this all just some marketing ploy to get you to repurchase all your eyeshadow palettes, right? Wrong.

Cruelty-free products don't test on animals but they can contain animal by-products or animal-derived ingredients. 

For a beauty product to be vegan, it cannot be tested on animals nor can it contain animal ingredients or by-products such as beeswax, honey or milk or the less obvious ingredients like retinol, collagen or glycerine. 

To figure out which beauty products are vegan, you need to look out for the leaf logo below. Alternatively, look at the list of ingredients listed on the packaging and if anything contains a product derived from animals, you know it's a no go. 

So whether you're a fully-fledged vegan or just want to shop more ethically, it's time to start shopping vegan. 

Main image by @vanessahong 

READ: Why Do We Care More About Vegan Makeup Than We Do About Actually Being Vegan?

READ MORE: Beauty Products You Can Refill, Reuse and Recycle