Converting to a vegan make-up regime is a sound choice for anyone, no matter your dietary preferences. It’s an easy way to avoid the dubious animal-derived ingredients hidden in some non vegan make-up products, such as squalene, a shark liver oil often found in lip balms, and shellac, which is often made from lac bugs and used in nail polishes. 

For those making the switch to plant-based formulations, we share the best designs for building a vegan make-up bag below. While you’re at it, why not extend your cosmetic veganism to your skincare regime too with our edit of design-minded vegan skincare brands.  

19/99’s multipurpose colour pencils and gloss 

19/99 colour pencil, sharpener and gloss in white tube

19/99’s colour sticks are highly pigmented, multipurpose pencils that can be used as a precision eyeliner and lipliner, or blended into a lipstick or eyeshadow. The vegan pencils come in a range of neutral shades as well as three more vibrant colours – cobalt blue Wasser, hot pink Rozsa, and a fiery orange called Meleg. 

19/99’s mission is to narrow the generational beauty gap by creating playful cosmetics that are marketed to women of all ages. It’s a noble, and much needed, aim in a largely youth-obsessed beauty industry, and a message that is buttressed by the brand’s strong visual identity and inventive product range. 

When using the colour sticks, we recommend smudging Wasser or Rozsa over the eyelids as a shadow, and then coating in the brand’s High-Shine Gloss for colourful, vinyl eyes that are high-impact but quick to apply. 

Kosas’ painterly blush and highlighter

Kosas velvet cream highlighter and blush in black square case against beige background

Kosas’ vegan cream blush and highlighter can be applied to the skin in the same way oil paint is applied to a canvas – it can be built up for more intense pigmentation or mixed with a few drops of face oil for a more subtle, natural finish. Whether painting on a pronounced Frans Hals-esque flush or channelling the subtle rosiness of a Manet, artists and amateurs alike can easily experiment with the glide-on cream for any look.

Even better is the fact that Kosas’ products are designed to improve skin, making for a natural, as well as cosmetic, glow. The blush is, of course, vegan and is formulated with jojoba seed oil to calm and balance skin, as well as vitamin-packed rosehip seed oil.

J.Hannah’s artist-inspired nail polishes 

j.hannah artichoke nail polish against green background

The colours of J.Hannah’s polishes are inspired by artists’ palettes and natural landscapes, making them some of the most inventive nail shades we’ve come across. ‘Hepworth’ is an elmwood brown that references the material often used by the famous sculptor.

‘Ghost Ranch’ is a terracotta shade similar to the hues of Arizona’s Red Rocks, while ‘Eames’ is a lime green inspired by the fabric of a midcentury modern chair. The rest of the line includes a range of similarly inspired shades, including a recent collaboration with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

La Bouche Rouge’s 100 per cent plastic-free mascara

la bouche rouge black glass mascara against grey background

‘I have designed these products with two key focuses,’ La Bouche Rouge co-founder Nicolas Gerlier told Wallpaper* ahead of his brand’s new make-up launch. ‘The first is to create something perfect, something extremely precise like an Apple design… the second is to stay sustainable in every part of what we do.’

The brand has certainly achieved both those aims in its latest cosmetic line, which is vegan and designed to be completely plastic-free. Its mascara is a particularly remarkable feat of cosmetic product design, with a glass wand and application brush made of plastic-free castor plant fibre.

Hourglass’ high-pigment foundation 

hourglass medium beige foundation against medium beige background

Luxury brand Hourglass cosmetics has pledged to be 100 per cent vegan by the end of 2021, and one of its first vegan offerings is its Seemless Finish Liquid Foundation. The brand’s unique formula of coated pigments means that only half a pump is required for even-toned skin, making it a preferable option for those worried about a decrease in effectiveness when switching to vegan products

Highr’s on-the-go lipsticks

lipsticks by Highr in pink metal cases against white

It’s an old beauty rumour that regular lipstick wearers inadvertently ingest pounds of the product over the course of a lifetime. True or not, it makes sense that the products you put on your body should be as good for you as the food you put in it.

With that in mind, Highr has created a range of vegan, cruelty-free lipsticks that forego commonly used lipstick ingredients like lanolin, a fat derived from sheep wool, or carmine, a pigment made of ground insects.

Instead, the lipsticks are made from a blend of natural oils and butters, enhanced by the addition of hyaluronic filling microspheres that plump the lip, organic rosehip oil for promoting collagen production, and dragon’s blood oil to repair and nourish. Our favourite shade is Chateau, a 1990s matte muddy-pink, which can be applied anywhere using the tube’s convenient built-in mini mirror.