Fitness and nutrition have started taking on a more prominent role in our everyday lives, with a much bigger focus on what we put into our bodies and how we work them. But what about the stuff we put on our bodies? Don’t you want to know what’s in your products? Much like vegan food, vegan beauty products are quickly gaining traction and are also only made of ingredients that are not animal products or by-products (e.g. honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, or gelatin).
Moover is a handy vegan and organic skincare brand for active girls who like to move their body and move around the world. Certified organic and made in France, these individually packaged products are all about offering compact beauty solutions. The small sachet is the perfect size to sit in your on-the-go makeup pouch. Whether you’re heading to the gym, or jet setting around the globe, the products work to offer travel-friendly products. The manufacturers are responsible and ethical, with most of the products organically grown and wildly harvested to serve even the most sensitive skin. Full ingredients are listed on the products and the website, so there is full transparency about the exact percentage of organic ingredients.
Available online at www.mooverorganics.com
Aesop skincare and products have been a long-time favourite of mine because of its sleek packaging, soothing fragrances, and I love the way my skin feels after using them. So, I was excited to find out that no animal-derived ingredients are used in the Aesop formulations, except for its shaving brushes, as those do contain animal hair.
My personal favorites include:
Available online here or from Aesop stores across Hong Kong.
Another favourite brand of mine, Urban Decay, is well known for its eyeshadow palettes, each of which offers its own unique shades and colours. The brand is in the midst of an ongoing initiative to create entire product lines that are vegan-friendly, and identifying which of its non-vegan products can be converted.
In many situations, it’s simply awaiting for plant-derived or synthetic alternatives to become available. So while not all of its products are currently vegan, there are many that are and can be identified on the packaging or can be found online here. My favourites include: the Eyeshadow Primer Potion and Razor Sharp Water-Resistant Longwear Liquid Eyeliner.
Available online here or from selected retailers across Hong Kong.
One of the brands that kept popping on my Instagram feed last year was ILIA. Beauty bloggers and makeup artist friends were raving about its tinted lip conditioners, and some of them contain SPF as well!
Ilia began with the creation of tinted lip conditioners but has expanded its brand to include a product lines for eyes and face. The ingredients for each product comes from organic farmers from all over the world, and ensures that each product contains up to 85% bioactive organic ingredients. ILIA also goes one step further to test and prove that each product is just as high-quality as its non-natural competitors so that you don’t have to worry.
My favorites are the Kokomo (which also has SPF) and Arabian Night tinted lip conditioners. Check them out!
Available online here or from selected retailers across Hong Kong.
Another brand that has gotten a lot of Instagram love thanks to founder, Jen Atkin is the Ouai hair care line. The Ouai brand was developed to make luxury hair products available at affordable prices. Ouai also make it easy to style your hair while nourishing it at the same time. All of its products are vegan for the exception of its finishing creme which contains beeswax.
I’ve been meaning to try the Dry Shampoo Foam and its Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets. All products are currently only available via Sephora, but some are also available via Asos -with free shipping to Hong Kong!
A Hong Kong based beauty boutique online store, the Gourmet Skin Bar (GSB) is a one-stop shop for guilt-free beauty. GSB has carefully curated the brands that it sells to ensure that all of the products are of 100% natural origin and use high-quality fair trade and certified organic ingredients where possible. So regardless of what brands you choose, you never have to worry about quality of the product’s ingredients.
It also encourage user feedback and will compensate you for yours by providing reward points that can be redeemed for full-sized products!
Available online here.
As a celebrity tattoo artist, vegan, and animal activist, Kat Von D has taken her art from the tattoo parlor to the makeup counter to provide beauty products that are clean as they are high-performing. While not all of her products are vegan, she’s committed to creating as many as she can by conducting her own research to find appropriate substitutes for ingredients such as beeswax and carmine. The list of her vegan beauty products can be found here.
Two specific well known products of hers are the Tattoo Liner and the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, both of which are vegan! I’m a personal fan of both as its staying-power is very difficult to beat.
Three of my absolute favourite skincare products in my current collection are all from belif: The True Cream Aqua Bomb, Moisturizing Eye Bomb, and the True Tincture Cleansing Stick, so I was super excited to find that its entire product line is vegan for the exception of the First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask as it contains pearl.
belif’s philosophy is to provide tailored formulas to address today’s skin concerns via methods that they believe to be “real”, “simple”, and “sincere”. Belif uses only key natural ingredients that directly provide efficacy to the skin, and they avoid synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, and mineral oils.
While Belif is still not incredibly well known, its brand is slowly gaining more recognition. Some make up artists I know religiously use Aqua Bomb on their clients before applying the base to ensure their skin is well moisturized, and it works!
Available online via Lane Crawford
Founder, Kavita Khosa has been practicing Ayurveda for over 20 years and created her beauty line, Purearth, based on the belief that beauty and wellness does not rely on quick fixes or chemical solutions.
Research is conducted to ensure that the ingredients that are used actively provide nutrient-rich benefits to your skin and are also gentle to the earth. The best part is that most of its ingredients are gathered in remote high-altitude Himalayan valleys and villages by micro-credit and women self-help groups!
The Himalayan Salt Body Polish is perfect if you’re looking for a good home-spa experience. It’s made from Himalayan salt crystals and blended with bitter apricot kernels and wild pomegranate to create an energizing exfoliant. It’s a great way to end a week!
Find it at 6/F Cheung Hing Ind Building, 12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong or online here!
Popstar Cosemetics is a makeup brand that I had only heard about after moving to Hong Kong. As a big fan of matte liquid lipsticks, I was quickly drawn to its line of lightweight and waterproof lippies.
The brand was initially based on eight lipstick colours that founder, Donald Chiu, thought were the most popular based on his days as a successful makeup artist, and has since expanded to include eyeshadows. To ensure the high-quality of each pigment, Donald conducted his own research to find his perfect substitute for beeswax, and has therefore also made all of his products vegan.
Popstar Cosmetics has also just won the Harpers Bazaar Singapore Beauty Awards 2017 Winner for Best Long-Lasting Lipstick and Best Eyes and Lip Makeup Remover which makes me want to try those lipsticks even more! So if you haven’t already, check them out!
Popstar Cosmetics is available at online or at Lane Crawford and Liger.
Drunk Elephant has been around for quite some time but I was only introduced to it last year. I immediately fell in love!
Drunk Elephant products are created with the mindset that they can be used on every skin type. To do so, they completely avoid products that they refer to as the “Suspicious 6”: 1. Silicons, 2. Chemical Screens, 3. Sensitizing colorants/perfumes, 4. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), 5. Essential oils, and 6. Drying alcohols.
Not all of its products are vegan, but almost half of them are and they’re some of the most popular Drunk Elephant products on the market. The most popular ones being the Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, and the Sukari Babyfacial.
Give them a try if you haven’t already!
Available online via Sephora.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 6 March, 2018 and was updated on 19 June, 2018.