The Best Vegan Make Up Brands in Canada

4:02 PM

We know they don't eat meat, they don't eat eggs and they don't eat dairy... but does veganism go further? Does it extend even to... make up?!

For most the answer is should be yes. There certainly are vegans out there who limit only the classic animal-sourced foods and tend to be more lenient with things like gelatin and honey, but for the most part vegans try their best to avoid animal products in every facet of life. Which is challenging, clothing and footwear being one of the worst.

But if you're ready to commit to buying and using vegan make up, then there's a guide for you!

Meet Perrie.



Perrie is a life-long vegetarian, 12-year vegan. Raised by vegan parents on a large farm-property amid gardens and animals galore, you can probably conjure up images of a dreadlocked hippie at this point. But Perrie's just the opposite. A total beauty with eyelashes to the moon, Perrie is an authority on all things beauty without even trying. She knows the ins and outs of what brands combine veganism with professional results. And she's willing to share!


Animal-derived ingredients can be hiding anywhere. Just take this example: Korres is a very all-natural, planet-friendly cosmetics and skin care line that you can buy in Sephora. One question to their Customer Service department about whether their products are vegan came back with this list of animal-derived ingredients that they use: honey, milk, yogurt, royal jelly, silk, bee wax, chitosan, and keratin. Any of them can be hiding in your products so it's worth checking each one.

Shadows are very often tested on animals because the producers check if the colouring is just right. Because of this you want to look for a "cruelty-free" label on the product. If they are made in China you can almost guarantee that they are animal tested.

One of the nicest looking lines out there is NARS, and it can be pretty vegan friendly if you are careful for carmine which is used for pigment. It is made of dead insects (ew) and gives a deep red colour.

Urban Decay is one amazing company for vegans. While their products are known to be some of the best in the industry, they have been cruelty-free since they began producing make up and have a 100% vegan line which is marked by the Marley paw on the package.

MAC Cosmetics is easily one of the biggest names out there are have this to say about whether they are vegan: "Very few animal derived raw materials are found in M.A.C. products.  Animal ingredients are used only when their efficacy cannot be duplicated by any other source of ingredients.  When an ingredient can be obtained from either animals or plants, we use the plant derived material."


Many lip products contain beeswax. EOS, a great lip balm out there, contains it also, but has zero other animal-derived ingredients. The official stance of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is that products from bees, including honey, is unethical. Of course, you can make your own choice.

Smashbox has an interesting take on vegan. They claim if you go by the definition that insects aren't animals then they are vegan. They use no mammal-derived products. But if throw carmine and beeswax into the loop, then no, they aren't. They list these products as mammal- and insect- free: Body Lights Glowing Lotion, Anti Shine (light and neutral), Backdrop Cooling Tint (all shades), Conversion Cream to Powder Foundation (all shades), Hi Definition Healthy FX Foundation (all shades), Photo Matte Powder, Wet/Dry Foundation (all shades except caramel), Function Self-Adjusting Powder Foundation (all shades), Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primers (Balance, adjust & blend), Summer 2007 Lip Gloss in a Pot (heat and sexy).

Tarte Cosmetics (An Amy favourite!) has a section in their online store for vegan products.

ELF Cosmetics hasn't made its way to Canada yet, but is available in Target stores throughout the States at a MAJOR bargain. Many products are only $1. They do not test on animals or use any non-vegan ingredients. JACK POT. They also support PETA. One thing to keep in mind - many of their brushes are made with horse hair. There are many opinions on whether using animal hair is okay in make up brushes (more on this later) because some companies don't take it but rather brush it up from the floor when it falls out naturally. NYX, in Target (including Canada) also has many vegan products at a slightly higher price than ELF.

The Body Shop is known for being animal friendly. While they do use things like silk and beeswax, they can confirm that all practices to obtain these ingredients are 100% humane. The details can be found here.

Most of Too Faced products are vegan and they've even been converting some old ones to be vegan recently. They also make vegan brushes.

A good portion of the items listed so far are available in Sephora stores across Canada, but a good choice if you find yourself vegan make up shopping in a Shoppers Drug Mart is Physicians Formula. Here is a non-complete list of their vegan products: Brow Definer Automatic Brown Pencil (all shades), Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio (all shades) ,Eye Definer Automatic Eye Pencil (all shades) Mineral Wear Talc-Free Liquid Foundation (all shades), Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Pressed Face Powder (all shades), Concealer Twins 2-in-1 Correct and Cover Cream Concealer, Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Pebbles, Mineral Wear 100% Face Brightener (all shades), Healthy Wear Bronzer (all shades), Bamboo Wear Bamboo Silk Bronzer Refill (all shades), Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer (all shades), Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Makeup Remover Towelettes, Oil-Free Eye M/U Remover Pads for Normal to Oily Skin. They do use goat hair in their brushes.

LUSH makes some awesome bath products along with cosmetics and even deoderant. They are strictly against animal-testing and refuse to work with suppliers who do not adhere to this policy. Most of their products are vegan except for a few with honey and lanolin, and I believe a conditioner that contains yogurt. 

Just a word on make up brushes, there are basically two types. Synthetics are of course made from other materials. They are vegan, but because they don't hold moisture, they are best for wet applications like putting on foundation and concealer. Natural animal fibre brushes do absorb moisture so they're great for powders like eye shadow, but you'll want to look into the company's policies. Apparently Smashbox is PETA-approved because they obtain their hair from brushing squirrels who live happy lives.

Choosing to be a vegan, in every facet of your life including make up, is a great choice for you and the animals!



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20 comments

  1. Vegan cosmetics refer to the makeups made with natural and organic ingredients. They do not contain any animal ingredients or any by products. They have never been tested on animals neither.

    vegan cosmetics

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  2. so nice post. I am appricate to read this post including with nice pictures.

    vegan cosmetics

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  3. Oh! great I using Vegan makeup brushes only I feel so secure on my eyes,Thanks for Vegan makeup brands for giving quality things to use..

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  4. Body Shop, Smashbox, Mac and Korres all are involved in some way in animal testing. Example: body shop is owned by Loreal. KORESS sells in China which requires animal testing

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  5. Good to know: there are so many corporate connections out there. Some known, some more sneaky. Thanks for that insight Melanie!

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  6. Arbonne also offers vegan makeup in Canada, PETA approved. It's also free of mineral oil, carcinogenic ingredients, etc.

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  7. Awesome post. I found some elf produts at Giant Tiger stores here in Canada.Yay!

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  8. Thank Jocelyne. And happy for you Natasha! ELF is sooo inexpensive, I love it!

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  9. Thank Jocelyne. And happy for you Natasha! ELF is sooo inexpensive, I love it!

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  10. You name some good products which are indeed vegan, but the PARENT COMPANIES which own many of them, are not. I trust Leaping Bunny over Peta as they list companies that do not require their suppliers to prove they are cruelty free (like RUSK) yet certify they are vegan. http://www.leapingbunny.org/guide/brands

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  11. MAC is 100% not cruelty free. This makes me sad.

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  12. For more information regarding beauty product Addresschic and share with your friends.

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  13. the body shop is owned by l'oreal... who definitely doesn't use desirable practices

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  14. the body shop is owned by l'oreal... who definitely doesn't use desirable practices

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  15. Unfortunately all of those companies except ELF sell in China which mandates animal testing

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  16. the body shop is owned by l'oreal which is not vegan and they do tests on animals. So make wise choices. For people throughout quebec and canada Fruits et passions are vegan and cruelty free + their products are amazing! Its just slighty more expensive than the brands you'll find at the drugstore, and i think their planning on opening stores in the usa. Thanks Amy for the post it was very useful! :)

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  17. you call yourself vegan and use MAC? disgusting :/

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  18. PETA has release a list of 22 Completely Vegan Beauty and Body Product Brands and Arbonne is right there.

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  19. Everything was wonderful. We found our new dentist.Brentwood Village Dentist

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