Anyone who knows me understands how seriously I take skincare; and for years Sephora has been my temple. So last week, I set out on a trip to my holy place to meet with a manager and find out which brands sold at Sephora are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. You’d think this would’ve been an easy task – but gurl, have I got news for you.
First off, there seems to be some serious confusion in the beauty industry about the word vegan. A lot of people think it means “all-natural.” At first, I was directed to Sephora’s clean-certified products only to discover this has nothing to do with products containing animal ingredients, just certain chemicals, fragrances, etc. After I explained that vegan meant no animal ingredients I was questioned, “Oh, you mean cruelty-free?” Ugh. Now this twirled my nerves because those of us who have researched this at one point or another know that “cruelty-free” weirdly doesn’t also mean vegan in the beauty world. Don’t get me wrong, refusing to test on animals is AWESOME – but I’ve never understood how companies get away with calling their products “cruelty-free” while putting animal ingredients in them. Animal ingredients are never cruelty-free.
When I finally explained in detail what I was looking for, the manager showed me a number of products lines. I took some pics, headed home, and proceeded to look these companies up online to double check that they were actually vegan. That’s when the drama began.
Not only do many skincare/makeup companies not have information about whether they’re vegan or not on their websites, I had to call several of them to get answers and it was almost always a resounding no. Many customer service people didn’t even know the answer and had to put me on hold to talk to their supervisor. Gurl.
To my surprise, several lines that I thought were all-vegan including Origins, Drunk Elephant, even Caudalie (my favorite) are not. Many products in their line are vegan, but not all of them – so be careful. Below are five that I’ve confirmed are all-vegan, don’t test on animals, and are widely sold at Sephora stores around the country.
I absolutely LOVE this line! I have been using it for over a decade. See that black mask in the photo? It’s pure magic. Over the years, I’ve used Boscia moisturizers, sunblock, etc. but currently my favorite Boscia products are the Purifying Cleansing Gel, the Luminizing Black Mask, and the Sake Bright White Mask. This line is also free of preservatives and other nasty chemicals. It’s fabulous!
2. Kat Von D Beauty
When Kat Von D announced that she had gone vegan a couple years ago, she quickly made sure her makeup line followed suit. Now Kat’s entire makeup line is vegan, cruelty-free, and Sephora’s best selling makeup company. Kat Von D Beauty also regularly introduces products that give back a portion of the proceeds to various animal advocacy nonprofit groups.
I was told by the manager at Sephora that this is a newer line. I haven’t tried it but from their Instagram it seems they are VERY excited about this Vitamin C oil. They say it makes your skin smooth, soft, and fabulous. And I know that Vitamin C is also supposed to help brighten your complexion as well.
4. Herbivore Botanicals
With a name like Herbivore this shit better have been vegan! HA! The manager at Sephora told me this is one of her all-time favorite lines. Do you see that jade roller in the middle of the pic? She says her brother puts it in the freezer and then uses it on his face. It reduces redness and puffiness and she says his skin is off the charts. Getting it!
5. Tarte Cosmetics
When I called Sephora for some more information after my trip, the woman helping me on the phone immediately said, “Tarte Cosmetics!” when I told her I was researching vegan brands. I went to their website and sure enough they are proudly vegan. What I love about their Instagram account is that it actually features real people, not just models. And the pink shadow in this pic is giving me life!
6. Youth To The People
Kale, green tea, and spinach cleanser? Yes, please! This line is so interesting as they use superfoods in their products. They also make a “glow oil” that has goji berry and acai. Can’t wait to try it!
In closing, I just want to leave you with this tip: Nine times out of ten, if a skincare/makeup line is vegan it will proudly say so on its website. If you have to go asking or searching for an answer, it’s usually a no. That being said, even though a line isn’t all-vegan doesn’t mean some or even nearly all of its products aren’t vegan. I learned today that my beloved Caudalie, which I thought was completely vegan, actually has 2-4 products that contain animal ingredients. Thankfully, I’ve never used them.