Staying Pretty The Vegan Way

28 05 2008

So, I know this is supposed to be a food blog but I wanted to talk about something that was really hard for me when I went vegan. I hear most people say things like “oh, giving up cheese was so hard!” or “I really miss alfredo sauce” but to be honest, there isn’t a lot I miss. I hate most vegan ice cream, but I still associate eating ice cream with the horrible feeling I’d get due to lactose intolerance, so I tend to enjoy sorbet instead. Anyway, the hardest thing for me when I went vegan (and to be honest, it’s still a struggle!) is beauty products. From shampoo to makeup, I have major trouble stopping the use of things I love (or once loved) because they aren’t vegan and finding new, animal friendly products to try. Luckily, I’ve had some success with the following products so I want to mention them.

First things first, I have bad skin and though I’m almost 23 years old, I still feel like I’m 14 with the breakouts and blotchiness and all the fun stuff that goes hand in hand with acne. I tried it all from salycic acid based washes to dermatologist prescribed creams and gels to Pro-Activ to the oil cleansing method to toothpaste (don’t ask) to just not washing my face. Nothing ever cleared my skin up, until I found LUSH. Lush makes handmade and natural soaps and beauty products including hair care, face care, scrubs, bath bombs, deoderant, and so on. LUSH is like heaven to me. All of their products are clearly marked V for Vegan on their website as well as thorough ingredient lists. Though some of their facial products use parabens (such as my dearly beloved Tea Tree Toner & Imperialis moisturizer), I’m still in love with their bar facial soaps. My favorite LUSH products are Coalface and Fresh Farmacy, two of their facial soaps that help with oily skin and acne.

fresh farmacycoalface

Another excellent product for people with bad skin is Queen Helene Mint Julep mask. This was my best discovery about six or seven years ago when I found it at Walgreens. Most drug stores should have it, as well as your big box corporate department stores. For $3.99 per gigantic tube of this stuff, you can’t complain. It’s a minty mud-like mask that clears up pimples, unclogs pores and helps rid your face of nasty blackheads. The back clearly states “no animal ingredients and no animal testing” so Queen Helene gets a big thumbs up from me.

queen helene mint julep mask

Whole Foods, whether you love ’em or hate ’em, sells their wonderful 365 Brand for amazingly low prices. While they do have great food items (beans, grains, etc.) under that label, their “Whole 365 Body” is another thing to write home about. Finding vegan shampoo and body wash that is affordable, has a nice but not overpowering scent, and works well seems to be a daunting task. My hair is pretty basic: fine but not too thin, a bit oily but overall, fairly normal. I find their grapefruit shampoo to be the best, and at $1.99 for a bottle, who can go wrong? The “Whole Body” line also houses body wash which come in grapefruit, herbal mint, lavendar, and fragrance free. These products do not contain any animal by-products, harsh chemicals, artificial coloring and they are paraben free. Get to your local WF to check these out!

365 whole body

Lastly, we have makeup. Vegan makeup is still a hard one for me, I have to admit. I want to use up all my old stuff before buying new, but I’m also dreading the idea of spending loads of money on new mascara to find out I hate it all. So, psst, if you have any tips for great vegan mascara, let me know! For actual makeup, though, I am a fan of Everyday Minerals. Their mineral makeup is animal friendly (excluding a few finishing powders which contain silk and are clearly labeled as “silk dust”) and most of their brushes are synthetic. They have fantastic customer service and an array of colors to choose from suitable for any skin type! I’ve been a customer for years and I don’t think I’m going anywhere. Order your free sample kit and pay only the price shipping! I also enjoy Physicians Formula Organic Mineral line, though I must warn you: their brushes are made of goat hair. There’s something not so organic about that, but to each their own, I suppose.

I’m always on the hunt for new products to try, so feel free to share your favorite vegan beauty products! I’d love to hear about them.




2 responses

29 05 2008

cool post! I can’t believe I’ve never tried a single LUSH product.

6 09 2008
ruby red vegan

i use those whole foods brand shampoo, conditioner, and body wash too. i love that they’re so cheap! they’re the cheapest vegan products of their kind, as far as i know. i recently bought zuzu luxe mascara and am loving it. i thought it would be inferior to non-vegan brands, and though it was a splurge for me ($11 to $13), i’m so glad i got it.

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