Disclaimer: I’m not great at makeup. I am a lazy-always-busy-workaholic, and limited time and energy have confined me to one look that I’ve mastered—the no makeup look (which is similar to my every day bare face). But most Saturdays, I put aside my antisocial tendencies for a night out with people who aren’t used to seeing my haggard mug on the daily. For extra help in the bathroom (don’t be gross now!), I turn to vegan beauty YouTubers who have mastered the trial and error of purchasing and using cruelty-free cosmetics. To feel good about your outsides without compromising your values on the inside, consider tuning in to the following channels:
If you love LUSH, you should have subscribed to Kiera Rose’s eponymously named channel like yesterday. The British YouTuber’s tight relationship with the anti-animal testing cosmetics company results in videos of her experience at LUSH events, unboxing seasonal items, product demos, and reviews of everything from bath bombs to skin care products. Kiera looks like an alt-Snow White with an ever-evolving hair color (it’s currently teal-green) and tattoo collection. In addition to cruelty-free makeup routines, Kiera shares her favorite vegan food products, footage of her beloved companion rats, and chatty sit-down videos discussing the importance of self-care and mental health.
Watching makeup tutorials on YouTube can be a great way to wind down after a long day. Christine Kobzeff’s soothing voice, laid-back Maui attitude, and crisp editing style create ideal videos for relaxation. Some of her best content for vegans includes monthly cruelty-free fashion, makeup, and skincare favorites, Get Ready with Me (GRWM) videos, DIY natural beauty recipes, and tips for living a minimalist, healthy lifestyle. Instead of focusing on high-end products from department stores, Christine typically shops the natural/organic section at Target or at her local health food store, making her makeup and skincare routines realistic for the average consumer. Whenever I watch Christine’s videos, I feel like I have taken one step closer toward getting my life together—never mind the mountainous laundry pile lurking in the corner of my bedroom.
Carli is one of the most popular (and bronzed) beauty gurus on YouTube with an impressive following of over five million subscribers. Her decision to go vegan in the spring of 2016 resulted in online content that encouraged her massive following to purchase and use vegan and cruelty-free products—a huge win for the animal rights movement. In addition, Carli launched her own affordable eyeshadow and highlighter palette free from not only animal products and animal testing, but parabens, and skin-irritating ingredients. Unlike many beauty gurus on YouTube who go on to create makeup products, Carli actually demos and uses her own palette, which has rave reviews on makeup megastore Ulta’s site. For those of us who are makeup-challenged and looking to save face, check out her color-correcting tutorial.
Madelynn De La Rosa
When Madelynn De La Rosa is not busy exploring the vegan scene in Japan or protesting circuses at home in LA, she makes sweet Q&A videos for everyday makeup, seasonal looks, and even Halloween GRWM videos. Everything about this vegan vlogger is adorable, from her curly short hair to her affinity for indie beach rock. Though she is sponsored by beauty subscription service ipsy and has to promote their monthly glam bag, she always notes which products are cruelty-free and vegan, and which are not. Her soft voice, creative edits, and mashup style of vintage and modern trends create the perfect formula for dreamy vegan babe vibes. She gets bonus points for her video featuring VegNews’ signature Macaroni & Cheese.
Similar to Kiera Rose, Emma Blackery has a plethora of LUSH-inspired content on her old channel (consisting of popular reuploads) boxes of foxes. Despite her move to a new channel, her old content is worthwhile for vegans, specifically her “empties” videos (products she has used down to the last drop) and cruelty-free and vegan favorites videos. In addiion, Emma has made a must-watch video for vegan cosmetic junkies about brands that are assumed to be cruelty-free, but actually sell in China—a nation that will not sell products unless they are tested on animals—or have been purchased by a parent company that sells in China. Emma has the rare talent of making me laugh through my frustrations with the back-door politics of the beauty industry, providing a much-needed resource and respite from the heartbreaking realities of animal testing.
Beauty gurus who are good at what they do in addition to having a great personality are few and far between—Jasmine Rose is that rare find. It’s no secret that black women (especially dark-skinned women with natural hair) are generally marginalized by the beauty industry, making it difficult to find makeup and hair products that meet the needs of their skin tone and hair texture. Furthermore, the majority of cruelty-free and vegan beauty bloggers are white, which can make shopping for vegan cosmetics as a black person feel exclusionary and limiting. Luckily, Jasmine went vegan in 2016 and has transitioned into using vegan and cruelty-free products which she features in her black hair care videos and GRWM chats. Check out her gorgeous “minute makeover” inspired by Toni Morrison’s, The Bluest Eye, in honor of Black History Month.
Tashina Combs’ YouTube channel—Logical Harmony—is an extension of her thoroughly researched blog which hosts an archive of the latest high-end and affordable vegan and cruelty-free beauty products. Since the practices and policies of cosmetics companies are subject to change during parent company buyouts, Tashina created a cruelty-free brand list that is updated weekly (yes you read that correctly: weekly). Since Tashina’s greatest asset is her accuracy and attention to detail, her channel serves as an excellent resource for finding cruelty-free and vegan dupes to popular products. In addition to her dupe demos, Tashina also shares her favorite skincare items, cruelty-free and vegan brand collections and sets,and hosts a weekly series called, “Foundation Friday.”
Nora Kovaleski is an Editorial Assistant at VegNews who prefers watching other people do their makeup over doing her own.
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