How I Switched To A Fully Vegan Beauty Routine

I love makeup. I think it stems from my days in musical theater where thick, spotlight-worthy foundation was not only recommended, but highly encouraged. I was a M.A.C. cosmetics girl through and through. When I went to college, I began my experimental stage…and by that, I mean with Sephora samples. I broadened my repertoire, and eventually created my tried-and-true daily makeup look. Recently, sustainability has become a big focus for me. I’ve shared about this before, but Give a Sh*t by Ashlee Piper has changed the way I see my everyday footprint. I made the full switch to vegetarian diet, ditched wearing leather goods and have most recently changed to a fully vegan beauty routine.

Honestly, this is the hardest one for me. A lot of the products I used were “clean,” but they weren’t vegan. It’s hard enough to find high-quality clean beauty products that actually work, let alone look good all day long. But after a lot of (ongoing) research, I think I’ve solidified my vegan beauty routine. And the fluffy bunnies of the world rejoiced.

Luckily, I was able to keep some of the products I already loved, but I did have to make some swaps.

The routine

Step 1: After morning skincare, apply a mattifying primer. My pores are large and in charge, but I couldn’t be more obsessed with Milk Makeup’s Blur Stick.

Step 2: Foundation or CC cream, depending on amount of coverage. My favorite vegan foundation is by ILIA, but for more low-key days, I love the tinted moisturizer from W3ll People.


Step 3:  Concealer. Lucky me! My favorite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is already vegan, so I didn’t have to give it up.

Step 4: Eyeshadow. I don’t wear too much eyeshadow these days, but when I do, my favorites are Lilah B.’s Palette Perfection Eye Quad, BeautyCounter’s Velvet Eyeshadow Palette and W3LL People’s Nudist Eyeshadow Palette.

Step 5: Eyeliner. I’m a cat-eye girl, through and through. I don’t wear it every day, but if I’m going to put on eyeliner, you better believe I’m going all out. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is vegan (praise the makeup gods!), so I don’t have to make any life-altering changes there!

Step 6: Mascara. I wear two different vegan mascaras. If I am going for extreme lashes, I wear Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, but my everyday mascara is W3LL People’s Expressionist Mascara. It’s by far the best clean beauty mascara I’ve found.

Step 7: Brows. This was a tough one. I’ve been using Dipbrow for years. But ILIA’s Essential Brow and W3LL People’s Expressionist Brow Gel are great swaps.

Step 8: Blush. Not all of Nars cosmetics are vegan, including my beloved Orgasm Blush. But BeautyCounter makes one that is literally identical, but fully vegan and cruelty-free!

Step 9: Finishing powder. I would have cried ugly tears if I had to give up my Fenty Invisimatte Blotting Powder. It’s literally the only thing that keeps me shine-free all day long.

Step 10: Lips. Not an everyday item, but when I do add some color, I really love Crunchi Luxe Lipstick for a long-lasting pout.

It’s always a learning process, but I’m having a lot of fun trying new brands that I feel good about using and supporting!

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Author: Samantha Welker

Samantha Welker is the business manager at Glitter Guide. She has an Master's in Corporate Finance & Sustainability from Harvard Business School but prefers working in the creative industry. She also hosts a weekly business podcast for creative women called Pretty Okay Podcast. She loves spending time with her husband and her son, Rocky, in sunny San Diego. Follow along on Instagram