This is a sponsored post by Boots UK who invited me to curate my first vegan beauty capsule collection.
So far my flexitarian journey has led me to eat mostly plant-based food. Lately, I started looking into how to improve other areas of my everyday life besides what I put on my plate. So, when Boots contacted me, I jumped at the chance to try their vegan beauty and skincare range.
For some time now, I have strived to use beauty and skincare products made from natural ingredients and to buy cruelty-free products, bearing either the PETA or Cruelty-Free International ‘Leaping Bunny’ certification.
Boots offered their top tips and advice, so I was able to learn more about vegan beauty. I was disappointed to find out that while I believed the products I was using were environmentally and animal friendly that was not always the case.
The word “natural” can sometimes be misleading and, while being certified as cruelty-free means that products are not tested on animals, it does not necessarily mean that they are free of animal products. If I am going to eat fewer animal products, why would I put them on my skin?
What is the difference between natural, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly beauty products?
If you are looking to buy vegan beauty products, it helps to understand some of the jargon used by skincare and makeup companies. Many brands use buzzwords to attract customers but you have to be careful as some might turn to be deceptive.
Natural – a beauty product labelled as “natural” generally means that it is free of parabens, phthalates or sulfates. However, the term is unregulated so make sure you read the label first! And just because a product is labelled as being made from natural ingredients it does not mean that it is vegan.
Cruelty-free – animal testing for skincare and cosmetics is still common practice in the beauty industry. I find it very upsetting that animals have to suffer unnecessarily so that people can look better. For products to be certified as cruelty-free means that they have not been tested on animals. However, it does not necessarily mean that they are free of animal products as “cruelty-free” only addresses the manufacturing process and not the ingredients.
Vegan-friendly – a beauty product is classed as “vegan-friendly” when it is free of all animal products and by-products.
If you want to ensure that a product has not been tested on animals and is not made of any animal products, look out for skincare and makeup that display both the “cruelty-free” and “vegan” labels as displayed below.
What type of animal products are contained in skincare and cosmetics?
Full disclosure on my mum’s skin routine. She swears by snail slime cream for its anti-ageing and healing properties. I am not so keen. While hers is obviously derived from animals, other skincare ingredients are not so obvious to identify.
If you are concerned about what animal products could be hiding in your beauty cabinet, watch out for beeswax, lanolin, shellac, animal glycerine, casein, carmine, egg whites, stearic acid, squalane, squalene, oleic acid, guanine, honey, hyaluronic acid and more.
It is a minefield. Quite frankly, who has the time and the expertise to decipher beauty labels and claims?
My capsule Boots vegan beauty and skincare collection
Browsing through Boots vegan skincare I was very impressed by their selection that suits different age groups, skin types, budgets and genders.
I have designed my capsule collection around my main two skin concerns: dryness and ageing. Trying to keep to the essentials I use every day, I selected: a cleanser, a day cream, a night cream and an eye cream. I also picked two additional products which I use less frequently: a face mask and facial oil.
The Ordinary Skincare – Squalane Cleanser 150ml | £13.90
This cleanser is pH-balanced, gentle and hydrating. It contains an alternative to squalane that is derived from plant-esters instead of shark liver oil. It does a fantastic job of removing makeup and leaves my skin fully hydrated.
Botanics – Triple Age Renewal Day Cream SPF 15 50ml | £10.49
Lightly fragranced, this moisturising day cream is not too greasy and leaves the skin soft and smooth. It also works perfectly under my foundation. Outside the dark winter months, I would normally choose a day cream with an SPF 30 so, as soon as spring arrives, I will be on the lookout for a higher protection vegan day cream, such as “e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Face Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen”.
Botanics – Triple Age Renewal Hydrating Eye Serum 15ml | £11.99
Like the cream above, this serum is infused with purple orchid, which is said to help and moisturise the skin. Specifically formulated for the thin skin around the eyes, this serum is light, non-greasy and easily absorbed.
Sukin – Purely Ageless Restorative Night Cream 120 ml | £17.99
Australian-made, Sukin has been on my wishlist for some time. Their range is 98% natural, cruelty-free, vegan and carbon neutral. This night cream is very rich and creamy, with my skin still feeling smooth and moisturised when I wake up. Ideal for colder and harsher weather.
Botanics – Restoring Overnight Facial Oil 25ml | £11.49
I love this facial oil. An organic, vegan & cruelty-free facial oil, it not only contains rosehip oil to help restore the skin but also a calming blend of lavender, geranium and chamomile essential oils to enhance sleep. So relaxing and nourishing, it is ideal when you need that extra TLC after a long and tiring day.
Botanics – All Bright Instant Glow Mask 50ml | £8.99
I love a face mask for a bit of home pampering. This one is infused with hibiscus and vitamin C and has a fresh and invigorating smell. It leaves the skin smooth and refreshed.
Besides vegan skincare, Boots offers an exciting choice of vegan makeup ranging from face prime to nail polish suited to different age groups and budgets.
I do not wear much make-up but there are a few essentials I like to keep in my handbag: mascara, lipstick and eyeliner.
KVD – Tattoo Liner £18
After years of struggling with unsharpened pencil eyeliners, I decided to switch to liquid eyeliners. This one is waterproof with an ultra-precise brush. Perfect for all-day wear and so much easier than a smudgy pencil! For bolder lines, try KVD Instant Ink Liner or KVD Ink Liner.
KVD – Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Lovecraft £10
This is a great liquid lipstick with moisturising sunflower seed wax. I love the Lovecraft shade and its pigmented, rich pinkish colour. More long-lasting than everlasting, this liquid lipstick has a lovely matt finish perfectly suited to daywear.
KVD – Go Big or Go Home Mini Mascara £11
This mascara is formulated with a vegan blend of olive and sunflower oils (instead of beeswax which is commonly used in mascara). It claims to give an extreme volume lift to your lashes and so it does, with added length and definition! If you want even more volume, just add another layer but it might start to feel a little heavy.
I am very happy about my first vegan beauty capsule. It was really helpful to find dedicated sections for vegan skincare and vegan makeup on the Boots website. It makes it so easy to find suitable products without having to read company credentials or ingredient lists.
I managed to include my daily essentials and a few extras. I not only feel good about the choice and the quality of the products I have selected but also about the fact that none of these products contains animal products. Besides animal welfare and environmental concerns, I am also glad that most of these products are quite affordable so I am confident my wallet can sustain my new vegan beauty routine.