Shopping for cruelty-free, vegan makeup in the UK is generally pretty easy. However, things can get a little more tricky when it comes to eyeshadow. That’s because so many of them contain the ingredient carmine, which is basically made from crushed bugs. Urgh.
Tell me more about carmine
Carmine has many names – cochineal extract, carminic acid, E120, natural red 4, crimson lake and CI 75470. It’s found in a variety of cosmetics including eyeshadows, lipsticks and shampoos and even in some foods as a red food colouring.
Carmine is a red dye which is made by crushing beetles. And lots of them. A standard non-vegan eyeshadow palette that weighs 24 grams could contain well over a hundred beetles. Poor little things.
But, before you get stressed out and go sorting through your make-up bag looking for beetle bodies, let’s remember, that being a good vegan isn’t about being 100% perfect all of the time. It’s about doing the best that we can to reduce animal suffering whilst remaining sane. So, the next time you’re looking to buy a new eyeshadow, you can’t go wrong with any of these cruelty-free vegan eyeshadow palettes.
The 5 best vegan eyeshadow palettes
If you’d rather not put squashed-up beetles on your eyelids (because who would choose that option, really?), then you’ll want to buy yourself a great vegan eyeshadow. Rather than buying lots of little bits, and all the accompanying packaging, it makes sense to invest in one great-quality vegan eyeshadow palette that you can use to create every look you want. Whether it’s everyday daytime make-up, something dramatic for a night out or a funky festival look, pick the right eyeshadow palette and you’ll be good to go.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best vegan eyeshadow palettes in the UK…
Product: Revolution X Petra XOXO Eyeshadow Palette
This stunning vegan eyeshadow palette is amazing value for money with 36 shades for just £12. Created by cruelty-free makeup brand Revolution in a collaboration with beauty influencer Petra Vancurová from @petralovelyhair, this is the second palette in Petra’s range.
Packaged up in a lovely silver glittery case, this eyeshadow palette has every shade you could ever need including natural tones, deep browns, shimmery golds, warm oranges and bright and cheerful blues, greens, pinks and purples.
Revolution is a global brand which was created in London in 2014 out of a desire to do create a better beauty business. All of Revolution’s products are PETA-certified cruelty-free, and the majority of them, including this one, are vegan.
Product: CYO 12 Shadow Palette
If you like bright eye shadow shades you’ll love Terra Moons. With the ‘Create Your Own’ palette you can pick your favourite 12 shades from a list of 36 wonderful colours.
You know when you get an eyeshadow palette and there are some colours that you just never use? Well, say goodbye to waste with this create-your-own palette. Not every colour shockingly bright. You can also choose from lots of different matte, metallic and satin shades, none of which are tested on animals or contain carmine.
Terra Moons is a Latina-owned, cruelty-free brand based in Florida. Beauty products include eyeshadows, highlighters and shimmer sprays.
Product: Me, Myself and Mmmmitchell Pressed Pigment Palette
This stunning collection of 32 matte and shimmer eyeshadows has everything you could ever need to create bold and beautiful eye makeup looks. This large eyeshadow palette features every colour of the rainbow as well as transition shades, nudes, black, white and shimmery golds.
Presented in a sleek black case, each eyeshadow colour has its name next to it. They all start with the letter M and some of them will really make you smile! The nudes have names like ‘modest’ and ‘meh’, whilst some of the brighter colours are named ‘mental’, ‘meaty’ and ‘mega’.
Beauty Bay is a retailer which sources a myriad of hard-to-find products all in one place with over 7,000 products on the site. Over half of these are vegan, and you’ll find them all together in the vegan makeup section online.
Product: Future Grunge Palette
NOXTEX’s Future Grunge Palette offers eight carefully curated shades which you can mix and match to create all sorts of beautiful eye makeup looks without harming a single bunny rabbit, bird or beetle.
The matte black recycled paper packaging has futuristic blue foil lettering and I love that this palette comes with its own mirror, meaning that you can take it with you and do your makeup on the go. Each colour has a futuristic name like ‘light year’, ‘force field’ and ‘space dust’. With a combination of nude matte colours, metallic duo-tone shades and iridescent shimmery shadows, you’ll have the perfect eyeshadow for any occasion.
NOCTEX is a US-based company that offers more than just cosmetics – they also create a lovely range of ethical clothing and accessories.
Product: Intergalactic 28 shade eyeshadow palette
This futuristic palette is simply out of this world. If you like to create space-age looks for festivals, nights out and generally attracting attention to your beautiful eyes, then this is the palette for you.
This funky eyeshadow palette has 28 shades and gorgeous packaging with a holographic rainbow cover and a large, high-quality mirror. Featuring the brightest rainbow colours, mattes, shimmers and glitters, you’re sure to dazzle wherever you go. The eye palette also includes two chameleon colours and two iridescent eye toppers which can be added to any other colour to give an extra shimmer.
Jolie Beauty is a UK company which is run by a team of professional make-up artists that have used their skills and experience to design a range of cruelty-free cosmetics. Almost everything is vegan and the company also regularly donates to a host of animal charities.
Which will you choose?
The best vegan eyeshadow palette for you depends very much on your tastes. Do you love to spend your time creating Insta-worthy rainbow eye makeup designs? Or do you prefer a barely-there look in the day and a smoky eye once the sun goes down? The great thing about many of these palettes is that you have all the colours you need to create any look you wish.
Stop checking the ingredients of lots of individual eyeshadow colours, wasting time and money. A good-quality vegan eyeshadow palette is a great investment that will last you well.