Shopping for cruelty-free, vegan makeup 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.
Luckily, there are some vegan eyeshadow palettes that are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.
Is Eyeshadow Vegan?
Most eyeshadow is not vegan friendly because they contain animal-derived ingredients like carmine (made from crushed beetles), guanine (fish scales), squalene (shark liver oil) caprylic acid (milk) and glycerine, tallow or stearic acid (animal fats). Eye shadows are also commonly tested on animals, which is cruel.
What eyeshadows are vegan?
Luckily, there are lots of vegan and cruelty-free eyeshadows to choose from. When you’re in a shop, it’s often impossible to know which brands are vegan. Plus, many brands produce a mixture of vegan and non-vegan eyeshadows, depending on the ingredients.
Eyeshadow brands that are 100% vegan-friendly include:
- Barry M
- Lime Crime
The 5 Best Vegan Eyeshadow Palettes
If you’d rather not put squashed-up beetles and shimmery fish scales 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, a dramatic smoky eye effect 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…
1. Lime Crime Venus XL 2 Eyeshadow Palette
Lime Crime is one of the most popular 100% vegan and cruelty-free brands and this super pigmented eyeshadow is a best-seller. The brand is PETA verified as vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free.
The palette has 18 shades with pinks, greens, neutrals and burnished browns that will create every look from subtle everyday eyes to bold evening looks.
2. Barry M Midnight Scene Baked Eyeshadow Palette
Barry M products are all 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Like all Barry M products, this beautiful eyeshadow palette is great value for money and very long-lasting.
The palette has 18 shades with both mattes and shimmers including pinks, browns, beiges and greys so you can create almost any look. The palette itself is also fully recyclable.
3. De’Lanci Neon Eyeshadow Palette
If you’re looking for the brightest neon eyeshadow colours then look no further than this 35-colour palette. Each shade is long-lasting and waterproof, so your make-up will stay put all day. For the boldest looks, be sure to wet your brush before use.
De’Lanci eyeshadows are all vegan and cruelty-free as they do not contain any animal-derived ingredients and there is no animal testing anywhere in the supply chain.
4. Beauty Bay Identity 42 Colour Eyeshadow Palette
This stunning collection of 42 matte and shimmer eyeshadows has everything you could ever need to create bold and beautiful eye makeup looks. This large eyeshadow palette features plenty of colours, transition shades, nudes and shimmery metallics.
Presented in a sleek case, each row of eyeshadows is labelled so you know which is a base, crease, liner, highlight etc.
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.
5. Revolution Forever Limitless Allure Eyeshadow Palette
This stunning vegan eyeshadow palette is amazing value for money with 27 shades of soft neutrals, warm browns and deep berry hues. With a mix of mattes and shimmers, this palette can create every daytime and evening look you desire.
This vegan eyeshadow palette comes in a beautiful tin with a large mirror. If 27 shades is more than you need, then check out this mini version with 8 shades.
Revolution is a global brand that 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.
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.
Another good investment to go with your new eyeshadow palette would be an eyeshadow primer. Simply apply this to your lids before your eyeshadow and it will stay on all day and night without settling into your creases. Perfect.
So now you know about the best vegan eyeshadow palettes, it’s time to 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.
What is 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.