Vegan vanity: Liquid eyeliner

When I first became vegan, the only transition that really occurred to me was the dietary one.

Then when people started asking me if that meant I would start to do away with non-vegan clothing and makeup and all the rest, I didn’t really know what to say except that I was in the process of evaluating that issue.

So part of my plant-based journey is an effort to more consciously understand what’s in the products I use, even the non-food ones. A big part of that includes my beauty products.

For about five years my attention my decision-making on the personal care and beauty product front has focused on finding naturally-based and paraben- and phthalate-free goods. Most of the new cosmetics I use are from Burt’s Bees* and Physicians Formula because of they’re good to my sensitive skin, cruelty-free and they seemed to lack nasty fragrances and irritants.

But I was surprised to learn that so-called “natural” and “allergen-free” and even non-animal-tested products aren’t necessarily vegan. Ugh, so much to worry about! What the hell!

Now that I have this new consideration to inform my choices, several assumptions have been turned on their head and I still have my budget to worry about. As much as I would love to shop exclusively at Petit Vour and Arbonne and not have to worry about the contents and quality of my products, the reality is that most of my products will come from the drug store. And testing out budget items has meant trying products that are vegan, but contain many of the synthetic ingredients I once eschewed (though my thoughts on parabens have shifted, thanks to posts such as this one).

Anyway, come on this cosmetic journey with me as I try to jazz up my amateur makeup routine and find affordable vegan products to love. As with every post on this blog, my efforts are exploratory and educational and aren’t meant to be authoritative.

Today: Liquid eyeliner!

I’ve futzed with liquid eyeliner a bit, namely trying to look schmancy on special occasions with a black line on the lid (possibly a cat eye if I have 15 minutes to kill on eyeliner), but I want to experiment with different colors and brands.

A few months ago I purchased two liners from the ultimate budget brand, Wet n Wild. I mean, it’s a cruelty-free brand and I’d heard its quality is improving, so why not check it out? The brand’s website also makes vegan shopping easy with this list, which I kept open on my phone while shopping at a Seattle Bartell Drugs.

Mega Liner Liquid Liner in Indigo and H20 Proof Liquid Liner in black

Mega Liner Liquid Liner in Indigo and H20 Proof Liquid Liner in black


Natural face

Crazy how one small assignment for a magazine at which I interned totally changed my habits.

When I wrote this article on the dangers of mainstream cosmetics for YES! Magazine as an intern in 2009 (read YES! Magazine, btw), I permanently switched my beauty pantry to more natural products, diligently reading ingredients lists and nixing phthalates and parabens. I don’t think I’m perfect, but since that time, I have increasingly hippie-fied what I put on my face and body, now just using kitchen ingredients where possible.

It’s not necessary to douse yourself in chemicals in order to care for your skin and hair, and you can save tons of dough by mixing up some of your own natural concoctions. Nature knows best, y’all.

So this isn’t about vegan food, but plant-based folks often seem inherently interested in spreading their healthy interest to other areas in life. In addition to eating healthier, I’ve been enjoying beautifying healthier. So today let’s talk about our faces.

Three extremely versatile ingredients that should be part of your vegan kitchen anyway will also get you far in chemical-free beauty: baking soda, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.

I used to use different Burt’s Bees facial cleansers and exfoliators to clean my face morning and night, but my nighttime routine now just includes the above ingredients. (Dr. Bronner now cleans my face in the morning — he cleans my body, too.)

I use the coconut oil about five nights a week, baking soda two nights a week and apple cider vinegar every day, morning and night.

Wanna overthrow chemical cosmetic companies? I’ll tell you what I do. More