3 E-Tailers that Rock My Vegan World – VeganMoFo Day 8

Eating vegan is one thing, but I’ve found it almost more challenging to find the other items in my life that I need to maintain a vegan existence.  There are many larger companies out there that make vegan products, or even specialize in vegan items, but today, I’m focusing on online “e-tailers” because I do a lot of my shopping online and these three businesses are not only super vegan friendly, but also have AMAZING customer service.  One of them is a cosmetics company, one is a skincare and beauty store, and the final shop is for bags of all sizes.  Please note – I did not receive free items nor payment to recommend these shops; I just love them.  Here they are, in convenient (for me, because then I don’t have to decide what to do first) alphabetical order.

Borsa Bella Design Co.

I like bags, a lot.  I love to have fun bags for my gadgets and whosits.  But, I have found that it isn’t always easy to find cute bags that are also well made, reasonably priced, and vegan.  That’s where Borsa Bella Design Co. comes in.  I’ve been shopping with Borsa Bella for a few years, first through the Etsy shop and now through the website.  I have multiple bags for my book device, a bag for my phone, and a small gadget bag that I’m currently trying to decide how to utilize, because it’s adorable (in the interest of full disclosure, I did win that one in an online contest).    Each bag is amazingly well constructed, with multiple layers of padding and careful stitching.  The hardware is sturdy and the bags fit the items they are sold for with ease.  While I’ve never had to fully wash one of my Borsa bags, I have wiped them down and they came through that completely unscathed.  It’s important to note that these come in an amazing variety of patterns and sizes.  And (AND) the customer service is so good that if you have a need that is unmet by the current stock, it’s often possible to work something out.  Items are packaged in a jiffy and arrive quickly and safely.  Seriously, if you like purses and bags, check this site out!

Fyrinnae Cosmetics

Once in a while, someone will say to me “I know you aren’t really into makeup,” or something similar.  I find it interesting every time, because all I can figure is that said people haven’t actually looked at me (or I’m so good with makeup that it looks so fitting it’s subliminal?).  I like colors; I like artistry – makeup is a natural fit.  But, again here it can be a challenge to find items that meet my standards for veganism and general ingredients, as well as being the colors I want and the quality I expect.  Fyrinnae hits on all of those points.  This cosmetic e-tailer is all vegan, and has a product range that includes items for lips, eyes, and cheeks.  While many of the items have some shimmer, the full product range goes all the way from true mattes to gorgeous duochromatic wonders.  Because I’m, ahem, over 40 and work in a relatively conservative environment, I tend toward mattes or low shimmer neutrals during the week and save the bolder items for the far-too-infrequent nights out.  Again here, the customer service is so good it’s almost a sin.  I’ve never had a question go unanswered or an order arrive outside of the timeframe specified on the site (they always have the current time frame listed on the homepage).  As of this writing, they are taking a little time off from accepting orders to catch up, but it’s still a good time to build your wishlist!

White Rabbit Beauty

Need some skincare, shampoo, cosmetics, or nail products, but don’t know where to find cruelty-free and vegan items?  White Rabbit Beauty is my one-stop shop. White Rabbit is not in the production business, but is a shop that pulls together beauty products that suit a cruelty-free lifestyle.  This site, owned and operated by a wonderful woman who will answer your questions with cheer – pack your order with expertise – and ship your items with lightning speed, has both cruelty-free non-vegan and vegan items.   But, and this is the key for me, they are clearly and carefully distinguished and it’s super easy to find what you need if you are trying to maintain veganism in your non-food life.  Shipping for cosmetic items is free, and samples are available for some items.  Sales are frequent and substantial, and the level of information provided about each item is quite fabulous.  I’ve recommended White Rabbit for items ranging from lipstick to body lotion, and will continue to shop and recommend in the future.

So, there you have it – three e-tailers that have never let me down in my ongoing quest for great vegan products.  Thanks Borsa Bella, Fyrinnae, and White Rabbit Beauty!  And thanks to you for reading.

L

Vegan Skincare and Beauty

Please note – this post was published in September of 2010. The information listed below is no longer accurate for companies noted here. Please be sure to check reputable sites for further information regarding current status.

 

 

When I first became a vegan, I thought that the hardest thing would be to eat a vegan diet.  HA!  When in doubt, it is easy to eat fruits and vegetables, and then I know that I can’t go wrong.  But, premade items, particularly face and body care and household cleaning solutions, can present a serious problem.  Finding good vegan skincare and beauty products isn’t easy.  Animal ingredients like carmine, beeswax, and lanolin are very common, and some brands use things that you would never think would be in your face cream.   There is also confusion about what is meant by “cruelty free.”  For the most part, “cruelty free” means only that the finished products are not tested on animals.  It does not mean that the items do not contain any animal derived ingredients.

For example, Clinique is a cruelty free company, but they use many animal ingredients.  Virtually every lip item or blush has either beeswax, carmine, or both.  Even the eye products aren’t vegan save.  In fact, most of their mascara contains animal ingredients.  A request for information about the mascara was responded to as follows:

“Lash Doubling Mascara may contain carmine
High Impact Mascara contains melanin from a marine animal’s ink sac. (sepia officina)
Lash Power Mascara contains melanin (fish)
High Definition Mascara contains melanin (fish)
Long Pretty Lashes Mascara contains beeswax and carboxymethyl chitin (shellfish)
Lash Curling Mascara contains melanin (fish)
Naturally Glossy Mascara contains beeswax and carmine”

There are many cruelty free skincare and beauty companies.  Searching the cruelty free list at http://www.caringconsumer.com is a great starting point.  For vegan products, you have to get a little more investigative, because even though some companies say they are vegan, they define it differently and thus do use some animal ingredients.

Origins indicates that they use no animal ingredients, but they exclude honey and beeswax from that definition:

From the beginning of Origins, it has been our philosophy to formulate with non-animal ingredients. We do use beeswax and honey in some of our formulations. Beeswax is naturally produced by bees during the process of making honey. These ingredients come from nature-driven renewable sources. It remains our mission to continuously strive to make Origins products free of animal ingredients. Also, we do not use carmine in any of our product formulations.

Smashbox replied to my query with what I thought was a slightly confusing stance:

“Technically all smashbox products are considered vegan. “Animals” is a term widely recognized to mean mammals. Our cosmetics are free of animal ingredients. Some vegans may also consider “insects” to be animals. This is a gray area and is even debated by PETA followers. Some time ago, smashbox determined that our official interpretation of “No animal ingredients” really means “No animal ingredients…insects are not animals”. We have continued to use Carmine, Beeswax, and Honey in cosmetic formulations. Our brushes are not cosmetics so technically are not subject to this claim.

Clarins and Chantecaille similarly indicate that they use no animal products, but do have carmine and beeswax listed in their ingredients.

So, the bottom line is that, even if the site says their items have no animal ingredients, you need to check the ingredients list and/or email them regarding exactly what is in the products.  However, there are a few companies and websites that have clearly marked vegan sections or items for beauty and skincare.  Some that I use include:

Vegan Companies and Websites or Companies with Clearly Marked Vegan Sections
100% Pure (http://100percentpure.com) – not everything is vegan but it’s pretty easy to find what isn’t
Acne.org regimen by Daniel Kern (http://www.danielkern.com/)
Beauty Without Cruelty (http://www.beautywithoutcruelty.com/)
Cocoon Apothecary (http://www.cocoonapothecary.com/)
Ecco Bella Cosmetics (http://www.eccobella.com/) – there are a few items with carmine listed on their Q&A page and 1 concealer with beeswax
EverydayMinerals (http://www.everydayminerals.com) – not all items are vegan, check ingredients
Fyrinnae Cosmetics (http://www.fyrinnae.com)
Gabriel Cosmetics and Zuzu Luxe Cosmetics (http://www.gabrielcosmeticsinc.com)
GeoGrafx Handcrafted Cruelty Free Cosmetics (http://www.geografx-cosmetics.com)
Lollibomb Beauty (http://www.welovelollibomb.com/)
Monave Minerals (http://www.monave.com/) – potted and liquid lip balms are not vegan
Sobe Botanicals (http://sobebotanicals.com) – not everything is vegan, but most is – check item listings
Sevi Cosmetics (www.sevicosmetics.com)Urban Decay (http://www.urbandecay.com) – see Vegan section
Von Nature (http://www.vonnatur.com/)
White Rabbit Beauty (http://www.whiterabbitbeauty.com)

I’ll add to this post as I think of more.  Happy shopping!