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When lip products go vegan |


When lip products go vegan

KISS ASS - Ana G. Kalaw - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - You’ve probably heard about bugs in your lipstick and most likely dismissed it as one of those outdated myths that can discredit. We are in the 21st century, after all, and the whole process of crushing beetles for rouge is a practice more befitting the 15th, right? Sadly, no. Most big-name cosmetic companies today still use dried, ground-up beetles (the cochineal beetle, in particular) to give a brilliant red color to their cosmetics — and have given the end product more contemporary and glamorous names such as Carmine, Crimson Lake, Red Lake or Natural Red 4.

The thought of bugs in their lipstick may already gross out the regular consumer but for the vegetarian or vegan, it can be downright distressing. If you take some time to read the ingredients on the box some more, you’ll also see more substances that look as if they should be in the waste bin rather than on your lips: lanolin (a waxy substance produced from sheep-wool farming, which can be a very cruel process), allantoin (sometimes taken from the uric acid of cows and other mammals), tallow (animal fat), squalene (can be obtained from shark liver oil), beeswax and propolis. There’s a 90-percent chance that at least one or two (even all) of these ingredients are found in the lipstick you are now using, particularly if you are a fan of vivid colors and deep reds.

Before you start arguing with your conscience — or wonder how these will all impact your kissing desirability — at least know that, though very limited, there are a growing number of lipstick brands that sell mostly or all-vegan products. Most of them are independent brands that sell their products on the Internet or in specialty stores. This list includes brands that can be found in the Philippines or ordered through local distributors.

Sometimes, you also have to be extra-vigilant and read the fine print because some of the mainstream brands such as MAC have the odd lipstick that only contain vegan or vegetarian-friendly ingredients.


1. Tarte Lipsurgence Matte Lip Tint

Most carmine-free lip colors tend to lean towards subtle peach or nude shades, so I was pretty psyched to discover this lip product from Tarte, which provides six rich, highly pigmented colors — in a matte finish, no less. Included in the brand’s list of vegan-friendly products, this lip tint combines excellent coverage with a peppermint taste and smell. It does not dry the lips as most matte lip products do, plus it doesn’t contain that toxic potion of parabens, petrolatum and other substances said to be harmful to the body. I’m a huge fan of the shades Lucky and Lively (Barbie pink and hot pink, respectively) but a popular makeup artist also recommends Fiery, a deep matte red.

Available through


2. e.l.f Essential Lipstick.

If you want bang for your buck, then go for e.l.f. (an acronym for Eyes Lips Face). Each lipstick tube costs less than P200, which is amazing, considering how it gives great pigmentation in a satin finish. And the company is also big on its pro-animal stand. The e.l.f. website explicitly states, “We do not test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal-derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2.”

Available at SM Department Stores


3. Wet ‘n’ Wild Mega Last Lipcolor and Wild Shine Lip Lacquer

Wet ’n’ Wild is another insanely affordable department store brand with vegan and PETA-certified (does not test on animals) lipsticks. Their Mega Last Lip Colors provide that nice kind of matte yet with a creamy, non-drying texture. Wild Shine Lip Lacquer, though not as long-lasting, gives the same kind of moisturizing effect as Mega Last. Though crazy cheap, Wet ’n’ Wild doesn’t scrimp on color choices. Wild Shine has up to 12 different shades while Mega Last has 29, from subtle nudes to the most brazen pinks.  

Available at SM Department Stores and Watsons Personal Care Store in Mall of Asia and Megamall

4. Smashbox The Nude Lip Pencil

It’s nice to know that luxury mainstream brands also carry lip colors devoid of carmine, lanolin and beeswax. This creamy lip pencil from Smashbox has four different skin-tone shades meant to match your lip tone exactly. Like most lip pencils, this blendable product is meant to define lips and help prevent fading or bleeding, but can be used alone for that perfect Jolie-inspired nude lip.          

Available at Beauty Bar


5. Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain

If you were one of those impetuous little girls that used Magic Markers on their faces in a vain effort to look like Teen Talk Barbie, then you’d think this product ingenious. Former model Josie Maran proves her business mettle with an eco-friendly makeup line and one of her bestsellers is the Magic Marker Lip and Cheek Stain. Completely vegan and free of parabens and fragrance, this wonder product gives “the ultimate baby-doll pop of color to lips,” which means a lot of vibrant shades, from sweet pinks to disco reds. Much like Tarte Lipsurgence, this has a nice matte finish with loads of staying power.  

Available through


6. Youngblood Lipstick

Known for their PETA-approved, non-comodogenic mineral makeup, Youngblood       also impresses with its vegan lipstick (except for about three shades specified in their website). Packed with moisturizing botanical oils, this lippie gives a sheer finish with a bit of shimmer, making it a no-brainer buy for everyday use. Included in the line is Tangelo, a nice coral shade that flatters almost every skin tone. Youngblood’s Lip Liner Pencil and lip gloss are also vegan.

Available at Beauty Bar



7. Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss

A lipgloss named Champagne Ice that tastes and feels like sparkling wine (gives your lips that faint bubbly buzz) sounds sweet (pun intended). The fact that it’s vegan, made out of organic botanicals and is formulated without all the cancer-causing agents makes it even more desirable. Juice Beauty’s Reflecting Gloss is one of those eco wonders given a cheeky twist. Available in four colors, each gloss smells and tastes like their names (there’s Fig, Pink and Guava). This lip product gives high-wattage shine with an added plumping service for major smoochability.

Available at Beauty Bar

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