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What’s the deal with vegan makeup?

Debby Harrington

The vegan and organic food market is booming and from that we’re seeing the increasing demand for all natural beauty products.

It’s a small but growing industry in Canberra according to holistic beauty therapist Kristy Stephens who operates Indah – a clean, green beauty service using only products certified organic. Vegan makeup is plant based and cruelty-free.

“They contain whole plant-based actives, oils, clays, minerals and plant-based vitamins,” she says. “They are totally safe for use at all times throughout life.”

Kristy says she’s loved the beauty world for as long as she can remember but found her decision to go down the natural health industry path was a bit of a dead end. With no green makeup or skin care products available she made the decision not to pursue her passion.

“I was never overly active in the makeup world until about five years ago as I was not happy to use toxic products on clients, so until the green beauty industry grew and caught up to other northern hemisphere countries, I did not practice makeup professionally,” she says.

“In the last three years though Australia has finally seen some amazing vegan, organic and non-toxic cosmetic brands hit our shores and also be produced here.

“The last 12 months has seen a huge surge in interest, particularly for vegan options.”

Some natural products on the market include Inika, Mukti, Synthesis, Miskin, Karen Murrell and The Beauty Chef.

Kristy says organic, vegan products aim to promote beauty through health.

“The ingredients are generally health giving and are designed to enhance, not cover.

“Skin health is a biggy for excellent, natural makeup application.”

The all natural products still have a long way to go to compete with the big cosmetics brands according to Kristy.

“I find the main difference is in the ingredients, wearability and application of the products,” she says. “Department store bought cosmetics apply on any skin perfectly and generally flawlessly.

“They stay put, don’t smudge, they make you look flawless, perfect and beautiful.

“Organic, vegan products do not apply flawlessly and perfectly on every type of skin generally. The pigments are often not as bright, the products not as long lasting and often do not create a completely flawless finish.”

But things are changing.

“We are definitely entering a golden age with organic, non-toxic and vegan makeup brands,” Kristy says.

“In Australia it is growing due to some big wellness celebrities bringing awareness to the masses.

“Around the world it is massive. In places like Canada and some areas of the US like California and New York, green beauty is unstoppable and the way of the future.

“What a time to be in this industry. I’m happy that a few brands are finding their way into the department stores here like Mecca.”

Kristy says she has seen more people paying attention to vegan and organic products due to the health and wellness industry becoming a lot more popular and the social media boom of health and wellness as a global trend.

And she has no regrets steering clear of the beauty industry until recently.

“I want to work in a beauty industry that values inner health and beauty, individuality and ethics,” she says.

“It’s ok to be a hippy at heart but still look like a mega babe fashionista.”


Debby Harrington

Debby is a journalist by trade who grew up in Perth before making her way to Canberra. As long as she can remember, her mother has always followed a beauty routine methodically, morning and night, which is where Debby developed her taste for the world of beauty. Debby loves trying new products and can’t live without lip balm, sunscreen and concealer. She also has her own blog featuring all things fashionable and beautiful so check out www.debbywithawhy.com.au. More about the Author

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