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Vegan eyes makeup

Vegan Eyes

Audrey Hepburn famously said, ‘for beautiful eyes, look for the good in others’. How true it is …

International make-up artist Charmilla Herath agrees. A staunch vegan herself, she only ever works with brands and products that carry vegan certification. “This has been difficult in many ways,” she admits, “but I have learnt that it is important to be true to yourself. “As a young artist I wanted to work for the top brands and it was tempting to say yes to representing major cosmetic houses at the world’s premier fashion events in London, New York, Paris. But I didn’t want to compromise my ethics. The pain of saying no and seeing some of my other peers progress their careers, was hard at first, but I have found my niche and I am so happy.

On Par with Other Products?

In terms of formulation, Charmilla stresses that vegan formulas are no different and certainly not inferior to any other formula. “Vegan products have come a long way over the last 25 years. While there are still less brands to choose from, the performance of the products is comparable to any high end non-vegan brands and I do not believe I am disadvantaged in terms of blendability or pigment quality whatsoever.

“Cosmetic companies historically used animal fats instead of plant-based fats to improve adherence to the skin. The thinking was that animal fat better mimics what is already in the skin. To be honest, it may have just been lazy thinking driven by profits.

“Certainly, vegan makeup brands that have been prepared to invest in R&D have shown that there are alternatives. As consumers continue to vote with their wallets, increased R&D will lead to improved performance. My belief is that the breadth of products will continue to improve as more people to choose vegan products and this is happening more and more every day.”

With this in mind, we’ve profiled some of our favourite vegan eye make-up brands and items.


“I have a lot of respect for Sandy Lerner and Patricia Holmes, the founders of Urban Decay,” says Charmilla. ‘They have been pioneers and have never wavered in their principals. Not many brands are saying no to the economic advantages of China, but Urban Decay has, due to mandatory testing laws on animals. From a performance perspective, their liners and mascara are the best on the market.” Try Urban Decay24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil, $33 and Trouble Maker Mascara,$38,


Arbonne products are formulated without animal products and are not tested on animals, making them a vegan-friendly brand. It’s A Long Story Mascara, $49, is a favourite of GV’s publisher and founder Catherine Carr, who swears that it not only gives her lashes natural-looking temporary length, but that with continued use, the plant-based polypeptides in the formula help the hairs actually grow in thicker, fuller and longer.


Certified organic, certified vegan and ‘certified utterly divine’, this range of effective, plant-based cosmetics works on all skin types and all ages. A favourite in the range of creator and company director Therese Kerr (yes, that’s supermodel Miranda’s Mum), is the award-winning Divine Women Revitalising Eye Cream, $64.95. Rich in vitamin A, Omega 3 fatty acids and papaya fruit extracts, it works to refine the delicate skin around the eyes, creating a brighter and less lined appearance.


Very few cosmetic companies campaign for animal rights as much as The Body Shop. In fact, it was the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in cosmetics. Over the last three decades, it has worked with campaign partner, Cruelty Free International, and their collective efforts helped lead to a European Union ban in 2013. But that isn’t enough – 80 per cent of countries still allow animal testing and The Body Shop continues to campaign to end this practice everywhere and forever. That’s not only something we applaud here at GV – we give it a standing ovation!

Charlotte Adjchavanic Integrated International Brand Communications Director at The Body Shop HQ in London, UK, says her all-time favourite eye product in the range is Vitamin E Eyes Cube, $26. She says, “it’s travel friendly, as it’s a solid. It’s touch-free with a glide applicator that instantly cools and refreshes eyes, which makes it perfect for all the travel that I do with my job. I never leave home without it.”


As a vegan and animal activist, Kat Von D is committed to creating high quality, top-performing beauty products that are completely free of animal-derived ingredients, and never tested on animals. Yep, there’s not even a trace of beeswax or carmine (a red dye made from beetles). And as she’s also a tattoo artist, you can probably guess that her best sellers and our fave picks are her Tattoo and Ink Eyeliners, $28, which come in 20 shades in each formula. They apply seamlessly to create clean lines, bold looks, or even just subtle definition.


Aside from being one of the most beautiful people you’ll ever met – inside and out – Vanessa Megan makes some incredible skin care products. For eye care, GV’s Beauty and Lifestyle Director, Shonagh Walker, can’t go past her Triple Action Eye Lift Serum, $24.95, “It’s perfect after I’ve spent late nights staring at my computer screen willing words that form sentences that make sense! It seems to magically wipe away darkness and fatigue and adds a subtle lift.”


Since its inception in 1996, Natio has been accredited by Choose Cruelty Free. With a vast range of body, bath and beauty products that are all priced at really affordable levels, there’s a chance for everyone to buy into cruelty-free beauty. A favourite of the GV team is Naturally You Eyeshadow Palette in Bloom or Earth, $19.95 each, which contains 12 complementary shades to create looks ranging from a natural eye to a very dramatic evening statement. GV’s Beauty Director Shonagh lives and breathes by both these palettes and uses them every day.

Beauty and Lifestyle Director Shonagh Walker

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