As a vegan or vegetarian, you are conscious of what’s in your food and what goes into producing it, but what about what’s in your makeup bag? Nowadays many of us are privy to what toxic ingredients to avoid in cosmetics, as well as the harsh realities of animal testing; But researching and staying current on which beauty brands do and don’t test on animals can be overwhelming. Not to mention the idea of going through our makeup bags and potentially parting with some of our beloved favourites can be anxiety-inducing! However, the payoff of taking the leap to go completely cruelty-free with our beauty products while simultaneously decluttering our makeup bags can be rewarding.
Nothing feels better than saying goodbye to things in your life that are at odds with your beliefs, so that you can happily live a fully cruelty-free life. As I’ve said in previous cruelty-free-inspired decluttering posts (here and here), owning items that don’t align with your ethics will only subconsciously conflict with what you know is right in your heart of hearts and will cause you guilt, which is cheating you out of actually enjoying said items.
This concept of only keeping items that make you happy ties in with a book I’d read this past year called The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, by author Marie Kondo (a.k.a. the genius behind the “KonMari Method”, which you may have heard of!) In her book she says, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” So to state the obvious, if you are vegetarian or vegan and want to have a truly, completely cruelty-free lifestyle then you must only surround yourself with, and wear things that aspire to the compassionate life that you want to live and that speak to your beliefs.
This post will show you how to apply the principles in The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up in this more compassionate way while upping your cruelty-free/vegan beauty game.
What Is The KonMari Method?
Just in case you haven’t heard of the mega successful book, The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, I will break it down for you. As the title suggests, the book focuses on the life changing benefits of decluttering your home using the author’s unique process called the KonMari Method. The KonMari Method goes like this:
- Tidy all at once.
- Visualize your end goal.
- Identity why you want to live the way you envision.
- Determine if each item “sparks joy” (you’ve likely heard this popular sentiment before!)
- Tidy by category, not location.
- Tidy and declutter in the right order: clothes, then books, then papers and then miscellany. For the purposes of cruelty-free decluttering we will just be focusing on the clothes and miscellany (which in this case is beauty and decor). But for now, this post will be focusing on beauty products. You can read the post on decluttering clothes and accessories here, and decluttering decor here.
- Discard (recycle, donate, etc.) before placing things back.
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How To Use The KonMari Method To Go Vegan With Your Beauty Routine
Find Your ‘Why’
Why are you vegetarian or vegan, or why do you want to make the lifestyle change to become one? How will you feel when you’re living a completely cruelty-free lifestyle? How will your life look? Consider this quote from Marie Kondo: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” How do you want to live your life? What do you have to let go of in order to achieve it?
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” – Marie Kondo
Once you answer these questions completely and honestly (feel free to write them out if that’s your style!) you are ready to examine your beauty belongings and determine if each item contributes to, or detracts from the lifestyle that you want to have.
The KonMari Method: Does The Item Spark Joy?
The most important takeaway that Ms.Kondo drives home to her readers of The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up is to always be asking yourself if an item “sparks joy”; So to reexamine the KonMari Method from a cruelty-free perspective, we will be honing in and expanding on this broad question with a series of more pointed guiding questions that will help you determine if an item in your makeup bag or skincare regimen aligns with your beliefs and most importantly, if it is cruelty-free…
Guiding Questions: Beauty and Skincare Products
1. Is this product or it’s ingredients tested on animals? If so, can I find a cruelty-free makeup dupe? (Yes, you can!)
2. Does this product contain any animal byproducts (i.e. is it vegan)?
3. Is this product from a cruelty-free brand?
4. Is this product from a cruelty-free brand that is owned by a non-cruelty-free company? If so, how do you feel about this?
5. Gut check: Does this product bring me happiness or guilt?
6. Am I only holding onto this because I paid a lot for it?
7. Is this product expired?
8. Does this fit my style and my needs?
9. Have I worn or used this in the last calendar year?
10. If I saw this product today, would I buy it?
If your item is tested on animals and failed to meet the standards of your Guiding Questions then you should say goodbye to it (i.e. donate (if applicable), recycle or give it away to a friend) to make room for the items in your life that do make the cruelty-free cut.
Cruelty-Free Makeup Shopping Resources
It’s easier than you think to find beauty and skincare products that are not only cruelty-free and/or vegan, but just as effective and beautiful as their animal-tested counterparts. Here are some of my faves:
- Lush: My all-time favourite skincare source that is all cruelty-free, and a majority of their products are vegan.
- Sephora: Sephora is a well-known for carrying several high-end, cruelty-free brands; Which include some of my favourites such as Too Faced, Urban Decay, Benefit, and more.
- Amazon: Living in Canada, Amazon is my go-to for finding specialty products that I can’t find in stores in Canada or online at Sephora.
- ASOS: I mainly shop on ASOS for their clothes, but they also happen to carry some awesome cruelty-free make up brands as well, including NYX.
Vegan Beauty: My Picks
Cruelty-Free Makeup and Cosmetics
Bite Beauty Vegan Amuse Bouche Lipstick in ‘Sugarcane’ from Sephora
Urban Decay Vice Comfort Matte Lipstick in ‘Backtalk’ from Sephora
Bite Beauty Vegan Everyday Agave Lip Collection Lip Balm from Sephora
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation in ‘1 Fair’
Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation from Sephora
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid from Sephora
Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Waterproof Concealer from Sephora
ILIA Illuminator Highlighter in ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’ from Sephora
Tarte Goal Getters Countour Brush Set from Sephora
Urban Decay Diffusing Highlighter Brush from Sephora
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand in ‘Shade 1’
Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eyeliner from Sephora
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara from Sephora
Tarte Tarteist Pro Cruelty-Free Lashes in ‘Little Black Dress’ from Sephora
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray from Sephora
Cruelty-Free Skincare and Haircare
Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray from Sephora
Herbivore Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask from Sephora
Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Crème from Sephora
Herbivore Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish from Sephora
ILIA Cucumber Water Stick from Sephora
Tarte Tarteguard 30 Vegan Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 from Sephora
Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo from Sephora
Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo from Sephora
Lavanilla The Healthy Deodorant in ‘Vanilla Lavender’ from Sephora
Stella McCartney Perfume in Stella Peony from Sephora
To recap, when using the KonMari Method vegan-style, the key is to find your ‘why’ and answer the Guiding Questions honestly when decluttering your makeup and skincare products to determine if each item truly “sparks joy” and brings you closer to the cruelty-free lifestyle that you aspire to.
For an in-depth guide on vegan ingredients and a handy printable of the Guiding Questions, download the Cruelty-Free Make Up Audit Checklist by clicking the button below:
I wish you luck on your cruelty-free decluttering journey! When you complete it, share your results in the comment section below. What is your ‘why’? What did you get rid of on the way to your cruelty-free lifestyle? How did you feel after decluttering your makeup bag using this method?
Make sure to check out my other posts in this Vegan KonMari series, including how to go cruelty-free with your wardrobe using the KonMari method, and how to declutter your home decor.