Everywhere you look, vegan culture is catching on - from restaurants to spas to nail polish. For those that care about animals, the environment, and our bodies, this is excellent news indeed.
Tashina Combs is playing her part in this revolution by writing the Logical Harmony blog, an in-depth and invaluable resource for both vegan and cruelty-free beauty products and advice.
Tashina took a moment to tell us about the growing trend of vegan beauty products, sharing some of her favorites as well as giving some advice on what to look for in the products you use.
How did you get interested in vegan beauty products and lifestyles? What about the subject made you passionate enough to start a blog?
This is a two-part story. I first became interested in animal rights as a child. In elementary and middle school, I did class reports on alternatives to animal testing. Nothing about animal testing ever made sense to me. I could not believe that these practices still occurred or that companies thought it was worthwhile. In high school, I taught myself HTML and CSS and then started blogging as a hobby. My blog evolved and grew as I got older and my lifestyle changed.
When I went vegan and started to transition not just my diet, but also the products I was using in my beauty routine and around my home, it made complete sense that Logical Harmony should also make this transition. Justin, who is the Brand Development Manager here at Logical Harmony, was a huge part of that transition. He was already vegan and gave me a great support system while I made that change.
You have a section on Logical Harmony about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan beauty products. Can you briefly recap the difference for people who aren't aware?
Cruelty-free means that there is no animal testing on the products or ingredients. These products can still contain animal ingredients. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients involve the death of an animal to source or are byproducts of factory farming practices.
Vegan means that there are no animal or animal-derived ingredients used in the products. On Logical Harmony, all of the products featured are both cruelty-free and vegan. There is no animal testing involved and no use of animal ingredients in the products.
You've also got a section about animal ingredients found in beauty products. What are a few common ingredients that contain animal products that people might not be aware of?
Many people can spot beeswax, honey, gelatin, pearl, or silk right away. It's really surprising how many animal ingredients are still used. A lot of people also do not realize that ingredients such as cholesterol, placenta, keratin, and collagen are often from animals. A few animal ingredients that are harder to decipher are carmine (made from beetles), stearic acid, oleic acid, lactoferrin, lanolin, squalene, or alblumen.
Thankfully, more and more brands are changing to using plant-based or synthetic alternatives. On the list of animal ingredients, I make sure to mention all of the potential sources of an ingredient. It is important to check with brands to see if they are using a synthetic or plant-based version instead. The more requests brands get to change their ways, the more likely it is to happen.
You have several vegan beauty categories on Logical Harmony, including beauty and cosmetics. First of all, are there any particularly reliable brands that you can recommend? Secondly, what have been a few of your most recent favorite products, and what did you like about them?
There are so many amazing cruelty-free brands out there! I never find myself disappointed with the products from Pacifica, Au Naturale or Modern Minerals. Those three brands have a wide variety of products, and you can trust that all of their items are free of animal testing and animal ingredients. The quality from these brands is consistent, and I have liked all of the items I have used from them.
Recently, I am loving the brand new Power of Love lipsticks from Pacifica. The collection is a Target exclusive of three shades. Each one is so pretty and universally flattering!
Au Naturale has a versatile product selection, and I love everything I have tried from them. Their creme concealer is one of my favorites to travel with because it lasts all day, does an amazing job of covering blemishes and dark circles, and does not crease at all.
Similarly, what have been a few of your favorite vegan hair care products? What are some ingredients in non-vegan shampoos and conditioners that people should be on the lookout for that might come from animals?
I use a lot of hair care items from EVOLVh, Giovanni and DryBar. These brands are cruelty-free with lots of vegan options. I'm obsessed with the dry shampoo and 100 Proof Treatment oil from DryBar. Those two products work wonders on my hair!
Some ingredients to watch out for are keratin, biotin, cholesterol, and stearic acid. Because so many ingredient lists for shampoos and conditioners are confusing enough already, I suggest finding a brand with a lot of options and sticking to their products.
What have been a few of your favorite vegan nail products?
I wear NCLA nail polish and nail wraps almost exclusively. They have the cutest colors and patterns out there! They are cruelty-free and all of their products are vegan. It has been amazing to watch them grow over the years. The new Nudes line of nail polish from NCLA is also gorgeous. Instead of just releasing one or two light nudes, NCLA released six shades. They range from a pale nude to a dark brown. They are just so pretty! NCLA has amazing pastel and bold shades for spring, too. Plus, some of their upcoming releases are going to be amazing.
Can you talk about some reasons why people should consider using vegan beauty products even if they haven't taken the steps towards adopting a vegan lifestyle?
In my mind, picking vegan items is a logical step. When given the choice between two products that perform equally well, who wouldn't want to also pick the more ethical of the two? I know a lot of people avoid products that have been tested on animals. It's a great step! By avoiding those with animal ingredients as well, you are saving more animals from pain and suffering.
What would you say to people who feel that you have to be independently wealthy to have a vegan lifestyle or use vegan beauty products? Have you found any brands that are an exceptional deal?
You definitely do not need to spend a lot of money to find vegan products. It is now easier than ever to pick vegan options as they are becoming more and more mainstream. They are keeping up with the trends in cosmetics and releasing tons of new formulas and lots of new shades.
Drugstore brands like Wet'n'Wild and Milani label their vegan options on their websites. All E.L.F. cosmetics, and most of their brushes, are vegan. Pacifica is a completely vegan line that you can find at Target. I love that you can go to the local drugstore and find lots of vegan options!
In your opinion and experience, do you feel that vegan beauty products and lifestyles are on the rise? If so, what are some of the reasons for this tendency? What good may come of it?
I think that vegan beauty products and a vegan lifestyle are definitely on the rise. Consumers are becoming more educated. They are finding out a lot about brands and ingredients that they do not want to ignore. More people are expressing their voice to brands and letting them know that they want cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics.
It has also been amazing to see so many smaller cruelty-free brands really expand and grow into competitors for giant luxury beauty brands. It's incredible to see how much things have changed over the past several years!
People are becoming more aware of the impact their purchases have. It's incredible to think about how many animals' lives are being saved by having vegan products easily available in stores! I believe that everyone wants to make a difference in the world today. We all want to do what we can to make things a better place. Small steps, like choosing cruelty-free and vegan beauty products, can make a huge positive impact in the world. I see it as a natural progression.