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What came first for me – Vegan beauty or a plant-based diet? Easy tips to start living sustainably

What came first for me – Vegan beauty or a plant-based diet?

So let’s take it back. As a family we’re all vegetarian. I remember a lot of people used to ask me when I was younger ‘don’t you ever feel like you want to just try some meat?’ My answer was no not really because I don’t know what I’m ‘missing out on.’ Looking back, from a young age I would look at ways to save energy, water and was definitely interested in natural aspects of beauty. This probably came to me from my mother as she’s into her essential oils, blending oils and generally trying to live a holistic life.

I became a makeup artist in 2011 but had been interested in makeup from a young age. In 2017 my sister decided to adopt a plant-based diet. Instead of thinking about what I was eating, I started looking at the products I was using. That’s when I came to realise that beauty products were tested on animals. I was a massive fan of brands like Bobbi Brown and MAC. I was so shocked to know that even now animals are used for testing cosmetic products. So my first thought was I need to start finding alternatives. I started off with the products I use on myself and then started changing my professional kit. It was a whole journey, lots of money spent and lots of trial and error. However a year later my kit was 100% cruelty-free. Did all of my clients like the change? Not really but I tried to best explain and educate them on why I was making the choice and was happy to use their own products for their big day if they preferred. I still do this now if they prefer their own foundation even if it is tested on animals as it’s their wedding day and not mine, and I want them to be comfortable. So once my kit was cruelty-free I felt like I may as well change it to a 100% vegan kit. I didn’t want to apply lipsticks with crushed beetles in them on my lips so why should I use it on my clients?

So it all began again, but this time the hunt for vegan makeup products for myself and then my professional kit. Again lots of money and time spent as I needed products that were brilliant quality and catered for deeper skin tones like mine. So where does the plant-based diet come in? Well I had food poisoning a few years back. I was eating an ice-cream from the ice-cream van. A few hours later I was so sick. I’ve never taken a day off sick for work as you can only imagine finding a replacement for a client is difficult especially on a busy weekend. Luckily the job I had the next morning was one that I was covering for another artist so she was able to find a replacement. I didn’t eat for two days and couldn’t keep anything down apart from water. From then on my body started rejecting diary, especially creamy diary and sweet diary. So this is where the plant-based diet started. We eat a plant-based diet at home. If we’re on holiday and there isn’t anything vegan I can have, then a vegetarian option will have to do so I can eat but generally I can usually find what I need. So yes the vegan beauty changeover came first. Since then I have looked into sustainable cleaning methods, and generally trying to live sustainably. I try and buy more second hand items now especially clothing. Incorporating aspects of veganism into my life are a way for me to help the environment and try and live sustainably. Like I say we need to treat Earth as if it is our Airbnb. Whatever you decide to do will help in some way or another, even if it is just one vegetarian or vegan meal a week. Let’s not be judgmental of others choices but try and encourage each other. Living sustainably isn’t easy and its not always cheap either so pick one thing you can do and stick with it.

Here's a few things you can try

- Switching from a meat meal to a plant-based meal once a week

- Any NEW skincare or makeup products to be vegan and cruelty-free. You can also refer to my skincare video for recommendations and learn how to build a tailored routine.

- Try and go on foot for short trips. Now most of my food shop is done on foot rather than taking the car. I try and do smaller shops which means less waste too.

- Compost your fruit and veg peels

- Try growing veg or flowers that bees will love. I’m going to try a wildflower patch this year.

- Buy second hand where you can. I’ve been buying second hand clothes from Vinted for nearly a year and will never look back. I’ve saved so much money, the items are really good quality and I haven’t been buying as much as I used to.

And here are some of my favourite vegan brands. Click on the image to take you to the brand shop.

Let me know how you get on in the comments!

Please note, some of the embedded links are affiliate links where I'll make a commission for the purchase. All the brands I post about are ones I use and love.

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