I have to admit, I love my make-up. And, prior to going vegan, a great red lipstick was always a mainstay in my make-up bag. I love a bit of a vintage look, and red lipstick is a must-have in order to achieve it. But, for years now, I have been without my red lipstick - ever since I found out that carmine (from ground up little critters) is the ingredient of choice that most make-up companies use for red coloring.
Finding vegan make-up is hard enough as it is, but finding vegan red lipstick is even harder. When I started my quest for vegan red lipstick, the first site I visited was Caring Consumer, which lists "cruelty-free" companies to help compassionate consumers make better buying decisions. However - and I think a lot of well-meaning vegans miss this - they list companies that don't test on animals and, according to Caring Consumer, that apparently makes them cruelty free, regardless of how loaded with animal-derived ingredients each company's products might be.
Now, don't get me wrong, caringconsumer.com is a great resource and great place to start - and they do mark which companies are completely vegan - but, you just have to keep in mind that you still need to do your own research.
For example, I was very excited to find Revlon and Jane Cosmetics on the list - Woot! Cheap cruelty-free cosmetics? - I'm there! But, when I went to the local drugstore and started reading labels, every single product that I picked up by either brand had at least one animal-derived ingredient. Naturally, this included carmine in their totally-not-vegan red lipsticks.
However, I am very happy to report that after an extended period of seeking out and testing vegan red lipstick options, I have found possibly the best vegan red lipstick in the world. Okay, maybe not in the world, since I haven't tried them all, but suffice it to say - I have found the vegan red lipstick for me, and I am thrilled to have a fab red lipstick back in my make-up bag.
Gabriel Cosmetics - which also makes Zuzu Luxe - uses St. John's Wort Extract to achieve rich red hues in completely vegan and cruelty-free lipsticks. Their eco-friendly, paraben-free, lead-free, vegan cosmetics are a tad more expensive than cheap drugstore brands, but the fact that they are better for your health, the planet and our animal friends make them completely worth it.
The Gabriel Cosmetics Pomegranate Lipstick is by far my fave vegan red lipstick I have found so far. Zuzu Luxe also has some great reds that I will try once this one runs out, and Gabriel Cosmetics also has some other rich red vegan lipsticks that I can't wait to try.
So, if you are craving some hot red lipstick that is vegan and lead-free, I highly recommend checking out Gabriel Cosmetics and Zuzu Luxe.