Article: Best Vegan Red Lipsticks

Category: , , / 11/13/2013
Zuzu Luxe lipstick in Starlet and Gabriel lip liner in Red
As a vegan, there are two ingredients that make finding natural lip products tricky: beeswax and carmine. Carmine comes from the crushed cochineal insect, and is common in a variety of natural products, from eye shadows and foundations to lipsticks. Carmine is a deep red color, and few companies make deep, true reds without it, unless they consciously cater to vegans. So which options are vegan-friendly? And which offer the best performance?

Favorites:
  • Zuzu Luxe offers a few great shades in a creamy, traditional formula. My personal favorite is Starlet, a candy apple red in a cool tone. They also offer Vino de Amor, a bright red wine shade (also cool). They also have a gloss in Caliente (cool blue undertone), which can be layered over a lipstick or worn separately.
  • Sister line Gabriel also offers cooler shades such as Pomegranate (deep red), Currant (red wine), and Matte Rose (red chili pepper) as well as warmer shades such as Tea Rose (orange red) and Santa Fe (red-orange). Both of these lines are gluten-free and have wide retail availability, so you can often test in person to find the best match.
  • With red shades, the colors are bold enough to need a well-defined line to really set off the look. I love Gabriel's lip liner in Red, but Zuzu has one in Cherry as well. If you're in a pinch and can't find a red liner, try to pick one close to your natural lip color and apply the lipstick itself with a brush for precision.
Beauty Without Cruelty's lipstick has
a texture similar to conventional
products.
Other Options:
  • Beauty Without Cruelty offers another line of vegan lipsticks with multiple red shades, such as Cerise and Day Lily. The formula is creamy and it comes with fun packaging. I haven't seen these shades in person, but the brand has good retail availability in certain areas.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars - This intense, gloss-like color comes in a variety of red shades, including Psycho (true blood red), Harlot (neon red), Stalker (blue red), and NSFW (true, balanced red). The application takes a few tries to get right; you have to use a lot less than you think you need.
  • Gourmet Body Treats has a more limited selection of reds, but does offer a lipstick, lip gloss, and lip liner in the shade Vixen. They also are expanding to offer a red lipstick.
Budget options:
  • Eyes Lips Face (E.L.F.) offers two affordable options: their mineral lipstick (in Cheerful Cherry and Royal Red) and essential lipstick (in Fearless). The ingredients are much better in the mineral lipstick, but if you need something quick, the essential lipstick might be available locally.
  • Manic Panic also offers a couple of affordable red options, but they aren't as natural (or gentle).
How to pick the best red:
If you are unsure about wearing reds, check out these handy articles for choosing the best shade for you:
Disclosure notice: Some products mentioned in this article were sent to me free of charge by the manufacturer for review. Others were purchased by the reviewer. No additional compensation was accepted and the opinions are my own. Please verify any claims with the manufacturer, especially if you have any allergies or concerns.

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