Serena Lee // Wellness & Natural Lifestyle Blog // Vegan & Sustainable Lifestyle // London, UK


I’m Serena and here’s where I share the journey of living more healthily & mindfully. Thanks for stopping by!

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Makeup Review (My Wedding Makeup)

Vegan & Cruelty-Free Makeup Review (My Wedding Makeup)

Having not cared about makeup for over 6 years, and having gone vegan in that space of time, I had to relearn everything in the run-up to our wedding!

We got married in France in September, so the chances of me finding a vegan, cruelty-free makeup artist and having a practice run with them before the wedding day were so slim that I decided to take it upon myself to do my own makeup.

I know I could have gone one step better and opted to not wear makeup at all, but I wanted to ‘get all glammed up’ (that’s probably the last time I’ll ever use this phrase in my life) for the big day.

Most of the makeup in my possession is, unsurprisingly, 6+ years old. Most of it was broken or had a weird chemical smell, so I headed to Superdrug and replaced some of the products.

Next, I attempted a face of makeup while WhatsApping my friend to ask if winged eyeliner was still a thing, and which brush was supposed to be used for which product, and then I reached out to the world of Instagram to ask them to criticise my made-up face.

Attempt no.1 at doing a full face of makeup

Attempt no.1 at doing a full face of makeup

There were loads of really constructive comments - I went to bed feeling like I was part of a supportive girl gang and decided to practise a few times to get it as good as I could based on the advice of women who know much better than me.

Here’s a roundup of all the products I used and my amateur feedback on the products. These are all vegan and cruelty-free to the best of my knowledge, but please please do check for yourself to be sure! Some products had long ingredients lists and, while I’m pretty sure there were no animal products in them, my eyes are untrained and could potentially have missed something sneaky in the long scientific names of ingredients.

Some of the makeup on my wedding dressing table in Mas Peyloubet, Grasse

Some of the makeup on my wedding dressing table in Mas Peyloubet, Grasse

Foundation: LUSH - Slap Stick (17N)

I was recommended this by LUSH co-founder Rowena Bird, and I love love love this product! Slapsticks are the new, light coverage foundation from LUSH. My freckles showed through, which is what I wanted, while evening out my complexion and giving a beautiful glow.

LUSH’s Slap Sticks come in 40 shades and are packaging-free (mine was delivered in a small card box), so they’re perfect for just about everybody.

LUSH Slap Stick in shade 17N

LUSH Slap Stick in shade 17N

Concealer: Urban Decay - Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (Medium Light Neutral)

I got this concealer in a medium-light neutral shade and am a big fan - usually I find the options are just two: a lighter and a darker tone, with the darker being too dark for me and the lighter one making it look obvious that it’s concealer.

Brushes: Spectrum - The Bomb Shell

These brushes are amazing! I’ve been using them since March and they cover every brush need - I had no idea the difference it would make to own a set of brushes. I used them for the Slap Sticks foundation, the eyeshadow, the bronzer, the concealer and the brow kit!

Getting ready in Grasse - dress borrowed from my Maid of Honour, Lois

Getting ready in Grasse - dress borrowed from my Maid of Honour, Lois

Brows: B. By Superdrug - Brow Contour Kit

My brows are the only thing I use makeup on fairly regularly, as mine are naturally very light and my hair is naturally much darker. After years of trial and error, I’ve finally settled on a couple of products I really like!

Lots of brow kits make my brows too orange-brown. The B. Brow Contour Kit gives a nice medium brown shade (alongside a darker one if that suits you better). I use the Spectrum brow angled brush for a natural look when applying. This kit is definitely a keeper!

Brows: NYX - Tinted Brow Mascara (NOT VEGAN)

Googling in hindsight, this one slipped past me completely; I thought NYX were a completely cruelty-free and vegan brand. This actually contains beeswax so is unfortunately not vegan. Hopefully they’ll change the ingredients to be vegan-friendly soon. I have since found that Barry M carry a new, vegan brow gel, so am linking that instead!

Serena Lee // Vegan Wedding Makeup // Cruelty-Free Beauty Blog Post // Mas Peyloubet, Grasse, South of France - Vegan Wedding (September)

Eyeshadow: MUA - Elysium Desire Eyeshadow Palette

I used the bright white very lightly as a highlight under the arches of my eyebrows, the almost-white on my lids, and then the light peachy colour all over the lid. Then a medium brown in a halo shape following the lid line, as per the advice of a helpful woman on Instagram!

Note: I had a better look at the ingredients while writing this post, and this isn’t a product I’d want to put on my eyelids more than once in a blue moon… see here for the ingredients list. Feeling thankful I rarely wear makeup - but I’d love to learn about more natural eyeshadows if they exist out there!

Eyeliner: Barry M - Eye Define Liquid Eyeliner (Cocoa)

I didn’t really want to use liquid eyeliner, but my Chinese hooded eyelids mean that any mascara I use smudges onto the eyelid - I’m sure there’s a way of correcting this, but I didn’t have time to learn, so I chose to wear a little brown eyeliner and do it as subtly as I could.

I’m not a big fan of this eyeliner as it wasn’t very precise - the brush tip was hard and inflexible so I ended up having a much thicker line than I’d wanted. I much prefer the glide of LUSH’s Independent Eyeliner, but wanted to try a brown one. It ended up not really making a difference colour-wise!

The eyeliner was still too dark compared with what I’d wanted - Barry M’s  Eye Define  Liner

The eyeliner was still too dark compared with what I’d wanted - Barry M’s Eye Define Liner

Eyelash Curler - Shiseido (NOT A CRUELTY-FREE BRAND)

This product is included as I wanted to list everything I used on our wedding day. I’ve had this eyelash curler since before going vegan, and am a firm believer in using things until they wear out! The eyelash curler itself is vegan, but I’d rather support a cruelty-free company in future, and some ingredients in Shiseido products are tested on animals.

Mascara: LUSH - Eyes Right

I think this is a great mascara for people with naturally thick lashes. While I love my little short, straight lashes as they came from my mother and her mother before her, this means that barely any mascaras make any difference at all to my eyelashes. Only waterproof mascara holds them in place, but I haven’t found a vegan & ethical mascara that’s waterproof and works for me just yet. If you have any recommendations, please send them my way!

Bronzer: Barry M AfterGlow Light Bronzer

I was nice and tanned as it was the end of summer, and this bronzer added a warm subtle shimmer. I used it with one of the larger angled Spectrum brushes.

Lip Balm: Skyn Deep - Coco Citrus Kiss

I got a delicious lip balm from Skyn Deep last year - they had only recently begun making products I think, and I can’t see them on their website now! It’s not as deeply moisturising as the ones I tend to use overnight, but perfect for daytime wear when reapplying throughout the day.

Lipliner: NYX - Suede Matte Lipliner (Stockholm)

I used this with a very light hand because I have a tendency to look a little drag queen when I wear lipliner.

Lip Gloss: Borrowed

I’d planned to an old Barry M lip gloss, but ended up forgetting it in London and borrowed my friend Louise’s lip gloss instead - it was also old and the branding had come off, so I’m not sure where it was from!

Full face - not perfect but an improvement on my first go.

Full face - not perfect but an improvement on my first go.

Setting Spray: Urban Decay - All Nighter

The lovely man working at Urban Decay gave me a tester of this when I bought some other products as I explained I didn’t want to buy too many things but was shopping for wedding makeup. Apparently it’s one of the best you can get. I probably won’t re-buy it as I barely ever wear makeup, but can definitely recommend it. My wedding makeup stayed on until late without any smudges.

Makeup stayed put all day thanks to Urban Decay’s setting spray.

Makeup stayed put all day thanks to Urban Decay’s setting spray.

Perfume - Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange solid perfume

Pacifica solid perfumes are so dreamy, but I went to find a link and I think they’ve been discontinued which is so so sad! I love a fruity scent (I think my palate never matured!) and the Tuscan Blood Orange is punchy and citrussy. They have a lovely coconut one too. Here are their roll-on perfumes - it looks like they only stock these ones on their website now, although you can find the solids with a quick Google search.

Do you use any of these products? Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for reading.


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Post supported by LUSH, Spectrum, and Skyn Deep, who gifted me some of their products to try. All reviews are always honest & my own - please share your opinions too! By supporting the brands who support this blog, you'll help me in turn to share more ethical products & services :) Thank you again for reading this post!

Serena Lee // Vegan Wedding Makeup // Cruelty-Free Beauty Blog Post // Mas Peyloubet, Grasse, South of France - Vegan Wedding (September)
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