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Welcome back for part two of our Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly, Ethical Weddings!  Make sure to go back to Part 1, Fashion before we get started on today’s topic of beauty products if you haven’t read it yet.

When looking for eco-friendly beauty products, there are a lot of options but primarily brands that promote this are going to be concerned with sustainability of the ingredients, recycled or reduced packaging and sourcing organic ingredients.  Additionally, many manufacturers are going a step further and even using renewable energy for their processes.  This also typically includes products that are cruelty free and/or vegan.  You’ll want to note that there is a difference because some brands may use animal derived products but not test on animals vs a vegan brand that not only does not test on animals but also uses only plant based ingredients in their formulas.  It’s also not unheard of for some brands who hold these values in the US to allow animal testing on their products so they can be accepted into foreign markets that require it, such as China.  In order to cover all the bases, the products in this article are all vegan which means they are also cruelty free, typically organic, sustainable, etc.

To get started, here are some common non-vegan ingredients to watch out for in your skincare & makeup:

  • allantoin
  • alpha-hydroxy acids
  • ambergris
  • arachidonic acid
  • beeswax (cera alba)
  • biotin
  • caprylic acid
  • carmine (carminic acid)
  • castor (castoreum)
  • cerebrosides
  • cetyl alcohol
  • chitosan
  • cholesterol
  • cochineal
  • collagen
  • cystine
  • emu oil
  • fish scales
  • gelatin
  • glycerin
  • guanine
  • honey
  • hyaluronic acid
  • keratin
  • lanolin (including triterpene alcohol)
  • lard
  • L-cysteine
  • lecithin
  • linoleic acid
  • mink oil
  • monoglycerides, glycerides
  • myristic acid
  • nucleic acids
  • oestrogen (estradiol)
  • oleic acids
  • palmitic acid
  • panthenol (provitamin B5 and derivatives)
  • polypeptides
  • polysorbates
  • pristane
  • progesterone
  • propolis
  • RNA
  • royal jelly
  • shellac
  • silk powder
  • snails
  • squalene
  • stearic acid
  • turtle oil
  • urea (uric acid)
  • vitamin A (retinol)
  • vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)

 

Skincare is the first step in any pre-wedding regime and the brand I personally love & use is Urban Skin RX who call themselves the melanin experts.  Their products are especially loved by those who have dark marks, freckles, acne scars, melasma or sun damage they are hoping to improve the appearance of.  Urban Skin RX is readily available at Target or via their own website where you can take a quiz to learn which products best suit your skin type & needs.  They also offer body products & microneedling rollers, which are a popular trend right now in the beauty industry.

Urban Skin RX

 

Skin Owl is another fantastic beauty brand who also offers products for the neck & body.  Additionally, for you beauty addicts out there, they offer many different deluxe travel size options which is perfect for trying all of their different Beauty Drops, one of their best selling products!

If you want a vegan skincare line that offers fantastic sample packages based on your skin type, try Odacite either online or in a Nordstrom’s or Bluemercury near you.  Make sure to take their skin care quiz to find out what products will best meet your needs.

It’s also important for men to have a skincare routine and the vegan products my husband loves are Bulldog which have a complete men’s line including face scrub, deodorant, shaving products & beard balm & oil.  For anyone that doesn’t like having to wait on online products to ship to them, Bulldog is also available at Target, making it an easy, ethical option even if you are short on time.

Bulldog Skincare for Men

 

Every Man Jack has hair, body, skincare, beard, shaving & other items and was recently featured in Men’s Journal magazine for their volcanic clay face scrub.

Finally, it can often be difficult for men to find a good shaving brush that is vegan and also won’t break the bank so we love The Body Shop’s men’s wooden shaving brush which is also certified with the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.

 

 

Men, these upcoming makeup suggestions aren’t just for the ladies!  Over the last 20 years I’ve seen many grooms use a bit of concealer (or more) especially to hide any imperfections on their wedding day so here’s the roundup of our top makeup picks.

Tarte has a huge & ever expanding list of vegan products including makeup, brushes, moisturizer, teeth whitening, deodorant & even glitter gel.  Their Shape Tape concealer & Face Tape foundation are renowned in makeup circles for their natural looking incredible coverage, available in 50 shades with 5 undertones.  This is a personal favorite of mine along with the Amazonian clay waterproof brow pencil which is foolproof for those of us who are just looking for something quick & easy to use.

Tarte Shape Tape concealer

 

Fyrinnae Cosmetics are known for their fully pigmented colors, vegan metallics & eco-friendly glitter.  Best of all, these high quality products are all reasonably priced, making it easy for you to grab a lot of different colors to play with!

Inika is a well known vegan makeup brand that promises that all of their products contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients.  One of their most popular products is their Liquid Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid which is vegan sourced!  Their Face in a Box starter kit even contains eight face products plus a full size vegan kabuki brush to get you started.

If you’re a fan of the legendary Poreless Putty Primer by e.l.f. then you might already be familiar with this staple makeup brand.  What you may not know is that their entire line is vegan friendly, including my personal favorite, the Matte Lip Color crayon which lasts me for months, is super long lasting and retails at just $3!  This is what I wore on my own wedding day!

e.l.f. products

 

Finally, tattoo artist, tv personality & animal activist Kat Von D has an entirely vegan line of cosmetics & brushes, including perfume.  Her Studded Kiss lipstick is available in 120 shades & is praised for it’s creamy feel & longevity.  Her award winning Tattoo liquid eyeliner is another cult favorite that is known for giving a liquid eyeliner look without smearing when touched.

Kat Von D Beauty

 

Check back in for our next blog post where we delve into part 3 of our Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly, Ethical Weddings & make sure to sign up for our email list with news, helpful tips & notifications on upcoming blog posts!

 

More & more frequently, clients come to me looking for events that are green, vegan, or simply wanting to give back as part of their wedding day.  The average wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage and the equivalent emissions of what 4-5 people would produce in an entire year.  Additionally, the plant-based food sector grew by 20% in 2018, compared to just 2% for all other foods and up from an 8% growth in 2017!  So while couples have always wanted their weddings to reflect their own personalities, it is no surprise that they are increasingly wanting them to reflect their values as well.

Many couples typically start their planning by selecting their style since that will dictate the type of venue, decor & ambiance they want.  So for part one of this blog, I want to jump in with wedding fashion, options available to conscientious couples & things to steer clear of.

When selecting clothing, often conscientious couples want to make sure they are using cruelty-free products so I love the Cruelty-Free Fabric Guide over at The Compassionate Closet because it’s a fantastic, quick way to see which fabrics are vegan or not & theirs is the most extensive list I’ve seen (they also have some really cute casual clothing options as well)! Ahimsa (or peace) silk is also an option for some people, although ethical vegans may still wish to stay away from it due to exploitation of the worms used in the process.  Soy silk is a a fantastic alternative to peace silk & is available to purchase online if you are considering having a gown custom made & can’t find it in a local fabric store.

For getting ready fashion, Sage & Stars offers gorgeous organic cotton & bamboo robes for you & your crew.  One of our recent brides, Jeanne, used Eberjey for her bridal party robes which are available in earth friendly fabrics as well.

Photo:  Dark Roux Photography

 

I also love the newest H&M Conscious Exclusive’s eighth spring collection because although it uses organic silk in some of the items, making it non-vegan, they are using some of my favorite products on the market right now such as BLOOM Foam made from algae, Pinatex made from pineapple-leaf fibers & Orange Fiber made from citrus peels.  This stunning new collection features many items like a white suit, crop tops with skirts & other options which would work for both the wedding as well as other related events.  Orange Fiber has been used for daily wear collections from Salvatore Ferragamo as well, & Pinatex’s list of designers can be found in the products section of their website.

H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection

 

Of course, you can always purchase a pre-owned gown from many reputable sources like Once Wed, Pre Owned Wedding Dresses, Borrowing Magnolia, Nearly Newlywed, Still White, etc. if you are concerned about sustainability and on the plus side, this can sometimes lead to great deals on your gown as well!

However, if you want something a bit more custom, Wear Your Love creates custom made gowns made from organic cotton & bamboo & include some of the most beautiful laces on the market!

Ellora dress by Wear Your Love

 

For vegan specific wedding dresses, Made With Love offers classic, high end gowns (ALL of which are vegan!) in standard sizes while Emmy Mae Bridal has beautiful gowns for the boho bride.

 

Carla dress & cape by Made With Love

 

There are also several companies who make gowns from rescued deadstock & vintage fabrics such as Reformation, Katherine Feiel & Christy Dawn.  Their offerings include bridal gowns as well as trendy jumpsuits & bridesmaid & party dresses as well.  It should be noted that their products are not all vegan, as they do use silks in some garments.

We have also had clients use Rent the Runway for bridesmaid dresses and their bridal party loved that option!  Sam’s maids selected these beautiful sequin gowns, however, they offer bridal services as well for up to two of your events.

Badgley Mischka glitz gown from Rent The Runway
Photo by Mon Soleil Photography

 

If you are looking to rent tuxedos instead of dresses, local sources such as John’s Tuxedos not only provide fantastic service but fun local add-ons such as LSU socks, water meter cover cuff links & other cool gift ideas.  One of our recent grooms, Dan, rented his suit online from The Black Tux and selected a stunning navy with tiny white dot design!

Midnight Pin Dot Tux by The Black Tux
Photo by Dark Roux Photography

 

For ladies’ tuxedos, you can purchase from Little Black Tux which offers a variety of colors & options for fashion forward ladies, but if you want to rent, our go-to is local shop John’s Tuxedos who we already mentioned for men’s rentals.  They also loves to fit women in the New Orleans area in tuxedos & have a great selection as well.  If you are looking for an online/shipped rental option however, then Stich & Tie by Friar Tux is for you.

Little Black Tux

 


Stitch & Tie

 

If cleaning, preserving & storing your wedding attire after the big day isn’t your style, there are still options for you as well!  Recent Alchemy Events bride Felicity plans on dying her Modern Trousseau gown to re-wear as a formal in the future and a friend of ours had artwork painted on her gown!  Of course, there is always the ever popular “trash the dress” photography session where you can take all those photos you’d be scared to do before the wedding for fear of getting the gown dirty.

Gown from Wedding Belles NOLA
Photographed by Cassie Lopez Photography

 

For accessories, Gunas has many amazing bags that would be perfect for pre-wedding functions & includes the innovative new MulbTex fabrics made from mulberry tree leaves that looks like leather.  Lee Coren designs beautiful, unique bags such as the Dulce Clutch & Chain (shown in color Confetti Sand) which is a fun, playful glitzy look for any of your wedding related functions.

Lee Coren dulce clutch & chain in confetti sand

 

 

My other favorite clutches for weddings or other events right now are coming from Urban Expressions who has too many stunning styles to even begin to name but I’ll show you a few of my favorite here.

Urban Expressions styles Top Row L to R:  Bahamas, Daze,
Bottom Row L to R: Peony, Rhapsody

 

Now you’ll need shoes.  Vegan leather or other sustainable product shoes are fairly easy to come by if you’re looking for something basic.  However, if you want something a bit more special, try Avesu Vegan Shoes, Beyond Skin or Lulu’s vegan selection.   If you want a real show stopping blinged out shoe, though, certain styles of Blue by Betsy Johnson are vegan.

SB-Mari Champagne for Blue by Betsy Johnson

 

Of course, if comfort is your top priority & you’d like to purchase something you can wear again, you can’t beat Rothy’s which not only do NOT have a breaking in period (trust me- I live in mine!), but also use sustainable materials since they are 3D printed from recycled plastic bottles.  The insoles contain recycled foam, while the rubber soles are carbon-free. The adhesives used are non-toxic and vegan. The packaging the shoes come in is made from post-consumer recycled materials, is biodegradable AND they come in children’s sizes.  As you can see in the photo below, our recent bride Catherine had her flower girls in red colored Rothy’s for a fun pop of color at her Christmas wedding!

EDIT!  As of October 2019, I am sad say that this company is no longer vegan.  They are now using wool products, which also creates a large carbon footprint, going against using products that are earth friendly.

Photo by Crescent City Studios

 

Finally, jewelry!  This is such a wide ranging topic that can get into environmental issues & human rights, among other things.  To briefly touch on this, I’ve seen an increase in couples who are sourcing vintage jewelry from estate sales & vintage shops in addition to those who are opting to purchase newly produced ethical jewelry. Beautiful basic pieces can be found at companies such as  Emma Aitchinson  and Winden or for stunning gemstone bridal jewelry, Bario Neal & the ever popular Zoe Pook are great options.  There are also a wide variety of Etsy shops or local jewelers who can work with you if you express your concerns.

Ring by Zoe Pook

Rings by Bario Neal

 

Check back in for our next blog post where we delve into part 2 of our Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly, Ethical Weddings & make sure to sign up for our email list with news, helpful tips & notifications on upcoming blog posts!