Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and I did receive payment and PR samples but this in no way biases my opinion of the brand. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Vegan and cruelty-free beauty has grown in popularity over recent years with more people talking about the beauty industry and its cruel side. Many brands have gone completely vegan or gained cruelty-free status as more are calling out gross beauty practices. Consumers have become more mindful when they shop for their favourite beauty products and don’t expect animals to pay the price for beauty.

But in the beauty industry does vegan always mean cruelty-free, and vice versa? It can be pretty confusing as the term vegan isn’t universal.

Boots the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer shared their top tips and advice so I could learn more about vegan beauty. I was surprised to learn that vegan doesn’t always mean cruelty-free with beauty products and that vegan food products are a lot more transparent.

What is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan beauty products?

The definition of vegan beauty means that the products don’t contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. Like honey or beeswax as this is derived directly from bees. These are still common ingredients in skincare and makeup but there are vegan substitutes out there.

A product labelled cruelty-free however should not be tested on animals during the production or creation process. Even third parties have to comply with the no-testing rules for them to qualify as cruelty-free as well.

Sometimes a product is required by law to test on animals to comply with legislation in other countries. So, remember that these products will not always be cruelty-free. While companies sometimes claim cruelty-free status, this does not always include an analysis of the entire supply chain down to raw materials and ingredients. Leaping Bunny approval requires these checks, as well as regular, ongoing audits.

Boots has a large range of vegan and cruelty-free products including Botanics, KVD Beauty, The Ordinary, Barry M, Elf, Lime Crime and many more. I was asked to choose some vegan skincare and vegan makeup to create my first vegan beauty capsule collection.

*Please note that Ingredients in beauty products can change, so if you are unsure of any Boots products or brands, do your own research on animal by-products and look for certifications like the Leaping Bunny.

Botanics Black Tea Kombucha Postbiotic Gel Cleanser and its Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny stamp.

My Boots vegan beauty capsule collection

It was really hard to pick as there is so much choice but I had a lot of fun selecting a mixture of hair, makeup and skincare items. The website makes it really easy to find vegan items and filter your search by things like skincare concerns and area of the face.

I picked anti-pollution skincare products to protect against the elements and that also help with redness and dryness. I also picked a hair dye and a pretty eye shadow palette to compliment it, as well as the KVD foundation everyone has been talking about.

Vegan skincare

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 30ml | £6.30

Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) exfoliate the skin’s topmost surface for a brighter and more even appearance. Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) also exfoliate the skin with an extended function to help clear pore congestion. This combined 32% AHA/BHA solution offers deeper exfoliation to help fight visible blemishes and for improved skin radiance. The formula also improves the appearance of skin texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use.

A very easy to use product that I hope with continued application will help make my skin texture more even. I’ve been using it a few times a week and love the results so far.

One of my long-time favourite skincare ranges is Botanics by Boots which is approved under The Leaping Bunny programme to show their strong commitment to ending animal testing. The leaping bunny is the gold standard for cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care, household and cleaning products and will soon be featured on their packaging as well.

“Botanics believes that beauty products should be cruelty-free and we are proud to be ‘Leaping Bunny’ approved. A global programme, Leaping Bunny requires cruelty-free standards over and above legal requirements.”

Sophie Usher, Global Brand Manager
Botanics Black Tea Kombucha Postbiotic Gel Cleanser & Moisturiser, Botanics caffeine eye serum, rose quartz eye-roller, the ordinary peel, limecrime pink hair dye, kvd beauty apple foundation & Barry m rose palette. Vegan & Cruelty-free skincare from Boots UK.


All Botanics products are human tested, cruelty-free, suitable for vegans and sourced from sustainable ingredients, and steps are taken at every single stage of the product journey to reduce their environmental impact.

Botanics Pure Botanicals 3% Caffeine Concentrated Eye Serum 15ml | £5.99

Wake up tired-looking eyes after just one use with this beauty sleep in a bottle. The natural caffeine mixed with the natural aroma of sandalwood & black pepper makes this one of my new skincare favourites. This is such a lovely looking product and is lovely to use with the rose quartz eye massager.

Botanics Rose Quartz Eye Massager | £7.00

I love using this with eye serum and creams. It’s a really lovely bit of self-care and the design is gorgeous!

Botanics Revive & Protect Postbiotic Moisturiser 50ml | £9.99

Powered by black tea kombucha, rich in pro and postbiotics, this nourishing moisturiser helps to strengthen and restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier, shielding it from the drying effects of pollution.

I absolutely love this face cream. It has a lovely thick formula that doesn’t feel heavy on your skin or leave it greasy. It feels deeply hydrating without clogging pores. It’s my new favourite moisturiser. I love the revive and protect range and think I’ll be buying more of the products to complement the two that I got.

Botanics Revive & Protect Postbiotic Gel Cleanser 150ml | £6.99

Powered by black tea kombucha, rich in probiotics, this Cleanser tackles negative environmental effects by washing away pollutants.

This is a really lovely cleanser that washes away the impurities and leaves my skin feeling clean and soft. Perfectly paired with the moisturiser from the revive and protect range.

Vegan hair care

Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Tint in Sushi 200ml | £14.50

Unicorn Hair Tints transform hair into a rainbow of magical shades while leaving strands silky smooth and smelling sweet.

I can’t wait to use this when my hair needs a colour top-up. The colour is beautiful, and I’ve heard so many good things. I love that it’s ready to go and you just have to apply it to your hair.

Botanics Black Tea Kombucha Postbiotic Gel Cleanser & Moisturiser, rose quartz eye-roller, the ordinary peel, limecrime pink hair dye, kvd beauty apple foundation & Barry m rose palette. Vegan & Cruelty-free skincare from Boots UK.

Vegan makeup

KVD Beauty Good Apple Skin-Perfecting Foundation Balm in light 010 10g | £29

A buildable, full-coverage, hydrating foundation with a light yet long-wear non-comedogenic formula and a fresh matte finish.

Infused with apple extract to help nourish the skin. It minimises the appearance of pores, covers blemishes and discolouration and gives skin a smooth, healthy look.

Barry M Rose Tinted Eyeshadow Palette | £7.99

Featuring 9 matte and shimmer super pigmented and rose shades, this product is perfectly compatible with almost every skin tone.

A really beautiful looking palette from the front to inside. Lovely shades to match my current pink hair.

Barry M Rose Tinted Eye shadow Palette

Turning your beauty routine into a kinder one has never been easier with stores like Boots that have such a wide selection of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products. From foundations to moisturisers you can find plenty of products with cruelty-free and/or vegan stamps on the packaging. 

I loved creating my vegan capsule collection with Boots and I got to pick out new products that I hadn’t tried before. I went with brands I knew and loved but decided to try some new products as well, so I could find some new favourites.

Disclaimer: This post is in conjunction with Boots UK, but all thoughts are my own.

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I hope you enjoyed this post.

What’s your favourite product from my vegan capsule collection? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!


  1. So many fab products! Barry M is my fav 🙌🏻I’m fascinated by the hair dye, can’t wait to see it when you try it. Really informative blog, thank you

  2. I’m so happy to see this. I didn’t even realise they had so much now! I’m used to thinking of Superdrug as the go-to for cruelty free. Thank you 🙏

  3. That’s great you’ve included the difference between cruelty-free & vegan because some don’t know. I’ve heard great things about The Ordinary & I need to try them!

  4. Ooo these are the most amazing products, I’m always on the hunt for new products to add into my everyday routine and these sound amazing. You’ve shared some great items! Thank you so much Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  5. Boots have always been a good place to buy cruelty free (I have bought cruelty free for at least 40 years – and it was really hard when I started looking!). I have always found them good at giving guidance on ingredients and testing protocols. Botanics is a good range and I get some when I visit the UK on trips to see my parents.

  6. The collection of vegan beauty products look great and I have never tried vegan beauty anything before, But I will be giving it a go and will test out one of these from Boots. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I didn’t know that not all vegan brands were cruelty free I’m definitely going to be checking beauty products more thoroughly before purchasing in future. I’m also loving that Barry m palette 🙂

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