An Interview with: A Vegan MUA
Samantha Tansey is a cruelty-free and vegan makeup artist who has been working in the Film and Television industry for 10 years, firstly starting out in Production where she worked in London on a variety of Feature films and Television series, having to juggle crews, work out logistics, problem solve and manage budgets. However, after years of this environment Samantha wanted to pursue her passion for Makeup and Special FX and work in the creative side of the industry.
If you're looking into becoming cruelty-free and want to find out more information then this is the place for you. Enjoy!
When did you first become an MUA? Have you always been cruelty-free within your work? If not, what made you switch? Was it hard to switch?meant they weren’t cruelty-free because it is enforced to test on animals over in China. I went Vegan 2 years ago (For ethical reasons) so I did a lot more hard core research into making sure my professional and personal makeup kit was cruelty-free and vegan. Websites like cruelty-free kitty etc: make finding brands a lot easier, plus of course Vegan is a big buzz word and I've noticed a huge rise over the year to cruelty-free and vegan cosmetic lines. So I wouldn’t necessarily say it was that hard to switch in all honest, a lot of my favourite brands were cruelty-free and vegan which was a relief.
Do you have many clients that book you specifically because you're cruelty-free?I actually got offered a Vivienne Westwood campaign because I only used ethical brands, however, sadly I wasn’t available on the day of the shoot. However, because I work in mainly film and television I haven’t really been booked specifically for this reason. However, I always speak about the products I use as many people like looking at my products on a shoot because let's face it who doesn’t look looking at lovely pretty products and colours.
Do you ever talk to your clients about going cruelty-free during or after doing their makeup?
What are your favourite makeup products to use on yourself and on clients? Why are they your favourite?I tend to love the skin care from Arbonne and my favourite makeup ranges include Kat Von D, Illamasqua, Tarte and Urban Decay - these are the main ones I use, there are others that I have recently been trying out like Smash box and Hour glass.
Fortunately, in my SFX makeup, I use a lot of products from PPI/PS Composites and Mouldlife - which are certified vegan and cruelty-free (apart from the gelatine products yuck but I refuse to use that and luckily that isn’t used too often professionally anymore for prosthetics).
The moral dilemma some people can have are with the parent companies - for example, Urban Decay are owned by L’oreal who aren’t cruelty-free, however, Urban Decay refused to sell their products in China. Although not all of it is 100% vegan, along with Kat Von D (although she is working on changing that) as some of the eye shadow palettes contain Lanolin and Beeswax. But I personally believe that it's best to show demand to the lines that refuse to sell in China and show a demand for CF and Vegan products. It would be a bit like not shopping in Tesco because they sell animal products, we the consumer have the power in our purses to show what we want.
As a cruelty-free makeup artist, what is the biggest challenge you have faced?
What advice would you give to someone who's looking into becoming cruelty-free?Do your research - I highly recommend checking out Cruelty-free Kitty, it is updated regularly (Unfortunately Nars just started selling in China so they are no longer on the list).
Also to take a look at the PETA website as they have some great cruelty free and vegan recommendations.
Now depending on if you’re vegan or not, there is a difference between cruelty-free and vegan - so cruelty-free equals no testing on animals and vegan just means there are no animal byproducts in the product and trust me you would be shocked at how many unnecessary ingredients are put into products.
Fortunately, now it is so easy for us to go CF on all budgets, from cheaper brands I recommend Superdrug they have their own brands like GOSH which are CF and Vegan there are brands like ELF too which are cost effective. I feel some people seem to think that CF and Vegan means more expensive which in all honesty isn’t the case.
Thank you so much Samantha for doing this interview!You can find Samantha here:
Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions for future blog posts. I am also happy to answer any questions about veganism you may have.
💓 Phoebe xoxo