Vegan Beauty with Olivia Todd

Written by Emma Hla
Over the last year, vegan beauty has become a hot topic of conversation and one that celebrity makeup artist Olivia Todd has noticed increasingly when working with bridal clients. So many of us are now seeking plant-based and cruelty free products for ethical, environmental, or trend-led reasons. The market is now huge and is the key reason why Olivia has taken time to develop her vegan, cruelty-free and organic makeup kit for her clients.

Olivia has an established reputation for celebrity, fashion and beauty work and fills a real gap in the market for luxury, bespoke bridal services across Hampshire and the South East to match the region’s plethora of  stunning venues. Olivia says “My extensive experience in the industry includes working on Strictly Come Dancing in Lisa Armstrong’s ‘glam team’ for which I was trained in body contouring, makeup and skin finishing by the show’s official tanning sponsor Sienna X. I have worked in the makeup team on Britain’s Next Top Model, ITV This Morning and on TV commercials including L’Oréal”

Olivia continues “My fashion and TV exposure has profoundly influenced my style, inspiring my signature looks. Look no further for a fresh thinking, trend-led and contemporary approach to makeup.”

On the blog today, Olivia is sharing her top vegan recommendations and if you’re interested in her vegan makeup services then I know she would love to hear from you. Olivia says “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing my clients ooze confidence. I delight in creating the very best version of YOU.”

You can get in touch on or via the contact form on her website.

Notes from the Makeup Artist

Olivia says…

I have always worked with natural, non-toxic makeup products such as Bare Minerals (still one of my favourite makeup brands to date),  so it was a natural progression to offer vegan makeup as an option alongside my other services. The number of vegan makeup products now on the market has really helped me to achieve this. It is so important to me  to be able to offer high-quality beauty products that sit perfectly within a vegan lifestyle. In everything I do I want to ensure I’m working with  products that truly  reflect my clientele.  The fact that I can now use  products that are non-toxic and natural, without compromising the luxurious feel I aim for, means there really is no excuse for not embracing them with a full on vegan offer.

If you’re unsure as to whether a beauty product is vegan, the first thing to do is check that it hasn’t been tested on animals, look out for the leaping bunny logo as an easy indicator and then check for any animal products like carmine, lanolin, collagen, tallow or beeswax.

I am regularly asked by clients what vegan and cruelty free products I use and how do I pick them. I select the brands myself and take care to ensure they are not just vegan but also high performance and the best quality as I need products that are not only long-lasting but look great on camera too. No cardboard-like, jojoba scented makeup can be found here I promise you!

I am always on the lookout for new brands and I test them out thoroughly before using on clients. I have pulled together below some of my all-time favourite vegan brands I just love and use regularly within my kit.

Tropic Skincare

I love their Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier, which comes with a super soft and velvety bamboo face cloth. This is an ultra-luxurious cream cleanser, I tend to use this as a face mask on clients before prepping the skin for makeup. It effortlessly melts away any dirt or makeup. The ingredients are what make this product smell delicious (I am all about products that smell divine, as I love to leave my clients feeling truly luxurious and pampered and a beautiful fragrant scent often evokes this kind of emotion).

Skyn Iceland

The brands commitment to nature is unlike anything I’ve come across so far in the world of beauty. Skyn Iceland’s products are not only 100% vegan, the packaging is recyclable and their products are also free from petroleum, sulfates, mineral oils and paraben oil. I was on the hunt for a great vegan alternative to collagen eye masks, which are a product that I cannot live and use on all of my celebrity and bridal clients as they are a dark circle and skin saviour. I came across these Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels from Skyn Iceland which absolutely did the trick in reenergising the skin and helped to cool, de-puff and reduce premature wrinkles under the eyes.

Bare Minerals

I have always been a huge fan of Bare Minerals products right from the very start of my makeup career and even before,  I always used their Bare Serum foundation on myself. To create  my signature flawless, dewy, sculpted and highlighted base I very often use the BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer along with Pure Brightening Serum Foundation as they lock in moisture which is what creates that youthful complexion.


Becca Cosmetics do not claim that all of their products are vegan, however it just so happens that one of my all- time favourite highlighters BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Gold is in fact vegan. I love to create a gorgeous, golden goddess skin particularly on bridal clients because it’s just so flattering and you can really enhance and bring out someone’s best features with a pop of iridescent gold.


I use the HD Perfecting Powder in universal to set a makeup by focusing in  on the t-section and the bronze for contour and shadowing areas to add subtle definition in the hollows of the cheeks, eyelids, tip of the nose.

FENTY By Rihanna

Whilst not all the products in Rihanna’s beauty line are vegan, a variety of them are,  including one of my favourite lip glosses Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer which I love to use very minimally to create a luminous texture on the lip.

Delilah Cosmetics

It’s not just the products I use, but the tools I work with to apply the makeup are just as important when taking into consideration my vegan clients. My absolute favourite brushes are the Foundation Kabuki Complexion Brush which is a unique buffing brush made from synthetic fibres, but you would never know as it’s one of the softest brushes I own. It has a short handle so is great for creating an all over airbrush finish. Also the Concealer Blending Brush is a great partner in crime as it allows you to effortlessly blend concealer right around the eye area.

Many of these are, of course, established brands but I also love it when I discover a less well-known or new product that delivers what I require and am always on the lookout for new, innovative products that I can introduce to my clients.

Vegan FAQS

Are all brands that are cruelty-free vegan?

No, cruelty free is a brand that doesn’t test on animals and not all of my cruelty free makeup brands are also vegan. A 100% vegan brand cannot contain any animal derived products. Some of my clients like the reassurance of products being cruelty free and that’s enough, others want to ensure that they are totally vegan and cruelty free. It’s all down to the client.

Some cosmetics are ‘Made In China’, does this mean they are tested on animals?

No, many products made in China are not tested on animals and this is a common misconception.

Advice for finding your artist

  • Always look at their previous work to see that their style of makeup suits you
  • Check their previous experience, client testimonials and online presence
  • Don’t underestimate the value of a makeup artist and be prepared to invest for a good makeup artist

Words Olivia Todd

Photography Esme Ducker Photography

With thanks to Scarlett & Jay for sharing their beautiful wedding images.

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Olivia Todd is offering our readers 10% off bookings. Please mention COCO when enquiring.

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