Vegan makeup artists are unique and, for many, unheard of. But Jaineesha, with over 10,000 followers on Instagram, has paved her way into the industry, specifically targeting a South Asian audience.
Jaineesha is a vegan and cruelty-free, award-winning makeup artist, specialising in bridal makeup. She has been in the beauty industry for over ten years. Her cruelty-free beauty journey began in 2017 and she shifted to 100% plant-based work in 2018. She refreshed her brand by incorporating vegan makeup products into her kit.
A practising vegetarian her whole life, Jaineesha was inspired after her sister watched a Netflix documentary on veganism and ventured into a more plant-based lifestyle. She became more aware of what she applied to not only her own skin, but also that of her bridal clients. Her ethos is to be eco-friendly and sustainable to protect the planet and animals.
Vegan makeup artists are often overlooked within the beauty industry. Nevertheless, alongside growing environmental concerns, demand for their niche services is growing. Consumers are increasingly turning towards vegan beauty products to better their awareness credentials.
Jaineesha explains how she transitioned her equipment: “As I’d run out of something, I would check for cruelty-free products and I managed to change everything.” This process was a major epiphany, with Jaineesha questioning why she hadn’t transformed her kit sooner.
View this post on Instagram
As an artist specialising in bridal makeup, where photography on the day is certain, using high-quality makeup is vital for client satisfaction. A common misconception is that vegan or ethically sourced products are inferior to their mainstream counterparts.
Jaineesha says: “When I first started, I did have a lot of people that said, you don’t use MAC. For some clients, that was off-putting because that was the only company they knew about.”
In recent years there has been an increase in independent brands that are both vegan and cruelty-free. This has led Jaineesha to incorporate more education into consultations, with appointments becoming an opportunity to inform as well as plan. “I outline that I have been on a journey, why I made my choices and that has encouraged people to make new choices with their beauty products,” she says.
Holding a mirror up to the industry
Transitioning a kit can be a long process as it involves examining each product and its ingredients. Jaineesha used to contact brands who did not have clarity on their products. She explains: “Sometimes, you would ask for a certificate of proof and you wouldn’t hear anything from them.”
However, companies are pushing to revaluate their ingredients and transparency about what is being used to make products. This is then exposed to consumers, who then know what to avoid or which brands to support.
As she became self-employed in 2015, Jaineesha used Instagram as a portfolio. Now, she has transformed her social media platform into a community to raise awareness for vegan beauty products. As an artist, she promotes vegan alternatives over more popular non-vegan products. This resulted in enquiries targeting Jaineesha’s talents, with many reaching out saying, “I am emailing you because you are a vegan makeup artist.”
Community over competition
Although not fully dedicating her page to education and activism, Jaineesha has created a welcoming community. Here, people can follow her inspiring journey, sparking conversation and raising awareness. She says: “I get a lot of people asking for advice and silent followers have told me that they have changed what they are doing.”
View this post on Instagram
Ethics and expertise
Focusing on predominantly South Asian bridal makeup, Jaineesha is possibly one of the only vegan makeup artists specialising in that sphere. When it comes to bridal makeup, there is a tendency to opt for artists who use mainstream brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown. Such brands, who often test on animals and use animal-based ingredients, give bulk discounts to artists who buy their products. Jaineesha willingly invests her own money and pays full price for ethical vegan products.
Working with deeper skin tones, Jaineesha says it has been difficult to cater to her clients but she has managed, through thorough research: “It is difficult to get the colour right with vegan ingredients and they are a bit more expensive.”
For her clientele and colouring, she has found that brands such as Tarte, Cover FX and Lime Crime sell the highest-quality vegan products. She is working towards creating a kit full of vegan-only brands as more colour ranges become available within the community.
More than makeup alone
Jaineesha continues to expand her knowledge and implements it into different aspects of her life. Indian weddings are known to be extravagant, with a lot of plastic involved. However, while planning her sister’s wedding, it was important to her that biodegradable products were used. They also ensured minimal food waste and used eco-friendly decor.
View this post on Instagram
COVID-19 has increased plastic pollution but Jaineesha will stay true to her ethics during this time. Going back to work now, PPE is involved, so she has purchased washable masks, a visor and biodegradable gloves to avoid single-use plastic. She has also invested in a reusable boiler suit.
Jaineesha has learnt a lot during her journey. She continues educating herself and her followers as she discovers more in this niche community as well.
“Being eco-friendly and sustainable, you have to think different. And sometimes it takes a bit of time, but once you’ve figured it out, it is so easy. Once you get it, it becomes the only way of life,” she says.
Having obtained a large following on social media, Jaineesha has always stayed true to her beliefs. Raising awareness about cruelty-free beauty, while establishing her expertise as a vegan makeup artist has been as exciting as it is fulfilling. Converting to vegan products has allowed Jaineesha to progress her career and contribute to a valuable niche within the beauty industry. She says: “Making a small change can make a huge difference!”