7-Eleven has often been a go-to for teenagers in need of a sugar fix or a questionable snack kept warm under hot lamps. In fact, convenience stores are outpacing delivery chains in terms of pizza consumption; while 350 slices of pizza are eaten in the U.S. every second, consumers bought 20% more servings of pizza from convenience stores from 2014 to 2015, while carry-out chains struggled to turn a profit. But now, convenience stores are for far more than serviceable coffee or a sour slush drink. That’s right: they’re now carrying makeup — and it’s vegan.
Last fall, 7-Eleven surprised consumers all across the nation when it launched its own brand of cosmetics. Simply Me Beauty was affordable, accessible, and versatile, with 40 different products geared towards the millennial glamour girl on-the-go. Considering that the beauty and personal care industry represents $400 billion worldwide, you can’t blame 7-Eleven for wanting to get in on the game. They brought out eyeshadow palettes, concealers, highlighters, bronzers, beauty blending sponges, and even false eyelashes.
The move surprised some, but 7-Eleven’s decision to step up and compete with drug store offerings might have paid off. Some products were hit-or-miss, but many media outlets and social influencers who put the cosmetics to the test applauded the company for offering affordable items that work well in case of emergencies.
In the minds of many consumers, 7-Eleven’s line of makeup is even better because it’s cruelty-free. The ability to offer vegan products (i.e., not tested on animals) for $5 or less is pretty astounding, but it represents a growing trend in the industry. ColourPop, an affordable and cruelty-free makeup brand with a cult following, finally launched in Ulta stores last month. The company’s founder believes that cruelty free products “should be for the privileged,” which reflects ColourPop’s mission to make high-quality, responsible beauty affordable to the masses.
It’s fortunate that vegan beauty brands are being carried by well-known retailers. But you can actually purchase cruelty-free makeup and skincare products and support black-owned brands at the same time. Shea Moisture products are mostly vegan (be sure to read the ingredients list if you want to avoid honey), while Plant Apothecary uses healthy, environmentally friendly ingredients (they also partner with a non-profit that works with adults with physical and mental disabilities). Melissa Butler’s The Lip Bar products, which are now available in Target stores nationwide, contain moisturizing ingredients and are all cruelty free. Blac Minerals Cosmetics offers natural, cruelty-free products that contain no harmful chemicals, while the kitschy and adorable Beauty Bakerie manages to be oh-so-sweet in concepts and to animals. There are even more black-owned, cruelty-free beauty brands to support, as long as you know to look for them.
With all the money men and women spend on beauty in the U.S., it’s a good thing that brands are catering to consumers’ needs for vegan makeup. Of course, consumers need to do their due diligence and research prior to buying if these causes are ones they care about. Remember: your coin is powerful, and you can use it to send a message.