Vegan Makeup Brands: Hourglass Cosmetics

February 2, 2015
Vegan Makeup Brands: Hourglass Cosmetics

It would be cruel if packaging this gorgeous didn’t deliver…

In a moment of highly unusual vanity, I recently had a “custom makeover” at my local Sephora. It wasn’t that it was expensive–I got mine free with my VIB status, and normally they are free with a $50 purchase (who knew?)–but it did force me to pay attention to myself in a way I’m not normally inclined to. For 45 minutes, a lovely woman named Sparkle was entirely focused on making me look good . . . I felt a bit like this:

My narcissistic guilt vanished, though, once Sparkle introduced me to a phenomenal find: a luxury vegan makeup line called Hourglass. I’d gone in worrying that I’d be coaxed into buying products with lots of unnatural ingredients, but instead I came out with a new-found appreciation of how far the beauty industry has come: no longer is the eco-conscious girl forced to find makeup that was made in someone’s kitchen and sold at a farm stand or on Etsy (though those are great, too!).

Hourglass Cosmetics was founded 10 years ago by Carisa James, who was acting upon the very problem stated above. Since then, the brand has expanded from being sold exclusively in Barney’s to more mainstream stores, such as Sephora and Net-a-Porter.

So what’s great about Hourglass that one can’t find from smaller vegan beauty brands? Complementing the ultra-chic packaging, the products are designed to give illumination “from within.” You’ve probably heard this marketing phrase before, but this time I swear, Dumplings, it’s true. Ask PD co-founder Juhea Kim: when I saw her soon after the makeover, she told me I was “glowing” before I launched into the story of how I got that way.

I’m excited to try their whole line of products, but for now I’m enjoying complexion enhancing products per Sparkle’s recommendations. I replenished my supply of tinted moisturizer with the Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint in “warm ivory,” which has the perfect balance of coverage, moisture, and, yes, inner glowiness. The consistency is light, almost whipped, making it easy to apply with fingers or a brush.


Illusion Skin Tint in Warm Ivory, $55 You won’t need a filter on your camera phone anymore.


Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting blush in “diffused heat” got me to overcome my life-long aversion to all blush (those with dance recitals in our pasts might empathize). Instead of giving me the complexion of Mrs. Claus getting ready for her solo at the Met, this blush made me look like everyone says blush should: naturally flushed. Alive. I have a small cheek area, so I apply it with a fan brush to get the placement just right–a small C just above the cheekbone, extending from the temple to just below the center of my pupil.

The results, I think, speak for themselves.


After: “oh she glows…”


Before: dull, puffy, tired…












Are you ready to bring out your inner glow? Check out Hourglass during your next make-up run, and you won’t regret it.

More vegan makeup brands to check out:

Vegan, Cruelty-free Dupes for Allure’s Best of 2014 

15 Vegan Makeup Bag Essentials

Also by Jennifer: How to Personalize Your “Me Time”


Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla,

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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