046 VWPA Vegan Gift Guide for 2015
Stumped on what to buy the special vegan in your life? Want to give your loved ones vegan gifts they’ll love? Looking for something special to buy yourself? We gotcha covered! The princesses discuss their recommended vegan gifts for 2015!
In This Episode
Callie and Nichole have compiled all of their top vegan gift recommendations, broken into category. These gifts span a wide range of price levels and interests. While some will be good specifically for vegans, most are just great gifts that anybody would love – making them perfect for buying gifts for non-vegans that you can feel good about.
From luxurious to practical, please enjoy our gift recommendations!
Makeup & Beauty
- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar
- Red Apple Lipstick
Lip Tar and Lip Tar RTW are highly pigmented, liquid lipsticks, designed for make up artists. They come in a wide range of gorgeous and unique colors that last all day.
Lip Tar has semi-staining properties, so even as they wear off, you will still have color until you remove it. This is the product you buy if you want an all day lipstick or you want a crazy color like navy blue with sparkles, or a hot neon pink (which is Nichole’s favorite shade, called ‘Anime’), though they do have several everyday shades that you could wear to work.
Red Apple Lipsticks are beautiful, smooth and easy to apply. All products are vegan and gluten-free. They sell lip brushes, exfoliating sticks, and an amazing lip balm, all to help you achieve the perfect lip. Their colors aren’t as crazy as Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, but the lipstick is easier to apply for people who aren’t super experienced, and they do have really fun colors, Hollypeno (bright true red) and Coral Crush are two of my favorites.
The colors are much easier for everyday or corporate environments, great lipsticks to have in your purse.
Red Apple Lipstick provides a ton of information to it’s customers on how to apply lipsticks properly, which is awesome because Nichole learned she was doing it wrong and now can apply lipstick like a pro!
- 100% Fruit Pigmented Pure Mascara (Black Tea Color)
100% Pure is an organic, vegan, gluten-free makeup and beauty company that bases it’s beauty products on antioxidants and natural ingredients. They use cruelty-free honey in some products, but not in their mascara, so if your giftee avoids all honey, be on the lookout in the ingredients.
Their black tea fruit pigmented mascara is Nichole’s favorite mascara ever. It separates, lengthens and defines each lash. This mascara does NOT thicken! This is for people who want to define their lashes without adding bulk.
Lotion / Body Wash / Scented Items
Pacifica products are vegan and cruelty-free. They have lotions, body washes and perfumes, as well as gift sets, makeup and skincare.
Callie is obsessed with their body lotion! It’s amazing for dry skin and comes in wonderful scents, Tahitian Gardenia being her absolute favorite.
They have the same scents across different products, which means you can build nice gift sets that include a body wash, lotion and perfume, all in the same set so your giftee can layer scents and feel totally pampered.
Face / Hair / Body / Beauty
- LUSH Cosmetics
We love LUSH! They are very active in fighting animal testing, they do live demonstrations to show the horrors of it and advertise it on all of their packaging. Additionally, LUSH is very eco-conscious, their products come packaging-free when possible, and in recycled plastic pots when not. They offer rewards for people to bring the pots back so they can continue to reuse them. They have a knot wrap option for their gift sets, which is a beautiful square scarf that can be worn or regifted in place of a gift box.
LUSH is not a vegan company but they have many vegan products that are marked vegan very clearly
Nichole recommends the Big Salt Shampoo for anyone, and the Veganese Conditioner is great for people with fine hair. She also loves Herbalism and the Tea Tree Toner for oily/acne prone skin. And their awesome gift boxes are not to be overlooked!
LUSH has products for EVERYONE – they offer a men’s line, most products are gender neutral, and they have products for everything from acne prone skin to mature skin, and a wide range of products, from deodorant to perfume to skincare to haircare.
They specialize in gift boxes that are gorgeous, fun and totally indulgent. They have several pre-made sets to choose from that come in stunning boxes. Their bath bombs are what they’re famous for, so if you have someone who loves baths, that would be a great gift. You can create custom gift boxes as well, and you can create gift sets that come in knot wraps (scarves) that are totally reusable if you (or the giftee) are eco-conscious.
Clothes & Jewelry
- Vaute Couture
- Think Positive Apparel
- VeganStore.com and Herbivore Clothing
- Pollen Nation
- Matt & Nat
Vaute Couture is a dream. High-end fashion for vegans, it is not for the faint of pocketbook, though they do have casual tees, tanks and hoodies with vegan messaging or cool graphic designs that are fairly affordable ($25-80 range). On the pricier end, they have coats, dresses, button down shirts, and extremely stylish hats.
They are known for their AMAZING vegan coats – check out this Angela Swing Coat – so fucking adorbs! It’s ‘on sale’ for $425. Like I said, not cheap, but high-fashion never is!
They have coats and apparel for both men and women, although their men’s line is much smaller than the women’s.
They also offer a small range of fashion jewelry, which is very affordable and very cool. Their “V” necklace is one of Nichole’s all-time favorite pieces of jewelry.
Note: Tanks and tees run small, we assume the rest of their clothes do too. Order a size up or contact them before placing an order if you’re not sure of the right size.
Think Positive has t-shirts, tank tops, long sleeves for men and women with creative designs made entirely of positive affirmations. Perfect for the peace-loving hippie, vegan or yogi in your life!
Funny and cute vegan tees, bags and stickers (things that don’t exist: unicorns, tooth fairy, humane meat)
Men and women’s clothing available
Herbivore also has belts, wallets, and other accessories for an affordable price
Pollen Nation is a brand new company of designers and screen printers inspired by the grassroots bee-keeping and conservation movements. Their apparel is organic, US made, and always hand-printed, and a portion of every sale is donated to The Xerces Society, an organization focused on insect conservation.
Callie’s favorite item is their Pollen Nation triblend hoodie. Their items are unisex for the most part, and very affordable for the quality, although the line is small right now, it shows a lot of promise.
Lulu’s only offers apparel for women. Though they offer clothes, Nichole loves them for shoes because they have an entire vegan category that you can filter by. The shoes are super cute and affordable, making this an accessible gift for anyone. Nichole has her greedy eyes on a pair of faux-suede booties right now!
One caveat: read reviews! Nichole has ordered a lot of shoes and returned a lot because they didn’t fit well (usually too small), which could have been avoided if she had taken the reviews seriously. Good news is that Lulu’s has a great return policy – free returns within 10 days, 30 days with shipping – which is so important with online shopping.
Bags & Accessories
Matt & Nat is well known in the vegan community for stunning handbags and accessories. They have bags and backpacks for men and women, and also offer wallets and Apple accessories (like iPad covers). They offer handbags of every conceivable style, in many chic colors, made of gorgeous, high-quality faux leather. Their bags have a classic style, so they will never be out of fashion, making them a signature piece and a staple at the same time.
Their products are beautiful and very well made, and as such are expensive (although, they are actually quite reasonably priced compared to their leather counterparts). Perfect for the person with refined taste.
- Manduka PRO Mat
The Manduke Black PRO is the ultimate in yoga mats. It has a lifetime guarantee, and is made via a zero waste, sustainable, emissions-free material production process. They have a long version, for tall yogis. The mat is dense, providing good joint support without being too cushion-y for balance.
The PRO Mat is also excellent, it’s the same as the Black Mat PRO, just in really fun colors. Nichole has seen the pink and the bright blue in person and verifies that they are stunning. She’s had the pink PRO Mat on her wishlist all year!
The mat does take a few uses to get sticky but once it is it provides excellent slip-prevention. The process can be expedited with a sea salt scrub, which Manduka provides instructions for with the mat and on their website.
– $108-134, offered in 85” length (a little over 7’ long)
- Vegan Cuts
Vegan Cuts is the shit. They have awesome premade boxes that can be delivered once, or you can buy a subscription for a set amount on monthly deliveries. They off a snack box and a beauty box. The Beauty Box for this month has 100% Pure liquid eyeliner worth $28! This would be a FANTASTIC box to get for the makeup and beauty lover in your life, that eyeliner is amazing and more than pays for the whole box.
Beyond the monthly box subscriptions, they also have specialty boxes that you can order as a one-off, if beauty or snacks aren’t your recipient’s thing. They offer an athlete box, a style box, a yoga box, etc. It would be impossible to not find something for almost anybody on your list here.
Above and beyond all this, they also offer stocking stuffer sets, which is such a cute idea. They’ve curated small items that could fit into a stocking, and categorized them by theme, making it easy to buy all your stocking stuffers in one swoop. They have a fashion stocking, a chocolate stuffing (ugh, yes please!), a men’s stocking, and much much more.
Vegan Cuts offers tons of options for different budgets and recipients, making it the perfect place to go if you’re stumped!
Driftwood is a different kind of magazine, focused on vegan travel and stories from around the world. It was created with the vision of inspiring and connecting us as a global vegan community, showing what vegans are doing around the world and being a beacon for what is possible.
– Annual subscription options: $50 for print, $17 for digital, $60 for both
We recommend the print version, as it is beautifully crafted and meant to be a keepsake. Callie has had many coworkers stop by her desk to look at Driftwood when she has it out, they are drawn in by how beautiful and well-made it is.
Laika (pronounced ‘like-ah’) magazine is a high-end version of VegNews. As they describe themselves, Laika is a “modern guide to vegan living” and a “quarterly vegan lifestyle magazine.” They cover fashion, recipes, travel, activism in a beautiful and cool, modern style.
– Annual subscription options: $32 for print, $20 for digital, $50 for both
As with most indie mags (including VegNews), Laika had some funding issues so has been out of commission for the last six months, but I spoke with them and they are totally on track for 2016, the next edition is set to publish in January. They were able to get funded through Kickstarter to take Laika into the mainstream.
Food & Kitchen
- Miyoko’s Cheese
I mean, come on. Miyoko’s artisan vegan cheese? Hell yes! We are obsessed with Miyoko’s cheese, which comes in a wide variety of flavors packaged in beautiful boxes. Every wheel of cheese feels special. This is the kind of cheese you’d want out for a holiday party. From soft and mild to sharp and dense, Miyoko has a cheese for every taste. Callie loves the Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, Nichole adores the High Sierra Rustic Alpine and the French Style Winter Truffle, and everyone loves the Double Cream Chive and Double Cream Garlic Herb (try them in a baked potato!).
Miyoko’s cheese is guaranteed to thrill and delight any vegan, and it will impress and surprise any omnivore. A surefire win!
Since kitchen equipment prices and capacities vary so greatly, we recommend researching in your price range on Amazon for the following recommendations (except for the blender, which we did end up making a specific brand recommendation for). Amazon will allow you to see ratings and read reviews to make the best choice for the giftee’s kitchen space, cooking needs, and for your budget.
Our favorite pieces of kitchen equipment that would make amazing gifts are:
- Food processor
- Rice cooker
- Slow cooker
These are appliances that could benefit any home, except the dehydrator, which is only for raw foodists or people who really love creating their own things from scratch (think almond flour, dried herbs, crackers, fruit leathers, kale chips, dried fruit, etc.)
- Oster Versa 1400 Watt Performance Blender
The Oster Versa 1400 Watt blender is comparable to Blendtec and Vitamix for a fraction of the price ($300 retail but on sale on Amazon for $145-170). Nichole has had a Blendtec in the past and now has the Oster Versa and loves it. A blender is a must have for a vegan or anyone who enjoys cooking and wants to eat healthy. From smoothies to sauces to soups, this blender is a miracle.
- Oh She Glows Cookbook
- The Native Foods Restaurant CookBook
The Oh She Glows cookbook is the most legendary cookbook in our group of friends. Everyone loves it, the food is amazing, the book is beautiful, and the recipes are healthy and easy to follow. If you were to only ever own one vegan cookbook in your life, this should be the one.
For more indulgent recipes that aim to mock old omnivore textures and flavors, the Native Foods cookbook is the right choice. Accessible recipes guide you through using tofu, seitan and tempeh to replicate the textures of meat and create satisfying dishes that anyone would love. They also offer enticing dessert recipes, like vegan cheesecake and elephant chocolate cake with peanut butter topping.
- Zero Waste Toolkit by Zero Waste Guy
This toolkit is so freaking cool, Nichole is dying to get one! The Zero Waste Toolkit is designed to help anybody get started with creating less waste.
Included in the kit:
– 1 Reusable cotton tote bag (to replace paper/plastic shopping bags)
– 1 Steel pint cup, good for hot or cold liquid
– 1 Cozie (koozee) for steel cup made by ReFleece (made from recovered, upcycled wool/fleece mixed with recycled PET fiber)
– 1 Titanium spork
– 1 Pair of steel chopsticks (Nichole’s favorite part! That girl loves a chopstick!)
– 5 steel drinking straws
– 4 Cloth bean/nut/grain bags (for buying items from the bulk aisle in the grocery store, reducing plastic bag use)
– 1 Cloth napkin/handkerchief
– 1 24 ounce aluminum water bottle
All of this for $88.99 + $5.00 shipping! A great deal and the perfect kit for someone who is environmentally conscious.
- Vegan Essentials
- Any place we’ve mentioned, obvi! All of the places and companies listed above would also be great for gift cards.
Both Nichole and Callie love Vitacost. They offer food, vitamins/supplements and beauty products. They have low prices and great shipping, and loads of customer reviews so you can find the right products for you.
Best of all, they let you filter products by vegan, gluten-free, etc. so it makes shopping for vegan items that are hard to find, like vegan D3 or vegan probiotics, super easy.
Vegan Essentials has, well, all the vegan essentials! Food, beauty products, clothing, shoes, you name it, they got it. They are known for getting new vegan products first, so they have all the latest and greatest products that veganism has to offer, like Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg!
A gift card for Vegan Essentials would be great for people who don’t live around stores that carry vegan items, so they can stock up on fun items that they can’t find locally.
Links and Information
- Melissa McCarthy Debuts Vegan Holiday Line (VegNews)
- FDA Approves GMO Salmon (Business Insider)
- U.S. Clears Genetically Modified Salmon for Human Consumption (Reuters)