Kat Von D is opening up on her decision to transition her eponymous makeup line to all vegan. The tattoo artist, reality TV star and entrepreneur reveals in a new interview why she’s making the switch.

Kat Von D

Photo: Kat Von D
Credit: PR Photos

Kat Von D graces the cover of Laika, a vegan lifestyle magazine and is featured in numerous photos alongside farm animals (below) in its Unity issue. In a wide-ranging interview, she opens up about what veganism means to her both personally and now, in her professional life and her business.

According to Glamour, she told the publication, “It wasn’t until last year that I was like, ‘What the f*** am I waiting for?’”

She went on to say, “I have a platform, and this, to me, is the No. 1 most important issue on this planet.”

She reflected upon her own journey, telling the magazine, “When I launched [the line,] I was not sober; I was not vegan yet. So I had no idea about ingredients in formulation.” Continuing, she said, “I would always think it was funny when brands would be like, ‘Oh, we’re vegan.’ Yeah, well, you don’t eat lipstick. [I was] super ignorant, you know?”

But times have changed and not just for Kat Von D. As for what that means in practical terms, Yahoo! Beauty notes that she explained, ““We have been reformulating anything that had carmine in the past, and if we can’t reformulate, we just throw them out.” Further underscoring her commitment, she added, “I can live without a purple eye shadow — it’s fine.”

The carmine she speaks of is a coloring agent that’s derived from dried, crushed female cochineal insects. That’s just one of many such hidden animal products in cosmetics.

Her makeup long previously went cruelty free, i.e. no animal testing, and now this is yet another step that’s winning accolades in vegan circles. And we can’t overlook the impact on the cosmetic world overall. When celebrities step forward, and bring to mind how pervasive the use of animal products — whether for food, clothing or cosmetics — it is waking up the mainstream from the malaise. Those leather shoes, after all, did not grow on trees. That hide once belonged to a living creature. Not to mention what that steak was before it was charbroiled on a grill or wound up in someone’s backyard barbecue party.

As for the makeup world, along with the aforementioned carmine, there are the old standbys such as beeswax, which obviously is from the bees. And there’s also lanolin from sheep and gelatin from animal bones And the list goes on.

Her latest collection launched is all vegan; it’s Egyptian-themed Serpentina palette — you can see a photo below. Yahoo! Beauty reports that once her full line goes vegan it will mark the largest such all-vegan collection in existence. Yes, the times are changing, indeed and Kate is right at the forefront as a trailblazer.