Vegan Style Profile: Áine Carlin
After scouring the country for people who combine chic with compassion, we’ve just crowned the lovely Áine Carlin our Most Stylish Vegan of 2015!
This elegant lady’s knowledge of cruelty-free fashion and beauty and her classy, retro style made her the obvious choice for the title. Our new muse is also the author of the cookbook Keep It Vegan. If she’s not stunning us with her looks and style, she’s dazzling us with her meat-free recipes! Check out some of Áine’s fashion secrets:
I would describe my style as casual with a retro twist. Most of my clothing consists of basics (tees, jeans, cardis, etc) with a smattering of second-hand pieces, including a few day dresses that are staples come summertime. My favourite fabrics are cotton and linen, but because I always need a knit on hand, I do wear synthetic materials such as acrylic.
Where I Shop
Thankfully, all my vintage finds are polyester or viscose, so shopping for retro clothing has never been an issue. … I often shop online, particularly with ASOS, who have so many vegan options when it comes to knitwear and even shoes. New Look, too, is great for footwear, and Topshop is my first port of call if I need a new pair of jeans – I’m seriously loving (and living in) my high-waisted black Binx jeans right now, as they go with everything!
Having spent a little time working in the fashion industry, the styles I was drawn to most were the timeless ones – real fashionistas don’t care what’s “in” and what’s not. I think being stylish is more about being comfortable in your own skin – it’s not just about the clothes but also how you wear them.
If money were no object, I’d buy only organic cotton and shop as sustainably as possible, especially as there are so many incredible vegan brands on the market now. I simply adore Matt&Nat bags (I have a baby-blue purse, which I stroke an inordinate amount), and I’m determined to get my hands on a pair of Nicora Johns if it’s the last thing I do. … I think my sustainable fashion contribution mainly comes in the form of my second-hand obsession – I’m happiest browsing the endless charity shops in my local town, plus it means less waste on the clothing front.
My Style Inspiration
I often take inspiration from designers and then try and recreate the look on a smaller budget – and without using animal-based materials. Designers such as Margaret Howell really inspire me because I think I’m a bit of a tomboy at heart. I also look to movies for ideas – anything from Rosemary’s Baby (Mia Farrow wears a wondrous wardrobe in this film) through to Love Story and Jaws – a bit random, I know, but I’m in love with ’70s silhouettes, and I have a massive thing for headscarves …
Vegan Beauty Tips
Superdrug products are great. It is such a joy to shop there because absolutely everything in their own range is labelled. I also regularly use Weleda, Lavera and Green People products, which are all magnificent. I’m also very lucky to live in a town that has its very own (almost entirely) vegan beauty company. Pure Nuff Stuff in Penzance only uses natural ingredients, and everything is made locally – the staff are super-knowledgeable, too …
I have a bit of a penchant for the Soap & Glory range, and whilst it’s not all vegan, there’s still plenty to choose from – my current fave is their Face Soap and Clarity facial wash. Of course, where would we be without LUSH? They totally rock, and my lips would definitely be in a sorry state if it weren’t for their awesome scrubs.
ELF and Barry M are great, and even though not all their products are vegan, they kindly label everything on their sites so it’s easy to differentiate. Again, trusty old Superdrug have come up trumps with their own brand make-up that is both wonderful (I particularly like their eyebrow kit and pressed powder) and perfectly priced. Beauty Without Cruelty is a fabulous vegan make-up brand that I also frequently use, and I’m eager to get my mitts on anything from the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) range, which is also 100 per cent vegan.
Vegan Hair Care
My bob is my signature look for sure, but I don’t really do much to keep it in check. I’ll use an organic shampoo (Suma’s Grapefruit & Aloe Vera is lovely) and spritz it with my coconut OCC shine spray from RoCo in Derry. Other than that, I just blow-dry, brush and go.
Dressing compassionately has never been so easy, thanks to all the accessible, clearly labelled animal-free items popping up in stores even on the high street. Visit Ainé’s blog for more of her vegan style and food tips.