Whether you're a committed vegan or want to discover more natural products, there's now a wealth of plant-powered beauty brands to choose from. Katie Wright rounds up her pick of the best.

Veganism has seen a huge surge over the last 10 years, with nearly 550,000 people now saying they follow a dairy and meat-free diet, compared with 150,000 in 2006, according to The Vegan Society.

Powered by (what else?) social media and the 'clean eating' movement, more young people are ditching animal products (67% of vegans are under 34), and that includes cosmetics.

But even if you scour ingredients lists, it can be hard to know what's safe and what's not.

Beeswax and honey, for instance, are obviously creature-derived, but did you know collagen and retinol often are too?

The good news is, there are now heaps of vegan brands and products that are just as effective as their mainstream counterparts.

These are the vegan-friendly buys you can rely on...


New from award-winning hair salon Gielly Green comes the Boutique Collection, a range of paraben and fragrance-free vegan products, including the nourishing Repair Shampoo, £19, which uses seabuckthorn oil and dead sea minerals, and the Argan Ultime, £31, a 100% argan oil treatment for hair and body (www.giellygreen.co.uk).


Botanical brand Arbonne's latest launch is the antioxidant-packed Arbonne Intelligence Nourishing Facial Oil, £59, which can be used like a serum to boost your moisturising routine. The brand is also well-known for its high-quality vegan make-up. Try the new It's All In The Eyes Shadow Duos, £32 each, for long-lasting everyday shades (www.arbonne.com).


Cult make-up fave Illamasqua has recently received PETA accreditation and stocks more than 300 vegan products, including their bestselling Skin Base Foundation, £32.50, and Precision Gel Liner in Infinity, £20 (www.illamasqua.com).


Original Source's new creamy shower milks are made with non-dairy alternatives like coconut, almond and bamboo milk, meaning they're all vegan certified. Try the fruity Cherry & Almond Milk Moisturising Shower Milk, £2.29 (www.superdrug.com).


Dr Howard Murad brings decades of dermatology expertise to his eponymous brand, using natural and vegan products wherever possible. His innovative new Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence, £59.50, utilises Mexican blue agave leaf to help the skin retain moisture, plus a blend of plumping watermelon, apple and lentil extracts (www.murad.co.uk).


Small but perfectly formed, Skincere is a 100% natural range of five skincare products that are soya, wheat, gluten, dairy and nut free. Ideal for sensitive skin, the Cream Cleanser, £19.99, gently removes make-up, while the coconut oil contained within it soothes and hydrates (www.hollandandbarrett.com).


Founded in Germany, Lavera has been making natural cosmetics for nearly 30 years, growing to encompass a huge range of organic and vegan skincare, hair, make-up, bath and body products. This summer a new suncare range was launched, including the delightfully cooling, aloe vera-packed Organic After Sun Lotion, £8.90 (Pravera.co.uk).


The Body Shop, known for its planet-friendly approach, has a new range of face masks, all of which are vegetarian, plus the Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Mask, £15, is vegan, and uses the vitamin C-rich Brazilian acai fruit to revitalize your complexion (available August 16; www.thebodyshop.co.uk).


There are quite a few vegan-friendly hair dyes out there, but a lot of them tend to feature really bright rainbow colours. For a wide range of more natural shades, you can't beat Tints of Nature, which makes more than 30 permanent dyes from platinum blonde to black. Tints Of Nature Soft Copper Blonde Permanent Hair Colour, £9.95 (www.tintsofnature.com)


Formulated to remedy dry skin and scalp, the Barefoot SOS range on Escentual.com comprises moisturisers, haircare, oils and rich rescue creams. For a daily dose of vegan hydration, try the Repair + Renew Light Moisturising Lotion, £21 (www.escentual.com).


Available in salons and at home, Norvell 360 Sunless Eco-Mist, £34.99, is an organic tanning spray that delivers a golden glow without harming the environment (www.norvelltanning.co.uk).


:: Celebs rave about IV vitamin drips for their energy and complexion-boosting effects, but do they really work? Katie Wright finds out...

"I'm not a huge fan of needles (who is?), but sitting in a private room inside the plush Harvey Nichols beauty hall, I'm totally relaxed, and only feel the tiniest sting as the needle is inserted into my arm and taped into place. First, a hydrating saline drip is hooked up, then the 'Fitamin' bag is connected, the chilled yellow blend of vitamins feeling cool as it flows into my bloodstream, followed by another dose of saline. The whole thing lasts about 40 minutes and the effect is noticeable immediately - I feel full of energy for the rest of the day rather than my usual evening slump, and my skin perks up over the next couple of days too, with a few spots I had clearing up faster than usual. It's an expensive treat, but as an alternative to a facial before a big event, I'd highly recommend this surprisingly relaxing pick-me-up."

:: Nosh infusions start from £122 and are available at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge (www.harveynichols.com) or at home via www.noshdetox.com


New and exclusive to Selfridges, cult Korean brand Too Cool For School is the cutest thing to hit beauty counters in ages, thanks to its tartan packaging and little cartoon dinosaurs - and the products are just as good. Lift your lashes to skyscraper heights with the Dinoplatz Escalator Mascara, £19, or perk up your cheeks with the Check Cake Blusher in Rose, £18 (www.selfridges.com).



Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of skincare brands, products and ranges on the market? The new Beautiful You service from Boots might help, then. A bit like a personal shopper for your face, a trained 'Beauty Insider' will analyse your skin's sebum, hydration, wrinkles and pigmentation and give impartial advice on the best products to suit your needs. Appointments are free and can be booked online or in store. For more info, visit www.boots.com/BeautifulYou


It's gone from niche newbie to mainstream must-have: sales of coconut oil have risen from £1 million to £16 million over the last three years, and now Asda has launched the cheapest extra virgin one on the market: Asda 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is just £2.35 a jar, so you can stock up for all your mascara-removing, frizz-fighting, cuticle-softening needs (www.asda.com).