To learn more about Kat Von D Beauty, we asked some insiders: Tara Buenrostro and Kelseyanna Fitzpatrick, two incredible vegan makeup artists who are a part of Kat Von D’s Artistry Collective. They chatted about working with Kat, Farm Sanctuary, and our June/July guest curator Skully Smith.
What inspired you to go vegan?
Kelsey: The day that changed my life forever was at Circle V, a vegan festival in LA, sitting on the ground listening to Gene Bauer (Farm Sanctuary), Kat Von D and Nathan Runkle (Mercy For Animals) speak about veganism. They are such powerful and positive vegan role models. They spoke to what was in my heart and made me feel like I CAN DO THIS, for the animals, the planet, and myself. My favorite quotes that motivate me every day are from Kat “Doing our best is the least we can do” and Mercy For Animals “Do what is right. Not what is easy”.
Tara: I can list a million reasons why going vegan is the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself, animals and the planet. In the beginning, making the transition myself was not easy. I was turning a blind-eye to the truths behind animal exploitation as well as consuming animal products. When I first became vegetarian, I made that decision because of my love for animals. I was vegetarian for about 2 years and eventually started feeling guilty about dairy and leather goods. One day I finally took the plunge and gathered the courage to keep my eyes open during Earthlings, a documentary that was rumored to be graphic but would be the necessary truth I needed to convert to veganism. The reality of what animals go through for fashion, entertainment, food and scientific research and how WE, the consumer, take a life that is not ours to take is and was absolutely heartbreaking. My friend, Kat Von D told me one time that, ‘Every dollar is a vote’ that has stuck with me every time I’m put in a situation that exploits animals. I’m proud to say that those things no longer have my vote, nor hold my interest. It’s true that every “dollar” counts, because every dollar not spent on those things saves lives. People always talk about how hard it would be for them to go vegan, and I used to be able to relate to that statement. But if they could open their eyes to the truth, they would see veganism as I do: “Vegan, that sh*t’s easy!”
Recommended Documentaries: Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy
What made Kat decide to reformulate the Kat Von D Beauty line to be vegan and cruelty-free?
Kelsey: Kat Von D Beauty has always been cruelty-free. Kat has been a passionate animal lover her whole life. She was not vegan when she started the line, but once she became vegan, she didn’t feel right producing non-vegan products. This inspired the reformulation, which Kat has worked so hard on! I agree when she says that true cruelty-free beauty is vegan.
Tara: Kat Von D Beauty was, is and has always been cruelty-free! Any and ALL Kat Von D Beauty products will never be tested on animals. The only way Kat will ever test products, is on herself! When Kat first created Kat Von D Beauty 10 years ago the line wasn’t completely vegan, nor was she. When Kat became vegan she wanted to practice what she preached and prove to the world that high quality products don’t need animal products. Even if it takes longer or costs more to find replacements, she would not stop until her line was is completely vegan. It’s inspiring to not only see Kat evolve and make changes to better the environment and save animals on a personal level, but also in her makeup line! It’s like the two are growing together. Being able to work for a brand that represents what CRUELTY-FREE is so rewarding.
We love that you support Farm Sanctuary like we do! What is it like volunteering at their sanctuaries?
Kelsey: I love Farm Sanctuary so much, I wish I could be there every week! The animals melt my heart. They are so sweet and the staff is so dedicated to them. We spend time playing but also work hard cleaning their barns, laying new hay, and helping rebuild the sanctuary. I learned about where each animal came from, their personalities, and the horrors of the animal agriculture industry. Although it is heartbreaking, their ability to forgive and love humans gives me the strength to stick up for them!
Tara: Volunteering at Farm Sanctuary was one of the most inspiring days of my life. Not just because of the animals, but because of the people who take the time out of their lives to save another. Loving these animals is so rewarding. The way these animals look at you will melt any heart.
What is your favorite vegan restaurant?
Kelsey: In my hometown, Vancouver BC, my favorite is Virtuous Pie (pizza)!
Tara: CROSSROADS in Los Angeles! Holy Mackerel! The first time Kat took me there I couldn’t believe the entire menu was vegan. It was the best food I had ever tried. The Crossroads Impossible Burger and Kale Salad is mouth-watering and unbelievably delicious!
Three words to describe yourself.
Tara: Compassionate, Hard Working, Creative
How do you stay balanced in your life?
Kelsey: I wouldn’t say I have a particularly balanced life, but, I try to stay focused on what is really important to me, instead of forced obligations. I give myself breaks, and try to make time for a few people I love.
Tara: My husband, my dog, and COFFEE keep my feet on the ground. I am nothing without them! As for my diet, I do not miss dairy or meat at all. To stay balanced when being vegan I recommend stop making excuses and comparisons, truly educate yourself, embrace the changes and stay motivated!
What is your daily morning routine?
Kelsey: I start with my skincare routine using Luminance Skincare, listen to music and play with my dog Loki!
Tara: I can honestly say I don’t have an exact routine besides saying a prayer, brushing my teeth and feeding my dog! Every morning is different with my husband’s job, as well as the amount of traveling I do with the Kat Von D Beauty Artistry Collective. I at some point try to find or make myself an iced coffee with a splash of coconut milk, and eat some sort of cereal or on-the-go vegan coconut cookies from Starbucks! They’re delicious!
You are friends with our guest curator Skully Smith. What’s your favorite thing about her?
Kelsey: I have never met Skully myself, but she is close with my friends. I love that she is a passionate vegan.
Tara: I met Skully through my friend Leah and started following her on social media years ago. When I was becoming interested in veganism, I reached out to her many times with questions. She was always so nice and helpful in her responses. In following Skully and watching her posts about animal cruelty, I found myself inspired to educate myself on the truths. I can honestly say Skully inspired me initially to make the transition from eating meat, to becoming vegetarian. She posted about a documentary called COWSPIRICY and that was truly the start of my road to becoming vegan. I love Skully because she has always been so helpful and her compassion for animals shines – THANK YOU SKULLY!