As a woman of these modern times, I like to think of myself as a complex, multi layered being full of contradictions.
I am feminine and a tom boy.
I am sensitive and analytical.
I am emotional and part robot.
I am fierce and afraid of heights.
I am the oncoming storm… no, wait. Thats Doctor Who.
Like most people (all people?), although I can embody all kinds of opposites, my core foundation is constant and unwavering. An example: I have always loved animals. Sure, some make me break out in hives or make my nose bleed, but I have always adored them. Even as a small child, my parents lived in constant fear that I would just up and walk away with some rando with a dog in a park.
When I turned 10, I put two and two together and realized that I was eating these animals that I loved so much. I couldn’t have that, so I decided on my own to give it up. I have been a vegetarian for more than half my life, now. Twenty seven years, to be exact.
Slowly, I began to eschew other animal products as well. I found purse and accessory lines I love that are 100% vegan (hello jeaneandjax.com!!) and I regularly hunt for non-leather shoes. Thankfully I am a casual, Toms kid of gal, although the market is full of cute, comfy canvas flats now. Happily, I’ve never had the body shape to need a belt, so that was a non-issue.
My makeup bag, however, was a whole other story. So, heres the thing about me you need to know: I love makeup. Like, I LOVE makeup. Most of my budget goes to adding to my already ridiculous heap of products. From correctors, to concealers, finishing powders to eyeliner (Oh Lord, the eyeliner) and lipstick, I want it all. I don’t actually wear all of it - but I’m not sure thats a relevant fact.
What I discovered, however, is that the makeup I used was decidedly NOT animal friendly. Cosmetic companies love testing on animals, even though there are other tried and tested alternatives.
Thus began my search for cruelty free makeup.
You guys, what treasures I found! Thanks to my conscious push away from the usual (animal tested) suspects, I found amazing brands that I might not have otherwise given a second look. Heres what’s in my makeup bag now:
NYX - ok, so part of being an entrepreneur means that you’re going to be poor for long periods of time. Its not pretty or glamorous or much fun, but it is what it is. NYX is my ultimate pharmacy fav because the product quality and shades are out of this world. I'm obsessed with the finishing powder and the concealer, which is just the right amount of thick. Prices are just… fab.
Tarte - I make a beeline for Tarte as soon as I walk into a store. This year as my birthday gift from Sephora, I got a tiny Tarte gift set which included the BEST BEST blush I’ve ever used. Its light pink and delicate and confusingly flattering on my summer tanned face. They also carry the holy grail of lip paints… try TBT. I would drink it if I could.
ColourPop - My new discovery this year was ColourPop. They have great quality lipstick and liners from $4 to $6 (USD) and even blush and eyeliners! Its online only - in my area, anyways - but that doesn’t matter to me at all. At this price, I am able to test colours and not feel bad about giving them away to friends if they don’t suit me. They do swatch every colour on different skin tones, though, which is a great help. Two thumbs up 😃
Marc Jacobs - Last year’s Sephora birthday gift was a mini MJ eyeliner pencil. I fell in love instantly. Its true black, soft enough and stays on for the whole day. I love it and have already repurchased it twice. I just can’t get enough.
(Off topic - lets just take a minute to reflect on the sheer genius of the Sephora birthday gift campaign. Its a great way to test out products and the mini sizes are just so cute. I’m beginning to think that somewhere out there in corporate America, there is a marketing person dreaming about customers like me).
Smashbox - Back to eyeliner. I love eyeliner. Any kind, really - pencil, felt, pot/brush… I just LOVE it all. Smashbox has a fabulous pot eyeliner that doesn’t budge and is super easy to apply with a brush. I also find that their selection of concealers, BB creams and foundations match well with all kinds of skin tones. Whats not to love? Sure, the price tag is heavier than others, but guys - we are talking about our FACES here. Splurge a bit.
Finding amazing cruelty free makeup brands has opened me up to a whole new world… More makeup! I am so glad I made the switch. Now I can enjoy my girly girl makeup guilt free.
Do you have a favourite cruelty free makeup brand? Tell me about it! Ill start saving 😉