Let me start off this post by saying I’m not vegan in any way shape or form. I’m not perfect, I enjoy meat and I even buy leather shoes. Even though I’m not vegan I’ve made it my mission to support cruelty-free companies. Earlier this year, I realized some of my favorite companies like Clinique, OPI, Tresseme, and even Benefit all test on animals. After learning this harsh reality, I decided to go cold turkey and start my journey to cruelty-free beauty care.
What is the difference between vegan and cruelty-free?
Before I start my list, let me explain that vegan and cruelty-free are not the same things. I didn’t realize that this was such a misunderstood concept until I began talking with a Sephora Employee. Cruelty-free means that the products were not tested on animals in any way. Vegan, on the other hand, means that the product contains no animal products or byproducts (this includes honey and beeswax). A cruelty-free item can or cannot be vegan just as a vegan product can or cannot be a cruelty-free product.
With that said, here are some of my favorite cruelty-free products. Some may be vegan and some may not.
Lush: I’ve been in love with Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin. My skin was feeling dull and dry in the beginning of spring and a sales associate recommended I try a light exfoliant with natural oils. Within a few days, my skin cleared up and looked healthier. The only thing I don’t like about it is that is has a very poignant lavender smell. It washes off easily with water but it is a strong smell when you’re scrubbing your face. I also love Lush’s Rosey Cheeks facemask. You have to keep it in the fridge in order for it to stay fresh and when you put it on it has a soothing feel on your face.
The Body Shop: I needed to find a replacement to my Clinique eye cream and stumbled upon the Body Shop Store. The sales associate was so kind and genuine and recommended me Drops of Youth which has tremendously helped my dark circles and brightens up my face. I typically put this on before I go to bed so I wake up with brighter eyes.
Origin: In the morning, I put on Origin’s GinZing Eye cream and instantly feel refreshed. Origins has one of the cutest stores with a bright display wall and test tube décor. You can also get facials in the store to test out some of their products. I have yet go to back and try one but I definitely want to!
Ren: I went into Sephora and came out with way more products than any girl needs. The sales associate was telling me all about Ren’s history and I was instantly hooked. All of their products contain no toxins, no harsh or controversial chemicals, and no potential irritants. They also make all of their packaging out of 100% recycled packaging. I ended up getting the Evercalm Day Cream and absolutely love it. It really helps my skin when I have a little bit of inflammation from the colder weather. I know that as soon as it gets chillier out my skin will need to drink this up.
Acure: I use Acure’s face scrub when I feel like I need something a little bit harsher than my Lush scrub. Side note, I did try their natural deodorants before and absolutely hated them. They smelt like straight up chemicals. Stay away from them if possible.
Tarte: When it comes to makeup, I normally go to Tarte first. I absolutely love everything they have to offer from eyeshadow to concealer. I go between using the Make Magic Happen and Tartelette in Bloom palettes every day. I particularly love the Tartelette in Bloom because it smells like chocolate. These rich amazon clay shadows are incredibly pigmented and make you feel like a goddess. Also, nothing has covered up my dark circles like Tarte’s shape tape. If you suffer from hereditary dark circles like I do, this is the best concealer for you.
bareMinerals: After I put on my concealer, I set it using a pressed powder from bareMinerals. I’m not really sure if that is how you’re supposed to “do” makeup but it always gives my skin a soft, glowy look. I also love how it locks everything in without feeling like there is too much on my face. I recently picked up the complexion rescue gel cream because it is SPF 30 in it. I put on this moisturizer on when I know I’m going to be out in the sun for a long time.
It Cosmetics: I never was big on having “perfect” perfect eyebrows until I received a free eyebrow pencil at Her Conference. I am now hooked on It Cosmetics’ eyebrow pencil. It’s extremely easy to do and always makes my eyebrows look amazing. I never realized how much your eyes pop after your eyebrows are defined. Also, I love It Cosmetics’ makeup brushes for eyeshadow creases and pressed powders.
Urban Decay: Everyone’s favorite make up palette are the Naked palettes. With a wide range of colors, the Naked 3 palette has one of my go-to palettes. I’ve been also eyeing some other Naked palettes but for now, I’ll stop my addiction dead in its tracks. If you’re looking for a palette with a lot of smokey eye colors, these palettes are the way to go.
Pacifica: I love Pacifica’s Aquarian Gaze Mascara because it actually stays on your lashes. I know, a natural mascara that actually stays on… sounded crazy to me too. But I swear, you’ll want to put this one in your suggestion box.
Moroccanoil: This oil is my saving grace when it comes to hair care. I usually put this on right after I get out of the shower so it has time to soak into my roots at night. It’s also perfect for putting on the ends of your hair if you’ve been using a lot of dry shampoo. It smells like sunshine and happiness.
OGX: I’ve wanted to try this company out for quite some time and finally decided to bite the bullet. I’m so glad I did because their shampoo and conditioner makes my hair so incredibly soft. I also have this hairspray that locks in my flyaways for a flawless finish.
Raw Sugar: This shampoo and conditioner combo has an incredibly sweet smell is incredibly nourishing to my dry hair. I particularly love this company because they donate a bar of soap to an area in need with every purchase.
Schmidt’s: I just bought the Lily on the Valley deodorant and it smells and feels just like a normal deodorant. It is very similar to Dove or Secret deodorant and smells like baby powder. The good thing about this deodorant over Dove or Secret is that it doesn’t have aluminum which can cause Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. Teen Vogue does a great job explaining why aluminum is so bad. You can read that here.
Lavanila: I’ve tried the coconut and vanilla scent and the vanilla and earth scent from Lavanila. I hated the smell of the coconut and vanilla. To me, it smells like a weird plastic. I was very discouraged until I found out they came out with a patchouli scent, vanilla and earth. I immediately bought this one and love the way it smells. It’s very faint and feminine. This deodorant feels really cool when you first put it on but it lasts the longest out of all these deodorants. It’s really just finding the right scent when it comes to Lavanila. If you like vanilla, you should be good… but stay away from the coconut and vanilla one.
Meow Meow Tweet: I’m literally obsessed with their adorable illustrations. I’ve tried two of their deodorants: the Deodorant Stick in Lemon Eucalyptus and the Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream in Grapefruit. It’s crazy that these are both my least favorite and favorite deodorants I’ve tried. The lemon eucalyptus was terrible on my skin and did not smell good whereas the grapefruit smelled incredible and keeps me fresh. The grapefruit has a very sweet smell and the lemon eucalyptus has a musky smell. Also, the grapefruit comes in a jar that you apply with your fingers instead of rubbing on a stick. It was hard getting used to at first but I actually really like the processes more. Plus, both packages are recyclable.
Tom’s: If you’re trying to get rid of most chemicals in your deodorant, Tom’s is a good place to start. Although this deodorant still contains aluminum, it’s a great way to slowly switch yourself from harsher deodorants. Plus, it smells just like baby powder.
Posts you might also be interested in:
- The Cruelty-Free Subscription Box You Need in Your Life
- Love Goodly: Natural Dry Shampoo I’m Obsessed With
- 7 Sustainable Products That Will Rock Your Socks Off
- Clean Reserve’s Citron Fig: an Ethically Made Perfume (Review)
Also, Cruelty-Free Kitty is a great source if you want to find out more about your favorite companies and their policies.
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What are your favorite cruelty-free brands? Let me know in the comments down below.