Cruelty Free: The Best of Both Worlds

Have a conversation with me for just a few minutes and my love of animals will become apparent. I grew up under the impression that to be a consumer of beauty products, animal testing was just a reality that you had to live with, one that was better left ignored for the sake of your conscious. Fast-forward and the year is 2017. More and more beauty companies are popping up, proudly proclaiming their cruelty-free paradigm. Established companies are advertising their newly minted cruelty-free products. This has been going on for a while now, and while I always thought the idea was neat, I never made much of an effort to shop exclusively cruelty-free beauty. Sure, if something I bought happened to be C.F., I felt good about myself, but those instances were happenstance. As of late, though, I've caught myself unconsciously favoring these products. The following are some of my current favorites that have managed to make their way to into my travel bags, AKA the stuff I can't live (or leave) without.

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A new favorite of mine that I'm ashamed didn't make its way into my life sooner is Ecotools. It's literally in their name. You've probably seen this line of beauty tools lining drugstore shelves complete with their bamboo pouches and educational packaging. As much as I love beauty products, I've always opted for the most cost efficient tools-- something I'm not proud of at my age. I'd heard nothing but good things about this economical brand from some of my favorite beauty gurus, and I wasn’t disappointed. The brushes are luxuriously soft, they perform well, and it finally looks like my life is just a liiiitle more put together because I have matching brush sets.




Of all the brands I’m listing today, this has to be my favorite. Lush has your beauty needs covered through a variety of categories. They have makeup, skincare, hair care, bath bombs, beard balms-- you name it. I can’t even narrow down a single category to talk about because I use so many of their products and I have nothing but good things to say. Even my boyfriend is obsessed with them, asking to do face masks a few times per week.  I have very particular skin and finding products that react well to it is its own type of punishment. Somehow everything I’ve purchased at Lush has worked wonders with my skin. This is especially good news given that “green” and cruelty-free products haven’t always had the best track record with performance. Their line, though, goes above and beyond expectation. From the moment you sample something at one of their stores, you can feel the quality of what they’re selling. Their employees are so insanely informed on the products, you’ll know immediately whether something would meet your needs. In conjunction to being an environmentally conscious company, they have Charity Pots. They’re those iconic black pots a lot of their products come in. Bring in 5 empty Charity Pots and get a free mask. Not only are they proud of what they sell, they incentivize being eco-friendly along with them. Their pots are marked with a label featuring “Not virgin! made with 100% recycled plastic. Please reuse it or bring it back.” The ingredients and expiration date are printed clearly on the pot beside the illustrated picture, name, and date of the person who made it. At the bottom of every label is the silhouette of two rabbits on their haunches with the caption “Fighting Animal Testing.”





Go back in time with me to when you first discovered makeup. If you were anything like me, you wanted to play with EVERYTHING. That meant eagerly volunteering to go grocery shopping so you could get lost in those drugstore makeup aisles. And if you were anything like me still, you’d hit up the super-inexpensive side of the beauty section because mom was so much more likely to buy you something if it was only .99 cents. Cue Wet n’ Wild. I thought I’d outgrown the epitome of drugstore makeup until several years ago when they popped back up on the radar. All of a sudden they have killer formulas and a seal telling you that it’s cruelty-free. Our rekindled relationship began when I found a .99 cent exact dupe for an Urban Decay eyeshadow and I’ve never looked back. What did me in for good was their then-new 1 Step Wonder Gel nail polishes. I’d been on the lookout for a new signature red since my usual shade was becoming increasingly difficult to find. Finally, I decided to try out these hyped up polishes...
H O L Y  S M O K E S
The reviews weren’t joking. The quality of their polish is enough to surpass every high-end label I've tried to date. The compliments I've received on my nails since then has been due to these two shades.


1 Step Wonder Gel in Crime of Passion (red) and Stay Classy (mauve)



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Conclusion & Disclaimers:
I am in no way stating that I now shop, use, or own 100% cruelty-free products, but I'm slowly working toward it. I mentioned that my hair and skin are very particular with what they will agree with, and unfortunately some of the products that work best with me don’t have any of the labels I now find myself searching for. Also, these aren’t the only three brands I use that are cruelty-free, I use many more that didn’t make the list for a variety of reasons. I use a wide variety of products from these three brands and find myself repurchasing from them so much that I have placed my faith in them. Additionally, not all labels are created equally: some certifications are more difficult to achieve than others. With all that being said, I still have a lot of learning to do on this particular subject, and I’m looking forward to helping my furry little friends as much as possible.

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