Thursday, July 9, 2015

More bunny safe makeup

I've written a couple of posts about my attempts to be a responsible, ethical consumer and buy makeup/beauty products not tested on animals. A couple of recent conversations with folks asking for recommendations made me think it might be time to do an update.

In the couple of years since my eyes were opened up to the fact that although a company can claim they don't test on animals, if their products are sold in China, chances are the products have been smeared on some poor bunny, I've tried to keep my new makeup purchases strictly to brands that are either listed on the bunny list or my research has shown don't test on animals/don't sell in China. It can be simultaneously overwhelming and depressing to find out all the brands that are suddenly off the table if you're trying to stick to your anti-animal testing guns, so I've tried to compile a relatively comprehensive list of the bunny-safe makeup brands I've tried/currently own, and some of my favorite products of theirs, i.e. products I would recommend. It's a mix of drugstore and higher-priced/department store lines - and hopefully it will give those who might be interested in going down the same path a starting point.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

More hot weather makeup

We've had some gross, swampy summer weather the past few days in DC, and as I struggle to not have all my makeup melt off during my commute into work each morning, I am reminded of a post I did awhile back on hot weather makeup. Those recommendations still stand, but as someone who has been making more of a focused effort to not buy products tested on animals, the list of products in my current rotation has changed a bit.

The following is a list of the products I have been using lately that put up a fight with the heat, humidity, and my sweat. They are in the higher end of the price spectrum, but they are what I have found work best in terms of lasting power. I'm not saying these products will survive all day when the air outside feels like you're walking around in warm soup, but they do give you a fighting chance to look somewhat polished if you have to be out working in the gumbo.
  • NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base remains a holy grail product for me. I know I talk about it a lot, but I still haven't found anything, high end or drugstore priced, that works quite as well in terms of keeping my eyeshadows in place, although the LORAC Behind the Scenes one is a close second. They are both pretty fabulous at creating a nice canvas for shadows, and keeping them from fading/creasing, but the NARS still takes the cake, especially in hot weather.
  • BareMinerals Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat  this stuff is fantastic. It's an invisible topcoat that makes any mascara water/sweat proof for lasting wear without altering your initial application. And although it stops me from getting the dreaded raccoon eyes, it's not as hard to remove as most waterproof mascaras are. Love it.
  • Liquid eyeliner - when it's soupy outside and my eyelids start to sweat (it happens) I have found that pretty much every gel or pencil liner will melt and leave me with the dreaded raccoon look. So I stick with liquid eyeliner, Lately my liner of choice has been the Stila Stay-All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - which DOES NOT BUDGE. It also comes in a variety of colors which is pretty awesome, although I've only used the brown and black. 
  • theBalm Instain blushes have the best staying power of any that I have used - and I've tried many. They are SUPER pigmented, and require a light hand during application unless you want to end up looking clown-like. I really enjoy theBalm products, and buy them when their site has a sale or when their products are on Hautelook. 
  • Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist. I discovered this stuff this year, and love it. I carry it in my purse at all times for a refreshing mist that also fortifies my sun protection throughout the day. It has a nice herbal scent that is not at all sunscreeny, has a matte finish when it dries, and controls oil while delivering UV protection. I took it with me on my recent vacation and am happy to report that despite walking around outside for hours each day, I returned home just as pale as I left. :)
  • Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Ultra Sheer Daily Defense sunscreen. Even though most foundations I use have built-in SPF, I almost always apply sunscreen underneath, especially if I know I'll be outside for more than just a few minutes. This stuff dries matte, unlike most sunscreens that make me look oilier, doesn't smell offensive, and it doesn't break me out. I especially like it on the days when I don't wear any makeup, because it doesn't leave me looking like an oil slick like a lot of other sunscreens. It is pricey, but can be found on sale online. 
Because I have super oily skin, I've found that a lot of the products I love because of their staying power seem to work pretty darn well in humidity too. They might not all be great for folks with dry skin, but when summer is in full swing and the air feels like a swamp, it's 92 degrees Fahrenheit with 95% humidity, these products have shown their mettle. They have earned my seal of approval.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Beauty hangover

I recently got back from a lovely trip to Europe with my stepmother - we were in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany. We spent a total of two weeks wishing we had more like 4 to spend more time everywhere. Seriously tour provider - how could you think 4 hours would be anywhere near enough time in Bruges? There are a LOT of chocolate stores to sample and cute little shops to wander into.

If I'm being perfectly honest though, I had two primary shopping goals for this vacation: a stop into a Kiko Milano store in at least one city, and a trip to a French pharmacy to stock up/try a variety of beauty products. For that latter stop, I wanted to go to CityPharma in particular, since I had heard from several sources it had the best prices/wide variety of stock.

I managed to make it into a Kiko while in Madrid. I had heard good things, and being set loose in that store, I was quite literally like a kid in a candy store. My stepmother laughed while telling me that I had a glazed look in my eyes as I wandered from section to section - I didn't want to miss anything. I would compare Kiko to MAC in terms of the variety of products, colors and special collections they offer, but much much more affordable. Some of their products are more impressive than others, but overall, for a makeup-aholic, the amount of pretty/shiny to be found was almost overwhelming.