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.
Some of my favs
  • theBalm: Makers of many favorites of mine that I have recommended in the past. Their eyeshadow palettes are great (I love Meet Matt(e) Nude), their InStain blushes are super long wearing and their Mary-Lou Manizer highlighting powder is fantastic. And of course, I've mentioned in the past that I love their Sexy Mama anti-shine translucent powder so much I have re-purchased it more than once, which given the amount of makeup I own/have tried, is saying something. I might have gotten sucked in by their cute packaging, but the quality of the products are what keep me coming back for more - and jumping when I see a sale.
  • Bare Minerals: I've tried and like their matte mineral foundation, and the Ready eyeshadows I've tried are great. Their Locked & Coated waterproof lash top coat is currently my favorite thing they make, since it keeps the raccoon eyes at bay. I've heard good things about the rest of the line as well. 
  • Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap: I've included this because I use Dr. Bronner's to clean my makeup brushes, and it's fantastic for that. The unscented baby version is also great to both clean my sensitive body parts as well as delicate clothing, and like the peppermint and citrus for non-sensitive area cleaning. It's fair trade too.
  • Dr. Hauschka Skin Care: I love their Clarifying Day Oil, and the little sampler of stuff I got at Whole Foods when they had a big beauty sale was all great. Am intrigued by but haven't really tried their makeup.
  • e.l.f. - the brand as a whole can be pretty hit or miss, but they have some good stuff that is very affordable. I like their Studio blushes (the blush palettes are fantastic), mineral lipsticks, and baked eyeshadows. Their smudge pot cream eyeshadows are quite nice as well. I'm also quite a fan of their makeup wipes, which I buy in bulk when they are sale. They have some pretty great affordable brushes as well. I stay away from their mascaras and eyeliners though: for me, those are all a total miss.
  • IT Cosmetics: I've liked most of what I've tried from this brand. Their Naturally Pretty matte eyeshadow palette is beautiful (well, the shadows are great, I hate the packaging of it though), their Your Skin But Better CC cream is great, and their Bye Bye Under Eye concealer is pretty darn good too.  
  • Hourglass: I love their mineral veil primer, which is what started my obsession with this pricey British brand. Their ambient lighting powders are also great, but given their price point and that I haven't found any secret deals for it, I haven't tried anything else.
  • Jesse's Girl: their liquid eyeliner pen is awesome. Haven't tried anything else really, but that one thing is very good.
  • Jane - I think they're sold exclusively online now, but you may still find them at some Ulta stores. They make some great eyeliners. I have heard good things about their other products as well, but the only ones I have personally tried and recommend are the pencil and liquid liners, and both are solid.
  • LA Girl: their HD pro conceal is fantastic, and less than $3 at drugstores. Haven't tried anything else from the line, but I'm so impressed with the concealer, I want to try a foundation next, and I've heard they have some great lip products as well.
  • LORAC: if there is one thing I recommend without hesitation, it is LORAC eyeshadows, which are super pigmented, smooth, and long wearing. Particularly their Pro Palette, which has traveled thousands of miles with me, so much so that I've hit the bottom of the pan on several shades. Also, their Behind The Scenes eyeshadow primer is pretty darn great at keeping creasing at bay. Bonus: most of their palettes come with a generous sample size of the primer. I haven't really sampled anything else from the line, but I really do love their shadows - the Unzipped palette is also great.
  • Lush is awesome. They not only don't test on animals, they have an active campaign against animal testing! All their products are handmade by an actual person and each one has a sticker of that person's name and a little cartoon representation of them on the packaging, which is a nice touch I love. Although a Lush store can be a little overwhelming at first, I have found that the folks that work there are always super helpful, and almost cult-like in their love of their favorite products of the brand. I've sampled their makeup but haven't bought any, although it seems nice. I'm personally a fan of their skin care, particularly the tea tree water, lemony flutter, ocean salt, and a their bath products - especially their grass shower gel, which I thank my friend Famin for bringing to my attention.
  • Milani/Jordana - although they aren't included in the bunny list, I did some digging because these two (separate lines owned by the same company) make some of my favorite affordable makeup products. They don't test on animals nor do they sell in China. Milani make great blushes, eyeshadows, eyeliners, lip products, and their nail polishes are great too. Jordana has some great eye liners, and I love their moisturizing balm stains, to the tune of using one up completely and repurchasing, which is amazing if you know what my lipstick collection looks like. I've heard good things about their blushes, but I haven't tried them. (I need to use up things before I can justify buying any new blush.)
  • Mineral Fusion they had a sale/beauty event at my local Whole Foods a couple of months ago, which is when I first tried this brand - nothing can suck me in like a free makeover. :) I like their face products and eyeshadows, and their nail polishes are nice too. Have been using their mattifying primer, and it's pretty good.
  • NYX - makers of some of my favorite afforably priced makeup, including lip products, blushes, and pretty good eyeliners too. I'm a fan of their Stay Matte But Not Flat powder foundation, really like their HD concealer, their brow products are solid (they have an auburn shade I really appreciate), and some of their eyeshadows are fantastic. I've listed them in some of my favorites posts. 
  • Pacifica: they have some beautiful makeup, and lovely body products as well. One of their lipsticks was in a beauty sample bag I bought during the aforementioned beauty sale at Whole Foods, and I love it, now I want to try more of their stuff. (Side note: have you ever wandered the beauty aisle at a Whole Foods? There is some nice stuff to be found at a variety of price points, and I'm pretty sure they're all bunny safe. And unlike most drugstores, they have testers of most products.)
  • Physician's Formula -I like their Conceal RX concealer, their blushes, and their powders in general. I have used up and repurchased their Eye Booster eyeliner & serum several times - a testament to my favoritism. They also make a mascara I like. (I've found that for some reason, most of the drugstore brands that are bunny friendly make pretty crappy mascaras, so this is kind of a big deal.) I wish they had a wider variety of shades for their foundations/concealers though.
  • Tarte: I generally love this makeup brand. All their stuff is formulated without parabens, mineral oils, or sodium lauryl sulfate. I particularly love their Amazonian clay blushes and the Amazonian clay finishing powder. Their Amazonian Clay full coverage foundation is great too (I mix it with the IT Cosmetics CC cream for everyday use - I really like the coverage and wear of those two mixed together.) Tarte also has great eyeliners, a couple of great mascaras, and lip products I love as well. Honestly, I've tried quite a bit of their line, and the only thing I didn't really care for was their Lights, Camera Flashes mascara, and I'm not too fond of their eyeshadows because although beautiful, for some reason they always seem to crease/fade easily on me, no matter what kind of amazing primer I use. 
  • Too Faced - their milk chocolate soleil bronzer is matte, doesn't make me look like an Oompa Loompa or muddy, and it smells like chocolate. (Because it's made with cocoa powder!) What's not to love? Their eyeshadows and makeup kits are generally quite lovely as well, although several of their palettes tend to be a little too shimmery for my taste. Also great is their Better Than Sex mascara, although I wouldn't say it lives up to its name. :) 
  • Wet N Wild - makers of some of my favorite drugstore eyeshadows, and some good blushes and nail polishes too. And although a bit drying, their lipsticks, at $1.99, are a pretty great bang for your buck.
I should also mention that in terms of tools to apply all this stuff, the Real Techniques brushes I really like are all synthetic and cruelty free, and they are now available at a ton of different retailers. Of the aforementioned brands, e.l.f., IT Cosmetics and Tarte all make some nice brushes as well.

I encourage you to research the brands you currently use, and perhaps get a bit depressed, like I did when I first got started down this path. And please, if there are bunny-safe products you've tried, particularly from brands I haven't listed, feel free to recommend. I love a new discovery! 

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