Cruelty Free Makeup in Every Category

I went Vegetarian almost two years ago and I decided to go cruelty free with my makeup purchases six months after that. Six months later in the summer of 2016 I decided to purchase non-cruelty free makeup again.  Why? A lot of cruelty free makeup companies aren’t available at the drugstore and many cruelty free makeup companies are owned by companies that test on animals. Additionally, many of the ingredients in cruelty free makeup have been tested on animals and therefore, consist of ingredients that have benefited from the ability to test on animals (a fact which many companies don’t advertise). Some of these ingredients are also  known to be harmful to both humans and animals. It seemed to me to be a on-win-situation. Still, most of the makeup I purchase is cruelty free because despite my cynicism and research, I do believe in an individual’s power to make informed purchasing power and I don’t agree with animal cruelty. However, I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong, even as I’m strongly considering making the decision to go cruelty free again. There are a lot of factors that go into that decision, including wealth, accessibility, safety, and personal beliefs, which mean that I am most definitely not going to sit here and say that cruelty free is the way to go for everyone without considering all factors involved. What I am going to do is offer some well researched options and allow you to make your own decisions based on what you are looking for in makeup. Each category includes affordable options.

SPF: One thing I will always say no matter what is don’t ignore sun protection. Don’t do it.

Elta MD makes great chemical and physical SPFs and is cruelty free

Glossier’s Invisible Shield is  a good chemical SPF that doesn’t break me out, is good for sensitive skin, and is colorless.

CeraVe has as SPF, cruelty free options in a variety of formulas.

Moisturizer:

I exclusively use CeraVe’s night time PM moisturizer or Moisturizing Lotion. They’re fantastic options that haven’t failed me yet.

Primer:

Elf has several good primers that are effective and cheap but my favorite is NYX’s Pore Filler. It’s identical to Benefit’s Porefessional and genuinely works.

Foundation/ Base:

Nar’s Radiant Tinted Moisturizer has SPF 30 and comes in a variety of colors with a beautiful finish.

Wet N Wild’s Photofocus line comes in 20 shades and looks beautiful and subtle on the skin. My favorite traditional foundation I’ve ever tried. Very affordable

Concealer/ Correctors:

Nar’s Radiant Creamy Concealer is quite beautiful for all over the skin and for highlighting

Glossier’s stretch concealer is great for undereyes and dry skin. Limited shade options.

Wet n Wild’s Photofocus Concealer is another great option for undereyes and spot concealing. Once again, very affordable. Only six shade options. For correctors, try Wet n Wild’s Cushion Correctors in yellow, green, peach, or lavender for your specific skin concerns.

Blush:

Wet n Wild makes great, pigmented (sometimes too pigmented in my opinion so be careful), and extremely affordable blushes.

Glossier’s Cloud Paints are seamless and undetectable on the skin. A liquid/ cream formula.

Nyx’s HD blushes are my favorite affordable blushes, my favorite being the shade Pink in Town.

Nar’s powder blushes are the best and most impactful blushes I have ever tried.

Also try Bite Beauty’s Multisticks for some highend, cream to powder, mutlitasking color.

Bronzer:

Any of Physician’s Formula’s bronzers, but especially the Butter Bronzer. It smells like coconut and is a creamy, powder formula. Unfortunately this line comes in extremely limited shade options (for the most part light and medium).

I also enjoy Wet n Wild’s Cafe au Slay cushion bronzer for a darker, more red tone. And their contour palettes which are a dupe for more Marc Jacob’s expensive contour palettes.

Highlight:

Nyx makes great highlights in cream, powder, and liquid formulas. Highly recommended, especially the Duo Chromatic line.

Elf’s baked highlighters are beautiful if you work with them a little. Scrape off the first layer of product and they work like a dream.

Glossier’s Haloscopes are beautiful and faultless when it comes to minimal makeup. They leave a wet/ glossy look on the face.

Wet n Wild’s cushion highlight is a light pinky shade that is a dupe for Benefit’s High Beam.

Try Essence’s Pure Nude Highlight for an affordable, glow-from-within powder highlight.

Powders:

Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powders in any shade are a great setting/ finishing powder for all skin types and won’t emphasize dry patches.

Physician Formula’s  SPF powders are another great setting and refreshing/ oil-soaking option.

Lipsticks:

Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Line is highly pigmented, great smelling, and my favorite line of lipsticks ever.

All of NYX’s lipsticks which come in a variety of colors and finishes. My favorite lines are their soft-matte lip creams, matte lipsticks, butter cream lipsticks, and round lipsticks.

Wet n Wild’s Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks are some of my favorite Liquid Lipsticks of all time, especially the shades Missy and Fierce and Berry Recognize.

All of Colourpop’s lipstick formulas. Highly affordable with limitless options. Seriously, try these out.

Lipgloss:

Glossier’s clear lipgloss is fu**ing beautiful and isn’t  goopy. I love it and it lasts as long as a lipgloss can last.

Nyx’s butter and intense butter lipgloss. The original butter lipglosses are very juicy and come in a variety of colors. Great for nude glosses The butter lipgloss formula is thicker and more intense. My favorite shades are Oatmeal Raisin and Toasted Marshmallow.

Lipliner:

I lover both Colourpop’s and  Wet n Wild’s lipliners for less drying finished that stay forever. Nyx’s Slide on Lip Pencils are also a beautiful option (especially the shade Nude Suede Shoes).

Eyeshadows

Nyx and Colourpop make my favorite singles in many different shades and finishes. I also love Urban Decay’s singles for a more expensive option.

Too Faced Eyeshadow palettes (particularly their Natural Eye Palette and Sweet Peach Palette) are my favorites all around. The Natural Eye palette is more cool-toned while the Sweet Peach Palette is warm toned.

Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Modern Renaissance Palette was well worth the money and has incredibly pigmented shadows. The red shades are my favorites.

Wet n Wild’s Color Icon Palettes are a highly pigmented, affordable option. Try Walking on Eggshells for a more natural, but lovely option, to see what I mean.

Eyeliner:

For liquid I love Physician Formula’s 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum for a more shiny finish and Nyx’s Epic Ink Liner for a more matte finish. Both are perfect for a cat eye.

Urban Decay makes my favorite pencil eyeliners for definition. My favorite shade is a brown called Whiskey.

Eyebrow Pencils and Gel:

Glossier’s Boy Brow in Brown is my all time favorite brow product. It plumps the brows, tints them, sets them, and applies in seconds. I wear this along all the time.

For eyebrow pencils, try Nyx’s Micro Brow Pencil (truly a quality, though not always a color dupe, for Anastasia Beverley Hill’s brow pencils). However, my favorite cruelty- free brow pencil for my brows is Elf’s two dollar brow pencil in Neutral Brown. Their eye brow powder/ gel duos are also fantastic and easy to use.

Mascara: 

This is the area in which I have the least experience. All my favorite mascaras aren’t cruelty free. However, I’ve read and heard amazing things about Wet n Wild’s Lash Renegade and Essence’s Princess Lash Mascara. Both are incredibly affordable and I will be purchasing them after my current mascara’s run out.

Setting Spray: Elf’s Makeup Mist and Set and Wet n Wild’s Photofocus setting Spray are great options to refresh and take away the powdery look of makeup. Also NYX’s Dewy Setting Spray to enhance the longevity of makeup.

Brushes/ Sponges: I exclusively use Wet n Wild, Elf, Real Techniques, and EcoTools brushes. All are affordable, as are the Real Techniques Sponges and the EcoTools sponges (my current favorites).

Thank you for reading! What are your favorite cruelty free products? My next step is trying some of Etsy’s affordable, indie, cruelty free makeup brands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite Berry Colored Lipsticks

Lipsticks are my favorite makeup product. I love being able to change how my face looks so easily simply by swiping a coat on and running out of the house. As much as I like eye shadow and have been wearing it for longer, it’s harder to master. Wearing lipstick just requires knowing what you like, color wise and finish wise, and then taking a minute or so it put it on. Nothing else. I wear lipstick, tinted moisturizer, concealer (sometimes without the TM), and mascara alone all the time and don’t feel any less put together. The look possibilities are also nearly limitless. Changing the color of your lips, even subtly, brings out different colors in your face and different features. It’s my miracle product.

My favorite shade of lipstick is berry. There’s a photo of me somewhere in a family scrapbook that shows me at 3-4 years old in a green and white daisy dress, with hair down to my waist, and the most beautiful wine color on my lips (most definitely applied by my aunt who was only 10 or 11 at the time). It’s the most flattering shade I’ve ever seen (in my opinion) and I’ve spent a significant amount of time trying to duplicate it. Needless to say, I have more berry lipsticks than I need. Here are my favorites in no particular order (it was too hard to decide):

Affordable:

Maybelline’s Blissful Berry (410) is the first lipstick I purchased with my own money (it wasn’t a reject from my Mother’s makeup collection). My Mom helped me pick it out at the end of my sophomore year of college. It’s a basic cream lipstick that’s a cool tone medium purple color that might pull more of a deeper berry-pink if your lips are darker/ more pigmented. It was the only lipstick I wore for months and I still wear it fairly often now… despite knowing that I should get a replacement. Now I like my berries with a little more red (like almost a wine stain), but I still think that it’s beautiful.

L’oreal Zoe’s Red is my favorite affordable lipstick. Unfortunately, I think its been discontinued, which sucks but that won’t keep more from checking stores and trying to find it before they all disappear. This shade is a more satin-matte (not completely matte but not quite satin either) deeper, but still cooler tone, red-berry. It’s labeled a red, and might appear more red on deeper skin tones, but on me it’s somewhere between a red and a berry, resembling the color of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon on my lips. It makes me really happy and I wear it and it’s one of my favorite colors to wear to an event or with only mascara. The wear time is great for a more traditional lipstick. I find that I don’t have to reapply during the day because the color takes awhile to wear and it wears evenly if my lips aren’t chapped.

Wet n Wild’s Berry Recognize is another more purple-medium-berry shade in one of my favorite liquid lipstick lines. It has more red in it than blissful berry and is matte, but I don’t find it drying at all and I love the intensity and smoothness of the pigmentation. I wear this quite often. It stays for forever, but on my lips, does transfer (to be fair absolutely everything, from the driest of the dry formulas transfers on me). However, it transfers way less than anything else I own.

NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague is described as a ‘matte merlot’ on NYX’s website, which implies that it’s more red and wine colored than I find it to be on my lips. On me, it’s more of a medium berry pink with one layer, and a bit darker of a berry with another layer. That doesn’t mean I don’t love this color or this line of products. I own nine of the soft matte lip creams in total and find this shade in particular to be one of the best formulated out of what I’ve purchased. I love it so much I brought it with me when I went to Prague (I know, I’m cheesy) and I’m wearing it right now.  I think this color is the most universally flattering on my list.

Honor Mention: NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen is the most perfect Berry-Plum color. I love this color/sahde more than anything I have on this list. Unfortunately, the formula is streaky for me. Maybe it’s just the one I purchased, but I don’t wear it very often despite loving the color when I can get it to apply properly. All of the other colors I own from this line apply smoothly and aren’t nearly as drying as this one. Still, if you can get this shade to work, it’s beautiful.

 

High End:

Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick in Salon RD 305 is my most used lipstick because it’s super old and one of the colors my Mom gave me from a sample kit quite a few years ago. Let’s just say I wore this to a Winter Formal in High School and it’s one of the few lipsticks I liked at the time (I hate how lipstick looked on me until around the time I turned 19). It’s described as a deep berry but it’s really more of a medium berry red in a satin-creme formula. I adore this shade (if you can’t tell by how long I’ve kept it) and I’m terrified of it running out.

Urban Decay’s Venom is described as a bright-plum  in a cream finish and it’s exactly that. More of medium color because of it’s brightness, but it’s deeper in tone than most of the colors on this list. I bought it on my 20th birthday before Urban Decay discontinued it’s Revolution Line but kept this shade as a part of it’s Vice line. It’s the first high end lipstick that I purchased and I wear it mostly on special occasions (it’s my favorite Christmas shade) or when I’, feeling particularly dark. I usually don’t wear this alone without eye makeup because I love how it looks with other cool-toned colors, but it’s extremely stunning.

Sephora’s Truth or Dare is a satin finish berry-wine. It’s not quite drugstore price at $12.50 but it’s definitely not anywhere near the most expensive on this list. It’s a beautiful color with an impressive formula that isn’t drying, provides the perfect amount of shine without being glossy, and wears for hours. I don’t have anything negative to say about this color because it’s extremely flattering, wearable, and relatively inexpensive. I wear it quite often.

Bite Beauty’s Beetroot is a bold reddish berry that’s a new favorite of mine. Bite makes my favorite lipstick formula ever. The whole line smells fantastic (but subtle), wears for hours (I didn’t need to apply Beetroot at all), is creamy, non-streaky, and comes in the most beautiful and richly saturated shades. This color is a bit more vampy than some of the other colors on the list, which makes it perfect for me and one of my favorites.

Extra Special Mentions (my two favorites):

These are both beautiful, high end lipstick that were discontinued. I didn’t think it was fair to put them with the rest of the lipsticks because they’ve been out of stores for years. Unfortunately, they’re also my two favorites.

Bite Beauty’s Kir Royale is part of their discontinued Luminous Creme line and  is described by the brand as a bold berry/ wine. It comes across as that on my lips. On people with deeper skin tones, it appears to come off pinker and lighter. I don’t know if that’s because the one I have was a part of a limited edition holiday duo set (it’s a mini size that came with a lipgloss with the same name), but nevertheless it’s still a berry and it’s gorgeous. I wear this far more than I should considering that I’ll never be able to get a hold of it again but I can’t bring myself to stop. It looks great on it’s own and with brown and gold eyeshadows especially. I wore it on my 21st birthday, to countless parties, to class, etc, and I’m never tired of how creamy the formula is, of the smell,  graceful wear, or  it’s opacity. I’m also extremely fond of lipsticks named after alcoholic beverages. This is another shade (like Prague) that I think is pretty universally flattering.

Buxom’s Menance is my favorite lipstick. It’s a berry-wine-red creme lipstick with an extremely light amount of shimmer (I didn’t notice the shimmer until I looked at other reviews with close-up pictures). I wore this on my first important date and to other meaningful social events until I decided I had to save it so I could find a duplicate. On me (with my light skin and light mauvy-pink lips), it’s fairly deep, but not quite super dark. It’s a bold choice that I pretty much always wore with other makeup unless I was going for a more editorial-goth look (and honestly sometimes I am). This is the lipstick I want to be buried in, provided I die soon or find one in the future that closely resembles it. I’m also saving it to bring to the Bite Beauty Lab in New York City to see if I can have an exact copy of it made. This is the closet shade to the one I was wearing in that picture of me as a little girl and it will be a long time until I part with it.

Thank you for reading! What are your favorite berry lipsticks and what shade of lipstick do you like the best?

Note: Wet n Wild, NYX, Urban Decay, Bite Beauty, and Buxom are cruelty free and do not test on animals. However, Buxom, NYX, Urban Decay, and Buxom are  owned by parent copies that are not cruelty free and do test on animals.