I’ve been wearing cruelty-free makeup for a few years now. Ditching animal-tested cosmetics was a natural process for me, stemming from my vegetarian diet and nicely preceding my move into vegan living. As fun and easy as I find it to be a cruelty-free beauty consumer, I know it can seem intimidating if you’re not yet versed in it; knowing which brands are safe to use, which products will be good dupes for your old faves, and simply navigating cruelty-free terminology and rules can be daunting. To counteract all of that, I thought I would dedicate a post to showing you what goes on my face on a daily basis.
B A S E
It’s summer, so I’ve been wearing foundation quite rarely. Instead, I’m either going for a tinted SPF50 cream, or this Pacifica Ultra CC Cream with SPF17 in the shade medium. It’s a little dark for me, but works out with my light seasonal tan. Using a Nanshy flat foundation brush, I blend around one pump of product into my skin, taking extra care to buff it out. I follow up with Pacifica’s Transcendent concealer* and Dreamlit illuminator* to cover any blemishes and add a gentle highlight on my nose and around my lips.
While Pacifica’s makeup isn’t available in store anywhere in the UK, it is relatively easy to get hold of online. They offer an excellent range of vegan-friendly makeup, and their packaging is gorgeous – totally heart eye emoji inducing.
C O N T O U R , B L U S H + H I G H L I G H T
I got into contouring about a year ago, moving away from applying bronzer to build a subtle structure into my face instead. I’m certainly not an expert and do like to keep things very minimal, but it’s a step in my daily routine I don’t skip. Taking an e.l.f. slanted brush, I pick up a pan of Infidelity by Makeup Geek, tap off the excess and draw lines along my natural cheekbone, down the sides of my nose and in the creases of my eyes. I try to follow my jawline to know where to put down product, and like to act quickly to blend it all out to a gentle finish.
I’ve found powder contour easier to work with, though cream contours can be a good option, too. What I love about Makeup Geek’s contour pan is that it is not part of a palette, and is suitably cool-toned for fairer skin. They have a lovely colour range, all of which I believe are vegan-friendly, available online.
For blush on the other hand, I love a good cream formula. Since being gifted it at their relaunch event in May, I’ve been using B.’s Lip & Cheek Tint in Berry Nice* on a daily basis. It’s very pigmented and waxy, so you only need a very small amount. I dab my middle finger into the product and then apply that lightly and tentatively just above my contour line on both cheeks until I reach the desired intensity.
Lastly, my trusty Tropic Skin Care Cream Highlighter in Spotlight* has been my go-to for a natural shimmer this summer. I use my ring finger to apply it on my cupid’s bow, the tip and bridge of my nose, just below my brow line (I do my brows beforehand, fyi) and just above where I’ve applied blush.
E Y E S + B R O W S
My eyebrows are probably what I spend the most time on in my beauty routine. As mine are quite sparse I like to keep them in shape with regular threading and then sculpt them for added definition. To begin with, I take either a spooley or my Ere Perez aloe vera gel* to brush my brows upwards into place. Then, I grab e.l.f.’s Studio Eyebrow Kit (which I use in medium), take a little of the wax, and draw a thin line underneath the brow. Next, I draw a line above the brow – you can start around the middle of the brow if you want a more natural look. Then, all that’s left to do is to fill in between the two lines, and use the Ere Perez gel to set them in place.
As an optional extra step, I apply a small amount of concealer underneath my eyebrows to increase the definition. I take a Barry M concealer brush and use my fingers to flatten and pinch the bristled together to form a line. I dab the brush into Illamasqua’s Skin Base Lift Brightening Concealer in Light 1, and carefully draw a line with it underneath my brows, blending out and around the inner ends to add further shape. Illamasqua’s concealer is sadly not vegan – I realised too late after purchasing – so while I personally won’t be buying it again, it’s a great choice if you’re not vegan yourself.
Contrary to my brow routine, I keep things very simple on my eyes. I’ve been using B.’s Kohl Liner in copper* – it’s a gorgeously creamy liner which I apply to the outer half of my lower lash line, then across my lid as I would a liquid liner. Its staying power is fleeting at best, which I’m not sure if the weather is responsible for, but I can’t help but love it regardless. As for mascara, I’ve kind of stopped wearing it; I’ll use the clear aloe vera gel, or a random e.l.f. mascara if I’m feeling fancy.
I hope this was helpful in seeing what brands and products you could go for to use on a day to day basis. There are so many cruelty-free brands out there who put their ethics at the front of their business and who have really earned my respect in doing so. Brands who prioritise profits over animal welfare need to clue up, because consumers sure as hell are.
*This post was not sponsored, but I did not have to pay for these products