I made the decision to use only cruelty free makeup about two -three years ago. I’m always learning, always researching and definitely still making mistakes. However, I have learned some things in my time and the following brands are some of my tried and tested favourites.
1: Charlotte Tilbury
If I had to only use one makeup brand for the rest of my life, it would be Charlotte Tilbury. Not only do I love every product I’ve ever tried, I also love her attitude and whole approach to running a makeup company. Charlotte is also a makeup artist, and actually did makeup up for Alicia Vikander and Eva Green for last nights Golden Globes (Can we talk about how adorable Alicia Vikander is? Seriously, I’m in love.)
Some of my favourite products include the Light Wonder foundation, Film Star Bronze and Glow and basically every lipstick in the range. I can’t get enough. A word of warning though; this is a high end brand and as such, it’s pretty expensive. Honestly though, I’ve never yet regretted splurging on anything from Charlotte Tilbury, even it meant making some other sacrifices.
Charlotte Tilbury products are available in Ireland from Brown Thomas and from the Charlotte Tilbury website: http://www.charlottetilbury.com/ie/.
Charlotte Tilbury is a cruelty free company but some of the products contain carmine, which is derived from beetle shells, meaning that this is not a vegan company. However, they do state that are always looking for synthetic alternatives as mentioned here
2: Too Faced
If you’re into cutesy packaging, Too Faced is for you. Honestly, they’re so adorable. I’ve tried quite a varied range of their products and I’ve never yet been disappointed. I’ve sworn by their Primed and Poreless translucent powder for years and have yet to find another powder that matches up. I also really like their Better Than Sex mascara; it’s been getting a lot of mixed reviews but I’m firmly on the “obsessed/in love/going to buy seven backups” side of the discussion.
Too Faced is also slightly pricey, but again, I’ve never been let down by them. With regards to their cruelty free status, they feature a clear statement on their FAQ page and also include a list of which products are vegan. Can’t go wrong, really.
Of course I’m including Lush. You can’t commit to cruelty free products without loving Lush. Everyone already loves them for their bath bombs and stuff but their skin care is also incredible and honestly, Lush body lotions have helped my eczema more than any prescription cream I’ve ever tried (fight me, E45.) I’m going to be posting a Lush collection soon, so if you’re interested in that then keep an eye out.
Despite being kind of annoying to purchase if you’re in Ireland, Tarte are a great brand who offer some more natural ingredients in their products. Their blushes are lovely and I’m obsessed with their Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara. Unfortunately, Tarte were bought by KOSE, a Japanese parent company which is not cruelty free, so although Tarte themselves do not conduct any animal testing (as mentioned in their FAQ) by buying their products, some of your money does go to a non-cruelty free company. I know many people have mixed feelings about buying from companies such as this; on the one hand, no one wants their money to contribute to animal testing, but on the other hand, supporting cruelty free companies might encourage parent companies to phase out their animal testing, as clearly people are happy to buy cruelty free products. Personally, I see merits to both sides of this argument which leaves me in a bit of a grey area as to whether or not I should buy from them. Ultimately, I will buy from them but rather more sparingly than I would if they were fully cruelty free.
5: Urban Decay
Oh, Urban Decay. Everyone knows the prowess of their eye shadows and their one of the few brands that I don’t have to either travel to Dublin for or buy online. They’ve been praised as a cult favourite cruelty free brand for years and their products generally live up to the hype. However, Urban Decay were bought by L’Oreal in 2012 (!!!) which I actually didn’t find out until recently and it broke my heart. Why you gotta do this to me, UD? Why? (UPDATE: Okay, I’m apparently an idiot who can’t read; Urban Decay also started to sell in China, and because animal testing is required by law in China, UD are no longer cruelty free. I’m not removing them from this post, because they were a favourite at the time of writing, but are obviously no longer a company I will be buying from. Fare thee well, Urban Decay. UPDATED UPDATE: I am an idiot, they revoked their decision to sell in China.)
Anyway, I currently own Naked 1, Naked 3, Vice 3 and a whole mess of eyeliners, so by the time I discovered that they weren’t wholly cruelty free I pretty much had everything I could possibly need. I’d love to see them revert to being a fully cruelty free brand but until then, I’ll be buying from them sparingly. Of course, whether you choose to buy from them is completely your choice and really, you can’t fault them on quality.
6: Kat Von D
Kat Von D is, as far as I know, basically impossible to buy in Ireland, which is why I stocked up whilst in America. I think Amazon have some products but the prices are inflated and I’ve found the quality suffers when makeup is bought from Amazon (maybe it’s their storage or something?) In saying that though, if you can get your hands on anything from Kat Von D then go for it. I purchased their Tattoo Liner in Sephora while in America and I haven’t looked back since. It is without a doubt the best eyeliner I’ve ever used. It’s so precise, it’s highly pigmented, it’s basically bulletproof and doesn’t ever dry my eyes out, even when I I stupidly fall asleep with contact lenses in. Seriously, just get it. Now, if you can. Go on, I’ll wait.
Honourable mention: Elf
This wasn’t included in my top six because I haven’t actually used very much of their products but I wanted to include them anyway because they are so cheap. It’s ridiculous, I have no idea how they’re even making a profit. From my experience, they’re pretty good quality, especially considering how crazy inexpensive they are.
So there you go! I apologise for including a lot of expensive brands, but these are my favourites. Of course, there are plenty of more inexpensive cruelty free brands and I’ll be featuring those in due time. In the mean time, I hope I gave you some inspiration and thanks for reading!