Thursday 18 February 2016

My Latest Cruelty Free Makeup Must Haves

In the new year I decided to give my makeup a little overhaul and I added some new items to my collection which I have since grown to love and which I really want to share with you all. I haven't done a make up review for quite a while now so i'm sorry that this post has been a long time coming!

Anyway, here's a little run down of a few products which I have been loving using lately and one's which have firmly made themselves onto my must have list of cruelty free make up. 

Prior to this year i'd never really tried any contouring as part of my usual make up routine but it was something which I found myself becoming more and more curious about. After a little bit of research online and watching some YouTube tutorials I decided that the time had come to venture into this new make up technique to give my face a little bit more highlight and definition.

The Barry M Flawless Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit was a product which instantly appealed to me because not only is it affordable at £6.49, but it's also vegan as well as being cruelty free. I've seen other bloggers rave about this product so I thought I would give it a go and so far i've been really pleased with the results. I love the handy little box that it comes in and the instructions inside are really useful too, although I would definitely recommend watching the tutorial video if like me you're new to contouring.

I'm also going to say a big WELL DONE to Barry M because not only are they a cruelty free brand but they also have little green 'vegan' symbols on the products on their website which are vegan friendly. This makes shopping with them an absolute breeze!    

Another Barry M product which i've been so impressed by is this Flawless Matte Perfecting Powder. I've been experimenting with different powders for some time now and as much as I liked my usual one from my 'go to' brand E.L.F Cosmetics, I found that it was just too small and didn't last me very long. I'd seen a few other bloggers recommending this powder so I thought i'd give it a go for myself and i'm so glad that I did!  

You can see from the photo that this powder has had a lot of use and I actually need to buy another one soon before I run out. I've pretty much loved this powder from the moment I started using it. It applies really nicely, with either a sponge or a brush, and it gives a really great coverage over the top of my foundation. It does a good job of diminishing any shine from my skin and sets my makeup perfectly. As if that wasn't all enough, it's also vegan friendly!    

Now you'll probably think i'm jumping on the bandwagon with this product, but so be it! I think it's pretty amazing and really well deserving of all the hype it's received. Prior to hearing about this product I'd never heard of The Balm brand before and I was impressed to learn that they are completely cruelty free with quite a few vegan products too.  

I've dabbled with using highlighters in the past but i've never really consistently stuck to a routine of using one or a particular brand. Again, I think curiosity probably got the better of me with this product and I had to see if it lived up to its name. 

Initially I have to say that I was put off by the £17.49 price tag and since going cruelty free it's been a long time since I spent that kind of money on make up. However, and now i've tried the highlighter for myself, I think the price is representative of the quality and longevity of this product. 

When applying you only need to use a small amount on your brush and I can already tell that it's going to last me a really long time. I love to use it on my cheek bones, eyebrow bones and my inner eye. It highlights so well and I just love the sparkle it gives to my face and skin. I feel like I look so much more healthier when I am wearing this so I can't recommend it enough. 

If you've never used a highlighter like this before I would recommend watching the tutorial video before using.     

E.L.F Cosmetics have been my ultimate 'go to' brand for makeup for quite some time now. I have always rated their products quite highly and I just love the fact that they are a cruelty free and vegan brand (apart from their brushes). It certainly makes shopping for makeup a lot easier when you know that all of the cosmetics are CF & vegan, and I really like to make sure that i'm ticking both of those boxes where possible. 

I will admit though that E.L.F have been letting me down slightly lately since the re-launch of their UK website. They just seem to have too many products out of stock too often and their delivery time can also take too long for my liking. That being said, they still make some amazing products which I feel like I couldn't live without but I also need to shop around more now just in case they decide to shut their UK shop again. The fact that we can only buy these products online here in the UK always makes me a little nervous about becoming too attached to the brand. 

One of my favourite products of theirs lately has been this maximum coverage concealer. This concealer is perfect for my skin and it blends so well whilst also being buildable in coverage. It does a superb job of concealing red patches and blemishes and, importantly, it lasts the duration of the day. At only £4.50 I also think it's excellent value for money. 

Other E.L.F products which i'm loving right now include the Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen which makes top eyelid lining a breeze, and the Studio Baked Blush which has such a lovely shimmery finish to it.        

As you probably already know, B. Cosmetics are a completely cruelty free and vegan brand available at Superdrug. Whilst I have got on really well with some of their skincare products there's sadly not been many products from their makeup range that I have really loved, apart from this B. Groomed eyebrow pencil. 

I use this eyebrow pencil daily and it's now a product I don't think I could live without! The main thing that I love about this pencil is the wax tip which works perfectly at taming and smoothing down my eyebrows. The little brush is also really handy for combing your eyebrow hairs into place before using the wax on them. I've also found that their hazel colour just so happens to be the perfect match for my eyebrows but, with only two colours available to choose from, this may not be the case for everyone. The fact that this pencil is multi-functional makes it a great little product for me and one that I will definitely keep coming back to.    

Urban Decay remain a cruelty free brand despite being taken over by L'Oreal so I guess your standpoint on them will depend on how you feel about parent companies. Personally, I like to show a demand for cruelty free products so I will always shop a CF brand regardless of their parent company.   This is an argument which I come across a lot on social media but ultimately it comes down to  your own personal choice. For me, as long as a specific brand doesn't test on animals and has the stamp of approval then I am happy to wear it.

Last year when I was in Miami, and fairly new on my cruelty free journey, I visited a Sephora store and I was told that this Naked Basics eye shadow palette was also vegan friendly. Having done a little bit of research online since i'm now not so sure! It isn't listed under Urban Decay's vegan make up section on their website so i'm pretty sure it isn't vegan. One of my followers also shared with me a list of non-vegan make up which UD sent her and one of the eyeshadows from this palette 'Crave" was listed. So I guess you could say it's 85% vegan friendly? 

But anyway, ingredients aside, this is my favourite eye shadow palette ever! It's the eye shadows which I tend to use the most because they are just so versatile and suitable for every day use. I absolutely love the colours and I find that they're perfect for going from a daytime to an evening look. These eye shadows apply really nicely to my eyelids and they're a dream to blend. It's definitely at the pricier end of the scale at £23.00 but it lasts a really long time and sometimes if you want quality make up you have to pay for it. It would just be nice if they could make all of their make up vegan friendly!     

Until now my make up brushes have been a bit all over the place. I've got some old MAC ones which I still use, a few various brands which have been given to me or which have come inside a subscription box and some vegan friendly B. Cosmetics ones which i've mostly been using lately. I got thinking this month that it would be nice to have a full set of brushes from a cruelty free and vegan brand and after doing some research online I really liked the look of these brushes from Nanshy the most. 

I actually bough this set for £49.95 from Amazon because it was sold out on the Nanshy website and i'm so pleased with them. They're great quality soft brushes which work really well! I love that each brush states on it what it can be used for as sometimes when I look at brushes i'm really not sure what it's best use is. The pearlescent white finish on these brushes is also really pretty and makes a nice change to the usual black ones you so often see. 

My favourite thing about Nanshy, and what drew me to them over other brushes, is how loud and proud they are to be PETA approved. The first thing you see on their homepage is that they are a vegan and cruelty free brand which is just so great to see! The easier a brand makes it to shop with them the more likely I am to buy as one thing I hate is searching around for ingredients and policies. 

I've pretty much always used my fingers to apply my foundation which has generally worked well for me but i've become increasingly more annoyed by how all of my makeup ends up having foundation finger prints on it and it can all get a bit messy. I tried using a brush before but my foundation never seemed to blend well using this method so I recently asked Twitter what I should try and quite a few of you recommend the Real Techniques sponge. 

To be honest I've always been put off the idea of using a sponge because I thought they would be a bit grubby and perhaps more prone to holding germs. But as always i'm willing to try new things and so I swiftly took myself off to Superdrug to pick up one of these miracle sponges. 

I've been using the sponge for about two weeks now and there really is no going back! I honestly can't believe that I haven't used one of these until now. I feel like i've literally been living underneath a rock or something! I'm so happy because this product has changed all of the things which have been getting on my nerves for so long. 

Firstly, it does a really amazing job of applying the foundation. Following some advice from my followers I tend to gently dab my foundation on with the sponge all over my face and it works so well at giving my skin a decent full coverage of makeup. I was worried that perhaps it would leave some tell tale signs on my face to show that I have used a sponge but it doesn't at all. If anything it blends my foundation in much better than I was ever able to with my fingers and I really think that more foundation stays on my skin now. 

Secondly, and importantly, I feel so much cleaner and less grubby not getting makeup all over my fingers and not continually having to wash my wands. My whole make up area is a lot more presentable since i've been using this sponge so there really is no going back for me now. As directed I wash it out after every 3-4 uses and it cleans and dries out really easily.

This product has been a bit of a life changer for me and definitely my best find of 2016 so far!    

So that's all my favourite makeup products of the moment! I would love to hear if any of these are your favourites too or if you're thinking about trying any of them now. Maybe once i'm feeling brave enough I will do a little YouTube video for you all but until then you'll have to settle for reading my blog!

What's your favourite cruelty free & vegan makeup brand?

Are there any must have products that you think I should try?

Let me know by commenting below! 
* All of these products were purchased by myself. All opinions are completely honest and my own. 


  1. The e.l.f Studio brushes are vegan :D I'm going to have to try the Barry M powder now :) x

  2. ahh great post! 😀 it goes to show that if these products are vegan and cruelty free, and are still amazing quality, then other brands can (and should) switch over! also, you're like the 6474th person I've seen do a blog post and recommend the Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter! I neeeeed it now! 😂

  3. Brilliant post! I still buy from UD because they do carry the leaping bunny logo although that parent company is not. I think it is down to personal preference too though, the Naked Basics palette is a staple of mine. I haven't personally tried anything else that you have featured but the Barry M powder and brushes sounds interesting :) xx

    Yasmina | The July Journal

  4. I love this post, it features so many brilliant products! I'm a massive fan of the Mary Lou Manizer and I'm yet to find a highlighter that tops it or works as well with my skin tone. I have also been converted by the Real Techniques sponge, I was a little dubious at first but it leaves your foundation looking flawless. I'm really interested in trying the Barry M contour kit, it looks great and is so affordable! xx


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