Keen to be Kinder: My First Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Haul

Hey you! Back again are we? Well luckily, you’ve visited at just the right time to catch my first ever cruelty-free cosmetics haul… not that I’ll be taking it down or anything but you know, it’s a bit light-hearted compared to some of the other stuff I’ve been posting recently – so YAY! 🙂 Anyway, makeup has a way of getting me excited. It’s materialistic but also symbolic in many ways. And because I’ve always used makeup as a way to express myself, it only seems right to apply my new values to my current beauty/cosmetic routine.

What better way to showcase kindness and promote compassion by making a commitment to never support brands or use products that have been tested on animals again? It’s called practising what you preach and though the transition isn’t going to be easy, nothing worth doing or having ever is easy. I am, of course, also going to (try to) wean myself off government meat and dairy, in time. Meat-free meals aren’t something I’m used to but I have high hopes to one day become 100% vegan.

But right now, back to cruelty-free cosmetics – food is a related issue we’ll discuss someday soon. What today’s about is introducing you to some incredibly affordable drugstore makeup and beauty products that pass on ethics AND functionality. Ready? Course you are… so let’s jump right in!


The least interesting product on my list is Soapsmith, because it was a sample. I thought I’d throw it in as I’ve looked on the website and found some text quoting, “We believe in the softest skin, the most heavenly scents and truly irresistible textures with not a paraben in sight”. What I couldn’t find aaanywhere was the Leaping Bunny Logo or any disclaimers within the ingredients section. I love the smell and quality of Soapsmith products (the big bars last me over 5 months and are beautifully handmade) and therefore am wondering if any of you can shine some light on its company ethics for me? I’ve already headed to the PETA search index and again, no luck there…

Vita Coco Coconut Oil

Next is Vita Coco, the most multifunctional, 100% raw product on this list. In fact, it may even be the most multifunctional product I’ve ever bought from a drugstore. What do you do with it, I hear you ask? Well, the options are honestly endless. It’s healthy for the body, both inside and out and totally safe for consumption. I use it in my DIY face masks and even stick a bit in the frying pan when cooking up some breakfast! If you’re interested I highly recommend visiting where you’ll find an array of recipes, how-to guides. It’s one of those products that once you have, you don’t know how you ever went without.

Sleek MakeUP Control Shine & Prime 

Sleek MakeUP is a brand I’ve loved since the very day I discovered it. Way within my price range and rife with formulas that seem to just get better and better, it already made up over 20% of my makeup collection. I hoped (even prayed… LOL jk) that I’d be greeted with a Leaping Bunny accreditation when pulling up their records and (for once) I was! Mainstream, commercialised brands, such as Maybelline and Rimmel, aren’t cruelty free and because I used to lump them in the same category as Sleek I assumed I’d be disappointed, even while hoping for the best.

Well not anymore! Sleek is now right up there in my good books. Its control shine and prime isn’t its best invention yet and I probably won’t purchase again due to its dry consistency but it does do exactly what it claims to do. The arrived tube is far smaller than I expected when ordering online and the cardboard packaging isn’t the most ‘green’ – it could really be half the size. All in all, it’s a decent enough primer for combination to oily skin types and I’d far prefer to use this than anything that is tested on animals. Time to get our priorities straight ladies! Are ya with me?

Collection Lasting Perfection Foundation

If none of the above products are enough to convince you to convert then listen up because this will be the one to do it. Collection is a brand I’ve stocked in my personal makeup bag since I was 12 years old. I’ve used their pressed powder and loose powder religiously for years upon years but stopped exploring new products from their range a long time ago. I feel like Collection got a bit of a bad name in the makeup industry at one time – it was deemed cheap and childish – but I think I’ve been witness to a revival?

In recent months my social media feeds have been littered with mentions and reviews of Collection products. A few of my fellow bloggers have recommended the concealer to me and I figured, why not give the foundation a go too? I always try matching combinations, as sandwiching formulas can sometimes alter the intended finish. Foundations and concealers are often designed to be used together so I always keep that in mind when shopping for a new base.

I went for the Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear because I’m a full-coverage kinda gal. It’s thick so needs to be worked in fairly quickly, and has a fresh ‘chemically’ smell. If I get the formula in my eyes they water, so I try to be careful. Otherwise, I love it. The finish is flawless and it dries quickly, ready to be set straight away. The colour options are ideal for pale, English-rose types like myself but not so accommodating for olive or tanned skin.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer 

The Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer is my favourite find so far. It’s creamy and thick, and actually light enough to highlight my under eye area! When I apply it on top of my foundation, you can see the differentiation between the two colours – something I’d never had the satisfaction of achieving before. My foundation is usually so light that it is impossible to find a concealer any lighter. Having strong highlight and contour has become a whole lot easier for me thanks to this dime of a product!

I’m currently using Fair Shade 1 and find that it suits my winter skin perfectly. It’s water resistant and transfer proof, and comes with a lip-gloss style applicator. I use a damp beauty blender to buff it out as I find it’s too thick for my fingers to smooth out properly, even when my hands are nice and toasty. I’ll certainly be adopting this concealer as my new cruelty-free go-to and at such a good price, I’d suggest you do too!

NYX Lip Liner

NYX is raved about a lot but it hasn’t always been easy to get your hands on in the UK. Luckily, now has us covered. I decided to pop my NYX virginity with lip products, as they’re critically acclaimed and best known for being vibrant. I love a bright pop of colour, so went for Bloom. Upon swatching I could tell its pigments were strong and that the formula wouldn’t pull on dry lips. My first impressions were right, as although it is a matte liner it somehow glides on without building up, flaking or caking!

It’s better quality than Maybelline’s Colour Sensational liners and nearly matches up to MaxFactor’s Colour Elixir pencils. I don’t have any problem giving up MaxFactor for NYX. The outcome you can achieve is so similar you’d be unable to tell the difference. In addition, the colour choice is amazing so there’s guaranteed to be a shade (or two, or three…) to suit your skin colour. I’m super happy with this purchase and can’t wait to build my collection!

NYX Matte Lipstick

I love a lipstick that is able to hydrate my lips while I fill them in and NYX Matte Lipsticks provide just this, and more. The formula is creamy enough to glide on effortlessly and dries quickly and well enough to be considered transfer-proof. I’m particularly pleased with the fact that the pigment of this product doesn’t break up or fade in places once applied – it simply stays put or wears off evenly. A bold, block-coloured matte lip is mesmerising (I went for Summer Breeze), so I saw it vital for me to find an ethical brand with the ability to deliver quality lip products at an attainable price and I think it’s safe to say that I now have.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion 

As the makeup lover that I am, you’ll probably be shocked to learn that I have never owned an eyeshadow primer up until really recently. I guess this is due to the fact that I didn’t really see any need for it, as I was happy with how my eyeshadow applied and lasted throughout the day. Nevertheless, when I saw how pretty the packaging of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion was on a display, I was desperate to give it a go. With a majestic gem handle and a purple and silver holographic tube, it seriously looks the part. I also found that it played the part, in terms of functionality.

Upon applying the fleshy-coloured primer, I found that the intensity of my usual eyeshadows appeared much stronger. The pigments of were more compact on the lid and I think that is down to the formula’s texture, which is wet out of the tube and ever-so-tacky when rubbed in. I can already tell from the small amount I’m using each time that this product will last me well over 6 months. Hopefully that’s not past the sell-by date, otherwise I may have to order another!

Illamasqua Sketch Stick 

I obtained this Sketch Stick through PR at Stylist Live a few months back and honestly didn’t think I’d like it at all. It looked bulky and impossible to work with. Though my makeup isn’t in any way flawless, I do like to be as incricate and meticulous as possible when it comes to eye makeup, especially liner. I figured I wouldn’t get along too well with this product so one night after taking my makeup off for bed I decided to play around with it. I filled in my waterline, expecting to look like a heavy-handed goth (using shade ‘Haze‘), but was pleasantly surprised when I looked up to face the mirror and see that it had given me a smoked-out, sultry look.

With a smudge of the finger, I was halfway to creating the eye look of my dreams! I decided to move on up and attempt a cat-eye wing. I took a small eyeliner brush from my ecotools collection and coated the tip with the Sketch Stick product. Forming the wing and filling it in was effortless. The brush glided along my lash line the formula was just like a gel or pomade. It is really dark, black-as-black and far more multifunctional than I first imagined. Quite frankly, I love it! And it comes in a wide range of colours (currently on sale) that I can’t wait to snap up.

Shavata Extreme Mascara 

Much like the first product on my list, the Shavata Extreme Volumising Mascara is a sample that really impressed me but I’ve been unable to find out if it is in fact cruelty free. I know that it isn’t vegan by looking at the ingredients but that’s about all the information I’ve been able to find thus far. So, in terms of ethics, it’s a no-comment from me. What I can tell you about is the functionality, which in this case is truly worth mentioning.

If you want thick, full lashes that look neither wet nor dry, then this one is for you. I hate it when mascara looks flakey or sticky, as it doesn’t emphasise lashes but rather hides them. I found this mascara’s texture to be just right. It helped me to achieve fluttery, lightweight lashes that are ludicrously lengthy and therefore still dramatic enough to turn heads. Please, please tell me this brand is cruelty free!!!?

In conclusion, I’ve given you more questions than answers. So without further adieu, over to you girls…


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