As a teenager, I wore lots of makeup (think Adam Ant!) and really enjoyed playing with different colours and styles. These days, I’m more minimal in my approach, and have the makeup bag to match. I’m also more interested in the ingredients of the products I buy, where they’re sourced and whether or not they’re cruelty-free.
For each product, I try to consider:
- the ingredients (are they responsibly-sourced, plant-based and organic?)
- the company’s policy on animal testing
- how long it will last (and can I use it up before it goes dry/off?)
- how much packaging it comes in, and whether it’s recyclable
It takes me a long time to use up products, so I don’t buy new stuff that often. As a result, I’m still using a few things that I probably wouldn’t purchase now. My current collection certainly isn’t perfect, but in the interest of documenting my journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle, I thought it was worth sharing.
I also just want to clarify that I’m not against wearing or owning lots of makeup – if you love makeup, that’s rad! This is just a personal choice that works for me.
Okay, let’s get into it…
I don’t wear foundation, but after applying serum and moisturiser, I use Liz Earle Light Reflecting Highlighter under my eyes and Liz Earle Perfect Fix Concealer around my nose and mouth (both in the fairest shades). I like these products a lot but they’re ever so slightly too pink for my skin tone (I have more of a yellow undertone), so I may not repurchase them. According to their website, Liz Earle cosmetics are cruelty-free and use responsibly-sourced ingredients.
I use Perfect Light Pressed Powder from No.7 to set the concealer. This was a rare impulse purchase and I probably won’t buy it again – although I don’t anticipate needing a new powder for about a year.
Blush is my favourite makeup product. As I’m quite pale, I think it makes the biggest difference to the look of my face. I put it on the apples of my cheeks and a tiny bit on the tip of my nose. I’ve been using this stick of Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in “Pinker Belle” for nearly a year already, and it’s still got lots of life left. I really like the colour and formula, and it’s cruelty-free. I’m planning to replace this with the Tata Harper Volumising Lip and Cheek Tint when I run out.
Finally, for a little extra glow, I’ve been using the Green Balm from Magical Organic Apothecary on my cheekbones. I have a sample pot of this at the moment, but I’ll definitely be purchasing the full sized version when I run out.
Eyes and brows
Mascara is the makeup item I purchase most frequently; I tend to open a new tube every six weeks. I’m currently using Natio Extreme Volume Mascara in brown/black, which I love. It gives the right amount of volume, while still looking natural. The tube is fairly small so it doesn’t get a chance to dry out, and it’s very affordable (about £6 from my local Tesco).
Natio is an Australian brand that uses plant-based ingredients and essential oils to create affordable, accessible skincare and makeup products. According to the FAQs on Natio’s website, they oppose animal testing. I’d like more clarity on this point, so I’ve sent them an email asking for more information.
I’ve recently started using brow products for the first time and I really like the results. I have very thick eyebrows so I don’t need to do much, but I like how they look with a little more definition. I’m currently using the Eylure Brow Pencil in dark brown, which is the perfect colour for me and has a handy brush on one end. I was attracted to it because it was cheap (£5.45), and therefore not a huge gamble if I didn’t like it.
Although I like this product, I won’t be purchasing it again. Primarily because it contains palm oil (stupidly, I didn’t check before buying it), but also because I can’t find any information about their animal testing policies. If you’ve got a recommendation for a good brow pencil, please let me know!
I look terrible in lipstick (like a kid that’s been messing about at a makeup counter!) but I love lip balm. My favourite is the beeswax balm from Burt’s Bees, which I’ve been using for about 10 years. In light of recent changes to the company’s policy on animal testing, however, I’ve been looking for alternatives.
Lastly, I thought I’d show you the few beauty tools that also live in my makeup bag.
I have two brushes – a buffing brush and a slim powder brush – from Real Techniques. These are 100% cruelty-free. I also have some mini tweezers from Tweezerman, and a stainless steel pencil sharpener for my brow pencil. I’ve been thinking about buying some eyelash curlers, too, but I haven’t settled on a good pair yet.
A few points to round up with, that didn’t fit anywhere else:
- I don’t do any different ‘looks’ with this makeup, just the basics
- it all fits in one small pouch, which is great for travelling
- I never reapply or touch up my makeup (maybe I should, but I’m lazy!)
- all of the stuff I have currently came from the high street, so it’s pretty easy to find