product reviews

Favorite Cruelty-Free Make Up Brands!


While skin care is my passion, I enjoy all the fantastic looks that the right make up can help create. Since letting my hair go natural, I find that using more color in my make up helps balance the look of my lighter (silver blonde) hair. So it’s fun to play with new looks, color and some new products. I wanted to share my personal picks with you.

A few years ago, I transitioned to using only cruelty-free brands. It’s easy to do these days, as there are many options and brands that do not test on animals. I feel strongly that looking “pretty” at the cost of pain and suffering of animals is not pretty at all.

Luckily, there are many quality brands (in all price ranges from luxury to drugstore) to choose from these days.  My drugstore favorite is NYX (top pick: Taupe eyebrow pencil).

I’m writing this post while on a one month sabbatical from my life in Los Angeles. I’m in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida this month with my mom — a big make-up lover. We’ve planned several trips to try out new make up at Sephora, Ulta and Nordstrom.

Here are a few of my other favorites. I will do a follow up post once we do our “field trips” later this month.


Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso = Best Lip Color (in photo)

  • Stay in place, rich color that lasts for hours
  • Fantastic color selection!

TIP: Blonde, gray, white or silver hair?  Try my absolute favorite color, “Beso,” for instant glamour.

Close second is hydrating Tarte lipstick, “Escape.”


Urban Decay  24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil = Best Eye Liner

  • A creamy pencil means a smooth, easy application
  • Works well for all skin types including those with dry or crepey lids
  • Colors are varied and vivid

I do wish they had more colors like a navy blue or a deep purple.

Mildew (green) is a favorite. They also offer several excellent browns.


HYNT Beauty Perfecting Concealer =  Best Concealer

  • Clean, nourishing ingredients
  • Very concentrated, so just a bit gives exceptional coverage
  • Does not emphasize lines or wrinkles
  • Can also be used as a foundation if you add it to moisturizer

TIP: Cover broken capillaries around the nose (or anywhere) with a touch of this concealer. I use “light” under my eyes and “medium” on my nose.  Order samples to test the colors out first.

Finally, if you want light coverage “foundation” that multi-tasks, I use 302 Professional Skin Care SPF 50 (tinted) as my foundation most days.  It’s very thick and concentrated, so you mix it with 302’s Calming Mist or a bit of moisturizer. It evens out the skin quite nicely, with a matte finish.

You can also try the SPF 30 (tinted) which goes on smoother without mist or moisture, but I really like the texture of the SPF 50 for my combination/dry skin.

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