Beauty Products: My Cruelty-Free Picks


Justbathed If you're like me, your medicine cabinet is filled with some long-time favorite cosmetic standbys as well as a rotating crew of new products. I generally base my picks on trusted peer reviews or amazing packaging/marketing (what can I say? I'm a sucker for a pretty label) and I keep my beauty routine as simple as possible. Before I had V, I would say I was a minimalist. Now I'm happy if I get some moisturizer and mascara on before I leave the house. If I leave the house. *snort*

Aside from packaging, price and scent (or lack of) my bottom line when shopping for beauty products is animal testing. I'm not going to toss a bunch of red paint all over you, but I would like to at least mention that not only is animal testing for cosmetics totally unnecessary from a consumer safety standpoint, in the internet/information age it is easy to find and afford products that avoid such cruelty. There is little if anything that could convince me that such practices should even exist. As a consumer, a woman, and a mother I feel happy inside when I am able to spend my money on items that not only make me feel pretty outside but also align with my personal ethics.

If you want to make the ethics of animal cruelty a priority or even just a factor when choosing your beauty products, please remember that as always, labels can be misleading. Some lines may label themselves as cruelty-free, while their parent companies are not. Additionally, not all companies who are cruelty-free have it written on all of their packaging. Find current lists of companies that do and do not test on animals here.

As a long time vegetarian, it's only consistent that I would emphasize cruelty-free beauty. My guess is that whether or not you enjoy a hamburger, you would be appalled by the routine harm done to animals that most of us would consider pets in the name of 'beauty.' This post isn't meant as a lecture, it's just simply as a public service announcement. In salons, department stores and drugstores you can easily access products (at all price points) and support companies that do not engage in unneccessary and unimaginable practices.

The following are my current beauty staples. On the days when I DO leave the house, this is what makes me made up! Do you have any cruelty free brands or products that you swear by and want to share?

Almay Truly Lasting Lipcolor-$9.25 - It's affordable, lasting, and makes me look more alive than I feel. Winner!

Aveda Air Control Hair Spray-$24 - You might be a mom who is able to blowdry, curl, straighten or in some other way style her hair every day. Me? I end up in some version of a messy bun or ponytail that tries to look put together. This hairspray gets things where they need to be without adding that weird crunchy look that I can't stand.

Bobbi Brown Everything Black Mascara-$24 - As a rule, anything that makes my eyes look more open is a product not to live without. BB's mascara doesn't give me clumps, doesn't leave me racoon-eyed by the end of the day, and makes my embarrassingly short lashes look longer in just a couple coats.

Noah's Naturals Moisturizer SPF 15-$8 - On vacation I found myself out of face lotion, popped into Walgreens to find a quick fix that satisfied my need for a cruelty-free/SPF 15 or higher/paraben-free product and found this amazingly affordable product. Converted for life!


The Body Shop Flawless Skin Protecting Concealer-$16.50 - The times when my pregnancy hormones kept my skin looking nice and porcelain are over; this concealer stick does the job quickly and without looking caked-on.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks– $24 - I like this product for lips and cheeks, but use it primarily as blush to look a little rosy, a little dewy, a little younger than I am.

OPI Clear Top Coat– $8 - No time for a manicure, no patience for chipped nails. But just having a shiny topcoat on (and one that dries quickly, thankyouverymuch) makes me feel more put together!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion– $9.99 - I was drawn in by the marketing claims against stretchmarks, I was hooked by the smell and non-greasy texture! I use this all day long on my over-washed hands.



Contributing author Lane is an intentionally unemployed social worker who is currently a new mom, following her husband's dream, trying to stay relevant, and practicing her mothering skills on two rescued dogs, Enid and Falcor (in addition to her new addition, baby Vesper).  Check out her fabulous blog, the Overseas Trapeze.


  1. Thanks for the list, Lane! I would love to support the companies on the “good” list. Burt’s Bees is on the list AND it’s on my list of products still manufactured in the USA. Win-Win!

  2. Great post. Thank you.
    I also really like Korres brand for eyeshadow…Desert Essence makes really inexpensive and wonderful face lotions, soaps, etc. 🙂

  3. I’m not much of a makeup girl, but I’ll have to check out that Noah’s Naturals moisturizer. It’s getting close to summer so I’ll need something with a little SPF!
    And dumb question, but does that mean all Almay makeup is cruelty free?

  4. Lane – I seriously loved these picks. I’m making a mental note to check out the Almay lipcolor on my next Target foray…and you’ve totally sold me on the hairspray and the pot rouge….

  5. If you are concerned about the parent companies of cruelty-free brands carrying out animal testing, as you mention in your post, then I fear The Body Shop may not be a great choice since it is owned by L’Oreal. L’Oreal still tests on animals (although they have a cotoff date of 2013.)

  6. Good point, Nell! Win and win!
    @Maman A Droit, yes, Almay meets PETA’s requirements and their products are all cruelty free!
    @Shana, let’s never make a Target run together. We might not get out alive.
    @Amy, Thanks for your feedback! People have similar concerns about Tom’s Of Maine (whose Lavendar deoderant is my standard!) after it was purchased by Colgate. Everyone has to make a decision for themself, but I agree with the logic used in this statement about how shopping cruelty-free brands (meaning none of the products in THAT brand are tested on animals, despite the parent company) shows the economic viablity of such products. Read more here!

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