9 Cruelty-Free, Vegan Beauty Finds I Buy on Amazon (For Cheap!)
Beauty doesn't need to equal pain
I ain't no beauty blogger...I'm a total frugalista and I'd wager my product collection is smaller than 90% of the average woman's (or dude's, likely.)
In fact, a lot (almost all) of my beauty product faves involves what I've found in the NYX and Wet n' Wild section of the drugstore aisles.
I can think of one purchase I've made ever from an upscale makeup counter (a $20 cream eyeliner by Clinique, which I deliberated over for months). And rather than replace it, I've been known to use the same $4 bronzer till it's a cracked, powdery mess that spills all over the inside of my makeup bag, coating everything in a layer of sheen (totally not talking about a specific example currently happening or anything.)
I've yet to master contouring and likely never will, and of all the recent makeup trends, BB cream was my fave, cause it simplified multiple steps into one. My makeup brush collection is a collection of two...my $3 E.L.F. liquid eyeliner (my only one) dried up ages ago, and I've yet to replace it...and I'd rather a shopping sesh at Trader Joes over Sephora anyyy day.
On a normal day, my makeup routine, if it can be called that, simply involves a good moisturizer/SPF (more on that in a sec), some undereye concealer, and a dab of cream blush (I put some on my forehead and bridge of nose too to look like I've been in a bit of sun.) If I'm feeling fancy then I'll wear mascara, but that's about half of the time. Eyebrows are for days I'm feeling real pulled together, as is eyeshadow.
All that to say, I'm a simple gal when it comes to beauty routines.
But, when I find a product that delivers noticeable results and actually, honestly improves my quality of life, imma shout it from the rooftops.
It also has to be cruelty-free, vegan, and as natural-as-possible to get my stamp of approval.
I recently watched an incredibly eye-opening documentary on Netflix at the suggestion of a friend, called Stink!, and was blown away by how many products contain the vague "fragrance," and what all can be lurking in this ingredient. Since then, I whittled down my already sparse beauty collection, ditched quite a few products I thought I loved (but that contained fragrance), and got even pickier.
I consider myself fairly new to cruelty-free beauty, and only recently finally used up the last of the products that I already had, which weren't certified cruelty free. I'm a big proponent of not tossing things you already own (unless it contains something awful, like fragrance,) and using up what you have before restocking with better options. Because, #zerowaste. So it's taken me a minute to find new cruelty-free products that I could truly stand behind and vouch for.
These are the top 7 cruelty-free beauty products I'm currently using daily and absolutely loving.
Many are available in health food stores or even Target, and most can be found on Amazon, which is where I order mine. All are vegan and cruelty-free, and thoroughly tested by me!
Amika "Perk Up" Dry ShampooWhat did any of us do before dry shampoo?
I've been using some type of volume-boosting product in my hair ever since I chopped it off into a pixie, back in 2016. I have that type of hair that just looks better the bigger and higher it gets. With my pixie, that meant using the harder stuff, like pastes and putties, that made my hair look rad but feel like a bird's nest.
These days, I still get the lift with a little less of the gunkiness, by using this dry shampoo. The day I wash my hair is the day it looks the worst (flat and bleh, ) so I add some oomph while soaking up excess oil between washings. This one was gifted to me, and it's honestly the best.
R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste
As stated above, spray products don't just end up in your hair, but in your lungs, unfortunately, so if that understandably bothers you, this paste is the solution!
A tiny, and I mean tiny bit of this goes a lonnnggg way. I warm up a little dab between my fingers and work into my roots wherever I need some oil sopped up and want some root lift and grit. If you're after smooth, touchable hair, this ain't your jam, but if like me you prefer your hair with some texture and root volume, you'll adore this stuff.
A word of caution: less is more. Once, I had really dirty hair and tried to salvage it by using extra of this...and...huge mistake. My hair was totally sticky and impossible to run my fingers through and somehow looked dirtier. So I've found the key is using a truly tiny amount. I've had this for months and haven't made a dent in it, so I can see it lasting years, honestly.
I have an interesting relationship with shampoo. As in, I didn't use it for several of the past years. Yep, like not at all. I'll have a whole blog post up about it soon, but just google "no poo movement" (not kidding) and read up on the benefits of ditching shampoo.
I only added it in recently once I moved back to Florida humidity and heat, and started sweating a lot more, plus, my hair got a lot longer. While I do use shampoo now, I'm not a daily shampooer (more like once a week) and only use sulfate-free products that are cruelty-free and vegan such as this one. I've tested several such brands and this is my fave. I like the volume-boosting peppermint eucalyptus scent, and the conditioner is also great.
Alba Cleansing Conditioner
If the concept of "no-poo" appeals to you, but you just can't kick that lathering-up habit quite yet, this is the perfect "middle ground" product. It cleanses your hair and feels just like a shampoo, except your locks don't end up stripped or squeaky clean.
I'd never heard of a cleansing conditioner before, but picked this up on a whim and have found it to be ideal for those days my hair isn't really ready for a full shampooing, but could definitely use a little pick-me-up. In the past, I've simply "washed" my hair in water on these days, but this actually gets it back to day 2 level of clean, plus moisturized. I also use it as a conditioner following regular shampooing and even shave my legs with it. It's definitely a versatile product.
Australian Gold Mineral Lotion SPF 50
I discovered this product by accident before we went on a cruise this past spring. I thought I would just use it while on the boat (I needed something strong enough to keep me from getting burnt, but that would ideally give me some light coverage too, cause who wants to wear makeup while swimming and sweating ?) and didn't expect it to become a long-term staple. I'm on my 3rd bottle now and going strong.
I put this on my face every single morning and will dab it over tattoos as well if I'm going to be out in the sun. It provides good coverage but is still light, and gives my face a matte finish without being powdery, or greasy, or sunscreen-y...for lack of a better description. With SPFs this high, I usually feel like I'm wearing regular old sunscreen on my face, but not the case with this one, which is perfect under concealer or other makeup.
It's also crazy cheap, and comes in a big bottle (I've been through two full bottles since April, using it daily, and it's now October.)
I'm pushing 30, so I have started to care a little more about things like wrinkles.
I've 100% noticed some new ones in the past year, noticeably some on my forehead and a crease between my eyebrows that I'm not a huge fan of. I'll be totally honest...I googled Botox, and decided against it very quickly. so since that leaves me with natural, non-toxic solutions, I settled on the next best thing, which according to all my obsessive late-night Googling, is retinol.
This powerhouse ingredient sloughs off skin cells and exfoliates and is the ingredient you want to add to fight off existing wrinkles and prevent new ones. I will honestly say I noticed results a week into using this product, which has glowing Amazon reviews, and for good reason.
I dab some on every single night after I clean my face, and before my moisturizer, and my skin has never looked better. This one's a LOT cheaper than the way pricier alternatives and does everything it promises.
Beauty by Earth Tanner
I gotta say, I may not be a beauty buff, but one area I do know a thing or two about is the world of self-tanner.
I'm a bikini competitor after all, so when it comes time for my shows I'm slathered and oiled-up in some decidedly not natural tanner that turns me roughly the color of pine floorboards, buuttt that's not exactly a "daily" look. For that, I often turn to this amazing self-tanner when I want a little extra glow.
I find I feel my best with a tan, but ever since college, I've given up my tanning habit as wrinkles and skin cancer are definitely not worth it. I started using natural tanners when I was waist-deep in snow living in Colorado, and I'd never been paler. I've tried several since then, scoured the interwebs, read review after review, and settled on this one.
What I love about it: It's foolproof. I've used others that are FAR streakier and also give far less of a natural bronze color. You can hop out of the shower, rub this on like you would body lotion, and it's never stained my palms or knees like others have. The first application will just give you a light tan, but you can easily layer up for a darker bronze. I've also used it on my face and it totally worked there too. A little goes a longgg way, too.
Schmidt's Lime & Bergamot Deodorant
Happily, this totally natural, aluminum-free brand works way better than any of the industrial-strength ones I've ever used, doesn't irritate my underarms like others have done to me, and doesn't stop working after a few weeks like I've noticed deos tend to do.
I've tried every scent and this one is my fave...the best way I can describe it is it smells like a good margarita tastes...but for your armpits? Just go with it. It's good.
Schmidt's Activated Charcoal Toothpaste
I even pulled out the big guns and got the Crest whitening strips, but after a few days of using them was back to the natural stuff (those strips make my gums feel super weird, and I don't love the idea of all those chemicals in my mouth, call me crazy.)
I shared my own DIY recipe here, but sometimes you just want to be able to grab something from the store, and this is for those times. If you're wondering, this gives you that crisp, minty, clean feel like a traditional Crest type toothpaste would, but is all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free, and definitely has made my teeth whiter in the past month.
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Looking for more cruelty-free brands that are affordable and easy to find at any drugstore? Check out my roundup of my all-time fave brands, here!
Please share below, so we can all check them out!
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