Monday, July 6, 2009

July Five: Cruelty Free Beauty Recommendations

Somewhere in the world, there is a withered old gypsy who has cursed me to forever run out of all my beauty products at the same exact time. A scrub here, a soap there - restocking it doesn’t hurt you unless you are dropping Big Bucks on overpriced designer hoo-hah, in which case you deserve the pain. But when everything you ever use is suddenly empty, it causes major damage to the deep recesses of my wallet. I’m talking all makeup, all skincare, all bath products, even mouthwash! Deodorant! Things you cannot go days and weeks and months without, telling yourself you’ll restock in more lucrative times. This is stuff you needed yesterday.

The only possible ray of sunshine in this cloud of helpless moneyspending is that you can justify trying out new exciting products . . . which is exactly what I've been doing this past month, and now I am here to share my recommendations with you, dear readers. And all of these brands are cruelty free!

In no particular order:
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Brand: Juice Beauty
Product: Antioxidant Serum
Bonus: 100% Certified Organic

If I had a nickel for anytime a face cream claimed to work "like magic", then I would have enough money to buy lots and lots of face creams or even a whole face cream conglomerate. But I don't, I'm guessing you don't either. So just buy this one. I got a free sample from Sephora, tried it out, and my skin was suddenly clear and glowing and moisturized - like magic. Then I used up my sample, and it went back to normal. But to be sure I wasn't fluking myself out, I went back a few months later, and tried again. AGAIN. MAGICAL PERFECTION. I don't know what spells they cast on this witch's brew, but it works, goddamnit. Also, it's 100% certified organic. Technically this is a "serum" which means you use it under your regular day or night cream. I use it at night, since I like to have as little on my face as possible during the day to minimize oiliness, etc.
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Brand: The Body Shop
Product: Nature's Minerals Foundation (Shade 01)
Bonus: SPF 15

For some reason, my Swedish-Dutch-Native-American skin refuses to match 99.9% percent of all makeup products. When you take into account that I would only purchase cruelty-free stuff, the search becomes even more fruitless. UNTIL LAST YEAR. A great year in human history. A year in which the Body Shop came out with their mineral foundation, which goes on "like buttah" except obviously not literally like butter because that would be disgusting. Also, I can only speak for myself with regard to shade matching, since everyone's skin is obviously different by degrees of impossible minuteness. But I would encourage you to go to a store and check it out.
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Brand: 100% Pure
Product: Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration (SPF 20)
Bonus: SPF 20

Really, this is all I'll ever use on my face during daytime ever again, unless they stop making it or change it somehow. And even then I will buy up all the remaining bottles on ebay or through private auctions, until I have enough to sustain me for a hundred years.
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Brand: 100% Pure
Product: Seaweed Facial Mask
Bonus: Vegan

Okay, this is actually a repeat buy and therefore not a beauty discovery per-say, but whatever. This is not rocket science! It's regular science! The kind where you mix a powdered seaweed concoction with water and apply it all over your face until it dries and then you rinse it off with a washcloth and BEHOLD - your skin, it gloweth! God, I love science so much. Please note: this does, in fact, contain real seaweed and therefore smells like REAL SEAWEED. If you read some of the reviews on, you will see occasional complaints about this from people who were surprised to find that a product comprised mostly of seaweed did not smell like perfumed flower petals. Do you really trust these people to advise your purchases? If you hate the smell of seaweed, don't buy this. If you don't, DO BUY THIS.
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Brand: C.O. Bigelow
Product: Rose Salve
Bonus: $5.50!

Weirdly, this was the most exciting discovery for me. Many moons ago, my mom bought a tin of that horribly omnipresent "Rosebud Salve" (you know, the one that comes similar tin to the one above) and I tried some. I can safely say that it was supergrosstastic, and moisturized my lips for about thirty seconds before evaporating, leaving my lips coated in a Vaseline-like glaze and somehow drier than ever. But this... this is a horse of a different color. It stays on for ages and ages. It comes in a huge tin. It costs next-to-nothing. Apparently, you can also use it on your elbows? But best of all, I haven't had dry lips since I started using it. Purchase this, and you will know the specific but immense and undeniable pleasure that I know whenever I see rosebud salve for sale or being used by some no-nothing who knows nothing. Sucker! If I were a nice person, I might feel badly for keeping such a delicious secret to myself.

But hey - I never claimed to be a nice person. Just a person with really, really great skin and lips and makeup and no money.