My one year vegetarian anniversary has officially passed, go me!! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it this long when I started. The love of chicken nuggets is strong with this one. But not eating meat has been surprisingly easy for me, and while there have been times when I think, “DAMMIT, LIFE WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER IF I WOULD JUST EAT A CHEESEBURGER,” for the most part I don’t even miss it, I’ve gotten a lot more creative in the kitchen, I’ve expanded my palate (give me all the veggies), and I feel happier and healthier over all.
Along with going meatless around this time last year, I phased out all of my cosmetics for cruelty free alternatives. This was something that took a little bit more research and effort than simply cutting out meat. In the first few months, I had to take my list of companies that don’t test on animals almost everywhere I went; but over time I have found brands I love and products that work for me and now shopping cruelty free has become second nature. It is something I believe to be well worth working towards and feel that almost anyone can do, even if they don’t want to be vegetarian or otherwise alter their diet. Over the past year I’ve had lots of people ask me about going cruelty free, what does it mean, is it hard, what stuff do I like, etc. So in celebration of one whole year of being a tree hugging hippie, I am going to share my Bunny Approved favorites.
(None of the links in this post are affiliate links or sponsored content in any way, I *wish* I could get paid to talk about this stuff, but none of these companies have any idea who I am 😉 Links are provided just to help anyone who might be interested in finding these products!)
1. Giovanni 50:50 Hydrating – Clarifying shampoo and conditioner
($16.25)– It took me a while to find a shampoo/conditioner that I really loved. I tried Alba’s coconut one, the Yes to Carrots shampoo, and a few others, they weren’t terrible, but nothing really wow-ed me until the Giovanni shampoo. I LOVE THIS STUFF! I will say, I don’t really have high maintenance hair. It is naturally very straight, slippery soft, and there’s a ton of it. Since it is so fine, my biggest hair struggle is it looking kind of flat and lifeless; the Giovanni shampoo/conditioner does wonderful things to my hair, makes it shiny and just bouncy enough, keeps it feeling clean without being stripped, and also lathers really well (which is hard to find in more natural shampoos).
2. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hand & Body Scrub
($9)– Holy wow, this scrub is great. I wish it came in a larger container, because I find myself rationing it so I don’t use it up too quickly. I love to cover myself with this after a long run or bad day at work and just scrub all my troubles (and dead skin) away. Best of all it leaves my skin really soft and moisturized. Bonus: Scotty loves it too, he says it makes him feel like a beautiful princess. 🙂
3. Burt’s Bees Natural Skin Care for Men Shave Cream
($7)– So, I’ll admit it, like the freaky hippie I am, I’m not *super* in to shaving my legs, dude. I probably get the motivation to put the effort in about once every week or week and a half (or more, if it’s cold out and I’m not showing off my gams)… THINK WHAT YOU WILL! When I *do* want to achieve that silky smooth feeling, I reach for this stuff (and my Dollar Shave Club razor). I have pretty sensitive skin (probably why I’m so adverse to shaving), but this shave cream is like butter for your legs and is the only thing I’ve ever used that keeps my legs from getting that Sahara Desert dried out, itchy feeling after I shave.
4. Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil
($14)– Side note on this one, if you are freaked out by cleansing oils, HEAR ME OUT ON THIS ONE. As someone with oily skin I was absolutely repulsed by the idea of adding more oil to my greasy face. I was struggling to find a face cleanser that would remove my make up thoroughly WITHOUT leaving my skin feeling tight and dry, *heavenly music* enter cleansing oils. They are great at breaking down all your make up and general “gunk” of the day, while retaining your skin’s moisture. I have tried a few other more expensive and luxury cleansing oils, but I keep coming back to my Burt’s– it easily cleans my face (including heavy eye make up on days I wear it) and leaves my skin feeling fresh and balanced.
5. ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub
($9.99)– (which I just ran out of, so I had to grab a stock photo of it) Ever since transitioning myself off of hormonal birth control (a subject on which I could write a WHOLE OTHER novel-length blog post on, ugh), my skin has been giving me trouble. It’s oily, sensitive, and acne prone. This scrub helps get rid of all the flaky skin I tend to have on my nose and chin area, as well as helping to brighten the spots where I have some hyperpigmentation. It leaves my skin clean and smooth without feeling dry!
1. Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes
($4.19)– So I’m actually not all that in to make up wipes, I don’t think they’re a super effective method for every day cleansing and make up removing. BUT!! I really like these towelettes. I keep them in my gym bag and use them on the go for face and
body- when I’m heading to the gym and want to wipe my make up off so I don’t look like a clown while I’m sweating it up, when I’m dashing to a track club meeting immediately after a quick jog, when I feel kinda sticky and gross and want to freshen up… I like these over other wipes because they have nice, light smell and seem to be more moist right out of the package than others, like the Burt’s Bees, which are dryer. They’re awesome, I don’t go anywhere without them.
2. LAVANILA Vanilla Grapefruit Fragrance
($58 full size, $19 rollerball)– Perfume that isn’t tested on animals was probably the hardest thing for me to find. I’m pretty picky about my fragrances, and I want them to be good quality that smells nice, isn’t too strong, and most importantly, LASTS. I really enjoy the LAVANILA deodorant so I asked for the matching fragrance for Christmas. It smells so nice, like a sexy, grown up version of the atrocious sugary sweet body sprays I loved when I was in high school. It has become a fast favorite and I keep the rollerball in my purse!
3. LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant
($14)– Speaking of the LAVANILA deodorant… Natural deodorant is a tricky thing, and the same things aren’t going to work for everyone. I am heavy sweater almost any level of activity makes me start to sweat, no matter how small. I’m pretty sure I start to sweat when I walk up the stairs in my office every morning. Needless to say, this deodorant is awesome. My only negative is that it doesn’t last for more than ~8 hours or so, so if I am going somewhere after work, I need to reapply. But other than that, this stuff is wonderful, smells good, and it makes my arm pits happy.
4. SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Raw Shea Butter Body Oil
($10.39)– Lotions and creams just don’t do it for me, especially in the winter time. They often end up drying out my skin due to irritating ingredients, it’s almost like I rub them in and then minutes later my skin feels dry again. Also, I don’t necessarily want to use something scented that is going to compete with my perfume. I wanted something that would be very moisturizing but wouldn’t make my skin feel all sticky and gross. This body oil sinks in quickly, and keeps my skin nice and soft for HOURS without needing to reapply. Random tip: using an oil vs a traditional lotion to moisturize makes your tattoos (if you have any) look bright and fresh as the day you got them!
5. Andalou Naturals Tumeric Plus C Enlighten Serum
($16.99)– One of my main skin concerns is hyper pigmentation. I saw a recommendation for this serum from an esthetician on Youtube and had my eye on it for a long time before I pulled the trigger and bought it. It’s pretty pricy (between $15-20 depending on where you buy), but let me tell you, it is worth every dime. This is the only product that has made a significant difference in my acne scarring and skin texture overall. I am so much more confident with my bare face than I was 6 months ago!
1. tarte Amazonian Clay 12‑Hour Full Coverage Foundation ($39)– I discovered this foundation when I was perusing Sephora one day trying to find a cruelty free replacement for my foundation. The sales woman suggested it to me, and I was leery at first. The name kind of turned me off. “Full Coverage 12 hour” – I don’t really want full coverage because I’m not going for the photoshopped in real life effect, I don’t mind some of my imperfections showing through. While this foundation can definitely be built up for a pretty full coverage, you don’t have to wear it that way, and when applied in a thin layer it gives a very natural effect that evens out my skin without being too obvious. I have been using it consistently for almost a full year now and I highly recommend it!
2. Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder ($30)– Words cannot accurately convey how much I love this product. It is everything I want in a setting powder. It sets my make up without giving that overly matte, pancake-y look to the face, it doesn’t give you a white cast, and it keeps my excessively oily skin under control. I loooooove this powder, I recommended it to my mom and she loves it too!
3. Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade ($18)– I get a lot of compliments on my eyebrows so this product must really be working for me. I have pretty big natural brows, but they can be unruly and look a little unkempt if left to their own devices. I like a bold, yet natural looking brow, and this pomade is like a gift from the gods. Not only does it keep my brows on fleek, but it has an insane level of lasting power- I’m pretty sure I could run a marathon and when I finished my brows would still be on point.
4. Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Iridescent ($38)– I actually kind of hate that I love this stuff so much because it is so damn expensive compared to similar products on the market. *sings* I haaaaate how much I love you, powder, I can’t STAND how much I neeeed ya… This highlighting powder is magical y’all, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was made of unicorns and rainbows. You can lightly apply on your whole face for an all over glow (a la early 2000s JLo), or you can apply it more concentrated on your cheekbones/high points to achieve that Instagram girl highlight. I love it, I need it, I’m addicted to that shimmer life. I’m pretty sure this highlighting powder can cure cancer, end world hunger, and send a man into Mars.
5. Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette ($48)– I have used this palette every day since I got it (well, except on weekends, because try to I go barefaced on the weekend, but you know what I mean), and I fall deeper in love with it every time. The shadows are all beautifully formulated, they blend wonderfully, and they stay put all day. I love that it’s got a good mix of warm, cool, and neutral tones, and they are the perfect thing to give you that minimal yet put together eye look.
There you have it! There is everything I find myself reaching for on a daily or near daily basis. I’m absolutely a girly-girl and love to try new things, but these products are my never-fail, ride or die favorites. If you are interested in going cruelty free or have any questions about it all, feel free to hit me up. Removing animal tested products from your routine can seem really intimidating, but I promise, it’s *so* worth it and easier than you think!