Hello, friends!! I hope you’re finding this makeup series helpful. I know for myself, I was sort-of putting off researching makeup because I was like “NOOOO IT’S TOO MUCH WORK AND I LIKE MY MAKEUP!!” Buuuuuuttt…. obviously that didn’t last, because here we are.
Previously I have talked about my favourite lipstick, and safe, affordable drugstore makeup. So now let’s move on to the big one: Sephora. The holy land for makeup lovers. Land of $45 dollar pressed powders and $65 eye shadow palettes… which I bought once and it actually lasted me about 2 years… which sounds gross but oh well. Sue me. Actually don’t cuz I have no money. Moving on. I call this post the “starter pack” because there are just SO MANY products to look at in Sephora, I decided to just tackle some of the most popular ones, and I’ve decided to only include brands that are also cruelty-free, because I feel like at the prices Sephora charges, there’s no need to be testing on animals and they should probably have safer formulas anyway. I have no reason for feeling this way, I just do, haha.
How I determined which brands to include: I went to the PETA website and a few others to look at which brands are cruelty -free. From there, I checked some of the most popular brands that were on the list with the EWG’s Skin Deep website. After that I went and applied for my pension and played some bingo because it took so freaking long that I was like WHAT YEAR IS IT!? But it’s ok. It had to be done.
A couple important notes before we get started: the EWG rates products on a 1-10 scale. 1-2 being low hazard, 3-6 being moderate, and 7-10 being high hazard. I looked at which brands have most of their makeup products in the low to moderate range (so I ignored the scores for things like nail polish and hair products). Also, this list is not exhaustive. This is just a check-up on some of the most popular cruelty-free brands, so you can make a more informed decision when you’re looking for a new foundation or eye shadow palette.
Safe, Cruelty-Free Brands to Buy
- Tarte. This brand is top of the list… sort-of. Most products fall between 1-4/5, with a few venturing up to 6. And even those products that get up to the 4/5/6 range aren’t always that high because of cancer-causing agents or developmental & reproductive toxicity, they’re often there because the products contain ingredients that could cause reactions for some people’s skin. So over all, this brand is really awesome! However. I was really disappointed to see that their Infused Lip Gloss line was at 7, because of problems with developmental & reproductive toxicity. Plus the mineral bronzer Hotel Heiress was level 9…So if you just don’t buy their lip gloss or Hotel Heiress bronzer, this is a really, really amazing option.
- Urban Decay. Around half of the products fall in the 1-2 range, and rest stay between 3-6. However, I would caution against using the Lip Primer Potion and the Santa Tanita Body Bronzer, because those fall at 8 and 10, respectively.
- Too Faced. Most products are in the 1-4 range, and almost all fall into the 1-6 range. The only products that are consistently above that are the Glamour Glosses.
- Smashbox. I have never used this brand or even paid it much attention, but I know lots of friends who love it, so I looked it up and was pleasantly surprised. Most products fall between 1-4, with some going up to 5/6. The True Colour, Sheer color and Limitless lip glosses, though… agh. They fall at 7, so I’d say just stay away from Smashbox lip gloss if you’re concerned with chemicals n shtuffff….
- Bite Beauty. The EWG doesn’t have Bite in their data base yet… but I’m just including it anyway! I do what I want. Can’t reign me in. Muahahaha!!! In all seriousness, though, this brand is awesome and is formulated without harsh chemicals, and you can look at all the ingredients right on the Sephora website. Plus if you read the next section, you will discover why having safe lip products is apparently something to be concerned about…
Stuff to Not Buy
One thing I’ve noticed in researching this post and the drug-store makeup post is that long-wear lip glosses, self-tanners and anti-aging products seemed to be the main culprits when I was looking through even the safest brands. Most of the safe brands would have pretty great products over-all, but then when it got to long-wear lip gloss, anti-aging cremes and self-tanners, the scores seemed to suddenly get a lot higher. I don’t know why this is, but if you look at the descriptions of each of the products in this post and the products in the drugstore post, I think you’ll notice the same pattern.
I hope you all found this post helpful, I know I’m learning a lot by doing all of this research. If you have a favourite makeup brand that’s safe and cruelty-free, share it in the comments so I can look it up and let other people know about it! Also, if you have any ideas for future posts or a request for a review, leave a comment and I’ll try my best to look into it soon! Have a fabulous day!!