I first started using makeup in junior year of high school. Armed with a single brush, pencil eyeliner from my mom, and big dreams, I suffered through the chubby-liner-no-eyebrows phase for years until I finally got my shit together. I remember going to Ulta on the weekends and staring longingly at the selection of brightly colored palettes and expensive as hell highlighters (looking at you Ofra). In the past year or so, I found myself becoming increasingly aware of animal testing and unsustainable practices, especially within the makeup community. Things came to head when last year, makeup giant Nars announced that they started testing their products on animals after moving operations to China. In a world ruled with corporations generating millions of tons of pollutants, and harming the environment and its inhabitants, it can become scarily "apparent" that an individual's actions are seemingly useless, but I still believe in the power of a smart consumer and the social change that can occur with a large and vocal group.
1. Anastasia Beverly Hills (For the name brand-ers and eyebrow obsessives)
The Instagram brow craze is here, has been here, and isn't going away anytime soon. Personally, I think this trend has done wonders for the over plucked previous generation, and makeup giant ABH is at the forefront of this trend with its highly pigmented and luxurious products. Their famous brow pencils and pomades retail for around 18$ a pop, and their palettes are on the pricier end of around 50$, but if you want to splurge on quality products while also supporting animal-friendly practices, Anastasia Beverly Hills is the brand for you.
2. Korres (For the skin care freaks)
Korres is a relatively "new" brand. Although they've been around since 1996, they've recently been attracting good press for their quality and effective skin care. My favorite from their line is the Wild Rose Smoothie primer which preps my skin for makeup while also providing moisture. In addition to being cruelty free, some of their popular products are vegan as well!
3. Wet'n'Wild (For the drugstore enthusiasts)
Wet'n'Wild was a staple in every makeup-using girl's bag in the 90's, and for a good reason. Since their conception, they've been cranking out increasingly better makeup for an affordable price. 2018's Wet'n'Wild sees a range of beautiful and pigmented eyeshadows, highlighters, blush, and brushes- with some being notable dupes for more expensive brands. Not only are you supporting environmentally friendly practices, but you're also getting great products for any budget.
4. Glossier (For the indie brand lovers)
A relative newcomer to the makeup industry, Glossier is where the aesthetic Instagrammers go to die. Their makeup is cute, cruelty-free, and features several vegan products. Their brow gel is revolutionary, and I love their lippies and primers especially. Although Glossier doesn't feature many pizzazz pieces like other new companies (Colourpop, Beauty Bakerie), their minimalist take on makeup basics is the perfect thing to throw in a purse for the on-the-go guy or gal.
Makeup is an art form, a fun way to express yourself, and an ever growing community. If you're someone who's been living an environmentally conscious lifestyle for years, or someone who's just starting like me, cruelty-free and/or vegan makeup is a great way to incorporate better choices in day-to-day life.