Beauty Products you should NOT waste your money on.

If you're gonna read and take anything from this post, let it be this: your hard earned money is better spent & invested in skincare, an eyeshadow palette & a good foundation.

If you follow my Snapchat & Instagram…or just know me on some level in person, you know I am REALLY into makeup. No, I am not going to start a YouTube channel. Its not my jam. I just want to use my blog to talk to you ladies (and gents, guys wear makeup too) about make up n stuff. In this post, I have listed all my favorite products (tried and true) but more importantly, I have focused on the items that are cheaper & in similar quality as high-end (looking at you literally any mascara.) With that said here is my list:

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I am no longer buying or trying from companies that test on animals. I still have some in my collection but I am no longer buying anything new thats tested on animals. Every brand I recommend to you is cruelty free and/or vegan. L’Oréal, Cover Girl & Maybelline might have good shit, but I refuse to buy and use it and this is MY PERSONAL preference. You do you boo.
  • Do not spend more than $15 on a liquid lipstick. Both NYX Cosmetics and Wet’n’Wild have good ones. But know that these cheaper formulas do take more than one coat to achieve that full opaque look. Colourpop also has incredible lip stuff for fraction of the cost. If you wanna spend more, I personally enjoy formulas from: Kylie Jenner CosmeticsJeffree Star Cosmetics and Bare Minerals (smells like chocolate.) Liquid lipstick is not for everyone. If your lips are on the dryer side, it can make them look worse. People buy this stuff mostly because it stays on ALL day.
  • Do not spend big money on a blush. I was doing my make-up few days ago and I put NARS Orgasm ($30.00) on one cheek, Milani Baked Blush Luminoso ($7.00 at Target) on other, and absolutely LOVED Milani far more. It is a gorgeous peachy blush with little sheen. Could serve you as highlighter AND blush. Luminoso color is GORGEOUS, subtle and you can really build it. Blushes are ONE type of make up where you don't want intense pigment, unless you want a slab of unnatural color on your face. Milani has other baked blush shades too and if they are anything like Luminoso, I might be due for another trip to Target.
  • Do not spend big money on a highlighter. I cannot believe I’m even saying this because my collection is nothing but high end, but over the past month, I've been using ONE and one and only highlighter: Physician’s Formula Butter Highligher in Rose Gold. Its about $11 at Target. It has a near putty texture that just blends onto the skin flawlessly. I am OBSESSED with it.
  • Do not spend big money on a bronzer. Speaking of Physician's Formula brand, they have an incredible Butter bronzer that has achieved a cult level status at this point. It literally smells like vacation, has the right amount of orange & gray in it so you don't look yellow & fake...but also not muddy. Sadly, this is the ONLY cheap bronzer I can personally recommend because 99% of drugstore bronzers have shimmers and I'm a matte bronzer kinda bitch. My blush & highlighter already have enough sheen. Its all about personal preferences. Shimmery bronzers make my face look dirty.
  • Do not spend big money on brushes. (This can go along with the Beauty Blender.) In the past year or so, I have reached for my $2.50 Wet'n'Wild all over brush more than my $50 Marc Jacobs one. Cheaper companies have found a way to make incredible synthetic brushes that feel soft without destroying your wallet. Be mindful of the TJ Maxx and Marshall brands. I have bought a ton from there since they are so damn cheap...and threw away a ton. They are flimsy & itchy. Stick with known brands if you are interested in building a good, long lasting collection. You cannot go wrong with Real Techniques, Morphe & Wet'n'Wild. Also, BH Cosmetics....fucking hell. Amazing quality, super low prices. I have a couple of sets and they are still serving me few years later. BH Cosmetics also has TON of great eyeshadows, blushes, contour kits, lipsticks for very cheap.
  • Do not spend big money on liquid highlighters. They are so damn expensive for what they actually are: impractical. This is not the type of product you use every day. I shelled out $42.00 for custom highlighter drops from Cover FX and used it a handful of times. Should have kept my receipt and returned it because its a useless product and I could get some good skin care for that $. Its a good product, but its shimmery intensity calls for special occasions and its not wearable for every day. In meanwhile, I've been playing with the brand new Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating primer and its subtler, more every day kinda product and gives skin a nice glow. If you are super oily, stay away from liquid highlighters. Unless you like that oil slick look on your face. Liquid highlighters are a tricky item which is why no more than $15.00 should be spent on it.

Basically, Physician's Formula has been KILLING the game lately with their excellent, affordable products. I'm still in testing stages of their new Healthy Foundation. So far I am loving it, it looks gorgeous on skin (but doesn't last as long) so I don't wanna recommend it too soon. I need a good solid month or two of testing.

Other cruelty free and/or vegan brands that I heartily recommend: Pacifica & Pixi Beauty. They are more mid-range priced but the quality is top-notch. Pacifica is for that really natural, subtle look.

Obviously take everything on here with a grain of salt. Your $ - your business. I feel like I have enough experience & wear test to help you save money because there are items out there you SHOULD be shelling out your coin for. $30 NARS blush is not worth it. Putting that extra $30 towards good skincare is a WAY better investment.

I hope this list is helpful. I didn't recommend anything I haven't bought, tried and used. And not just for a day or week...we are talking at least a year span. I have wasted enough $ on shit that I barely use or was not up to par and was TOO LAZY to return. Not anymore. I've become more conscious of how much I'm spending and what I'm buying. If a $50 foundation is not a flawless bitch putting my kids through college....shit is going back. Do not be afraid to return stuff and don't waste your money on products I listed above. I promise you, its not worth it.

Going Animal Cruelty Free - personal manifesto.

Ever since I rescued my 3 cats, I've become more conscious about animal welfare. Not that I wasn't aware of animal cruelty before, I just never spoke as loudly as I do these days. And also, ignorance is bliss. I chose to ignore certain things because I like certain items. In terms of animal welfare, I sadly admit that I am nowhere near perfect. I still eat meat, for example. Not as much as I used to, but I do. I do imagine and see the future for myself that is free of animal flesh & fur. My conscience won't allow much longer for it. I know what the corporate farming does to cows, pigs and chickens. Do not google it....or do, maybe we can go vegan together. Cats and dogs might be considered pets, but the farm animals are just as sentient as the "cute," "fluffy" ones. Because I still eat meat, I can't judge anyone else who does. This post is not meant to be preachy or judgmental. I'm fully aware of the fact that veganism and vegetarianism are FIRST world choice. People across the planet cannot afford such luxury. I try to keep my privilege in check. This post is simply a reflection on a lifestyle I want to change & lead. Lifestyle free of animal, products, torture & cruelty. Those are the key words to keep in mind. It's not a change I can make over night but I'm willing to work on it.

Animal cruelty, with CRUELTY being the key word here, it does nothing to benefit a human. You can eat an animal without torturing it or experimenting on it.

Bottom line:

It's cruel to hunt for sport & fun.
It's cruel to test make-up on animals.
It's cruel to wear leather and fur.
It's cruel to buy animals.

I want to contribute somehow. I want to curb the cruelty in any way I can. I wish I can be more radical and bold and just say "fuck it all" but there is nuance to this. Its not as black and white and as simple as some may make it out to be. Hunting for food and population control, I get it. Testing medications on animals for cancer treatments, I get it. Testing for make up? Fuck no. Its absolutely unnecessary. Wearing leather and fur? The sheer cruelty these poor animals go through is unbearable. Technology and process has evolved so much that vegan leather and fake fur look as good as the real thing, but its a personal choice and you chose to be a fucking asshole. (The fur thing infuriates me.) Now, let me step back for a moment. I own a leather jacket, shoes and boots. All from Zara. Haven't bought real leather in years & don't intend to anymore. I find solace in Zara's ethically obtained leather though. but even this is highly questionable due to the environmental impact and collection of carcasses from slaughterhouses....I mean....I don't know. At least they are not killing these poor animals just to strip them off their skin, so I find SOME, completely bare minimum justification in that. Its not good enough though.

Ethical Consumer is a fantastic source if you are looking to make changes to your purchasing and life habits.

I have never bought or worn fur. I refuse to buy silk.  I'm trying to abstain from polyester as well, due to environmental impact. Cotton, linen and soy based fabrics such as cashmere and silk are all sustainable and biodegradable. Does polyester sneak into my closet? Sure. I'm trying to curb it as much as I can. 

For about a year, I've been changing up my skin and make-up routine and products to cruelty-free. 99% of my make up is cruelty free. 100% of my skin care is cruelty free. Hair care? This is my worst offence. Pretty much all of my hair products have been tested on animals. After make up and skin care, that's my next level of cruelty free I'd like to achieve. If it has the word L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, & Shiseido, I am NOT buying it. There are so many great make up  brands that are NOT sold in China (this is major indicate) and are cruelty free. My favorites are Hourglass. Marc Jacobs Beauty (separate company from the perfumes which DO test on animals) Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Becca, Cover FX - and TONS of other affordable & indie brands. There are thousands of fantastic companies NOT testing on animals and their products are TOP NOTCH. You can spend $13 on Loreal Infallible....or you can spend $5.00 on Wet'nWild which is far superior, cheaper and CRUELTY FREE. Its not just rats and rabbits that go through this process. Cats, dogs, monkeys....I mean. I didn't want to share any disturbing photos but...


I don't want this on my conscience. I already do enough damage by eating meat & eggs....but to contribute to this because of a fucking lipstick? I can do better.

So yeah. I've been ranting, facebooking, snap-chatting and discussing cruelty free for a while now. Its something I take seriously & other people's opinions on this matter are absolutely irrelevant to me. My goal is not to preach or tell you "go vegan"...I just want to discuss alternatives. I can't judge because I'm so far from where I want to be. I hope to start a conversation with this.

I want my lifestyle to reflect my conscience. Maybe not right now at this moment or even tomorrow, but I'm more than willing to make changes & raise my own humans one day to be aware of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Cruelty Free Kitty website is a FANTASTIC source for all things cruelty-free & vegan. Suzi updates her blog regularly with new products and ways. She also alerts when a company sells their soul to China (looking at you NARS.)
Resources are out there, products and ways are out there...they just need to be looked up, reached and researched. Ignorance is no longer a bliss for me. I'm not that boring anymore. And as always, TNR your neighborhood cats and ALWAYS ADOPT DO NOT SHOP.