Getting Rid Of My Make-up Collection & New Vegan Beauty Replacements

A couple of weekends ago I took on the mammoth task of sorting through my vast beauty collection which spanned across 3 large drawers in one room and a few more drawers in another. I had TONS of the stuff. Lipstick upon lipstick, many similar shades, mascaras and magic potions that promised the world but didn’t ever actually deliver. 

It was well overdue a big sort out; but the reason was two-fold.

1. Eating a Vegan lifestyle means I don’t eat any animal products or derivatives. Therefore why would I put them on to my body either? After a lot of research it appeared that SO many big companies (l’oreal, Revlon, Maybelline to name a few) still test on animals and have animal derivatives in their products. It was time I had to say bye-bye to lots of what I owned.

2. When endeavouring on the road of a more minimal lifestyle, my Capsule Wardrobe being my catalyst, it was only natural that this stemmed on to other parts of my life. I was certainly not minimal when it came to my ridiculously large make-up collection, which, if I’m honest, I only ever used a mere 10% of it.

So one Sunday afternoon I pulled out all my stash and went through each piece, placing anything not-used/non vegan in to a big black bag to donate to family and friends (my step daughter had a field day)

It was shocking how much I got rid of.

But now, all I have is one small makeup bag with my everyday makeup in.

It feels liberating!

There are currently a few holes in my make-up armoury, I’m in need of a couple more things and then I’ll be pretty much set.

But I thought I’d share some of the pieces I’ve bought and enjoyed of late.

1. Coconut Micellar Water by Sonoma Naturals
I picked this micellar water up to replace my well used Garnier Micellar water. I can not find this brand anywhere on line, but I found it (alongside some other great vegan/natural products) in TK Maxx for £7.99. It works a treat. It gets off every scrap of makeup (even my Wunderbrow.. which I’ll talk about in a mo) and leaves my sking feeling clean, taut(in a good way) and fresh. I use it morning and night, and if i can find it again i will be definitely repurchasing. Completely vegan and free of all the parabens and general nasties, this is a great product.

2. M&S Natures ingredients Peach & Almond Body Spray
Did you know that a lot if the M&S Nature’s Ingredients range is vegetarian & Vegan and Cruelty free? I didn’t until recently. I was researching Vegan Deodorants (results soon on that!) and good ol’ M&S came up.  I bought this as they had a buy on get one half price, making this literally a pound or so. The scent is Peach & Almond. I’ve never really been one for peachy smells, deeming them a little ,ahem, old for me (I think i’m thinking of my Nana there) but i have to say, the almond really keeps the peach in tow, and makes it less old lady, more refreshing and light.

3. Wunderbrow
Oh this stuff is a God send for an eyebrow challenged person like myself. I’ve blogged about it before, but I’m mentioning it here because its a. Vegan b. Cruelty Free and c. freakin’ amazing. This stuff sticks for days and creates a softer more natural brow then a sold brow-pencil does. I’m on my second stick of it and i shall be buying another without a doubt. It is tricky to get off (hence its great staying power) But Micellar water on a cotton pad and a bit of a light scrub does the trick. Oil based removers also work well.

4. Elf Concealer & Highlighter
In need of some eye baggage coverage I turned to ELF cosmetics. This is a concealer one end and the white cream is a subtle highlighter. The concealer is ok.. not amazing, but ok. The coverage is enough, but I do find it fades through the day (or my greying eye area seeps through the more tired I get). The white highlight cream is pretty and subtle. I place it along the eye socket/higher cheekbone, and lightly dab it in. It has a nice light reflecting element which makes the area look glowy.

5. Organic Surge Eye gel
Love this product for cooling puffy eyes. It really helps in the morning, when i’ve just gotten up and I’m feeling all sleepy and bleary eyed. The gel acts as a coolant and soothes my sleepy peppers perfectly

6.B. Cosmetics Blush
B. are a Brand my Uk retailer Superdrug. All their range is delightfully cruelty free and vegan. I bought this peachy blush as it seemed an all rounder. Great for day to day wear as it has a subtle colour pay off that makes it natural an easy to wear.

7. Barry M Eyeliner
Having been using the same eye-liner for about 4 years it was a tricky one to replace. So i’ve been road testing this Barry M eyeliner, and although the application is a little different (the brush/tip is firm rather than flowing) It still produces an inky dark black which is good enough. Longevity with this eye liner is pretty decent and lasts the day, with just my inner eye smudging away, but this is fairly common for me. I’ve used this every day i’ve worn makeup of late and the more i use it the more I like it.

8.Green People Mascara
This is a vegetarian mascara (it has bees wax included) and the only mascara i have right now, which is a major step away from how i used to be.. mascaras were my guilty pleasure.. I think I counted up 10 different types when I packed them all up. This Green People mascara is a fantastic product. It lifts, lengthens and seperates without leaving your eyelashes looking sparse or like spider-legs. One of the only mascara’s i’ve worn and had compliments from.

9. Barry M Matte Lip (in shade 3 Dress Rehearsal)
Obsessed with this lip colour for everyday wear. Its the perfect ‘your-lips-but-better’ shade for me, and goes with pretty much everything. I love how it’s also a slight nod to that matt lip/90’s shade throw back that’s everywhere right now. Its not as brown as that ‘in’ shade, but it works well for me and that’s what’s important with lipstick. it doesn’t last overly well, and needs reapplying after food and drink, but that’s fairly common practice for me and doesn’t make me not want to wear it. The fade down when wearing it is fairly even and because of its natural pinky tone, it doesn’t look patchy when it does fade.

So these are my current cruelty free/vegan favourites.

Do you have any great recommendations? I’m on the look out for a new mascara, a finishing powder and would quite like a more rose blush!



    • September 29, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Yay! Its great you're starting down this road. I hope to bring some more beauty content soon, which hopefully will help!

  1. September 28, 2016 / 5:34 pm

    Some great tips, esp the Barry M (eyeliner can make me look like drunk, disorderly panda when it fades) and the Green People mascara. My make-up bag is probably pretty good on the green/vegan thing but stuff needs replaced and I'm always on the look out for good sources.

    • September 29, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      I literally LOL'd at the thought of a drunk & disorderly panda impression 😀
      The green people mascara is incredible! Highly recommend. Do you have any good recommendations?

  2. September 28, 2016 / 10:49 pm

    I am confused. I read that animal testing for cosmetics is totally banned within the EU now. Do they test for their American markets or something? Thanks.

    • September 29, 2016 / 12:35 pm

      You're totally right Gill, if the company currently supplies to China then that company still tests on animals as it is currently compulsory by chinese law that any makeup cosmetics has to be first tested on animals before being allowed for the consumer to purchase. Chinese officials will actual do spot checks with taking things from the shelves and then test them on animals.
      But in theory the EU law was passed that no cosmetics are to be tested on animals in the EU. But this law is currently shaky at best. There is a lot of movement going on towards getting more stringent ruling towards banning all animal testing which is wonderful (and i shall perhaps go in to this more in future as new developments arise.) I guess what I'm trying to say is companies that choose to still test and then sell in China are companies that i don't want to support. If more and more companies pulled their products on these grounds then maybe china would re-think their archaic law. Of course the other thing for me is vegan.. lots of products have animal derivatives in them (especially things like red lipsticks), so those are ruled out for me on those grounds.
      Hope all that makes sense 😀

  3. October 21, 2016 / 7:51 am

    Yes!! Such a helpful post, Rachel! I'm currently switching everything I own to all natural/or organic and definitely only if it's not tested on animals (even when I would buy big brands, I would be aware of testing on animals- only wish I would've been aware much sooner!).

    My favorite brands currently (though I don't know how available they are in the UK) are Pacifica beauty ( and 100% Pure ( They are a bit more pricey than what I'd normally pay since I don't spend a lot on beauty, but definitely worth it! 🙂

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