*Some items are press samples

Today, I want to share with you my cruelty free beauty favourites from 2017. The products I’m sharing today are the ones I used the most during 2017, they’re weren’t necessarily released in 2017. I have separated them into 2 blog posts and 4 categories, skincare, makeup, hair care and nail products. In this post are my skincare and makeup favourites and I will share my hair and nail favourites in another post soon. I haven’t picked an item from every product category, as these are just the products that stood out to me, but I am happy to go through every product category and tell you my favourites in future, let me know in a comment if you want to see that.

Cruelty Free Skin Care and Makeup Favourites from 2017
Cruelty Free Skin Care and Makeup Favourites from 2017

I know this post is late but I have had a very busy start to 2018 with a lot of medical appointments that have sapped all my energy. You can read my health updates on my youcaring fundraiser – youcaring.com/Alinta – my most recent update has some great news too.

 

Skin care

If I had to choose between skincare or makeup, skincare would win hands down. I love my skincare which means I tend to hold it to a higher standard than I would makeup. Facial wipes are something I always have on hand. I have tried most of the cruelty free face wipes available but nothing compares to the Wotnot Natural Face Wipes (vegan). The wipes come in normal, dry and oily versions and all three are suitable for sensitive skin. I also keep the Wotnot Biodegradable General Wipes on hand as I use them for so many different things, from wiping up makeup to wiping the dogs. They were actually featured in My Favourtire Dog Products blog post. Wotnot have created such good wipes, I recommend them to everyone.

Wotnot Facial Wipes and Biodegradable General Wipes
Wotnot Facial Wipes and Biodegradable General Wipes

There aren’t many products that I would say I can’t live without but the MooGoo Eczema & Psoriasis Cream with Marshmallow and Elderberry (vegan) would be one of them. I have tried so many different creams, including many on prescription, but nothing works for my eyelid eczema like this cream. I will often pair it with the MooGoo Soothing MSM which contains Sweet Almond Oil to help keep the skin supple, as the worst thing for eczema is to let the skin dry out and crack. I have a review of the MSM Soothing Cream and old Eczema Cream as well as the newer Eczema Cream with Marshmallow and Elderberry.

I have rosacea, so it can be really hard for me to introduce active ingredients into my skincare regime. Chemical exfoliants are one ingredient that my skin reacts badly to. The Nip+Fab Glycolic Serum is one of the few exfoliants I can use without any sort of irritation. The 4% glycolic acid solution is a lower concentration than many other products on the market, but it is still enough to give me the ‘glow’ associated with AHA products. I have been trying to introduce the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum into my routine but it is a 12% AHA and BHA mix which just seems to be too much for my rosacea to handle at the moment. It is however a great product if your skin is able to handle it, and it’s especially good for oily and blemish prone skin types. Another Drunk Elephant product I started to use in 2017 was the Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum. I did a lot of research on Vitamin C skincare products, and settled on this one, and I’m very happy with my choice. Note: If you have sensitive skin like me, then always introduce new products very slowly, especially those with active ingredients like Vitamin C or AHA/BHA’s.

I reviewed the Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Hyaluronic Acid Shot in June of last year, but I had already been using it for a while at that point. It is the best Hyaluronic Acid product that I have tried and it’s vegan friendly. I can really see the difference in my skin when I use this product and it is so helpful in winter when my skin starts to get flakes from dehydration. Every skin type from oily to dry can become dehydrated (especially in winter), so it’s a good idea to have a Hyaluronic Acid product on hand. I also add an oil to my skin in winter. My favourite is of course the Certified Organic Rosehip Oil from Trilogy (they have a lovely gentle cream cleanser too). I won’t cover my favourite cleanser and eye cream today as they are going to be reviewed in a blog post I have coming up shortly.

Nip+Fab Dragon's Blood Fix Hyaluronic Acid Shot
Nip+Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Hyaluronic Acid Shot

My lips can get incredibly dry because of an autoimmune condition I have, so I need a very hydrating lip balm. I have tried all the brands that tend to be raved about in cruelty free groups (like Hurraw) but they just don’t hydrate my lips well enough. I stumbled across the Hanami Cosmetics Pomegranate Vegan Lip Balm at the Little Vegan Makeup Shop stall at Aussie Indie Con, and it has been a handbag staple ever since. It doesn’t have SPF so I am still on the hunt for an SPF lip balm that I really love. Sunscreen is the most important part of any skincare regime, I have been trying a lot of sunscreens so that I can do one big blog post and compare them all for you, if you need a good facial sunscreen before I can do that, then I recommend trying the Eco Face Sunscreen 30+ which is is vegan, natural, non-greasy, works well under makeup, reef safe, and has the highest safety ranking for the environmental working Group (EWG). It is a physical sunscreen that uses 20% non-whitening zinc, so it’s great for sensitive skin and rosacea. You can get from Nourished Life (affiliate) – just search ‘Eco Logical’ and click on the face sunscreen or from Shop Naturally (affiliate) by searching ‘Eco’.

 

Makeup

There weren’t any foundations or concealers that stood out to me in 2017. I have very few options as I’m very fair, pink toned, on the drier side and want a product that is cruelty free without a bad parent. However, I can however share my other favourites with you. Blush is an important part of my makeup routine as I really need it to bring life back into my pale skin. Thebalm are known for their highlighters, but my favourite product line from theBalm is definitely their blushes. The two I use the most are Down Boy and Balm Beach but I frequently use Frat Boy, Cabana Boy, Balm Springs and Hot Mama too (I will do a blog post with all the colours compared soon). The other blushes I love are from Hourglass Cosmetics; people rave about the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes for good reason. I have Ethereal Glow and Mood Exposure and I would love to get more but they were acquired by Unilever last year, so Hourglass now has a bad parent company which is really disappointing. Blushes are a product I can find from many brands, so I try to support cruelty free companies without bad parents first, but I think I will need to buy a foundation from Hourglass as that is not something I can find easily, and Hourglass do make some amazing products. I haven’t been able to find decent dupes for either of their primers, the Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 and No. 28 Primer Serum – I have a lot of hydrating primers but none of them have the thick serum feel of the hourglass No. 28. They also have some great lip products like the Femme Nude Lip Stylo which I wore to Aussie Indie Con. I do however have a much cheaper lip product as my yearly favourite, the Colourpop Lippie Stix in Aquarius. I love a more hydrating lip formula and this shade is so perfect on my pale, pink toned skin.

Blushes from theBalm
Blushes from theBalm

The main product I bought during 2017 were single eyeshadows. I was getting sick of seeing the same colours in every palette released by every brand. Having single eyeshadows means I can create any palette I want and any eye look I can think of. The single eyeshadow pans I own are either from Anastasia Beverly Hills, Makeup Geek or Colourpop Cosmetics. Colourpop single shadows are the cheapest at US$4 per pan (with frequent sales too), but they tend to release shades before thoroughly testing them, so there are some duds in their lineup (they tend to be discontinued once customer feedback is received). Makeup Geek sell single eyeshadows ranging from US$6 (standard shades) to US$10 (foiled eyeshadows). Makeup Geek were the original single pan eyeshadows that everyone raved about but they have slowed down on the shade releases which has allowed other brands to take the spotlight. The quality of Makeup Geek eyeshadows is really good across the board, and I really hope 2018 brings a lot more new releases from the brand. Anastasia Beverly Hills sells single eyeshadows at US$12 each or you can get a deal on their website where you can buy 8 single shadows for US$70 with an 8-well empty shadow palette included. Anastasia Beverly Hills have 8 different finishes that all cost the same price and have a large range of good quality colours available. Every Christmas and birthday I would ask for single eyeshadows, and give a list of what I didn’t have yet, so I have been able to build up a good collection of single shadows now but I am still missing a lot of bright colours. I have promised to swatch and review all the colours I have from each brand, but it will be a while before I can do that.

Brown and pink toned Colourpop single eyeshadows
Brown and pink toned Colourpop single eyeshadows

I didn’t buy many eyeshadow palettes throughout 2017 becuase I focused on collecting single eyeshadows instead, but the ones that really stood out to me were from Dose Of Colors. When the raving reviews started appearing on the Dose Of Colors Baked Browns and Marvelous Mauves,eyeshadow palettes, I knew I had to get them. They are small 5 pan eyeshadow palettes that focus on a specific colour each, which makes putting a look together really easy, but the best part is the formula. The eyeshadows are so soft and easy to blend. There is a bit of kickback in the pan and slight fallout on application, but they blend like nothing else. They launched two new palettes at the end of 2017 that I want to get my hands on called Blushing Berries and Sassy Siennas. If you’re on a tight budget then it is worth trying out the BYS Peach and Berries eyeshadow palettes (vegan). The quality isn’t the same as Dose Of Colors but it’s the best affordable eyeshadow formula I have ever tried. Check out my review on the Peach and Berries palettes to see all the swatches. Continuing with eyes, you will already know from my reviews that I love Eye OF Horus Cosmetics. My favourite brow pencil is the vegan Eye Of Horus Brow Define (reviewed here) and my favourite eye pencils are the Eye of Horus Goddess Pencils (reviewed here).

BYS Berries Eyeshadow Palette
BYS Berries Eyeshadow Palette

I have a lot of setting sprays but the one that I always reached for throughout 2017 was the Innoxa Anti-Ageing Makeup Setting Spray (vegan). It has a fine mist and takes the powdery look away from makeup. I don’t think it makes my makeup last that much longer, but I don’t think many makeup sprays do. The only setting spray that I know makes my makeup last longer is the Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finishing Spray but I don’t like the way it feels on my skin, so I only wear it on very special occasions.

I couldn’t write about my favourites without including Furless Brushes (affiliate). I mentioned them in my cruelty free gift guide too, because I think everyone will enjoy using these cruelty free and vegan brushes. There are a variety of styles to choose from including the couture range, which includes my all time favourite foundation brush (reviewed here) as well as travel sets that come with their own sturdy travel case (Purple Power Set review) and there is a Professional Brush Set that has 20 brushes plus a brush roll that transforms into a brush apron easily (I have this to review for you soon). All the brushes come individually too if you just want to buy a couple to try. I have washed mine so many times and they always come out looking brand new, which I can’t say for many other brushes I own. I have also seen a sneak peak of what they’re launching soon and I’m so excited! I will often use a makeup sponge in combination with makeup brushes, and my favourites are from Beauty Blender and Real Techniques. I’ve tried a few cheaper brands, but none compare to these as they’re often way too hard and feel like I’m stabbing my face with a rock. The only other brand I would use are the Chi Chi Cosmetics yellow sponges, but I prefer my Real Techniques and Beauty Blender ones.

Real Techniques, Beauty Blender and Chi Chi Cosmetics makeup sponges
Real Techniques, Beauty Blender and Chi Chi Cosmetics makeup sponges

I spent the last few months of 2017 testing out a lot of different natural makeup brands, I won’t share my favourites with you yet and I’ll write reviews on each product so that you can decide which one will suit you best.

I love reading about people’s favourite products as it is a great way for me to try new products that won’t be a complete waste of money. I hope you enjoyed reading about my cruelty free skincare and makeup favourites from 2017. Don’t forget to check back to read about my hair care and nail favourites too. You can sign up to email updates to get my blog posts sent to your inbox, or follow me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. What are your favourite cruelty free skincare and makeup products? Will you be trying anything I’ve mentioned?

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Alinta McMurdo