I rarely post about the cosmetics I use because I don’t wear makeup all that often. I also firmly believe that our unnatural preoccupation with physical beauty and attractiveness holds us women back in many ways, particularly if the time spent on grooming or comparing oneself to another could be better spent in areas of life that provide much more fulfilment and intrinsic satisfaction.
Plus there are plenty of websites, magazines and YouTube channels for women to turn to should they wish to learn about contouring their faces or applying fake eyelashes. I can’t recommend any though because I personally don’t read or watch any ha!
So why am I writing this post about makeup then? Fair question.
There’s a couple of reasons actually.
Firstly, I have been asked about my beauty routine sooooo many times and it’s more efficient if I write a post about it and refer our readers and followers to it, rather than painstakingly replying to each and every single email/message/comment (that’s just sooooo inefficient!)
Secondly, I am of Asian descent (specifically, Filipino) and thus finding ethical, cruelty-free and vegan makeup to suit my skin tone has been a frustrating and arduous journey to say the least. To highlight just how big of a problem it has been, I still haven’t found the right shade of foundation for my complexion and my eco journey is more than eight years in! I want to help others with similar complexion so they don’t have to waste the time and money I did.
Now it’s also at this point that I should mention that I do not care to make my own ‘zero waste’ makeup because quite frankly, running a growing business such as Eco Warrior Princess as well as living and working on a 120-acre organic farm means that there is no time for DIY cosmetics, learning formulas and developing the skillset required. I grow food, I spend lots of time gardening, I cook, I eat vegan, nurture a team of writers and am building a global media business so excuse me if do not have any desire to make any of my own makeup LOL!
Furthermore, I’d much rather support the small ethical cosmetics brands who are creating better, safer, healthier, cruelty-free alternatives in the marketplace.
So without further ado, here are the cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands I’ve tried, tested, currently use and can recommend:
This Inika Organic concealer in Medium is the one I’ve used over the last couple of years as its lightweight and works a treat. As all good concealers do, this one does the trick hiding the darkness around my eyes and imperfections and blemishes on my face, and the colour is perfect on me, blending in to my darkish skin tone extremely well. It’s made with certified organic and vegan ingredients and it’s also made in Australia – winning! In fact, my lazy five-minute beauty routine often just involves this Inika Organic concealer, some lip gloss, eyeliner and mineral blush and I’m good to go.
This beautiful collection of eight earthy eyeshadows is what I use to enhance my natural beauty. The colours in the palette are neutral and is flattering on my Asian complexion, although I dare say that it would flatter almost all complexions. The Lily Lolo Laid Bare Eyeshadow Palette also contains darker shades of brown and even black, if you’re looking to create a more dramatic effect for a special night out. I’d avoid the applicator that comes with and recommend you use your own (I use EcoTools vegan makeup brushes).
The Hanami Mineral Cream Blush in Casablanca is the perfect shade of pink to add to my cheeks and lips. A vegan product, made in Australia from natural ingredients such as grapefruit seed extract and jojoba oil, the formula doesn’t dry out, easily blends, provides a dewy finish and has a tan/brown undertone which is ideal for my complexion. The packaging is also eye-catching and super cute too!
This Ere Perez Eye Pencil in Black is the one I use as part of my lazy five-minute makeup routine. I just apply on the top eyelids and I also use it to fill in my eyebrows, it has a precision finish so it’s easy to draw with it. This pencil is always in my handbag because I never know when I need to create instant doe eyes for visual impact. I love this pencil particularly because I find it doesn’t smudge as easy as others I’ve used and I don’t need to touch up as often either. The pencil is made in Italy and contains jojoba oil which is super gentle on the eyes. If I’m heading out on the town and going “all out”, I prefer wearing liquid eyelinder on my lids and will use this eye pencil on the bottom rims of my eyes for added effect.
The Inika Certified Organic Liquid Eyeliner in Black is the one I’m currently using because it’s the most credentialled liquid eyeliner. It’s also certified organic, certified vegan and cruelty-free, contains natural ingredients such as aloe vera and black tea extract. If I’ve planned an evening out and aiming for a dramatic look, or just want to emphasise my eyes, this is the eyeliner I will use. The only drawbacks to this eyeliner is the tip could stand to be pointier in my opinion and also I need to keep reapplying it, which may have something to do with its more natural formula as I never had any problems with my old toxic ones lol!
My much loved creamy-textured matte lippie is the Inika Vegan Lipstick in Pink Poppy which provides a gorgeous shade of pink with mauve undertones. This is the lippie I do not leave home without, and I rarely need to reapply because the formula stays on! I also mix it with other colours to create different shades or if I want to mute down red and pink lipstick shades. For a more glossy look I just add the Ere Perez Carrot Colour Pot in Honey (see below).
This Inika lippie contains certified organic avocado, jojoba and argan oils which hydrates the lips, leaving it feeling nourished, soft and supple. Made in Canada, this lipstick is certified vegan, and all tubes are made from recycled materials.
I wear Hanami’s Vegan Mineral Lipstick in Great Expectation if I want a dramatic pop of red lip colour to wow for an event. The lipstick contains jojoba oil, shea butter and Vitamin E which helps to moisturise the lips, leaving it soft and supple. I own other neutral shades but this is my go to for visual impact on the beauty front. Note: My fave lip colour is no longer in production, but there is the Tempest colour that does the same trick!
This versatile vegan balm in ‘Harmony’ colour is what I use if I want to enhance my lips with a tinge of fluro-ish pink or add flush to my cheeks. The Ere Perez Carrot Colour Pot also contains natural ingredients such as olive oil, avocado oil and Vitamin E which helps to nourish and hydrate the skin and lips. I don’t use this for day-to-day wear as the pink stands out and I prefer neutral blends for day wear, but will add this on top of my neutral toned lipstick or if I’m wanting a more romantic dewy look on my cheeks and lips (or on those rare occasions I’m wearing pink!).
The Eco Minerals Blush in Uluru is the mineral blush I use to give my skin radiance and an all-natural finish on my cheeks. As I haven’t found the right shade of foundation yet, this blush provides that gorgeous sun-kissed glow to my complexion so I’ve been able to get away with not wearing foundation for years! I sometimes use this product as an overall face bronzer but mostly I just use it to accentuate my cheek bones as my complexion is dark already. Eco Minerals products are certified cruelty-free and certified vegan, is made in Australia from ethically-sourced 100% non-toxic natural ingredients.
Another product I use is Inika Baked Mineral Illuminisor which provides a subtle non-glittery highlight to my face, which I predominantly use on my cheekbones when I want a pick me up. I don’t use it during the day as I avoid using lots of makeup generally and I personally don’t need a sheen to my face, but in the evenings I wear this as it’s great for accentuating parts of my face – cheeks particularly appear luminous! Note: Clearly I am a big fan of Inika Organic cosmetics as I use plenty of their products ha!
To prime my skin before applying a full face of makeup I apply Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer with Hyalauronic Acid. It’s made with certified organic ingredients, smells gorgeous and acts like a moisturiser, just one pump provides enough to apply the primer evenly on your face and helps restore hydration to the skin. Even if I’m not applying makeup and I feel like pampering myself, I will actually apply this primer on my face just to give it extra TLC as it provides a wonderful finish and helps make me feel ultra youthful, like I’m injecting my skin with a natural collagen or something.
This Australian brand manufactures natural skincare with ingredients that are ethically sourced and has minimal impact on the planet and I especially like the Blessed By Nature Antioxidant Soothing Eye Serum which is a godsend for tired eyes. I pat in the serum around my eyes immediately after cleansing to help puffiness and pamper the delicate skin. The cruelty-free serum contains sunflower, aloe vera and jojoba oil which helps to soothe and calm exhausted skin.
I’ve been using my EcoTools® vegan makeup brushes for almost 10 years and it’s the one I trust to do a professional job. The brushes are synthetic so 100% cruelty-free and vegan, and the handle of the brushes are made of eco-friendly and recycled materials such as aluminium and renewable bamboo. Just wash in soapy water, leave to dry and reuse. If you look after them, they’ll last you ages, like mine has!
This Clover Fields natural shampoo and conditioner bar is the only zero waste one I’ve used so far that doesn’t make my hair oily within 24 hours of using or leaves my scalp dry and flaky, like I have dandruff. It also makes my hair feel soft and luxe which is wonderful as I have coarse Asian hair that can tend to err on the wild side (bedroom hair as my partner calls it) and certainly not the kind of Asian hair that my sister has which is super straight and just lovely.
This shampoo bar is also made by one of Australia’s oldest, family-owned soap businesses, and contains ethically-sourced natural ingredients such as argan oil and gardenia. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free, minimal and has super cute recyclable packaging. If you’re making the switch to zero waste shampoo, you’ll love this brand.
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Disclosure: The curated list is based on the writer’s research and experiences and does not fully take into account all ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. All opinions are that of the writer’s. Prices are correct at time of publishing. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. This list also contains affiliate links. For more information, click here.