Jason (one of the oldest natural personal care companies) makes wonderful natural and cruelty-free beauty products. I recently ran out of my go-to eye make-up remover and decided to try Jason’s Quick Clean Makeup Remover Pads.
First, I will point out that these pads are for all make-up, not just eye make-up. I am lazy, so I use general make-up remover for my eye make-up as well. But I know that some people need to use separate remover for their eyes. So I will note that the remover did make my eyes sting a little. I’m sure this is common when you don’t use a make-up remover formulated specifically for the eyes.
Aside from that complaint, I really like these pads. First off, it’s super convenient to not have to find a cotton swab, open the bottle, and moisten the swab before you can start taking off your make-up. That’s not a huge inconvenience, of course, but I did say that I was lazy. These pads are premoistened and ready to use out of the jar. They formula works really well to remove all make-up.
It generally takes me 3 pads to clean my entire face including eye make-up. The jar contains 75 pads (which equals about 25 uses for me) and costs $8.79 (which is about 37 cents per use). I think that’s pretty reasonable when you factor in that you’re not also paying for cotton swabs. Another plus is that you can buy these at Walgreens.
Physician’s Formula is cruelty-free (I had previously stated that it was not; my apologies for not researching that fully! See here for my sources: peta2, Physician’s Formula FAQ, My Beauty Bunny). It also makes a line called Organic wear that, in addition to being cruelty free, is 100% natural, paraben free, and free of synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and colors.
I’ve really liked all of the products that I’ve tried in the Organic wear line. My favorite, though, is the 100% Natural-Origin CC Color + Correction Cream (side note: doesn’t “CC” stand for “color and correction”? So you don’t really need both in the product name?). In my quest for cruelty-free make-up, I’ve found plenty of mineral foundations in powder form. This is one of only a few in liquid form. I really like that this product, despite being billed as a tinted face cream and not a foundation, gives great coverage. I use my powder mineral foundations when my skin is behaving and I don’t need much cover up, but I use this CC cream when I have a break-out and need the coverage. I also really like that the consistency is dewy and that the liquid is easy to blend. It is definitely worth a try. IMO, the colors are a little darker than you might expect, so if you’re unsure where you fall on the “light” to “dark” spectrum, opt for the lighter option.
SheaMoisture is a company that makes bath, body,face, hair, and baby products from natural, organic ingredients. Its line of products is extensive–it even makes hair dye! The company has a pretty cool history too: Sofi Tucker started selling Shea nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone in 1912. She then created hair and skin products with those Shea nuts and started selling those. Her grandchildren started SheaMoisture and today are continuing her legacy. Its products are free of lots of the baddies we’re supposed to avoid like phthalates, parabens, artificial colors and fragrances, mineral oil, and petroleum. And of course the company is cruelty free.
SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk is a great leave-in styler and curl tamer. In the summer months, my wavy hair gets really frizzy. If I let my hair air dry without any product, it would triple in volume. I know that I could blow dry it, style it, etc., but I’m SUPER lazy and let it air dry every day even though I know it will look terrible.
This styling milk is the perfect solution for people like me who are hair-lazy. I towel dry my hair and then comb a generous amount of this product through my hair. Then I braid it or put it in a bun (I suppose curlers would also work) and leave it alone. When I eventually let my hair down, it’s not frizzy; the curls are defined. Other pluses:
- Smells lovely, like sweet coconut
- Is not sticky at all
- Acts as a detangler, so great for wet hair
- Hard to use too much (i.e., doesn’t seem to weigh my hair down even if I use a bunch)
As I’ve mentioned, I have oily hair. I have to wash it every day or risk looking like I’ve been hiking the Appalachian Trail for a week. But as everyone knows, between having a full time job, graduate school classes, a baby, a volunteer commitment, a second job, or just a really healthy fondness for staying up late drinking, it’s not always possible to get yourself 100% percent clean and gorgeous everyday. Sometimes it’s all I can do to rub a soapy washcloth across my pits, gargle with mouthwash, and put on a hat.
So I’ve been trying to find a good dry shampoo for those in-between days. I used to use one that Dove makes. It worked really well: light spray, not too wet, not at all powdery, smelled nice, and disappeared after brushing. Now, of course, I want to find a cruelty-free version. The first one I’ve tried is Diva Curl’s No-Poo Quick Cleanser. I have raved about Deva Curl and its No-Poo cleanser and One Condition conditioner. They are both staples in my hair care routine. I am sad to report, however, that I was not thrilled with the Quick Cleanser. I followed the directions and sprayed the roots of my hair. The spray was really wet, and no matter how much I rubbed it in and brushed it out, it never seemed to dry. Now, two disclaimers here:
- It’s possible I misunderstood what this product does. It is, after all, called “quick cleanser” and not “dry shampoo.” Maybe it’s meant to be wet and I’m an idiot for expecting it not to be.
- I have only used it once. I plan to give it a couple more tries (but how do I find a day when I don’t mind looking greasy?)
I will edit this post if subsequent uses prove more successful. Until then, I am on the look-out for something else.
Abba makes plant derived hair care products that are only sold in salons. It is one of the very, very few salon products that is not only sulfate free, phthalate free, and paraben free, but also 100% vegan (no animal testing and no animal products). To get an idea of how rare that is, google “cruelty free hair salon products” and see what you get. It’s pretty much only Paul Mitchel, Giovanni, and Abba.
The only Abba hair care product I’ve tried is the Gentle Conditioner. And it’s probably the only one I will try because I love it so much. I bought it as a set with the Gentle Shampoo, which was okay but didn’t give me a squeaky clean feeling (in other words, it seemed to weigh my hair down, which is a common failing of sulfate-free shampoos in my opinion). But the conditioner is perfect for me. It’s very light and seems to absorb into my hair immediately. I use it every day as a leave-in conditioner after I get out of the shower as the last step in my morning hair regime.
Alba Botanica makes tons of great natural products for your face (including acne care), body (including deodorant and shave cream), lips (including lip gloss), and hair. It also makes natural sun block, which I can’t wait to try. This company is one of the few health and beauty aid companies out there to have the Leaping Bunny certification (learn more at leapingbunny.org), meaning that everything it makes is 100% vegetarian.
I am a huge fan of their Hawaiian hair care line, specifically the Body Builder Mango shampoo and conditioner. Both are sulfate free, paraben free, and phthalate free. I like the shampoo because it’s one of the rare sulfate-free shampoos that lathers well. And I like the conditioner because it rinses clean and doesn’t leave a residue.
But mainly, and I can’t lie here, I like these products because they smell AWESOME. Seriously awesome. I can’t even describe how great the smell is. After my shower, I just want to crawl into bed, lay my hair across my face, and smell it all day long. Get this shampoo and conditioner. Get it and use it today and then send me a thank you note.
Some of you may take issue with my posting L’Oreal products on this site because in the past the company has notoriously not been concerned with animal rights issues. In recent years, however, the company has made a commitment to end animal testing. And, as I have stated before, I think it’s important to support a company’s efforts to reach the cruelty-free/natural consumer base. If we don’t buy those products, how will the company know what its consumers what?
That’s why I am really digging L’Oreal’s Ever brand, which is 100% vegan, meaning that it’s not tested on animals and does not contain animal products. It’s a complete hair care line, with shampoos and conditioners as well as treatments and styling aids. All of the products in this line are also sulfate free and paraben free. The products in this brand are formulated for different hair needs:
- EverStrong strengthens weak or thinning hair
- EverPure cleans and cares for colored hair
- EverSleek makes unruly hair more manageable
- EverCurl defines and cares for curly hair
- EverCreme moisturizes and nourishes dry or damaged hair
The EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Cleansing Conditioner (whew! Now that’s a name!) is really nice. It’s not a shampoo, and it’s not a conditioner, but it’s also not a shampoo and conditioner in one (remember that whole fad like a decade ago?). It’s a conditioner that also cleanses, so you only need this one bottle in the shower and you’re good to go. You just pump some out, massage it into your scalp and hair, leave on for a couple minutes, and rinse it out.
- It’s really gentle on your hair and scalp.
- It saves time in the shower.
- It keeps moisture in your hair instead of washing it down the drain, so it controls frizz very well.
- The fragrance is… not my favorite. It’s not bad at all; it’s just not awesome. Maybe it’s just because it stays in your hair all day, so I keep smelling it, and it’s a little strong.
- It leaves a build-up after you use it for a while (which may be because I have very oily hair). I alternate this with a traditional shampoo and conditioner combo.
Yes To Blueberries, the age-fighting line of all natural skin care products from the Yes To brand (more commonly known by Yes To Carrots), is the most robust plant-based cruelty-free anti-aging line I’ve come across. The blueberry line offers more than 10 skin products for your face, eyes, and lips that target wrinkles, dullness, and discoloration (to name a few). Its other lines focus on different skin concerns:
This Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is great stuff. It only takes one pump from the dispenser to cover your whole face, and it’s got a silky feel. It doesn’t feel greasy and absorbs well (but it does take a couple minutes to absorb–it might take less time if you use less of it). The best part, though, is that when I wake up in the morning, my skin is not an oil slick. For anyone who has oily skin with acne, you know that some moisturizers seem to send your pores into oil-producing overdrive. This cream does not, and, even better, it does not cause my face to break out. I haven’t noticed much of a difference in terms of wrinkles, but I’m in my early thirties and don’t have many wrinkles to begin with (prevention is my goal!).
I’ve written about Arbonne before. It is a Swiss company that makes its own brand of personal health care products that are botanical based and cruelty free. It is also committed to being “green,” using recycled packaging and carbon-neutral shipping practices (read more here).
I would totally buy all of my health and beauty aids from Arbonne if it weren’t so darned expensive. So, as it is, I only buy the products that I want to splurge on. Like, the things I really want to work or can’t find a good cheaper version of. This Hydrating Eye Cream is a good example of both. Some eye creams can be so cake-y that you end up tugging your skin trying to blend it in. Other eye creams can so liquid-y that it ends up running into your eyes halfway through the day. This product is the happy medium–the Goldilocks of of eye creams. It’s a cream that comes in a pot, and when you dab your finger into it, it sticks and doesn’t slide off. But when you put it on your skin, it blends in like a silky dream. I use this in the morning after washing and moisturizing my face. I have to be careful not to use too much or else it won’t absorb completely and end up irritating my eyes.
Organix makes hair products (and a couple body moisturizers) that are paraben free, sulfate free, gluten free, and cruelty free. Its products use natural ingredients like coconut, cocoa butter, acai berry, awapuhi ginger, and argan oil.
On my journey to replace all my favorite health and beauty aids with cruelty-free products, I have had the hardest time finding hair treatment and styling products that work just as well as my old stand-bys. I have been looking for a serum to replace my BioSilk Silk Therapy Serum, which I used every time I blow-dried my hair to tame fly-aways and reduce frizz. Nothing fit the bill until I came across this Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum. I use it on my wet hair before blow drying, and it absorbs easily and doesn’t make my hair oily (as long as I only use one pump). It makes my hair feel soft and bouncy, like how styling products with alcohol make your hair feel, but this stuff is actually really good for my hair. I’m very impressed with this products. And now I can’t wait to get my hands on Organix’s Coconut Leave in Nourishing Milk and Moroccan Argan Oil Blow Out Cream. I have high hopes that I’ll love these too!