Back in my pre-freelance photographer days, some of you might remember I had a weekend job at Lush’s (sadly no longer) cosmetic sister brand B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful. Selling cruelty free make up, perfume, skincare and fragrance in some of the most beautiful packaging you’re ever seen, my time there was a huge eye opener into the world of animal testing in the cosmetic industries, and how I could be ethically conscious without compromising on product quality. Since then, I’ve made an effort to replace all of my make-up and skincare products as they run out with cruelty free alternatives, and I’m pleased to say that all of my resident make up artists have cruelty free make up kits for our boudoir shoots too!
With this in mind, I thought I’d check in with Ms Moo Make Up for a shortlist of her favourite cruelty-free products! Sali is based in Nottingham and has been a wedding make-up artist for around eight years, having recently won the English Hair and Beauty Award for Freelance Makeup Specialist of the Year 2018. Here are some of her recommendations, along with links on where to pick them up for yourselves…
The Expert Face Brush from Real Techniques; this brush is a godsend. I’ve got about 6 of them in my kit, and one in my personal kit too; I swear by them, and call them ‘the smooshy brush of everything’ in my makeup lessons! I use them to blend foundation and concealer mainly, but the brush is so versatile you can use it on contour, highlighter, blusher, bronzer; you name it, it blends it! The brush is super soft, using 100% cruelty-free synthetic bristles. It’ll blend liquid or cream foundation beautifully and not leave any streaky marks as you’re buffing the product into your skin.
Archery 2-in-1 Brow Sculpting Crayon & Setting Gel by Soap and Glory. Eyebrows are so incredibly important to frame the face, and the saying goes, good friends stay with you through all eyebrow stages; thick and thin! This product is shaped perfectly to sculpt a power brow, with a brow gel on the other end to tame your brows and ‘set’ them in place.
Professional Makeup Matte Black Liquid Eyeliner by NYX. This stuff is bulletproof. It won’t smudge or smear through sweating or crying, and it’s super matte; there’s zero shine to it too, which I’ve found is really rare for a liquid liner. You do need a pretty decent cleanser to get it off, but that’s no bad thing when you’re after longevity from your eyeliner – who doesn’t want that?!
Gel Sculpt by Illamasqua. Contouring has been around forever but it’s only become more ‘popular’ in the media in the last 10 years or so. Most people have used a matte bronzer to contour in the past, but I’ve found Gel Sculpt to be THE absolute best contour product ever. EVER. I’ve tried so many of them and not found anything even remotely similar on the high street, but this is the best product for all skin types and tones. It’s buildable and super easy to blend, instead of worrying about looking streaky. Use a little under your jawline to add definition, and under your cheekbones to make them stand out.
Urban Decay Naked palettes. These guys are just under £40.00 each so worth putting on a birthday or Christmas wish list, but the colours in each palette are stunning. Matte shadows and shimmer, each incredibly pigmented and easy to blend together. Absolutely make sure you use them with an eyeshadow primer for longevity, and your eyeshadow will last you 12+ hours easy.
Let me know what cruelty free make up products you love? Have you tried any of the above and agree with Sali?
If this blog post has inspired you to start converting your make up bag into a cruelty free zone, check out great resources such as the Leaping Bunny website and Cruelty Free Kitty for lists of Cruelty Free Make Up brands.