Ok. I know it’s clichéd, but where the bloody hell did October go?! For one, it’s only felt like Autumn for a few days of the month. What’s up with that? (Since I wrote this about 2 weeks ago, Fall has definitely arrived.) The leaves are just starting to turn. Also weird. (Again, two weeks ago….) I think perhaps there’s some kind of trick being played on me and it’s actually still September. 😂 Who’s with me? (The me from 2 weeks ago. 😉) All of that is irrelevant to this post though because it’s time for some Cruelty Free October Favorites!!! It’s been yet another month of trying to figure out what I really like on my unnaturally dried out everything. I’ll undoubtedly figure it out just as my skin reverts to its former self. 😂 Despite my trials and tribulations in the complexion realm, there are still plenty of things I’ve been loving. Without further ado, let’s jump into the Favorites!

Starting off with a product I just talked about on the blog, we have the Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. If you saw my last post comparing it with the Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil then you may have had some idea that I am a fan. Yes, the two oils are very similar, but as I said when comparing them, there is just something about the Tatcha Cleansing Oil that I like a bit better. I can’t put my finger on what it is specifically, but it’s just a nice experience. It cleanses without stripping the skin and can remove a typical face of makeup with relative ease. Occasionally I mix in some of Tatcha’s Polished Rice Enzyme Powder for a gentle and efficient exfoliation (buy the baby size – it will last you forever!). I do still go back and forth between the Tatcha and the Derma E Cleansing Oils, but always seem to enjoy the Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil just that tiny bit more.

Sticking to skincare (one of my fave topics), my next favorite I believe I mentioned in the Best of Skincare TAG back before I started taking Accutane. It was a product I was really excited to start using and now I’ve been using the One Love Organics Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil for quite a few months. I love it! I started using it just here and there, but eventually found I liked it so much that I wanted to use it all the time! According to the box, it is “An ultra-calming blend of organic chia, shea, aloe and lavender.” It is best for sensitive, dry and irritable skin types which perfectly suits me right now. It has a really nice “weight” as it’s neither too heavy nor too light and it absorbs quickly (I use three drops morning and night, though I do use other hydrating products in conjunction). Though I’m currently using this to combat dry skin, I feel like oily skin types could probably use this at night without trouble as well. So far, though my skin is on the dry side, it’s not uncomfortable, tight, flaky or really even remotely uncomfortable and I honestly feel that part of the thanks needs to go to the One Love Organics Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil. It’s just a wonderful oil that suits my needs perfectly – gentle, hydrating, soothing. Yes, yes and yes! 😍

Now on to a bit of makeup…. Though I’ve had the Wet N’ Wild Photo Focus Concealer for quite a long time now, it’s not until October that I actually finally gave it a try. I am so, so glad that I finally did because it’s fantastic! It is a liquid concealer in a tube with a doe foot wand. Nothing fancy and it looks pretty plain and unassuming. Do not be fooled as I was though! I would say it is comparable and every bit as good as the infamous Tarte Shape Tape…only one heck of a lot less expensive! I have only used this under my eyes so far, though I have no reason to think it wouldn’t be great for blemishes as well. This concealer is on the thicker side, but I do not find it heavy or cakey on the skin. I haven’t noticed it creasing, settling, moving or anything else untoward (I always set it with powder, but mainly because I’m just in the habit of doing so). It is highly pigmented so it easily covers pretty much anything you throw at it. It still blends out easily (I’ve been using a Beauty Blender and/or my fingers) despite the intense pigment and thicker consistency and it really does somehow retain a skin-like appearance. I dare say that this actually might be – dare I say it? – better than the Tarte Shape Tape! The main pitfall I can see is that the shade range doesn’t seem great. There are five shades, but I feel like the fairest of fairs and the deepest of deeps are left out. I’m using the lightest shade which is “Light Ivory” and it seems to be just about perfect under my eyes – my skin tone almost always falls into a middle-of-the-road “light.” Hopefully you can find a way to make one of the shades work for you until Wet N’ Wild releases more shades because I highly recommend giving the Photo Focus Concealer a go!

Moving on, I have a lipstick favorite!!! I thought I would never see this day with my lips in their currently over-dry state. I have actually found a few lipstick formulas that are comfortable enough and look nice even on my super dry, overly dehydrated, sucked-of-all-life lips this month, but there is one that has taken the place as my “everyday” go-to. To be fair, I still just wear lip balm more often than not, but if I’m wearing makeup and feel a need for lipstick, the Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in the shade “Slow Burn” has been the one I’m reaching for. The shade is basically a my-lips-but-better shade for me. It’s just the tiniest bit deeper than my natural lips so it looks completely natural while still adding a bit of life and color to my face. Though the color is lovely, it is actually not the important part here. The formula is fantastic! I already knew that as I have another shade that I love (“Core Cora”), but I didn’t know just how wonderful this formula would be even on the driest of dry lips…and that it would still last! Yes, this is basically a seemingly standard bullet lipstick with kind of a natural finish – not glossy, not creamy, but also not perfectly flat matte, that is still incredibly comfortable. It doesn’t accentuate or enhance the very dry, heavily wrinkled texture of my lips either. And honestly one of my favorite things about this lipstick is that it somehow lasts quite some time with no need to reapply. The color stays. The comfort stays. It’s just wonderful! I only have a sample size of “Slow Burn,” but I think I may need to pick up a full size during the Sephora sale. Though they are pricey little numbers at $30 each, the Le Marc Lip Crème Lipsticks are absolutely worth it!

Sticking with samples I feel a desire to purchase, I have a new perfume love. I am always surprised when I really like a perfume because I just don’t tend to wear it that often and I actually don’t want to smell “like perfume.” I just want to smell good. Well, I have some samples of the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Amethyst and I have actually applied it almost every day! Even just hanging around by myself and not leaving the house. I really, really like this scent! I’m not really sure what about it is so wonderful, but it just seems comforting to me. I would consider it slightly warm without having a distinct vanilla, amber, sandalwood, or similar type of base note. According to Sephora, it has notes of “Tobacco, Honeysuckle and Cedar.” Honestly, that sounds awful to me, but it is so good! 😍 I do smell the cedar in there, but it’s not like a “keep the moths away” or straight-from-the-tree kind of cedar. It’s actually quite a nice addition to the notes. I think that’s where the slight warmth comes from. I might smell a touch of the tobacco too and it’s more of the sweet unburned version of pipe tobacco. My dad smoked a pipe for years when I was young and it was the most awful smell – mostly because of the tobacco he preferred – but I always loved the smell of the tobacco stores. Anyway, I feel like there’s kind of sweet caramelized scent from the tobacco note. As for the honeysuckle, I can’t say I know precisely what that smells like. The scent as a whole is definitely not a floral, but I do kind of sense a floral element as well. Basically I just think it smells like a delicious, slightly sweet, beautiful, slightly feminine gown-up fragrance that’s not overpowering but still delicious. I will say that it’s not the longest lasting fragrance; it probably has an average wear time. You will need to reapply for the evening if you apply it first thing in the morning, but by the same token it’s not so overpowering that it’s going to bowl people over as you pass or cause a headache. I occasionally get migraines and have had no issues with the Nirvana Amethyst. I’m not the biggest fan of the bottle itself, but the scent is so lovely that I can look past that! It’s also reasonably priced for a Sephora-level fragrance at $65-85. Love, love, love this fragrance! Most of the Elizabeth and James scents are nice to me, though I am not a fan of the Rose version at all. This addition to the line is one that I feel I must own! 😂

Last but certainly not least is the holiday eyeshadow palette from Kat von D – the Saint & Sinner Eyeshadow Palette. Though the packaging is rather bulky and impractical, it’s stinkin’ gorgeous! I love the creativity of it and it’s very Kat von D. And did I mention that it’s Vegan! 🎊 The shadows are absolutely beautiful and an unusual assortment compared to most shadow palettes. It’s really nice to see something a bit different and partly out of my comfort zone in this palette. Obviously there are some bright, bold shades included, but honestly I’ve had no trouble creating wearable everyday (at least for me) looks. I haven’t played with the bold bright shades much yet which might sound like I haven’t used the palette at all, but there are really so many wearable shades included. I feel like the real problem with this palette in terms of looking appealing to the more neutral at heart is the layout. It’s rather chaotic with no seeming “looks” grouped together. That actually can make it more fun too because it requires a bit more thought and creativity to decide what shades to use and where. By the same token, if you’re rushing out the door, that may not be ideal either. Since this released and I immediately purchased it, I have really enjoyed using it. The khaki green shade called “Immaculate” is absolutely stunning and my favorite in the palette…so far. It just has this amazing golden shift to it that’s wonderfully unexpected and so pretty! There are a few shades that I don’t think are great and the formula is more on the stiff side, but for the most part the quality is surprisingly good…especially for a large Holiday palette. If you feel like this palette is just too bold for you, I recommend looking at the shades individually and seeing how you might pair them together because you really can get a lot of wearable looks. I just takes a bit more thought than a lot of other palettes. Consider it a fun challenge! 😜

Well, that’s going to do it for October. I hope you’ve all had a great month and enjoyed this (not so) quick look at my cruelty free favorites from the month! Let us know what things you were loving in October – beauty-related or not. I know I would certainly love to know! 🙃 As always, thanks so much for stopping by…and reading this far…and I hope to see you again soon!!!



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