Agh! Summer is nearly halfway over! How does time fly by so fast?!?! Since another month has long since passed, it’s well past time to round up the best of the best cruelty free stuff that I couldn’t stop using in June! There were some definite constants in my makeup routine with some great new finds as well. There’s a bit of makeup, some skin care, and even a new bag to include! So, without giving it all away right off the bat, let’s get into my Cruelty Free June Favorites…bonus, a lot of them are vegan too!
I guess I’ll start with the makeup product I’ve probably used most in June – the Urban Decay Brow Box in “Bathwater Blonde.” I’ve used these little brow powder kits on and off for years…and years…and years. In fact, I think it’s probably the only brow product I owned for quite some time…well, the Brow Box at least. The shade “Bathwater Blonde” was released with the Gwen Stefani Collection and is probably just about perfect for my brows. It’s a very ashy toned brown that is soft enough that it doesn’t look too dark or intense. Though there are two shades in the little “box,” I almost always go for the deeper shade. I’m not totally sure why, but it seems to work. It’s really nothing fancy in that it’s just a brow powder, but “Bathwater Blonde” is a great shade for me, and the formula sticks to my skin all day without looking too heavy or stark. It also allows me to not only fill in, but “cheat” my brow shape a bit to try and make the two a bit closer in shape. There is a clear wax in the set, but I’ve actually never used it…at least not recently and not from this color. I probably should because my brows go in crazy directions, but if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll usually use a brow gel instead (the Glossier Boy Brow is my favorite). These little Brow Boxes are also great for traveling because there’s a tiny drawer that contains a little baby tweezers and an itty bitty angled brush if you’re in a pinch. Though not ideal, they do work. The powder is what has my heart though and why the Urban Decay Brow Box in “Bathwater Blonde” has been a standout must have throughout June!
My next favorite is more of a theme than one specific item, though I do have two go-to products as well. I’ve been absolutely loving orangey-red lips! I don’t know what it is about Summertime, but it always makes me want to wear an orange-based red lip. My two faves in June were both vegan offerings from ColourPop– the Ultra Satin Lip in “Kismet,” and the Lippie Stix in “Lullaby,” which is one of their Matte X formulas (which are spectacular!). They both have fantastic staying power. Since I hate reapplying lip products, that’s a definite plus. 😄 They are also both incredibly comfortable on the lips. They do transfer onto glasses and what-not, but there is so much pigment in each formula that even if a bit wears off, it’s still pretty well intact on the lips. The proof? I ate nachos and a salad while wearing the Lippie Stix in “Lullaby” and it was still there by the end of the meal…and hadn’t transferred to elsewhere on my face! It did fade slightly, but it wasn’t to a point where I needed to touch it up…and I was careful while I ate, but I usually am anyway. If I had to choose a favorite between the Ultra Satin “Kismet” and the Lippie Stix in “Lullaby,” I’d probably go with “Lullaby” only because it’s in a stick form making it easier to apply for me and easier to throw in my purse should I need to touch up on the go. I love ColourPop’s Ultra Satin Lips as well, I just find liquid lipsticks to be more difficult to apply for my lip shape (note that the Ultra Satin Lips are not traditional liquid lipsticks that dry down, but more an uber pigmented liquid with a pretty much matte finish). So June was the month of vegan Orange-Red Lips from ColourPop. 😄
My highlighter of choice in June was actually a cream…well a stick. I couldn’t stop reaching for the Milk Makeup Highlighter in “Lit.” I love this highlighter because it’s so easy to apply and it looks natural enough while still being there. I don’t use this direct from the stick, but just rub a bit onto my fingers and then gently tap onto my cheekbones. I don’t find it to be sticky, tacky, or overly creamy on the skin. It just kind of melts in with everything else and stays put all day – no setting required! I’m not sure what magic is in it, but it’s basically the perfect cream highlighter formula…plus it’s vegan! 😄 The shade is essentially my skin tone, but shimmery. There’s no glitter, but a gorgeous glowing sheen that kisses the skin. It walks that fine line between subtle and blinding that actually seems rare in the makeup world right now. Everything about the Milk Makeup Highlighter in “Lit” was absolute perfection to me in June.
For eyeshadow, this will come as no surprise if you saw my last review. A new palette has completely stolen my heart. It is the Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette. I ordered this the day it released on Urban Decay’s site because I am a bit of an Urban Decay palette “collector.” 🤪 I had no idea what to expect, but it’s safe to say that I was completely blown away by the amazing quality of the shadows in this palette! I actually didn’t expect such pigmented, blendable shadows because a lot of Urban Decay’s more recent larger palettes haven’t been the best quality. Well, this one probably has the best quality with the greatest consistency between shades of any Urban Decay palette I’ve tried. Even better? There are no horrible glitter bombs in it either! 🎉 The shade range is fantastic – you’ve got warm neutrals as well as colorful shades that are actually wearable. There is a great mix of finishes – again, without the glitter! – and there’s a range from light to deep. I have actually used every shadow in the palette, which is rare for me to do…especially within the first month of having a palette. The packaging is also fantastic – perhaps the best I’ve come across actually. I honestly have no complaints about this palette. It is absolute perfection with perfect shades for Summer and it is the only thing I’ve used since I received it! Love, love, love the Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette!
Last in the beauty realm, we have a vegan eye serum that I’ve used on and off for quite a while now. And let’s preface this by acknowledging that there is some controversy surrounding this company. I am fully aware of it, but for now, I am willing to see if the changes they’ve made will make a positive difference. Anyway, I’m talking about The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. I’ve been using this every morning because it actually works! The caffeine in the serum is meant to help with puffiness, and though I don’t have terribly puffy eyes, I notice an instant difference under my eyes as soon as I apply it. They go from a very mild puffy to completely smoothed out. It’s brilliant! If you have extremely puffy eyes, it likely won’t be as dramatic, but it should help at least a bit. Likewise, if the puffiness under the eyes is caused by anything other than fluid buildup, the caffeine serum can’t remedy that. Regardless, I feel like we all wake up with a bit of fluid retained around the eyes and this serum is just what you need to help minimize the issue! It’s not intended to moisturize, so I still apply an eye cream after the serum has absorbed, but I feel like it’s just the boost my eyes need so I don’t mind the extra step. It’s also a pretty affordable addition to one’s routine and a single bottle will last forever – I literally use a single drop for both eyes once a day! If you’re dealing with puffiness around the eyes – or really anywhere because there’s no reason you can’t use this elsewhere on the face – I highly recommend giving the Caffeine Solution from The Ordinary a try.
Last, but certainly not least, I have a cruelty free “fashion” favorite. I’ve been buying vegan bags for ages – usually the kind that are accidentally vegan, but vegan no less. Most recently I was using a “intentionally” vegan bag from Matt + Nat, which is a brand I love, but I can never find a style on their site that seems to be quite what I’m after. They’re either too big or too small, or just not my style. I heard about Angela Roi maybe about 6 months ago and finally decided to give one of her bags a go. I went for the Morning Crossbody because I liked the shape and it looked like a decent size – I have ordered all of my Matt + Nat as well as this Angela Roi bag online, which makes it tricky to tell how well they will work. Anyway, I am so glad I found the Morning Crossbody because it’s just about perfect! I love the colors it comes in (I went with the Mustard shade for Summer and into Fall), the saddlebag style is different while still being somewhat classic, the vegan “leather” is so soft and buttery, and the size is just about perfect. I could use something just a touch larger, but then this keeps me from cramming unnecessary crap in my bag so it has it’s perks too. 😄 All of the bags are made using “Exquisite Polyurethane Leather” by companies using “fair practices” in Korea. Angela Roi also believes in giving back and currently donates to local animal shelters and charities. It seems like a great company that I am happy to support, plus the bags are truly luxurious and just what I was after! Absolutely loving not just the Morning Crossbody, but Angela Roi as an ethical, vegan fashion brand.
That’s going to do it for my Cruelty Free Favorites for June! It was a good beauty month, which was a much needed break from reality. I mentioned on Twitter (where I’ve been pretty much non-existent as of late) that I had to put my eldest kitty down in June, so that was not the greatest memory from the month. To be fair, my 4 remaining cats and Barclay, my pup, have kept me busy and as cheery as can be expected. Still, it’s a loss and I miss my little Clover (aka Chloe). We had a good, long time together though. I remember when I rescued her, she was being called “Monkey” because she would climb the bars of her cage – she had extra toes that almost acted as thumbs that were adorable. She could almost hold my thumb in her giant kitten paw which was so cool and wonderfully cute! She started out a scared little kitty who came out of her shell…eventually…and is greatly missed. Hug your little fur babies close and spend as much time as you can with them. There is no greater way to spend life in my opinion! 😻 Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying the Summer and had a great June. Hoping July is bringing you even better things, and I hope to see you back soon for more mindless beauty blabber! 😜