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Best of Cruelty Free Beauty 2017 – Makeup for Complexion

Bring out the confetti because it’s time for the fun stuff – Cruelty Free Makeup! I’m gonna keep this to a minimum because there’s a lot that goes into making up one’s face…and it takes a while. 😄 We’re only going to start with complexion products to prevent this from taking days to read. This was perhaps the strangest part of makeup for me in 2017 because, as some of you will know, I started on Accutane mid-year. That means that I started the year with combo-to-oily skin and ended it with super dry, sensitive and dehydrated skin. Not surprisingly, a lot of what worked at one point was awful during the other half of the year. And if I’m being 100% honest here, I’m still hunting for a foundation that looks ok on my dry skin. Actually if I’m fair, I have never found the perfect foundation ever. It either doesn’t exist or I just hate the look of my skin! 😄 Alright. I’ve already gone on a tangent. Let’s just get into some of the Best Cruelty Free Makeup Products for Complexion from 2017!

Flower Beauty Lift & Sculpt Contouring Palette + Highlighting Palette & Blush

 

If you’ve been following me for a long time now, you’ll know that I have always been intrigued by Flower Beauty. Well get ready because the new releases for 2017 are here!!! 🙂 Given that the price point isn’t the lowest at the drugstore (or Walmart in this case), I was rather choosy with what I picked up this time around. My biggest interest? The new blushes and highlighters! Not wanting to go too crazy while flying blind, I started out with the Lift & Sculpt Contouring Palette because it included a bronzer, blush and highlighter – and all looked promising! So how did they turn out? 😉

Cruelty Free Favorites – January 2017

Believe it or not, this January Favorites is not going to start with an “I can’t believe how fast the month went” kind of intro. It was a loooong ass month. I feel like New Year’s was months ago now. In fact, I can’t remember what the hell I loved at the beginning of the month because it feels so long ago! But I’m gonna do my best. I actually don’t have a lot of favorite beauty products for January because I’ve been trying a lot of the new things. It hasn’t been all bad, I just don’t feel they’ve had a fair test yet. So my list is not very long, but I have a few things to mention…plus another non-beauty item! 🎉 And instead of dragging on further, I’m gettin’ down to business. 😜

NEW in Cruelty Free at the Drugstore – Flower Beauty

FlowerBeauty-Spring2016-0001

We’re nearly done with the new cruelty free offerings at the drugstore (now that it’s nearly Summer!). Next on the list, and probably the last post devoted to a single brand, is a brand I love but rarely look for. It is Flower Beauty! They appear to have revamped a lot of old products as well as added some new options. With that little teaser, let’s just get into the goods! 🙂

Spring Polish Picks for 2015 ~ Priti NYC, Pacifica, LVX, Butter London, Flower & More!

The birds are chirping, the sun is peeking out from behind the clouds and bright green buds are popping up all around. That can only mean one thing – Spring is finally here! I absolutely love Spring and probably one of my favorite things to do in the Springtime is to bust out all of the fun colored nail polishes I have…and trying to resist buying more. J So I’ve dusted off my polishes and spent hours whittling down my favs (literally) so that I can share my Top 10 Spring Polishes with you this year! J (And please excuse my rough nails and somewhat messy painting job.)

The first polish I have is a continual favorite because it’s a nice neutral metallic that really could work anytime of year. I love it for Spring in particular because it’s a neutral that’s neither too boring, nor too dark and has that added interest with the subtle metallic flash. It is Flower Beauty’s “Fanatical Botanical.”It is shown painted with 2 coats (and the horrible imperfections are on my actual nails, not from the polish itself).

Moving on to a more traditional Spring pastel, we have Butter London’s “Kerfuffle.” This polish is just a nice pale peach that’s not so pale that it either blends with my skin tone or looks too stark against it. This can be painted in 2 coats if you’re careful, but since I had 10 to get through, I rushed it and 3 coats are shown.

Continuing up the price scale, but sticking on the lovely pastel train, we have Build Me Up Buttercupfrom Deborah Lippmann. Every time I look at this polish I get the song stuck in my head! It’s a lovely pale buttery yellow. I love this for Spring because it’s not too bright and for a yellow, it applies really well. It is not a streaky mess, and it doesn’t get all gloopy and streaky. This is shown with 3 coats, but 2 is probably workable when not holding your nails in the sunlight. Photos really show the imperfections in painting!

Sticking with the Deborah Lippmann, my next favorite is called Blue Orchid.” Again, this is just the perfect Springtime blue! Not too light or too dark, and not too bright and in-your-face. The formula is fantastic and is shown with 2 coats, though you might even be able to get away with one. This entire collection (I think it is from Spring 2014) is just superb – both colors and formula.

Next we have a shade from LVX which a 5-free vegan polish. The color is called Mynt and is subtly different from a traditional mint green. It’s a touch brighter with more of a “spring green” kind of tone to it. It’s a gorgeous polish and the brushes on the LVX polishes are really fantastic as well – not too thick or too thin and distribute the polish beautifully! This is shown with 3 coats, but should be perfect in 2 if you take more time between coats.

A pastel blue-green hybrid of sorts is Crown of Thorns from Priti NYC. I suppose this is a perfect Robin’s egg blue. It’s not quite blue, not quite green and just plain beautiful! JI think this might be possible to have evenly painted in 1 coat, but it is shown with 2. Priti NYC is also a 5-free Vegan polish brand with fantastic brushes.

Switching to the pinker side of purple, we have Crystal Orchid from Pacifica. I really like this shade partly because it’s so unique! It really doesstraddle the line of a pink and a pale lilac. I don’t think I have anything else quite like it. Again, beautiful formula and a fantastic brush from a 7-free Vegan company. This can be opaque in 1 coat, but I have shown it painted with 2 coats. Another weird little love about this polish is the handle – not only is it pretty, but it gives a bit of “grip” too, which really does seem to help with polishing.

If you’re looking for a slightly cooler pale lavender, check out A Grape Affair from The Body Shop. This definitely falls into the purple category, but is a beautiful pastel shade that is stunning in the Spring! I have painted 2 coats here, but this is another one that might be possible in just 1. And again, the brush is perfect!

For a bit of a transition from Spring into Summer, I have an orange that is definitely bold, but not quite as full-on super intense as I might pick in the dead of Summer. It is Tiddlyfrom Butter London. I kind of feel like it’s what you’d see if an orange creamsicle met an orange popsicle and they melted together. Whatever you want to call it, I love it for Spring because it’s just softened enough that it doesn’t quite feel Summery…yet! This is shown with 3 coats, but may be fine with 2 if you let the coats dry more between.

Last but not least, we have a gorgeous (and highly affordable at 99¢) strawberry polish. The color is appropriately called “Grasping at Strawberries” from Wet n Wild’sWild Shine range! Again, it makes me think Summer is nearly here, but it’s not quite a tomato red that would seem more summery. It looks mostly red in the photo, but there is a definite pink undertone in person. It’s one of those shades that sometimes looks pink, other times looks red. This is shown with 2 coats.

That’s going to do it for my Spring Polish Picks this year! I hope you’ve enjoyed this pastel candy-coated love affair. J If you’d like to see some of my earlier Seasonal Polish Picks, they are linked below. Surprisingly this is my first installment for Spring! Please leave a comment with some of your favorite shades because I always love hearing about new polishes! Apparently a girl can never have too many. JThank you so much for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!!!

For prior Polish Picks, you can find them linked below:
      Holiday 2014
      Fall 2014
      Summer 2014
      Summer 2013
      Fall 2012, Part 1
      Fall 2012, Part 2
      Fall 2012, Part 3
      Fall 2012, Part 4



Best of 2014 – Face Makeup & Tools

Continuing on with the avalanche of annual favorites, today we have the Best in Face Makeup & Tools. Kind of a strange grouping but trust me, it works. J Since the Tools are pretty much all used with Face Makeup, it actually makes sense. So, now that we know what we’re waffling on about, let’s actually do it! J

Probably the best product in the face makeup category that I have tried in 2014 comes from IT Cosmetics and it is the Bye Bye Redness. I guess you’d call it a color-correcting concealer because it really shines for covering up redness, but it can really cover up any kind of imperfection with ease. It’s meant to be used under foundation since it is only available in one shade, but because my skin tone is pretty similar, I often wear it over foundation as well. I have to a bit careful with it because it is quite thick and can emphasize pores, but I find if it’s used sparingly in targeted areas it doesn’t become much of a problem. Since this past year has been filled with red, angriness on my face, the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness has been a life saver (you can read more about it here)!

I’m going to switch things up a bit and move on to a tool! Not only that, it’s a new entrant into the brush realm. I’m talking about Flower Beauty’s new Lip Brush! I don’t actually use it for lipstick, but for concealer (usually the Bye Bye Redness). It’s a nice, dense small flat brush that works perfectly for covering up any pesky trouble spots. I’m torn about the handle because it is a rather cheap feeling plastic, but that also means it’s quite lightweight. Plus I really love the shape of the handle. It looks really gorgeous and it’s affordable as well! J Well done with the Lip Brush, Flower Beauty!

Another concealing tool that I have absolutely loved this year is simply called the Concealer Brush from ELF. This brush is ideal for blending concealer under the eyes. The size and shape is perfect for that area. The bristles are soft and splay out just enough to seamlessly blend without wiping away product. It’s genius – and it’s even more affordable than the Flower Brush. Run, don’t walk to grab the ELF Concealer Brush!

My last tool entry for the year is one that I use for pretty much anything and everything. I’ve used it for blending eye shadow, setting powder, applying both liquid and powder concealers, wiping away fall out. You name it, this brush can do it! It is the Setting Brush from Real Techniques. Again, an affordable brand too! JThis brush is a real powerhouse and is a must-have for anyone.

Getting back to face favorites, I have a few blushes to share. I tend to swap out blush rather frequently, but these formulas definitely deserve a mention. The first set of blushes I fell in love with over the Summer and they are the All-In-One Blushers from The Body Shop. My favorite shade is probably Guavabecause it’s just a nice, bright, pigmented matte pinky-coral. It’s a beautiful color and the formula meshes nicely with the skin. It also wears well and it definitely deserves more attention!

Next, there are the much-hyped Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes. These blushes have the most incredible silky smooth texture and on the skin, they just make the healthiest looking glow. There’s no glitter or shimmer, just luminous goodness. I really love Ethereal Glow for a blush topper that gives that “kissed by an angel” effect (you can read more of my thoughts here). I also love Mood Exposure, which is a surprisingly beautiful neutral plum that works with any look. I have it in the Blush Palette, which you can read more about here. The Ambient Lighting Blushes get a lot of hype, but it’s well deserved because they truly are beautiful.

A perennial blush favorite that needs inclusion this year are the NARS Blushes. Everyone raves about them and they definitely deserve it. The powders are soft and blendable, nicely pigmented and they wear well. In the Summer I could not put down the shade Torrid, which is a nice shimmering peach-leaning pink. Then in the Fall, Outlaw was never far from my reach. It’s a gorgeous almost duo-chrome shade of berry-plum laced with a golden sheen. It looks a bit scary swatched, but it is absolutely stunning on the cheeks! A common favorite among beauty lovers, the NARS Blushesdefinitely found a permanent place in my heart in 2014.

Finally I have my last face favorite. I’m not a big highlighter person, but this year I may have been converted…at least a little bit. JThe Cover FX Illuminator in Moonlight is just absolutely stunning! Depending on how it’s applied, it can look incredibly natural, or it can be built up for a more intense glow. It’s not glittery or sparkly, just a beautiful natural looking highlight. If you’re a bit frightened by highlighters, or just want one with a buildable natural finish, definitely check out the Cover FX Illuminator in Moonlight.

So that does it for my Face Makeup & Tools Favorites of 2014. See, they actually do make sense together! As with the last installment, my prior annual picks will be linked below as well as the other posts for this year. I hope you are enjoying them and I hope you have the strength to return for the next installment in a few days! J

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