The ethical edit: Make-up

Make-up and body care which helps animals, the environment, your skin, your make-up bag… and doesn’t break the bank!

Here’s one more article about sustainable make-up choices that no one asked for! But really, during my teens I used to save up and splurge on MAC cosmetics and other big beauty brands, I had a huge vanity in my wardrobe and would end up throwing away a lot of products which I hadn’t used or had past their best-before date. Now I’m a lot more minimalistic in my make-up and beauty choices, I buy little and not very often but the things I do have I know work for my skin (and bank account!) and I know I’ve at least considered their environmental impact before buying them.

I always try to purchase vegan, cruelty free and sustainable products. I believe that whilst I try to mirror this lifestyle in terms of what I put into my body I should at least try to parallel that with what I put on my body. So, I started learning about which brands were cruelty free and which weren’t, and even ones that were but were owned by a parent company which tested on animals and it was a minefield! I was overwhelmed with information and found the whole thing rather intimidating, feeling like if my choices weren’t perfect then I’d failed. I decided to ditch the internet and every time one of my products ran out I’d research a cruelty free alternative to buy next. I’m constantly learning but thought I’d share where I’m currently at with it all and what I use to help me along this journey!

A small make-up bag!

Over the past 3 years I’ve been moving house all the time! I’ve had 6 different apartments so having a small make up bag, with not too many extra body-care products has really been necessary! I started by wanting everything in my make-up bag to be something that I’d use either almost daily or something that only comes out once in a while but that I really love. The benefits of having a small make-up bag are, for me; less clutter, wearing less make-up, less time deciding what to use in a morning, spending less money on my routine and producing less waste.

So, having explained myself a little here are my top make-up pics which work and which help the world!


Nearly all of my brushes are from Real Techniques, the brand is 100% cruelty free and I purchased my two sets from Amazon when there was a huge discount on the original sets. 10/10!


Hopefully this still counts under ‘body-care’! For shampoo I use the Lush shampoo bars: zero waste, amazing smell and easy to travel with! Throw it in your hand luggage for a trip away and you don’t even have to worry about the liquids limit in security. I love the fact that no waste comes from these products, they last forever and leave my hair feeling great.

Daily make-up and body care

For most of my daily make-up I use products from The Body Shop. This also goes for face masks and cleansers. I don’t have many products but when I do need something The Body Shop is usually my first place to go. I love the Tea Tree skin range and really feels like it takes good care of my skin even in a big polluted city like Berlin. Again, The Body Shop is cruelty free and is usually really good at signalling which of it’s products are vegan too. Happy days!


For eyeshadow I have a little palette which I use daily from Too Faced. Another great cruelty free company with absolutely lovely products. I love how compact this little product is and has lasted me forever! It’s definitely going to be one of the products that I repurchase again and again.

Make-up remover

Not wipes, anything but wipes! At the moment I’m using micellar water and a flannel to remove my make-up. There are positives and negatives to micellar water but I always make sure I get the unscented very simple types to minimise any unwanted consequences on my skin. Still learning on this one, but using a flannel reduces waste and it’s a combo which is working well for me at the moment.

The bits left over!

It’s important to note that I do still have a few bits and pieces which aren’t cruelty free and great choices. I really don’t see the point in wasting these products and throwing them away but as soon as they do run out I’ll be replacing them with something better for everyone. I think most important to remember is that even considering sustainability within your make-up bag is a great first step and it’s something that’s going to take time to pull off. But, what I want to communicate most is that, a cruelty-free beauty routine is easy, well-priced and still leaves your skin feeling amazing!


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