One of the simplest ways you can ease into a more compassionate lifestyle is to change your beauty regimen. Have you ever seen pictures of animals being tested on by cosmetic companies? It's pretty heartbreaking. And senseless. Why should an animal live in a lab and suffer just so I can buy and wear my favorite "bold and luscious" mascara? They shouldn't—it's a waste of a life. You don't have to be vegetarian or vegan to decide to purchase cruelty-free products. And you don't have to do it all at once. When you run out of a product, look into replacing it with one that doesn't contain animal products and is not tested on animals. Don't let anyone fool you, small changes do make a difference.
My favorite go-to website for checking on a company is Peta. Yeah, I know they have a militant type image to the non-vegan world, but they know their stuff when it comes to animal testing. They have a very comprehensive list of companies that don't test on animals on their website and their current one can be found here. I also have a list of some of my favorites on my resources page, but here's a more comprehensive breakdown.
Starting with my teeth and my face, I keep it real simple. I have very sensitive teeth and the best natural toothpaste I have found that protects against hot and cold is Tom's of Maine Enamel Strength. And on my face I use Aveda Botanical Kinetics gel cleanser. It's a really basic cleanser and a bottle of it lasts me almost a year, so it's well worth the money. I use The Body Shop lotions on my face. For everyday I like their Pomegranate Firming Day Lotion with SPF 15 and for night, especially in the winter, I like to use their Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream.
Let's talk about my favorite subject—sweating. For a woman, I sweat...a lot. Seriously, a ridiculous amount. Especially when I exercise. For years I have bought and suffered through cruelty-free and natural deodorants that don't work. Never finding one that reminds me of the protection I had when I used Secret (you know, strong enough for a man but PH balanced for a woman). Those days are over with my new discovery—Schmidt's Deodorant. Seriously, this stuff works. And it is made of shea butter, baking soda, arrowroot powder, cocoa seed butter, and essential oils. Who would have thought it! They just recently came out with a deodorant stick form, but I have the jar versions which I like just fine. I scoop some out to my forefingers and massage it between my forefingers and thumbs. This heats it up a little to liquefy. Then with my fingers I wipe it on my armpits and that's it. It dries clear and quickly and has never left any "white" or film on my clothes. I ordered mine online as I have never seen it in a store here.
As far as cosmetics go, I don't use all that much—mostly eyes and lips. I can't comment on foundation or powders because I don't even own either of them and haven't used them in years. No matter which brand I tried, it always left me feeling gross. I prefer to be fresh-faced. Before I went cruelty-free, I sometimes used a tinted moisturizer, but that brand tests on animals and so I don't buy it anymore. I would guess there are cruelty-free tinted moisturizers out there and I would suggest trying that route if you feel you need foundation.
My absolute favorite eye shadow palette is Urban Decay's Naked series. Beware, they are expensive. But it lasts forever and everything you need is in one case. And it takes the guess work out of what goes together for those of us that are make-up challenged.
I'm also a big fan of their mascara. Again, it's expensive. But it lasts and personally I like the wand in their Perversion product. Another favorite for mascara is Benefit's They're Real line. I actually prefer it over Urban Decay's, but have used and really like both.
Last but not least, lipstick. I have a scar on my lip—a big one. I fell on an extension cord that wasn't fully plugged into another cord when I waslearning to walk and was electrocuted. I've always been self-conscious about it and so like to wear lipstick to help hide it. I also like muted colors because of course I don't want to bring extra attention to my lips. This NYX is one of my favorites. It's creamy and subtle. And inexpensive. And I found it at Target. I recently ordered a lipstick from Lipstick Queen so stay tuned on that brand.
So whether you go make-up free...
Or full on made up!
Remember, you are only as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. Living a healthy and compassionate lifestyle will allow your true beauty to shine through. If you haven't been willing to make a compassionate lifestyle change yet, consider starting with this easy step. If someone wanted to test hairspray on your dear dog or cat, you would never allow it. Choose to only buy cruelty-free products and know that you are making a difference in animal's lives.