When I first decided to transition to cruelty-free, I was concerned about what kind of products I would be able to use in my everyday life, as well as what I would be able to speak about on the blog. Upon doing further research, I realised three of my favourite brands are all cruelty-free (to read more about my definition regarding parents companies, click here): Hourglass, Urban Decay, and Tarte. All of these brands are easily available from Mecca, Sephora Australia, and the Tarte website!
The first product I ever saw of Hourglass’ was the Ambient Lighting Blush trio of the 2014 holiday collection. Little known to me at the time, holiday collections are limited edition and I did not snap it up in time. After lusting after the trio for around six more months, Shop and Box posted on Instagram that one of their USA boxers had a few leftover and was looking to sell them on (unused of course). I snapped up the opportunity (as you can see here) and the rest is history! I have quite the collection nowadays and they’re probably my all-time favourite brand. Hourglass oozes luxury, quality and wearable to me.
TOP 3 PRODUCTS
My top three products from Hourglass include their Ambient Lighting Blushes which are the most natural looking blushes on the skin, you will ever find. They come in a huge variety of shades, and my favourites are Mood Exposure and Radiant Magenta. The marbling texture on the blush means that every blush made is unique and that you’ll get a different combination of the Ambient Lighting Powder and Blush every time. They’re also medium pigmented, so it’s difficult to go overboard.
My second top product from Hourglass is their No.28 Primer Serum. Rarely heard about, this primer is one of my absolute favourites, and upon using it, it’s not difficult to see why! This primer has a serum-like texture which is very like a gel, and it soaks into the skin like nothing else. I love using this under matte foundations like Estee Lauder Double Wear and Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able to give more moisture, as well as more of a glow.
Thirdly, the Ambient Strobe Highlighters are some of the best available for a low-level glow, which is usually what I am going for. I received a mini in a highlighter set, and it was the best item in the whole set! They have a little bit of shimmer, but not too much, which makes it perfect for everyday wear in an office. I highly recommend watching these at your nearest store to see for yourself!
Urban Decay was the maker of my first high-end palette I purchased myself (I am not including quads received in GWP from my mum), with that being the Naked Basics One in Sephora Hollywood. I remember that I couldn’t afford a full-size Naked palette and I was trying to choose between Naked One and Two, with One being more appealing at the time as it was all matte. I soon gathered the rest of the Naked palettes when Mecca started stocking them in March 2015, and the eyeshadow primers thereafter.
TOP 3 PRODUCTS
My top three products from Urban Decay include, of course, the Naked palettes. I couldn’t choose one out of the first and third, but as I’m sure you’ll agree, these are iconic for a reason. Coming in a variety of shades, with decent gram for dollar, I think these are great beginner palettes, or just for people like myself who are not big fans of high pigmentation as it means I spend more time than I have blending.
Secondly, the primer potion for eyes is also an iconic item from their collection. This primer potion is the best I have found to keep my eyeshadow on all day! It comes in a few different formulas, and given that with each Naked palette you receive four samples, I took quite the time to try them all out to decide to get a mini of the original.
Thirdly, Urban Decay’s Naked concealer couldn’t go without a mention. A thin consistency, this concealer is my go-to when I want a light base which doesn’t cake as much on me. I have creases around my eye area so every concealer creases on me, particularly the heavier variety.
Tarte is a brand I discovered in late 2015 through their original Tartelette palette, which my lovely friend Hannah in Sydney picked up for me in Hawaii and mailed to me! I loved that palette and although I sold it to a very happy makeup lover on Facebook earlier this year when I realised I used my In Bloom palette more, it’s the best matte palette available in my opinion. Hannah also sent me the Bling It On blush palette for the 2015 Christmas range which I still have and love.
TOP 3 PRODUCTS
My top product from Tarte would have to be their eyeshadows. A thicker texture and consistency, and more powdery than most, this makes the product actually stay on my oily lids! As I’ve said, I have owned the regular Tartelette and the Tartelette in Bloom and loved them both. Frequently sold out at Sephora, wait until Tarte’s website have their next free shipping or 20% off to pick one or both of these up!
Secondly, I love Tarte’s blushes. My first go with them was the Bling it On palette of 2015, and I have gone on to purchase 2015’s blush palette and a few holiday mini sets with blushes. The staying power of these is phenomenal on the skin. Covering a load of shades for all skin tones, Tarte has one of the best blush selections available. My pick is “Exposed”.
Can I really only pick three things? Writing this has made me realise I own so many types of things that I love from Tarte. Lastly, I’d like to mention the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara. This mascara is one of my three favourite cruelty-free mascaras as it comes in a mini, has great lasting power and a great formula which doesn’t smudge.
Realising that these three brands are cruelty-free and already in my collection is a blessing to me, as I can continue to use and collect them to my enjoyment. I hope this helped any of you that are contemplating going cruelty-free that there are many fantastic brands which value ethics over money!
What are your favourite products from these brands? Also, what are your favourite high-end cruelty-free brands?