By Kylie Hargrave
Elm Staff Writer

As a female vegan, one thing I’ve had to be careful with is cosmetics. So many companies test on animals, and even some companies that don’t test still use animal products in their items. For a full list of companies that do not test on animals and/or are vegan, check out Peta.org. First click the “living” tab, then the “beauty” tab under it, and finally “Search for Cruelty-Free Companies” on the right. But for the sake of being a poor college student, I just want to talk about some of my favorite items from two companies at the cheaper end of cruelty-free/vegan makeup.

A completely safe brand is E.L.F. Most people that have looked through the Target cosmetics have notice the E.L.F. brand. It’s littered with price tags as low as $1 or $2. Yes, E.L.F. is likely the cheapest makeup you’ll ever find, but not all of their stuff is “cheap.” There are a few things to steer clear of, such as the cream blushes that don’t work very well or the mascara that tends to clump fairly easily. However, many of their products are cheap, good quality, and cruelty-free, which apparently isn’t too good to be true. My favorite items from this brand are the black bristle brushes (not the ones with the red bristles—they’re awful and fall apart), the powder blushes, the $1 liquid eyeliner, the brush cleaner, setting spray, lipsticks, lip glosses, and the makeup removing wipes. Other items I would avoid include the “all over color stick,” the lip crayons, the baked eyeshadow, and the foundation (although the concealer works pretty well). Overall, this has become my favorite drugstore makeup brand, and it keeps my wallet happy.

Another cruelty-free brand I like is Sonia Kashuk. They have fantastic synthetic brushes that I use nearly everyday. However, they are not entirely vegan. I misunderstood their official statement to say they were a vegan company, even though they had only actually stated that they are cruelty-free. Therefore, I need to look into the ingredients before I buy more, sadly. That being said, I can still give some pointers on the items I’ve liked. Their lipstick is extremely great. It has good staying power and strong pigment, but the only problem is that most do contain beeswax (making this product only good for vegetarians and not vegans). The gel eyeliner is fairly nice, although I would suggest investing in a product with a little more staying power. For only $7 I can’t complain much. The blushes and eye shadows are very nicely pigmented and I have no complaints about them.

I’ll buy a lot from these companies on regular basis, but when it comes to foundation I like to invest a little more. My favorite vegan face cream is the Derma E BB crème. It’s still not that expensive, at only about $30 dollars, and it’s wonderful quality. I don’t like the feel of full coverage foundation on my skin, so this is a nice compromise for those days I just want a nice and light skin-evening coverage.

The Elm

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