Brand Spotlight

Brand Spotlight | Top 5 Go-To Makeup Products

Earlier this year, I made a conscious decision to switch all of my current beauty products to cruelty-free versions.

This decision has been a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, there are TONS of great cruelty-free products out there; the struggle is finding the ones that work best for my budget and me. 

When I went into Sephora with cruelty-free on my mind, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Thankfully, one of the makeup gurus stepped in to help a sista out. I had a list with me that told me which brands are or are not cruelty-free. But my makeup guru quickly explained a little known fact: makeup brands can be cruelty-free but their parent company doesn’t have to be. That’s where it gets a little confusing. Some brands on my list under the “tests on animals” title are actually cruelty-free. 

There are still quite a few things I don’t understand about the laws and regulations companies must follow in order to be cruelty-free. For example, there are SO many loopholes that allow brands to place “no animal testing” on their labels when the company does, in fact, test on animals. How is that even possible… Researching is the best way to insure you’re buying a cruelty-free product and not just reading the label. 

If you want more information and a current list of cruelty-free brands head over to This site is updated regularly AND actually contacts brands and companies to verify if they’re cruelty-free or not.

Switching all of my products to cruelty-free at once was never an option. Honestly, who has that kind of money??? Not this chick. These are the products I’ve switched to that are not only cruelty-free but also affordable. I’ve used these products for about a month and now I’m just mad I haven’t been using them all along…….


  1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer | $30

Shoutout to Nars for helping me actually look awake. This concealer is the apple of my eye and song in my heart. I apply this under my eyes after foundation. Then use it as a highlight to contour— on bridge of nose, above and below center of lips, under cheekbones, and under eyebrow arch. It’s availabe in a variety of shades. P.S. I had to get the lightest shade because I’m basically see-through. Summer, where are you??

  1. Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer | $30

This stuff smells gooood. A little bit goes a long way, so you don’t have to put layers and layers on. No caked on makeup here. Cake is for eating. And a lot of it.

  1. Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme | $28

Okay let me start by saying this is not for everyone and I get that. BUT, I’ve always wanted fuller lips like a lot of women (thanks for the lip envy Selena…) and wanted to try something that was relatively inexpensive and non-invasive. This stuff WORKS. It tingles for a few minutes when you first apply and the results last for about an hour. You can wear it alone or with your fave lipstick. I’ve found putting on the lip plumper and letting it do its thing before you apply lipstick is the best way to go.  

Pictured is my first time trying it– I had just gotten out of the shower, put the plumper on, and had nothing else on my lips (not even chapstick.) The pictures are unedited and within about five minutes of each other.

  1. Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder | $38

All hail the perfecting powder!!! At first, my fear was that it would wipe off or smudge my highlighter, bronzer, blush, and eye shadow, but it doesn’t! It literally just sets your makeup right where ya put it. Laura Mercier’s website claims they do not test on animals but they are not certifiably cruelty-free. Visit for more info.

  1. Real Techniques Makeup Brushes | $6-$40

If you’re looking for affordable makeup brushes, look no further! I have used Real Techniques brushes for a couple years. You just can’t get better quality for this price. They’re available at most drugstores, Ulta, or you can buy directly from their site:


Click on the product name to shop– hope you love them as much as I do!