When I first started shopping for cruelty-free make up it happened to coincide with the start of my job as a flight attendant. Prior to being a flight attendant I rarely wore foundation, let alone eye shadow and blusher. I quickly found myself surrounded by female colleagues who were all really into make up and most of these girls were amazing at applying it. I quickly became envious of their skills and my obsession with make up began.
Also around this time I was introduced to shelivescrueltyfree.com, an NZ-based online shop for cruelty-free beauty products. Although I haven’t bought a lot from them, I have used them as a solid reference for brands I can trust. I highly recommend checking their website out and I always endeavor to purchase more from them. Through shelivescrueltyfree I learnt that Australis Cosmetics are cruelty-free. The only Australis product I had ever bought was their eyeliner pencil. At high school all my friends and I owned this eyeliner; it was just so black and creamy and so easy to apply. But I was after foundation, so one day I popped out to my local Farmers (having watched a few Youtube first impressions beforehand) to buy the Australis StayPut Longwear foundation. Unfortunately they didn’t have my very pale shade, so I opted for their Fresh & Flawless foundation instead.
I liked this foundation, it has quite a thick consistency and applies very evenly, and it has a matte finish that made my skin feel nice and soft. It did tend to get a bit greasy after a while – mainly on my chin – so requires powder top ups. The coverage was good, leaning towards a medium cover and was sort of buildable. I found if I put too much on it would be too yellowy for me. Considering the foundation will only put you back around $15, it really is pretty good, especially if you just wanted a run around foundation. If I was after a run-around foundation I would buy this again, or perhaps give the StayPut a try.
I started flying to America for work a year or so after this, which meant I was able to shop at Sephora – a make up lover’s paradise. This also meant I had to do some research on what cruelty-free brands were sold at Sephora. I stumbled across a blog called crueltyfreekitty operated by a lady named Suzi; she had compiled a list of all the cruelty-free brands sold at Sephora (see the above link). I was so happy to have found her – her blog is amazing. She blogs about all sorts of cruelty-free issues, she does so much research and I trust her wholeheartedly. So my first trip to Sephora was easy, Suzi had done all the hard work for me (thank you, Suzi). I just had to find what I liked.
I came across the pinnacle (or so I thought) of all foundations. I was in love.
Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, in Mont Blanc. Doesn’t that beautiful name just roll off the tongue? I loved this foundation, it covered up all my imperfections, it looked natural, it lasted 13 hour flights, it didn’t cake and it didn’t dry my skin out. It has a dewy finish which I would tone down with powder as I like things a bit more matte. The consistency of the foundation was very runny so I found a little went a long way and it applied evenly and effortlessly. It was buildable, though again had a tendency to go a bit yellow if I applied too much and it didn’t crease. After a few hours of wear this too would get a bit greasy in areas, but nothing a bit of powder couldn’t fix. This foundation comes in 20 shades and although I am not the biggest fan of its $48 USD price tag, if you want a reliable and decent foundation, I would definitely recommend it. I have since found a foundation I love even more than this one, so I’m not sure that I would purchase it again. But I did really love it.
Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation, in fair beige. I bought this foundation knowing nothing about Tarte other than they were cruelty-free. I have never in my life enjoyed applying foundation so much. I bought the Tarte foundation brush to accompany the foundation and they are a match made in heaven – although a Beauty Blender also does a great job. This foundation offers a medium coverage, it lasts a 13-hour flight, it feels nourishing on the skin and although I may mentally feel like death after a 13-hour flight, my skin is hanging in there and I am putting that down to this amazing foundation and possibly my amazing Too Faced Hangover Primer. The foundation itself is a thick mousse-like consistency and a little goes quite a long way. It is buildable, doesn’t turn yellow and finishes slightly matte. What I love most about this foundation is that it doesn’t look like you’re wearing any; it doesn’t crease and the finish isn’t at all sticky. I tend to get quite a dry nose, so it may cake a little around my nose area on the drier days, but that is probably the only criticism I have of it. So if you have drier skin this may not be the best foundation for you. I cannot rave about this enough. Of course I am going to keep trying new foundations, but I will definitely keep this as my staple (for the time being, at least). The foundation comes in 24 shades, so there is likely a shade for everyone and coming in at $39 USD it’s quite a bit cheaper than Nars.
What are some of your favourite foundations? Leave a comment below, or let me know on Twitter.
Until next time,
Please note that I have saved these photos from the Sephora and Austalis Comestics websites. No one wants to see my dirty/stained foundation bottles.