As you guys know I'm slowly but surely trying to find products to replace any non cruelty free items I currently have in my beauty routine. I think it's important I find ones I genuinely like and think are just as good as the ones I have used and loved over the few years, because I really want to be able to share the message that you really don't have to feel like your missing out if you go down the Vegan/Cruelty free route. I don't want to reccommend below-par products just because they're ethical or kind, for you to them try them on my reccomendation, be unsatisfied, then make the assumption that all vegan/cruelty free products are lesser than their opposite counterparts. That would be counter productive in spreading awareness, plus I don't want to be held responsible for you not being happy with your make up look.
This means that this process hasn't been immediate and swift, and is more a case of trial and error. For instance, it has taken me a while to find a cruelty free foundation that gives a great finish, matches my skin colour and doesn't cause breakouts. In fact I've had some serious breakouts while experimenting with cruelty free foundations, I think due to the fact I have intolerance to a lot of natural products. We are all so wonderfulyl unique, in every way, so nothing is one fits all, so that's is why you need to do your own homework. But it will be worth it for you (and your face), and for the world we live in.
I've now found a cruelty free foundation that I love more than any other I've tried in my make up wearing years (which is over 15)....and now, thanks to The Body Shop, I have brushes that allow it to look even better on my skin.
The Body Shop very kindly sent me an assortment of their brush collection to trial, and I have been hugely impressed as you will see from the individual reviews below. All made with charcoal coated, super soft bristles, before you even try them out you feel that you are holding a product of luxury quality in your hands. The dark, sunstainably sourced wooden handles are tactile due to the smooth natural surface and have a weight that connotes quality. The dark shade of the wood also makes them feel very high end, and perfect fodder for Instgram flat lays. So while I was initially won over by their stunning good looks, it was more important to me that they delivered in functionality, so lets get to the important bit...
Contouring Brush £14
The synthetic bristles of this Cruelty Free Vegan Contouring Brush are extremely dense when compared to other brushes I've used intended for contouring. Theyre so tightly packed in that this particular brush has an unrivalled ability to create incredibly sharp and precise contour lines that will define the face where you desire. The slanted style makes it particularly effective for adding impact to the hollows of your cheekbones. Due to the fact the length of the bristles are relatively short and firm due to their closeness to eachother, you will potentially have to amend your previous application technique in terms of how much product you pick up from the pan. If you're not careful you'll end up with a very harsh and unflattering line, so practice on your hand before applying to face or make sure you shake off some excess from the brush before stroking across your contour points.
These are just a snapshot of The Body Shops extensive brush collection. Make sure you head to their website to see the rest of their amazing 100% Cruelty Free and Vegan brushes. The Lipstick and Concealer brush as well as the Slanted Blusher Brush are next on my list....
Fan Brush £11
As many of you will well know by now, highlighting has become a shining addition to our make up regime over the last few years. If used correctly it can make us looking youthful glowy and fresh, if used with a slightly heavier hand it can add some oomph to out levels of glamour and red carpet appeal. Many opt to use their fingers to add some light catching product to their cupids bow and bridges of their noses, but most beauty experts prefer to use Fan brushes for applications in the cheek region.
This example is shockingly soft, so much so it has become a tool for relaxation also - I quite often find myself having to stroke Si's arm with this particular brush, and it goes down very well.
This brush is polar opposite to the contouring brush, in that the hairs are extremely flexible due to the length of them. This makes it ideal for being able to create a subtle highlight effect, one that you can build up till your happy with the results. Depending what product you use there is some danger of fall out if there is too much of the shimmery materal on the brushes as you stroke it across the highest part of your cheek, so that's something to be mindful of.
Buffing Brush £14
I honestly don't know what I did before using this brush, it has completely changed how I feel about doing my make up each morning. So satisfying is the result of using this brush in conjunction with my foundation, that I really look forward to beautifying each day and seeing the transformation unfold. By buffing rather than stroking in my foundation, I am left with a finish far closer to flawless. The finish is even and natural looking, and ensures I use as little product as possible to complete the job. Now that the finish post foundation is so pleasing, I am finding less need to go back in with concealer which is an added and time saving bonus!
I love that these brushes showcase so wonderfully that you don't have to sacrifice asethetics when it comes to changing you make up bag to Vegan/Cruelty Free. These are the most beautiful brushes I own in look as well as feel.
Flat Shader Brushes £8
The flat shader brush's role is to extend your eyeshadow and give it that sultry smoky finish. It can be used to blur and blend existing colours on your eye, or smudge particular parts of that given eye look. I don't do anything particularly complex when it comes to my eyes, I'm not quite skilled enough to try cut creases or looks that require blending multiple colours in an instagram-worthy way. I used this brush when I wanted to add some shadow under the eye in an exaggerated grungy way, and it was extremely effective in doing so. It was also good when I wanted to add a darker colour of shadow just along the top lash line.
Double Ended Eyeshadow Brush £10
A dual-ended eyeshadow make-up brush this time. One end is a slanted brush, perfect for creating precise lines and defined strokes - I have found it particularly useful for giving a liner effect to top or bottom lash lines. If you still want definition but slightly softer than the effect you get when using a liquid liner, its nice to be able to use a shadow instead. This brush is PERFECT for this. The other end is a blender brush, and the perfect size to cover your lid very quickly but not too boig tht it become unruly or messy. It has been designed to help you blend colours together seamlessly and created the desired intensity.The handle is made from FSC elm wood, and the bristles are one again100% synthetic.This is a great addition to your brush collection, particularly if you travel a lot or have to make up your face on the go - essentially its a 2 for the size of 1 space saver.
What do you think of these beautiful brushes? I hope it's helped any of you loooking to exchange their existing make up bags with cruelty free/Vegan alternatives.