7 Vegan & Cruelty-Free Beauty Must-Haves for Summer
Victoria Jenna here! As the weather gets warmer, you may have to switch up or add to your beauty routine. I know I will! For me, there are 7 vegan & cruelty-free beauty must-haves for summer that are on my bathroom counter right now. Best of all, everything featured is affordable and can be mostly be found at the drugstore, at the mall, or online.
The drugstore is unfortunately FILLED with brands that undergo animal testing in China. In fact, most of the major brands are culprits. Even if the companies themselves do not conduct the testing, they may hire third parties to do so when required. In China, it is mandatory to perform animal testing for imported cosmetics and other beauty products. Here is a brief list of some examples:
- L’Oreal Paris
- Rimmel London
- Garnier Fructis
- Sally Hansen
Please note that this far from a master list. To see if your beauty products are cruelty-free, check out Cruelty-Free Kitty for up-to-date and informative lists.
What I am using:
- Live Clean Sunscreen – $15.99
Live Clean launched their line of sunscreens two years ago with varieties for face, baby, and sport. In Canada, this is the only affordable, all-natural sunscreen I have found at the drugstore. The Toronto heat is strong, so my face will be slathered in sunscreen all summer long!
- Batiste Dry Shampoo – $9.99
Countless beauty publications have listed Batiste as the best dry shampoo on the market, and it certainly lives up to the hype. I don’t know what is in it that makes it so much different than other brands, but the formula works wonders and keeps my hair looking refreshed.
My hair gets extra greasy and gross in the summer, so I tend to use a lot of dry shampoo. Sadly, my bangs always seem to need it. My current favourite is the Lotus scent, but I also want to try the Heavenly Volume Dry Shampoo Plus version.
- Marcelle Ultimate Volume waterproof mascara – $12
It is surprisingly difficult to find a cruelty-free mascara at the drugstore that is affordable, good quality, waterproof, and adds big volume. – This is a lot of criteria, but I try not to spend more than $15 on mascara. One of the biggest names in cruelty-free drugstore beauty is Physician’s Formula, but they do not make any waterproof mascaras.
Luckily, I came across Marcelle’s Ultimate Volume waterproof mascara during a sale at Shopper’s Drug Mart. A $12 product, the formula doesn’t flake, and it holds a curl so well! – Perfect for outlasting humid summer weather. It is incredibly long-lasting and easy to remove.
One thing to note is that the formula is wetter than other mascaras I have tried; waterproof mascaras typically have drier formulas. Therefore, after application, be sure to give it a few extra minutes to dry before you leave the house.
- The Body Shop Makeup Setting Spray – $12** OR e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set – $5.99
Setting spray is a must at any time of year, but especially summer. Use a good setting spray to combat the sweatiest days of the year and to prevent makeup from melting off your face.
I am currently using The Body Shop’s Makeup Setting Spray. – Tip: The Body Shop often has sales of 40% or 50% off online. If you are shopping at one of their stores, tell them you saw a sale on their website, and they will match it. I managed to get their setting spray for $6 instead of $12, and I was quite impressed with how well my makeup stayed put for most of the day. It is also suitable for sensitive skin like mine. And so far, I have had no issues.
Another alternative is the e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set. Another ridiculously cheap option, this product works just as well as the expensive brands. Your makeup will be flawless all day! I do prefer the nozzle on the The Body Shop one because it makes more of a mist, but the e.l.f. formula is quite effective. Generally, e.l.f. makes some of the best inexpensive drugstore makeup for vegan or non-vegan makeup. In Canada, you can buy e.l.f. at Rexall and London Drugs.
** The Body Shop is a cruelty-free company, but not all products are vegan. Some items contain beeswax.
- Urban Outfitters UO Nail Polish – $6 CAD each or 3 for $12 CAD
Of all places, I would not have thought of Urban Outfitters as my first choice for nail polish. That all changed one day when I was in the store and saw a unique neon fuchsia colour of nail polish. At the time, I bought one solely based on the colour, but I was so impressed with how long Urban Outfitters’ nail polishes lasted. I have worn some of their nail polishes for over a week with very minimal chipping. The product goes on smoothly, and I never get any uneven coats or bubbles. Best of all, they make these vegan nail polishes in so many fun colours. During the summer, I never leave home without my toes painted. Summer is sandal season!
- Oh K! face masks $5***
Oh K! Beauty products can usually be found in small gift stores. On a recent trip to Shoppers Drug Mart, I found out that they now carry a small selection of Oh K! face masks, and I was ecstatic. I have heard nothing but good things about these award-winning masks; known to constantly sell out at small retailers, they are inspired by Korean beauty (a major trend in the cosmetics industry), and are made with Korean ingredients. If you’re like me and you can’t afford spa days, these masks might be a fun at-home solution for radiant, refreshed skin.
Be sure to give your neighbourhood Shoppers Drug Mart a call to check their stock. I’m not sure if all locations carry these masks, or if they are reserved for higher-traffic locations. For other alternatives, try making your own DIY masks at home with ingredients found in your pantry. Click here for some ideas 🙂
7. Truth Belts Seva flat belt – $29
The Seva flat belt is my secret weapon for two seasons of the year: during the winter for large holiday feasts, AND during the summer to give the “beach body” illusion. I admit it, I tend to eat a lot of ice cream or icy treats during the warmest time of the year. The sugar sometimes makes my tummy bloated, and who likes that feeling? Such instances call for wearing the Seva in my jean shorts. I can adjust the belt as tight or loose as needed, and the buckle keeps my tummy completely flat! Since the belt itself is elastic, the stretchiness makes it the most comfortable belt I have ever owned. No more discomfort of being caught between belt holes 🙂 Ladies, this belt will fit EVERYONE. Available in sizes S-XXL
If your favourite pair of jeans or shorts has smaller belt loops, check out the Karma flat belt in 1″ elastic. Same great flat buckle!
What are your favourite cruelty-free brands and/or products? What is your summer make-up look? Have any product suggestions? Leave us a comment!
Live Your Truth, and Respect Others’!
Victoria Jenna Lee