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5 Can’t-Live-Without Cruelty-Free Products

Five products that you can’t–well, that you may not want to–live without.

When I first decided to “go cruelty-free” I was in need of the staples.  For me, that is a little bit of eyeliner, some face cream with SPF, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner!  Of course there are many other products that I use and had to purchase cruelty-free, but these were my essentials.  What are your “essentials?”  Let us know in the comments!

Face Cream: CVS AM Moisturizing Facial Lotion For Normal to Dry Skin SPF 30

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Don’t forget, friends–sunscreen is important!

I used to use Cerave with added SPF, but I have come to learn that they are NOT actually considered vegan and cruelty-free in many ways.  Check out another blogger’s research with the company.  One of the easiest ways I keep it simple with a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle is by relying on whole brands that I can count on being vegan.  CVS has a store brand that is always cruelty-free.  They have a ton of products that I can pick up without having to pull out my phone and double check, but one of my favorites for face cream is this one.

Trying to switch to cruelty-free but frustrated by leaving a beloved brand?  Check out CVS or other drugstores with cruelty-free store brands to see if they have a generic version.  For example, consider swapping out OGX Renewing Argan Oil Shampoo for Beauty 360 Argan Oil Renewing Shampoo.

Image result for ogx renewing moroccan argan oil shampooBeauty 360 Argan Oil Renewing Shampoo, 13 OZ.

Not only are you not contributing to the unnecessary suffering of animals but almost always saving a buck by buying the store brand!

*TIP: Find the brand name product you prefer and look near it on the shelf to find the generic brand.  CVS in particular positions their products next to the product they suggest you “compare to.”

Makeup: e.l.f.

I love this brand so, so much.  It is cruelty-free, of course, and very affordable.  I have loved most of the products I’ve purchased from them.  (Fair warning: I have never liked their mascara.)  My favorite is is the Liquid Liner in black.

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The link to the eyeliner amazon affiliate link, and you can actually get a better price on the e.l.f. website, but unlike Amazon they do not have free shipping.  Depending on how many products you order, it might be worth it to get it from the website.  You will have to calculate shipping.

Frankly, your best bet is to stop by Target or a Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, which all stock e.l.f. in my area.

If e.l.f. doesn’t work for you, another budget-friendly favorite of mine is NYX Cosmetics.  This is the brand I jump to if I can’t find what I want with e.l.f., such as with mascara.  NYX has a brownish-black mascara, which I personally prefer for everyday use.  Additionally, NYX seems to have more products for women (and men!) of color, but let me know in the comments if you have a different opinion!

Shampoo: Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Three cheers for sulfate-free shampoo!  My guess is you’ve heard this buzz word by now, or at least seen it listed on products in the store.  Why should you care?  Well, for some people sulfate-free shampoo might be the best fit.  Not for everyone!  By all means, I do not mean to generalize on the internet.  Sulfate is a type of detergent that causes your shampoo to lather up and generate that foam that makes us all rub our hands in circles, a bubble bath forming on our heads, leaving our hair feeling squeaky clean!

For some people, this process might be too “harsh” and strip their hair of naturally occurring oils.  For others, they might actually need this type of cleansing to remove product buildup and oils.  Check out Refinery29’s position on the matter, where they break down some myths and consider that some of this might be a trend we’re caught up in.  To save you a click: basically, it depends on your hair.  For some, it’s no big deal.

I personally love sulfate-free shampoo, especially in the winter when my fine hair gets limp and does not need to be washed as much.  But you do you!

Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Sulfate-Free Shampoo, 12 fl oz (Packaging May Vary)

Conditioner: Desert Essence Conditioner, Mango

Because I’m a sucker for some mango.

On a budget?  Try the Beauty 360 brand, which has a 32 ounce Deep Moisture Conditioner for Dry and Damaged hair listed for $2.99 on the CVS website.  That’s 32 ounces for just a few bucks!  Imagine what you could do with a coupon.

Curly natural hair?  You’re still covered!  Check out this post from Curls Understood for more products.

Deodorant: Tom’s of Maine

Tom's of Maine Women's Antiperspirant Deodorant Natural Powder - 2.25 Oz, Pack of 3

Deodorant was one of those things I had a hard time changing when I went cruelty-free.  I did not go cruelty-free overnight.  Instead, as I finished up products I had already purchased I began to replace them with different brands that I knew were vegan and cruelty-free.  I don’t think it is necessary to throw away every item in your house–wasting all of those materials, plastics, and the money–and have to replace everything the next day, unsure if you will like the products.  I think this is one way that people get overwhelmed and decide to abort mission on these lifestyle changes.

I believe that it is okay to make changes slowly in order to ensure they are sustainable, long-lasting and reasonable lifestyle changes.

It’s okay to take things one step at a time!  We want these changes to be easy, reasonable, and long-lasting.  This leads me to my next point…

I am currently undecided on whether or not I want to keep using Tom’s of Maine for my toothpaste and deodorant needs.  Why?  Because their parent company is not cruelty-free and vegan.  For many people, this is a deal breaker.

I will do a blog post later exploring the pros and cons of purchasing cruelty-free products from brands with non-cruelty-free parent companies.  In the meantime, I welcome any and all advice, information, and discussion on the matter!

Okay, that concludes my list of products you can’t live without!

I chose these products because they were staples for me when I changed my cosmetic consumption practices to cruelty-free.  I had no idea how to go about changing my classic Herbal Essences to a new product.  There are so, so many lists out there of the “Best Cruelty-Free Shampoos” and hundreds of others.

These are the products that work for me, and the ones I’ve chosen to share.  As such, please note that some links on this page are affiliate links.  This means that at no additional cost to you I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Whenever possible I have tried to suggest the cheapest place to purchase these products, which is often Amazon!

In the future my hope is that more products are clearly labelled in stores.  One of the most frustrating things for me when I am shopping is that I used to have to pick up each bottle I “liked the look of” and scour the back of the bottle for information that it is cruelty-free and vegan.

I hope that posts like this and on keeping it simple will show you employ tips and tricks such as Cruelty Cutter to make shopping so much easier!  For those of you who haven’t read my tricks on keeping it simple, one major suggestion I have is downloading Cruelty Cutter to your smartphone to make shopping a breeze.  Read up before you head out to do your own cruelty-free shopping!