From food to everything else: re-learning to shop vegan and cruelty-free

I definitely don’t want this place to become a makeup blog, far from it, but it is one area where I still feel unsure of what I’m doing and what I’m buying. Same thing with house products, or everything except food 🙂

Food is simple: the more “whole food” you buy, the more you know you’re on the right path. And for processed food, for the once in a while super easy Friday night supper, products advertise their vegan-ness with pride. For skincare and makeup, each product will not necessarily have it’s own vegan label and a company may have different products with various statuses. Some people only buy from brands that are 100% vegan and cruelty free, and are not affiliated to any other company which has other ethical standards; I’m not one of them. The same way I can buy my fruits and vegetables and beans from a grocery store that also keeps meat and cheese, the same way I have no problem buying beauty or home products from brands that have a non cruelty free parent company or that sells both vegan and non vegan products.  I used the grocery store analogy, but same for restaurants or people for that matter!

Still, it has become a hassle to constantly check my phone for lists of vegan products while shopping. I look forward to just finding my new favourites that I’ll know for sure are ok for me, and that will cut the shopping dilemma greatly.

I’m finally going through this, which is fun since I hadn’t bought anything in almost two years to get rid of things I had, fun to finally be using products that are “fresh” (you know, when you don’t always take a sniff of the bottle each day you open it to check if it’s still good…?) and fun to finally be able to use products that I hope are coherent with my values.

I’m lucky to have 2 minutes from my house a little eco shop for beauty care and home products: Maison Écolonet carries a variety of bulk household products, from detergent to toothpaste, but also packaged products. That’s where I buy some of my beauty products now, and toothpaste, and I’ll switch to bulk detergent and soap when I’m done with what I have. A little rant though, these products are so darn expensive: I really do only use a pea size amount of toothpaste now because at 7$ a tube, I kind of feel cheated…

So these are the new additions: I’m using right now the Desert Essence toothpaste in Tea Tree Oil, I really like it but it wasn’t on sale this time and this one from Nature’s Gate was a bit cheaper. I’ll be able to compare and make up my mind between the two. If anyone reading this knows of any good one which are cheaper and easily available in Montreal or Canada (online), let me know!

For face cream, this is my first try at a The Green Beaver Company with the Sensitive Aloe Day Cream. This product stinks, but I really like it: it is light, not greasy. To help with the smell, and since I actually don’t have sensitive skin, I’ve been putting a generous amount in a pot and add one or two drop of essential oil to make it nice and dreamy. I’ve been using neroli for the past week. Nice. At 20$ a tube, I think it’s a cheap and great option, and a Canadian one!

I finally finished all the mascara samples I had and went to purchase a new one and chose this Zorah lengthening mascara. I think it’s good, I don’t think my standards are really high with mascara, but it’s crazy expensive (25$!!!) and so I’m looking for another one. This Pixi mascara is the same price, but I had Optimum Points at Pharmaprix to use up, so I splurge on that one and a couple of other products from that brand (not yet tried out).

I think I’ll end up buying e.l.f. mascaras online, at 3-4 $ I think, because I just think these are crazy prices for black goo on my lashes.

This is quest, and I’m far from done. I don’t know how people who decided to throw everything away in one day and start anew can do it: most advice I see online encourage people to go at it step by step, and that’s obviously the path I chose. Even this way, it can feel overwhelming; the important thing though is to be a bit forgiving with yourself and accept that you might make mistake. It is a process, and my every day goal is to do the best that I can… on that day.

Please let me know if you have found a new routine and providers for your beauty and house hold products that are easily available and don’t cost an arm and leg.


Project 10 Pan: cruelty-free and vegan products slow transitioning…

This spring, I will have been fully vegan for two years. Almost: one time I got a cow’s milk latte at the coffee shop and I didn’t want to throw it away… and some other times like that I think where people served me “plant based” food for which I had doubts. You sort of taste it, after a while, the animal taste I mean. That latte, jeez, it tasted like an udder smells, not that I have ever smelled an udder, but I think you get my gist.

I’m pretty good now with my food, and most of my body products. I had a lot of backup of shampoos and soaps, so I’m slowly going through them; toothpaste is good, conditioner right now is good, main face cream is good (eye, serums and other stuff, no). I have faith that one day the transition will be full in that department.

Clothing department, I still wear leather articles that I had acquired before the switch; same thing with silk, I have a couple of scarf with some silk in it. No wool, never liked wool. It’s itchy. I’m fine with that (not the wool, the whole wearing things like that in general at this stage in my journey).

Now comes makeup. I have a lot of makeup. Not Youtube beauty guru massive collection type of a lot, just a lot for most normal women I would think. And I’m not wearing so much of it. I’ve decluttered, but since I haven’t found any place in Montreal where they take use products to give them away – which I understand completely – I mostly threw these products away. I don’t want to continue to do that: I kept the products that I enjoyed for their colour, texture, ease of use etc, their problem is the company’s stance on animal testing and usage of animal byproduct. So I decided to do what was so popular a couple of years ago and previously mentioned Youtube beauty world, to help me out evacuating these products.

The thing is, I kinda feel guilty about all of it: the makeup, not using it, keeping it, not having a fully cruelty free / vegan makeup stash. I’m giving myself time, but after two years, I think a bit of strategy is in need. A bit more planning. A bit more panning 🙂

So here are the ten products I chose:

Inglot – Matte eye shadow #355 (doesn’t seem to be vegan according to this list) – I just needed a basic skin coloured matte for eyeshadow looks

Nars duo in Portobello – I just needed basic mattes for crease

Clinique duo in beach plum #18

Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze #25 – Can’t believe this thing is still creamy…ish

Clinique Blush Pop in Nude Pop 05 – At least I’ve used this one a lot, can’t see the flower on top

Cover Girl Eye concealer #205 – soo old… I think I screw the caps of my products super tight because they are all still in perfect condition

LancĂ´me L’Absolu Nu Lipstick in 101 (I’ve had this one for sooo many years, I think I was doing my Master at the time – that’s 10 years ago people)

LancĂ´me Lip Lover in 321

Clarins Volupté Sheer Candy in 07

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in 02

It smells very high end. And I feel like I’ll never see the end of this project, although I am determined to transition all my product consumption to more ethical ones. So it’s either that or I continue to feel bad about it and just rant alone, in front of my makeup drawer.

Of course these do not make a makeup look entirely. My mascaras are vegan and cf (yeassss!), foundation/bbcream, it’s coming quickly. Eye pencil I have all sort, but since my eye shadow looks are pretty limited in my P10P, I’ll play with my pencil a little more freely. I’ll post periodically where I’m at, and when I finish around 4-5 products, I’ll probably do a new project, just adding new products to the mix.

If you stumble upon my blog and I’ve gone through the same thing, trying to slowly get rid of all your non vegan/cf products, let me know what are the lessons you’ve ended up with, so I can’t benefit from your experience and wisdom!

I’ll add a few resources for other people like me, the in-betweeners. These websites have become major resources for me in the past years; there many others but I always come back to these ones which are easy to use, clear, helpful…everything!

Logical Harmony

Cruelty-Free + Vegan Makeup Brands (the whole website but especially this list)

Ethical Elephant

I’ll probably post a cf/vegan skincare/makeup haul next, for some positive reinforcement.