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 đŸ™‚

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.