Ethical Beauty Brand Overview: Hourglass Cosmetics

This week I’m going to be highlighting one of my favorite ethical beauty brands – Hourglass Cosmetics. Hourglass makes great quality products – and charges an arm and a leg for them! Despite the high price tag, I appreciate the company’s commitment to quality, making animal-friendly products and the fact that so many of their products are made in America. I have tried almost all the products the company makes, but I will not be reviewing any of the products that are made outside of the States. They’re particularly well loved by the beauty blogger set, however, so if you’re curious about the other products Hourglass makes, a google search will quickly reveal all the review posts you could possibly want!

Brushes

Hourglass Cosmetics is the ONLY company I’ve found whose brushes are not only cruelty-free, they’re made in America (NOTE: I have just learned that these brushes are NOT made in America so they are NOT a good ethical option). Every other synthetic brush I’ve found is made in China. Because Hourglass’s brushes are so pricy, I will relax my made in America ban to write a future blog post on the various cruelty-free brushes I’ve found. Even though Hourglass’s brushes are expensive, they are so beautifully made that I’m actually quite happy to spend the money on them. Especially since they’re the only brushes that meet my high standards for ethical beauty products. Unfortunately, their selection of brushes isn’t very broad so I’ve had to fill the gaps in my collection with made in China brushes from other brands. Still, I regard Hourglass as my default brush company.

  • #2 blush brush – The #2 has a classic, domed-shaped brush head. The bristles are densely packed and smooth as silk! Because they’re not animal hair, at first the bristles are stiffer than an animal hair blush brush’s bristles. However, after you’ve washed and used the brush a few times, I’ve found that the bristles relax and now they are perfect for a smooth and even application of blush. In addition, because the bristles are synthetic, they are actually perfect for foundation so this brush does double duty. You can actually use it for your foundation, wipe it clean with a kleenex, and then dip it in your blush! When used with foundation the #2 gives a beautiful, air-brushed finish to the skin.
  • #7 finishing brush – The #7 kabuki brush is great for bronzer or finishing powder. It is super soft and feels absolutely luxurious on the skin. After using the #2 to apply blush to my cheeks, I like to buff the #7 in a circular motion over my cheeks to blur the edges and give an ultra-natural finish to my blush.

Primer

Hourglass is justifiably famous for their primers. I usually don’t use primers but I actually love to use both of their primers.

  • Veil Mineral Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 – This is the primer that gets the most press. On a day to day basis, I don’t wear primer, however if I was going to an event and wanted to make sure my makeup stayed looking fresh, I would definitely smooth this on as a base. I’ve discovered that this primer works great as a base for concealer. Using my ring finger, I gently dab a tiny dot of this primer under my eyes. It creates a smooth surface for my concealer and makes it last a little longer. Consequently, I really get my money’s worth out of this product! One travel-sized bottle can easily last me a year.
  • No. 28 Primer Serum – This silicone-based primer is very moisturizing and gives a gorgeous radiant glow to the skin. Again, I don’t use it all-over every day but I have found a brilliant daily use for it – as a lip primer. Instead of smoothing on a moisturizing lip balm and then wiping it off before I apply lipstick, I apply a bead of No. 28 to my lips before I start applying my makeup. By the time I get to my lips, they have completely absorbed the primer, leaving a plump, perfectly moisturized surface for my lipstick! Again, I only buy the travel-sized bottle of this and one bottle last me a really long time!

Complexion Makeup

Hourglass’s complexion makeup is where I really get sticker shock. The formulas of the two complexion products I tried were very good – they blended easily and came in a great range of natural-looking colors. No weird pink or overly yellow tones in the lot.

  • Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 15 tinted moisturizer – This product is gorgeous. Ivory is a perfect match for my skin and when I blend it in with my Beauty Blender sponge it looks like I’m not wearing any makeup at all. Yet is still manages to smooth over the appearance of my hyper pigmentation. But the $55/1 oz price tag means that I will be trying many other foundations this year in search of a more affordable option!
  • Hidden Concealer – Before I committed to buying ethical beauty products, my concealer of choice was the infamous Cle de Peau concealer – the cadillac of concealers. Compared to Cle de Peau, Hidden concealer, while very blendable (and coming in a wider range of colors than CdP) just doesn’t have that gorgeous buttery texture that just melts into the skin while giving full coverage. However, I absolutely love the range of colors this concealer came in – ten compared to Cle de Peau’s 6 and with some very deep tones represented, something that CdP lacks. The price is also half of CdP. This concealer is very well-pigmented while still being blendable and is great for covering up discoloration or blemishes. I’m less crazy about it as an under-eye concealer. The texture of this concealer is a bit thick, which means it’s challenging to thin it down enough in order to avoid creases. When applying under eyes, I usually apply it to the back of my hand, letting the warmth of my skin soften it before dabbing the tiniest, thinnest layer under my eyes. It’s workable for under the eyes, it’s just not my favorite.

Lip products

Hourglass has a really well-edited collection of beautiful lipstick colors, available in two different textures and one fantastically luxurious lip treatment.

  • No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil has many of the same ingredients as the primer above but in an oil base rather than a silicone base. I use it twice a day as an intensive moisturizing lip treatment replacement for Aquaphor which is neither animal-friendly nor eco-friendly. This product is very rich and can easily be worn as a pigment-free lip gloss since it makes your lips very shiny! The unique applicator has a pump so you can dispense just the right amount of product and a 24-karat gold plated tip which supposedly ensures that the product stays sanitary. So far I’ve had mine for six months and I will buy it again without hesitation when I run out. The lip treatment oil has a faint botanical scent which luckily does not irritate my allergies although I could see it bothering someone else.
  • Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick – This lipstick is kind of like a more natural take on the longwear liquid lipsticks that other brands have. Unlike those longwear liquid lipsticks, this formula does not have the same toxic chemical ingredients or drying texture. Unfortunately, that means that it doesn’t last as long, either. This lipstick comes in a tube like a lip gloss and the wand has a proprietary doe foot sponge applicator with a flexible tip so once you get the hang of it, it’s actually fairly easy to get the perfect line with this very pigmented lip product. It definitely took me a few tries before I felt comfortable applying this because the texture is a little different from what I’m used to. And I wouldn’t apply it without a mirror because the intense pigmentation means that an uneven lip line really stands out. Unlike wax-based lipsticks, you can’t smack your lips together while it’s drying because that can lift the pigment off your lips leaving you with an uneven mess of balled up pigment on one lip, and bald patches on the other. But once you get into the habit of NOT rubbing your lips together, two coats gives you pigmented, matte lips that holds up really well to drinking glasses. (It’s not transfer-proof but it is transfer resistant.) If you’re one of those women who can eat without touching food to her lips, then one application of this could last you all day but I prefer to reapply it after a meal. That’s a little bit of a pain because if you apply wet product on top of dry, it balls up. So I usually end up wiping off my lips and reapplying after a meal. Because of this, I’m a little on the fence with this product. When I run out of my favorite colors, I may get them in the more forgiving Femme Rouge formula below. The formula has no discernible taste or scent which is a HUGE plus for me since scents and flavors can irritate my allergies. I tried this in the following colors:
    • Icon – a gorgeous, classic cool-toned red. This is, without a doubt, my holy grail shade of red lipstick. I am *definitely* going to buy it again, I’m just not sure if I’ll buy it in this formula. This is NOT a color for the faint of heart as it is very pigmented.
  • Raven – a warm-toned red that can lean slightly orange, depending on your skin tone.

Another look at the #FOTD.

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  • Riviera – a sister color to Raven, Riviera is a red leaning orange (rather than an orange leaning red). It’s a bright, fun color to wear.

Orange lipstick. Yay or nay?

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  • Ballet – a sweet, bright, blue-based pink

  • Empress – a moody burgundy

  • Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick – at $30 this is one of the most expensive lipsticks I’ve ever purchased HOWEVER it is refillable! I love that! I hate throwing away expensive lipstick tubes, don’t you? This lipstick is richly pigmented and feels very comfortable on the lips. I wouldn’t call it moisturizing, per se, but it definitely is soft and doesn’t dry lips out. Like the Opaque Rouge lipstick, the Femme Rouge doesn’t have a scent. I tried this in two colors:
    • Fever – a cool-toned vibrant fuchsia that brightens my whole face. I *adore* this color and plan to never be without it!
    • Embrace – Hourglass’s website description for this is a “bronzed, plum burgundy”. It’s a really unique color – when I wear it, it makes my lips look like they’re wearing molten metal. It’s a very warm color, which ordinarily I would steer away from, but I love it with bronzer and a smokey eye.

Fever:

Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss – this lip gloss is soft, not sticky and the pigmentation varies wildly from color to color. Some of the colors are sheer whereas others are so deeply pigmented you need to wear them with a lip liner to prevent bleeding. I’m not really a lip gloss person so I didn’t end up buying any of these but I have to say the bright metallic red of Siren looked really unique – a gorgeous look to wear for the holidays if your skin is warm-toned. Of course the color I was drawn to most was Icon. If I were going to a big event, I think I would consider layering Icon lip gloss over Icon Opaque Rouge for high impact classic Hollywood glamour.

Mascara

I got a sample of Hourglass’s Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara as a gift with purchase and I have to say it’s a fantastic mascara. Even though it’s not waterproof, it holds up really well to my constantly watering eyes and unlike many mascaras does a good job of holding a curl. The brush clings to my lashes, coating each one evenly. And because it’s not waterproof, it’s so easy to wash off at the end of the day. I’m hoping that FLOWER Beauty’s mascara is even better because it bothers me to spend so much money on a product that I have to throw away every three months!

NOTE: In order for a personal care brand or product to be written up in my #EthicalBeauty posts it has to be independently verified as cruelty-free and made in North America (where I live). Hourglass Cosmetics is certified cruelty-free by Logical Harmony and PETA.

Ethical Beauty Review: Paula’s Choice

For my first ethical beauty company review, I had to pick Paula’s Choice! Paula Begoun and I go way back. Long before the internet became a useful source of product reviews, Begoun’s Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me was my beauty bible. She did a great job of piercing the veil of hype surrounding each product and discussing the performance and benefits of various cosmetics and skincare products. (Since that time, I’ve discovered the reviewers at Makeup Alley and I never buy a product without checking the site to see what consumers like me think of it. The seeds of this blog are really born in my product review profile at MUA.) In the 90s, Begoun started developing her own skincare line. Every product in her line is formulated using ingredients that are proven to be safe and gentle and that have excellent research supporting their claims. I started using Paula’s Choice skincare products just over a year ago because I was frustrated by the hyper pigmentation on my face which is a side effect of the hormones I take to treat my endometriosis and the improvement in my skin’s texture and appearance is extraordinary. I used to have to wear full-coverage foundation AND concealer to hide the brown spots. (They really stood out since I am otherwise very very pale.) Now, I can wear tinted moisturizer and sometimes even go without makeup and still I get compliments on my skin! I sent a friend who suffers from cystic acne Paula’s Choice’s acne starter kit and she reported that it has done more for her skin than the expensive department store products and prescription drugs that she was using. These products are just really well-formulated. One of the things I love about Paula’s Choice is that there is a lot of diversity in the product options. Instead of just offering one or two retinol products, she offers several, each with a slightly different product base, so you can find exactly the right formula for you skin. Another wonderful thing is that you can buy samples of every product on the site. This enables you to try all those retinol formulas until you find the one you like the best. The samples are not only great for trying out new products, they are also FANTASTIC for traveling! Since the samples come in sealed packets you don’t have to worry about anything getting confiscated and you can just take exactly how much you need for your trip. There are some duds in the line, just as there are in every line, but they are few and far between. And if you do happen to end up with a dud, Paula’s Choice products are 100% guaranteed so you can return them even if you’ve used half the bottle!

Top tip: every month Paula’s Choice has some kind of sale on their website. So I always wait until the product I use is on sale before I stock up! In the last year I don’t think I’ve paid full price once for a PC product. Right now it’s 15% off everything on the site so it’s a great time to try the brand! Also, if you use this link when ordering, you’ll get $10 off your first order!

Below is a list of the products I’ve used and a short review of them:

AHA & BHA Exfoliants

One of the best tools for keeping your skin in its best condition is gentle daily exfoliation. Paula’s Choice doesn’t make any manual exfoliants (other than their lip scrub) because chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs tend to be more gentle for daily use. Because AHAs and BHAs are acids, in order for them to work properly, the product formulations must have the right pH. Strangely enough, quite a lot of products that advertise themselves as containing AHAs or BHAs have an incorrect pH which nullifies the exfoliating properties of the product. The basic difference between AHAs and BHAs is that AHAs make your skin better at retaining moisture and BHAs help clear pores for those prone to blackheads. For that reason, Paula’s Choice’s AHA formulations are designed for normal to dry skin types whereas her BHA formulas are designed for normal to oily. Some notes on using chemical exfoliants: be careful when you’re layering different products as they can interfere with one another. I usually wait 10-20 minutes after applying an AHA or BHA before putting on another product so that the pH of the second product doesn’t negate the exfoliant benefits.

  • RESIST Daily Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA This product is great to use as an exfoliating toner after washing your face. Even though my skin is dry, I did not find it drying.
  • RESIST Daily Smoothing Treatment 5% AHA This is my favorite of Paula’s Choice exfoliant products because my skin gets painfully dry in the winter. Although I’ve strayed and tried the other exfoliant products in her line, this is the one I keep coming back to. For those of you with normal to dry (rather than dry to very dry) skin, this could be all your need for a moisturizer. I put this all over my face, neck, décolleté and on my hands leaving my nose alone for the BHA 9 treatment below.
  • RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment 10% AHA This product is formulated to give a deeper exfoliant effect. I use it in place of the 5% AHA treatment above one day a week.
  • RESIST BHA 9 Treatment Even though I have super dry skin, I still get blackheads on my nose. I use this treatment nightly just on my nose and I’ve noticed a huge difference in the appearance of my blackheads. (Update: I’ve noticed my skin has started peeling so I’m not using this every night anymore. I’ve switched to using the 2% BHA above just on my nose.) I also use this as a spot treatment for any pimples I get – it really speeds up the healing process! The nice thing about this gel is that unlike most acne products it doesn’t dry out my skin. The only downside is the pump – it almost always squirts out too much product for my needs.
  • RESIST Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA This is a hydroquinone product designed to reduce dark spots and it is one of the few duds I mentioned before. I really dislike this product. Since it is formulated for oily or acne prone skin, it comes in a gel, rather than a lotion. You are supposed to dab (NOT RUB) a small amount of this product on your dark spots. The only problem is the runny formula squirts out a huge glob of product which means that I always end up putting too much and because of that, the product balls up on my skin. (If you have a problem with any product balling up, it’s because of your application technique – you must dab those products and only use a small amount to cover the area you’re treating.)
  • RESIST Dark Spot Erase 7% AHA As much as I hate the product above, I LOVE this one! I have tried almost every hydroquinone product on the market and this one is not only more effective, it’s also a heck of a lot cheaper than, say, Murad’s hyper pigmentation treatment. It’s an AHA lotion rather than a BHA gel so the formula is much more forgiving to work with. This product was sold out for months this last year so now I stockpile it!

Anti-Aging Boosters

  • RESIST C15 Super Booster This dropper bottle of vitamin C is fantastic. I add 3 drops of it into my antioxidant serum to supercharge it. It’s pricey, but a little goes a long way.
  • RESIST Moisture Renewal Oil Booster If you love a product, but occasionally need it to be a little more moisturizing, three drops of this product will give you just the boost you need. If you’re sensitive to retinol products, 3 drops of this can make retinol more tolerable for your skin. If you prefer oils to creams, you can also use this as a moisturizer on its own.

Antioxidant Products:

  • RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum This is one of the antioxidant serums formulated for dry or mature skin. It’s made with a silicone base so it feels oily but it’s non-comedogenic. The rich silicone base gives my face a beautiful, radiant glow however my skin is VERY dry, especially in the winter. If your skin is combination or oily this is NOT the serum for you!
  • RESIST Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum If you have combination or oily skin, this is the serum for you. It’s got a gel texture rather than an “oily” texture and is formulated with hyaluronic acid to give the face a radiant glow without the (for oily skinned types) greasy finish of the Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum.
  • Skin Recovery Antioxidant with Retinol I’ve used almost all the retinol products in the Paula’s Choice line and ultimately have decided that the right formula for me is layering this under my sunscreen in the morning and using the moisture rich retinol cream at night. If you don’t want to layer a lot of products, this is a great “does it all” with the two best anti-aging ingredients (after sunscreen) – antioxidants and retinol.

Retinol Treatments

  • Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment This is the most powerful retinol treatment in the Paula’s Choice line. If you have a tendency to be sensitive to retinol, they recommend that you mix a few drops of the Oil Booster into the product before applying it. You should also start by only applying it twice a week. Once it’s clear that your skin has adjusted to it, then you can up to 3 times a week, then every other day, then every day. If you have any reactions, then step back the frequency of application. This product was a great instance of why I love Paula’s Choice’s generous return policy. My skin is fairly sensitive and I found that I just did not tolerate this well, not even with the oil booster. However, your results may vary!
  • RESIST Retinol Serum Until Paula’s Choice released the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment above, this was the product with the most retinol in the line. I was able to use this product every day with no problems. I really like the product itself. However, I’ve had a lot of problems with the pump mechanism breaking and it got really annoying having to return partially full bottles so instead of using this as a night treatment, I use lighter retinol treatments twice a day.
  • RESIST Intensive Repair Cream If it were legal, my very dry skin would marry this cream. My skin loves this product soooo much. I use this as a night cream (I layer the antioxidant retinol above under my sunscreen for day). Even in the depths of winter this cream comforts my skin and when I wake up in the morning, my skin has a gorgeous glow!
  • RESIST Retinol Body Treatment The skin on our face isn’t the only skin that ages – the skin on our body needs exfoliation and retinol (contrary to popular belief, retinol is NOT an exfoliant) to keep it firm and supple. I use this product about twice a week. I smooth it on to my wet skin after a shower and then blot with a towel. (If you have problems with dry skin, the best way to maximize your moisturizer is to apply to wet skin BEFORE you towel dry. It should feel yucky and slimy. That’s when you know you’re going to get the maximum effect of your moisturizer. This trick works for *any* moisturizer.) Since I’ve started using this product my skin is ridiculously soft and smooth – even my elbows made it through this winter without getting chapped!

Other

  • RESIST Hydrating Cleanser So far, this is the only cleanser I’ve tried in the line. It never ever dries my skin out and it does a really good job of removing makeup (although I usually use the oil cleansing method with coconut oil to remove makeup, this’ll do when I’m feeling lazy).
  • Lip Exfoliant Ugh, another dud. This product is supposed to be more gentle than sugar scrubs for removing dry flaky skin from lips. Unfortunately, that means that it really doesn’t do much for me. Also, it is formulated with micro beads which are polluting the great lakes.
  • RESIST 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment My preciousssssss. Along with the Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA this is my holy grail dark spot treatment. I apply both morning and night and my dark spots are practically invisible. This product is a dry cream (I suspect she added cornstarch to the formula to give it a matte texture) that you dab onto dark spots. Just a little bit is all you need, which is good because this stuff is HELLA pricey (although WAY more affordable than any luxury brand product with bogus beauty claims).
  • Suncare Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 When I was in high school I started developing sun rashes and ever since then I’ve been religious about applying sunscreen every day to any skin part that isn’t covered by clothes. Even in winter in Chicago. Whenever this sunscreen goes on sale, I stock up because it’s such a great product. It doesn’t leave my skin greasy yet it’s easy to rub on so it doesn’t leave a weird white cast on my skin. And it has never, ever irritated my sensitive skin.

That’s it for my Paula’s Choice reviews! In the coming months as I try other products in the line, I will write reviews for them. Thanks for reading!

NOTE: In order for a personal care brand or product to be written up in my #EthicalBeauty posts it has to be independently verified as cruelty-free and made in North America (where I live). Paula’s Choice is one of the few companies that makes the effort to be certified as cruelty-free by all the different organizations that assess a company’s animal testing policy. Their cruelty-free status has been verified by the Leaping Bunny, PETA and my favorite blogger Logical Harmony.

Beauty Products for the Ethical Consumer

A few months ago, I was shocked to discover that the cruelty-free brands I’d been using for years were no longer cruelty-free. This is because China, one of the largest markets in the world, particularly for beauty products, requires products sold in China to be tested on animals. Coming at a time when I was reading Naomi Wolf and thinking about how unsustainable our current globalized, unregulated capitalist system was, this made me really start to think about my choices as a consumer. As I was thinking more deeply on what goes into making the products I use every day, I started to look at labels to see where products are made. A lot of our makeup (a lot of our EVERYTHING) is made in China. This has implications both for our economy and for our planet. These products have a higher carbon footprint than products that are made in America and China does not have the worker protections or minimum wage policies that the USA has (even though our worker protections and minimum wage leave a lot to be desired, some protection is better than none at all). Reasoning that voting with my dollars is the most powerful act I can do in order to get the corporations that make personal care products take notice, I decided to start trying to invest in products that are both cruelty free and made in America. When I mentioned this to my friends on Facebook a lot of them asked me to keep them up to date on good cruelty-free brands and a blog feature idea was born! Over the coming months, I’ll be reviewing the different products I try here. Today I’m just going to go over my criteria for selecting which products to review.

It may surprise you to learn there are as many ways to be a cruelty-free, environmentally-conscious consumer as there are ways to eat animal-friendly (i.e. vegan, vegetarian, flexatarian). Some people trust the company, some like to use PETA’s cruelty-free list, others prefer the Leaping Bunny’s list and now there are quite a lot of bloggers that use their own criterion to determine whether or not a company is cruelty-free and do their own certification research before listing a brand on their blog (my favorite is Logical Harmony – although I check PETA & the Leaping Bunny, I use Logical Harmony’s list as my default list since she is very rigorous about her criteria for what constitutes a cruelty-free brand and she continually keeps in touch with brands to make sure that they remain cruelty-free). Since quite a lot of beauty brands are owned by parent companies, some consumers will only buy products whose parent company has a all-brand ban on animal-testing, whereas others are comfortable with buying from a cruelty-free brand whose parent company tests on animals. It’s up to each individual to determine what criteria they’re comfortable using in determining whether or not they want to support a brand. Personally, I prefer to purchase brands whose parent company does not test on animals and products which are made in America, so these will be the brands and products I will review here. All of the lists above do a good job of listing individual brands who maintain a cruelty-free policy even if their parent company tests (some of these brands include Urban Decay and The Body Shop). And there are quite a few cruelty-free brands whose products are made in China (including e.l.f., Wet ‘n Wild, Too Faced, some of Anastasia Beverly Hills). I will not be reviewing these brands but all of them make fantastic products so if you don’t think it’s fair for an individual brand to lose your business because of their parent company’s policies or you don’t mind that the products are made in China, that will considerably expand your available options. The good news is that even with the limits I have imposed upon myself, there’s a variety of great brands at all price points so you and I *will* be able to get all our beauty needs met by shopping cruelty-free and American-made. I’ve already made some great discoveries that I can’t wait to share with you guys.

I thought it would be helpful to get you started with a list of brands that I’ve vetted which are both cruelty-free and made in America. Please note that you should ALWAYS check the label before you buy a products. Something that was made in America the last time you shopped may no longer be made in the same factory or country. So even though it’s listed on this blog as made in America, it’s still on you to double check. Also, even brands like Jordana and FLOWER Beauty which heavily advertise their products are made in USA still have some items that are not made here. Some e-tailers (like Nordstrom) will add “Made in USA” to the product description (unfortunately, Nordstrom’s country of origin labeling is haphazard so only some products made in America are labelled). Unfortunately, most sites share even less information than Nordstrom. Hopefully the more people ask these questions, the more transparency there will be for consumers. If everybody who reads this blog consistently asks where an item is made, perhaps we’ll start to see more companies sharing this information!

A little side note: I’m not a purist about this. I’m a disabled woman of limited means living in a capitalist world and that means that a lot of my choices are constricted. I’m not here to judge anyone for making different choices from me because like everyone I have to pick my battles. For now, the made in America ban is limited to beauty and personal care. Although I am checking labels for any other items I buy, I’ve accepted that some things are going to be made in China (like most of my shoes!). My goal is to make more informed choices as a consumer and to be conscious of the impact my choices make on my planet.

Here’s my preliminary list of cruelty-free, made in USA products:

  • Butter London (their polishes are definitely made in the US but I don’t know about their makeup products)
  • Colourpop (all products made in L.A.)
  • FLOWER Beauty (FLOWER Beauty advertises that it is “proudly made in America” however, I still recommend checking labels. Also, this brand’s products are sold exclusively at Wal-mart which for some of you may be a deal breaker. FLOWER Beauty products are one of two things I buy at Wal-mart – a perfect example of a compromise I’m willing to make.)
  • Hourglass (some products are made in USA – sadly, the powder products that come in compacts are made in Italy)
  • Jordana Cosmetics (not ALL products are made in USA – check the label)
  • Makeup Geek (note: they sell other brands in addition to Makeup Geek on their site – only Makeup Geek has been vetted as cruelty-free and made in America)
  • Milani Cosmetics (again, not ALL their products are made in the USA – check the label)
  • Paula’s Choice (GREAT reasonably priced skincare – I believe everything made by this company is made in America and they have a 100% guarantee so if you don’t love a product you can return it no questions asked)
  • Sonia Kashuk (not all products are made in the USA)
  • TheBalm (tip: once or twice a year, TheBalm products show up on Hautelook at 50% off – sadly their most recent sale was this week so it’ll be a while before they do it again but in the meantime I’ll be writing my reviews of my sale haul and you guys can make your wishlists for the next sale!)
  • Trader Joe’s (as far as I know, all their personal care products are cruelty-free and made in the US but, again, double check the bottles before you buy!)

I’m not including all my nail polish brands on this list but if you know me, you know how much I love my polish so trust that I will be devoting many blog posts to nail polish this year!

Hope this list helps you guys start out! If you know of a great cruelty-free brand that is made in the US please share it in the comments! Thanks!