For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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2015 Gift Guide for Makeup Lovers

The holiday season is upon us and that means the gift buying, wrapping, giving, and receiving is in full swing! I’ve picked out some of the chicest, trendiest, and luxurious products that are sure to satisfy everyone’s holiday fix. All the products below are great for both beauty gurus and beginners.

For an added bonus, all of the products I’ve picked out are cruelty free. Avoiding products that are tested on animals is very important to me and while I understand that it isn’t the most convenient way to shop, I wanted to show you that you don’t need to sacrifice quality for consciousness. I’ve done all of the research for you and all of my picks are from great brands that are committed to keeping their products cruelty free. If you’re interested in checking to see if your favorite brands are cruelty free, you can use this searchable database from PETA.

Whether these items spark your own interest or give you inspiration for gifts to give to loved ones, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

2015 makeup gift guide

1. Highlight and Contour Pro Palette by NYX Cosmetics: Contour palettes are all the rage in the beauty community. This one by NYX is high quality, but also affordable.

2. Tartlette 2 In Bloom Amazonian Clay Palette by Tarte: This palette has everything you need for the perfect smokey eye. The buttery smooth eyeshadows come in a mixture of colors and finishes (matte and shimmer), which make it a great buy.

3. Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Champagne Pop) by BECCA: Add a natural glow to the holiday season with this bright highlighter. It works as a cheek highlight, eyeshadow, and you can even mix a little into your lipgloss for a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

4. Jasmine Body Oil by Herbivore Botanicals: This plant based oil packs a luxuriously hydrating punch and smells amazing!

5. Lip Exfoliator by e.l.f.: Exfoliating can be a messy process, but not with this lip exfoliator. It is compact, very easy to use, and gets the job done.

6. Agave Lip Mask by Bite Beauty: I love Bite Beauty because they vow to make all of their beauty products safe enough to eat. And while I don’t recommend eating this stuff straight from the tube… I do recommend sleeping with this on your lips so you wake with a soft pout.

7. Oval 7 Brush by Artis: This new brush’s odd shape isn’t just for show. The curved handle mimics your hand and helps to evenly distribute and blend out products for a flawless finish.

8. Glitz & Glam Nail Lacquer Collection: This four piece set is the perfect way to prepare for New Years. The three pastel colors pair perfectly with the glittery gold polish for some blinged out, New Years nails. This nail set is also 5-free, which means it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.

9. Butter Gloss by NYX Cosmetics: These glosses are extremely hydrating and the color is very subtle. I love pairing them overtop a lipstick or wearing it alone for a little extra touch when I’m wearing minimal makeup.

10. Clay Mask (Green) by Fig and Yarrow: Aside from a day at the spa, there are few things that are as luxurious as a good face mask. This all natural, detoxifying mask from Fig and Yarrow works on all skin types.

11. Everlasting Liquid Lipstick by Kat Von D: Along with contour palettes, liquid lipsticks are taking the beauty industry by storm. This version by Kat Von D is highly pigmented and lasts on your lips for hours (aka it won’t smudge during your New Years kiss *wink wink*).

12. Blush Palette by e.l.f.: This four piece palette holds a variety of extremely pigmented blushes that are perfect for mixing to create your own signature shade.

I hope this gift guide has given you some inspiration and gotten you excited to go shopping. Are there any beauty buys you’re currently obsessed with? Leave your favorites in the comments below!


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Three Amazing Cruelty Free Brands You Can Find At Sephora

As you know, after my original Makeup Breakup panic, I have been slowly incorporating more and more cruelty free products into my makeup bag. Since most cosmetic brands try to keep their animal testing hush hush, it can be a struggle to find the truth in their policies. So I’ve had to do some serious digging. But alas! I have found three brands that I can confidently share with you. And for your convenience, I’ve made sure all of these products are available at Sephora aka the makeup emporium.

tarte

tarte is known as a leader in eco-chic cosmetics. They pride themselves on providing products that are healthy and natural, but glamorous at the same time. I think tarte is best known for their blushes. I have never heard anything bad about them and I personally love them.  I have both the powder and the stain blush and I like them each for different reasons.

The powders are made with Amazonian Clay, which is harvested right from the banks of the Amazon River. Sustainably harvested of course. The clay is rich in nutrients because it picks up fruit and plant matter as the river flows along. Then the sun naturally bakes the clay, which locks in all of the nutrients. Pretty cool, right?

The cheek stains are made with extract from the longevity fruit aka the goji berry. Goji berries are known to help with skin conditions like allergies, rashes and psoriasis. So this product is excellent for people with sensitive skin.

Both blushes have serious staying power. I don’t think I’ve every worried about reapplying during the day. The powders provide build-able color, while the stains give you more of a natural tint. I was nervous about using a cheek stain for the first time, but I assure you, if I can figure it out, you can too. It takes about 20 seconds for the stain to dry after you apply it, which is plenty of time to blend out and fix any mistakes. Sometimes I even use the stain on my lips. I dunno if you’re supposed to do this, but I like it!

tarte Blush

Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty only sells lip products. So you could say they’re pretty much lip experts. They offer everything from glosses to scrubs to balms, sticks, pencils and everything in between. They even offer a moisturizing lip mask, which I find incredibly intriguing.

Their mission is to “create lipstick that is high performance and healthy enough to eat”.  Now I’m not saying you should go take a big bite out of your lipstick, but making lip products safe to consume kind of makes sense because you’re bound to get a little in your mouth. I know I’m guilty of getting lipstick all over my teeth!

So many pretty colors! See any you like?

So many pretty colors! See any you like?

Julep

Julep is all about celebrating ladies! The brand functions on the idea of women connecting with each other instead of competing against each other, which I think is a great message. They also give back to women by donating $1 of every nail polish sale to an organization that empowers women. Right now you can buy their “Malala” polish (below) and 100% of the proceeds go to the Malala FundMalala Pink Julep Polish

Along with giving back, Julep works hard to keep icky chemicals out of their products. All of their polishes are “five free”, which means they don’t contain: Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor. These are all potentially harmful chemicals usually associated with nail polish.

Their polishes use a patented oxygen technology, which allows 30% more air to reach the nail bed and helps to keep nails stronger and healthier. This technology also makes the polish dry faster and last longer. Below are a few colors from their September 2014 collection to get you ready for fall, which is inevitably on the way.Julep Nail Polish

These obviously aren’t the only three cruelty free brands at Sephora, but they’re a good place to start. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to find more and more. And I’m always up for suggestions!