For the Beauty Guru- 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

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Welcome to the second part in the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide Series! This year I created a three part gift guide for the holiday season to ensure you get lots of inspiration for everyone on your shopping list this year!! Oh, and of course give you some inspo for things you’d like to add to your wishlist :) For more details on how the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide is structured please read that post here! If you missed part one (For the Foodie) be sure to check it out, and after this don’t miss part three (For the Fashionista)! Don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of this post to get your FREE e-book version of the entire 2018 Holiday Gift Guide. Let’s dive in to…

part 2:


Those who know me can vouch for this, but believe me when I tell you I love all things beauty. Confession: I have an addiction to this stuff! You name it, whether it’s nail polish, face moisturizers, dry shampoos, eye shadow palettes, or lipsticks…I have too many to count. There’s something about playing with makeup, trying new products, and finding all the colors to paint my nails in, I just love it. That being said, I’m super excited for this part of the Gift Guide series in particular! I tried to narrow products down to my favorite 2 or so products in each category (I didn’t fully succeed, but I came really close).


When I first started down this path of trying to ‘clean up’ the products I use there were some assumptions I made, that I later found out were inaccurate. First and foremost I wanted to extend veganism into all aspects of my life, not just the food I eat, but the products I buy and the clothes I wear (cough cough.. For the Fashionista). This includes beauty products. In the beginning I thought the thing I needed to ensure was that these products were cruelty-free, so that was the criteria I used for some time. Little did I know that just because something is cruelty-free, doesn’t mean it’s vegan. Often cosmetics and beauty products contain animal-derived ingredients even if they are cruely-free. So then, I started looking for vegan-friendly products, and fast-forward to today, I’m also being more critical about the harsh, toxic chemicals many products are filled with (so just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean its the best, healthiest that’s free from other icky chemicals— same goes for food).

Long story short, I’m a work in progress and am learning just like everyone else! Here’s some major differences and criteria if you’re interested:


  • No animal testing is done by the company, their parent company, or a third-party company

  • Products are not sold in China or any other country that requires animal testing by law


  • Cruelty-Free

  • No animal-derived ingredients

    • Examples of animal derived ingredients include: Beeswax (wax secretions from bees), Lanolin (greasy excretions from wool-bearing mammals), Carmine (dye from crushed beetles), Guanine (bat poop), Tallow (rendered animal fat from boiled slaughtered animals), Squalene (extracted from shark livers), gelatin (boiled skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones of animals), Ambergris (waxy oil from whale stomachs)… Yuck!!

I have included cruelty-free and vegan icons on all product pictures, so that you can best shop for your preferences. Remember, not all cruelty-free items are vegan, but all vegan products are cruelty-free. For general information and searching for particular items I highly recommend just googling, or checking out the Ethical Elephant or Cruelty-Free Kitty blog pages for great information! You can also always check the company website & FAQ page, or contact customer service since many companies may not explicitly label ‘vegan’ or ‘cruelty-free’.

Why does it matter?

Just like I used to believe, many people are under the impression that just because something is openly sold in stores or online that it must be safe for me to use. Unfortunately it is not always the case. The FDA does not conduct premarket approval of products, except for specific color additives. The responsibility falls to the companies and manufacturers to ensure product safety, and the FDA is not authorized to order recalls of cosmetics, though they may encourage. Additionally, the field of research is years behind in terms of what we actually know about some of these ingredients found in everyday beauty and household products. So, if you can avoid them, and find companies who prioritize this, why not?

If you need any other reasons to take a closer look at what is in your products, remember that our skin is our largest organ and it does in fact absorb things we put on it. Often we think of what we eat and drink as the way we ingest things, but contact with our skin and what we inhale are also routes of exposure.


Let’s jump into the gift guide:


The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty: This is an awesome book that details tons of recipes to make your own beauty products. I got this as a gift from a good friend last year at this time, and have enjoyed it so much! These recipes are as natural as it gets with no added chemicals, preservatives, dyes etc. There’s great introductory information, and almost all are vegan (although I’ve seen a few recipes including honey). Get it here!

Pacifica Shampoo + Conditioner: I have been loving this shampoo and conditioner. They are very hydrating, without leaving product build-up, and the coconut scent is so refreshing. This is definitely my new favorite shampoo/conditioner brand. They are sold in some stores, as well as online if you can’t find it near you.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Cleansing Bar: This is a great upgrade to the classic soap bar. I use mine in a loofa type pouch and can tell the difference in my skin!

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap: This multi-purpose soap can be used in so many ways, but I have been loving it as a body wash. Just a few drops is all you need since it is concentrated. There is a variety of scents, my favorite is lavender!

Alba Botanica Body Lotion: This lotion does a great job hydrating my skin, while not being to heavy or sticky, and absorbing relatively quickly into the skin. I appreciate the big bottle, and the pump.

Petit Vour Beauty Box Subscription: This is an all-time favorite of mine!! I have used the beauty box subscription for years now. Each month you get a beauty box with 4 products that are plant-based, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. It’s been a great way to discover new companies who prioritize the same things I do! Each box is valued at $45-60, with the box costing just $15/month. You can sign up for yourself (nothing better than a To: Me, From: Me gift), or send this link for someone to gift you a subscription. You will notice in the videos many of my favorite products I got from this subscription. I also like gifts that keep on giving throughout the year, and this does just that! Watch my unboxing video to learn more here!

Tarte Clean Queen Deodorant: I got this in a gift set (linked later on), and I was pleasantly surprised by this deodorant. The size makes it perfect to toss in a gym bag, or keep in your car or purse, and makes it easy to pack when traveling.

Tom’s Deodorant: This has been my go-to deodorant for several years now, and I have no complaints. It is sold in most stores now, making it even more convenient to try!


Osea Ocean Cleanser: One of my favorite face washes, with a clean, fresh feeling that leaves my skin feeling hydrated due to the awesome star ingredients, like algae extract, cypress oil, jojoba seed oil, and juniper leaf essential oil. Try a travel size first here.

Origins Checks + Balances Face Wash: This has been a long-time favorite face wash, that is really great for those with combination skin. It hydrates dry areas, and balances out oily areas. It feels so silky smooth and frothy on the skin. Try a travel size first here.

Odacite Black Mint Cleanser: This is a new ride-or-die product for me. I typically use it 3 times a week, as it’s a little intense to use daily. It gives my skin such a deep clean, with the mint and charcoal really pulling everything from my pores, while still feeling gentle with no exfoliation component.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Scrub: This is one of my favorite face scrubs that I use on days I exfoliate. The tropical smell is so refreshing, while the natural exfoliators do their job without being too abrasive on my skin.

DERMA-E Purifying Daily Detox Scrub: This is a new favorite of mine in the past few months, and I will definitely be re-purchasing it! It does a great job exfoliating and giving a deep clean without being too rough!

Botanics Ionic Clay Mask: I try a lot of masks, and this has been a steady one I always find myself reaching for. It is a clay mask that dries down and draws out impurities. It washes off really well, with no issues, and always leaves my skin feeling super clean and refreshed.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Mask: This pore-fecting papaya enzyme mask has been a tried-and-true face mask. This is a more gel-like consistency, and does not dry down. For that reason, I tend to keep this jar in the shower, and 2 times a week I put this mask on for around 5 minutes. (Masks that need to dry down will not work in the shower due to the moisture from the steam)

Tarte Tight + Bright Clay Multi Mask: This gem is an awesome mask duo. The purple mask is a detoxifying and purifying exfoliating mask that is great for the T-zone to help tighten pores, help with shine control, and the Amazonian clay works to treat blemishes. The Gold hydrating and firming gel mask is best for more delicate areas of the face like the under eyes and cheeks.

Alba Botanics Oil Free Moisturizer: This is one of my favorite daily moisturizers because it is oil free, and absorbs really quickly. I use this in the morning, and it’s a great light-weight moisturizer to use prior to makeup application.

Tarte Drink of H2O: This is another favorite daily moisturizer. It is light-weight, and super hydrating without feeling heavy and tacky on the skin.

Origins Night-A-Mins: This has been a favorite nighttime moisturizer. My good friend shared it with me, and I have been using it ever since! It is so moisture rich it is definitely not something you want to put on if you have to leave your house (you look very shiny until it absorbs a few hours later). It comes in regular formula, or an oil free formulation.

Zabana Essentials Face Balm: This has been a game-changer for me! This is such a natural product that has truly changed my skin. This is a nighttime product as well, as it will make you look pretty shiny. Any time my skin is giving me a hard time, or I have neglected it a little too much, I reach for this! This is a product where I've woken up in the morning and seen improvements in my skin from the night before (great when you get a little too much sun in the summer too)!

Origins GinZing Eye Cream: This is a great eye cream that has reflective properties to help combat shadows and under eye darkness. I reach for this almost daily!

Tarte Maracuja C-brightener Eye Treatment: This guy has been another all-time favorite eye cream, that has really helped me with my dark circles and puffiness.

We Love Eyes Tea Tree Cleansing Foam: This is my holy-grail eye makeup remover!! I absolutely love that it is a foam, making it so gentle on the eye area, and prevents you from having to rub back and forth with a wipe to remove stubborn eye makeup. I can’t imagine not having this after using it!

Thayers Witch Hazel Rose Toner: This is my favorite toner, with is alcohol-free and more gentle on the skin while still being super effective! It comes in various sizes and scents too.

Simple Hydro Boost Micellar Water: This has been life-changing ever since I discovered it a few years ago. I use it before washing my face, and after. It’s amazing how much it picks up even after washing your face. I have been using this instead of wipes and am so happy with how it works.

Reusable Cotton Rounds: For my toner and micellar water I used to just use plain cotton rounds, but I started looking for an alternative since I would go through 5+/day. I was so excited to find this alternative that is more sustainable! These are organic bamboo rounds that are machine washable. These ones are technically nursing pads, but they work great for this purpose! I like that these are bigger than regular cotton rounds (grapefruit size), so I just use 1-2/day. They come in a pack of 14 and have a storage/travel case, and a laundry bag to wash them in so they are loose with your clothes. There are other smaller sizes and variations online as well.


Tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo: I love this dry shampoo, I think it does a really good job adding texture and volume to the roots! I also have dark brown hair and haven’t had any problems with a white cast. I just rub my fingers into the roots to distribute the product and that helps! Try the travel size here

Batiste Dry Shampoo: This is another favorite dry shampoo! They have lots of variety in terms of scents, and they do have a specific brunette version, although I use the other ones without a problem.These are also sold in some stores, making it easier to get your hands on!

Dry Bar Triple Sec: This spray is a game-changer, it is great for refreshing day 2 or 3 hair, while also adding volume and texture. I have really fine, flat hair, so I like to add this even with freshly washed hair to add a little texture and body to my hair!

Dry Bar Southern Belle: Another favorite from Dry Bar, is this root lifting mousse. I’m not typically a fan of mousse products because I find them typically heavy and it’s easy to get product build up. BUT this one I do not find that true, it’s pretty light-weight, and a little goes a long way!

Yarok Feed Your Ends Hair Treatment: This is an all-time favorite that I will definitely be repurchasing once I run out! It is a great leave-in treatment for your ends, while also providing heat protection.

Kahina Giving Beauty Argan Oil: I’ve used a few different kinds of argan oil for my hair, and this has been the most recent favorite. The dropper bottle is perfect for getting the right amount without making a mess, and really nourishes my hair!


Lauren B Cuticle Oil: This cuticle oil has been a game-changer for me. Especially in the winters, my cuticles are very tough, and this is the perfect remedy. I really like the packaging, and how easy and mess-free it is to apply the cuticle oil.

Crystal Nail File: My aunt got me one of these nail files as a gift a couple years ago, and I have never gone back to traditional emory boards. They are much more sustainable in the fact that you can use the same nail file for years and it never gets dull. I find they are much gentler on the nails, and I exclusively file (never using nail clippers). They come in all colors and sizes!

Pacifica Base + Top Coat: This is a 7-free formulation (made without the 7 most toxic nail polish ingredients, formulated without parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animals). I have found using this as a base helps protect my nails, and prolongs the wear of my nail polish! I also primarily use this for my top coat, which I’ve found has helped reduce chipping.

Pacifica Polishes: All Pacifica polishes are 7-free, and come in a variety of finishes that go on smooth and opaque. All polishes are made with wide vegan brush applicators for ease of use.

KL Polishes: These are my favorite nail polishes, created by a YouTuber that I have followed for years. My friends can vouch that I call her “My friend Kathleen” even though we have never met, I just feel like I know her! Anyways, she created KL Polish, which are 12-free (made without the 12 most toxic ingredients), made in the USA, and long-wearing! Each season she releases a collection of polishes that can be bought in a bundle or individually. Every once in awhile there are special releases. Subscribe to their newsletter for 10% off all orders, shop the sales, and watch out for the build your own bundles. On Instagram they have “Happy Hour” on Monday with a special sale for that day only. I have 38 of her polishes, and am so excited for the winter collection to launch!

KL Polish Hand Lotion: Kathleen also created a hand lotion through KL Polish, that I’m obsessed with. It is fast-absorbing, hydrating, and has a subtle almond scent that is so good! I use this any time I do my nails, and keep it in my purse for daily use!


First, take a look at some examples of holiday gift sets that have already started to be released. These are a great way to give a collection of items as a gift already picked out and put together for you! Also, you can never go wrong with a gift card for this sort of thing! The remainder of the sections go over my current favorite products I find myself using on a daily basis. I broke it down to multiple categories so you can explore more efficiently to find ideas for what you’re looking for!

Tarte Pamper & Prep Set: This gift set is the perfect way to try some of my favorite skincare products from Tarte. I use all three of these products, and you saw me recommend the eye treatment and drink of H2O moisturizer in the skincare section. This is a steal, getting all three of these for $15!

Gift Cards: Not sure what shade or what products who your shopping for will want? Getting a gift card is a great way to allow them to pick out what exactly they want. If you subscribe at the bottom of this post, you will get a free pdf version of this gift guide that you can give along with a gift card to give them some ideas!

Tarte No Shower Happy Hour Set: I bought this gift set for myself awhile back and think it’s the perfect gift! At least three of the products in this set I’ve recommended in this gift guide. It’s a great way to use travel sizes and get more products for your money than buying full sizes. I’ve liked using everything in this gift set, and is such a great deal, for only $23!

Batiste Dry Shampoo Variety Set: One of my favorite dry shampoos has this super affordable variety pack of travel sizes. This size is perfect for traveling, keeping in the car, or in your bag. This gift set also allows you to try different scents. Another idea is to order this variety set, and use them as stocking stuffers or little gift bags to give to friends with a few other affordable items. This will only run you $16 for four!

Origins Skincare Sets: Some of my favorite skincare products are from origins, and they can get pretty pricey, so buying a gift set can save you a lot of money! Most of the sets are valued double the price of the gift set, which is a great deal! There are tons of options at all different price points to check out. (Origins is cruelty-free in the US, but as a company as a whole they are not cruelty-free since they test on animals in China and other countries it’s required by law).

Makeup Brush Sets: These are another great way to get more bang for your buck. Buying many brushes individually can be pricey, but going for a brush set usually saves you money and ensures you have all of the essentials you’ll need! Below in my makeup favorites section, there’s a whole section on brushes, with more brush set options that I have used and love!




Tarte Poreless Mattifying Primer: This is a great primer for those who want to even out the skin texture, or minimize pores.

Smashbox Primerizer: This is a primer moisturizer hybrid that can be used with or without a daily moisturizer first. This is a new favorite that I have been using more and more, with a nice light-weight hydrating effect that prolongs makeup. Try the travel size here.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: This is a great primer to use before foundation that really does make your makeup last longer. It’s hydrating, and very light weight with a slight tackiness to help makeup adhere. Try the travel size here.


Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation: This is one of my all-time favorite foundations. It is water-based so it is lightweight, while still buildable in coverage. I find it very hydrating, and the dropper bottle makes it great for more hygienic use.

Tarte Shape Tape Matte Foundation: This is another favorite, that has more medium to full coverage. It is part of the shape tape family, and does a great job at evening out skin tone and concealing blemishes. The Matte foundation is not too drying, and if I pair it will a hydrating primer I find it’s a good pairing to prevent too much shine, but still a natural glow, without looking too flat.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation: This is my daily go-to right now, the Amazonian clay formula has benefits for your skin, while being very long-wearing! (If using this powder foundation, I use liquid concealer in problem areas first, then go in with this all over the face).


Tarte Shape Tape Concealer : This is one of the most popular concealers in America, so it’s no wonder I like it! A very little bit goes a very long way with this, so you definitely get your money’s worth. This is a fuller coverage concealer that does an excellent job, just be sure to be very light-handed.

Colourpop No Filter Concealer: This is a new favorite of mine. You can’t beat the price ($6), and I find it does a really good job concealing problems areas and dark circles. You can only buy it online, which makes it a little tricky to find your perfect shade, but they have a good system online to help you determine what shade you are, and I ended up buying two different shades since they are so affordable and ended up with a perfect match!

Setting Powders

Tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder: This is an amazing setting powder, with Amazonian Clay technology to really lock and prolong your makeup!

Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape Setting Powder: This setting powder is great, and comes with a little poof to use, or you can use your favorite brush! This pairs nicely with all the other mentioned shape tape products.

Becca Under Eye Brightening Powder: This under eye setting powder has tiny reflects in it, to help bounce light back to brighten the under eye area. This is great for anyone with shadows or dark circles!

Colourpop No Filter Setting Powder: This comes in translucent or tinted light, medium, dark options. This super fine, light-weight setting powder does a great job setting makeup without getting cakey.

Colourpop No Filter Sheer Pressed Powder: This sheer pressed powder is a go-to for me, with a light coverage to even out my skin, without feeling like I have anything on at all!


Morphe Blush Palette: This exactly blush palette that I have used and loved for years is no longer available, but I did link to other Morphe blush palettes that are available today. These are super affordable, and have shades for every skin tone, with matte and shimmer finishes.

Juvia’s Place Serafina Blush: This highly pigmented blush is a beautiful coral/peachy color, with tiny shimmers in it, without being too glittery. It’s compact and has a mirror which is a plus! A touch into the pan is all you need, with this awesome color payoff!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush: This is a beautiful blush formula, with long-wearing color, that is buildable to your desired amount!

Bronzers + Highlighters

Lily LoLo Sculpt + Glow Face Duo: My most used bronzer and highlight! The bronzer color is silky smooth, which blends beautifully, and is not orange or muddy. The highlighter shade is perfect for everyday use, as it is more subdued, but still buildable. It does not give the immediate ‘wet’ looking highlight, making it much more wearable!

Kat Von D Shade + Light Palette: This is a staple in my collection. It has three ‘light’ shades for setting and baking, and three ‘shade’ colors for bronzing and contouring. This palette has removable pans, so when you use all of a color, you can just buy that replacement pan, instead of having to purchase an entirely new palette for one or two shades, which I really appreciate!

NYX Wonder Stick: This cream stick is great when using liquid or cream products. I prefer the bronze end of the stick to the highlight end, which I don’t mind with it being so affordable! Blend it out with a brush or sponge before applying any powder products.

Becca x Jaclyn Highlighter Trio: This is a favorite highlight trio, which is unfortunately not sold anymore. Most of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector shades are vegan, and some of the shades in this trio are available in singles. Mini highlight shades available here.

Carli Bybel x BH Cosmetics Palette: The bottom half of this palette has beautiful highlight shades for all occasions and skin tones. These are shimmery, without having big chunks of glitter. The formula is really rich and smooth, and applies really nicely.

Setting Sprays

Urban Decay All Night Setting Spray: I have used this setting spray on and off for years now, and it always does it’s job to keep makeup in it’s place and to last all night! The nozzle produces a fine mist which makes the application really nice.

NYX Setting Sprays: The dewy and matte settings sprays are super affordable, and suit various needs. These have been a go-to setting spray for me over the years, and am never disappointed.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 Setting Mist: This 4-in-1 mist can be used as a primer, setting spray, hydration, and skin refresher throughout the day.

Morphe Continuous Setting Spray: The standout feature to this setting spray is the continuous spray that provides even mist, without the fear of big spray droplets from traditional nozzles.


Anastasia of Beverly Hills (ABH) Brow Pomade: This was my very first brow product I ever bought, and it’s still a favorite today! This pomade is creamy, and so easy to apply with a small angle brush.

ABH Brow Definer: This was the first brow pencil I bought, and it has a wider tip, which I think helps blend the area you are filling it, without harsh lines that can come from thin, pencil tips. Through writing this post, I realized the Brow Definer is not vegan, but it’s sister product The Brow Wiz, is however vegan.

ABH Clear Brow Gel: This is a must-have to tame any unruly brow hair, and keeps everything locked in place (I can often go a day or two before redoing my brows). Brow gel is basically the equivalent to using hair spray after curling your hair, it just sets all your hard work in place! This brow gel can also double to help tame fly-aways along the hair line too!

Tarte Busy Gal Brows, Tinted Gel: This brow gel is tinted, which I prefer to use as a touch up the next day, and I love how teeny tiny the spooly applicator is. Allowing you to be super precise when using it so you don’t get brown gel on your face!


Juvia’s Place The Nubian Palette: This is a beautiful neutral palette with a mixture of matte and shimmer shadows. These blend out beautifully, and I have loved it ever since I bought it!

Morphe x Jaclyn Hill The Vault Collection: This collaboration comes after Jaclyn’s original Morphe palette collaboration, which I also use and love. These are all the shadows they created that didn’t make it into the original palette, and have been in ‘The Vault,’ hence the name. Each palette has a different color story, and are $15 each, or if you can find it, you can purchase the entire vault collection for $49.

Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes: Other Morphe palettes are super affordable and have every color and undertones available! I have a couple of these, and love the quality for the price!

Carli Bybel x BH Cosmetics Palette: The top half of this palette that was mentioned in the highlighter section, has beautiful eyeshadows. These are pigmented and blend out perfectly!

Colourpop Palettes: These mini palettes are so affordable, and are perfect for traveling, or storing easily due to their size. I have multiple palettes from Colourpop, and have never been disappointed!

Cover FX Glam & Glow Shimmer Veil Trio: This trio includes shades Celestial, Soleil, & Moonstone. These shimmer veils are beautiful to use on the eyelids for intense sparkle and shine! The formulation is great, and you won’t get any creasing or unwanted buildup. Stunning products!

Tarte Tartist Double Take Eyeliner: This is my holy-grail eyeliner duo. With a creamy pencil end, and a felt tip liquid liner on the other end. This is my absolute favorite, and really the only eyeliner I use!

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara: Mascara was the hardest thing for me to find a vegan replacement for. I had used the same drug store mascara since 8th grade, and nothing competed. I finally found this Tarte mascara, and it is my absolute favorite! I prefer the regular formula over the waterproof one, and have repurchased this several times! Right now there are some fun limited edition packaging on their site in different colors.

Lily LoLo Mascara: This was my very first vegan mascara, and I really liked it. I was surprised how well it worked, and used the entire tube! This is another great alternative to traditional mascara.


Niu Body Sugar Lip Polish: This is a great lip scrub, that has especially been helpful in the dryer winter months. I got this in my petit vour beauty box. I really enjoy this product, but also think it’s cheaper and fun to make sugar scrubs like this on your own!

SheaMoisture Shea Butter Lip Balm: This is one of my all-time favorite lip balms. It is so hydrating and I can tell it really is moisturizing my lips, and can feel improvements after using this product. It is a little hard to squeeze out of the tube, but a little bit goes a long way!

Tarte Color Splash Lipsticks: These are so hydrating for a lipstick, they are not drying whatsoever, and wear for several hours! They color payoff is opaque, and I am a huge fan of the shades I have tried so far!

Colourpop Lipsticks: These are really nice and hydrating as well, and have really pretty pigmentation. These are more affordable than the Taste Color Splash lipsticks, and I find the quality pretty similar. I also find these wear really nicely, and gradually fade, but don’t leave any patches or streaks.

Colourpop Lippie Pencil: I don’t use a lip liner often (sometimes under a liquid lipstick), but if I do, I’m definitely reaching for the Colourpop Lippie Pencils. These are so smooth and glide on easily, while working effectively. They are more smooth and creamy than a traditional wooden lip pencil.

Colourpop Ultra Matte or Blotted Liquid Lipstick: These are my two favorite formulations. The ultra matte liquid lipsticks are very long-lasting, without being too drying like some liquid lipstick formulas. They don’t flake off like other ones do either, and there are tons of colors. I also really like the blotted lip formula. They don’t have as many shades in this, but I absolutely love this formula. It dries down and you feel like you have absolutely nothing on your lips. It is similar to a lip stain, and I really like it, I wish they came out with more! I also like the ultra satin lip finishes that I’ve tried, and you can check those out here. Overall, these are all super affordable, and high quality!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick: These are the first liquid lipsticks I ever bought, after doing tons of research on youtube a few years ago when the first became popular. I absolutely love this formula, and always get compliments when wearing these!

Axiology Lip Crayon: This is a newer favorite for me, but I really like this lip crayon. It is smooth and hydrating, with really beautiful color payoff, that fades throughout the day very subtly.


When it comes to makeup brushes, anything that is ‘synthetic’ bristles should be vegan. Some makeup brushes are made with ‘natural hairs’ are not vegan as they are real animal hairs used in the brush. Luckily there are a lot of synthetic brushes on the market, including all of these options!

Chic Republic 11 Piece Brush Set: This is a brush set I got as a gift last year, and I will admit I was a little skeptical at first, but I honestly love these brushes so much, and use them almost daily. They quickly became some of my favorites. These are so affordable, and make a really thoughtful gift. I appreciate that they came with a travel bag to keep your brushes clean and separated while packing them.

Tarte Face Brush Set: This is a beautiful brush set, with all the essential face brushes. These are really nice quality brushes, that perform really well. These are currently on sale for $29, which is a steal for Tarte brushes!

Tarte Eye Brush Set: This stylish and edgy eye brush set comes with all the basics do create an eye look! I’m a huge fan of these, and they are also on sale for $30, again a great steal!

Elf Brushes: All of these brushes are vegan, and my all-time favorite brush that I use every single day is the fluffy blending brush. Its the perfect size and shape for buffing shadow all over the lid and in the crease for some dimension. Even more exciting? It’s $3!

Tarte Bronze + Glow Contour Brush: This is one of my favorite brushes! It is perfect for bronzing and contouring with the larger end, and the smaller end is seriously one of my favorites of all-time! It is the perfect shape for setting under the eye, or brightening along the jaw line.

Morphe Brushes: These are some of my favorite affordable brushes, and one of my favorites is the flat definer brush. It is perfect for lining the lash line with shadow (on a daily basis I tend to do this instead of using actual eyeliner).

Sigma Brushes: These are two of my favorite Sigma brushes to apply liquid/cream face products. I love the F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush for applying foundation, and the F84 Angled Kabuki Brush for blending in cream products to contour my face.

Morphe Makeup Sponge: Flawlessly applies liquid and cream products to the face. The denseness is just right, and the sponge holds up well. I especially like the flat edge for applying setting powders in a precise manor.

Real Techniques Makeup Sponge: This has been a favorite of mine for years. I’ve repurchased this sponge numerous times!

Bonus- Mini Sponge Set: Set of 5 mini beauty sponges perfect for blending in hard to reach areas, like the under eye, and inner corner!