cruelty-free face cream

I started using Clinique’s Superdefense face cream back in high school thanks to my aunt giving me all her free samples and it has served me well over the last decade. So well, in fact, that every time a friend complimented me on my skin, I credited it to this face cream. Clinique should’ve paid me a referral fee for all the business I gave them ;). Every time I strayed and gave another face cream a chance, I always regretted it and went back to Clinique. This was my holy grail, #1 staple.

But now, it’s time to say goodbye. Why? Because I’m slowly switching to a vegan, cruelty-free lifestyle and Clinique, unfortunately, tests on animals. (FYI, any product that is sold in China currently tests on animals.) I’m not as strict about all my products being vegan, but I am getting increasingly firm on products being at least cruelty-free. The thought of a bunny being poisoned to death for my face cream (especially when there are plenty of alternative options available), makes me sad.

Thanks to Christine’s recommendation, I bought this one to try and so far it’s been working just fine. It is easy to apply, feels great on my face and smells fresh (like citrus). I also like tube packaging a lot more than the jar packaging that Superdefense has. Most importantly, it’s vegan and cruelty-free. Even though I have no complaints about this face cream, I’m definitely open to trying other ones so if there’s a cruelty-free face cream with SPF that you’d recommend, please let me know!


beauty & skincare staples

I’ve noticed that whenever I find a staple for a product, I am less tempted to impulsively buy something new to try (or jump on free samples and gift with purchases).

Here are some examples:

Since I have eczema/psoriasis (my dermatologist can’t tell which one it is) on my legs and elbows, I started using CeraVe as my daily body lotion.  And now, regardless of how pretty or delicious another moisturizer looks and smells, I know CeraVe is the most effective for my skin so I don’t bother with purchasing anything else.

For my hair, I’ve been using Jose Maran’s argan oil for a few years now.  Since it does a fantastic job of keeping my frizzy hair at bay, I stopped purchasing other hair serums.  I also recently started applying argan oil to my face and around my eyes after my evening showers in lieu of night cream and eye cream.  Argan oil works just as effectively as those creams but it’s much healthier for my skin.  One way I can tell (besides the long list of ingredients I can’t pronounce in those creams) is when I first switched back to night cream, I felt a mild stinging sensation on my skin.  And when I would accidentally rub my eyes with eye cream on, my eyes would get extremely irritated, becoming all red and itchy.  When I only have argan oil around my eyes, I can rub it all I want and it doesn’t get irritated.  So going forward, I will no longer be purchasing night creams and eye creams.

After trying this, this and this mascara, I think the Too Faced mascara will be my official mascara.  None of the other vegan, cruelty free mascaras have been able to provide the same volume as this one.

Some other products I repurchase regularly but don’t know if I like them enough to call them “staples”:


less poo

I used to shampoo my hair every single day.  It wasn’t until college or maybe even post-college when I heard that shampooing your hair so often wasn’t good for your scalp.  Actually, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure my mom warned me about this when I was younger.  But who takes their mom’s healthcare advice seriously in middle school :)?

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to shampoo less for years now but haven’t been able to do so consistently.  I couldn’t stand how my hair/scalp would feel when I skipped a day of shampooing.  But since I’ve been on a good habit-building kick lately, I recently gave it another try and finally succeeded!

I started with shampooing my hair every other day.  On the days I didn’t shampoo, I would still wet and condition my hair.  Yes, my scalp would feel a bit greasy, but I knew it would take time for scalp to adjust and get used to producing less oil.  To help the situation a bit, I used this dry shampoo.

After a week or two of this, my scalp stopped feeling as greasy so I started shampooing every two days.  And now, I shampoo only twice a week.  The results?  My hair feels healthier and is easier to manage than before.  I hope to eventually get it down to just once a week!


vegan & cruelty free products

Ever since I started watching Christine’s videos, I’ve been extremely motivated to swap out all my current make-up and skincare products for vegan & cruelty free ones.  Here are a few that I’ve swapped so far:


The first vegan product I tried was this mascara from 100% Pure.  (I was previously using this one from Too Faced)  I really wanted to like the 100% Pure mascara because it smells delicious but unfortunately, it doesn’t make my lashes look that much thicker or longer.  I might give their other mascara a try next or just go back to the Too Faced one.  I found out that later that the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara is actually vegan & cruelty free and that one made my lashes look amazing.

Shower Gel

The next vegan product I tried was this shower gel also from 100% pure.  I love this product!  It smells and feels delicious.  It also has great ingredients – the first ingredient in this shower gel is organic aloe (not water, like most other shower gels).  My only complaint about this product is that it’s expensive – $19 for 8 ounces!

Eyeshadow Primer

Another vegan product I’ve been using is this eyeshadow primer from Mineral Fusion.  I used to use this one from Urban Decay.  Honestly, the Mineral Fusion primer works just fine but there’s nothing particularly amazing about it.  The packaging is just ok and it doesn’t apply as smoothly as the Urban Decay one or the Too Faced one I also used to use.  It kind of feels like you’re putting on sunscreen on your eyelid.  But because it’s vegan and cruelty free, I will keep using it until I find a better replacement.

Sidenote:  Urban Decay and Too Faced are both cruelty free companies at this time but only some of their products are vegan.

Other vegan & cruelty free products I want to try soon:

This lipstick from 100% Pure to replace this one from Dior.

This face cream with SFP to replace this one from Clinique.


argan faves


Ever since I saw my colleague using the Josie Maran lip treatment, I wanted one of my own.  But at $18 each, I was hesitant to buy one right away.  I felt like I needed a “good reason” or “special occasion” to get it.  But when I was on the Josie Maran website a few weeks ago, I saw they had a special deal for their Argan Faves.  You get mini sizes of the Pure Argan Oil, Argan Cleansing Oil, Bear Naked make-up remover wipes and a regular size of their lip treatment all for $34.  It was totally worth it for me because:

  • the mini pure argan oil is the perfect amount for weekend/short trips
  • the cleansing oil may be even better than my current face wash (especially since it’s much more organic)
  • I finally got to try the lip treatment

Unfortunately, the lip balm wasn’t as good as I had imagined it to be so I probably won’t be buying it again.  I haven’t tried the Bear Naked wipes yet but regardless of how much I love it, I probably won’t be buying that either since I use so little make-up anyway and I prefer to remove it with face wash.


The Honest Company


I saw on Facebook that The Honest Company was offering free trial kits.  The only thing you have to pay for is the $5.95 shipping and handling.  I’ve been curious about their products for a while now.  And since just one of their regular sized products is easily more than $5.95, getting to try 5 of their products for a little over $1 each was too good of a deal to pass up.  Granted, they’re going to be trial sizes.  But I actually think that’s a good thing in case I end up not liking something enough to finish a regular bottle.  If you do end up ordering one of their free trial kits, just don’t forget to cancel your automatic monthly subscription 7 days after you receive your order!