Too Faced? | Cruelty Free Makeup Options

In a market containing approximately a gazillion products, it can be difficult to navigate the tricky path of what is accessible, affordable, good value and high quality. Add in a layer of ethical responsibility, and the scene can be a nightmare.

2016 proved an interesting year for cruelty-free cosmetics, with cosmetic giant Estee Lauder acquiring previously independently owned, cruelty-free brands Becca and Too Faced.

As a parent company, Estee Lauder does sell products in mainland China, where animal testing is required by law for any cosmetic to be sold. Even if the products and ingredients themselves are not tested on animals, this fact means the brand cannot be considered cruelty free.

Too Faced issued a statement that they would always remain cruelty free, but this doesn’t change the fact that any money spent on the brand does in fact go towards the parent company.

What a person chooses to buy is entirely up to them, and though many cruelty free shoppers will continue to buy from Too Faced, there are others who will not purchase for a brand with a parent company that allows the use of animal testing.

Being a conscious consumer is important, so if you’re feeling like some brands are a little two faced, here is a run down of some of the best 100% cruelty free cosmetic brands, with a large majority – if not, all – of their products also being vegan.



Known primarily for their life-changing brow products, the pro brand has expanded naturally and effortlessly to provide an incredible array of high quality, beautiful cosmetics. The eyeshadow quality is impeccable, their highlighters are some of the best available, and their brow products are firm favourites for a damn good reason.

My favourite products:
– Glow Kits in Sweets and Moonchild;
– Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette;
– Dipbrow Pomade – I use the shade Ash Brown.



By no means the cheapest option when it comes to buying your cosmetics – they sell a cult $82AUD lip balm – but if quality is what you’re looking for, then By Terry is a solid bet. They’re an independent company, not owned by any parent company, and completely cruelty free, not selling in Mainland China.

My favourite products:
– Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadow Sticks in shades Misty Rock, Bronze Moon, Black Pearl and Frozen Quartz;
– Sun Designer Palettes – I love shade Tan and Flash Cruise 1.



This shamelessly opulent makeup artists line is nothing if not gorgeous, but if you want a slice of old school glamour and quality to match the exceptionally beautiful exterior, then Charlotte Tilbury really can’t be beat.

My favourite products:
– Filmstar Bronze and Glow;
– Light Wonder Foundation;
– Eyeshadow Quads;
– Swish and Pop Blushes;
– Matte Revolution Lipsticks.



This 100% vegan brand has carved itself a nifty niche in the makeup world, offering innovative and interesting products different to what many other brands put out, rather than regurgitating the same ol’ stuff over and over.

My favourite products:
– Custom Cover Drops;
– Custom Enhancer Drops, Moonlight, Celestial;
– Cream Contour Kit in G Light Medium.



Famous for their luxe powder products, the independent company is 100% cruelty free, and largely vegan, spare a few products.

My favourite products:
– Ambient Lighting Powders in Luminous Light, Diffused Light and Ethereal Light;
– Ambient Lighting Blushes in any shade really, but my favourite is Incandescent Electra;
– Mineral Veil Primer;
– No 28 Serum Primer;
– Brushes – All vegan and cruelty free, and of the upmost quality.



Kat Von D has always been cruelty free, but midway through 2016, the brand reformulated many of it’s products to ensure they were in line with the namesakes vegan lifestyle. With some of the best eyeshadows on the market, and a liquid lipstick line to die for, her edgy aesthetic stands apart on the spectrum of makeup brands.

My favourite products:
– Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette;
– Pastel Goth Eyeshadow Palette;
– Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, they’re all pretty fantastic, pick your favourite colours;
– Lock It Hydrating Primer.



Say what you will about the always controversial Jenner/Kardashian clan, but there is no denying 19-year-old Kylie is a savvy business woman. Her cosmetic range is surrounded by more buzz than a beehive, but the quality of many of her products lives up to the hype, and then some. To top it off, the products come up reasonably affordable as far as mid-range Australian makeup pricing goes, just remember to save up and do one big order to get the free shipping.

My favourite products:
– Lip Kits in Posie K, Koko K, Love Bite, Kristen, and Koko Kollection;
– Burgundy Kyshadow Palette.



Though the fashion design house Marc Jacobs may use animal products to create their clothes, bags, and other fashion items, Marc Jacobs Beauty exists as an entirely separate entity – from their fragrances, too – and the cosmetics brand is entirely cruelty free. With some of the nicest powder products on the market, and some of the sleekest packaging.

My favourite products:
– Air Blushes, all the shades! They’re really great. But I do especially love Lines and Last NightFlesh and Fantasy, and Lush and Libido. Yes, the names are ridiculous;
– #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder in 10 Mirage Filter.


Cafe Zen Den

Here it is, the first post in my journey to fall back in love with food.

Fact: hipster’s flowers will die if not stored in mason jars or glass milk bottles. Sugar will not taste as sweet if not stored in a similar fashion.

It’s mildly depressing that making myself leave the house to go eat something, so I could write about it here, was a serious effort. My lacklustre approach to food is really getting out of hand.


On the suggestion of my friend, Rudi Edsall, and after researching gluten-free friendly eateries close to my home, I chose Café Zen Den, which recently opened in Eltham.

Menu. Note: no bill splitting.

The menu included a few vegetarian and vegan options, but as far as gluten and lactose intolerance combined goes, my only option on the savoury front was rice paper rolls.

Considering I usually eat them at least twice a week, I wasn’t excited, and getting excited about food again is the whole point of this blog.

Instead, my eyes locked onto the vegan, raw, gluten free cheesecakes. “How?” I hear you gasping. Hazelnuts, almonds, coconut oil, dates, and cacao, apparently.

Nuts can be tricky with fructose malabsorption. Some are quite high in the natural sugar, and the Internet is full of conflicting information about how to consume them. Monash University, pioneers of the low FODMAP diet, recommend avoiding cashews and pistachios, and consuming other nuts, particularly walnuts and almonds, in moderation.

Such chocolate. Very vegan. Much raw. Wow. So rose petals.

The cake was pretty great. Not overly sweet, as I’d expected it to be. Just the right amount of creamy, chocolate flavour. The base was chewy and packed a punch of sweetness.  It was very heavy and rich, though, and I did feel a little sick afterwards.

Ugh. Soy.

I also indulged in a flat white, made with soy milk, of course. The fact this coffee tasted good was a testament to the ability of the bearded barista, cause lets be honest, soy milk is just the worst.

As I’ve stated previously, I’m writing this blog because my largely ornamental gut has stopped me from finding any joy in eating. Yet, while I sat alone in this cafe, listening to the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast and devouring cheesecake, I was quietly content.

I left with my pretty photos, a full stomach, and a desire to return so I can try the bright pink raspberry cheesecake. This is as close to food making me happy as I’ve been in a long time.

Although I did enjoy my brief but passionate affair with Cafe Zen Den, there weren’t many options for people with dietary restrictions. One great raw, vegan, gluten-free cheesecake does not an accommodating eatery make.

I’d recommend Cafe Zen Den to food intolerants who want a slice of a killer cheesecake and a decent coffee, but not much else, I’m afraid.

Three and a half bearded baristas out of five.

Good thing I’m not allergic to petals.

Have you been to an excellent eatery I may like? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below, or Tweet me: @missclaireh