Several of you have asked, “Is Mario Badescu cruelty free?” Years ago, I was a huge fan of their products, and I even reviewed them here on My Beauty Bunny. Then at some point, I saw that they were selling in China, so I had to put them on the do not buy list. (NOTE: their rep says they were never in China, so my recollection of WHY they were on the naughty list may be a bit fuzzy.) Recently, my assistant, Jenna, heard that they were once again cruelty free. I reached out to the brand, and they were able to answer all of my cruelty free questions. I’m happy to say that Mario Badescu is cruelty free!
Their answer to question number four (regarding ingredient suppliers) might seem wishy washy, but I believe they are just trying to avoid lawsuits in case their vendors ever go against their written statements about animal testing. It’s a smart move to avoid getting sued, and it doesn’t bother me. It could also potentially mean that their ingredient suppliers are testing (or could test in the future) OTHER ingredients that Mario Badescu does not purchase. That’s something they cannot control. Asking their vendors to sign statements saying they do not test is more than many companies do.
(1) Are the finished products tested on animals by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company?
(2) Are the products tested on animals during the production process by the company, a parent company, a third party or an affiliate company?
We do not test our products on animals. We do not test our ingredients on animals, nor do we have anyone test on our behalf. We are a privately held company and are not owned by a larger parent company.
(3) Do you have documents from your ingredient suppliers to show that they are not testing on animals for your brand or any other brand?
(4) Does your manufacturer purchase any ingredients from laboratories that conduct tests on animals? Do you have documents to support this?
We ask all of our raw material vendors to sign a certification that they do not test on animals. That said, we have no control over the actions of raw material vendors. Below is the statement that we require all of our raw material vendors to sign as it relates to the raw materials we purchase.
I confirm that to the best of my knowledge and belief that the above named raw material complies with the European ban on animal testing and has not been tested on animals for cosmetic or personal care purposes since December 31, 2009. I also confirm it has been checked with the actual manufacturer of each constituent raw material used to produce the product listed above to ascertain that this statement is correct.
(5) Are the products sold in any markets where animal testing is required by local law and regulations (China, etc)?
We currently have no products registered for sale in China.
(6) Are the products vegetarian? (no animals killed for the products – i.e. some forms of collagen, squalane, etc.)
(7) Are the products vegan? (i.e. product ingredients that come from animals like lanolin, honey, milk, etc. – being vegan is NOT necessary for my blog, but a bonus for my vegan readers)
Some of our products do contain ingredients derived from animals such as egg whites, bee pollen, honey extract, lanolin, and lactic acid. Although we do have some products that are free of animal by-products, we are not a vegan facility.
(8) Is your company certified by Leaping Bunny? (It’s easy to get certified by LeapingBunny.org and it’s free to join without licensing the logo)
At this time, we have not contacted Leaping Bunny for certification. Thank you for the useful information. I will forward it to the appropriate persons.
So Beauty Bunnies – which Mario Badescu products have you used, or are you curious about? I’ll do my best to review them for you!
Question of the Week: Which is better, Sephora or Ulta?
Well now that’s like asking me to choose between my children! I love them both and for different reasons. Sephora is the one I go to the most but that’s mostly because it’s located at The Grove and my fiance and I got there to eat and see movies a lot. So stopping in to see what’s new is easy. It has more of a high end feel than Ulta, and there are some brands that you can only get at Sephora (like Kat Von D Beauty). BUT, Ulta has brands that you can’t get at Sephora, like pretty much every drugstore brand. And they have a much bigger selection of hair products. They both have discount programs, which are fun, but never help me out very much. Probably because I’m not a great bargain shopper or coupon-er. So all in all, I’m a huge fan of both and I honestly don’t think I can pick a favorite. Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!
The Lipstick League – week of 2.12.18
Please note that not all Lipstick League posts are cruelty free.
Blushing Noir – If you’re someone who loves a highlighting powder that feels creamy to the touch then the new MAC Hyper Real Glow Highlighter Palette shades are going to have you falling to your knees.
EauMG – It’s Rose Week on EauMG! It’s the annual celebration of rose-centric perfumes. I have reviewed 5 different perfumes that display different aspects of a rose.
Phyrra – Did you want the Blood Sugar palette but miss it because it sold out in a minute or you don’t want to buy from Jeffree Star? Check out my DIY Jeffree Star Blood Sugar Palette Dupes. You’ll love my version with burgundies, pinks and duochromes!
Realizing Beauty – Maybelline New York has released 10 new shades of SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick. The new Un-Nudes Collection is all about an unconventional and unexpected take on nude lipstick. Check out all the shades, including a light lavender nude!
Slashed Beauty – Not sure wax strips are worth it, or think you have to go through a tub of stickiness for real results? Sounds like you might be using strips wrong! Check out these tips on how to use wax strips for the best results, and Miranda’s favorite all-in-one kit.
we heart this – Say goodbye to cotton balls and hello to The Mitty! (Ok, maybe not totally goodbye, but you’ll see a lot less of ’em!)
Beautygeeks is Currently Craving:Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. Long a fan of peptides as an aging-well ingredient, she’s intensely curious about this formula that features “plant-derived peptide growth factors” as cell-turnover boosters.
Hourglass Cosmetics is one of the few really high end cruelty free brands out there, and I’m excited to report that they are going to be completely vegan by the year 2020! Many Hourglass products are vegan already, but they are going to phase out what is already in distribution and start selling only vegan formulas. They will be replacing ingredients like beeswax and carmine (the red color found in many cosmetics comes from beetle shells).
“At Hourglass, we believe that luxury is a combination of innovation and integrity,” says Carisa Janes, founder and CEO of Hourglass Cosmetics. “This begins with our commitment to creating cruelty-free products and ultimately being the first completely vegan luxury cosmetics brand in the world. It is not a simple solution, but we are dedicated to putting in the time and effort it will take to find vegan alternatives for our product formulas.”
Let’s talk about some of my favorite Hourglass cruelty free and vegan products!
First, have you guys tried the new Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick ($42) yet? They sent me a sample of the highlighter in “Champagne Flash”. It’s a pale white/gold shade with a whole lot of shimmer. It goes on easily via the stick and you can blend it with your fingertip (my preferred method), a brush or a sponge. It doesn’t have big glitter particles (I can’t stand that personally), but it does have a lot of shimmer. It feels super lightweight on your skin – you won’t even realize it’s there. It’s pretty bold, so if you want a natural looking highlight, this probably won’t be it. But if you want to STROBE, this is your highlighter!
If you want a more natural highlighter look, get your hands on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($62). This beautiful palette includes three pressed powder shades: Incandescent Strobe Light (warm opal), Dim Light (peach beige) and Radiant Light (golden beige). There is no talc, gluten, fragrance, or nano particles. The palette can work on a wide variety of warm skin tones. I’m quite pale with yellow undertones, so I prefer to use the middle shade (Incandescent Strobe Light) on the tops of my cheekbones, tip of my nose, under my brows, and above my cupid’s bow. The darker shades look beautiful when layered on top of bronzer – swept from the middle of my cheeks upward.
I am also digging the Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipsticks ($34). The packaging is adorable and definitely has some 1920s art nouveau vibes. It feels very high end, and I love that you can find your favorite colors and refill them. I tried “I’m Addicted” which is a nice warm brownish pink that pairs well with the Ambient Lighting Palette.
In addition, as a cruelty-free brand, Hourglass is a proud partner of the Nonhuman Rights Project, the only civil rights organization in the United States working to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for animals. To celebrate this partnership and goal of becoming entirely vegan, Hourglass has released a vegan leather clutch available for purchase on the Hourglass website and flagship store in Venice, Calif. 100% of profits from this limited-edition clutch will be donated to the Nonhuman Rights Project.
Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Palette Review and Swatches
The Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat palette showed up at my door today and I’m loving it! A miniature version of the Naked Heat palette, this one comes with five new (but very close to the original) matte shades and one demi-matte highlighting shade. I prefer warm shades, and I prefer to work with mattes (and use a shimmery or metallic shade as a highlight), so this is my jam. The shades are pretty intense for a pale gal like myself, but sometimes you want a little dose of drama with your earth tones, right?
This travel-friendly palette will be $29 and you can find it on urbandecay.com first. The new palette will be available in the US on February 22nd, March 1st in Canada and Europe, and May 1st in Mexico.
Question of the Week: Have you ever bought a product JUST because you want the GWP (gift with purchase?)
I actually haven’t received a gift with purchase in a verrrrrry long time (at least that I can remember)! I love all the little gifts that Sephora gives out, but I can’t remember specifically buying something for the GWP. I used to love when my grandma would get a makeup GWP because she would always give it to me and my sister. I remember getting so excited when I could afford to buy them when I was a teenager, but that was before I went cruelty free, so they were from non-cruelty-free brands like Clinique, Lancome and Estee Lauder (booooo!). There aren’t a whole lot of cruelty free brands to be had at department stores (although Charlotte Tilbury is a good cruelty free option there), so I tend to prefer Sephora and Ulta. What about you guys?
Valentine’s Day is upon us! Whether you’re happily partnered off, married, or single and ready to mingle, Valentine’s Day can bring up a lot of feelings. They could be of the warm and fuzzy variety or they could be sad and lonely. If you’re a pet parent, focus that happy energy on your four-legged friends and treat your dogs and cats (or other pet friends!) to some Valentine’s Day goodies. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Organic Handmade Soy Candle – These smell SO good and they’re made with repurposed wine bottles. Okay this one is really for YOU, but when you buy one, Applehead City Pet will groom a dog at a shelter. HOW COOL IS THAT? Get yourself a gift and help a shelter baby get adopted.
Applehead City Pet Skarf – Infinity Pet Scarf – How adorable is this little dog scarf? It keeps your BFF warm, and gives them major street cred at the same time. You will get so many compliments when your dog wears this around town. Riley loves his Skarf – it makes him feel warm and cozy when it’s cool out, without the need for a full-on dog sweater or jacket. You really have to caption that pic of Riley with, “Uhhhh I knew about that band way before they were famous…”
Petsafe Laser Toy – We have one of these and all three pets love it! I just turn it on in a darkened hallway and they go nuts chasing after the red laser. It keeps ’em busy when you don’t have time to play!
Cat Wine Bottle Toys – These catnip-stuffed cat kicker toys are perfect when you want to enjoy a “glass” with your favorite furry friends.
Plaid tartan dog bow ties – How stinkin’ cute are these? Riley doesn’t mind clothes, and he looks pretty darn sharp in a bow tie.
K& H Heated Pet Bed – I am going to buy one of these for my kitties. It’s been on my wishlist forever but I’m finally going to get one. My two cats are 10+ and getting up there in years. They definitely prefer warmth and I know they will LOVE this heated cat bed.
Valentine’s Day Cat Collar – Okay so kitty is NOT going to wear any clothes, but you can still dress him up with a cute Valentine’s Day heart collar!
Claudia’s Canine Cuisine Dog Cookies – There are so many human treats that aren’t great for dogs (never let your dog have chocolate!). Give your friend something delicious to munch on while you eat that Valentine’s Day candy. Hey I’m not judging!
I know you guys loooooove instant win games! And I’m very excited to tell you that I’m hosting a new one and it’s for a brand that I rave about all the time – Emme Diane! We’re giving away tons of full sized Emme Diane Sulfur Refining Masks (one of her most popular products). Emme doesn’t do discounts or giveaways very often (usually only once per year around Thanksgiving), but there’s a special discount code for everyone who enters.
The Emme Diane Sulfur Refining Mask ($34) is the perfect face mask for just about anyone who suffers from acne or clogged pores. It’s made with sulfur to get rid of blackheads, whiteheads and to kill bacteria. It also has bentonite clay and kaolin clay to draw out dirt and oil. The mask also gives you a gentle exfoliation and reduces inflammation. An all around win-win for acne-prone people like myself! If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, stop using those cheap peel-off or magnetic masks and upgrade to something better.
Not familiar with instant win games? They are super easy to enter. You just fill out the information in the entry form and click to see if you’re an instant winner. You can try your luck every 24 hours until the contest ends (on Feb 20th).
Worried about giving out your information? Not to worry. I’ve gotten to know Emme Diane pretty well since I discovered her brand, and I promise you, she won’t sell your information or do anything weird with it. You can sign up for the newsletter (or not), and she’ll only use your address to ship your prize if you win. Speaking of her newsletter. I don’t give out my email address lightly because I get SO much spam, but her email has so many free skincare tips that have totally transformed my skin. And she doesn’t spam or send tons of emails anyway. It’s honestly worth subscribing to!
Ready to try your luck to see if you’re a winner? Click here!
US only. You must be 18 or older to win. Giveaway ends 2/20/18 at 6 pm PST.
This blog post is sponsored by iHerb. The best part of my job is that I get to constantly try new cruelty free makeup and beauty products – sometimes even before they are released. I recently got some brand new makeup to try out from Azelique Cosmetics. The brand has previously only done anti-aging skincare, but they are branching out with color cosmetics. They are being sold exclusively at one of my favorite online natural product retailers, iHerb. I’ve written about iHerb a few times before – they have a HUGE selection of supplements, herbs, natural foods, skincare and makeup, and all with great prices. They told me they have over 35,000 products and they ship to over 160 countries!
iHerb sent me a sampling of the new cruelty free makeup from Azelique Cosmetics. They sent primer, tinted moisturizer, powder foundation, lip gloss and lipstick. All of the Azelique products are vegan, cruelty free, gluten-free, and made with botanical ingredients that contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Upon close inspection of the ingredient lists, I can say that these products are perfect for normal to dry skin. There are some very hydrating and nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, sesame seed oil, castor oil, avocado oil and aloe vera.
Let’s start with the lipsticks. Pictured from top to bottom: Ready Red, Go Pink, Stay Nude, Gone Mauve. I was pleased to see they are super hydrating. My lips are dry pretty much year-round, but especially in the winter. The formula is made with avocado oil, sesame seed oil, castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and cocoa seed butter (all but the avocado oil are organic). The color payoff is good, and there’s very little (if any) drag when applying. Let me just tell you how obsessed I am with Ready Red (the one I’m wearing in the photo at the top of the page)! It’s a true warm red that works well with my skintone. If you have neutral to warm undertones, I think you’ll love this one. Go Pink is super wearable and Stay Nude is “My Lips But Better” but slightly warmer and peachier, which I like. Gone Mauve came out as more of a berry shade on me and was more sheer than the others.
My lips are pretty dark, so here are some hand swatches so you can see how the colors look on my skin.
If you like the wet look, try the Azelique Cosmetics Lip Gloss. I tried Soft Violet, Berry Kiss, Dusty Rose and Coral Crush. Three out of four had mega shimmer and all of them were super glossy and hydrating. I’m not really a lip gloss kind of girl because my lips are so dark. Most of the time lip gloss colors don’t really show up on me. But I have friends who are lip gloss obsessed and I know they would love these colors! They have a fruity scent, and after looking at the ingredients I’m not sure what exactly gives them that scent, but I love it!
The Azelique Cosmetics Skin Smoothing Face Primer is perfect for normal to dry skin types. I put it on underneath the tinted moisturizer and I felt like it really gave something for the foundation to stick to. It’s made with organic aloe vera and coconut oil, as well as mica, dimethicone and bamboo powder. The dimethicone helps to temporarily even out texture in your skin and the mica diffuses the light. It’s not a shimmery primer, but the oils and mica give is a slightly glowy look.
Many of you are asking me if Tom’s of Maine is cruelty free. They had been cruelty free since their start in 1970. In 1975, they came out with the first natural toothpaste in the United States. They have always been big on giving back to the community and to the planet. In 2006, they were bought by Colgate-Palmolive (a non -cruelty free parent company). That was the end of the story for many of you. For those of you (like me) who support cruelty free businesses owned by non-cruelty free parent companies, the Leaping Bunny (CCIC) seal of approval was a huge comfort. It was a promise that Tom’s of Maine was not testing on animals, and was being watched over (and audited) by Leaping Bunny’s team.
Here is their statement in full (bold added by me for emphasis):
Thank you for your questions regarding our certification with Leaping Bunny. We hear from a lot of people who are passionate about no animal testing. We are as well. So the most important point I have is that our standards haven’t changed, and no Tom’s of Maine ingredients, formulas or products are ever tested on animals.
Our challenge with recertification was primarily administrative. Under CCIC’s new electronic system we would need to have suppliers input information on over 150 raw materials. We simply did not have the resources to be able to do that in a timely manner. We also wanted to be completely transparent about our certification status, and removed the certification from our website.
Please know this isn’t a statement on CCIC’s standards, or our commitment to no animal testing. We continue to believe CCIC is a leader in this area, have valued their partnership in the past, and we hope to pursue recertification in the future. In the meantime, we are continuing to require declarations of no animal testing from suppliers for all raw materials used in Tom’s of Maine products.
Again, we appreciate that you took the time to ask the question, and I hope my reply helps! Thank you so much for your support.
I reached out to Kim Paschen, Program Manager, Leaping Bunny, and she said, “We valued our partnership with Tom’s, one of CCIC’s founding members, for many years. We were disappointed when they were not able to recommit, but we do hope in the future we are able to bring them back into the program.”
Kim also told me:
“If a company is sourcing from raw material suppliers, we do offer the option for them to use specific language on their purchase orders that does not permit animal testing of the raw material(s) in question. In choosing this option, all that is required for submission to us is a sample purchase order with the included language which we provide. This cuts down on a ton of work in collecting raw material declarations, which obviously can be daunting if a company uses dozens of suppliers.”
So is Tom’s of Maine cruelty free? It’s never black and white is it? Let me try to sum it up – it sounds like Tom’s of Maine is not conducting their own animal tests, and is still using raw ingredients that are not tested on animals, but their ingredient suppliers may possibly test OTHER ingredients for OTHER brands. This doesn’t mean Tom’s of Maine is using non-cruelty free ingredient suppliers, but it is possible that the suppliers have tested in the past or are currently testing for other brands (or they may not test at all). IF they are testing for other brands, I think it’s pretty similar to supporting a brand whose parent company tests, or shopping for cruelty free products at Sephora (since not all of the brands they sell are cruelty free). At the end of the day, this means Leaping Bunny is not able to confirm that they are cruelty free, nor audit them on a regular basis. I believe Tom’s of Maine is still cruelty free (with a non-cruelty free parent company) but this is subject to change at any time. Which, to be fair, is the case with ANY brand. If this concerns you, there are plenty of other natural, cruelty free toothpastes, mouthwashes, flosses, soaps, etc on the market.
I will be monitoring this issue and if I find out about any changes, my beauty bunnies will be the first to know!
Avoid These Foods That Cause Acne… as well as Most Hair Skin and Nails Supplements!
My acne is finally starting to clear up for good thanks to my acne guru, Emme Diane. Her coaching on what supplements and foods to avoid for acne, along with acne triggering skincare ingredients to steer clear of, have made a huge difference in my skin. I’ve been using her skincare products since last November (about 90 days now), and I’ve seen a drastic change in my skin. I won’t go into the skincare products here, since I’ve already talked about those quite a bit. But I do want to focus on the foods, protein powder additives and other supplements you might be taking that are making your acne so much worse.
Emme gave me a list of ingredients to avoid in skincare products (contact her and ask for her Acne Bible for the list). She also gave me a list of supplements and foods that cause acne (especially hormonal acne). You may not even REALIZE you are taking some of these! You really have to check your labels. Here are some of the big foods that cause acne (or trigger it if you’re already genetically susceptible):
Dairy – Yeah, everyone kind of knows this one already but it’s a huge acne trigger so steer clear. Next time you’re eating cheese, ask yourself if it’s worth a shiny new crater on your face! This includes whey protein which may show up in your protein powders.
Soy – Phytoestrogens can cause breakouts.
Iodine – Iodine is important for health, but it can also be a major acne trigger. Too little or too much could cause thyroid problems, so it’s important to get some iodine but not to over-do it. If you’re cutting back on iodine, iodized salt can be replaced with Himalayan sea salt.
Seaweed – There is a TON of iodine in seaweed (especially kelp). This category includes a lot of really good for you super greens like carrageenan (it’s used as a thickener and emulsifier in tons of healthy foods like almond milk), chlorella, spirulina, algae, and kelp (watch out for these in your skincare products – especially algae – it’s in everything!). If you don’t have acne, these are great super foods, but if you’re genetically prone to acne, steer clear. Also check your multi-vitamins, protein powders and other supplements for iodine and seaweeds. But check with your doctor – iodine is a NECESSARY nutrient and you don’t want to be deficient as it can mess with your thyroid.
Sugar and Processed Foods – It’s not a secret that these are bad for you. They cause inflammation and can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut. Try to cool it on the bad stuff, especially if you’re an acne sufferer.
Peanuts and Peanut Butter – There are plenty of other nuts, and almond butter is a delicious alternative.
Biotin and B12 – Biotin and B12 are necessary vitamins, and if you’re deficient, then you need to take them (I often have to take B12 and iron). But if your levels are normal, and you’re taking any kind of hair, skin and nails supplement (check the labels – most have biotin), you’ll probably see a lot more acne breakouts as well. Biotin is amazing for growing long nails and hair, and if you don’t have acne problems, it’s a great supplement. But if you’re acne prone, just say no.
If you’re still eating these foods from time to time, it’s okay – relax! But don’t go overboard on them, and if you’re having trouble getting your breakouts to subside, do an elimination diet and see if that helps.
If you’re wondering what you can take to grow long hair and long nails, I have just the thing. I’ve been talking about this wonder-berry for YEARS, and some of you haven’t tried it yet! It’s called sea buckthorn and it’s a berry that grows in places like Tibet. I first got started on the sea buckthorn berry train when I met the folks from Sibu many years ago. They sell all kinds of sea buckthorn products – juices, capsules, soaps, lotions, oils, etc.
My ride or die is their sea buckthorn capsules. They are incredible! You HAVE to take them every day (I take two per day), and you have to be consistent. Don’t take them for a month and then give up – if you’re new to sea buckthorn, give it at least 2-3 months to see results. They have grown my hair much longer than I ever could before (without breaking and getting generally awful-looking), and they allow me to have longer nails (as long as I don’t get gels – which always seem to be a problem for me). They are also working for my fiancé’s hair. He’s a convert and he takes the capsules daily now!
The big news from Sibu Beauty, is that they have taken carrageenan out of their supplements! Some people say carrageenan can cause inflammation and glucose intolerance (which can lead to diabetes). It’s probably best not to consume it every day or in large quantities, and if you have acne, then you definitely need to weed it out of your diet as much as possible. I’m very happy that Sibu has cut it out (they replaced it with tapioca starch so it’s still vegan if that’s a concern for you), and now I can enjoy my favorite hair, skin and nails supplement without worrying about breakouts! And as a huge bonus, I’ve noticed that sea buckthorn has also improved my digestion. It’s a pretty amazing little berry!
A note: make sure you check the back before you buy, or better yet, buy directly from Sibu’s website. I noticed that some sellers on Amazon are selling the older version that still has carrageenan.