make up

A Story & A Request

A brief history of my life thus far:

  • Birth – 1993 – childhood.  Bicycles, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Thundercats.
  • 1994 – 1999 – Early teenage years.  Listening to music, going to gigs in Glasgow, planning what gigs we should go to next, formulating how to get into 18+ gigs when you’re 16 and look about 12, saving up for gig tickets, going to music festivals.  Essentially, music.  And camping.  A lot of camping.
  • 1999 – 2001 – Early university years and all that comes with moving away from home for the first time.  Including the discovery of 50p drinks in the university union.
  • 2002 – Travelling.  Living out of a backpack for the best part of a year.
  • 2003 – 2005 – Later university years – in short, trying to be more responsible, but still going to a lot of parties.  Also having a lot of part time jobs.  The most memorable being a job in a cafe that I lasted one shift  in.  Reason for leaving so hastily?  They asked me to belly dance… Seriously.
  • 2006 – 2009 – Actual proper job territory.  Trying to be a proper grown up – achieving it at least 70% of the time.  Don’t ask about the remaining 30%.
  • 2009 – Home ownership – for this read the run down flat you bought because it was the only one you could afford is taking up all your money and time trying to make it habitable.
  • 2011 – Present – Small children on scene so trying to be a proper grown up, whilst running on 60% less sleep.  Often too tired to operate heavy machinery or drive cars but trusted to look after children.  Constantly looking for my purse, phone, keys, TV remote, etc.  Eventually finding the lost items in really random places and then never being sure if it was me that put them there or the children.

You might be wondering where I am going with this.  Well, all of this is a particularly long winded and convoluted way of saying I don’t have a clue about make-up.  I’ve never really devoted any time or energy in learning how to use it.  My teenage years – the prime time to learn about these things – were, as you can see, a bit preoccupied.

I have approximately four things that I put on my face when I want to look less tired, none of which I’ve ever been sure if I’m using correctly.

I’ve recently tried watching tutorials on YouTube but I’ve realised that there are two kinds of people in this world: 1) people who really really love makeup and 2) people like me who have no clue, and wonder why you’d possibly need/want/have time to put 15+ things on your face.  The people on YouTube fall into the first category, which is really rather intimidating for people in the latter category.

You guys have been asking me for ethical and organic and cruelty free make up recommendations for some time now, and I feel bad for having let you down on this front.

With my authority on make up being approximately zero, I thought that instead we could crowdsource this thing.  I’m pretty sure some readers must be more knowledgeable than I.  So, I’m turning to you dear readers!  I’d love to know:

Your favourite eco beauty brands and products

Your favourite cruelty free brands and products

Your favourite organic brands and products

If the three things can be mutually exclusive then all the better!

Also, if there is anything else you think we need to know (for example, the best eco-friendly brushes, tools, etc) do let me know.

With your help maybe we could put a guide together.  Pop it all in the comments below or send me an email with your favourites!  And if anyone more qualified than I wants to write a guest post then the gig is yours!  Drop me an email to :)


  1. Hi! Just started following your blog! While I am not a beauty expert by any means I thought I’d give my two cents. I absolutely love the company 100% Pure. All their makeup is organic and made from fruit pigments and free of nasties like toxins, fragrance, synthetic chemicals. I started using it after getting dermatitis which was exacerbated by using high street products which lots of chemicals in and my skin has been really good since.

    The only downside is that you have to order from America so that’s not-exactly eco-friendly, or have to buy it when visiting.

  2. The only place that I happily buy beauty products from is Lush, though I’d love to hear about more! I know that they might not tick all the boxes in terms of being eco & organic, though.

    I love:
    eau roma water (toner) –
    angels on bare skin (cleanser) –
    aqua marina (cleanser) –
    celestial (moisturiser) –

    I’ve not used any of their make-up yet, mostly because I’m one of these people who bought a mascara 5 years ago and is still using it now..!

    Keeping my eyes peeled for the comments on this one, because I’d really like some advice on make-up and other brands to go for.

  3. Here are a couple of brands I like…

    No animal testing and all natural ingredients, – they have wonderful perfume.

    No animal testing and all natural ingredients, some certified organic,
    (their website is being updated but here is their twitter… – they have amazing skin care products, I especially like their Moisturizer with Rosa Mosquetta Rose Hip See Oil

    There are so many eco friendly, organic etc… skin care and beauty brands out there but those are a couple I’ve used. Avalon Organics also has good shampoo. Also I really enjoy your blog, thank you.

  4. Hi ive just started reading your blog and its given me lots of helpful tips for making my life more eco friendly. I particuarly like that your bases in scotland which is useful since i too am a scot and alot of your topics are somone local for me which is helpful since alot of other similar blogs are based in america.

    As for makeup I love using organic surge products for facial cleansing (been using them for a round 2 months and my achne is more or less gone) there shampoos have alao stopped my hair being as greasy too which is a huge help!

    As for makeup my favorite brands are RMS beauty.naturisimo are a uk stockist.
    I also like faerie organics mineral foundation.

    As for tools i.e. brushes I use a brand called eco tools which I usually pick up in boots or on amazon.

  5. For me the issue is not just the brand but the company who own the brand.
    So LUSH win massive points on everything, obviously but some of their products are too scented for my delicate skin. In fact I had to make an exception and use medicated shampoo which is tested on animals as my shampoo as anything else leads to such a bad reaction on my scalp.

    For a long time Superdrug were my go-to for own brand stuff but then I found out they were owned by a company that test, Nyx do good cosmetics which are cruelty free but are, again, owned by a company that tests. Very frustrating!

    Neal’s Yard are solid though – and they do hand creams that are excellent for my sensitive skin. For make up I currently use a lot of Barry M who are cruelty free and are cheap enough to try if unsure. I love their Blink eyeliner pen, the Showgirl mascara (even if I don’t love the name) and the nailvarnish they do.

    I hope this helps?!

  6. Ooh I’m still new and learning about eco and organic brands, but I can certainly help with the cruelty-free side. For make-up, some good natural brands are PHB Ethical Beauty, Everyday Minerals, Pacifica and Lippy Girl. Then for natural skincare & hair products I like Faith In Nature, Green People, Yarok, Botanicals, White Rabbit Skincare, Dr Organic, Deep Steep and Sibu :)

  7. I am no help whatsoever Wendy, but can I please say THANKYOU! So excited to know that I am not alone in never really learning how to use make up. I have absolutely no idea how to do it, and do sometimes wish I did. But most of the time I don’t!

  8. For make up I love the British company Honeypie minerals as I prefer powder foundation as I find it far easier to use than liquid. The lily lolo mascara is supposed to be pretty good although I haven’t tried it Avril also do a lovely mascara which works for my sensitive eyes. Lily lolo is cruelty free but some of their products do contain carmine.

    For body products I like derma e, it’s not the cleanest of brands but they are one of the few with a good scent free range. I also like green people for the same reason although their products are a little more pricey. I always think when you are just starting out with make up it’s best to start with cheaper products until you find what you like and what works for you but that is just my opinion.

    If you are looking for make up videos on YouTube perhaps you might like Lisa Eldridge as alongside the more extravagant looks she does some really simple ones. The one I am thinking of right now only involved three products, foundation, mascara and a lipstick which was used as a blush, lipstick and an eye colour.

  9. I’m just finding my way on the ethical make up thing so I’m really looking forward to the results of your research. I like Lush mascara (it comes in a cute little glass bottle). Use with good quality eye lash curlers (definitely worth the investment). I also like Neals Yard bronzer and blush. They come in little glass post with plastic lids which you can take back to the shop for recycling and (not that it’s a huge incentive) get 14p off your next purchase.

  10. I like make up but prefer not to wear it very often, and just keep it simple when I do. My skin glows, so foundation or powder just dulls my skin, even if it covers the imperfections. So I just don’t bother with it.
    But I do like eye shadow and the occassional lipstick. Here are some brands that I like

    When it comes to skincare, I prefer the simple, natural DIY route. There is so much in your kitchen cupboard that I will do the job far better than store bought formulas will.

    I’d prefer that women felt more and more comfortable to move away from excessive products. We’ve conditioned to believe that we need them in order to be worthy. Make up is nice, but too many women feel that they cannot go out in public without it. That really is a feminist issue!

  11. I get everything from Big Green Smile.
    I dont usually wear make up but I buy face powder from them, usually whichever is on offer, Dr Hauschka is my favourite, but expensive.
    I use Dr Bronner’s magic soap for everything (shower, bath, diluted as face wash, and hand washing delicate clothes).
    Faith in nature for shampoo, conditioner, face cream.
    Green People for SPF15 day cream.
    Big Green Smile often have offers (eg 25% off Faith in Nature), and you get 2 free samples with every order.

  12. I buy a lot of staples (shampoo/toothpaste etc) from Superdrug because they are vegan/vegetarian and against animal testing, although reading Siobhan’s comment has made me think about who owns the brands we shop at. I do think that shopping at places that are trying to cater for this market can only be a good thing in terms of encouraging them to stick to their choices. I don’t really wear make up, and find a lot of the cruelty free brands are out of my price range, so Superdrug it is for the time being.


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