The EU ban on animal-testing for cosmetics in 2013 was a major achievement for animal activists.
But if you want to take your commitment a step further and use brands that are not tested on animals anywhere in the world, we’ve got the starter kit for you.
Doing a complete overhaul of your make-up bag can seem expensive but it doesn’t have to be.
Brands like Barry M, essence, Catrice, L.O.V, Gosh and Wet n Wild are cheap as chips and available in Irish stores and online.
Paler Irish folk may sympathise with my ruddy complexion but if you want to battle the redness and have your make-up stick around all day, then Catrice’s Prime and Fine Anti-Red Base is the product for you.
If redness isn’t a problem for you then try its Pore Refining Anti-Shine or Beautifying Primer, €5.95 in Penneys stores and various pharmacies.
My favourite foundation of the moment is L.O.V’s EVENelixir serum foundation.
It’s so difficult to find a foundation whose lightest shade isn’t too yellow but L.O.V has nailed it, €14.99 in various pharmacies.
Like foundation, concealer shades can be difficult to match but the range of Barry M’s shades include even the fairest of skin tones.
It’s best applied with the label’s own brush and blended with a damp beauty blender for the best coverage, €6.99 in Boots stores.
Catrice’s All Matt Plus Shine Control powder is a great option if the matte look is what you’re looking for.
It makes your whole look appear flawless, seamless, shine proof and it’ll stay put all day, €3.95 in Penneys and various pharmacies.
No matter your brow of choice, strong or natural, The All Natural Face has you covered. My go-to options are the auburn shades of its Brow Powder. I searched for years for a product that was redhead-friendly.
With multiple colours to choose from, I purchased the light and dark auburn to mix up as my hair changes tone with the seasons and no matter your hue you can do the same.
The indie company can be purchased on Etsy and the powders come with a wax to keep those fine hairs where you want them too.
It’s €8.91 on www.etsy.com/shop/theallnaturalface
For an everyday look, the e.l.f. Mad for Matte palette is a must. It has a range of neutral shades from light to dark for all occasions. The colour payout is excellent and there’s no fallout to be seen.
You can buy e.l.f. in some TK Maxx stores but iherb.com carries the range too, €9.48 on www.iherb.com
For a more dramatic look, try Gosh palettes. My favourite is its Smokey Nudes palette. It’s the perfect mix of shimmery light and dark shades.
It also comes with a white shade for brow highlighting and inner eye definition, €19.95 in various pharmacies.
Fans of pencil eyeliners will love the e.l.f. Studio Kohl Eyeliner in black. It’s a chunky pencil that’s easy to grip and you can do simple or dramatic looks with it.
It also comes with a smudger on the other end and the lid is also a pencil sharpener. Where could you go wrong? €2.84 on www.iherb.com
Given the unpredictability of Irish weather, if you’re looking for a waterproof option, Barry M’s Bold Waterproof Eyeliner is worth a try.
For that perfect dramatic touch on a night out, go for the shade Gun Metal, €5.99 in Boots stores.
If liquid eyeliners are more your thing, essence makes a great felt-tip option. The liner is double ended with a thick tip on one end and a thin end on the other.
Both tips are soft but controllable and you can manage a whole range of looks with the two differently sizes, €3.80 in Penneys stores and various pharmacies.
If voluminous lashes is what you’re after (and who isn’t?) then Catrice’s Glam & Doll Curl & Volume Mascara is the one for you. The wand is rather large and fluffy — perfect for getting the formula on each and every lash without clumping them together.
You don’t even need two coats with this one but if you feel so inclined it your lashes will not look like spiders’ legs, €4.50 in Penneys stores and various pharmacies.
One of the best lip products is the Barry M Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Paint and matching lip liner. You can buy the products as singles or with the matching liner.
The lip liners are creamy and comfortable but don’t budge and on smooth lips the lipstick dries perfectly matte and won’t slip, even after a day of eating and drinking, €9 in Boots.
My holy grail contour product is the Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette.
The highlight can even be used as an all-over setting powder if you’re stuck and the contour is the perfect cool tone, €5.95 in Penneys.
If powder isn’t your thing Barry M also makes a great setting spray option.
With both matte and dewy looks to choose from they’ve got everyone covered.
It’s particularly good at setting pesky eye products; they won’t budge with a spritz of this, €7.49 in Boots.
EcoTools make amazing brushes. They’re soft but dense, pick up a great amount of product and are easy to keep clean. You can buy them in most pharmacies but iherb.com offers great prices.
The online company has even released its own range of great beauty blenders. Single brushes cost €3.22-€8.06 and sets cost €4.03-€18.96 on www.iherb.com