When the concept of cruelty-free caught my attention, I ignorantly dismissed it, believing that the words cruelty-free defined, VERY natural, aka unlikely to work. Not only was I very misguided, but the cosmetic world has vastly evolved since I was 16. Some of our most loved brands, carry the cruelty- free stamp of approval, keeping our conscience clearer. And the products do actually do what they say they’re going to.
TOMBOY’s edit of cruelty free products to love, contain only those that are bona-fide certified as cruelty free, meaning that the final product and the ingredients inside it, have NOT been tested on animals.
My earliest memory of Burt’s Bee’s lip balm was picking up a random tube of the original stick off of my aunty’s living room floor and applying it on my lips when I was six years old. I have been hooked since. Actually. Burt’s Bee’s original is my ride or die, and I will pick them over the overpriced, lip balms that are rose-scented-pots-of-Vaseline. THIS, is the shit, my friends. And since they released their tinted line, I have one on my person at all times. They do all the things you want your trusty lip balm to do, and add a sheer wash of colour to further bring your lips back from the dead.
I have one solitary facial oil in my arsenal because I am terrified of them, and 99% of the time they do not work for me, or with me. The Luna Night Oil is the 1% that has changed my firm ‘never’ to an ‘almost never’ on the topic of face oil. Rightly so, a cult product for many, it contains; Blue Tansy, Retinol, and Chamomile, which is basically the skincare equivalent to the best spicy margarita you’ve ever had. Refreshing, relaxing, and enough spice to get things working like they should. Upon using the blue potion (it looks like something you’d pick up on Diagon Alley), spots are reduced and less flared up, pores appear smaller, skin is plumped and calm, and wrinkles? EVAPORATED! Kidding, it’s not really magic, but it tends to feel that way. I have been using this every night for six months and I am only just hitting the halfway point, which wins the ‘worth the price’ tick, too.
One time I read an Into The Gloss article on this scrub titled, This Scrub Is The Best Thing That’s Happened To My Skin Since Accutane, so I immediately bought it, and as a post-Accutane woman myself, I concur, I’ve never used a better physical exfoliant. Of course there are many opinions up in the air on the debate of physical v chemical exfoliant, and I am not here to tell you what is right or wrong because TBH, my hyper sensitive skin means I favour physicals over chemicals, but that’s just me. What I can tell you though, is that the ITG article is accurate AF when it reads: ‘I physically assaulted my very sensitive face into poreless, even-textured submission.’. Ingredients include ruby crystals (for your lofty desires), Hyaluronic acid (which, unlike many other scrubs, means the tight, dried out feeling you encounter post-scrub is a non-issue), Seaweed and Red Tea extracts provide you with anti-oxidants (so you no longer have an excuse to pass red wine as your ‘daily dose’).
The most balmy, natural, glossy, highlighter you may ever come across. If you want a glow that is popping OFF, but aren’t into strobing, or dousing your face in questionably concentrated illuminating droppers pre-foundation, Living Luminizer may well be your jam. Bonus points because it’s organic, predominantly coconut oil, and will without fail make you appear as if you’re Samantha Jones in the episode where she crushes on the Priest…if you’re picking up what I’m putting down.
If you are not already aware, the TOMBOY team are obsessed with Venustus. To be completely transparent, I asked Jeannie (Venustus’ founder) to send me whichever fragrance she thought would be best for myself and this article because I trust that literally all of her fragrances are divine. She responded saying that she was sending me ‘Trust’, as trust is at an all time low and anxiety is at an all time high, an issue that I have been faced with of late, but hadn’t mentioned to her. Her intuition is otherworldly, and the fragrance is decidedly my favourite from her collection. It is light, rose based, and the 100% natural and organic ingredients mean that you can douse your entire body, hair, and even bed sheets in it. Though, you’re not going to want to put a drop to waste.
I am a mud mask lover based on the ‘science’ that applying moistened dirt on your face will suck out all the guck that your pores tend to be plagued with upon eating too much dairy or maybe having one too many cheeky nights out sans 3am makeup removal. This mask feels like it does just that. Formulated for breakout prone skin, it can be used as a spot treatment or 10 minute mask once a week, it weirdly smells like amaretto in the jar, dries down in about 10-15 mins, and leaves skin feeling clarified, smooth, and FRESH.
If you are a ‘no foundation foundation’ person, this product is for you. The oil free formula is incredibly sheer, hydrating, and blends in seamlessly. It instantly brightens and evens out skin tones, and claims to have immune system boosting properties with rosemary, green tea and rice bran. It’s as sheer as a tinted moisturizer without the often-greasy feeling that comes along with them. I love a glow, but it can often get a bit sticky with the amount of RMS Living Luminizer I slather on. This keeps it all in the right place, and is essentially perfection in a pot.
I am team gentle cleanser, and the Cosmedix one is the crème de la crème of gentle cleansers. It removes makeup, dirt, all of the gross stuff, whilst not stripping the skin and working a little EXTRA harder than, say, Cetaphil. It hydrates, eliminates free radicals, and gets in there a little deeper than yo’ average gentle face wash.
Hello, luxury. TOMBOY are huge advocates for anything chic, high quality, and natural. There is something quite reassuring about slathering something (sparingly, because we don’t crap money) all over your body that a) smells incredible and b) isn’t full of synthetics or nasty chemicals. This medium-weight body cream is refreshing, smoothing, hydrating, and just an all round g-time. Investing in premium body lotions that smell incredible and make your skin look like you’ve been on a balmy Greek holiday has been one of the loftiest, self-care inducing things I have added to my routine, and it is fabulous.
If you haven’t introduced your skin to retinol yet, I suggest you do. It helps to fight acne, smooth texture, diminish pore size, fight aging etc, etc. Verso Skincare is a brand centred around a certain type of retinol: retinol 8, which is eight times more effective than standard retinol, and half as irritative. The Super Facial serum is like a concentrated version of this, and makes skin look fresh to death.
Photography and words: Ella Jane