*Some items are press samples
It’s that time of year when people start realising Christmas is just a little over a week away and that they haven’t got all the presents they need to get. If you’re one of those people, I have put together a list of cruelty free gift ideas that you can look through to find the perfect present for any beauty product lover out there. As with all my blog posts, everything mentioned is cruelty free and I have included a lot of vegan options as well.
The first thing that comes to mind when anyone asks me about a cruelty free beauty gift idea, is always Furless brushes (affiliate), as they’re all synthetic/vegan and of great quality. I have reviewed multiple Furless items on my blog previously including the Purple Power Makeup Brush Set, Couture Base Essentials Kit and Couture Body Contour Kit, but I have other brushes that I have yet to review as well. The two couture sets have a sleek all black design and are my absolute favourite brushes to use to get the perfect base. Between the two kits you can get the perfect finish for your foundation, concealer, powder, blush, contour and bronzer. If you are looking for kits that also include eye brushes then the Purple Power, Perfectly Pink or Black Beauty sets are a great option as they all come with a vegan leather travel case ($89.99 each). Each kit contains a different selection of brushes, so look at each kit to see which one is the best fit. If you’re buying for the ultimate beauty junkie, or even a professional makeup artist then you really can’t go past the Professional Makeup Brush Set. The Professional Set includes 20 different brushes to cover every sort of makeup application, and it comes with a fold out brush brush case that can be used as a brush belt ($169.95). If you’re only looking for a couple of brushes to gift then I really love the Black Beauty Small Domed Crease Blending Brush (ME3), Eyeshadow Brush (ME5), Multi Purpose Blending Brush (MF2) and the Angled Contour Brush (MF3). Any brush you choose from Furless will be of great quality, I use mine every time I put makeup on, plus they are really easy to clean.
If you want to buy just one makeup brush then Real Techniques have three new mini brushes out for the holidays (they are a lot smaller in real life than they appear online as they are small enough to be handbag brushes). They have the Mini Expert Face Brush, Mini Contour Brush and Mini Medium Sculpting Brush. There are also a couple of limited edition brush sets like the Smooth & Accentuate Kit and the Drape and Colour Kit. If you are buying a brush set then I still recommend the Furless brushes but Real Techniques are another cruelty free and vegan option. Real Techniques do however have the best affordable makeup sponge /beauty blender dupe on the market called the miracle complexion sponge and there is special Christmas packaging for that product as well. Real Techniques are available in Priceline in Australia. I will often buy my real techniques products from iherb as they’re cheaper that way but they’re often out of stock and won’t make it in time for Christmas now.
Every time Christmas rolls around, you can guarantee that Mecca will have a lot of gift sets on offer. You can find various gift sets from cruelty free brands with bad parent companies from both Mecca and Sephora like Becca, Tarte, Too Faced, Hourglass etc. What I want to highlight more though, are the gift sets made by Mecca themselves. Mecca have two completely cruelty free house brands, Mecca Cosmetica (focusing more on skincare) and Mecca Max (focusing more on makeup). Mecca Max only launched this year so I haven’t tried any of the products yet, but there are a couple of cute Mecca Max gift sets like the Glow Show Illuminating Duo $35 (includes a highlighter and metallic eyeshadow), Dewy Til Dawn Prep and Set Makeup Duo $32 (includes an illuminating primer and setting spray) and Max The Look Bold Gold $50 (includes illuminating primer, metallic eyeshadow, shimmer lip gloss and setting spray). The target audience for Mecca Max is younger than that of Mecca Cosmetica so you will see a lot more sparkles and shimmer in the Mecca Max line. I am a massive skincare lover, I think skincare, especially sunscreen, is a lot more important than makeup, so I do tend to like the Mecca Cosmetica sets more. Some of the gift sets from Mecca Cosmetica include The Great Protectors Face Sun Wardrobe $50 (includes face sunscreen, body sunscreen and lip sunscreen), The Daily Defenders SPF & Lip Duo $28 (Mini face and lip sunscreen), Best Face Forward Quick Fix Beauty Routine $80 (plumping balm, sheet masks and eye masks), and Fresh Faced Double Cleanser Set $40 (includes micellar water and facial cleanser). The Mecca Cosmetica Superscreen 50+ is one of my favourite facial suncreens, so it’s a good buy even if you get it for yourself. Also from Mecca you can buy the Josie Maran Cosmetics skincare kits, they have the 3 Step Argan Makeup Prep $35 and the Best of Argan Skincare Revivers $76.
If you’re looking for a cruelty free gift for someone who also likes more natural makeup then the Dusty Girls Quintessential Romance Eyeshadow Palette $36 is a nice gift with its rose gold packaging and vegan formula. Ere Perez has just launched 4 Chamomile Eye Palettes that are all vegan. The palettes are Beautiful (day to night collection), Gorgeous (mother earth collection), Pretty (vintage luxe collection) and Lovely (orient blossom collection). These eyeshadow palettes are ideal for sensitive eyes and retail for $40. I confirmed with Ere Perez that ordering before Wednesday the 20th December from the Ere Perez website and getting express shipping will mean that your order arrives in time for Christmas. You will find various other cruelty free gift ideas on their website like their newly released rice powder bronzers and nail polish range (which I will review in the new year). If you want to buy from a website with a wide range of cruelty free brands then Flora and Fauna (affiliate) and Nourished Life (affiliate) are great websites to look at. Both websites stock Ere Perez plus a lot of other cruelty free, organic and eco-friendly, makeup, skincare and hair care brands. I always turn to these sites when looking for cruelty free gift ideas or new brands to try.
Some cruelty free brands readily available in Australian stores (as well as on their own websites) include theBalm Cosmetics, Trilogy Skincare, Chi Chi Cosmetics, Designer Brands, Innoxa, Australis Cosmetics and BYS Cosmetics. I just reviewed the BYS Berries and Peach eyeshadow palettes which are available from Kmart and Target. Trilogy focus on natural skincare that works, they happen to be one of my favourite skincare brands. Every Christmas, Trilogy bring out mini skincare gift packs that focus on different needs so you can choose the pack that suits the receiver best. If you get stuck the Trilogy Rosehip Oil works well for all skin types and you can buy Trilogy from both Priceline and Myer. theBalm are famous for creating their cult highlighter, Mary-Lou Manizer (reviewed here), but I think their eyeshadow palettes should be talked about a lot more. I really like the Meet Matt(e) range which are 9 pan matte eyeshadow palettes. The palettes are called Meet Matt(e) Nude, Meet Matt(e) Trimony and the most recent palette (which is the only vegan one), Meet Matt(e) Ador. A makeup lover can never have enough matte eyeshadows in their collection. TheBalm is available at Target in Australia but the shelves are usually cleared out of all product, so you’re much better off checking out your local David Jones instead. Chi Chi Cosmetics, Designer Brands, Innoxa and Australis Cosmetics have all released new products for the holidays. Chi Chi Cosmetics (available at Target and Myer) have launched face palettes, eyeshadow palettes and perfume gift sets, I particularly like the roller ball perfumes as they are perfect to put in my bag and carry around with me. Designer Brands ( a vegan brand) have launched various eyeshadow and face palettes for the holidays, as well as a new line of fake eyelashes (it’s best to check the Designer Brands website for your local stockist). Innoxa (available at some Priceline stores and Myer) recently released vegan blushes and eyeshadow quads, plus a new foundation and colour correctors, but it’s best to stick to the eyeshadows and blushes as gifts as foundation shades are too hard to match for another person. Australis Cosmetics have had so many new releases this year, I know the contour book is popular with teenagers out there, as are many of their products.
If you’re in the USA then I recommend checking out Colourpop. I have reviewed a few of their products on my blog, but I plan on reviewing a lot more in the new year. They released a limited edition collection at Sephora for Christmas, plus they have their yearly NKLA collection that includes the Puppy Love and Cat Nap super shock shadows where all proceeds go to helping homeless pets. Colourpop provide free shipping for international orders over $50 which makes it a good American brand for Aussies to buy, but it won’t make it in time for Christmas now. Wet N Wild just released a Pro Brush line which features sleek pink metallic handles. They have to be some of the prettiest brushes on the market, so I am going to try and find a way to get them in Australia in the new year.
Something I try to do every Christmas, is buy products from small independent (often single person) brands. One easy way to do this is to buy from one of the Australian Indie Nail Polish brands. I listed a lot of the Australian Indie polish brands in my Guide To Australian Indie Polish Nail Polish blog post. Many of the brands have closed for their Christmas break but some brands are working through. I created a thread in The Australian Indie Polish Appreciation Society Facebook group where brands could comment their opening times over the holidays. Brands that said they will be open over the holidays and continue to ship throughout include Celestial Cosmetics, Hit The Bottle, Bettie Pain Polish, Sayuri Nail Lacquer and Powder Perfect (they will close on 5th Jan instead). I spoke to Megan from Bettie Pain Polish about shipping for Christmas and she said that the 22nd is the last day she can post (by express) to get to you in time for Christmas. I assume most of the other stores will be the same but you will need to check their Turn- Around Time (TAT) to make sure that they have enough time to fill your order and post it.
I hope this post helps you to find the perfect cruelty free gift. If you’re not looking for a present for someone else, these are still great ideas if you want to spoil yourself. I hope you and all of your loved ones have a happy and safe new year and I wish you all the best for the year to come. You can sign up to email updates to get all of my cruelty free blog posts sent to your inbox or follow me on social media – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If you like any of these ideas, or have a great cruelty free gift idea of your own, then let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you.