My Top Five Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands

If you’re someone who enjoys makeup, enjoys the ritual of shower time and facial-care, then you’re probably obsessed with products like me. I have an aunt whose product collection and skincare regime is absolute #Goals, it was through watching her that the beauty bug bit me. However, when I got to UCT and started educating myself on the impact my daily routine had on the earth (yes, I’m that vegan girl, feel free to eye-roll,) I realised how incredibly cruel the beauty actually is. I am not down for animal testing and no matter what your food preferences are going cruelty-free isn’t difficult and it means enjoying self-care guilt-free. Here are my favourite beauty brands that are really accessible in Cape Town and cruelty-free.


  1. Deity Skincare

This 100 percent vegan, Cape Town-based skincare brand is really something special. Their line is small but each product does its job really well. My favourite product has to be their facial oil. This stuff smells amazing, totally hydrates wind-bitten, sun-kissed skin and lasts forever. I also use it on my hair when the frizz gets too much and on my psoriasis, it really soothes it and that’s how you know it will soothe even the driest skin. Their other products include a tea tree and poppy seed face polish, which really gets in there if you have blackheads, a turmeric and activated charcoal mask to draw out impurities and soothe inflammation and an aloe, rose and frankincense face mist that smells divine. The products range between R220-280 and understandably, on a student budget, we don’t normally have a lot of cash to spare. However, their products last really long so it’s an investment.


2) Essence Makeup

Essence makeup is super cheap and the accessible. The line is available at Clicks and Dischem stores and online at Take A lot. The cheapness of this brand is really appreciated when you want something cute but don’t feel like only toast for the rest of the week. I really like their nail polishes, they come in really cute colours and their sheer lipsticks which are lightly pigmented but really pretty. I use their concealer and it works well for me, but be warned-it does oxidise. One major problem is that their shades really aren’t inclusive. Come on, it’s 2018 and we’re in Africa- this is really not okay.


3) The Body Shop

Everyone knows the Body Shop, with their plethora of flavoured shower gels and body butter. Everything in there is cruelty-free and when they have sales, which is often, it can be quite a bargain.  For me their foundations are a winner, they seem to have something for every skin type and they even have lightning and darkening drops in case the shades aren’t your perfect match.


4) Lush

If you’ve ever walked around Cavendish mall, you’ve smelt the lush store. They are cruelty-free but they are on the pricier side. My go-to products are their lip balms, scrubs and tinted lip ices which aren't too pricey and keep my lips from getting crusty in the Capetonian winter.


5) NYX Cosmetics

Okay, guys, the NYX stores are a TRAP. DO NOT go in there unless you have money to burn! However, their products are lush and so far I have no complaints. I just got a mustard yellow eyeshadow that makes my eyes pop and made my bad week a bit better.