Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan beauty products: 3 things to know

Throughout the past year and a half, I have been looking into cruelty-free and vegan beauty products. I have been wanting to make the switch to vegan for one reason: animal cruelty. I am not ready to go 100% in my everyday eating habits, but I am ready to be more conscious in my beauty and style. I hate seeing videos on beauty product testing, how different beauty products ingredients are gotten, how different fabrics (leather in particular) are made, etc. It breaks my heart.

While I was searching the different resources on cruelty-free and vegan products, I came across a lot of interesting information, made a PINTEREST board of my favorites, and made a list of the top three things I learned about Cruelty-free vs. Vegan beauty products

Cruelty-free and Vegan are not the same thing.

Many people think that cruelty-free and vegan are the same thing, but THEY ARE NOT. Some products will tell you on their packaging that the product does not contain any animal derived ingredients, but that does not mean that they do not animal test.

Cruelty-free. If a beauty product is cruelty-free, it means that the neither the product nor the product ingredients went through animal testing. Basically: as long as a product is not tested on animal at any point in the development process, it is cruelty-free. 

Side note: some beauty brands are owned by parent companies, and those companies will test on animals, but the brand itself doesn't test. Confusing, yes, but an example of this is Urban Decay. Urban Decay is owned by L'Oreal. L'Oreal as a brand uses animal testing, but Urban Decay DOES NOT. 

Vegan. If a beauty product is vegan, that means that a) it doesn't contain any animal ingredients (gelatin), and b) it doesn't contain any ingredients derived from animals (ie. beeswax, lanolin, honey). 

Just because something is Cruelty-Free, it doesn't mean that it is also Vegan.

Just because a beauty product is marketed as cruelty-free, it doesn't mean that it is also vegan. Examples of this are Burt's Bees and BITE. Burt's Bees products are natural and cruelty-free at every step of the development process, but the majority of their products contain honey and beeswax. Honey and beeswax are two ingredients that are derived from animals (in this case, bees), so that means that they are not vegan. BITE on the other hand uses lanolin, beeswax, or carmine in their lipsticks, but they do not animal test. 

However, there are many cruelty-free brands out there that are either offer vegan products or are in the process of reformulating products to reflect the vegan ideal. Examples of brands that offer vegan products include Kat Von D, Too Faced, Becca, The Balm, and IT Cosmetics.

In addition, there are a lot of vegan brands on the market. These brands include Pacifica, e.l.f., EcoTools, NCLA, Trust Fund Beauty, and Derma E, to name a few. 

*While doing research into "if vegan products are also cruelty free", I was met with mixed opinions. According to PETA, vegan products are cruelty-free, in addition to not having products from animals, but according to big cruelty-free and vegan bloggers, vegan products can still be tested on animals. For more information, read this blog post (it was really helpful).

There are so many resources out there.

My best friend's mom has been vegan for the past 10 years, and I have to commend her for that. See, when she made the choice to go vegan, the interwebs didn't have the resources to help her; like they do now. Today, there are so many resources out there for people wanting to go vegan, cruelty-free, or just wanting to dip their toes in the water via beauty products. I can't even begin to tell you how many beauty bloggers are vegan or cruelty-free, but I can tell you that they are so helpful if you want to try either one. 

Some of my favorites --->

Cruelty-Free Kitty has an ultimate guide to cruelty-free and vegan beauty brands (2017). In addition to her guide, Suzi also has beauty product guides, posts for cruelty-free beginners, and more. 

Ethical Elephant has a complete list of 100% vegan beauty products, and in addition to talking about beauty products, Vicky also dives into clothes, purses, shoes, etc. 

Vegan Beauty Review posts beauty reviews of products that are either cruelty-free, vegan, or both. Sunny also posts discounts and promo codes, product demos, and even wrote a book about DIY vegan things. 

Other helpful resources include:
Leaping Bunny

Have you ever thought about Cruelty-Free or Vegan beauty products?

cruelty-free beauty products

Pretty Woman NYC Nail Polish Review

Cruelty-free nail polish is my newest obsession. I love companies who care about animals and their customers: meaning that they offer nail polish that is cruelty-free, vegan, and free of harmful ingredients. While looking for nail polish brands that would fancy my obsession, I came across Pretty Woman NYC. They are a US based brand that specializes in nail polish, artificial nails, nail treatments, nail art kits, and nail accessories. 

I was introduced to Pretty Woman NYC back in October 2017, when I first tried their Nail Medic line. The nail medic line is a nail treatment line that includes hardners, proctectors, growers, etc. I had tried 4 products from the line, and they revolutionized my brittle nails. I had growth, strength, and they felt healthier.

After trying the Nail Medic products, I just knew I NEEDED to try out their nail polish, too. AND I did! 

I was able to get my hands on six bottles of Pretty Woman NYC nail polish. 
Run Forrest :: a deep green
I Can't Deal :: the perfect greige
Sand N Sunset :: a pinky champagne color that dries with a sandy texture
Electric Love :: a metallic cobalt purple
Better Latte Than Never :: a burnt orange that screams FALL
Eat Your Heart Out :: a deep reddish brown shimmer

To date, I have worn 3 of the 6 colors.
I am waiting for a season change to wear the others. 
Run Forrest
Sand N Sunset
I Can't Deal
My thoughts
Application. The polish was on the thicker side, but it was easy to manipulate. One coat covered about 75%, and if you are looking for a sheer coverage, then one coat would do for you. I used 2 coats and I loved the creaminess. 

Longevity. I used a top coat with each application and was able to get 7-10 days before I saw signs of chipping. 

Color Selection. While on Pretty Woman NYC's website, I was amazed at their variety of colors. They have shimmers, sands, neons, glitters, chromes, gels, ceramics, and pantones. 

Price. I would have to say that for the price of the nail polish, it really outdoes itself. The polish itself is right on par with high end brands that I have tried (heck, it may even be better), and for only $7.99 a bottle, it's a steal. 

I would definitely recommend Pretty Woman NYC to any gal looking for a new nail polish brand to try. I love how their formulas are 10 free, vegan, Cruelty-Free, Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Petrochemical-Free, GMO-Free, and Triclosan-Free; and they stand up to high end brands. If you are interested in trying out Pretty Woman NYC's products, you can find them on their website or at Walmart, Five Below, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. 

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post. I was given the Pretty Woman NYC nail polish shown in the photos above in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are 100% my own.

Pretty Woman NYC nail polish, blogger nail polish favorites, nail polish, vegan

15 best beauty products of 2017

Talking about beauty products- whether it be on the blog or in person- is one of my all time favorite things to do. I love trying out products, because there is always something new hitting the market, and my goal for 2017 was to try at least 3 new products a month. My rules were simple- if I had already tried the product in the past, I could try it again- as long as I hadn't used it in six months and I would only buy travel sizes (if possible), so I wasn't out alot of money if I didn't like the product. 

I must admit, 2017 was a VERY fruitful year in terms of beauty products, for me. Of all the products I tried, I was able to find 10 that would widdle their way into my daily line up, I was able to find my HG setting spray, and I was able to find a new toothpaste. AND the best part: the majority- if not all- of products were and are cruelty-free! 


I am a dry shampoo addict. Plain and simple. So when I came across a product that was both dry shampoo AND conditioner, I knew I had to grab it. This makes my hair feel fresh and silky and doesn't leave a residue. 

Most of the time I take showers at night. Since I hate blow drying my hair before bed, I love how this cream helps my hair air dry overnight and then it's ready to style in the morning. 

The hair and body moisturizer is a multitasker that moisturizers both your hair AND your body- go figure! It leaves my skin feeling tingly/minty after a shower and gives my hair the moisture that it needs, especially since I have well water.

A thermal protector that I can actually stand behind. A few sprays of this product and my hair looks shiny and healthy. Plus I don't have to worry about fried hair.


The set includes travel sizes of Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Face Oil, 100% Squalane Oil, Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel, and Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Cloths. I use the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Face Oil almost daily, and my skin looks like it loves me. Not only does the oil smell so good- like roses, duh, my skin feels hydrated and looks glowy. I also really like the Squalane Oil. It's very moisturizing to my hands and when I put it on my hair, my husband told me my hair smelled good.

The device is an at-home skincare tool that gives you professional microdermabrasion results and can be used on your face, arms, legs, and feet. I can't even begin to tell you how easy the PMD Personal Microderm is to use. After one use, my face felt so much smoother and healthier. The best part: even though I have sensitive skin, the PMD Personal Microderm did not irritate my face. 

It has a silky texture but doesn't just sit on my skin being all oily. My face feels so hydrated and soft.

Supercharged with vitamin c, this serum is like a daily multivitamin for the skin. It absorbs quickly and leaves my face feeling radiant.

This oil is seriously everything you have ever wanted in an oil- it's cruelty-free, vegan, natural, moisturizing, can almost be used everywhere, and SMELLS AMAZING!


This powder does wonders on my face. Not only does it blur out my pores and sometimes uneven skin tone, but it also gives a nice glow.

My HG setting spray. Not only does it mattify my shiny skin, but it keeps my makeup from moving an inch.

Mascara is my all time favorite makeup product. I love the brush that the Buxom has- it's big with little bristles. It volumizes, separates, and defines.


The product contains keratin, which is a protein & a major component in hair, skin, and nails, and is my FAVORITE nail product that I have tried in awhile. I have been using it since October and I can actually tell a difference in the strength and growth of my nails. 

Even thought it's a nail strengthener, I use it as a top coat. It helps the polish last, keeps away chips, and looks so shiny! 


With coconut oil and aloe vera, this tooth paste has a soothing mint flavor. I fell in love with the toothpaste due to its organic ingredients and policy against animal testing. For me, who has sensitive teeth, the toothpaste really helps keep my mouth clean.

Did you discover any new beauty products in 2017?

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