Thursday, December 07, 2017

Cruelty-free Makeup Brands available in India online

Crueltyfree brands available in India online

I had a phase while transitioning into using cruelty-free products, where I wanted to quit. Because there were not many certified cruelty-free brands available in India. There were a lot of cruelty-free and vegan skincare and haircare options available but makeup wasn't easy. But now they can be accessed on various ecommerce websites. Though the prices are not exactly "drugstore",  you can always get them on discount.

I have compiled few certified cruelty-free brands that are available online in India. Sephora NNNow holds high-end brands such as Smashbox and Becca, while all drugstore brands are available on Amazon, Nykaa, Jabong and Purplle. I will be also listing down the availability of these brands on various websites. I have narrowed down all the cruelty-free, vegan makeup brands that are available online. I will be compiling different brand lists categorising  them into skincare, haircare, makeup and skincare tools and offline brands available in India.


Ardell is well known for their lashes. Though they've led off with their makeup line recently. The brand offers various styles of lashes for every ocassion. Demi Wispies are cult favourite!
Ardell is certified cruelty-free by PETA.
Available on Amazon, Nykaa, Jabong, Snapdeal, Flipkart.


When Australis was launched online in India, the first thing I wanted to do was purchase face and body tint. But upon reading, I concluded that it is nowhere near being similar to MAC Face and Body Foundation.
Australis is certified by Choose Crueltyfree.
Available on Amazon, Nykaa, Jabong, Flipkart, Snapdeal and HOKMakeup.

Beauty Blender

I cannot imagine my makeup life without an orginal beauty blender! Set aside all those dupes and similar sponges, nothing compares this little squishy tool. Shopmissa's Wonder blender is by far the closest dupe. Beauty Blender is sold in China and is categorised as makeup tool and hence does not require animal testing.
Beauty Blender is 100% vegan.
Available online in India though there is no authenticity guarantee (unless stated). You can get it on Camera Ready Cosmetics, Beauty Bay and Cultbeauty; these websites offer worldwide shipping.


Becca is available online on exclusively in India. Becca is acquired by Estee Lauder, but the brand remains cruelty-free.

Ciate London

I heaved a sigh of relief when Ciate London was launched in India. I was distraught with unavailability of cruelty-free nail polishes in India. But then I already have the Ciate Advent Calender 2016. Their makeup line looks amazing and fun. Some of their products are 100% vegan.
Ciate London is PETA certified.
Available online on Amazon and Nykaa.


I am fancying some good drugstore makeup and Catrice is on the list. Few select products are available online in India, but I believe it was launched in India? I don't know.
The brand belongs to Cosnova and most of their products are vegan.
Available online on Amazon.


I vividly remember concluding Essence cosmetics as non-cruelty-free. But upon in-depth reading, the parent company, Cosnova, although not certified by any organisation, is considered cruelty-free.
Some products are 100% vegan.
Available online on Amazon, Nykaa, Purplle.


A Swedish makeup brand that is affordable, but it is not quite cheap and cheerful in India.
IsaDora is certified cruelty-free by PETA.
Available on Amazon, Nykaa and Shoppersstop.

Lottie London

The packaging is! I am in love with their packaging, and I am hoping to see their makeup line launching soon. Their duo chrome lip glosses and nail polishes are minimalistic and chic.
Lottie London is PETA certified.
Lottie London brushes are available online on Amazon, Nykaa, Habbana.

LA Colors and LA Girl

Both these brands belong to Beauty 21 Cosmetics Inc. Take my word, LA girl Pro HD Foundation is incredible and so are their concealers. Both these brands are certified cruelty-free by PETA.
Almost all the products are available online on Amazon, Nykaa, HOK Makeup, Habbana and Purplle.

LA Splash

LA Splash belongs to Jon Davler Inc. or IONI Cosmetics. The products are glutenfree and some of them are 100% vegan.
LA Splash holds PETA certification.

Iba Halal

Iba Care is certified cruelty-free by PETA. The brand offers halal lipsticks and other makeup products. The lipsticks are inexpensive for 195 INR!
Not all vegan products are halal, there is a difference between both. Halal products donot contain any animal by-product and forbidden ingredients such as alcohol.


Milani is PETA and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free! The matte lipsticks, the blushes and amore matte lipsticks are hit. Some of their products are vegan.
Available on Amazon and Nykaa.


Natio is certified cruelty-free by Choose Crueltyfree. Natio is sold in China exclusively online which does not require animal testing. You can read an indepth post on the brands statement here.
Natio offers both skincare and colour cosmetics.
Available on Amazon, Nykaa and Sephora NNNow.


Inglot is the brand that goes unnoticed in competition to MAC. But I believe the quality is quite similar to MAC. If only their foundations and shades weren't so confusing. Inglot is available in select cities, but it can be purchased on Nykaa and Majorbrands.

The Body Shop

I am a fan of neither their skincare nor makeup, but I am just glad they are cruelty-free. The Body Shop holds cruelty-free certification by PETA.
Available on all leading websites, Nykaa and


Smashbox is PETA certified cruelty-free. Estee Lauder is the parent company and conducts animal testings. Smashbox entered the Chinese market but pulled out immediately.  As of now, the brand is not sold in Mainland China, which requires animal testing.
Smashbox is available on Nykaa and Sephora NNNow.

the Balm

I always thought the Balm is certified cruelty-free but I was wrong. It is not sold in Mainland China, and most of their products are vegan. phew!
Available on Nykaa.

Zuii Organics

An Australian brand I came across when I was looking at organic brands. What caught my attention was that their products are made from flower extracts and plants. Imagine a lipstick made from flowers extracts! Though I am yet to try their line, the pricing is holding me back. The products are certified vegan by The Vegan Society, and the cruelty-free certification  is provided by Choose Crueltyfree.
Available on Nykaa and Amazon.

Wet n Wild

The brand was launched on Nykaa on 1 December 2017. I jumped at the chance and placed two orders. Currently,  I am testing them and am so glad the brand is now available in India.
Wet n Wild is certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny (read their status update here).


NYX has been a cult favourite with their soft matte lip creams. NYX is owned by L'oreal, but the brands is cruelty-free and certified by PETA.
NYX is available on Amazon and Nykaa.

Most of these brands are certified cruelty-free by PETA. Other brands that claim to be cruelty-free, such as MUA, Freedom London, Makeup Obsession and I  Makeup, and are owned by Tam Beauty are not certified.
Indian brands such as Lotus Herbals, Sugar Cosmetics, Seasoul and LYN are not certified cruelty-free, but they claim that their products are not tested on animals. I am awaiting replies from Lotus Herbals and Seasoul.
I am drafting an in-depth post on cruelty-free standards by the organisations such as PETA, CCF and Leaping Bunny. 

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in Classic Beige and Amber Beige Review, Swatches, Shades and FOTD

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation Review, Swatches,Shades and FOTD

I was looking for a photo-friendly foundation, and my search ended with Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in the shade Amber Beige. But when I received it, the shade was a tad darker than I anticipated. My skin tone if described would appropriately be Medium Tan Neutral. I have Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation in the same colour, and it is a good match in summer and is completely undetectable on my skin. Though Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in Classic Beige is described as Medium Tan Neutral on the website. I thought probably going a shade darker would be a good choice; I was wrong!

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in India

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in classic beige is a decent match for me when I am not tanned (update: this did not oxidise on me for a few uses, but now after being exposed to light and air, it does oxidise on unprimed skin). Amber Beige has a bit of red undertone to it which brings out my redness and looks darker than my neck and chest. I prefer mixing classic beige and amber beige in 2:1 when I acquire a bit of tan. I am not sure of my shade in MAC studio fix, but MAC Master Match Foundation in 5.0 is almost a good match. I have looked up and have watched videos for all the medium/tan shades to make the guesswork for the shade that would be my closest match. I will be mentioning MAC equivalents of Wet n Wild Photo Focus shades for Indian skin tones.

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation is now available in India exclusively on Nykaa. I purchased classic beige and amber beige on Beautdor for 850 and 600 INR, respectively. And I am glad the price point on Nykaa is decent and retails for 599 INR.

Why I picked Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation?

A drugstore foundation which is vegan, gluten-free and fragrance free  Also sulphate, paraben and oil free. Wet N Wild is cruelty-free and is certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny.


Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation Classic Beige, Amber Beige Shades and Demo

The fact that I would find my perfect match for $5.99 or 599 INR left me exhilarated. Although I am unsure of my match in MAC, I had got shade matched in Lancome. I am in shade 03 for Lancome Miracle Air De Teint (leans more warm on me).
I have neutral undertone which was evident only after brainstorming research. I used warm under-toned foundations and always wondered why my skin tone looked muddy.
The shade classic beige oxidises on me and looks better than amber beige which shows up a bit too red on my skin. The picture below is quite evident; it is stark in person.

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation MAC NC40

Wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation Swatches forNC 35 NC 37 NC 40 NC42  NC 44 NC 45 skin tone

For tan/olive/Indian skin tones the shade referencing as per my finding:

For neutral/warm undertones ~

Cream Beige/Golden Beige would be equivalent to MAC NC35NC37
Classic Beige/Bronze Beige would be equivalent to MAC NC37NC40
Amber Beige/Dessert Beige would be equivalent to MAC NC40NC42
Caramel/Toffee would be equivalent to NC44NC45

Wet n wild photo focus foundation for Neutral undertones
Left to Right: Classic Beige, Amber Beige

Wet n wild photo focus foundation swatches for Tan medium olive Indian skin tones
Left to Right: Classic Beige, Amber Beige

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation Review

First of all, I am in love with the light-weight texture. If blended well with a beauty blender or makeup sponge, it is does look and feel weightless. Though Wet N Wild claims that the foundation is fragrance-free, it does have a slight paint smell to it. 
The consistency is medium, and it blends effortlessly on primed skin. I did test this foundation with and without primer, and it works best with a primer underneath. Without primer, it does cling to dry patches and accentuates them. The coverage is light to medium and is buildable upto full coverage as per the claims but honestly I prefer just one layer for photography. I did apply three layers and it accentuated my non-existent pores and clung onto my peach fuzz. I am guessing it would accentuate texture? probably!
A single layer evens out the skin tone and conceals the fading blemishes and scars but fails to cover fresh acne scars.
I dislike setting this foundation with setting powders that I own. But finishing with the Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Diffused adds such an ethereal glow. I am waiting to receive the Photo Focus Powder and Concealer I ordered from Nykaa.
The finish of the foundation is a cross between satin and matte. It makes the skin appear flawless in daylight and soft flash photography.
It does oxidise on me, and the only way I know to fix it is to use a brightening powder. It did not break me out. I prefer this foundation for quick makeup because it blends in effortlessly. Lately, my skin has been drier than usual. In the pictures below, I am wearing the foundation without primer and setting powder.

Tested Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in Natural Light and Iphone 7 Flash

Wet n wild Photo focus foundation natural light flash test
Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in Classic Beige: Left~ Natural Light <-> Right~ Flash

wet n wild photo focus foundation in Amber Beige natural light flash test iphone7
Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in Amber Beige: Left~ Natural Light <-> Right~ Flash

I love how it looks in natural light, but it looks more flawless in person than in pictures. Silica is the reason why it blurs out all the imperfections. I have both warm white and cool white lights installed in my room, and I find that it does flash back under cool daylight. 
Amber beige flashes back slightly pink due to its red undertone.

Tested Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation with Canon 70D Flash

Tested Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation with Canon 70D Flash
Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation in Amber Beige tested with Canon 70D flash

The camera flash is quite harsh and it did accentuated the dry patches on my nose. Also all my flaws  including facial hair/peach fuzz. But then I had been sitting quite close to the camera.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the texture, finish and how flawless it does make my skin look!
It did not oxidise (one at first, but now when the bottle has been exposed to light and air, it does oxidise on me). The finger marks on those shiny, black caps make me uneasy, but  I am in love with everything else it has to offer. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Five Cruelty-free, SLS & SLES Free Shampoos for Amazing Hair

best sis free paragon free sales free cruelty free shampoos for amazing hair in India

Few years back, I switched to using shampoos devoid of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), and that has made a world of difference between how my hair felt before and after. Thin hair runs in the genes, so I had to look out for products, methods and techniques to maintain the texture and volume of my hair.

The five benefits I noticed after switching to SLS free shampoo:
  • bouncier hair 
  • no clogged pores and acne due to silicones in shampoo and conditioner 
  • less amount required 
  • squeaky clean scalp 
  • no stripping off of natural oils. 
Here are six five cruelty-free, SLS-free, SLES- and paraben-free shampoos I have curated:

The Nature's Co Shampoos

The Nature's Co is PETA certified cruelty-free and contains natural ingredients. The surfactant used is derived from coconut. You can read more here. I have used Nori Hair cleanser; you can read an in-depth post here.  

The other variants available are as follows:
Barley Volumising Hair Cleanser
Apple-Guava Hair Cleanser
Marigold Hair Cleanser
Watercress Hair Cleanser
Sandalwood Hair Cleanser and Conditioner

Lush Shampoos and Bars

The news of Lush relaunching in India circulated when they had completely shut down. I wonder what happened to that! Lush Shampoos contain gentle surfactants such as ammonium laureth sulphate (ALS) and sodium alkyl sulfate. Lush claims that their shampoo bars are for people with sensitive scalp. Sigh! I want Ro's Argan and Jason and the Argan oil!

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo and Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Conditioner

These are the most amazing, refreshing shampoo and conditioner I have used ever. A soft, mild scent yet refreshing; these both left my hair feeling extremely soft. I wish these were available at Sephora India. Their shampoo and conditioner are silicone-free too.

Himalaya Daily Shampoo

I never repurchased this after 2012, I honestly felt the ingredient list was incomplete. This does contain same surfactant base (ALS) as Lush. I did try their protein shampoo and felt that it did make my hair feel a bit thicker to touch. This is by far the cheapest SLS-free shampoo available in India.

Soulflower Shampoo Bars

Rosemary and Lavender Shampoo bar is my favourite. I always stock up on the mentioned variant. Sandalwood Geranium Shampoo bar dries out my hair and scalp, and Let your Hair down shampoo makes my hair greasy pretty quickly. I have a criterion for liking shampoos: two days down and no grease; a keeper!

Kama Ayurveda Shampoos*

Update: The second ingredient on the list is SLES. Although it is SLS-free, it is not SLES-free.

*This list is updated on 22 May 2020.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Messy Hair, Bold brows, Nerd Glasses Makeup | Two Makeup Looks to Wear With Glasses

I have been wearing glasses since I was 11, and glasses weren't stylish back then. I shied away from wearing them and switched to contacts as soon as my ophthalmologist recommended them. I never preferred glasses unless it was a necessity where makeup was out of the question and eye makeup was not even a choice!

I prefer wearing glasses these days and coordinating my makeup and clothing. Just these geeky nerdy glasses.

I never found an eyewear that fits right or looks good on my small face. I am much amused to pair bold brows with glasses. To be honest, this isn't the usual nerdy; this is just a basic wayfarer frame, the smallest I could hunt down.

Anastasia Beverly Hills' Dip Brow Pomade has me spaced out, and I tend to go overboard a lot! I am just wearing the Brow Pomade here in these pictures. I have asymmetrical brows; one is arched and thick and another is straight and sparse.

I took pictures of two looks I wear often, mostly in hurry. Bold brows, nerdy glasses and no-makeup makeup & bold brows paired with coordinated cheeks and lips. I abstained from wearing extremely bold opaque lipstick.

All I did was fill in the blanks using dip brow pomade.

In the picture above, I am wearing Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation mixed with The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturiser. I did set my T-zone with Kryolan Translucent Powder and bronzed-up my skin using Physicians Formula Bronzer. For lips, I smeared Maybelline Lip Polish in Glam 7 to add a diffused coral warmth. I did skip blush and eye makeup except for mascara.

And lots of curling!

For hair, I did half up and half down and secured them with bobby pins.

makeup for glasses Bold Brows messy hai nerdy glasses makeup

Stripes and bright lips is one of my favourite combinations. Because I'd never wear red lipstick with solid black shirt. Never. Don't even ask me why?!

I have used a tinted lip balm instead of full blown opaque colour since I bronzed my cheeks and temples. For base, I am wearing a combination of MAC Matchmaster and Bourjous Healthy Mix Serum for medium coverage. I generously bronzed my side face in shape of three, added a little bronzer in the crease as well.  I applied mascara after lots of eyelash curling!
For cheeks and lips, I used the same product (shea butter + almond oil + Sleek Lip paint in Pinkini).
I have used this as lip and cheek tint, blending on the apples of my cheeks using a Beauty Blender. Precisely, I wanted diffused pink on the cheeks. I love wearing lipstick as blush.

makeup looks for women who wear glasses

I am listing my five favourite makeup tips and tricks for women who wear glasses:

Light coverage to avoid spectacle marks

I prefer light coverage foundation, and I cannot bear the layers—primer, foundation, concealer—unless I am taking photographs. In real, I prefer looking even instead of camouflaged. If you want to add coverage, adding a long wearing primer (and using eyeshadow primer on the bridge where glasses rest) and pressing the foundation into the skin works. Make sure to set your foundation and concealer in place before wearing glasses.

Brighten the under-eyes and add mascara

Eyes appear smaller through glasses. I make sure to curl my eyelashes at least twice before adding a layer or two of mascara. Do not build too much, as it can lead to streaks and smudges on glasse—skip lengthening mascara and switch to volumising one. I skip eyeliner altogether and tight line if need be or use an eyeshadow to elongate the shape of my eyes. Do not forget to brighten your under-eyes with illuminating concealer or finishing powder.

Subtle lips vs bold lips

I never experimented pairing bold lips with glasses. Perhaps, I am too meek to pair them and effortlessly carry it off. I would prefer subtly coloured lips for a natural look or bright tinted balms and glosses (blotted) any time.

Neutral eyeshadows

I cannot wear glittery sparkly colours on my eyelids when I am wearing glasses. Glasses and glittery eye makeup just throws me off balance; I mean that is not for me. All I do is prime my eyelids to even out the discolouration and add bronzer in the crease.

Bold, bolder, boldest

Now this is not the kind of drawing I prefer. I keep my shape natural and asymmetrical and draw on strokes with pomade or pencil, creating thin strokes of hair, mimicking the natural ones. Perfectly done symmetrical brows somehow look unnatural to me. At times I set my brows using just clear brow gel, or soap for hold, but most days pomade or pencil works just fine!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Is Sebamed Cruelty free?

Is Sebamed cruelty free? Sebamed Vegan product list
Souce: Sebamed

Sebamed is a pharmaceutical brand which once was Leaping Bunny certified. And then lost their certification when it started selling in China.
Perhaps a misstatement must have been floating around in some of my posts that Sebamed is cruelty-free. And I purchased few products to try under the same pretext. Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Bar and Clear Face Cleansing Foam works amazing for my acne vulgaris. Though a little drying on my combination skin.
But I did read that Sebamed is Cruelty-free. I was convinced until I read their FAQs.

Are Sebamed Products Vegan?

Sebamed products do not consist animal-derived ingredients. Except for Sebamed Visio Gentle Toner and Sebamed Hand & Nail Balsam.
Sebamed Visio Gentle Toner contains hydrolyzed silk that is derived from silkworm cocoons. And Sebamed Hand & Nail Balsam has hydrolyzed keratin which is derived from sheep.

Beeswax is used in the listed products:

Sebamed Healing & Protection Cream
Sebamed Lip Defense SPF 30
Sebamed Baby Diaper Rash CreamSebamed Extreme Dry Skin 10% Urea Repair Lotion
All Sebamed Soap Free Cleansers

Sebamed is vocal about their regulations they follow and does not brand themselves as 'Cruelty-free'.
Animal testing is not involved in the manufacturing process of the products. But they are unsure of the ingredients and their testing on animals and hence no relevant statement could be provided. The manufacturing process follows the German Cosmetics Regulation which has banned finished products test on animals.

Sebamed sells in China

Sebamed acquired the Leaping Bunny Certification in 2014 and lost soon after they started selling in China. Here is the link to the website:
Animal Testing on Finished Products is mandatory in China.

Parent Company: Sebapharma GmbH&Co.

Conclusion: The finished products are not tested on animals but the ingredients used are perhaps tested on animals which conclude Sebamed as Non-Cruelty-free.