First of all, a disclaimer: I am very much an amateur when it comes to beauty (as you can no doubt see from any of my photos) but these are the thoughts from a girl who haphazardly pops things onto her face and hopes for the best…
So as many of you will be aware, we had our van broken into while we were parked just outside of Rome for a food shop (you can read my blog post about it here). Amongst the many things that were taken, was my entire make-up and jewellery bag. I’m sure the thieves took it for the jewellry, but ironically all my jewellry in the bag was really cheap! It was the make-up in the bag that was the expensive stuff, though I doubt anyone would buy second hand well-used mascara and foundation!
I had already recently started converting my products to cruelty free and vegan, but I wanted to use up my old stuff first so as not to be wasteful. I definitely go through products really slowly so a lot of stuff in that cosmetics bag was over three years old… I’ve therefore never had to spend a huge amount on make-up in one go before – my collection of make-up had been built up over years of gradual purchases. But now that it’s all gone, I realised I had a lot to replace…
I had some money set aside for going back to England, so I dipped into that to buy my replacement make-up. I just bought enough that I can do a basic make-up look for everyday. The bright side of my missing make-up was that I could now purposefully only buy vegan and cruelty-free make-up!
However, I started getting a serious headache thinking about where to buy vegan and cruelty-free make-up in Italy… Living in a van, not only do I have limited internet access, but I also do not have an address, meaning that ordering off the internet is a no go. There was only one beauty store that I’d seen on our travels across Europe and that I knew did vegan/cruelty-free products: Sephora.
I did some digging and found a really useful blog post by Cruelty-Free Kitty that clearly listed all of the vegan and cruelty-free beauty companies in Sephora. I walked through the shop, clutching my phone with the blog post open as if it were a life raft. It became even more useful when the Italian Sephora ladies started arguing aggressively with me about what was vegan and what wasn’t… They tried telling me that Benefit is vegan/cruelty-free (it’s not) and that aluminium, used in Kat Von D products, is not vegan (it’s a metal, not an animal product so it’s vegan). But they were talking to a chemist with the internet behind her so I was confident enough to bypass their “advice”. Evidently buying vegan/cruelty-free is not easy in a foreign country, even in an international shop like Sephora. I got there in the end though, and this is what I purchased (R.I.P my bank account):
My New Items From Sephora in Rome
Tweezers by Sephora
Yep, when they stole my make up stuff, they also inevitably took my tweezers. Well, my eyebrows like their daily plucking (I lie, they hate it and resent me), and these bright yellow specimens were the only tweezers I could find in the shop. They aren’t as good as my old ones and I despise the colour but they are able to drag my hairs out of my skin just fine.
Make-up sponges by Sephora
I only recently bought my last make-up sponges and they CHANGED MY WORLD. Also, it was a heck of a lot cheaper to buy 2 of these bad boys than to buy a whole set of brushes. It is very therapeutic to spend ten minutes patting your face with mini sponges, I highly recommend them!
Lock-it foundation by Kat Von D
My last lock-it foundation was perfect and I was impressed with it’s ability to match my pale-as-the-driven-snow-even-after-6-months-travelling face so I was heart-broken when it was stolen. I knew I wanted the same again but could not remember the shade I had loved. However, I left Sephora with my new lock-it, happily thinking that I’d found the right shade with ‘Light 45 Neutral’, as it seemed to ring a bell. Well, I was wrong and now I look slightly yellow. However, I am a woman who embraces her mistakes, so expect to see yellow Sarah for the next year as I attempt to get through the bottle and please don’t worry if you think I have jaundice. Ta.
Lock-it concealer creme by Kat Von D
I have a very red face (technically rosacea) which is fun to cover up with layers of concealer and this one works nicely. Again, it is super pale which is great because I seem to be physically incapable of tanning (only burning and turning even more red). If you are pale, then this is spot on (I’m so punny).
24-hour Super Brow pomade by Kat Von D
I won’t lie to you, my friends. I have no idea what a pomade actually is, but this appears to be a cream that you put on your eyebrows. It fills in my brows quite happily and I like to use this product to define my evil-super-villain eyebrow arch. I got it in a medium brown because they’d run out of the one I wanted and they sneakily gave me this instead without telling me and I didn’t notice until I’d got home. BUT it suits my colouring anyway and I’m just thankful they didn’t try to give me the green coloured one (though I do hope I’d have noticed that swap).
Slanted eyebrow brush (02) by Kat Von D
I adore angled brushes – they give me an illusion that I can be precise and accurate, which is something I never usually feel while slopping on my make-up willy-nilly (what a wonderful phrase). I previously had an amazing set of Ecotools brushes, which included an angled brush, and I’m going to order them in the future for eyeshadow brushes as they are vegan. But I opted for this Kat Von D number in the meantime and it works well: fills in my brows without complaint and with the illusion of precision. What more could I want?
White Peach eye shadow palette by Too Faced
IT SMELLS OF PEACHES. Ok, this is one of the prettiest things I’ve ever bought for myself and I regret nothing. So many glittery but wearable colours and IT SMELLS OF PEACHES! I don’t even care that the flies like the smell of it just as much as me or that it was by far the most expensive thing in this haul. Okay, I care a lil bit. I forgot to buy eye shadow brushes in Italy so I’ve been applying these with my fingers…BUT IT’S PRETTY AND SMELLS OF PEACHES.
Trooper Tattoo Liner by Kat Von D
Ignore the hype because this eyeliner is not as good as everyone claims it is. I definitely prefer my last eyeliner, which was the epic ink liner from Nyx (also cruelty free but apparently owned by L’Oréal which isn’t, so it depends on how you feel about that). The Nyx one was more glidey and pigmented and I miss it dearly. This Kat Von D eyeliner is dryer and harder to apply over layers and just isn’t as nice to use. Will not be purchasing again, nope.
Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced
Big bold claims by Too Faced and definitely not true in the slightest. Do not replace sex with this mascara. If you are looking to replace sex with this mascara, you shall be highly disappointed. It’s also too expensive for what it is… Maybe in my ignorance, I am not applying it properly but my lashes go all clumpy and sad when I apply it and I still greatly prefer sex. 2/10, sorry Too Faced. (Do not comment on my spidery eye lashes when you see them, I am greatly aware. If however, you know how to get non-clumpy human eye lashes from this mascara, please teach me your ways, wise one).
Hideaway Comfort Matte Lipstick by Urban Decay
I wanted a lippy that I could use every day so a nudey one was my option of choice and I fell in love with Hideaway by Urban Decay. I’d had a couple of their lipsticks before, and my favourite formula is their comfort matte range. They glide over the skin, aren’t too dry or too moist and they look divine. I am very happy with this as a base for my lipstick collection and I’ll definitely be adding to it over time!
That was the last of my Sephora haul, but for the sake of completeness, I’m also going to show you the two things that the thieves spared.
Bits and bobs that the thieves spared:
Wonder Stick for highlight and contour by Nyx
So I had this lil nugget tucked away as a spare for when my three-year old contour stick ran out and the thieves missed it. Nyx is cruelty free as mentioned above and although I only really use the contour end, I think it’s a really great product. I can’t really contour but I give it a good go and it helps hide my double chin a bit!
Alchemist Holographic highlighter palette by Kat Von D
Well, why would they want to take this? I’m afraid that that the Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic highlight palette DOES NOT TRAVEL WELL. Each day, I scrape a little bit more random powder off of the mirror and pat it onto my face. The colours have blended into each other and there’s more of the highlighter in my mini vacuum than in my palette but it’s still usable. And if you’re not travelling in a van, then it’s a great product.
That’s all the things I bought and the couple of bits that were spared in the pillage of the van. This is a bit of an unusual post for this blog so let me know of you’ve enjoyed it by leaving a comment or a cheeky like! Hope you’re all well, and definitely check out Cruelty-free Kitty’s posts on vegan and cruelty free make-up!