Some may find the Vegans in their lives difficult to buy for, but I enjoy giving Vegan products because they're usually made from amazing botanicals that are great for the skin. Plus I sleep a little easier at night knowing that I'm supporting brands that don't do animal testing.
Sprout Beauty- New York beauty insiders are sometimes reluctant to reveal their best kept secrets, like the Brooklyn-based Sprout Beauty organic skincare line. But alas, the secret is out on this brand. I'm particularly obsessed with their Cream ($32) that can be used on the face or the body, that is made with Fair Trade Shea Butter from Ghana, extra-virgin Coconut Oil, and extra-virgin Olive Oil.
That is the mother of all Sprout products, followed closely by the moisturizing (and inexpensive at $12!) Makeup Remover made of Sweet Almond Oil, extra-virgin Olive Oil, and Jojoba Oil. These products smell incredible because of the natural ingredients, but they actually work. Oh, and I love the re-usable glass bottles!
Too Faced makeup brushes- These brushes are cruelty-free because they are made of "Teddy Bear Hair", aka high-quality synthetic Taklon fibers rather than the animal hair you so often find in makeup brushes. Most people don't even realize that their makeup brushes are made from animal hair... I know I didn't until I became a makeup artist and learned the hard way that 1/2 the brushes I owned were real hair. Needless to say I had some major purging to do of my brush collection, but now my new collection has a TON of Too Faced brushes. They're affordable, completely cruelty-free, and they're pink! I'm completely obsessed.
The Essential 3-piece set ($39) has all you need to create a perfect eye look.
Sunday Riley makeup line- I'm so excited about this launch! (So excited in fact that I wrote about it here already). Every makeup artist kind of secretly obsesses over Diane Kendal, who's done the makeup at like EVERY important runway show, so the fact that she consulted with Sunday Riley on creating this line makes me want to go buy it right this minute. But beyond that, they use high-end botanical ingredients in their skincare and makeup line that make the products highly effective, but safe for sensitive skin. The makeup line is pretty wallet-friendly with eye shadows at $26, blush at $30, and powders at $40-$45. You can find the line on Barneys.com.