What’s the difference between Cruelty-Free and Vegan Products?

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In the beauty and lifestyle industry “Vegan and Cruelty- Free” are definite buzz words that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Here on Beauty by Buffy, I aim to educate and encourage you all to make the best decisions for your specific needs. Whatever fits your lifestyle needs that will lead to a healthy and happy life. In order to properly do that we need to first identify & define these terms and determine how they best fit into our life.

(If you want to learn even more each of the Logos presented will be linked at the bottom of the page)

What is a Cruelty- Free Product?

For a product to be considered Cruelty-Free, the entire development process of the products (from the early production process to distribution) must not have any association to animal testing AT ALL. Pay close attention to the companies that say things like “we only test when Required by Law”! In the past I personally thought it was okay, but then I quickly learned that companies that engage in this practice probably test their finished products on animals. They use a third-party in order to get away with claiming their Cruelty-Free status and to comply with various regional laws around the world… this makes them not so Cruelty-Free if you ask me. Tashina and Justin from logicalharmony.net do a really great job on updating the lists of companies you can trust so be sure to check it out!

A great example of a company that develops products that are cruelty-free but NOT strictly vegan, is Shea Moisture. Although they do have a variety of products that are vegan their focus is on Non-Toxic products and advocating for great causes such as inclusion, diversity, women empowerment, etc… (you can see why I lalalove this brand!). They have a strict NO animal testing policy and they are certified cruelty-free by both Leaping Bunny and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, however, most of their products contain animal-derived ingredients like milk, lanolin, honey, royal jelly, and carmine.

So the choice really comes down to what you value and what you can realistically commit to on a day to day basis. I personally aim for non-toxic and ethical brands, I certainly do not condone animal testing as I truly believe it is an unnecessary evil.

What is a Vegan Product?

In order for a product to qualify as Vegan, it shouldn’t have animal or animal part ingredients. Some examples we see on a day to day basis are  animal fats, or any ingredient derived from an animal, ( for example: honey, beeswax, yogurt, etc.) Many products may seem Vegan at first, because many times they are marketed as a non-toxic or natural product and these all fall under the ethical and health & wellness umbrella.

For example, a beauty product that contains beeswax can be Cruelty- Free but NOT Vegan. This is where your judgment comes in and it is up to you to decide if you are strictly Vegan, Cruelty- Free, Organic, etc.  This touches upon a personal choice that can only be made through experience and research.

So how can you tell which products are Vegan? Well, some great organizations have provided our community with Cruelty-Free Logos that help identify trusted products & brands. The Vegan Society and Vegan Action (click on names for more info) have provided us with logos to demonstrate that a product has no animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients so that we can shop our little hearts out, guilt free.

Is There Such a Thing as Vegetarian Cosmetics?

You might’ve noticed on one of my previous the Think Dirty August Subscription Box (click here to read) I mentioned various different ‘labels’. They offered Vegan, Cruelty-Free, AND Vegetarian products. I was pleasantly surprised to see that some of my favorite beauty brands, like 100% Pure carried all three labels on their products.

This is an image of a logo you may see on beauty products, toiletries, cleaning products and even food for Vegetarian Products:

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So down to the nitty gritty, the difference between vegan and vegetarian cosmetics is basically the same as the difference between vegan and vegetarian foodie lifestyles. A vegan doesn’t eat animals (including meat, fish, seafood, etc.) and doesn’t eat anything produced by an animal (including eggs, milk, butter, cheese, etc.) and a vegetarian doesn’t eat animals but does eat products made by animals… that’s a lot to take in I know but re-read it a couple of times and you’ll get it, hehe.

So essentially the major difference between vegan and vegetarian cosmetics is that products labeled vegetarian will probably have natural animal-made ingredients (you will see quite often honey & beeswax). Ultimately I encourage you to ALWAYS do your own research and ask questions! It is our right to know.

What Can You Do to Help?

  1. Start supporting Cruelty-Free companies! Unfortunately the only way many companies will take action and listen is through their sales. So when you buy Vegan or Cruelty-Free you are speaking with your money!
  2. Check out all of the organizations mentioned that make these logos possible:
  3. Support fellow Cruelty-Free and Vegan beauty Bloggers
    • Some of my favorite Vegan & Cruelty Free Instagram accounts to follow are:
      • @Rihan
      • @Logicalharmony
      • @Crueltyfreekitty
      • @FashionVeggie

Clean Beauty Awards- CertClean & Pur Picks- Proud Judge

Hello fellow green beauties! I am super excited about this next blog-post as this is when I finally share the news that I have the inside scoop on the Cert Clean and Pur Picks Clean Beauty Awards!

I was lucky enough to be selected as one of last years judges and learning more about the founder and the mission behind Cert Clean, I am beyond honored to collaborate with them and share with you this years winners and the amazing mission behind the company. I personally tested face care and eyeliner and was elated to find some of my tried and true favorites! Brands like 100% Pure and Zuii Organics made the list.

This will be the first of a series of posts about the company and brands involved, the product winners, and my personal favorites.

Out of 311 entries made from all over the world the products were filtered down to the top 15 products under the categories of:

Be sure to visit www.cleanbeautyawards.com/2018-finalists for the complete list of Finalists under each category. Finalists were determined by the average scores of over 80 judges in twelve countries, which I really appreciate because you get truly get an unbiased approach that considers a persons geography, culture, climate, etc.

The mission is to promote the excellence and performance of “free from” beauty products to accelerate the growth of the clean beauty movement. 
For more information: www.cleanbeautyawards.co

Who is Cert Clean?

Cert Clean is a respected Certification system that helps facilitate the shopping process when it comes to finding clean, nontoxic products you can trust. They specifically assess products to ensure they are not formulated with harmful ingredients. CertClean is North America’s leading certification for safer skincare products – over 1000 products carry the CertClean seal of approval.

“CertClean assesses, approves and certifies clean beauty products – look for 1000+ products proudly bearing the CertClean mark.” 

CertClean Team

CertClean partnered up with PurPicks on this Awards to promote and educate people on the cleanest products out there, in order to avoid the use on conventional toxic filled products. There is no reason to compromise on what makes us look and feel good, so CertClean makes it easy for us to choose the best of the best.

Who is PurPicks?

PurPicks is a start-up company, they are total trail blazers in the green beauty industry. They have created the world’s biggest database of certified organic and no-toxic products.

For those unfamiliar with CertClean — it is a certification for safer skincare; it isn’t about how organic or how natural the formulation is but whether or not it contains harmful chemicals.

Why Should You Care?

When buying new products or trying to figure out what would work best for your body, finding the time and putting together all of the information can be overwhelming. Figuring out all of the ins and outs of products can be time consuming. Supporting movements like the CertClean Awards and spreading the word about efforts made to make this world a safer and cleaner place makes all of the difference. I believe change starts with discourse and education. So let’s help spread the word and change the world together!


Save Green While Going Green: Honey REVIEW

There is a myth that “Going Green” and living a healthy lifestyle is very expensive. I have made it my mission to not compromise on quality without sacrificing my savings as well. If you’re anything like me, you consider saving money a sport. Of course, to get good at the game of shopping, you need the right tools. Which brings me to this awesome browser extension my boyfriend introduced me to called Honey.

Honey is a super convenient tool that automatically searches and applies coupon codes for thousands of online stores. It saves you money while you shop on virtually any website.

I used to manually search for online promo codes and waste so much time only to get that dreadful “invalid code” message… So to save time and cash (that I probably shouldn’t be spending in the first place), I installed Honey and it actually worked on one of my favorite organic shopping sites for everything from food, beauty, bath & kitchen supplies. As you can see in the image above there were 29 coupons found on Thrive!

The Honey icon will then light up with the available coupons it found on the site you are on. You can click on the button to see what is available before you actually start shopping or you can wait until checkout and let Honey work its magic.


It doesn’t just stop there! Honey has another amazing feature for Amazon shoppers! Honey has your back and will let you know if you are getting the lowest price {shipping and tax included}, directly on Amazon.


I tested it out on a higher end organic shampoo. I rarely buy it (due to its price) but will splurge on from time to time. You see that orange badge on top of the Amazon price? Honey says that I can save $2.50 through another seller.

It’s important to note that Honey takes seller ratings and reviews into place before making any suggestions.

I really do love this Honey extension! It’s a very subtle extension that won’t get in your way while shopping, instead it will help you. I honestly forget it is even running in the background until it pops up saying that I could save some cash when checking out. Don’t worry, Honey works on most major browsers.

I hope I have that proven that myth wrong and you can continue on your green journey without compromising your budget.


There are so many opportunities to go green and live a healthier lifestyle and still remain on budget. So go on now:

  • Click here to get Honey.
  • Remember to sign up so you can earn rewards as you shop online.
  • Go Green!




Going Green can often come with a hefty price tag. It’s always good to go for organic but let’s be real here sometimes these prices can feel pretty outrageous. So when we just don’t have the option to spend as much as we’d like, it’s good to know what foods we shouldn’t guilt ourselves over. Often times smaller supermarkets like Trader Joe’s will only have the fruits and veggies that often are most heavily sprayed with pesticides available as organic while the rest are just ethically sourced.


It’s a very useful list that I like to use as a guide when shopping. It’s of the 12  fruits and vegetables that have been found to have the highest levels of detected pesticides after being washed, eek! So these are the fruits and veggies to AVOID!

dirty duzen


You guessed it, it’s a list of fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticides detected. This list has changed from time to time, some fruits get bumped off the list so just keep that in mind! Research is never ending and consistently evolving! But when I go shopping I tend to buy fruits that are in season (a quick google search can help you before a grocery shopping trip) and the items on this list.

Our precious little ones are more susceptible to the effects of pesticides because the stages of their organs and nervous systems are still developing. Therefore whenever possible for your youngins’ try to aim for natural and organic foods. 

When I began my journey I was very strict with myself and would even avoid eating certain meals because it wasn’t organic. That I believe is way too restricting and can become too much of a burden. Healthy living should be just that, about LIVING, getting in tune with yourself, and listening to your body. To help you along the way I decided to just create a version of the shopping list many of you may have seen on EWG website. Feel free to click on the photos below to download and print a version for your next shopping trip!

clean fifteen(1)



Through the years of research and experimenting, I’ve compiled some of my favorites go to resources when I am searching new toxic-free or vegan brands, that are also top notch when it comes to quality. This segment will be dedicated to sharing informative articles, important facts to keep in mind, and useful tips that’ll help you lead the healthy, Eco- Chic lifestyle you know you can live!

Here are some of my favorite Apps I refer to when I’m on the go and need a quick reference when trying out some products. They have helped eliminate poor choices when it comes to drugstore products.


Click on the pictures for a direct link to download the App! 

Do keep in mind these are not the be all know all. Ultimately it is up to you to go beyond these sites and do your own research…but that’s why you have me! These are just helpful tools that have worked great so far!

Below is a short list of the sites I use to find new Green Glam Organic Beauty and Skincare Products. They do an amazing job in finding substantial brands that stand for a toxic free beautiful world. Take a look you won’t be disappointed!

credoMy very first luxury feel organic beauty store experience. I absolutely LOVE that they dedicate a section for “Clean Beauty Swaps” it helps so much when you are feeling in a rut and just want to wear your favorite lipstick. But then you remember why you made the switch and find a non-toxic/vegan beauty option instead.

It’s okay to wear your favorite foundation or bronzer every once in a while as a treat, no judgement here, we all do it, but these options are honestly just as good if not BETTER so why not give them a try!?

citrine       I love this site and adore their Instagram account, @citrinebeautyaz even more. They offer everything from swatches and “Get the Look” section where you can buy the products and recreate the looks on your own! Super handy when you need a little inspiration. 

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    This site has an amazing “Try It On” option that allows you to pick 5 generous sized products that give you enough time to truly get a feel for what works before you invest in buying a full size. These babies do last a long time giving you a lot of wears for pictures or outings and are just $10 per order. Worth it!