Growing up, beauty and makeup were a huge part of my life. My first encounter with makeup was at the age of 6 when mami signed me up for modeling school and I'd go to auditions in a full face of makeup. I also grew up dancing, so that consisted of my curly hair being tightly tied up into a bun, a colorful eye look, and a red lip. I wasn't afraid of the mascara wand by the age of 7, and tightlining my bottom waterline was a piece of cake as a preteen. So when I got my first job as a fashion reporter back in Puerto Rico, my makeup skills were on point.
Despite how seamless my makeup routine was, I noticed my skin was not happy with me. I started to break out terribly and developed rosacea. This prompted me to seek out products that were a better fit for sensitive skin.
I looked into different beauty products that claimed to use more natural alternatives, assuming that would be better for me. Despite my initial attraction to natural beauty, switching to natural products made me break me out in a rash from the high concentration of essential oils that my body wasn't used to. Or I wouldn't see any results after weeks of using it, causing my skin to become parched and dehydrated. At one point, I even tried to switch to a natural deodorant with essential oils or baking soda instead of aluminum, and it resulted in me developing the most painful underarm rash I had ever experienced.
Aside from the lack of effectiveness, most of the products I tried also lacked a very important characteristic for me: being vegan and cruelty-free. As a dog and bunny mom and an animal-lover, I couldn't begin to fathom testing on animals in order to sell products. I needed a brand that was as serious about protecting animals as I was. And it wasn't just about not testing on animals, I wanted my products to be made with alternatives to the animal byproducts often found in makeup, such as lanolin, squalene, carmine, beeswax or honey, or gelatin.
As I studied the alternatives, I was concerned a vegan routine would be too boring or that it wouldn’t perform to a level I was used to. I loved a bold eye look and was worried that I wouldn't get as much coverage from my products to hide my rosacea and the scarring on my skin. However, I was completely floored when I discovered that long-time boss brand KVD Vegan Beauty had everything I looked for in makeup while being cruelty-free and vegan.
They were able to debunk the myth that vegan makeup doesn't perform as they mixed the best products that Mother Nature can offer with high technology to create the products millions of people love. Not only are they better for the animals and the environment, but they are probably one of the best performing brands in the market.
How I Changed My Routine
The great thing about KVD Vegan Beauty is that you get full-coverage products and a wide selection of shades fit for everyone, from the palest of Latinxs to the most gorgeous dark-skin beauties out there. If there's one thing Latinxs love when it comes to makeup, it's coverage. I like rocking the Lock It Foundation, which gives me a blank slate to layer on my other products. Compared to other foundations, this one uses optimized coated vegan pigments to ensure great color payoff and plant-based glycerin and mineral calcium for the skin.
Also, just because you switch to a vegan beauty routine doesn't mean you have to sacrifice snatching your nose with contour or highlighting your cheeks. The Shade + Light Face Contour Palette offers makeup-lovers three different contour and highlight shades. I can use the contour shades for carving out my nonexistent cheekbones, but I can also use it as an eyeshadow palette to create a smokey eye. With the highlighters, I brighten my under eyes with the yellow shade (ojeras, we all got them), and I use the other shades to set my foundation depending on how tan I get during the summertime. Everything looks very natural, because the products all blend together so seamlessly.
Aside from excelling in complexion products, the brand's liquid lipsticks — which come in so many colors — will never disappoint. The great thing about the Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks is that they won't budge, yet they don't dry up your lips. You can even go as far as layering the product when you've had one too many cups of coffee and the color has faded a bit. Even better, KVD Vegan Beauty doesn't use carmine — a product derived from beetles that produces every Latinxs staple color: red — in the product to ensure great color payoff.
As for the Super Pomade, it does more than just give you the best eyebrows of your life. It comes in a variety of matte shades that you can also use as eyeliner. Personally, I love to use it as an eyeshadow base before adding a glittery liquid topper for a wet look. Bonus? All of these products support sustainability because I don't have to buy too many products when I can use one for three different things. KVD Vegan Beauty has also made most of its products refillable so you don't have to get rid of the plastic packaging and buy some more, creating further waste on our planet. You can simply buy the refillable shade and pop it into your Contour Kit.
If you'd rather use a liquid eyeliner, KVD Vegan Beauty has the fan-favorite Tattoo Liner. This eyeliner — which was the brand's first 100-percent vegan product — won't sweat down your eyes as you dance away at your cousin's quinceañera. It's pigmented, easy to use, and stays on. And of course, no look is ever complete without amazing mascara, like the KVD Vegan Beauty Go Big or Go Home Volumizing Mascara, which gives you the look of false eyelashes without the hassle. And it does that without ripping out ten eyelashes the moment you decide to take off your makeup. Plus, it doesn't use beeswax, which is a very common ingredient found in mascaras.
Also, because I tend to get oily no matter what foundation or primers I use, I always have the Lock-It Finishing Powder in my bag for a quick touch up at lunchtime. It has the prettiest, edgiest packaging, so my inner punk-rock kid loves it. It comes in a variety of shades, doesn't look powdery on my skin, and melts right into my foundation. Additionally, it contains rice-powder extract to give a blurring effect on the skin and kaolin clay, which helps absorb excess oil that the skin produces throughout the day.
These days, now that I've started to purchase items that are good for the environment and for my body, I've realized that my makeup can make a difference. Bottom line? Vegan beauty won't make me sacrifice my bold red lip or my full-coverage foundation preference, and that's a serious game changer.