Since going vegan in 2010, compassionate cutie Lauren Toyota has wasted no time making the absolute most of her influential role as a popular television personality in Canada. Known for her work as a VJ on MTV Canada and MuchMusic, she recently signed on as the spokesperson for Humane Society International Canada #BeCrueltyFree campaign. “I really wanted to use my voice to draw attention to the fact that animals are being used as test subjects for our cosmetic products. It’s not something that’s widely talked about and it definitely deserves a big spotlight on it,” Lauren told us. “People would be shocked to know just how prevalent it is. Now, I love being a Canadian but it saddens me to think that our country is so behind when it comes to enforcing a ban on animal testing for cosmetics. It’s not legally required to prove product safety and with advances in technology and science, why are we still torturing and tormenting animals for our own superficial needs?” Indeed, Lauren’s own beauty routine makes a compelling case for just how unnecessary animal testing really is. And with New Zealand being the latest nation to vote earlier this week to ban animal cosmetics testing—joining the likes of India and Israel—hopes are high that products tested on animals will someday soon be a thing of the past. “There’s no excuse to be supporting this through the items you’re purchasing because nowadays there are hundreds of companies making vegan and cruelty-free products,” explains Lauren. “It’s so easy to make your beauty routine more compassionate!” Here, Lauren exclusively shares with us what essentials are in her makeup bag, and why she loves them.
clockwise from top left:  Thayer’s Lavender Witch Hazel Toner “I really like this toner because it’s alcohol free so it’s light on the face and doesn’t dry it out. And I love the refreshing, soft lavender scent.”
 Organic Jojoba Oil “I use this all over my body as a natural moisturizer every day! Sometimes I use coconut oil as well and switch up between the two during the week. I just can’t get through the day if I have dry skin!”
 Deep Steep Body Lotion “I like all of the creams and lotions from Deep Steep. They have great scents and go on silky smooth. I use this throughout the day on my hands and arms or after washing my hands. It’s less greasy than the coconut or jojoba oil.”
 Lacc Nail Polish “Lacc is the best vegan nail polish I’ve used so far. It lasts long and goes on in one even coat, so it’s good when you’re in a hurry.”
 Kjaer Wise Cream Highlighter “I think there’s a misconception out there that cruelty-free or vegan makeup won’t last as long or be as rich on the skin, but that’s not true at all especially of the Kjaer Wise line of products. It’s very high end and has a wide variety of products and colours. I really like this cream highlighter that works on lips, cheeks, and eyelids.”
 100% Pure Mascara & Eyeliner “This mascara goes on really smooth and lifts the lashes evenly. Using the mascara and eyeliner combined I’ve noticed my eyes aren’t getting irritated like they used to when I would where non-vegan brands of eye makeup.
 Pacifica Solid Perfume “This company makes the most delicious scent called Island Vanilla. I’m a sucker for anything sweet smelling. I really like this solid perfume pot because you can dab it on all day long but never have an overwhelming engulfing scent on your body.”
 Homemade lavender deodorant “I can recommend a couple of great all-natural deodorants I’ve used – Schmidt’s and Meow Meow Tweet, but I really like using my homemade variety. It lasts a long time and smells and performs the same (sometimes better) as the brands I’ve purchased. Get the recipe on my blog here.
 Lavanilla Perfume “Perfumes and fragrances are one of the most toxic things we put on ourselves so it was one of the first things I swapped. I really like the blend of essential oils used in Lavanilla products. Their pure vanilla fragrance is my favorite and I love buying it in the travel size roller.”
 Province Apothecary Moisturizer “This is actually a friend of mine’s company. It’s an all-organic handmade skincare line made in Toronto that’s beautiful and has transformed my skin care routine. I use the moisturizer and cleanser/makeup remover religiously. She also offers special treatments and facials if you happen to live in Toronto.”
 Bare English Lip Balm “I am very picky about lip balms. They’re never soft enough or last long enough, but the Bare English brand does and you can find them everywhere! They’re infused with tea so maybe that helps? Either way they make great scents like vanilla almond, mint chocolate, and the one I’m using right now cherry berry.”
 Modern Minerals Shimmer Eyeshadow “This eyeshadow goes on really vibrantly dry or wet and it’s very versatile because it’s a loose powder. Sometimes I also like mixing it with a lip balm or moisturizer to use as a cream for cheeks and lips.”
 Dioné Cosmetics Blush “This line is made in Canada and is very new. I hadn’t heard of it until the owner sent me some samples. It performs really well and I like this simple pink blush when I’m on the go and just need a little color on my face. I’ll be buying more when the Dioné Cosmetics online store launches this year.”
Lauren also explains that her vegan lifestyle has minimized her beauty routine. “I use less products than I used to,” she says. “And I find that I need to use less of the actual product to get the results I need. All around I’m being less wasteful, I’m supporting ethical and compassionate businesses, and I’m not putting anything toxic on my skin.” And that’s the kind of true beauty that comes from inside.
Help save the lives of animals by always choosing cruelty-free brands. Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on packaging, the words “Not Tested on Animals,” or for products certified vegan. Together, we can make a difference.