Thursday, September 2, 2010

Vegan Beauty and Makeup and an Awesome Day of Filming

I had a great day today because I got paid to act. Any day I get paid to act is a great day and that's what I'm pursuing in life - more great days.

Yesterday was good, too. In the morning I spent a few hours going through my financial records. When I moved out here I started printing out my online banking statement each month, going through my receipts, and analyzing my spending habits. I fell a few months behind so that's what I spent time catching up on. It was really informative. Besides rent, my biggest expenditure is definitely food - I figured out how much I spent on food per month, how much that equaled out to per day, and then my daily average food cost for the first six months here. By looking into my spending so closely, I think I'm getting a much better idea of how I can cut down on costs and I plan on making the second six months cheaper than the first. If this sounds like a lot of work, it really isn't. It just requires half an hour of work per month and a decent filing system.

I spent about five hours at TAN (The Actors' Network) yesterday because I attended two panel discussions regarding the upcoming SAG (Screen Actors' Guild) elections. If you're interested in knowing more about these really interesting panels, check out my brief review on my blog at If you aren't interested, then just let me say that "Ethan" from Lost was on one panel, and Morgan Fairchild was on the second and I got to talk to her afterwards. I love seeing actors in business mode, because they are just as sharp and political as any other businesspeople. It's a side the general public certainly doesn't see much of.

Yesterday I also got to try out my new purchases from Ulta. Here's the one I'm most excited about!

It's an Ecotools vegan makeup brush set! I needed some brushes and I heard these were pretty good. Well pretty good for $15 a set is very good to me, much better than very good for $30 a piece like many other makeup brushes cost. Urban Decay (and Too Faced, I think) also make good vegan makeup brushes. Non-vegan brushes would be the kind that use hair from animals. If you see cheap "natural hair" brushes, you're probably looking at freakin' rat hair brushes or something, and lots of the fancier brands use something awful like goat hair. Believe me, they're not walking around behind goats collecting their stray hairs. Those goats die. Dead goats for makeup brushes? No, thank you.

And now I have to get into the less vegan-righteous part of my purchase and the current state of my constantly-evolving stance on beauty products. Here's what I do:
1) I buy makeup from companies that do NOT test on animals. I do not buy makeup from companies that do.
2) I don't buy makeup that contains clearly animal-derived ingredients like beeswax and lanolin.

That's not perfect. I know that lots of the big companies still have ties to animal testing and unrecognizable animal by-products are most likely used. And I feel crappy about that and I definitely would like to only buy products from vegan companies in the future. But it's a fact that those products are generally quite a bit more expensive. I do try - I buy Crazy Rumors lip balm (vegan and awesome), Aveda shampoo and conditioner (vegan), and my toothpaste, facewash, soap, moisturizer, etc. are all the cheapest vegan and organic brands I could find at Whole Foods. But makeup can be slightly tougher because it's often pretty hard to find and the cost difference can be substantial. So I buy from purely vegan companies when I can, and the rest of the time I stick with my aforementioned strategy.

I had originally gone to Ulta because I really needed some new liquid eyeliner, and I bought one from Revlon that passed my two bare-bones requirements. I considered buying one from Urban Decay, because they're an animal-friendly company with many vegan products, but their eyeliner is not vegan. Eyeliner and mascara seem to be the most difficult products to find vegan versions of (I know this means that some people just give them up, but that is not an option for me. I'm an actress and my face matters). So I could buy $18 non-vegan eyeliner from a company that does not test on animals, or I could buy an $8 most likely non-vegan eyeliner from a company that does not test on animals. So I went with the Revlon.

Please do your own research on companies you like and which do and don't test on animals, but here's the short list I keep in my head regarding cosmetics.

Companies to not buy from because they test on animals:
L'Oreal (which kills me, because I used to love their mascara)

Those are the majors. So I stay away from those. I know that Revlon and Almay don't test on animals. There are other, more expensive brands that don't test and that I love and buy when I can, including MAC and Urban Decay. For the cheapies, I really like Revlon, so I usually stick with them.

BTW, if anyone wants to buy me the Urban Decay vegan palette... that would be cool.

While we're on the subject of personal care items, I do have a suggestion for a cheap, vegan lotion to use:

Yep, coconut oil! I don't eat it, I just rub it on my legs every day and I love it. It soaks in beautifully but keeps my skin really soft and well-moisturized and a little goes a long way. I bought this in February on sale for about $7 and it's still about half-full. Plus, it's really fun to watch it melt and solidify as the temperature dips above and below its melting point of 72 degrees.

Moving on to TODAY and filming America's Court! I drove to Sunset Bronson studios (where they also film Hannah Montana, BTW) before my call time of 2:00 and then sat around for about an hour. That's always the case -- you better not be late, but you'll almost always sit around for a while because production will be running late. But that is the production's prerogative, and you never want to be the one that causes any delays. Finally, we got to one of my favorite parts - the makeup and hair department. I love having other people do my makeup and hair. Here's one of my favorite hair moments from the movie Bloomington that I just had to capture on camera.

See? How could I not take a picture of that?

Well, I got big hair again, today. The stylist found out I was playing a cocktail waitress from Kentucky so she pulled out the teasing comb and got to work. So I got some photographic evidence from two perspectives. By the way, I have my professionally applied makeup on in these pictures.

I felt a little crazy with that hair, but that's part of the fun.

The filming itself was fast, because that's how television works. You just crank it out and don't you dare mess up. I don't want to talk too much about the plot or anything because I wouldn't want to upset the producers, but I'll definitely let the world know when you'll be able to see it. Suffice it to say, I had a blast.

After filming wrapped around 5:45, I went to a bar to try and catch the Broncos game but they couldn't get it. I guess this game was not televised in much of the country, because my mom said it wasn't showing in Indiana, either. So I just came home and helped myself to this:

Salad with lettuce, celery, onions, chives, carrots, heirloom tomato, raw (previously soaked and dehydrated) pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, and Maple Grove Farms balsamic dressing. It was delicious. I ate the rest of the tomato just by itself and it was perfect.

And beautiful, might I add.

So there's my update. I plan on doing some major cooking tomorrow so I should have some good blog fodder coming up.

Random Thought -

Here's a list I just saw of the top money-generating stars. The dollar amount is how much money they generated for each dollar they were paid. So if a studio hires one of these stars, they will get the biggest bang for their buck.

1. Shia LaBeouf $81
2. Anne Hathaway $64
3. Daniel Radcliffe $61
4. Robert Downey Jr. $33
5. Cate Blanchett $27
6. Jennifer Aniston $21
7. Meryl Streep $21
8. Johnny Depp $18
9. Nicolas Cage $17
10. Sarah Jessica Parker $17

Now what is ridiculous about this list is what would happen if you compared it to a list of top-earning movie stars. I'll give you a hint - they're almost always men. Men are paid way more than women in this business, and top-earning male celebrities make twice as much as female top-earners. But if you look at this list, it's pretty clear that men and women are pretty equal in their ability to bring in profits. PAY EQUITY! I hate how women get the short straw in this business. There are far fewer roles for us, especially if we're older, those roles are usually less interesting (think lead vs. lead's girlfriend), and then we get paid less.

Huffington Post puts the spotlight on chickens. This explains perfectly why I am not proud of people who tell me they only eat chicken and not red meat.

Cruelty Free Face A site completely dedicated to vegan makeup and beauty, written by an Angeleno and a professional makeup artist. I think she could teach me some things. Major companies that still test on animals.

So, wow. That was a lot. I'd love to hear if you guys have vegan beauty and personal care brands/items you love and your philosophy on the whole thing.


  1. Wow, I didn't realize Anne Hathaway gets paid so much...and Meryl Streep on the bottom!

    My biggest expense is food, too. As hard as I try, I just can't resist spending money on food.

  2. Thanks so much for the makeup brush recommendation!! That's so funny because just yesterday I was at Sephora buying makeup & I thought about how I need some new brushes, but wanted to do some research before buying any!

    My favorite makeup is Urban Decay & Bare Minerals. (Bare Minerals' brushes aren't vegan, though - I think they're made of horse and/or goat hair...) UD's concealer is awesome, as well as their eyeshadows, eyeliners, eyeshadow primer, etc. :) I also love that they clearly label everything that's vegan! SO nice.

    Have a great weekend!

    P.S. I found your blog through Love Veggies & Yoga because I really liked your comment about horse racing. I was kind of scared to comment there because SO many people were saying that the "crazy vegans" were really going to have a problem with the horse racing... So kudos!


  3. Thanks for the great info on vegan makeup and the value of various actors. And I'm excited for you that you got a paid actor's day -- wonderful!

    Your last part of the post about the value of male and female actors brought back the deep feelings of anger and disappointment I felt as a young mom when I realized that all the cool characters in kids' movies, books, and shows were guys. As the mom of a daughter, it's pretty awful, especially when I realized the impact that a lack of cool female characters had on me as a kid. Like many active girls, I always wished I were a boy when I was a kid. And the characters I role played as a kid were all guys except for Laura Ingalls Wilder, but she was an admitted tomboy.

    I was so happy when Disney kicked in in the mid '90's with some good characters for you to admire (before that, the lead girl characters only wanted to get married and serve others -- e.g. Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and even Ariel). I used to have long conversations with you after those movies and books about what happened to the characters after the story ended (remember talking about how bored Cinderella was in the castle with a prince she hardly knew who ignored her all the time? She had to go back to school and get a life for herself!!).

    But then Pocahontas and Mulan came along and the landscape for you began to change. That was cool. These characters were complex, strong, independent, and not focused on romance alone. They had goals!

    So the value of female actors will improve when more women and men write more awesome female characters. Even seeing that "Salt" was originally written for a male lead and changed to become a female lead without much alteration of the script -- that's encouraging.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post, as always!

  4. Sophia - Well I certainly think it's unavoidable to spend money on food haha but I just hope I can lower my expenses a bit. And what that list means is that Anne Hathaway actually generates a lot of money for the studio.

    Jess - I'm so glad you liked my comment and felt like your ideas were supported. There is nothing crazy about having a problem with horse racing! And thanks for the tip on Bare Minerals, I haven't tried them. I do love Urban Decay, they're probably my favorite makeup company. I do love how they label their vegan products and I hope that someday they will change over all their products to be vegan!

    Jeanette - I definitely remember those conversations and I appreciate them. And the lack of good female characters in movies comes from the top - the vast majority of studio heads are men, as are directors, as are writers. A lot of the time I think it isn't even conscious, but men are just more likely to write about men. If you look at the breakdowns (new casting notices) probably 3/4 of the roles are for men.

  5. One of the most well written films I've ever seen was "The Hours," written by a man about women. I hope to see more of them!


    I would love to act, but I'm always afraidof non-vegan products and outfits used in filming. What should I do? and now that I know I don't have to use that stuff how do I get into acting?