[Image description: a variety of makeup products led out on the floor. Features lots of purples, pinks and blues]
Article and photo by Sophie
My interest for makeup didn’t really start until I was sixteen. I had been watching YouTube videos of people doing different looks for a few years, seen classmates and friends wearing it, but I just never had much of an attachment to it. I fortunately never felt too self-conscious about my face or how I looked, too, and therefore makeup didn’t enter my everyday life till later than ‘usual’. When I left secondary school I started experimenting a little more with the makeup I had sparsely collected throughout the years. Because I buy it with my own money, I never went for very expensive stuff which coincidentally meant that I had opted for mostly cruelty free options i.e from Makeup Academy (MUA) and Makeup Revolution.
[Image description: the leaping bunny, cruelty free and not tested on animal logos are in a line with their individual information about them underneath in a column style]
When I was first made aware of animal testing and how frequently it is used in many everyday products, I was truly upset. I decided that I didn’t want to buy anymore makeup that harmed an animal ,or from a brand that traded with bigger companies who still practice inhumane testing. The thought that what I put on my face harmed the life of another creature repulsed me. It felt like I was slathering guilt onto my skin.
[Image description: a flat lay of highlighters and basic eye products such as mascara. The brands on display are MUA, Elf, CYO and Barry M]
I did research on which brands were suitable for my morals as well as being affordable. My favourite brands that I still buy from are MUA, The Body Shop, Sleek, NYX and Barry M. They all have a great range of products within an affordable price range for me. I have to admit that my collection has grown vastly over the last couple of years, so I am refraining from acquiring anymore at the moment. However, I make good use of the products I have; because I know they are cruelty free. I feel so much happier using them. One thing to note is that sometimes a brand may represent themselves as cruelty free, but they are owned by, or trade with, companies and countries which still have no legislation against animal testing. These countries include the USA, Japan, China, Australia, France, Canada, the UK, Germany and Brazil (the top 9 animal testing countries, in that order). This means that the money you give is technically supporting animal testing within the production line. Always check for the leaping bunny logo on makeup products or go by this handy list that outlines just a few of the main companies who are completely cruelty free.
[Image description: a poster of some high to mid end makeup brands (mostly sold in the US) including; Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bare Minerals, The Balm, Tarte, Cover FX, Hourglass, Bite Beauty, Illamasqua, Becca, Korres, Kat Von D, Urban Decay, Nars, IT Cosmetics, Too Faced and Smashbox.]
Unfortunately, animal testing isn't just a make-up issue. Many other products, such as toothpaste and hand wash, have also been tested on animals. Luckily, items like these can also easily be swapped for cruelty free choices if you want to reduce harm towards animals, but also become more eco friendly. Some eco alternatives and companies include; Burt's Bee's, Sainsburys (who have a huge range of vegan bathroom products)and The Dirty Vegans (for a higher price range) just to name a few. So, where do you start on your cruelty-free journey? I recommend that you buy cruelty free makeup to kick start the transition because it is so much easier than you may initially think. By making that one small change you are making a big difference and, from experience, you will feel so much better knowing you haven’t contributed to the pain and suffering of another living thing. The creator of the website called Cruelty Free Kitty has put a lot of effort into creating guides and support for people who want to know more about animal testing and brands that are both cruelty free and vegan.
[Image description: a colourful array of eyeliners and liquid eyeshadows]
For those in the UK, Superdrug and Boots have been the best stores for me to get cruelty free makeup from. Bigger cities have a larger range of brands on show, including NYX which is a possibly my favourite brand. They have an incredible range of products with their Vivid Brights eyeliners being my all time favourite makeup item. For the US, places like Sephora hold brands such as Tarte, Two Faced and Urban Decay among many others. As mentioned previously, I found cruelty free brands that were affordable, but that doesn’t mean that all lower-priced items are okay-- likewise for higher-end brands. Pride doesn’t confirm or deny whether a brand tests on animals or not. Therefore, you should do your research before purchasing and check for the little symbol on the packaging.
[Image description: a poster with a few major drugstore brands that are cruelty free such as Colourpop and Inglot]
Another great brand, in my opinion, is The Body Shop. They have made incredible progress in fighting for the ban of animal testing among all cosmetic companies with a petition of theirs gaining over 8 million signatures to take to the United Nations and attempt a new legislation. They haven’t tested their ingredients or products on animals since 1987 and are the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing. If you would like any extra information on the official EU legislation click here.
[Image description: a huge flat lay of a vast selection of cruelty free makeup, from lipsticks to glitter and eyeshadow palettes to brow gel]
I try and reflect my interest and dedication to avoiding animal tested products by creating a variety of makeup looks on my Instagram. I do everything from characters to everyday looks to over the top Pride themed creations and abstract experimental designs. I believe it is important for influencers and social media personalities to promote this aspect of the makeup world. Once companies who still test on animals stop receiving profits they will begin to realise the impact it has on the world and how much improvement could be made by using harmless methods of testing.
[Image description: a three by three collage of makeup looks all made by using the cruelty free products shown in previous images]So what can you take away from this, reader? At the very least I hope that it has opened your eyes to how you can make a change in your life in order to help the environment. As humans we should be making a more conscious effort to not supporting companies that cause pain and rather opt for kinder products like those mentioned.