My journey to cruelty free beauty

Over a year ago, I vouched to stop buying makeup that was tested on animals. I made a decision to purchase cosmetics more consciously and it also extended to skincare, hair and body products, toothpaste, hand soap, etc.

Cruelty-free makeup

Slowly, I replaced my ’empties’ with cruelty-free or vegan options and went on to discover pretty cool brands along the way.

I revived my love for Lush and even turned it into a semi-addiction, re-explored my Urban Decay and Too Faced collection and tried Tarte, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Charlotte Tilbury makeup for the first time.

Going completely cruelty-free comes with its challenges and sacrifices, but I wouldn’t go back.

I won’t go into details about the treatment animals receive when beauty products are tested on them but what I would say, is that there are so many great cruelty-free brands out there so I don’t see why we should continue to encourage this practice.

As a self-proclaimed make up addict and beauty junkie, I do miss my luxury options such as the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks, Chanel foundations and Nars blushes amongst other things.  I also have to double check every time I am interested in a drugstore product to make sure it doesn’t test on animals and sadly, my go to mascara brand – Maybelline had to go too.

Throughout my cruelty-free journey, I traded many of my all time favourites simply unaware for many years that they were testing, or have agreed to have their products tested on animals. While I have been able to replace most items, there are some products I am yet to find suitable alternatives for.

Cruelty-free hair and body care

Below is a list of makeup, skin care and ‘ shower’ favourites (current and cruelty-free in bold, previous options in italic).

  • Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex, Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes – Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express Mascara, The Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara and Lash Sensational. I was also occasionally reaching for Max Factor and Dior mascaras.
  • Eyeshadow: Urban Decay palette, Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette ‘Beauty Glow’, Sportsgirl ‘Stars in her eyes’ paletteVarious Mac Cosmetics, Sephora, Maybelline, Revlon
  • Foundation: Marc Jacobs Shameless Foundation, The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation & cushionChanel Vita lumiere Aqua, Benefit Oxygen Wow, Bourjeois Healthy Mix, Revlon ColorStay, Garnier BB Cream
  • Concealer: Urban Decay Naked Skin Highlighting Fluid and Nude by Nature Liquid Mineral Concealer – Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer and Bobby Brown Intensive Skin Serum concealer
  • Blush: Chantecaille, Tarte ‘Hamptons Weekender’ and Sleek Blush by 3 ‘Pink Lemonade’– Nars powder blush and Multiples
  • Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer Bourjeois Delice De Poudre Bronzing Powder, Guerlain Terracotta light
  • Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury has to be my go to now – Loads but my all time favourite was YSL Rouge Volupte Shine and Revlon
  • Brow products: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in taupeBenefit Precisely My Brow Pencil and Dior Diorshow Brow Styler 
  • Body cream: The Body Shop Body Butter, Mango and Grapefruit – Vaseline Intensive Care Body lotion and Palmers Cocoa Butter
  • Shower gel: Lush!! – Drugstore brands
  • Shampoo: Lush Purple shampoo ‘Daddy O’Shwarzkopf, John Freida, TRESemme, etc.
  • Hair treatment: Maui Moisture Shea Butter Hair Mask, BRITE OrganixMostly Shwarzkopf & L’Oreal
  • Face scrub: Lush ‘Cup O Coffee’ and Mario Badescu Almond and Honey ScrubGlamGlow YouthCleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser
  • Face mask: Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink in Moisture Mask, Lush Bunny Moon Jelly maskGarnier, 7th Heaven and other drugstore products
  • Makeup remover: Ren Evercalm Gentle cleanser and pure coconut oilGarnier micellar water and wipes
  • Moisturiser: Lush Shangri La or Skin Drink and Caudalie Grape water 
  • Eye cream: Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye CreamBenefit Firm It Up Eye serum
  • Serum:  Nip+Fab Dragons Blood Fix Hyaluronic Shot– Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Serum 
  • Deodorant:  MitchumDove
  • Toothpaste: Grants or White GlowColgate

If you are interested in cruelty-free beauty, the first thing to do is to educate yourself.

Cruelty-free labels

You can find an updated list of products on Cruelty Free Kitty, visit Peta to understand why animal testing is such a big issue, and I also suggest you familiarise yourself with the signs and labels (although sometime brands don’t show the cruelty-free or vegan sign but are still complying). If you are vegan, beware that cruelty-free products may still have ingredients deriving from animals and therefore not suitable for you!

Share the love! If you use cruelty-free products that are not mentioned in this article, feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions.

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