How to go Cruelty-Free (Cosmetics and Beyond)

About two years ago, I discovered a part of the makeup world that was “Cruelty-Free.” I was a budding makeup junkie and was intrigued by this. I have always been an animal lover and as I did more research I realized I didn’t want to contribute to animal cruelty for something as trivial as goo I wipe on my face in the name of beauty. 

For a product to be cruelty-free, none of the ingredients have been tested on animals, the final product has not been tested on animals, and the suppliers do not test any part of the product on animals. Another part of the cruelty-free debate is whether or not to support brands that are owned by parent companies that do test on animals while that brand still doesn’t test on animals. Some people believe this is not a truly cruelty-free company, but the other camp believes it is cruelty-free. Also they continue to support those brands to hopefully let the parent company know that their dollars are going towards a cruelty-free brand. Perhaps this would lead to the company making more of their brands cruelty-free. I am on this side of the debate. I feel like my dollar is a vote to tell the parent company what the buyers want.


There are a lot of resources to help figure out if a brand is cruelty-free or not. Logical Harmony is a great blog that updates their cruelty-free list weekly and also have whether they are 100% vegan or if they are owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. I use Tashina’s blog a lot, but I also use this app called “Go Cruelty Free.” It also is updated semi-regularly, and can be broken into lists for Sephora, Ulta, Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, High End, Drugstore, Hair Care, Skin Care and much more. 

Another way is to look at a brand’s FAQ on their website. Logical Harmony and other cruelty-free beauty bloggers contact companies directly and ask questions about their ingredients and suppliers to make sure a brand is actually cruelty-free. If you look directly on a brand’s website they may or may not disclose all of this information. Also brands like Revlon, and L’Oreal will phrase things to make it sound like they are cruelty-free when they are not. For brands that are cruelty-free they will say something like “We are 100% cruelty-free” or “We are PETA approved” or “We do not test our products or our ingredients on animals.” Things along those lines that are very clearly saying they are cruelty-free are safe. Brands that are not will say something like “We love animals and do not test on them unless required to by law.” This is their round-about way of saying they DO test on animals. The “required by law” part is usually in reference to distribution to China. In that country, and perhaps others, products must be tested on animal before they can be sold there. There are many brands that started out cruelty-free but now distributes to China and are no longer cruelty-free. A recent one is Bert’s Bees, and an older one is MAC cosmetics. 


The last way is to look at the actual product and its label. Sometimes there will be a little bunny on it. There are two different types. One is the PETA bunny, and the other is the Leaping Bunny. Both mean the product is cruelty-free, they are just different accrediting sources. Many cruelty-free products do not have either of these symbols on their labels, because they may not want to be associated with PETA, or spend the money to be accredited with Leaping Bunny. 


The idea of going cruelty-free is an attractive one but is usually daunting. It can be hard to make the transition if you don’t know how to start. You can definitely throw out all of your makeup and household products and buy all new ones that are cruelty-free. This is going to cost a lot of money and also be very wasteful. To do it this way you can pass off your items to friends and family that are not cruelty-free so it would no longer be wasteful. Personally, I prefer the way I did it and the way many other bloggers did it. I read a lot about transitioning and decided to phase stuff out as I went through the products. When my mascara from Maybelline ran out I tried one from Too Faced (not the same price but I heard great things so I wanted to try it anyway). If I had something that lasted longer like a blush or a lipstick I gave it to friends. After about 6 to 8 months all of my makeup was cruelty-free. 


Once I got used to what brands were cruelty-free I started changing my skin, body, and hair care. Then I bought household products that were cruelty-free. There will be some experimentation with what works as well as your old favorite products but eventually you will have new favorites.

Here are some of my new favorite brands:

-Colourpop

-Wetnwild

-Tarte

-Pacifica

-Physicians Formula

-Makeup Geek

-The Balm

-Too Faced

I’ve also discovered a lot of Indie brands on Instagram I would like to try:

-Lime Crime

-Necromancy Cosmetica

-100% Pure

-Fairy Girl

-Black Moon Cosmetics

-Lunatick Cosmetics Labs

-Ofra

-Velvet59

All of these tips have also helped me transition all my products to be vegan. I am still working on that in my makeup collection and my skin and hair care, but hopefully by 2018 I will have mastered that. 

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