I’m sure this will come as a shock to you all (!) but I bloody love animals. Yes, I’m a total sucker for kitties, but I’m genuinely fascinated by every animal out there.
I was brought up in an animal-friendly household, where my best friend was a cat and the RSPCA number was on speed-dial, as we always found and rescued dogs and cats from the streets! The amount of limping kittens, wounded pigeons and lost dogs that somehow made their way into our garden was quite remarkable – it was like they knew they could come to us for help!
I’ve never eaten meat in my life, and that always becomes a subject of conversation at work dos and social outings with new people.
“ But chickens are dumb creatures anyway?”
“Animals are meant to be eaten”
“What about fish, that’s not meat, right?”
Having reduced my dairy intake over the past year, I feel healthier and quite proud. I don’t think I could ever be a full vegan, but I’m not ashamed of being a vegetarian, and making cuts where I can.
I’m no make-up addict, but prior to a shopping trip to Westfield, I looked into my make-up drawer to see what needed replacing. L’Oreal, MAC, Rimmel, Revlon, Maybelline are my go-to brands for make-up, and Unilever for all my hair and body products. I did a bit of research on the way to Westfield and found that ALL of these brands test on animals, or are owned by larger brands who test on animals, whether in the UK or in China.
How truly horrific, in this day and age?
Seeing footage/images of rats, cats, bunnies and dogs being locked in tiny cages, with chemicals thrown in their eyes, parts of their skin cut off without anesthetic, injected with all sorts of toxic substances angered me. I don’t want animals killed for my food, so why would I want them killed for my vanity?
Needless to say, I decided not to replenish my beauty products whilst in Westfield. I challenged myself to hold fire and do a bit more research on alternatives. The term ‘cruelty free’ usually means that no animals or insects were harmed at any stage, in the entire supply chain for the product. Additionally, you can also buy cruelty free makeup that is vegan, so it doesn’t contain ingredients like beeswax.
Now, I’m not gonna start blogging/vlogging about every single purchase I make, as I’m too lazy for that. However, I think sharing my challenge actually makes me more determined to make the change!
After quite a bit of (ongoing) research, I found some informative websites that sell cruelty free samples for about £1 each. I used this as my starting point, and ordered some samples of foundations, lipsticks, and concealers to see how I get on. I also got a few bits from Superdrug, The Body Shop and M&S.
I must admit, I didn’t even consider cruelty free make-up before now, as I always had this preconception that it was more expensive than brands sold on the High Street. However, after some investigation, I found that a lot of it is actually the same price, AND cruelty free make-up is not just the weird stuff sold in Holland and Barrett (in that dire medicinal-looking packaging!) I was surprised to see that a lot of high-profile brands such as Urban Decay, Illamasqua, Superdrug (own brand) are against animal testing, and stock a large range of vegan-friendly products.
I realise I will be spending more on things like foundations and hair products by the more well known cruelty free brands, but I’ll be saving quite a bit on my everyday products as I can buy Superdrug own brand versions, so it will hopefully balance itself out.
Another great reason for the transition is that there are usually very little or no chemicals, parabens, insect remains (yes, some brands use this!), and general shit that no-one can even pronounce, in cruelty free cosmetics. The majority of the ingredients are natural, meaning it actually works in harmony with your skin and makes it look better in the long run.
This transition will probably take a while, as it requires quite a lot of patience and experimentation. Plus, I’ve noticed that quite a few cruelty free brands have limited options for darker skin tones, which makes it all the more difficult! It’s quite exciting to see the market growing though, and more products are becoming accessible every few months as brands revisit their animal testing policies, which gives me hope!
I am going to give myself until the end of this year to find the perfect products for me to look and feel beautiful, and 100% guilt-free!
For those interested in 100% cruelty free brands, check out Cruelty Free International – a really useful website to peruse. You can even download ‘The Little Book of Cruelty Free‘, a pocket guide to all certified cruelty free brands.
I will keep you updated on my cosmetics cleanse, and share my favourite findings with you!
PS: This is probably the most girliest post I will ever write, I promise!