this post has been long overdue now as i officially began shopping cruelty free in october 2013, but with the new year being around the corner and the vast majority of us desperate to make new years resolutions to stick to, i thought i'd talk about my transition now in the hopes of inspiring some of my readers to perhaps consider shopping cruelty free.
so, let's start at the beginning... i adopted my cruelty free stance after reading up about the 2013 eu ban on selling animal tested cosmetic products, and realising that there's much more to the issue than originally appears. i quickly learnt about the loopholes and what truly makes a brand cruelty free or not, and decided that i wanted to avoid the dishonest brands that were keen to avoid admitting their products were actually tested on animals. it's very easy to be ignorant of the issue as animal testing isn't something brands are keen to discuss when they do test, so reading up on the issue helped to open my eyes and really reinforced how strongly i opposed animal testing for cosmetic purposes, and thus inspired me to change my habits.
i'll secondly move onto addressing the fact that while other cf bloggers aren't, i personally am happy to support cruelty free brands that are owned by testing parent companies. my reasoning for this is simple: i believe that if everyone swapped from purchasing l'oreal products to the body shop products, the parent company would then perhaps see where their customers' interests lie, and because of this could perhaps be persuaded to reconsider their stance with their brands that do test on animals in order to sell more products once again to their cf audience, in turn reaching a wider audience. i also believe that to boycott brands that have worked for their cf status due to a greedy parent company could harm them and potentially push them into closing, which means one less cf brand on the market to advocate the ban of all cosmetic animal testing, and also one less available brand for cf shoppers to support. whether you agree with me or not is completely your own call, but i'm firm in my beliefs.
so, how was the transition for me? pretty easy, actually. i think what puts a lot of people off taking the jump to cf cosmetics is the fear that they'll struggle to find products to live up to their current (potentially tested) favourites, but there's such a wide range of cf brands available that i truly believe that there'd be something for everyone. more budget brands such as collection and makeup revolution are readily available on the high street, and high end brands such as urban decay or nars are also available within many department stores – also found on the high street – to satisfy those looking for something a little bit more expensive. i've found that i've become a fan of superdrug's own brand b., the online shop elf and makeup revolution because they're all budget brands offering good quality products, and they now make up a good portion of my everyday makeup and skincare essentials.
choosing to go cruelty free has been really rewarding for me personally, and i'd strongly recommend it to anybody. nowadays i can shop completely guilt free, and know that my makeup probably looks just as good as my friends' who wear mac or rimmel because really, i think makeup's all in the application. since purchasing a set of real techniques brushes (which are also cf!) i find that my makeup applies like a dream whether it's from collection or urban decay, so i'd say that it's well worth investing in a good set of makeup brushes if you're looking for perfect makeup, not an expensive brand that tests on animals.
i hope i've potentially inspired a few of you to consider shopping cruelty free, and i also hope that i haven't sounded too preachy. i feel really strongly about shopping cruelty free and try to advise friends on cf products where possible, but i don't like to aggressively shove my opinions down others' throats because i believe that we're all entitled to form our own opinions. i truly believe that one day cosmetic animal testing will be completely eradicated, but in the meantime i think committed cf shoppers and brands are just helping to speed up the process.
if i have inspired you to consider a cf makeup bag, here are some points of advice and links that i think could come in useful for beginning your transition:
- read up about the eu ban on cosmetic animal testing
- don't throw out all your current tested makeup; you paid for it, you might as well use it, just acknowledge that you won't be throwing money into their pot again
- check out the leaping bunny's cruelty free guide; it isn't completely comprehensive, but it's a good starting point
- check out moadore's and phyrra's cf guides; they address companies that may not be leaping bunny certified, but are indeed cruelty free
- do your own research; not all the answers can be found on the internet, so don't be scared to contact brands yourself for your own peace of mind
some of my favourite cruelty free brands are listed below, and they offer both makeup and skincare products:
so, what's next for me? obviously i'm not a cf expert and fall short in some areas, but i'm actively trying to broaden my knowledge and slip up as little as possible. in the past year i've slipped up once in terms of cosmetics, buying a simple product as they're marketed as suitable for vegans, to later find out that they do indeed test on animals, which makes me question how they believe that they're suitable for vegans. other areas i want to focus on when shopping cruelty free are cleaning products and perfumes. i buy most of my cleaning products from aldi (their own brand is cf) so i think i'm mostly clean, however a bit more research can ensure that i'll avoid tested brands altogether. most supermarkets' own brands are cf (morrisons and sainsbury's in particular) so they're perhaps a good place to start. in terms of perfume, i've noticed that most drugstore brands are in fact tested on animals, sadly. i've done research on cf perfumes before and, to my knowledge, they're not very easily available (other than in the body shop,) so in 2015 i want to focus on creating a list of cf perfumes that i can replace my current tested favourites with.
in addition to extending my cf stance, i also want to concentrate on becoming vegetarian. since beginning third year i've reduced my meat intake dramatically as i no longer eat meat at home, but when eating out i often opt for meat dishes as a treat. after many a moral dilemma, i've decided that i just don't agree with eating meat any more, and my own new year's resolution is to give up meat altogether. because i've cut out meat so much from my diet as it is i don't think it'll be a great struggle, it just requires a bit more discipline on my own behalf and to stay in touch with what meat actually is, because sillily, it's easy to forget that the chicken burger you're enjoying was once living and breathing. again, you may not agree with my decision, but it's something i've considered for a while now and strongly want to pursue.
and with that said, i think that concludes my post! i hope i've perhaps inspired any of you, and good luck if you do decide to try out the cf lifestyle! i don't often set myself new year's resolutions because i find the whole 'new year, new start' thing a little bit silly, but i think this year it's the perfect excuse to finally pursue my beliefs for good. what are your new year's resolutions for 2015?