Hello and Welcome!
Today’s post is going to be a pretty different one, as it will not be a review. As you may have seen if you follow me on Instagram (shameless self promo), I’ve decided to go cruelty free.
Please be aware that these are my personal opinions and feeling. Choosing to go cruelty free is a personal decision and going cruelty free to you may mean something different than what it means to me. There is no specific, correct, way to do it.
In this post I will take you through why I have chosen to do this, and what ‘cruelty free’ means to me personally. I will also give some information that I think is important. I’ll then list the brands that are being removed from my collection, and the reasons for their removal, and what brands stayed. Finally I’ll give some tips and some useful websites before providing my final thoughts.
This post is going to be long so grab a snack and some water because we’re jumping in.
Why and what going cruelty free means to me
I’m vegetarian and going cruelty free has always been on the back of my mind. Just, for whatever reason, I’ve never got around to doing it before.
I’ve had quite a lot of changes in my personal life recently and I want to surround myself with as much positivity as possible from now on. As it’s a new year, and honestly I feel completely different, I thought this was the perfect time to make changes in my life. For 2018 I’ve set myself some goals, and going cruelty free is one of them.
For me going cruelty free is more than just not using products that are tested on animals. I also will be removing brands from my collection whose morals I don’t agree with. This includes Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Kat Von D, Lime Crime, and Primark Beauty. Whilst all of these brands do not test on animals, I don’t personally agree with their treatment of other people. This may seem extreme, and unnecessary, to some. However, as I’ve said, I want to surround myself with as much positivity that I can, and it’s a very personal decision. I will also be trying to support more indie brands, and black owned brands.
Firstly, I think that it’s important to note that it’s not just whether the brand directly tests on animals themselves. Truthfully, I was pretty uneducated going into this, I hadn’t done research into cruelty free brands very much before, and assumed that a brand either tested on animals, or didn’t. It’s far more complicated than this and I’ve had to do a lot of research during this process.
Whilst the brand may not personally test on animals, a supplier that they have for some of their ingredients might, this unfortunately would make them not cruelty free. Although they haven’t personally done the testing of their products on animals, some of their ingredients wouldn’t be cruelty free.
The brand may also be cruelty free themselves, but be owned by a parent company (like L’Oreal or Estée Lauder) who test on animals. A parent company is a large company who own multiple other brands (such as Urban Decay being owned by L’Oréal). Again, although they’re not personally doing this testing, their profits will be going to a company who do test on animals. For me personally, buying from a brand who’s owned by a parent company who test on animals, seems no different than just buying from that parent company directly. However, it is up to you whether you’d be happy buying from a cruelty free company who are owned by a non-cruelty free parent company.
Selling in China
Another confusing issue is brands selling in China. It does seem that the Chinese government are starting to make changes to laws surrounding animal testing on beauty products, but as far as I’m aware large changes haven’t taken place yet. Brands who sell in China have to undergo mandatory animal testing for beauty products. This means even if a brand labels themselves as cruelty free, but they sell in China, they still do conduct animal testing. There are a couple of exceptions to this. Products can be imported to Hong Kong without having to undergo this testing. Furthermore, products sold online via e-commerce do not have to use animal testing.
Brands removed and brands remaining
In case anyone is interested, I will be listing the brands that have been removed from my collection and the reasons why I personally chose to remove them. I will also list the brands that remain in my collection.
- Too Faced (owned by Estée Lauder)
- Urban Decay (owned by L’Oréal)
- Soap and Glory (I tweeted them and they stated that they couldn’t 100% ensure that their suppliers didn’t test on animals ‘at some in the past’ – it was all a bit vague and confusing so I removed them)
- NYX (owned by L’Oréal)
- Tarte (owned by KOSE)
- YSL (sold in China)
- Benefit (sold in China)
- Primark (my personal choice due to not liking the brand’s morals)
- Rimmel London (sold in China)
- Clinique (owned by Estée Lauder)
- Maybelline (sold in China)
- MAC (owned by Estée Lauder)
- Lancôme (owned by L’Oréal)
- Jeffree Star Cosmetics (my personal choice due to not liking the brand’s morals)
- Lime Crime (my personal choice due to not liking the brand’s morals)
- Clarins (sold in China)
- Kat Von D (my personal choice due to not liking the brand’s morals)
- Joico (sold in China)
- Revlon (sold in China)
- Garnier (owned by L’Oréal)
- Bioré (owned by Kao)
- Tony Moly (sold in China)
- Innisfree (sold in China)
- Dr. Jart+ (sold in China)
- Simple Skincare (owned by Unilever)
- Caudalie (sold in China)
- Gatineau (owned by Revlon)
- Lynx (owned by Unilever)
- Herbal Essences (owned by Procter & Gamble)
- TRESemme (owned by Unilever)
- Radox (owned by Unilever)
- Sure (owned by Unilever)
- Arm and Hammer (owned by Church & Dwight)
- Pantene (owned by Procter & Gamble)
- Juvia’s Place
- Makeup Revolution
- Anastasia Beverly Hills
- New Cid Cosmetics
- Figs & Rouge
- Nugg Beauty
- Fenty Beauty
- Marc Jacobs Beauty
- Kylie Cosmetics
- Feline Lashes
- Real Techniques
- Chirp Body
- 7th Heaven
- Nip + Fab
- The Orinary
- The Innate Life
- Imperial Leather
- Original Source
New additions since going cruelty free:
- Freedom Makeup
- B. (Superdrug’s exclusive makeup/skincare brand)
I definitely found that obtaining information about whether a brand is cruelty free or not was challenging. Therefore, I may have made a mistake. If there’s a brand that you think I have incorrect information about then please leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know!
If you’d like to go cruelty free, make sure that you have the time to do the proper research for it. It’s not a quick, or easy process!
The easiest way to start is to go through your beauty collection and write an extensive list of every brand that you have. If you really want to do it properly then be sure to go through makeup, skincare, hair care, deodorant/toothpaste/personal care, bath/shower products. Another thing you could add in is household cleaning products, which are also tested on animals. Personally I haven’t moved onto household cleaning items yet since I’m still trying to replace the items in my beauty collection, and I’m not completely in charge of purchasing cleaning products. Once you have this list you can begin searching online. I just googled ‘is [brand] cruelty free?’ and kept switching out the brand. Some brands are harder to find information on than others, but this will depend on the brands in your collection.
Watch out for brands who say they’re cruelty free, but aren’t 100%. Some brands like to specify that they PERSONALLY don’t test on animals, but fail to mention anything about their suppliers. Additionally, try to read all of their information about animal testing. I’ve seen some that emphasise that they are cruelty free, then make a comment about how they test if it’s required by law (aka, they sell in China). Throughout this process I’ve found that brands don’t make it easy for you to work out if they’re cruelty free or not.
If you’re unsure about a company’s cruelty free status then ask them directly. Social media can be a great way to do this. Don’t be afraid to just ask, and if they don’t give you an answer that satisfies you then push them to expand on what they mean. At the end of the day, you’re making a decision about what to do with your money, so don’t be scared to grill a brand a bit to get a good answer!
Once you’ve identified all of your brands and products who aren’t cruelty free you have a few choices:
- Use up what you have left of the product, and buy cruelty free in the future.
- Remove the items that aren’t cruelty free from your collection entirely, and replace the gaps that you have (I ended up with no eyeliners, and no brow products at all).
If you do choose to remove the items immediately and replace them, please do not throw away the products if they’re still in a usable condition! Just because you don’t want them, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Ask around to your friends to start with to see if anyone would like some of the items. Anything that you have left you can donate.
If you’re in the UK, I recommend using ‘Give and Makeup’. Give and Makeup are a non-profit organisation who work with Refuge and Women’s Aid in London and Cardiff. You can read more about them here.
Currently London is closed for donations, but they’re still accepting them in Cardiff. If you do wish to send items you will have to pay the postage charge (mine was £13). You can send the items to the following address:
Give and MakeUp c/o
63-67 Wellfield Road
Here’s a list of websites that I found really useful during my research:
Going cruelty free is, of course, a very personal choice. This post is just designed to share some information about what the process was like for me, and some tips for if you would like to do this. Although I have chosen not to buy from brands who have suppliers who test on animals, brands who have a non-cruelty free parent company, and brands who sell in China, you may choose to only do one of those. This being said, this post is by no means trying to convert you to be cruelty free. As I’ve already said, it’s a personal choice and I would never try to tell someone how to live their life, or what products they should or shouldn’t use!
This goes without saying, but from now on there will be no more posts containing brands that are not cruelty free, but the reviews from before I became cruelty free will remain on my blog. I will be subscribing to some cruelty free beauty boxes and reviewing those in place of the Cohorted box I used to get.
So this brings us to the end of this post, I hope that you enjoyed it! If you did, then please be sure to leave it a quick like. I would really love to hear what you think about this so drop me a comment below! Also if you think that my blog contains content that you’d be interested in then please subscribe.
Check out my previous posts!