Ethical Beauty For Less

Last week I felt like the worst vegetarian ever. For I discovered that some of my favourite brands such as MAC, Maybelline and Max Factor are not entirely ethical to my furry friends. Though a complete ban on cosmetic testing on animals and the sales of animal tested products, was passed in the EU in 2013, there still exists some loopholes which mean that not all of our beauty products are entirely cruelty free. Despite the 2013 ban, cosmetic giants must still comply with local law abroad. For example, if Max Factor sell their
mascara in China, it must be tested in Chinese laboratories, where welfare laws are notoriously neglectful. EU law condenses this loophole in five simple words; ‘except when required by law’.

So, if you are similarly outraged that many of your favourite brands, despite being so expensive, aren’t actually cruelty free, do not fret. The sheer number and range of choice of cruelty free products is ever increasing and there are really simple ways to shop ethically if you want to. ‘connect compassionate consumers’ and offer a quick way to search for vegan and cruelty free cosmetics. PETA do the same and you can even download an app called ‘Cruelty- Free’ which acts as a handy shopping guide to
look up companies on the go. also have a comprehensive guide of cruelty free and vegan products, complete with reviews.

What brought this issue to my attention was a photo which was circulating Facebook, showing a list of companies which do and don’t test on animals. Though it assumedly was not exhaustive nor entirely thorough, it was enough for me to decide to make some changes to my shopping habits. These were some of my favourites.

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Starting from the top down, I began my shopping trip by hunting for a cruelty free conditioner and I was
not disappointed. Sustainably sourced and ethically traded, Palmer’s Shea Formula repair curl conditioner was my first purchase. The formula repairs damaged locks, works with curls and is totally cruelty free.


Next I decided to switch my eyebrow pencil. Previously I had used Smashbox’s eyebrow range but was unsure whether their brand is entirely cruelty free as they have recently pulled their products from the Chinese market, though their parent company (Estée Lauder) still sell 90% of their products there. Instead,
I went with the bright and bold brand, Soap & Glory, whose range of eyebrow products are honestly
the best I have tried. The archery brow sculpting crayon and gel is my favourite.

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The Body Shop are known for their ethically made, cruelty free products (though they are owned by L’oreal who are not cruelty free) so I decided to try a lipliner from there. Pretty much all the colours are flattering and I preferred them to my MAC lip liner.


So those are a few cruelty free cosmetics if you are thinking about shopping more ethically. I found it difficult to completely change and chuck away my cosmetics but researching my purchases more carefully felt like a good start. Consumers are becoming more concerned for animal welfare and demand for cruelty free products is truly rocketing. So if you are still stuck and searching for ethical brands, then LUSH, Barry M, and Superdrug’s own brand are three good go-to’s.

Charly Bowen

Images courtesy of: Rada Petrovic, Feel Unique, Boots, The Body Shop

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