Today I want to tell you about my recent decision to transition to cruelty free cosmetics. (If a brand is cruelty free, it means they don’t test their products or any of its ingredients on animals. If you want more information on what testing on animals means, check out Peta, CrueltyFreeKitty, and Leaping Bunny. On these websites you can also find complete lists of companies and brands that are certified as cruelty-free.)
I was inspired to make this transition by Alex of Beauty Addict Next Door. Alex went 100% cruelty free on her YouTube channel in January.
What really inspired me about her video was the amount of brands she was able to keep. I had never looked into going cruelty free, and my only experience with it was people commenting on products or brands that I was using (like Maybelline) telling me that these brands weren’t cruelty free. So I subconsciously assumed that the majority of mainstream brands weren’t cruelty free, and if I were to go cruelty free I would have to give up 90% of my makeup and stop purchasing from the brands that I love.
When I watched Alex’s video, I realized that a lot of the brands I love are already cruelty free. All of my favorite high end brands including Too Faced, Urban Decay, Lorac, and Kat Von D are cruelty free, as well as some of my favorite drugstore brands including Elf, Milani, Nyx and Wet N Wild are cruelty free.
When I realized this, I started being able to picture myself actually making the transition.
Not only did this effect me on a selfish “I get to keep my favorite makeup” level, but it also made me realize something; if these brands that I love are able to be cruelty free, with Elf being so affordable, and Urban Decay’s iconic high quality products, everything amazing that Too Faced does, and Kat von D who has some incredibly innovative products, then there is no excuse for other brands to continue testing on animals.
Products by brands that are NOT cruelty-free including L'Oreal, Revlon, Stila, and NYC
After doing some of my own research, I came across an interesting piece of information that I think is responsible for the reason why many brands haven’t transitioned to completely cruelty free. The country of China, which in 2014 was worth about $26 billion, requires animal testing by law on all imported products. This law only applies to products that are physically sold in mainland China. This law does not apply to foreign products if they are purchased online, and it does not apply in Hong Kong. It also doesn’t apply if products are manufactured in China.
What I found interesting about that is the idea that these brands that choose to sell in mainland China are basically choosing to not be cruelty free, or supporting testing on animals, simply for business reasons. Their motivation is not our health or safety, because these other brands we know and love like ColourPop, Makeup Geek, BH Cosmetics, are able to safely create new products constantly without testing them on animals. Basically the reason brands still test on animals is to get a piece of the pie in China.
Products by brands that are not cruelty-free including NYC, Maybelline, Revlon, L'Oreal
I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about the horrors of animals testing, because that’s not part of my personal story. I grew up in a town where vegetarians and vegans were common, I myself was full vegan for 2 years and am transitioning back to vegan again, so I have always been familiar with the horrible things that humans to do animals. Truly, the things that some humans do to non-human animals is atrocious. Simply unacceptable. But that wasn’t my main motivation for going cruelty free in this situation.
My motivation really was learning about all of these amazing, innovative brands, both high-end and affordable that are cruelty-free. And realizing that there is really no excuse for any brand to allow their products to be tested on animals.
I was unsure if I was going to announce this publicly because I don’t want to seem preachy or self-righteous. I also don’t want you guys to think that I value animals rights more than human rights. I feel that we are all part of this Earth and we are all connected. There are many other causes that I feel strongly about concerning human rights, however since this particular issue is one that I can affect simply by changing where I spend my money, there is no excuse for me not to.
Everything I decluttered! Some of these products are cruelty-free, but I just don't use or like them :)
A lot of this stuff was so old or used that I just tossed them, but a lot of the products are in good condition and I will be passing them on. I am selling a lot of the products on Poshmark to give them a good home! I am also passing a lot of products on to friends and family.
If you want to go cruelty free but you don’t want to get rid of the products that you currently own by non cruelty free brands, that is perfectly fine, infact cruelty free kitty says that this is recommended because it is less wasteful. As you see in my declutter video, I am keeping a handful of products that are not cruelty-free, with the intention of using them up rather than wasting the products.
However on my channel, you will not see me talk about any brands that are not cruelty free, unless it is a product that I am using in a project pan or a product I received in one of my current subscription boxes, Birchbox and Boxycharm, which sometimes give products that are not cruelty free. These subscriptions were gifts to me so I intend to use them up and when they are over I will look into cruelty-free subscription options. I will not be purchasing or hauling from brands that are not cruelty-free. I will not elect to receive free products from companies that are not cruelty-free.
Some of the companies that I consider cruelty free are owned by parent-companies that are not cruelty free. For example, Urban Decay is a cruelty free company, but it is owned by L'Oreal, which is not cruelty free. So none of Urban Decay's products or ingredients are tested on animals, but a portion of the money spent on Urban Decay will go to L'Oreal. So this is a matter of opinion, and I choose to continue to support these brands because I think it is awesome that Urban Decay can remain cruelty free while being owned by a larger company that isn't cruelty free, and I want to support them so they can stay that way.
If you are from my YouTube channel, I really hope this helped explain my point of view, and my reasons for going cruelty free! I have always been better at writing my thoughts out, rather than speaking them, especially on controversial issues like this one.
If you haven't seen my declutter video, where I go through my entire makeup collection and get rid of a ton of makeup by brands that aren't cruelty free, here it is! (Grab a snack, its a long one!)