Cruelty-Free Beauty

Cruelty-Free Beauty: What’s In Your Make Up Bag?

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Cruelty-Free Beauty. Something that’s really important to me, and hopefully is to you too. In this post, I’m going to be touching on the issues surrounding cruelty-free beauty products, in as non-preachy a way as possible. Ultimately, it’s your own choice to buy and wear whatever products you want, but until a few years ago, I was completely in the dark about how some of the most popular cosmetic and household brands out there actually weren’t cruelty-free.

Even now, in 2018.

I’m going to give a little bit of background into the cruelty-free beauty movement and show you how to find out exactly which products are the most ethical. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert in all things cosmetic by any stretch, but I have picked up a few useful pointers along the years that might be useful to anyone who’s keen to become more savvy about cruelty-free beauty.

What Is Cruelty-Free Beauty?

In a nutshell, we’re talking about cosmetic and body products that haven’t been tested on animals.  To dig deeper into the issue, I’m also going to look at cruelty-free cleaning products next week, as it may shock you how your favourite cleaning brands aren’t exactly the most ethically produced.

But back to cruelty-free beauty and a little bit of background knowledge. Some of the statistics around this issue are upsetting; around 80% of the world still allows cosmetic testing to be carried out on animals. Ingredients that go into the manufacturing of lipstick, deodorants, eye shadows and countless other beauty products are used in painful tests on dogs, rabbits, hamsters and other animals. 

It’s completely unnecessary and entirely unethical, and whats’s more, there are safer alternatives! 

Animal testing of cosmetics was banned in the UK in 1998 and in the EU in 2013, however some brands have navigated this by having their products manufactured elsewhere in the world, such as China, where animal testing is actually required by law. Some of these brands include big names such as Maybelline, MAC and Benefit, who continue to sell their products in China despite knowing that their products will be tested on animals. So while products manufactured here in the UK may be a safer bet, if you’ve checked the back of the bottle and it says ‘made in China’, then personally, I’d give it a swerve. 

I can only scratch the surface of this issue here, as it’s got a huge and complex history to navigate. What’s important to me though, is to become educated about cruelty-free beauty and learn exactly how and where the products I use are made. You can find a wealth of information over at Cruelty-Free Kitty, which is an invaluable, well-researched resource for anyone wanting to become more ethically aware and shop cruelty-free beauty with ease.

How Do I Know If A Beauty Product Is Cruelty-Free?

A great starting indicator is to look for the Leaping Bunny logo on your product.  The Leaping Bunny logo is an international gold standard for non-animal tested products, so if you see it on your favourite foundation or highlighter, then you’re off to a winning start! If you’re not sure, it looks like this (and exactly like this, so if you see a variant bunny shape, it’s probably not legit):

Cruelty-Free Beauty

Places that I’ve found sell a lot of Leaping Bunny accredited products are Morrison’s and Home Bargains (yes, really!). Hair products, face creams and sun creams in particular at Morrison’s have surprised me with their Leaping Bunny status, and Home Bargains’ cleaning products, particularly the ‘Astonish’ line, also display the logo on them. Which is ace, because it means I can clean my bathroom without feeling guilty.

Another rule of thumb for me is to check where your product was manufactured. If it says ‘manufactured in the UK’ or ‘produced in the EU’, chances are it’s going to be a cruelty-free beauty product. ‘Made in China’ is a no-no. 

The Green Beauty Movement

Fortunately, there’s been a huge upsurge in the popularity of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products as a whole of late. In particular, the green beauty movement is really gaining traction here in the UK. This awareness and move towards greater social and ethical responsibility is a fantastic thing, and so I wanted to highlight a few green beauty brands that I really love. 

Revolution Makeup

I know, I only spoke about them the other day, but I really do love their stuff and the fact that they’re cruelty-free is the icing on the cake for me.

Charlotte Tilbury

I’ll admit, this is more like wishful thinking than a recommendation but Charlotte Tilbury’s range is a) gorgeous, b) gorgeous and c) cruelty-free. I once had a swipe out of a family member’s blusher and highlighter and thought I’d turned into an actual Kardashian I was glowing that much. Sigh.

Marks & Spencer Beauty

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#RosieMakeUp ✨💐❤

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You may or may not be surprised to find out that Marks & Spencer’s own brand of cosmetics are entirely cruelty-free. What’s more, they’re lush. I love the Autograph stuff, even though it’s definitely a treat purchase for me.

Superdrug

I KNOW, SUPERDRUG! Their own brand of make up, b. by Superdrug is cruelty-free and totally affordable. In fact all of Superdrug’s own brand beauty and skincare products are, so get yourself down there and stock up.

Is Cruelty-Free Beauty Worth Learning About?

Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, it is a minefield of information, but if you can become more socially responsible about the products you use every day, then why would you not? It’s important to me to make a difference on this issue, and to let brands that continue to be part of animal cosmetic testing that they’ll never have my support.

It’s not always easy to keep track of the right products to use, but making the effort to try and learn about the issues is what counts at the end of the day.


What are your thoughts about cruelty-free beauty? is it something you’ve ever given a lot of consideration to? I’m interested to hear your views on this topic. Leave me a comment down below or catch up with me over on Facebook or Twitter

Writer, tweeter and illustrator. Starving artist and thrifting expert. Pen for hire and first-time author at work.

2 thoughts on “Cruelty-Free Beauty: What’s In Your Make Up Bag?”

  1. A very thorough post, and I love the selections you’ve included! For me, I guess I became more aware of animal cruelty in the world of beauty through the Body Shop years ago, and since then it’s become something I think about. I don’t check everything all the time, but I’m certainly more aware, will opt for certain products/brands, with being cruelty-free in mind. Seems so stupid these days to be testing beauty bits and bobs on animals, so hopefully one day it’ll be a thing of the past..! x

    1. Thanks Caz – yeah I totally agree about The Body Shop, seems as though they’re finally free of the L’Oreal machine now though which is a great thing! xx

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