I am vain. It’s a sin of mine. I’m well aware of it and I happily own it.
When I say I’m vain, I mean it in the sense that I care about my appearance. I’m unduly concerned with being seen without looking ‘presentable’.
I am the kind of person who will not go out the house without my make up on….but hate looking ‘made up’. My hair must be washed every day (I know…I know…It’s not good for it) and styled, even though my style is to look like I haven’t done it at all! 🤣 My clothes must be ironed to perfection (which I never do, btw. That’s my lovely wife’s job!) and if a mark is visible (even if you’d need a microscope to see it) then I can’t cope. I don’t know why these things bother me, they just do.
My vanity does not extend to what people think of me. I truly don’t care about people’s opinion of me, without sounding like an arse. What I mean is, I am who I am. I try to treat people with respect and how I’d like to be treated myself. Some people like me, some people don’t….and that’s ok. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. I know this and I’m comfortable with it.
But…back to my original post. Beauty is pain?? Is it? I mean, yes…some people do crazy shit to themselves in the pursuit of beauty, but the most pain in the beauty industry is surely at the hands of the companies (and countries) who insist on animal testing?
Did you know that an estimated 100’000-200’000 animals die just for cosmetics every year??
Dogs, cats and monkeys are never used for cosmetic testing (why of course not…you couldn’t stand back and let poor Ben or Felix be abused like that!) but 100’000-200’000 rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and hamsters are fair game to be tortured for nothing more than our vanity every year! Doesn’t that make you want to weep?
(Btw….the wee dogs, cats and monkeys don’t get off. They are used for testing chemicals).
Just in case you have a Walt Disney type scenario going on in your head right now, where wee happy rabbits are being bathed in shampoos before being dried and lovingly pampered. All whilst attentive scientists are checking through their gorgeous little coats for signs of mild irritation.
Let me just give you a horrible reality check…and this is grim.
Typical cosmetic testing (for things such as lipstick, shampoo and hair dye) involves animals having skin and eye irritation tests. Yup…they literally drip these substances in their wee eyes, over and over again, whilst looking for signs of irritation. They shave parts of their fur and do the same on their skin.
It’s also not uncommon for oral studies, where they force feed these animals products (sometimes over weeks or months) and look for signs of general illness…cancers…birth defects…etc.
And then…you have the lethal dose tests. Where they basically give these animals stupid amounts of the product orally and see at what point it will cause death!
Deep fucking joy….eh?
Makes you want to rush out and purchase some beauty products, right?
Why do these bastards do this? I hear you ask. Because, they can! Almost always companies have a choice whether to test on animals or not. The main reason they chose to do it is because they want to use ‘new’ ingredients and they can’t get the product on sale without safety data.
The thing is, if these companies just used the thousands of ingredients already out there, or actually invested in the progression of non animal testing, they’d never need to test on animals again. Of course, some want to sell their products in China…and in China a cosmetic item can only be sold if there has been animal testing!
Fear not…it’s not all doom and gloom. There are cruelty free companies out there! Honestly….there are….and their products are good. Very good . I’ve been using them for years!
And what’s more, with people making more ethical choices, the demand for cruelty free is increasing and more companies are changing their stance on testing.
So, I’ve been using cruelty free for a long time and as such I’ve got quite a product range that works for me. But if you’re deciding to start this journey…don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t just throw everything out and start again (or else it was all for nought). Instead, identify what you don’t want to use and when it’s finished…replace with better choices.
My routine goes a little something like this.
For washing I use a soap. I avoid SLS (as I’ve explained before) so the soap I buy does not have any nasties or animal products in it.
Fear not…if you don’t fancy soap, or can’t find something like this, all of super drug’s own brand is cruelty free….and many of the products are suitable for vegans. They even label it as such!
Sadly, their cheaper body wash has SLS in it and chemicals/parabens which I strive to avoid. But, we buy these when going away/swimming, because I can cope with losing a product that cost me a pound!
For shampoo I normally use whatever I find in TK Maxx that ticks all my boxes. Shampoo and conditioner without SLS, parabens and animal products, that is a cruelty free brand are hard to find and expensive. But I’ve found a new one that I’m going try.
Perfume. I love perfume. But…it’s tough finding cruelty free stuff. I tend to use Liz Earle (I know she’s now sold out to Avon who aren’t cruelty free. But I buy from some parent companies, because to be honest if I didn’t I’d never be able to buy anything. That’s a totally different blog post!) or I use Eden perfume. Eden replicate almost any branded perfume you want. They’re product range is phenomenal and they smell almost identical . I also love the Lush oil perfume.
I use Salt of the Earth deodorant. I love it. Smell is gorgeous, it’s natural and it lasts all day. You do smell a bit ‘hippie’ though, but I don’t mind that! 😁
For face wash and pampering I use Liz Earle. None of her products contain animal derivatives and it’s cruelty free. Elemis is another favourite of mine. Same principles as Liz Earle. Both more expensive brands, but last for ages and work wonders on your skin.
Make up you need to check carefully. Many brands are owned by parent companies, so if this is something you’re not comfortable with you’ll need to research closely.
I tend to use Gosh for most of my make up. It’s a good price point and I like it!
I use some Tarte (who has now been bought by a Japanese brand who test on animals!), bare minerals, urban decay and wunderbrow (which I couldn’t live without btw!)
It’s a constant battle to remain ethical with your beauty. Companies change hands all the time and although I’m mostly ok with parent companies…it does depend on who the parent company is and how high my moral high horse is on that day!
It’s an even bigger head fuck when you start moderating your household items! Eco-eggs are a godsend, that’s all I’ll say about that!!!
I hope I haven’t freaked you out too much with the animal testing stuff, but I do think it’s important to know that these awful things do happen. I personally don’t think anything should be tortured full stop, but for a lipstick or a shampoo?? That kind of evil is beyond me. I think we should all be striving to avoid beauty products that have been tested on animals. With so much choice, surely it’s a no brainer to go for the cruelty free brands?
To make your task a wee bit easier….here is a selection of brands to avoid if you’re wanting your lippy without the taint of blood and tears.
- Bobbi Brown
- Estee Lauder
- Rimmel London
And….should you wish to find out if your brand is in the good camp…
I’ll leave it at this. I think you’ll all agree, this post has gone on long enough. If anything you’ve read here inspires you to go through your make up bag and vow to change one or two products for cruelty free…then fabulous!
We can all make a difference. Make some noise about this to people you know. Talk with your feet – if you don’t want to contribute to the cruelty, stop buying the brands that insist on doing it. Change can and will happen!
Time for sleep. Tomorrow we set off on our baby’s birthday trip…complete with a 22L capacity cool pack crammed full of vegan treats (just in case I find myself up shit creek without a paddle, so to speak.)