Beauty Without Brutality: Why I’m Breaking Up With A HUGE Host of Brands Warning: Includes disturbing facts and shocking images.

I’ve been surprising myself a lot recently. I’m saying things that 14-year old me would have laughed at. I’m interested in things I never allowed myself to really see or understand. It’s amazing how one revelation can lead to another… and another, and another. It seems like I’m continually making changes at the moment and well, I am. The thing is: I’m not rushing into them and I am going at my own pace. It’s happened organically and you guessed it; feels authentic (my new favourite word, if you hadn’t already noticed).

As a longtime beauty lover (started wearing a full face of makeup aged 12) my main focus has pretty much always been on my appearance. Not even a year ago, I came first. Not once did I truly consider the suffering of animals, even when told outright about cruel systems in the industry that now make my skin crawl like nobodies business. I was ignorant and refused to take any responsibility, and I know I’m not alone. 95% of the people I know are currently backing brands that are testing on animals.

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Most of the brands I’ve grown up to rely on (I mean how disgusting is that in itself. Relying on brands to give me confidence) test on animals. I don’t like to hear about it and I hate to think I somehow contribute to it… but why, all of a sudden, do I care enough to make a change? The truth is I’ve always wanted to fit in, be liked, make people proud, impress and all the rest of that bullcrap. When you see the Queen B with flawless skin endorsing a foundation at a young age, you overlook anything to ensure you match up to such high expectations. And when you grow up surrounded by people with distorted priorities like these, you quickly become the same.

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Aged 22, I realise I’m pretty much a full-on adult now. I’ve let go of (most) life constraints and am learning to get all the over fake pressures put on us by idiots, for lack of a better word. I love nature and I love animals (y’all know I have a house rabbit so as you can imagine these pictures get to me)… and you know what, I admire those with a beautiful heart more than I do those with flawless skin (not even kidding). I’ve tried to be what the majority of people like rather than what I actually like. It’s a theme in my life, as my regular readers will know… and my change of attitude is literally shifting my attitude to everything (including food but I’ll come to that properly another day).

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A month or so back, I began researching animal cruelty in the cosmetic industry. I read pages of information on the internet, followed some blogs and scanned social media (particularly pinterest) for ideas on how to boycott brands operating unethically. I was shocked by PETA’s cruelty-free list, as far too many mainstream makeup lines aren’t even working for regulatory change. I made a handwritten list of the cruelty-free companies to keep with me next time I take a trip to the drugstore and compiled a folder on my desktop full of stuff to refer to whenever shopping for products online.

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Admittedly I’ve not got a HUUUGE collection like Carli Bybel or Jaclyn Hill but I do have far too many items to just throw-out and replace in one go… which is incredibly annoying as I’m an “all or nothing” type of person. Nevertheless, I have vowed to never buy a cosmetic item that isn’t cruelty-free again… meaning that eventually Maybelline and MAC will become non-existent to me!! I’ve already made a small start by picking up a foundation, powder, lip pencil, lipstick, nail varnish and eyeshadow primer, which I’m due to review very, very shortly (told ya I scrapped my schedule and now you know I wasn’t joking – you’ll just have to keep your little peepers peeled for that post, haha).

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Anyway, this post may not be that engaging (and I believe should be extremely disturbing to almost everyone, unless they’ve already educated themselves on the subject) but I am sharing, hoping that it will encourage you to have a think about the brands you are supporting and the products you are using. If you’re like me and are infuriated by the way in which our world is currently working, just know you do have the responsibility to change and even if you feel alone, you’re not. No L’Oreal won’t go out of business anytime soon but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start tomorrow. F*ck it. Why not start NOW? My point is, if consumer demands change enough offerings will eventually have to be altered to make sales.

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We do have the ability to stand up for what is right… the only thing preventing this is our lack of community come-together and care for the great of good. The UK has adopted America’s level of extreme consumerism. Our young people value products over their pets. I’m ashamed to be saying this yet again, but humans seem to be the cruelest kind of beings on this planet – at least as I see it. We are the top of the food chain and we should know better. We do know better.

Now let’s do better. 

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PS. Am I the only one thrilled by the introduction of Lucy Watson’s new makeup line? It’s cruelty-free and bloody bitchin’, of course! Can’t wait to get my hands on some lipsticks!

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10 Comments

  1. Good for you! As I educated myself to ‘cruelty free’ skincare, cosmetics and household chemicals, I too left behind a host of brands and companies for ‘cruelty free’ products. We are all much lovelier for walking away from harm.

    • Thanks for the encouragement Julie and well done you for stepping up to make such a change. Any favourite products you’re willing to recommend? Would be much appreciated! x

      PS. You put cruelty free in apostrophes… is that because you don’t like the term? Interested to know!

  2. That’s a great decision! I transitioned to cruelty free only around a year ago, and it’s shocking to realize how many brands do animal testing, still it was much easier to build a nice cruelty free makeup and skin care collection than I expected, there are many amazing ethical brands out there. I’m sure you won’t regret it!

    http://technicolor-heart.blogspot.com/

    • I’m actually really excited about moving away from my comfort zone and exploring some brands that actually share the same values as me! Like you say, there are loads more than you’d imagine and I guess that’s what makes the it all worse – knowing there are different, more humane ways to go about things and some brands simply overlook that for money. I’m sure I won’t regret it! Keep up the great work Lou and thanks so much for you lovely comment x

  3. A great reminder, thanks for posting a list! I’m glad to see some of what I use there and I’ll stop with L’Oreal and other “mainstream” brands – thank goodness for ELF and Jordana are on there! Any ideas for quality, cruelty free foundation?

    • Hello Arien! I’m so glad you found this useful – deepest apologies for not getting back to you soon, must have missed it due to the Christmas rush. I was really pleased to see that there are brands I already love on the list but still getting used to all the changes. I’ve found that NARS, Cover FX and Urban Decay are fab cruelty free brands for foundations. Let me know how you get on 😀 All the best, Marie x

  4. I’ve used/use 10 of the 24 brands you listed above! I’m still searching for my favorite products, but right now I am using e.l.f blush and flower eyeliner. I keep being given sets of bare minerals (foundation and eyeshadow), so I’ve yet to explore too much in those realms. I’ve tried Beauty Without Cruelty and tarte mascara, but I don’t remember being especially in love with either brand. I think I liked BWC…but also feel like there was reason why I didn’t buy it again. Most of the brand you listed, especially at the bottom of the list, we have in soaps or lotions and such. I religiously use ecotools! I’ve bought way too many of them and can’t even hope to use them all 😀

    • Ooh flower eyeliner – I should give that a go! Not been able to find an eyeliner I like yet. I like Tarte but think their foundation can be a bit thick and clay-like, same with their self-tanner. Beauty Without Cruelty is also one I am yet to try. Really glad I’m able to turn to some of the brands I already know & love, like sleek and collection!! Ecotools are becoming more & more mainstream which I love – makes it easier to build on my brush collection 😉 Hopefully it’ll be as big as yours soon haha 🙂 Thanks for the comments/suggestions lovely.

  5. I recently switched to cruelty free too! Of course the primary reason for me doing it was the ethical side but I’ve also enjoyed saving money and not being overwhelmed by choice. This is such a beautiful, powerful and important post. Thanks for writing it. Rachel x

    makeupandmetaphors.wordpress.com

    • Oh that’s brilliant news, congrats Rachel. It really does make you feel good when you know you’re doing something positive. I totally agree with your comments about saving money and not being so overwhelmed! Now I only choose brands I know a lot about and I think that’s helped me realise the extent of my needless consumerism!! Thanks for you comment, keep up the great work. And if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear you favourite cruelty free products & brands? If you’ve already written a post feel free to post it here 🙂 x

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