Many of us do a spot of contouring to make ourselves feel fabulous. Powder on a bit of foundation. Get a bit of glitter on those eyelids. Whatever floats your boat.
And for the record, nobody needs make up – you look just as good barefaced – but if you like dressing yourself up, well, that never did anyone any harm either.
Make up has become such a routine part of our lives. We overlook it. When you’re throwing the stuff on in a mad rush, minutes before you’re supposed to leave the house, we don’t tend to use these precious moments to think past the packaging.
We’ve all got factors that come into play. Which mascara is on offer this week. Which foundation won’t aggravate my dry skin. Which highlighter isn’t going to break the bank? But one element that is growing attention is cruelty free vs. non-cruelty free.
At least 115 million animals are used in experiments globally, according to research by Cruelty Free International. While a lot of this work is done for our benefit – to make sure products are safe for humans to use – that doesn’t mean it’s humane or even necessary. Technology today means that cheaper, faster and more effective alternatives exist. For instance, skin allergy tests using guinea pigs only predict human reactions 72% of the time. But cell-based alternative methods have predicted human reactions 90% of the time.
On top of that, the very existence of cruelty-free brands shows that businesses can flourish successfully without the need for animal testing. It’s a no brainer, right?
If you’re interested in easing your way into more ethical consumption habits, your make up bag is a great place to start. And here’s 5 brands to help you out.
1. Barry M
Barry M are considered an affordable, bright and bold brand, which can be found on most high streets. They have never tested their products on animals, since they founded in 1982. They have been very active in Be Cruelty-Free Campaign – you can even sign a pledge on their website.
Lush is pretty well known for being a positive and ethical brand. From their charity pots to their reusable plastic scheme, Lush stores seem to be radiating with sunshine and karma. So it’s no surprise that they’re also at the forefront of fighting animal testing. Around 80% of their products are also vegan, with a remaining handful containing ingredients such as milk and honey.
3. Superdrug's own brand
Cruelty free brands don’t have to cost on arm and a leg. Superdrug's own brand B is one example of a beauty line that won’t require you to take out a loan or sell a kidney on the black market to make a purchase.
Gosh are another fairly cheap, fairly decent brand. Gaining attention for their foundation drops, Gosh is a trendy brand based in Copenhagen.
5. Urban Decay
Now, this is a tricky one. Urban Decay is a cruelty free brand, but it’s parent company, L’Oreal, is not. It’s all about personal ethics. Do you see this as just as unacceptable – they are still part of a company contributing to unfair animal testing. Or, much like you might buy a vegan meal at a non-vegan store – Tesco, for example – is it more about the product? It’s worth considering, with many other popular brands being in similar positions, such as The Body Shop and Too Faced.
If you’re ever unsure, look out for the leaping bunny logo on packaging. This means the product has been approved by the Leaping Bunny Program. There’s also a mountain of resources for finding cruelty free brands online, one of the most reliable being Logical Harmony.
If your mascara’s looking a bit manky, or it’s time to treat yourself to some new brushes, don’t hesitate to have a makeup haul that will make you look and feel great.