Cruelty-Free Beauty – Favorites #1

Oct 04

Cruelty-Free Beauty – Favorites #1

Obviously, I am no beauty guru. I always have split ends, I don’t get mani/pedi’s, and on most days I tend to have eyeshadow bizarrely running down the side of my face by 11am (I really need to figure that out…). But, I do appreciate the IDEA behind looking your best and feeling your best, even if I don’t put it into practice all the time.

I am also not an animal rights “activist”. I may cry every time that ASPCA commercial comes on with Sarah McLachlan’s Angel underscoring pictures of beagles and kittens shivering in the cold, but you will not see me throwing red paint on a rich woman in a mink coat.

I am, however, a consumer, and most of the time I try to be a fairly responsible one. Within the past 6 or 7 years, I have gradually changed my spending habits to reflect the causes that I believe in and the injustices that I do not. Of course, things slip past me. Was the shirt I bought from Forever 21 two months ago sewn by a 9-year old girl in deplorable conditions in Thailand? I hope not. And if I find out that it was, I will make the choice to not purchase there again. In the meantime, I am trying to educate myself as much as I can about the issues I  care about – and one of those happens to be animal testing.

Now this can be shaky ground – because I think that many great things have been discovered and tested for safety on animals when non-animal techniques aren’t available. Vaccines, cancer research, treatment for terrible things like muscular dystrophy, HIV and the like have all required some form of animal testing. I think that until we can find ways to test these things for safety without harming animals (which people should be working around the clock to do – organizations like the ASPCA do raise money specifically for that type of research), then unfortunately we don’t have a choice.

But should an animal suffer to serve my narcissistic need to feel better about myself? ABSOLUTELY NOT. And when you think about it, that’s the only thing beauty products really do.

So, I am starting a series featuring “Cruelty-free” beauty products – so that as I learn more and make more educated choices, you can too. I will also be posting more resources that I find helpful in making informed decisions. Please feel free to point me in the direction of anything that you think I’m missing – or if you think I’ve been misinformed – I would really want to know.

So, my top three “Cruelty-Free” products for the week:

1. c. Booth Tea Tree Therapeutic Toner

This toner spray is non-drying, with the natural ingredients of tea tree oil and witch hazel to simultaneously cleanse and soothe your skin. I use it every night after washing my face. I spray it all over and then use a cotton ball to swipe off the excess. It’s extremely refreshing, safe to use on sensitive skin, and has really helped calm down my irritated, acne-prone skin. c. Booth brand products also have a helpful little symbol on all of their containers (basically a bunny with a no-smoking sign on top of it) that lets you know it does not test on animals. I wish more companies would use that! They have many more great products – some of which I will include on future blogs!

2. Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

I love this eyeshadow. It comes in a pot with cute birds on the lid, it’s creamy and      soft on your skin, and you literally just have to stick your finger in the pot then stick it on your eyelid and you have done your eyeshadow. (I’m lazy.) What’s also really great about this is that when you aren’t feeling lazy (aka, you are going to a wedding or something and need to spice things up a bit) you can use this as a base for powder shadow so you don’t get the annoying oily crease in the middle of your eyelid only 2 hours after you have applied your makeup. I love it. It comes in several shimmery shades (shimmery, not sparkly – there are no chunks of trashy-lookin’ glitter here), and will last you a lifetime. The entire Benefit brand is great – their concealers are wonderful, (the industrial strength BOING concealer has gotten me through many a breakout) they do not test on animals, and can be purchased from their website or from Sephora.

3. Smashbox!!!!

Full Disclosure: The only product I own from Smashbox is this Blockbuster Palette that John got me for Christmas last year. And I love it. There is just SO MUCH in this palette – two blushes, a bronzer, a highlighter, 49 eyeshadows, 8 lipglosses, 6 eyebrow powders, 8 gel eyeliners, and a brow wax (don’t be fooled, before I got this palette I thought the only time you would have wax on your brows is when you were getting them waxed). I was a little overwhelmed by it at first, and I have definitely had many failed “experiments” that induce looks of horror in whatever poor waiter has to witness them on date night. But, I’ve learned to have fun and shed my antiquated notions of “only neutrals can look classy” and “blue eyeshadow = Debbie Gibson” – and I have learned to embrace that any color can be pulled off with a light touch and some serious blending. Smashbox does not test on animals, and has a wide range of products that can be purchased on their website or at Sephora.

Here are some websites you can peruse for lists of brands that do and do not test on animals:


Paula’s Choice – Beautypedia

Leaping Bunny


Happy Cruelty-free shopping!


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