I’ve been a makeup lover since I was twelve years old. After school, I would drag my parents to Walgreen’s to ogle the trays of new cosmetics launches by L’Oreal, Maybelline, and CoverGirl. Back then, the choices were slim pickings compared to now. In the last five years, the cosmetics industry has blown wide open, meaning that a vast amount of variety is at our fingertips that wasn’t there before. This means that so many cosmetics brands have come forward, many of them refusing to test on animals. I promise you that if you wanted to, you could replace every single cosmetic item you own with a cruelty-free brand without breaking the bank or settling for lesser quality.
Just a disclaimer to the title – I am not perfect when it comes to the harm of animals. I still have my meat cravings, as difficult as it is to say. However, I believe that when it comes to the topic, going cruelty-free with your cosmetics is the easiest way to make sure that cruelty isn’t inflicted upon them. I encourage everyone to try it. First, let me explain why past arguments are no longer valid.
“It’s expensive. I need my drugstore-priced products.”
In the past, most cruelty-free brands were in the high-end sector, which is no longer the case. Brands such as NYX, Catrice, ELF, Wet n’ Wild, Pixi, Morphe Brushes, and Makeup Geek Cosmetics have drugstore availability, reasonable prices, and are cruelty-free. NYX has to be my favorite at a reasonable price point. They have the normal items such as foundation or concealer, but also venture into the wild side with black liquid lipstick, color correctors, and hot pink mascara.
They recently came out with a foundation called Total Control. It has a glass dropper, allowing you to perfectly customize the amount of coverage you want in your base. At $14 a bottle, it’s a steal. It comes in a whopping 24 different shades. The matching angled stippling brush gives a thin layer of coverage that can always be built upon.
“It’s really hard to tell nowadays which brand is cruelty-free and which one isn’t.”
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to discover which brands are/aren’t testing on animals. All you have to do is Google: “is ______ cruelty-free?” The answer appears in purple at the top of the screen. Websites such as crueltyfreekitty.com and ethicalelephant.com have done the research so that you don’t have to. They have lists for everything you can think of, such as drugstore brands, skincare, and hair.
“But I want to make sure it’s safe for humans before purchasing.”
A product can be deemed safe while abstaining from applying it to an animal’s skin or fur. Brands such as Urban Decay and Hourglass have world-renowned scientists employed by their parent company L’Oreal to test their products. Technology has advanced to using methods such as cell and tissue cultures.
Lastly, if you do not want to throw away all of the products you’re currently using to buy new ones, then don’t. A good alternative is to simply replace your products with cruelty-free ones when you run out, or when the products are past their expiration dates. That way, you aren’t wasting the dollars you’ve spent.
Parent Companies: As a small side note, I want to briefly discuss the subject of parent companies. As I mentioned before with Urban Decay, there are cruelty-free brands that are owned by parent companies that are not completely cruelty-free. Some people believe that because this dynamic exists, they shouldn’t use any of the associated companies, and I feel like that’s a missed opportunity. If we all joined together and bought from these brands, the companies would see that their numbers have greatly increased in one brand and declined in another. Once they see that people consume more cruelty-free products, it will give them the incentive to convert.
I’m proud that LVBX Magazine has contributing writers who ask us to be more conscious of our decisions, to be kinder to ourselves as well as to others. I think that choosing cruelty-free products aligns with these ideals perfectly.
This stuff is AMAZING. No matter if you got 2 or 12 hours of sleep, this will make you look like you are the most well-rested you’ve ever been. The shade has a slight pink tone to color correct dark circles as well as subtle shimmers to create that fresh, hydrated look.
This brand can be found at pretty much any drugstore or supermart across the country, and their lashes are fabulous. Ardell has every style imaginable, from natural to full-on. Ulta currently carries a cute little lash book for the holidays for those who want to try out a few new looks.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette, $49
This palette broke the internet last year and sold out of every online retailer in weeks. Now, it’s back for good. The colors stand out from your regular browns and show a new side to neutrals. The powder smells like juicy peaches, and I love wearing this shade. It gives a fresh, youthful look and is especially poppin’ on green eyes. The new collection also offers an array of creamy lip oils, a blush, and a contour palette.
The palette can be sold out from time to time, but don’t worry, they’ve made this collection permanent. It will be in stores in January.
Makeup geek has to be one of my all-time favorite brands. Their price range and quality don’t match, and I love it. If you’re a fan of MAC blushes, these are more pigmented as well as the same size. The contour collection offers a shade for every skin tone in the warm AND cool family. At $10, your collection can grow rapidly. Their eyeshadows are incredible as well, at $6 each.
Katie Keyser is an artist, makeup collector, and MUA. She graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor’s in Creative Healing, and is currently a Prestige Beauty Advisor at Ulta Beauty. She wants to ultimately help others feel gorgeous, inside and out. Follow her on Instagram.