Bunnies enjoying bunny-free makeupLivcollage with permission for Varsity

I try to live my life by causing the least amount of suffering, and that often influences many of my daily lifestyle decisions. The attempt to live as compassionately as I can, of course, extends to humans, so I always try never to perpetuate ‘pushiness’ when approaching animals or the environment. Nonetheless, one thing I cannot wrap my head around is testing make-up on animals. There are mainstream products and brands that still test on animals, and I believe consumers should resist and go cruelty-free. There is so much make-up that doesn’t test on animals that is mainstream, brilliant and of faultless quality. Surely one can find a perfect dupe devoid of an innocent fluff ball’s harm!

“It’s always about doing your best”

But first — what does testing cosmetics on animals involve? And why is it unnecessary? Animals tested on are usually purpose-bred rats, mice, guinea pigs and rabbits. They live out their lives in tiny, uncomfortable cages, only witnessing artificial light and receiving food within the confines of a laboratory. I will refrain from gratuitous detail but what animals go through is torturous and horrendous, involving chemicals, skin tests, shaving — and when testing is over, the animal is killed. I believe make-up is (at least one of, if not) the sole gratuity of terrible treatment towards animals. To quote PETA: “When you consider biological differences between humans and the animals commonly used in toxicity tests and the unnatural and stressful conditions these animals are forced to endure, this adds up to meaningless results that fail to protect humans”.

My favourite brands that are certified to not test on animals

For a higher-end pick, I absolutely love Too Faced and Urban Decay! Both specifically have beautiful eye shadow palettes — my favourites being Urban Decay’s Naked 3 Vegan Formula. I also cannot get enough of Too Faced lip glosses and their blushes. I have also heard that Urban Decay’s primers are very good. Smashbox is also cruelty free and famous for their wide variety of primers and foundations, as well as highly-rated eyeshadow palettes, and other bits and bobs! They also have many vegan make-up formula options.

“One can find a perfect dupe devoid of an innocent fluff ball’s harm!”

However, going cruelty-free shouldn’t mean breaking the bank. I buy most of my makeup from Boots’ brand No.7. I love their eye shadows, and I have their hydraluminous foundation, which gives a lovely natural glow! No.7 also has brilliant lip lacquers with amazing staying powder and nail varnishes which are brilliant with so many beautiful colours. I buy my liquid eyeliner, different coloured eyeliners, and my mascaras from there. I’ve also tried Rimmel, who, although not completely cruelty-free, have launched a new ‘kind and free’ line. I have only tried their mascara and I love it, and cannot wait to try the rest! I also buy much of my makeup from The Body Shop. I love their lip stains, matte lip butters and eyeshadows — I own one currently called ‘Own Your Naturals’, which is lovely. The entire rest of their shop is cruelty free as well.

For tools, I love buying my brushes from No.7 and The Body Shop, as well as Ecotools and Lush. I adore Lush’s liquid eyeliners in all different colours, and the rest of their makeup, perfume and products are all cruelty free! Another two of my favourite brands are Nyx and Bare Minerals. Nyx have so many fun options for creative, funky makeup and Bare Minerals is a fantastic, amazing quality, beautiful brand. Some other brands I love are: Tarte, Charlotte Tilbury (amazing setting powder), Natural Collection and Jane Iredale. Other brands to mention that are cruelty free are: Barry M, Fenty Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Elf, Real Techniques, Stila and Sleek.


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It’s important to note that sometimes if brands state they are cruelty-free, they are stating that on a technicality and aren’t; their parent companies may test or draw upon other countries testing on animals. Such brands to avoid are: MAC, Maybelline, Estee Lauder, Dior, Makeup Forever, and OPI. While Garnier is cruelty-free, L’oreal isn’t, and neither are Benefit, Bobby Brown, Chanel, and Clinique. It’s also important to note that not all cruelty-free makeup is vegan, so if that is important to you, always check.

Finally, I try to make sure my products are vegan and cruelty free but it is also so easy to slip up sometimes, so always be compassionate to yourself! Once you have bought a product, you have bought it — so use it, or give it to a friend — just don’t chuck it away! It’s better for the environment if we reduce consumption and use out already-purchased items. Overall, it’s always about doing your best and I think, in terms of helping ameliorate some harmful treatment towards animals, I think it’s a good place to start — with makeup. If you ask me, the bunnies don’t need eyeliner to still be adorable.