(Image courtesy of Whole Foods Market)
If you’re interested in reworking your makeup cabinet to be more animal-friendly or you simply want to discover some more cruelty-free brands, you’re in the right place! Parting with beloved products can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. As a recent convert to the cruelty-free life, I’ve compiled a list of tips that helped me get started.
1. You don’t have to be 100% cruelty-free right away.
Chances are, most (if not all) of your beauty supplies aren’t cruelty-free — and that’s okay! Just because you’ve been exposed to the horrors of animal testing doesn’t mean you have to toss all of your favorite products away overnight. The fact is, makeup is an investment, and many die-hard makeup and skincare fans have hundreds of dollars invested in their products — I know I do! Tossing away non-cruelty-free makeup is wasteful, both to the environment and to your wallet. If you’re serious about making the change, vow to buy only cruelty-free from now on, using your old products until you’ve finished them. That way, you get your money’s worth, and you can do your research on products to replace the ones you’ve been using in the meantime.
You also don’t have to be 100% cruelty-free ever. I’m sure some people would insist that’s a cop-out, but as an animal lover, I would argue that some animals saved is better than none. Just adding a few cruelty-free products to your routine can make a difference!
2. Beware of deceptive packaging.
Unfortunately, just because a product lists that it’s “not tested on animals,” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cruelty-free. In particular, beware of brands that claim the “finished product is not tested on animals” — it can mean that every prior iteration of the product was. For brands you’re unsure of, look for them on Leaping Bunny, Beauty Without Bunnies, or do a quick Google search.
3. Donate and/or give away unwanted products.
If you’re conducting a makeup purge, it can be tempting to throw everything in the trash. Instead, research local organizations in your area that will accept gently-used makeup (excluding mascara or anything that comes in contact with your eyes). Women’s shelters happily accept makeup and other feminine products! Or, if there’s nothing in your area, you can always give the makeup to a friend!
4. Shop at a specialty store.
When you give up non-cruelty-free makeup, especially as a drugstore shopper, it can seem like you don’t have any options. And, depending on the brands your local stores carry, that can be true. To get yourself jazzed over being cruelty-free, visit stores that carry cruelty-free brands: two major ones, Ulta and Sephora, carry tons!
To discover other brands, I would strongly recommend visiting a Whole Foods or Wegmans — I’m constantly discovering new ones there myself! Other great places to look include Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Free People.
5. Subscribe to a cruelty-free beauty box.
One of the easiest ways to transition to cruelty-free is to get it delivered to your doorstep. Luckily, there are plenty of cruelty-free subscription boxes, including Petit Vour ($15 a month) and Vegan Cuts ($22.95 a month). Boxes are an awesome option for those new to the cruelty-free world, because it allows you to sample a bunch of products at a reasonable price point.
6. Don’t beat yourself up.
Sometimes, it can be easy to feel left out when the rest of the beauty community is raving about a product that’s not cruelty free. If you fall off the wagon, know that it happens to everyone. Something that helps me when I’m tempted by non-cruelty-free products is asking myself, “am I wanting this because I don’t have any cruelty-free options?” If the answer is yes, do your research for a cruelty-free dupe! As I’ve learned, there exist cruelty-free dupes for everything. 💓