If you don't already know, and I certainly didn't, but many high street and high end make-up and skin care companies either a) test their products on animals or b) use ingredients in their products which have been tested on animals. There are some who don't, but a surprising number do. Sometimes, even if the company themselves don't test on animals its parent company will do (ie. The Body Shop, who are against animal testing, are owned by makeup giants L'Oreal, who definitely do test on animals) . Also, if a company sells it products in China and states that it 'does not test on animal except where required by law' that means it tests on animals, as China requires them to do so by law.
With all that said and done, there are multiple lines in the sand for how far you want to go with supporting cruelty free/ vegetarian/ vegan make-up, hair-care and skin-care.
Personally, I make an effort to only buy totally cruelty free make-up, preferably vegan. I see it as when you buy a cruelty free product where the parent company tests on animals you are ultimately giving money to that company.
However, when it comes to skin care and hair care I have a slightly different stance.
With skin care, cruelty free products are often out of my price bracket, however I've recently tried out some B. skincare products and have been loving them (there will be a review up at the end of next month), so hopefully that has sorted out my cruelty free skin care.
Hair care, I'm slightly more precious about. My hair is a huge part of my identity - if anyone talks about me I'm always referred to as 'the curly one', and the other day my housemate said I had the most interesting hair out of any one she knew - so I'm very nervous about doing anything that might damage it. It took me five years to dye my hair, and I spent most of my life using the exact same hair products. I've started to change things up a bit now, but so far every cruelty free hair product I've used has left my hair feeling dry and flat. I would love to use Lush products, but on my student budget I can't really warrant spending £10 on 250ml of shampoo, so I'm a bit stuck for affordable options. I also mousse my hair daily, and even though I intend to pick up a Superdrug own brand mousse, so far every mousse I've tried (both c/f and not) haven't been up to the standard of my Wella Shockwaves mousse.
Ultimately, its up to each individual how they choose to live their life. I see make-up as a non-essential part of my life, so I'm willing to sacrifice using certain products in order to live my life in a way that I'm morally comfortable with. I see skin care as semi-essential, and provided I can find cruelty free dupes for my favourite products I will happily make the switch, even if it means paying a pound or so extra. Hair care is essential for me, so I'm reluctant to spend lots of money on a product which might not work for me.
Like I said, I also try not to buy from companies whose parent company tests on animals, however when it comes to skin and hair care I'm more lenient again and would buy from companies who are against animal testing but their parent company is not.
For me its all about searching around before I buy, and whilst it might seem confusing or a lot of effort here is a great list of brands who do not test on animals, and this is the BUAV website - home of the flying bunny logo - where you can search for companies who have been legally proven not to test on animals.
All of the decisions I make are purely personal ethical and moral choices, so please don't think I'm trying to persuade you to act in the same way as me. I'm fully aware that living an 'ethical' lifestyle is more expensive (unfortunately) and many people (especially young people) don't have the kind of expendable income to be able to live the way they would want.
If you are interested in changing to cruelty free (not suggesting you throw out all your non-cruelty free make-up), here are some links to brands:
E.L.F, Barry M, GOSH , B., Sleek and Superdrug Own Brand are all relatively reasonably priced and cruelty free. Soap and Glory is slightly more expensive but also cruelty free.
Let me know your opinions on going cruelty free by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @VickiMaitland. I'm contemplating doing Blogmas, so there may be a post on December 1st (Monday!), but if not there will be a standard post on Tuesday - On Presents, Generosity and Christmas.