We’ve been cruelty-free, more or less, since the beginning of the year when I started making switches to kinder, more ethical brands when it came to buying things like household products, cosmetics and general items that you might come across in day-to-day life.
Yes, it’s a minefield to begin with and just like dieting, you find yourself checking the back of bottles and packets with your eyes darting around searching for that reassuring leaping bunny or at least some sort of statement to confirm that the product (and hopefully its ingredients) haven’t been tested on.
But, I promise you this, once you’ve done a few shops and you know what to look for it becomes so much easier and you might even find that you’re already using lots of cruelty-free products already!
There’s lots of new brands that we still want to try but we’ve been weathering a particularly harsh storm when it comes to our finances recently so it’s not been possible for us to order many things in or pick a wider variety of products including some of the more ‘high end’ brands.
We’ve still managed it though so, if anything, at least we’ve shown that whilst it can be more expensive to live a more conscious lifestyle in terms of buying things cruelty-free, it’s not inevitable and it can be avoided.
If you’re going shopping this week and you’re starting to think more about the origins and ethics of what you’re buying for you and your family, here’s some suggestions for quick and easy (i.e. mainstream) products you can try instead together with a few that you can find online as well.
* These sections include some affiliate links *
M A K E – U P
Here’s a quick list of what I’m currently slapping on my face…
Moisturiser: S U P E R D R U G ‘s own brand – B. Confident Moisture Gel. FYI all of Superdrug’s own brand stuff is vegan and cruelty-free (yay!)
Foundation: I’m mixing together the X-Ceptional Wear in ‘Porcelain’ by G O S H – sold at most Superdrug stores – with a dab of M A N I C P A N I C ‘s Dreamtone White Foundation to make the right shade for my skin.
Powder: I picked up a L A V A L translucent pressed powder from our local market in Leigh for next to nothing and it’s bloody brilliant! I’d love to try some more of their range when I get the chance (I also have a gorgeous black lippy by Lavel as well)
Blush: I need to buy a new blusher (any recommendations?) so I’m making do with my G O S H illuminating pearls (discontinued) or utilising a sweet pink from one of my palettes for the time being until I get down to the shops.
UPDATE: I’ve since bought ‘Make Me Blush’ (above) from B A R R Y M which is a chubby-stick style blusher + goes on really well.
Eyes: I’m using my U R B A N D E C A Y palettes, as usual, and I’ve currently got the NYC Book of Shadows Vol. III and Vice4. If I’m feeling particularly fancy I’ll use their primer potion underneath as well. I also have a gorgeous I N I K A gunmetal shade that I love wearing every now and then.
I use a cheap S T A R G A Z E R black pencil on my lower waterline and with lots of effort and correcting (ha!) I sweep S O A P & G L O R Y ‘s Supercat liquid eyeliner pen across my top lids, finishing off with B A R R Y M‘s ‘That’s How I Roll’ mascara.
Lips: I’m using an oil from G O S H and my lipsticks/glosses are mainly from the other brands I’ve mentioned together with a lovely moisturising lipstick from D I E G O D A L L A P A L M A.
Brushes: I adore my make-up brushes. How sad is that? They’re just so pretty though. I splurged on some gorgeous R E A L T E C H N I Q U E S ‘Bold Metals’ brushes last year and they’ve been fabulous, especially the flat contouring brush which I use for almost everything!
Other cosmetic brands include: 2true, Eco Tools, e.l.f, Illamasqua, Models Own, MUA, PIXI, Sugarpill, Too Faced, Kat Von D, Eyeko.
T O I L E T R I E S
For bathing/showering you can pick up absolutely anything from L U S H which will be guaranteed cruelty-free and quite often vegan as well (if you avoid anything with milk or honey etc.) and another favourite of mine is the gorgeous-smelling T R E A C L E M O O N range which is usually stocked in Tesco and comes in these huge, cutesy bottles that will last you a good while. It’s also another vegetarian and vegan-friendly brand.
Another supermarket favourite of mine is O R I G I N A L S O U R C E which usually tells you exactly how much of each fruit/ingredient they’ve managed to stuff inside the long, slightly-triangular bottle. Again, these beauties are vegan, they’re not tested on and they smell absolutely divine. I’m currently alternating between their wild cherry and nettle and mint and tea-tree shower gels and when they’re empty, I’ll probably pick up some of their new shower milks to try instead.
In terms of toothpaste, we’ve been using S A I N S B U R Y S or T E S C O own brands. The former carries the leaping bunny logo and the latter is expressly stated as not tested. You should also be able to pick up other essentials like shaving foam, hand wash etc. from these ranges.
In times of dire straits, I don’t mind using these cheap and cheerful products on my hair either but, of course, I’d really rather my locks were better cared for so it’s good to see big salon brand P A U L M I T C H E L L as a top cruelty-free choice and a lot of the other brands I’m going to or have talked about will also offer hair care products as well.
I picked up my deodorant in Holland & Barratt on offer and it’s fantastic for sensitive skin. It’s from popular brand D R. O R G A N I C and made from all-natural ingredients including coconut oil and is free from parabens.
Other toiletries brands include: Ted Baker, Neal’s Yard, Bleach London, Fudge Urban, Molton Brown, Rituals.
C L E A N I N G P R O D U C T S
My go-to washing up liquid is E C O V E R. Yes, it’s going to cost you more but it is really good at getting grease and other unsavoury splats off your pots and that big ‘ole bottle it comes in lasts way longer than your usual liquids. I also buy their washing powder and again, it’s a huge box that goes a long way.
I’ve also tried the M E T H O D laundry liquid which was just fine as well but when it comes to this brand, it’s their cleaning sprays that I adore because they’re like a magic wand for people who hate scrubbing work tops and hobs (it wipes away so easily) and the transparent bottles with their bright, colourful mixtures inside are a beacon for anyone who likes buying pretty thing like I do.
Lily can sometimes make a right mess with her food (so much fun!) so Vanish had become a kitchen staple for us and I was vary of replacing it with another brand that might not work as well at removing stains from her beautiful clothes. However, in the £ shop of all places I stumbled across a similar oxy-action stain remover from A S T O N I S H (they do a whole range of cleaning stuff which is all cruelty-free) that does the trick quite nicely.
You can also pick up a 2-pack of E A S Y washing-up liquid from the £ shop (our local is Poundland) if you’re looking for a budget alternative that doesn’t test on animals.
Other cleaning products include: Ecozone, Ecoleaf, Earth Friendly, Faith in Nature, Bio D, Simply, The Co-Operative (own brand), Violets, Rockin’ Green.
B A B Y S T U F F
I talked about T E S C O above and I’m pleased to say that their baby wipes are cruelty-free too and usually on offer at 5 for £3.00. Again, S A I N S B U R Y S and S U P E R D R U G are good choices as I mentioned.
W A T E R W I P E S are vegan and animal-friendly together with J A C K S O N R E E C E herbal wipes which are eco-friendly (they’re biodegradable and compostable) and smell gorgeous!
If you’re going disposable with your nappies, N A T Y is my favourite brand (they also do wipes). They’re natural, environmentally-friendly and their ‘dung-hampers’ are completely cruelty-free whilst the company is also working towards them becoming biodegradable (hurrah!)
Of course, you could also go down the reuseable nappy route as well.
Other baby products include: Good Bubble, Earths Best, Earth Friendly, Beaming Baby, Weleda, Child’s Farm, Little Green Radicals, Paddy’s Bathroom.
So there you have it pumpkins! I hope you’re enjoyed my quick little low-down on the products we’ve been using recently and I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we try out some new brands and items across the coming months.
Do you or will you be shopping cruelty-free?
What are your favourite animal-friendly products? (and if you have any recommendations please do let me know!)