The Cruelty Free Myth? A Simple Way to Buy

Finding out my favourite lipstick Maybeline 24hr Super Stay Lip Stick 110 Quartz Star
was tested on animals, my little world exploded and today I’d like to share with you some of the best ways of buying cruelty free. It’s not often a controversial issue gets so ingrained in my head, it’s all I think about and I find myself online every few minutes trying to find out a new fact, telling everyone who will listen to me and sometimes loosing sleep, but that’s what has happened to over the past few weeks. With no one new to jibber my findings (sorry friends and family), I thought it was time to take to the internet. In a nutshell, I am personally of the opinion, unless a product is intended for medical purposes to be prescribed by a doctor/over the counter drugs or used by animals, it should not be tested on animals full stop.

Products like make up, shampoos, face moisturisers are used (in varying degrees) for vanity. With todays technology, the internet and research history, there is no excuse for companies to test on animals for our vanity. There are a thousand reasons against animal testing but that’s not what we’re talking about today and if you’re reading this, you’ve probably made the decision to go cruelty free. Most people are aware in 2013, a new EU law was fully implemented that made it illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics in Europe, even if the testing was done outside Europe. So everything is good right? Yes and no.

Technically, all the products you buy on your high street are not tested on animals. So if that is enough for you, rest easy. Including a few big loop holes (e.g. ability to use an animal tested ingredient five years after testing) which I won’t bore you with, the biggest issue is that a lot of the bigger companies we know and love like Loreal (Maybeline, YSL, Urban Decay), COTY (Sally Hansen, O.P.I, Rimmel), Estee Lauder (Clinique, MAC) and so many more do test on animals to sell in countries like China which requires testing by law, despite being sold without issues in Europe. A lot of the smaller companies are owned by the bigger companies and figuring out who owns what is baffling and makes buying cruelty free very difficult and very confusing. One example of this is The Body Shop. It’s owned by Loreal so while technically cruelty free, when you buy something from The Body Shop, you are in fact supporting a company that does test on animals. I told you it gets confusing, so what can you do?

First, sign PETA’s pledge, share and download their cruelty free shopping guide and steer clear of companies that have a parent. 

Secondly, if in doubt or in a rush, buy Tesco (UK), Target (US) own brands as they do not test on animals and are independent companies. 

Third, if you find a product you like, try and buy direct online or in their own store. Buying through third parties like department stores or Sephora could be counteracting your mission to buy cruelty free. 

How can you tell if a company is really cruelty free? Checking for PETA’s cruelty free logo is the simplest and quickest way. Then ask two questions, do the company (or parent company) test ingredients/ finished products on animals? Do they sell products in China or Sephora? If the answer is no to both questions, the company is most likely to be cruelty free.

What have I done? My first reaction was to throw my entire make up and beauty collection away, and immediately go and buy cruelty free. After (rather lengthy) discussions with friends I decided to keep what I have so far and replace them as and when they run out. The companies already have my money and I’ll be filling landfills unnecessarily.

Through a lot of research, I have also compiled a small list of companies I will only be using from now on* for all my needs from deodorant to eye liner. I’ll be adding to them as I find more. They may not all have the Leaping Bunny logo but I can vouch for their cruelty free policies.

Lush– all round hair and beauty, my fave!


Models Own
– Nails

Makeup Revolution


Barry M

Freedom Makeup London

Too Faced

Top Shop

Mixed Chicks– hair

Carmex– lip balm

Faith in Nature– all things bath and shower

Man Cave– for men

Bull Dog– for men

Tesco– For anything else or I’m a week away from payday and need to make those penny’s stretch.

I’ve asked my friends and family if they could refrain from choosing beauty gifts for me, unless they are sure it is cruelty free. I’d hate to give away a thoughtful gift because I feel a company is not doing enough to stop animal cruelty.

I have had a big sort though all my lotions and potions to see if I can give anything away or mix together in order to use things up quickly so I can switch to cruelty free as soon as possible.

I’ve emailed Loreal to ask them to stop animal testing full stop, and find loop holes in Chinese law which means their products are not tested on animals  if its important to them, along with signing PETAs Cruelty Free Pledge.

I hope this has been some what helpful in understanding the complexity of buying cruelty free. I was so disappointed when some of my favourite companies were on PETA’s avoid list but there are some fantastic alternatives out there and I can’t wait to try them.

Have you or are you thinking of going cruelty free? Are there any brands that I must try? I’d absolutely love to know! Please comment or find me on twitter @teatalestravels.

Thanks for getting through this lengthy post, please share with anyone you might feel would benefit from this. It really is an issue close to my heart right now and hope it has inspired you to even consider making the change.

Over and Out!

Nathalie Lot

* Check out PETA’s guide to buy-in cruelty free for a more comprehensive guide. This is just a personal list I will use.

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