Saving Animals: One Shade at a Time

WORDS BY: VIRIDIANA ORTIZ

It is no secret that being vegan means following a strict diet that cuts out all animal-based products, but what many do not realize is that veganism is way more than just a diet. In fact, veganism is a lifestyle that includes many different facets, especially some would have never guessed.

Being vegan, according to the Vegan Society, is defined as, “A way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” Therefore, vegans do not consume or wear products that contain animal byproducts, and they also boycott industries that test on animals.

One particular aspect of the practice that has been gaining momentum among vegans and non-vegans is going animal-cruelty free with makeup products.

People have  questioned whether it is ethically acceptable to buy makeup from companies who continue to practice outdated testing procedures on animals. Many are already joining this movement of “going vegan” by boycotting companies who participate in animal testing, in hopes that animal testing will cease to exist.  

All around the world there are laboratories that exist where all sorts of animals undergo some type of cosmetic testing that ultimately result in their death. These animals are confined to cages and live of life full of fear and pain.

According to the Humane Society International (HSI), a global animal protection organization working to help all animals, it is estimated that 100,000 to 200,000 animals suffer and die from cosmetic testing each year.

The HSI reports that the animals primarily used in cosmetics testing include rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice. These animals undergo various cosmetic tests that include skin and eye irritation procedures, in which chemicals are rubbed onto their skin and eyes that result in pain and distress, blindness, swollen eyes, bleeding skin, internal bleeding and death.

The HSI stated that, “Pain relief is not provided, and at the end of a test, the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.”

These methods of testing are absolutely outdated and unnecessary in order to determine whether a product is safe for human use. Yet, the most surprising fact is that most companies have the choice on whether or not to test on animals.

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest and most effective protection organization, stated that animal testing is not legally required for cosmetics to be sold in the United States. What often leads to companies testing on animals is the introduction of new ingredients in their products, and companies want to assure the safety of their consumers.

Although it is reasonable for a cosmetic company to test its products for consumer safety, research has demonstrated that animal testing provides unreliable results and does always guarantee the safety of consumers.

Another reason why many companies continue to practice animal testing is because specific countries require the practice in order for them to sell their products. China, for example, requires that animal testing must be done on all cosmetic products imported into their country, the Human Society reported. Therefore, any company that sells their products in China is not and cannot be considered animal-cruelty free.

One misconception that stops many from purchasing cruelty-free products is that they are not easily available or that they are too expensive. But, on the contrary, there are now a large number of companies, brands and even drugstore products available. Major companies that you are probably already buying from are animal-cruelty free and are joining the cause to end animal testing.

Here are three well known brands that you probably didn’t know, and who already do not test on animals:

Urban Decay – Launched in 1996, Urban Decay is beauty brand that offers high-quality cosmetics and are fully committed to end animal testing. The company does not test on animals, and requires its suppliers to verify that the materials they use in manufacturing its products do not feature animal testing. Urban Decay is certified by PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program (CCIC) as cruelty-free. Urban Decay is available at Ulta, Sephora and at major department stores. Here is a list of its vegan products:

Primer Potion – $20
All-Night Setting Spray – $31
Naked Palettes – $54

Kat Von D Beauty – This all-around makeup line by tattoo artist Kat Von D offers high-quality products, all at a reasonable price. In 2016, Kat Von D announced that she plans to reformulate her entire makeup line and has already dedicated a section in her website titled #VeganAlert, where all of her vegan products are listed. Kat Von D is available at Sephora Stores. Here is a list of its vegan products:

Lock-It Makeup Setting Mist – $14 to $26
Lock-It Foundation – $35
Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – $20
Ink Liner – $20
Tattoo Brow – $19

Tarte Cosmetics –This glamorous cosmetic brand offers a wide range of beauty products that have been dominating the beauty world. Tarte offers several products that are formulated without animal byproducts. Tarte labels its products with vegan and animal-cruelty free stamps. Tarte Cosmetics is available at Ulta and Sephora stores. Here is a list of its vegan products:

Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer – $24
Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 – $39
Tartelette 2 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette – $46
Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Setting Powder – $33

Transitioning to animal-cruelty free products is a process that requires time, research and money. By all means, don’t go and throw away the makeup you may have that is animal tested. If you don’t feel comfortable, give it away or just finish using it up. This way, you can allow yourself time to find replacements and join the movement of going vegan with makeup products and help end animal cruelty.


Tips on Finding Animal Cruelty-Free Brands:

1. Get involved: Show your support and take the pledge to help ban animal testing. PETA, The Human Society International have campaigns that encourage and educate about animal testing. Join the Animal Cruelty Free campaign.
2. Download these Apps on you phone: Leaping Bunny Global Shopping Guide & Bunny Free. Shopping for cruelty free can be confusing and some companies can also be misleading. These free apps, let you search companies by name and will tell you whether or not they test on animals.
3. Visit crueltyfreekitty.com. Cruelty-Free Kitty is a popular online blog, dedicated to providing free cruelty-free resources for those wanting to shop vegan free products. Shopping guides for makeup include: makeup, Ulta, Sephora and drugstore guides.
4. When shopping look for the “cruelty free” bunny and “not tested on animals” stamps.
5.Get social: Follow on twitter @HSIGlobal and the HSUS Animal Testing Campaign on Facebook to get daily information on what you could do to stop animal testing. Most important spread the word on the fight against animal testing.

List of Other Animal Cruelty-Free Brands:

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills
2. BeautyBlender
3. Lush
4. Makeup Geek
5. Nars
6. BH Cosmetics
7. ColourPop
8. Dose of color
9. Hour glass
10. Milani