NAVS guest blogger Ashley Velez of Cruelty-Free with Ashley V shares her ABC’s of going cruelty-free.
Beauty products, even services, are often perfectly marketed and designed to catch your eye in the hopes of making a profit. Sadly, this is often at the expense of many animal lives. What doesn’t help is that there are some big misconceptions what is cruelty-free versus what isn’t.
What makes it worse is that many have come to think that cruelty-free or vegan cosmetics have somehow sacrificed quality—for example, that the only legitimate stylish false-lashes are made from mink or that the only long-lasting liquid eyeliners have animal-tested ingredients, that the only workable makeup brushes are ones made of genuine animal hair. The good news: this is utter nonsense!
There are many ways to emphasize your natural or glammed-up beauty and to play up features that do not involve harming animals. Seriously! Believe it or not, you can take care of your hair, skin, and nails and ensure that all your makeup is on-trend and poppin’, yet are still 100% cruelty-free.
Here are my ABCs of cruelty-free beauty–some things unconventional and some things humorous– but all that support compassion for animals (and looking good while doing it)!
Tips from A to Z:
Antioxidants, a variety of natural minerals and vitamins serving as protection for your skin that never have to be tested on animals because they are safe enough for us that they brighten our tones, prevent cancer, block free-radicals and repair skin damage.
Brushes that are synthetic. Because they are not as porous as animal hair brushes, they will not hold on to excess product, saving you money on products and embarrassing cakey makeup mishaps!
Contouring. From drugstores to high-end, kits to sticks, matte to shimmery and everything in between, you’ve got multiple choices to play up your features with.
Deodorant. Did you even realize that some brands test on animals for deodorant? How smelly is that? Always go for the cruelty-free stick…because, well, animal-tested products just stink.
Extensions for lashes or hair that are non-animal hair. Be sure that the salon you are paying a lot of money to have these services done at are not supporting the suffering of our furry friends by using genuine animal hair! Who wants mink on their eyes anyway?
Fragrance. Perfume. Scented lotion. Essential oils. So many scented choices! Need I say more?
Gloss. The beauty item that you can’t go wrong with no matter where you’re going, whether it’s to school, work or a party. It can be as simple as clear, pink or peach-toned, or as dramatic as red, purple and glittery! The product is a must-have, and the amount of Leaping Bunny-certified lip glosses we have to choose from is absurd (in a good way!).
Hair color. The public spoke and the stylists and hair brand CEOs listened- cruelty-free hair color is now a thing! Surya Brasil, Madison Reed, Earth Dye and Henna Color Lab are amazing Leaping Bunny-certified choices for locks that look like they came straight out of Hollywood, in numerous permanent and semi-permanent choices.
Ink. Yes, tattoos. I almost fell over when I realized that these can be cruelty-free too! How to find out? It is as simple as contacting your tattoo artist of choice and asking about the brand of ink they use and doing a Google search.
Jerks. Brands who are still testing cosmetics on animals 2019 and don’t deserve your money.
Kits. Lip kits. Brow kits. Contour kits. Hair accessory kits. Self-tanning kits. Kits are ruling the beauty world in 2019 (and they help you get more bang for your buck!).
Leaping Bunny. The most reliable cruelty-free certification program guaranteeing that no animal tests occurred in the development of any personal, household or beauty product by their brands. They make the work easy for us in searching for cruelty-free cosmetics and hair care!
Masks. Because who doesn’t love an express facial? When you think about how simple it is to make one or buy one that is cruelty-free …isn’t it so sad to think of the ones being sold that aren’t? You won’t go wrong trying a DIY one from Nügg, Alba Botanica or YesTo!
Nail Care. From dip powders and polishes to polish removers- yes, even these are being created by brands with nothing but love for animals!
Oil. Essential oils have become a huge trend in 2019! They can sub as fragrance, help you relax in the tub, make your home smell beautiful and several have amazing health benefits (also side note: it has been said that lavender and tea tree can remove unwanted facial hair over time. How great is that?)!
Pomade. This is the secret to the eyebrows. Everyone from Megan Fox and Kylie Jenner to Ariana Grande is using this stuff. It’s darker than powder, yet not as harsh as a pencil. Lightly trace your brows with this using an angular brush and fill in gently. Make super light and minimal, vertical strokes over the first few hairs at the start of your brows. Make sure the color is one shade is lighter than your hair color!
Questions. Question everything when it comes to being sure that all of your beauty products and salon services are cruelty-free only! Look out for fake bunny logos on the packaging. Ask your hair stylist for the specific brands being used and do your Google search before even making that appointment. Question any fishy information you read on a cosmetic brand website regarding their animal testing policies. Question hearsay. Question everything- always better to be safe than sorry!
Raw Foods. A big one that often gets overlooked! Raw foods eliminate excess toxins, have a high-water content (keeping your skin hydrated), fight inflammation and are packed with lots of antioxidants- our first word of the cruelty- free alphabet here!
Salons. Did you know that some salons in the US are Leaping Bunny certified? Talk to your local salon and encourage them to become certified if they are not yet already!
Tanner. Summertime is still several weeks away, but luckily, we don’t have to wait until then to look like we went on vacation in Kauai! Self-tanners are a part of the cruelty-free world now, and we have our choices between bronzers, moisturizers, spray tans (Norvell is a great Leaping Bunny certified brand!), oils and mousses.
UV-Free Care. Sadly, there are many sunblock products that have ingredients being tested on animals, but if the safety of those ingredients needs to be tested on, what does that tell us about the things people are willing to poison their skin with? Your best bet is to try something with healthy, skin-refining ingredients instead, but don’t forget to still look up the brand and make sure they cruelty-free certified!
Vegan. Not everything cruelty-free is vegan and vice versa, so when we find something that is both, we are reminded of how much vegan beauty products are flooding the cruelty-free world lately and we couldn’t be any happier for the way that world continues to evolve and expand. Kindness to animals has no limits!
Wipes. Because there’s no better way to sleep at night after having just taken makeup off with the help of a facial towelette wipe with rich, soapy ingredients that leave your skin feeling fresh and clean than knowing that no animal was harmed in the making of it.
Xyrena. The only Leaping Bunny certified brand to date that starts with an “X”!
YouTube Beauty Gurus. There are so many great people on YouTube who can not only break down complicated makeup trends into very easy steps but in many cases, there are beauty gurus and influencers who will only ever use and promote cruelty-free (in some cases, cruelty-free and vegan) products. What a time to be alive!
Zzz. Beauty sleep is one of the most underrated beauty tips in history. We have to remember that in order to be strong warriors in the war against cruelty to animals, we must take care of ourselves as well!