The title suggests some major randomness, but I promise you it will all go together and explain you how I got to the point in which I am now.
Let’s go backwards around 15 years to the time when I was in secondary school (in Poland, where I come from). It was also the time I started exploring the internet and because I was so curious about the world, I was researching different topics to make up my mind about them. This included death penalty and many other controversial issues you can think of. I was looking at some data and also reading different opinions. Also – one topic often led me to the next and then I discovered what vivisection was. I later even made a presentation on the issue for my English class, as we were to choose a topic and discuss it. I had a list written down from the internet of many companies testing their products on animals. It included, of course, L’oreal, P&G and others. I obviously made a conscious decision not to buy anything from them. The fact is, it wasn’t very difficult, as L’oreal make-up, for example, was way out of my budget. I didn’t wear much make-up to begin with. Me and my friends were just starting out, and experimenting, but we would put it on only at the weekends, for some parties or afternoon girls get together etc. So I would stick with some cheap Polish brands, or occasionally treat myself to something that was on offer from Avon or Oriflame (my friends were consultants). And that’s how the time passed, I would never use anything more expensive, and certainly nothing from those brands that I knew conducted testing.
Two years ago, in August 2013, I moved to London (like many Poles, haha, but if you have a choice between earning 1-2 pounds an hour and 8-10 pounds an hour for similar work it’s a no-brainer). I remember catching from the news that year, that no animal tested products would be sold in Europe any more. I thought it’s great and it’s the end of the story. Gradually, I started exploring what the UK market has to offer. There are many brands here that we don’t have in Poland. But also, some that are astronomically expensive for most Poles, became possible for me here to buy from, occasionally. At the very end of 2013 I also discovered Youtube beauty videos (better late than never, haha!). And so I then wanted to get into make-up again, as I had more time and money to do that. And also willingness. For the previous few years in Poland my life had been crazy busy and I’ve had none of that. I also had a big problem with adult acne, so the little time I’ve had, I would spend on covering it and that was all…
So I watched those videos and probably like many girls/women – became a ”victim” of it. It has started a never ending shopping spree. On one hand, it’s great to know which products work well and which to avoid. But still, these girls have big enabling powers…. The upside of it all is actually the fact that through yt videos and blogs/websites mentioned in them I learned how to get my acne under control. But that’s a big topic for another blog post. Coming back to make-up. I had my fascination with Benefit, like most girls probably, and some other brands. I accumulated the amount of stuff that is possibly nothing in comparison to what some teenagers have, but it’s a lot for me. Having several blushers, several foundations, several lipsticks, several palettes etc. starts to feel like too much of a choice. And funny enough – also through Youtube I discovered the idea of minimalism. I’ve watched some great videos and have a firm plan to gradually downsize my make-up stash. Notice that I’m talking about make-up only. I have a big skincare stash too, but I love skincare, and believe you should have a skincare ”wardrobe”. And I don’t have a problem with my closet, as I’ve been on ”anti-consumptionism mode” (as I call it) when it comes to my clothes for years. Thinking about the conditions in asian factories gives me nightmares, so I buy 90% second hand and not too often. I guess I will come back to the idea of minimalism on my blog as my journey continues.
Now to the most important issue, the one I’ve started with. Also thanks to videos and blogs by some green bloggers I follow, I’ve learnt that animal testing is not a thing of the past yet, sadly. It’s still being done in China and other countries and companies that want to sell there, need to agree to that. I sooo wish I knew that earlier…. I definitely wouldn’t buy anything from these brands as they are certainly not cruelty-free, even if they call themselves like that and want us to believe it. But I have to admit, I had this thought at the beginning of reading and thinking about it: ”Damn, so now when I enter Boots or Superdrug, what will be there for me to buy make-up from, apart from Gosh??” (I knew already that Gosh is cruelty-free). Skincare, haircare are not a problem for me as I buy vast majority from natural/organic brands. But make-up….. But you know what? After researching more and more, reading different lists that are on the internet, and checking particular brands, I see there is abundance of choice. So when I run out of something and need to replace it (consciously, keeping minimalism in mind) I know it won’t be hard at all. There are cheap brands being cruelty-free, like Essence, BarryM, 2true, MUA, Collection, medium priced, like Gosh, B., Sleek, Soap&Glory, Kiko, Inglot, Zoeva, Pixi, high end ones, like Hourglass, Illamasqua, TooFaced, The Balm, Charlotte Tilbury, Kevyn Aucoin, professional ones, like Kryolan, Mehron, Ben Nye; the brands from across the pond, that are a bit more difficult to get, like Make-up Geek, Paula’s Choice, Sugar Pill, OCC, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Wet’n’Wild, Kat von D etc… And, of course, the many natural/organic brands. So if you are at similar point, and wanting to go cruelty-free, I encourage you to do a little research and you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂 Just a word of warning though, some on-line natural/health products shops still carry two brands (if you know of others, let me know) that I used to love, that have great skincare, but sadly aren’t cruelty-free – Caudalie and Jurlique…..
How about you and make-up? If you have some cruelty-free recommendations please leave them in the comments below. I would really love some comments 😉