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Cruelty-Free

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Sephora VIB Sale Recommendations 2015

That glorious time of year has arrived! That’s right, it’s time for the Spring Sephora VIB Sale!!! From now (April 16th) through April 21st, VIB and VIB Rouge members receive 15% off all purchases made with the appropriate code (should have been mailed by now – for Rouge members, it is “ROUGELOVE”). If you are a BI member, you will receive 10% off beginning Friday, April 17th. One of my favorite things about these sales from Sephora is that you can use the code as many times as you like – both online and in store. It’s fantastic because I don’t feel the pressure to remember everything at once, and I don’t kick myself if I hear about something amazing the next day. Since there are plenty of cruelty free items from brands that I love available at Sephora, I thought I would share my Top 10 Recommendations with you today.

I have a lot more than 10 product recommendations, but we all have limits, right? So what I’ve chosen with direct links is as follows:

  1. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops – I bought these a few weeks ago and am absolutely impressed (look for a review next week). They are pigment drops that you mix with any non-powder face product to create your own custom foundation! Love!
  2. Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments – These are absolutely gorgeous eye shadows! I have more than I care to admit. “Rose Gold” is shown in the picture (and it’s always sold out!), but I also love “Heaven,” “Hell,” and “Peacock.” I have my eye on “Copper” too!
  3. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream – I really love this eye cream! It’s a thick gel texture that is totally hydrating without being too heavy. I am prone to little bumps under my eyes (millia) and this has not caused any issues. My eyes are left so soft and supple, while theoretically helping with anti-aging. 
  4. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – This is brand spankin’ new and I only have a sample right now, but it is phenomenal! I have a lot of texture issues, and this primer / sunscreen hybrid is hands down the best pore blurring product I have ever tried…and I’ve tried a lot! I’d grab it for the blurring factor alone, but with the added SPF and anti-aging benefits, it is a sure winner.
  5. Nails Inc. NailKale Superfood Base Coat – This is a fantastic base coat! It sounds gimmicky, but I really do feel like my nails are a bit stronger and in better condition when I use this base coat. And if the packaging alone isn’t nice enough for you, the brush on all of the newly packaged Nails Inc. polishes is spectacular! Wider, but not too wide and flat. This is another constantly sold out online product (check in stores ’cause it’s out right now too), but definitely check out any of the new Nails Inc. polishes – I have my eye on Abbey Road and the rest of the White Collection (only in stores) right now!
  6. Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipsticks – Oh, where do I begin? I love this new sheer formula so much that I currently have 6 ::blushes:: of the shades already! Though they are called “sheer,” they are by no means just a hint of tint. These pack a color punch, but in that nice almost stain-type way. Really comfortable on the lips as well.
  7. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Brush – I usually hate dual-ended brushes, but this one is just so useful on both ends that I can look past the awkward storage issues. It is so soft and, of course, made with synthetic fibers. The slanted “contour” end works beautifully for applying and blending out contour powders, bronzers and blushes; the “highlight” end is perfecting for highlighting, contouring, setting under eyes, powdering the face, blush, do I need to keep going? Definitely a brush worth having in your arsenal!
  8. Cover FX Illuminator (Moonlight) – This is quite possibly the perfect highlight. It is not glittery or shimmery. It genuinely just creates that ethereal “lit-from-within” glow that everyone wants. The powder is so buttery soft and can be packed on with a finger for an inner eye highlight or used with a brush for a less intense, but strikingly beautiful sheen. It’s another one that’s often out of stock (like now, so check in stores).
  9. Nails Inc. Spring Summer Mini Gel Effect Collection – As I mentioned above, the Nails Inc. polishes are divine! Though these mini bottles don’t have that perfect brush (it’s an old-school thin rounded brush), the colors just scream Spring and Summer! This is one of the few nail polish sets that I have come across where I would honestly wear every single one of the colors. 
  10. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – Need I say more? I love this mascara so much that I’m not only willing to pay full price, but I actually don’t even want to try any other mascaras! My search for the perfect mascara is over. It’s the deepest of blacks, creates fantastic volume and length – my mom sometimes asks if I’m wearing false lashes with this on! – and is water-resistant without being impossible to remove. I’ve reviewed it here if you’d like to read more.
I could go on and on with more recommendations, as well as my personal wish list, but I won’t! Ten is plenty…for now! I would love to hear what some of you are planning to pick up from the sale, or would recommend to everyone else. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of my picks, and I wish you a wonderful time shopping!!!

Top 10 Cruelty Free Makeup Under $10 – #BlogForBunnies and @HSIGlobal’s #BeCrueltyFree Week

Well, so far for #BeCrueltyFree Week I’ve shared my own story, given you some tips if considering the switch, shared some favorites, as dumped out my virtual make up bag for all to see. Today, in the spirit of all thing cruelty free and all things affordable, I’m going to share my Top 10 Cruelty Free Makeup Items Under $10! That’s right. Going cruelty free doesn’t need to break the bank. There are many affordable options available both online and, as you’ll see, even as close as your local drugstores!

I will begin with the most expensive item and work my way down from there. So, the most expensive recommendation I have for you is the Physician’s Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara. This mascara retails for $9.95 and is available in 2 shades – Black and Ultra Black. It’s a good all-around mascara. It is NOT waterproof, so keep that in mind if you’re particularly teary eyed. It’s great for adding both volume and length without weighing lashes down or becoming crunchy.

Another item from Physician’s Formula is their Conceal Rx Physician’s Strength Concealer. This is one heavy-duty concealer, but it doesn’t look cakey and doesn’t seem to crease. The main drawback is the shade range – it only comes in “Fair Light,” “Natural Light,” and “Soft Green.” And yes, it literally is green! The green is for correcting redness, though I find it blends a bit too well to hide really deep blemishes. The flesh-tone shades are often perfectly fine for those, as well as under the eyes. Unfortunately there really is no shade for anyone much deeper than maybe a light-medium skin tone. If you’re fair enough to use this, it’s a great concealer that lasts quite well throughout the day. The retail price is $9.55.
Next up we have an eyeliner – the NYX Slide On Eye Pencil. These are very similar to the Urban Decay 24/7 Liners, but retail for only $8! They are available in 18 shades that range from pretty basic to pretty bold. You can smudge them at first, but then they set and stay pretty much all day. They also glide on beautifully – very smooth without tugging. Another candidate for this slot is the Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Pencil, which is every bit as fantastic and basically the same price, but I chose the NYX because of it’s wide color selection.
Sticking with the eyes, we have one of my absolute favorite cream eye shadows, which are the Flower Beauty Color Play Crème Eye Shadows. These shadows have a really unusual mouse-like texture. They are quite pigmented, super creamy, blend like butter, and actually stay put relatively well (with a primer I have no issues). The packaging also just looks pretty! They used to have a larger shade selection, but they’ve narrowed it down to 6 shades, which are all pretty neutral. I think my favorite shade is a pretty reddish-bronze called “Awesome Blossom.” These retail for $7.98 and are exclusive to Walmart.
Moving right along, but sticking with the eyes, we have two eye shadow crayons. As best I can tell, the Milani  Shadow Eyez 12 Hr Wear Eyeshadow Pencils and the Jordana Shadow Eyez 12 Hr Wear Eyeshadow Pencils are the same thing. Milani offers 12 shades in a variety of finishes that retail for $7.49, while Jordana offers 8 shades that retail for $2.99. Both are predominantly neutral with a few pops of color…and there is definite color overlap. They blend out to give the lids either a nice base for powder shadow or a sheer wash of stand-alone color that can be built up in intensity. They stay put quite well – my eyes always crease so I still use a primer and with that, they wear beautifully. My favorite, or at least most used shade, is probably Milani’s “Brown Deluxe.”
Next we have two types of blush from NYX. First are the NYX Rouge Cream Blushes. These are nicely pigmented, quite blendable and look beautiful on the skin. They can feel a tiny bit sticky if not set with some type of powder, but I find I don’t really notice it once it’s on my cheeks. The wear time for these cream blushes is pretty average. I typically can see them by the end of the day, just not as intense. They are available in 9 shades and retail for $6.
I also love the NYX Powder Blushes because they are also quite pigmented, wear beautifully and look lovely as well. There is literally something for everyone in the 24 shade range. These blushes retail for $5 and are absolutely wonderful!
Heading back to Milani – I swear there’s more brand variety available, these just seem to be my favorites! The Milani Color Statement Lipsticks (original and matte formulas) are absolutely wonderful! They are pigmented, true to color, stay put without being drying and have a decent lasting power. There are 27 shades in the original line and 8 matte shades to chose from. Again, something for everyone from the palest nude to the deepest burgundy-brown. Both formulas retail for $5.99.
Some of the best eye shadows that I have found in the affordable “drugstore” world are also courtesy of Milani. They are the Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows. There are a whopping 29 shades that retail for $4.49 each. The shade range is wonderful (neutrals and colors) and I believe consists of 3 different finishes, including matte!!! Not only that, the mattes do not lack pigmentation and are not chalky!  These are just plain powder eye shadows – there was a lot of confusion caused by the term “gel powder.” Apparently they begin as a gel that is somehow transformed into powder. They are a bit on the stiff side, but they have good color payoff, blend beautifully, last well on the eyes, and are not at all powdery, patchy or chalky.
Another inexpensive eye shadow comes from Wet n Wild. Their Color Icon formula is superb! You can find this formula in 8 pan palettes, 5 pan palettes, 3 pan palettes and singles! There is literally something for everyone in their shade range…though you may need to combine a variety of pan sizes to get exactly what you’re after to create a full look. Again, the quality is excellent, though some shades are better than others. All of the shades that I have tested are quite pigmented and blend pretty well. The shadows range from around $0.99 to I believe about $4.99 for the 8 pan palettes. Even if these shadows were triple the cost, they would still be worth every cent!
Finally, we have the wonderful Twist and Shine Moisturizing Balm Stains from Jordana. I absolutely adore these chubby lip crayons. They are comfortable, semi-sheer with buildable color, and wear quite well. They leave a bit of a stain behind that somehow manages to fade pretty evenly, unlike most traditional lip stains. There are 10 shades available for $2.99 each.
I guess that concludes my Top 10 Cruelty Free Products Under $10. It also means that it’s time for me to wrap up #BeCrueltyFree Week (it runs through March 15, but I’m taking the weekend off). I have had a fantastic time with #BlogForBunnies and am so thankful to the Humane Society International for asking me to help spread the cruelty free word. I wasn’t certain I would be able to even write a single post initially, but have surprised myself by posting every day this week. I hope you have enjoyed this effort to shine a brighter spotlight on cruelty free issues and I hope that you have taken something of value from all of the #BlogForBunnies posts from bloggers and vloggers around the world. Of course the efforts don’t end here. As always, I hope to continue bringing you cruelty free beauty info in a variety of useful, and probably not so useful, ways. J I hope to see you again very soon, and hope that you too have taken the Be Cruelty Free Pledge. Please stay up to date with the Humane Society International on their website and Facebook page, and I will be right here playing makeup guinea pig so that you…and the precious animals…don’t have to! J

Current Cruelty Free Makeup Bag – #BlogForBunnies Day 4 of #BeCrueltyFree Week

Continuing right along with the Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFreeWeekand the #BlogForBunnies campaign, today we’re going to peer into my Cruelty Free Makeup Bag (ok, I don’t actually keep this in a bag, but you get the idea)! I know I shared some of my favorites in the last post (found here), but my current most reached for items do not consist solely of those products…nor does it contain all of those products! J Some of the items are old standbys, while some I’ve only recently been testing out. Be assured, they definitely are all cruelty free! I hope you will raise your own voice and sign HSI’s Be Cruelty Free Pledge (found here). Done? Great! Now let’s dump out my (imaginary) makeup bag! J

No makeup bag…at least for my troublesome skin…would be complete without foundation. My current go-to is the Face Atelier Ultra Foundation. I find it to have a good medium buildable coverage that is neither too flat, nor too dewy (it can be applied lighter by using a Beauty Blender as well). It lasts wonderfully on my skin and I don’t find that my normal to combo skin gets too oily throughout the day. I usually just apply it with my fingers because it’s quick, easy, and it just works for me.

For my horrendous under eye circles I’ve been using two products lately. The first is Pixi Beauty’s Correction Concentrate, which is a salmon-toned corrector that helps cancel out bluish-purple tones. I’m not certain I love this yet, but I’m testing it out…again. I also have the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. This is a pretty new product, but so far I love it far more than my former staple, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The Urban Decay just has a very natural look to is that’s not as heavy as the NARS. It’s not as full coverage either, but I feel like it just looks nicer, especially under the eyes.

Much to my own surprise, I’ve been subtly highlighting and contouring a bit lately. I absolutely love the Kat von D Shade + Light Palette. I tend to stick with the first contour shade just lightly to enhance my cheekbones a tiny bit. I really love her Shade + Light Contour Brush as well because it applies color easily and blends out wonderfully too! It a definite favorite of mine! For highlighting, I alwaysseem to grab for the Cover FX Illuminator in Moonlight. The Kat von D highlghts are all matte and I prefer a slightly more “glowy” highlight. Not shiny or glittery, but that ethereal lit-from-within kinda look. The Cover FX gives me just that! J

I set all of that with loose powder, but I seem to switch that up with great regularity. My most reached for is probably the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder. Nothing terribly miraculous, but it works and seems to keep my makeup looking fresher longer.

Moving along to eyebrows, my current go-to is the Amastasia Brow Pomade with the Anastasia #12 Brush (I checked and the info I found was that this is in fact synthetic). I feel like this fills in my really sparse brows nicely and I can get good precision. My main complaint is that it is so creamy that it can be easy to end up with a much darker brow than intended, but with practice, you get better at avoiding or correcting it.
I always tightline my upper lashline, or waterline if you prefer. I always use a standard black pencil. I’m currently trying out a sample size of the Ardency Inn Modster Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner in Black. I am really enjoying this pencil. It is probably the smoothest, creamiest pencil I’ve used for tightlining and it does not transfer to my lower waterline at all! The only thing I’m on the fence about is the lasting power. If you don’t rub at your eyes, it seems to be just fine, but if you manage to somehow smudge the waterline, it rubs right off. I don’t find that it smears or transfers though, so I’m not sure that’s a deal breaker for me because how often do you touch your waterline? I should add that it works great as just a basic eye pencil as well, on the lashes or smudged under the eye.
Mascara is alwaysthe Better Than Sex Mascara from Too Faced (I have already done a full review that can be found here). I absolutely adore this stuff and I still have a few sample sizes waiting to be opened. Bonus! J

For my lips, I have two standbys lately. One is the new Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Liar, and the other is the Pink-Nude Sinner Lipstick from Lipstick Queen. Absolutely lovethese colors and the formulas. They’re very comfortable and totally wearable for everyday. They’re not insanely long-lasting, but I don’t find I really need to reapply unless I’ve eaten. I could not be happier to have found these two lipsticks for a natural lip color.

As far as blush and eye shadow, I’m not terribly loyal to any one shade, palette or brand right now. If I’m wearing eye shadow at all, which is not too terribly often lately, I usually just grab whatever is convenient or whatever else may suit my mood. If you’re curious about bronzer, I pretty much never wear any. I relish the pale! J
And now that I’ve realized everything I’m using is not on the inexpensive side, I feel a bit guilty! JBut that is legitimately what I’ve been reaching for the most these days. I will do another post with some of my favorite affordable cruelty free products as well, so fear not if you’re on a budget. I hope this gives you a few ideas if you’re looking to replace something with a cruelty free alternative, but if not, I hope it was just interesting to see! I hope you will at least consider making the switch to bunny friendly beauty, if you’re not already a subscriber, and please check out the many #BlogForBunnies blogs and videos being posted during HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree Week! If you’re feeling extra motivated, please check out the Humane Society International’s website here, follow the campaign on Facebook here and sign the Cruelty Free Pledge here! JI hope you’re enjoying the #BlogForBunnies project as much as I am and I will see you shortly for some more wallet-friendly options. J

Cruelty Free Favorites – #BlogForBunnies During #BeCrueltyFree Week

Continuing on with my #BlogForBunniesmarathon for #BeCrueltyFree Week, I thought I would share some of my All-Time Favorite Cruelty Free Products today! I’m sticking mainly to makeup. I’m not going to do reviews…that would make for a really lengthy post, especially from me! I do have a tendency to fall in and out of love with things, but these items have stood the test of time and, even if I’m not currently using them with regularity, I would be perfectly happy had I never strayed. I wouldn’t necessarily call everything here a “holy grail” kind of product, but they are definitely products that I go back to frequently, if not use daily. As usual, any relevant posts related to these items will be linked as well. So, let’s get down to business and dish on some cruelty free favs, shall we? J

Complexion Perfectors (these are all good – no must-have favorite):

     Face Atelier Ultra Foundation
     Senna Lasting Illusion Satin-Matte Foundation
     Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundations (Liquid & Powder)
     NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
     Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer
Cheeks:
     Cover FX Highlighter in Moonlight
     the Balm Blushes (Down Boy, Cabana Boy, Hot Mama & Frat Boy)
     The Body Shop All-In-One Blushers
Eyes:
     NARS Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base
     Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows
     Ardency Inn Modster Manuka Honey Enriched Pigments
     Too Faced Eye Shadow Palettes (the Chocolate Bar is probably my favorite)
     Milani Liquid Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Pencils
     Butter London Wink Eye Pencil
     NYX Slide On Glide On Eye Pencils
     Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens (they’re actually pencils)
     Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (there is nothing better!)
     Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade
     Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
Lips:
     Butter London Moisture Matte Lipsticks
     Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipsticks
     Lipstick Queen Lipsticks (Endless Summer, Hello Sailor & Sinners)
     The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipsticks & Colour Crush Shine Lipsticks
     Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stains, especially Honey Love
     Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick
Brushes (all use synthetic fibers):
     Bdellium Tools Green & Pink Bambu Lines
     IT Cosmetics & IT Cometics for Ulta Brushes
     EcoTools Full Eye Shadow Brush
Makeup Remover – The Body Shop Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil
Sunscreen – Hang Ten (all varieties)
Body Care:
     Coconut Oil (as a shaving cream & body moisturizer)

As you can see, there is no shortage of fantastic cruelty free products. If you’re curious what products I am currently using – some on this list, some not – then come back tomorrow for What’s in My Cruelty Free Makeup Bag! And, as always, check out #BlogForBunniesand #BeCrueltyFree on social media, HSI’s website where you can sign the Be Cruelty Free Pledge, and follow the campaign on Facebook. Let us all know some of your fantastic cruelty free finds!!!

How To Go Cruelty Free – #BlogForBunnies during #BeCrueltyFree Week!

If you saw yesterday’s post, then you’ll know that March 9 -15 is the Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree Week and I am participating in their #BlogForBunnies campaign! Looks like I have enough posts devoted to various cruelty free topics that I will be posting every day this week!!! Today, I’m giving my tips and suggestions for becoming a Cruelty Free Consumer
So you’ve taken the plunge, signed the Pledge, and decided to go cruelty free. What now? How exactly does one become a cruelty free consumer? There is not just one way to be cruelty free. What one person considers cruelty free may not be the same for the next person. That means that you, as a new (or existing) bunny-friendly buyer must decide what cruelty free means for you. This is a decision that each individual must make for him/herself. I can tell you my own opinion, but I can guarantee that someone will consider my stance is not cruelty free enough. So, before you even consider what brands to ban or buy, you must decide what cruelty free means to you…and keep in mind that this is kind of a boiled-down-to-basics approach.
The first aspect of cosmetics testing to consider is probably your stance on China’s current policy. Chinese law (this does not include Hong Kong where the laws differ) currently allows that any imported cosmetics may be tested on animals. Therefore, any cosmetics that are not made in China have a high likelihood of being tested on animals at some point. The actual cosmetics company may not be testing on animals, but by selling in China, they are consenting to animal testing. For most cruelty free consumers, any brand that sells in China is notconsidered cruelty free. I’m not going to tell you how to feel because any step is better than nothing, but I will say that personally, I do not consider brands that sell in China to be cruelty free.
You’ve settled your feelings about China’s current laws, so what else needs to be considered? Probably one of the most contentious decisions in the cruelty free community is whether or not a parent company tests on animals/sells in China. A great example of this would be a brand like NARS or Burt’s Bees. NARS is a brand that does not engage in animal testing, but the company is owned by Shiseido, which does. The same is true of Burt’s Bees – they don’t test, but are owned by the animal testing Clorox. Perhaps most famously, Urban Decay (one of the first real “mainstream” cruelty free advocates) was purchased by L’Oreal, a huge testing offender, but Urban Decay has retained their original animal-friendly policies (there’s more to the Urban Decay story, but it is no longer a relevant issue so we won’t discuss it here). Many, many companies fall into this category and it seems each day there is a new merger that puts yet another formerly independent company into the “parent company tests” category. For me, I believe that it is important to support any company that is making an effort to avoid animal testing; the parent company is essentially a separate entity that operates, in most cases, independently and their actions are not something that I consider to taint an otherwise cruelty free company. Just remember that many people disagree with this position, so you really need to decide how you and only you feel about the matter.
Really the only remaining issues relate to the ingredients and the suppliers. First there is the decision to buy only vegan, or products completely free of any and all animal ingredients, including by-products. I feel like the choice to buy vegan or not is usually a relatively obvious one for most people, but there are nuances to that as well. I personally do not insist on vegan cosmetics. Though I try to avoid animal by-products, it is not a deal breaker for me. You may feel differently though and it is up to you just how far you take that belief…Carmine is usually the stickler here. Carmine is a dye that is derived from a beetle and is (quite grossly) common in many red and pink items…think lipsticks. Yup, you’re probably eating crushed up bugs when you apply that beautiful red lip color! Many vegans will notbuy products with carmine, while some choose to kind of ignore it. I will warn you that it can be quite a challenge to find carmine-free products, but that should not heavily influence your conclusion.
Sticking in the same vein, the ingredient supplier can effect both vegan and non-vegan cruelty free buyers. Some cosmetics companies may not test on animals, but they sneakily hire outside suppliers that may test on animals. Some insist that the ingredients used for theirproducts not be tested on animals, while some will only buy ingredients from suppliers that never test on animals. It’s a rather grey area, at least in terms of getting a straight answer from many companies. It’s an issue that not a lot of people ask about, but will probably influence your choices to an extent. I certainly try to ensure that brands I buy from do not use ingredients tested on animals, but I do find it very difficult to verify this kind of information. Again, it’s personal preference how in depth you want to dig regarding suppliers and there is definitely some question as to how many answers…and how accurate…you will receive.
I feel like I’ve been preaching, which I’m not trying to do; I’m just trying to provide some basic things to consider when aiming to be a cruelty free consumer. I know this all sounds quite time consuming and potentially difficult. I’m not going to lie. It canbe. By the same token, there are a number of trusted resources out there that do a lot of research for you. Try the Leaping Bunny website and App, which provide a fantastic and reliable list of companies that do and don’t test around the globe. For blogs, the gold standard for vegan cosmetics companies, as well as tons of reviews and other vegan lifestyle posts, would have to be Logical Harmony. For general cruelty free excellence, try My Beauty Bunny for lists, reviews and general cruelty free living posts.
There are tons of cruelty free blogs out there and most bloggers have gone to the “trouble” of spelling out their criteria somewhere on their websites (mine can be found here).  If you stumble across a blog and have a question, contact them. Most bloggers are more than happy to answer your questions if they are able. Scour a brand’s website and social media pages. Do Google searches. Email companies…repeatedly if necessary. Contact companies via social media. Pick up the phone and try to get a hold of an actual person…shocking idea, I know! JEven more unthinkable…try snail mail!!! Basically just be persistent. You willget answers from plenty of companies and there will be plenty that meet your personal cruelty free criteria. Information is your friend. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, make mistakes and even to change your mind once in a while. Becoming a cruelty free consumer, whatever that means to you, is a process and no one expects you to get everything 100% right all of the time, especially right out of the shoot. We all make mistakes, but we learn from them, move on and, if we’re feeling generous, share the information! Together we can make a difference and end animal testing on cosmetics once and for all!
Thanks so much for stopping by and joining #BloggingForBunnies and HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign. Please feel free to leave your tips, tricks and advice for going cruelty free in the comments. The more ideas, the better! J
For more information, check out HSI’s website
Their Facebookpage can be found here
You can find the Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty Free Pledge here
Check out the Leaping Bunny here
To keep up with the blogs & videos posted during #BeCrueltyFree week and to find fantastic cruelty free blogs, check out #BlogForBunnies and #BeCrueltyFree on social media

#BeCrueltyFree Week & #BlogForBunnies – My Cruelty Free Story

This week begins #CrueltyFreeWeek – the Humane Society International’s campaign to bring attention to the unnecessary horrors of animal testing and the many alternatives to such barbaric practices. I was asked to be a part of the HSI’s #BlogForBunnies project by writing a blog post (I have at least 3 to post during the week) focusing in some fashion on cruelty free cosmetics. I thought, since I’ve never addressed it before, that I would begin by sharing my own cruelty free journey. It pains me to hear about animals of all kinds suffering in any way and, though I don’t choose to ignore it, I don’t like to investigate it too deeply. Having said that, I want to help acquaint all of you to this campaign and HSI’s daily efforts to end animal cruelty once and for all…everywhere in the world, so that’s what I’m going to attempt doing this week! Fear not, I won’t get into the nitty gritty details of horrific tests, but pleasebe aware that they are happening right now. If you’d like to learn more about animal testing and other aspects of animal cruelty, as well as efforts to stop unnecessary testing and sign the Be Cruelty Free Pledge, you can learn more about these things on HSI’s website, or check out their Facebook page here. While you’re there, please sign their “Be Cruelty Free” Pledge as well…it doesn’t cost anything and they don’t spit out countless unnecessary emails. I encourage you to share your own cruelty free journeys in the comments, on your own blogs, on social media (using the hashtags #BeCrueltyFree and #BlogForBunnies and tag @HSIGlobal and me @MakeUpGuineaPig), as well as anywhere else you choose.

As I said, I thought I would begin the week by sharing with you why I choose to be cruelty free. Don’t get me wrong, I do from time to time mistake things as being cruelty free that are not. We all do. It kind of comes with the territory. But if I have a choice and I am able to purchase a cruelty free option, I certainly do my best to act accordingly. My reasoning is really quite simple. I love animals. There are few things that I love more than animals and the thought of harming them for something optional like cosmetics just breaks my heart. As a child I often thought that I wanted to be a veterinarian in order to help animals, but at the same time I knew that I couldn’t bear the idea of dealing with mistreated, abandoned, incurably ill and just generally suffering animals. It hurt too much to even consider. I know that as a veterinarian I would actually be doing my best to help those animals, but the thought just hurt too much. So, alas, I did not become a vet, but I still do what I can to help prevent unnecessary animal suffering by being a cruelty free consumer and, in some small way, an activist.

I have had a deep held belief against animal testing of cosmetics pretty much since I was a teenager. Back then it was a lot more difficult to truly know which cosmetics companies did and did not test, and just shooting off an email was not nearly as effective as it is today. PETA’s list was really the only animal testing list that I was aware of at the time and I tried to only purchase products…at least cosmetics…that were made by manufacturers on the “Don’t Test” list. The choices were few, although I remember there being many ill fated “moratoriums” listed from most of the major cosmetics companies. As the years flew by, I kind of believed that most brands were cruelty free. I would check the “Don’t Test” list now and then and buy accordingly, but it wasn’t until maybe a year or two before starting this blog that I really began spending a lot of free time emailing companies and reading about cruelty free beauty.
Fear not, the wrap is faux!

Needless to say, my opinions and beliefs about cruelty free beauty evolved over time. Nowadays, I try to investigate everything the best I can before jumping on the bandwagon, though I do occasionally realize after purchasing an item that the brand either tests on animals or sells in China and is thus not bunny-friendly. It’s not easy to comb through the fancy and often misleading wording from PR companies, the lack of information relating to some companies and the flat out silence with which so many emails are met, but to me it is worth the extra effort to feel confident that my beauty products are not harming our furry friends unnecessarily. An excellent resource for a pretty comprehensive “Don’t Test” list for all kinds of cosmetics and home products throughout the world can be found through the Leaping Bunny’s website (check it out here). If that doesn’t answer your questions, don’t be afraid to contact companies directly, as well as check out well-established and reliable blogs like My Beauty Bunny and Logical Harmony (also Vegan!)…and I like to aim for this blog to be a good resource as well! J 
That leads us to this week and HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign. The Humane Society International has been tirelessly campaigning against animal testing on cosmetics. They have succeeded in full test and sales bans in all of the European Union, Norway, Israel, India, the Brazilian state of San Paulo and, within the last week a plan to achieve testing free status by 2017 in South Korea!  HSI is also currently involved with draft legislation being considered in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States of America! Though China is not cruelty free yet, HSI has aided in removing mandatory testing on domestically produced “ordinary” cosmetics throughout the country! A dramatic step in right direction, indeed! J

Despite all these strides towards a cruelty free cosmetics world, animal testing for cosmetics remains legal in nearly 80% of countries. To help bring awareness to the Humane Society International’s efforts across the globe and the general plight of animal testing for cosmetics, I am taking part in HSI’s #BlogForBunnies project. Putting a stop to cosmetics testing on animals is obviously an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I hope you feel the same way and will check out the HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign, as well as the other bloggers participating in the #BlogForBunnies project. If you are also committed to a cruelty free lifestyle or would like to take strides in that direction, please add your name to the Cruelty Free Pledge, which is linked here. And please join in the cruelty free discussion using #BeCrueltyFree and #BlogForBunnies and tagging @HSIGlobal and me @MakeUpGuineaPig on social media. If you write a blog, join in there as well! Every cosmetic purchase you make is another chance for your voice to be heard, so I hope you will join the Humane Society International, me and the rest of the #BlogForBunnies project in shouting our support for cruelty free companies…not just during #BeCrueltyFree Week, but every day until animal testing is something for the history books!!!
Stand Against Animal Testing!
Please check out hsi.org/becrueltyfree for more info
Check out the HSI #BeCrueltyFree Campaign on Facebook here
The #BeCrueltyFree Pledge can be found here