I'm going to do something I didn't think I would do with my minuscule writing career. I'm going to spend an article talking about cosmetics. While I am a girl and it is predominantly girls who talk about the cosmetics they use, that isn't necessarily what I want to talk about every week (re:not all girls want to talk about cosmetics even though it's a valid thing to talk about).
But this week, I found myself thinking about why I buy certain brands. I came to the conclusion that it has to deal with both the quality of the brand and the ethics of the company. While I'm on a poor post-undergraduate student's budget, I still want to feel clean and pretty. As a result, I've narrowed down a handful of affordable cosmetics that are cruelty free (as in they don't test on animals) and are often vegan. While I'm not vegan, products without certain compounds just feel better on my skin. And yours too if you want to engage with my list!
Yeah, you know those glittery bath bombs everyone was dropping in their bath tubs? A major proprietor of that plus many other cosmetics is LUSH, a Canadian based company that bolsters many freshly made, vegan and cruelty free products. For instance, I carry a tin of "No Drought" dry shampoo in my purse for those days when I'm simply to busy but just as fabulous with clean-looking hair. They also have many soaps, face washes, oral care and skin care/scenting products. They even use their platform to advocate for charities and activist movements such as animal testing as well as internet black-outs (which you may see on their website now on this awfully dark Black Friday).
I passed by e.l.f. (or Elf) products in the makeup isle for years assuming that they were another generic brand catering to the Wal-Mart masses. However, I found out that they don't test on animals and have ridiculously low prices. I immediately bought up their lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow... You see where this is going. Their products look great, have a nice smell to them (which is brownie points in my book) and do so all without using hazardous chemicals on animals for the sake of beauty. They apparently have more than makeup which I haven't explored, but definitely check them out.
3. Wet n Wild
Seriously, did y'all know this? There are so many drug store brand cosmetics that manage to keep their prices down while not testing on animals. I've gotten my fair share of Wet n Wild cosmetics - their lip gloss sticks out in my mind from my childhood. I also frequent their nail colors when I'm impulse buying a new bottle. But they're cruelty free and I can just die happy in a bed of inexpensive cruelty free cosmetics.
It took a bit of digging for this one without accepting it by word of mouth from my friend who informs me about cruelty free brands. OGX is under the umbrella of Ulta which does have many products that are tested on animals. But OGX specifically doesn't test on animals making it one of my new favorite hair care brands. I've been using their sale shampoo and conditioner meant for moisturizing hair and damn, my hair is moisturized. If you can afford to splurge a little bit on shampoo, go for OGX and feel good about your choice.
4. Herbal Essences
Herbal Essences is a mixed bag unfortunately because Clairol, the parent company which is under P&G, actually does use a lot of animal-tested compounds for their products. However, this small hair care branch of the cosmetic company bolsters a cruelty free label on their packaging. I personally love Herbal Essences and mourn the lack of "Honey, I'm Strong" shampoo and conditioner every time I'm at the store. But not everyone can accept Clairol's practices as a whole and chooses to boycott them. To each their own.
Now while cruelty free sounds a bit anti-consumerist, there is no reason you can't go out a buy a modest amount of cosmetics for yourself and everyone you know. I mean, if that's your thing ;).