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Beautynewbie Goes Cruelty-Free

by Holly James
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Some of the products I returned today because they’re NOT cruelty-freeHey Everyone, 

You may have noticed I recently added a new page to my site (up in the top bar), under the title Cruelty Free Beauty. This will be a permanent spot here on, as will my decision to buy only from Cruelty-Free brands from this point forward. 

Firstly, I would like to mention that I never intended to buy any cosmetic that was tested on animals. I have not bought anything from CoverGirl in the last 2 years because I discovered they’re big animal-testers. However, because of my ignorance, a few non-friendly brands have crept into my makeup/beauty collection. I’m glad it’s not the majority of my products… but they’re still there and some of them I’ve featured right here, on

Part of my ignorance is due to the fact that I read Paula Begoun’s book (Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me) which stated, under the chapter Animal Testing, that certain brands such as Maybelline didn’t test their finished product on animals.

Finished products.

This wording didn’t register at the time, and I took it to mean that Maybelline didn’t test on animals. I figured this is a published book written by a beauty-know-it-all…
Wrong. Among many other brands, Maybelline “may” test their ingredients on certain lab animals, or when it is required by law, but not their finished product. What the hell does that mean? 


How it Happened:
 So two days ago, I was searching online for some random makeup stuff; Googling drugstore makeup sites for Canadians, and somehow I clicked on a link that lead me to a forum (was it vogue forums?) talking about animal testing.
There was a session between some members about Maybelline and other drugstore brands that test on animals. L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Maybelline and Rimmel were the big-hitters of the conversation.

When I read this I thought “What? Maybelline?” which in turn forced me to go back to that dusty book to see if I was in fact correct. Well… I was correct it was in there, but incorrect in my assumptions.
I have to admit there was a pang of loss for about a nano-second before I decided “THAT’S IT”.

Cruelty-Free I be.

I personally think that with all the makeup channels out there, there’s not enough gurus who use only cruelty-free brands… in fact I could only find a few, the most-well known being OxfordJasmine. I watched her video on going cruelty-free/collection and it solidified my decision. I think she’s an inspiration, and I wish I had been a more conscious-buyer, sooner.

While this will limit my makeup selection (to a very small extent— there are TONS of makeup brands that are cruelty-free) as well as the products I will accept to review, I feel so good about this decision I will never…. and I mean NEVER look back. I haven’t had a problem ignoring the massive rows of Cover Girl at the drugstore, so what’s a few more?

The only thing that I will have to find in the immediate future is some permanent-at-home hair dyes that are cruelty-free, cause right now, Clairol and L’Oreal dominate the shelves of every drugstore I go. If you’ve got any suggestions (aside from *Manic Panic and other semi-permanents) please let me know!

*Manic Panic is cruelty-free. 


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