In recent years, I’ve made attempts to maintain a cruelty-free makeup collection, but it wasn’t till a couple months ago that I decided I wanted to go all in. And this didn’t only apply to my makeup — I am currently working on phasing out cleaning supplies and other toiletries that are sold by companies who either test on animals or sell in China (for more information on how that works, click here). However, I have also decided to continue using brands that are cruelty-free but may be owned by parent companies who are not. This is a complex issue with a lot of nuances, and perhaps in the future, I’ll change my mind, but that would also mean saying goodbye to The Body Shop, NYX Cosmetics, Urban Decay, etc. And I’m just not quite ready to do that so long as they stay out of the Chinese market.
[For clarification, I am not vegan and do not insist upon my makeup products being as such; the same goes for chemical ingredients.]
And because SOME COMPANIES WHO WILL NOT BE NAMED BUT RHYME WITH MARS have decided, in an odd turn of events, to go from staying out of China’s business to selling full throttle, it occurred to me that I really need to sit down and commit to this once and for all. That means saying goodbye to a few beloved brands/products.
I feel like I’m going through a break-up.
Make Up For Ever — I somehow missed out on the fact that MUFE is sold in China, first falling in love with their Smoky Extravagant mascara (literally the greatest of all mascaras in the history of makeup throughout all time, and I’m actually heartbroken over this) and then their Ultra HD foundation. So I guess I’ll stock up on my falsies and lash glue because I’ve yet to find another mascara that works the wonders of the Smoky Extravagant. As far as foundation goes, I’m lucky enough to have more options readily available to me (Smashbox recently pulled OUT of the Chinese market *applause* and there’s always Tarte, BECCA, Wet n Wild, etc.), but that’s still frustrating because it’s a seriously good formula. They also do a great job at featuring Korean MUAs/models without making a big deal out of it. Damn you, MUFE.
NARS — whoops I said their name. I’ve kind of been on the fence about NARS, what with their abnormally sexual product names, but their Radiant Creamy Concealer is holy grail status, and I’ve been happy with their All-Day Luminous Weightless foundation (but the BECCA Luminous is almost identical and — most importantly — cruelty-free). I will find another concealer, I’m sure.
Skin Food — I somehow failed to do any research into Korean skincare products before diving in head first, falling in love with nearly every product I’ve tried, and marveling at how remarkable my skin improvement has been in the past couple of years. I use Skin Food’s Black Sugar Scrub, Peach Sake serum and emulsion, and the Rice Mask, all of which I’ve grown quite fond with exception of the serum (does it actually do anything? I don’t think so). I feel fairly confident I will be able to find a LUSH mask that can replace the two I’m using by Skin Food, and I already have a serum I strayed from and will return to easily.
The Face Shop — Another Korean skincare brand, I use the rice cleansing oil as a precleanse, and it’s a REAL pity I have to give this one up. Compared to other cleansing oils (or, say, coconut oil), it’s very lightweight and rinses well, while still adding that boost of hydration your skin often needs during cleansing. It also has a really lovely scent. I’ve yet to find another that will take its place, but I’m also in the process of trying out NeoGen, a Korean skincare brand that IS leaping bunny certified, and there may be something by them that will suffice.
Etude House, Tony Moly, Dermal, Laniege — I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, so these are other Korean brands whose products I adore and who I need to say sayonara to as soon as I run out. ISO: a nice Korean toner, masks in adorable packaging, sheet masks, and a great night cream.
Luckily, I’ve been able to navigate through the world of cruelty-free beauty and abstained from purchasing from non-cruelty free brands (aside from that little stint with Maybelline because they claimed a cruelty-free status while, you know, selling in China). *insert eye roll*
At the end of the day, I have to do what feels right to me, and what feels right is standing up against animal testing — I have a dog and two cats whom I love and die a little thinking about being tortured, literally, to death. And I like to think that the more focus is put on the companies staying away from China, the more our voices will be heard.