Monday, 17 December 2012

Beautiful ~ At What Cost?

Hi Lovelies,

To the world you may only be one person,
but to an animal you could be their whole world!

I am giving you a friendly forewarning that this is going to be a long but important post, so get yourself a cuppa and have a little read.  This week I sat and browsed through the new People Magazine, and came across an article that has changed my life.  If you don't know already, I am an absolute animal fanatic, I am mommy to three Yorkshire Terriers named Paco, Levi and Bambi plus a couple of ferals cats at work that me and a few other people feed and look after.  They truly are my world, and the love I have received from these furrballs have made me grateful that I am able to experience pure love one can only ever really receive from a pet.  The article was about scientific experimentation and animal testing, and to say the pictures were gruesome does not convey the full extent of pain and hurt I felt.  I've always wondered why there seems to be two separate laws, one for us and one for animals?  People get up in arms when they hear abuse towards human beings and rightly so, yet the same kindness and laws do not apply to animals, why?

I am one of those people that will stop in a busy road and most probably put my own life in danger to catch a stray or lost dog, stop when an animal has been run over to try and save it's life, involved with various pets charities and generally try to raise animal awareness as much as possible.  Perhaps I'd been living under a rock, perhaps I tried to shelter myself from the reality ... I don't know why I never fully understood the horrific truth of animal testing up until now, but I can safely say I'll never be able to turn my back to the truth I have uncovered.  I also want you to know that this post is not meant to be judgemental, or that I'm trying to preach or force my opinions on anyone ~ But at least if I've made you ask the question what your beauty is worth, and have helped you to make informative choices, then my work has been done {knowledge is power}.

Initially after the whole article when I started doing my research, it was a bittersweet moment for me, as I had realised my holy-grail products MAC Cosmetics were doing animal testing, for years they never did, but it seems that they finally decided to cave into the Chinese-market greed.  But I was also pleasantly surprised and excited when I saw just how many brands were cruelty free, it made me incredibly happy and I couldn't wait to share the good news with all you beauties, I mean who doesn't love discovering new brands or products that you now realise are actually doing such an amazing thing such as supporting cruelty free practises.

Sentience: The word “sentience” means “one who has the faculty of sensation and perception”, meaning to have the ability to “feel” physically and emotionally.*

Animal Rights: Animals have natural rights which must be acknowledged in South African law; these include the right to freedom from unnaturally induced pain; the right to shelter; the right to nourishment; the right to indulge their natural instincts; the right to freedom of movement and most importantly, the right to exist. Animals have intrinsic worth and their value should not be based on their usefulness to humans.*

What is Animal Testing?

Every year, cosmetics companies kill millions of animals to test their products.  Product testing is commonly performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics. In the Draize test, caustic substances are placed in the eyes of conscious rabbits to evaluate damage to sensitive eye tissues. This is extremely painful for the rabbits, who often scream when the substances are applied and sometimes break their necks or backs trying to escape the restraints.

Lethal Dosage (LD) tests are used to determine the amount of a substance that will kill a predetermined ratio of animals. For example, in the LD50 test, subjects are forced to ingest poisonous substances (through stomach tubes, vapor spray inhalers or injection) until half of them die. Common reactions to LD tests include convulsions, vomiting, paralysis and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth or rectum.

General Info:

Do not be fooled by certain companies or cosmetics brands such as MAC, they claim to have an animal cruelty free policy, yet when they want to sell their cosmetics in China, it is required by Chinese law that all cosmetics have to be tested on animals!  Yes, you read that right, all cosmetics sold in China have to be tested on animals first.  I am more than aware that there are Chinese activists, but they are few and far between, and as far as humanly possible we must stop and avoid supporting Chinese products, their legislation and laws need to be changed, but as long as people support their practises and there is a demand for it, they will continue with their inhumane ways.

* Information taken from

Cruelty Free Brands:
Physicians Formula
Topshop Makeup
Butter London
Tarte Cosmetics
Beauty Factory
Urban Decay (A few months ago they said they were doing animal testing but in July they turned their back on this policy and now remains cruelty free)
Barry M
Dr Hauschka
Jemma Kid
China Glaze
LA Girl Cosmetics

Brands that Do Test On Animals:
L'Oreal (Make sure that you know which brands are owned by these cosmetics houses, chances are high that if a certain brand is owned by them that they'll adhere to company policies, for example Garnier and Maybelline is owned by L'Oreal, and you might also be asking me why The Body Shop isn't featured above on the good list, and the reason is that The Body Shop was bought by L'Oreal in 2006 and they do animal testing, so truthfully, by supporting The Body Shop you're not actually doing anything good)
Christian Dior
Estee Lauder
Sleek Makeup

The above cosmetics brands are accurate as far as I know, I've done my best to look for the latest status on them, but I do suggest visiting and to stay updated with all the latest developments.

Most brands will state on the label that it is cruelty free, or have this logo on it:

I know it's a lot of information to take in, as I looked at my make-up collection I realised just how many of these cruel brands I have supported and thus enabled to continue doing these awful testing on our furry friends {and this doesn't begin and end with just cosmetics ~ it effects every single part of our life from food choices to medicine and even the contacts you might be wearing}, I know that I won't be able to have a proper make-up collection completely cruelty free for quite some time, but I will endeavour to eliminate as many of these cruel brands as soon as possible, and I am also going to be writing letters to these companies, letting them know that I will no longer support such cruelty.  Also, I will be making more educated food choices, household cleaning items etc.  Of course this is going to be a long road, by no means am I saying I know everything, indeed I am a rookie, this is all new to me, but I know one step at a time my family will be making a positive difference.  I know sometimes we feel like we're just a small fish in the pond, but trust me, by making educated and compassionate choices, not only can we live with a peaceful and happy soul, but knowing you have made a difference!  Here's some beautiful pictures to remind you what we are fighting for:

I hope I've helped you to make informative and good decisions, I hope I've helped you ask the question what your beauty is worth? 

Much Love,


  1. verrry good post , it has certainly opend my eyes to all of these make up brands that support cruelty

    1. Thanks for your comment! If I've made you aware of this then I feel this post has been a success :) xo

  2. There's a brand called Naked Style, that's sold at selected Clicks. I'm not sure if Clicks still sell them, but it's a British based company and their products are cruelty free, sulphate & paraben free and up to 97% natural. I tried their heat defense hair protector and it's great, not sure it Clicks still stocks it, but its definitely a brand worth try and it's reasonably priced too.

    Have you considered making your own natural beauty products from oils and plants, etc? Some home made things are better than the store bought products and it's guaranteed cruelty free.

    1. Hi Odette, I'll definitely check it out at clicks, I can't remember seeing the brand but perhaps it's only stocked at certain stores, but thanks so much for the suggestion I am going to phone them and ask if they still have it. Ermm that might be an idea but I would have no idea where to start? I have been making my own body scrubs from brown sugar and honey and mixing oils, but some other stuff I'm not too sure of? Thanks anyway for your comment!! I truly appreciate it xo

  3. Oh no! My fave brands are on the list :(
    My whole make up collection is MAC! What horrible and disgusting thing to do to harmless animals.
    Thank you for opening my eyes... Beauty at a awful cost.

    1. Don't worry I felt like that too, but then there's so many amazing ones who are doing so good! Like Stila and woolies, I actually bought their foundation over the weekend I'll let you know what I think :) oh and NYX too, I love their stuff. xo

  4. I am veggie and VERY strict with the products I buy and use. I hope this makes people more aware! I hate Loreal and Estee Lauder!!!

    The body shop is now BUVA approved.


    1. Hi Katie, wow that's awesome thanks so much for letting me know I appreciate it ... Exactly don't worry I feel the same way and as far as I can I'm telling all my friends what these companies are doing, people are shocked to hear the truth which is positive. :-) xo

    2. Katie, The BUAV, which monitors that Leaping Bunny programme in the UK, has allowed the Body Shop on their list even though it belongs to L'Oreal, but the profits of BS sales will benefit its unacceptable parent company. Take a look at the Beauty Without Cruelty web site for local cosmetic and household product companies that we endorse. BWC does not endorse companies that are subsidiaries of unacceptable companies!

  5. Hi Elrese

    Thank you so much for the post - i had no idea animal testing was still so prevalent. You can add Sh'zen to your safe list, strictly no testing on animals by them or the companies from which they source their ingredients.

    We as consumers have the power! Let's force the companies that still test on animals to change their ways!

    1. Hi Paula, yes sadly it is, even though they have so many other methods of testing products, CHINESE law forces companies to do it. I don't get it, so cruel. I will definitely do that thanks for letting me know my blog is currently being re-designed and I will have a section to list cruelty free products and I will add them to the list, have you seen the Sh'Zen review? I am in love with their hair oil treatment, best hair treatment. I agree with you wholeheartedly :-)

  6. Hi Elrese

    Thank you so much for the post - i had no idea animal testing was still so prevalent. You can add Sh'zen to your safe list, strictly no testing on animals by them or the companies from which they source their ingredients.

    We as consumers have the power! Let's force the companies that still test on animals to change their ways!

    1. It absolutely is, thanks so much, they're my favourite brand for hot oil hair treatments :-) absolutely agree with you! Each one of us has the power to make a change x x

  7. Apologies for being anon here, I don't have any accounts and not to sure how to work these blog things! I am so inspired by your blog,I went CF beginning of this year and i'm so glad,it's always helpful to find blogs like these suggesting great products and being positive about the change to CF. I do want to ask though,Elrese, does your cruelty free choices extend to food? I hope this does not come across as judgemental as it is not meant to be but i noticed your posts with marshmallows etc and wondered, do you have an interest in being cruelty free with food too? it seems you care alot about animals, but this did confuse me a little how makeup tested on animals upsets you but eating them may not have wobbled your conscience? Honest question here,i hope you don't mind and apologies if you have since gone vegetarian/vegan etc.

    1. It would've been nice to see a name ;) You have a valid question, however, the fact that I'm not vegan has nothing to do with my love for animals, I'm not going to explain in a lengthy comment why, because in short I am Christian, I believe that God made certain animals to eat, however, He never intended the world to become a mass-produced world, where we kill animals in an inhumane way. We also don't eat meat everyday, and when we do we buy only from the woolworths free range and organic section. PS - Don't be confused ;)

  8. I'm going to be completely honest...I'm a big traveler and when I'm in a foreign country (ahem!Japan!ahem!Korea!ahem!) I take a lot of risks with food. I've eaten whale meat (before it became illegal) and I've eaten horse meat as well. I would probably also try dog if it was put in front of me on the table, because those cultures are different from ours and who's to be a specist and say that eating those foods is bad? Also, the animals are killed quickly and then they're dead. It's the same as eating beef or chicken.

    HOWEVER, I do not buy products that are tested on animals for the reason that there is NO LEGITIMATE REASON why humans need to wear makeup and animals need to be put in danger and pain for it. We all need to eat, but makeup and skincare are fun passions that are not necessary.

    Thank you for writing this post to let people know what's happening. We NEED to stop animals from being tortured for human vanity :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for reading my blog ~ I truly appreciate it! You can also email me if you have a specific question or comment {} <3 <3

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