When shopping for beauty products, it is easy to gravitate towards ‘natural’ merchandise. We want to do our bit to help the environment and end animal cruelty, and that seems like the logical path. However, do we truly know what ‘natural’ means? To some, it could mean plant-based or botanical while to others it may conjure up memories of past exotic holidays with coconut-infused scents. But, is it as good as it seems? Is natural best? Read on to find out whether your makeup brushes are cruelty-free.
Whether you have a cheap set of makeup brushes given to you at Christmas from your old Aunty or have the huge array of sizes, shapes and styles utilised by make-up artists, do you know what they are made from?
Unfortunately, for many animals, the ‘natural’ label is a marketing ploy. Brush bristles labelled as natural are often of animal origin, mainly sable, badger, goat or squirrel. Many major makeup houses also uphold the popular “not tested on animals” banner. However, many meet this with scepticism due to them containing animal products.
Say no to natural?
If you want to make sure your makeup brushes are truly cruelty-free, do some research into companies to find out what their brushes are made from. If it’s unclear, err on the side of caution and assume that “natural” means animals were cruelly trapped or slaughtered to make sure your blusher application is flawless.
Some fur farms claim that they don’t kill animals ‘specifically’ for makeup brushes. Instead, they use parts, such as tails, that are leftover from the corpse to create brushes. One example is Kolinsky for acrylic nail extensions that gets its name from the Siberian weasel.
cruelty-free makeup brushes
Now we know the truth, how can we make an informed and ethical choice? With the huge upsurge of vegan culture, there really is no excuse for animal suffering. There is a huge range of ethical and sustainable brushes to chose from. Affordable, cheaper ranges are available in local supermarkets while more expensive professional ranges are on-line and in high-end department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods, Barneys or Bloomingdales. Below is a list of popular brands, and some you may not have heard of, to make your shopping more guilt-free. You can also visit our AnimalKind section for more ethical shopping tips!
Flower by Drew
‘We’ve been cruelty-free since day one – period. We test our products on people, not our furry friends’
Actress Drew Barrymore launched her own line of cosmetics in 2013. Brushes start at as little as $6 and are available on-line in the U.S and in Walmart stores. C
The Body Shop
‘As part of our Enrich Not Exploit™ Commitment, we’ve made it our mission to enrich our products, our people and our planet. That means working fairly with our farmers and suppliers and helping communities thrive through our Community Trade programme, being 100% vegetarian and always and forever being firmly against animal testing’.
It could be argued that The Body Shop was the pioneer for cruelty-free and ethical products. Set up by Anita Roddick in the U.K in 1976 the brand ethically sources all ingredients and has always been firmly against animal exploitation.
‘Urban Decay was born in Southern California in 1996, when we disrupted the industry’s sea of pink-dominated counters. Badass cruelty-free, high-performance makeup. Reinvention over perfection. Inspiration without replication. Kindness over cruelty. Unsubscribe from beauty telling you to be pretty. Be whatever you want to be. PRETTY DIFFERENT’.
Urban Decay’s price point is a little more expensive; they are available on-line and in department stores all over the world. A well-known industry giant, it promotes cruelty-free brushes in sets or as individual purchases.
‘At Nanshy, our products are extremely user-friendly while ensuring they delight by exceeding your needs and desires. Your satisfaction is our priority at all times. We are consistently striving to bring you cosmetic products that have been researched extensively, designed with the utmost care, and ensure you only get the best of the best available. We guarantee no animal has been killed, tortured or harmed during the production. All of our brushes use synthetic bristles only; no fur will ever be used. All brushes are assembled by hand and go through an extensive testing process’.
Established in 2012, Nanshy is available worldwide and has gained popularity due to its ethical products coupled with sustainable packaging and use of natural wood for the handles. Items are available to purchase worldwide online or in stores like Sephora.
These are just a small handful of ranges available to purchase locally or on-line. Remember to look out for synthetic and animal-free brushes instead of relying on the natural label and do your research to make 100% sure you are spending hard-earned money on ethical and cruelty-free brands.
Blog by OneKind writer, Fiona McNeill.