Makeup, Skin Care, Beauty, Lookbook

6 ways you can adopt a cruelty-free beauty routine

When I was eight years old I became a vegetarian. Surprisingly this was easy. When I was 13, I found out most of my beauty cosmetics were tested on animals. Ever since then I have tried to adopt a cruelty-free beauty routine. This hasn’t been so easy.

I can easily buy cheap and delicious vegetarian food from the grocery store. Finding the right cosmetics that won’t destroy the bank is harder. I am still learning. But based on my experience through trial and error, I am offering advice on six ways you can start transitioning to a cruelty-free beauty routine.


1. Do your research beforehand

A rustic workplace facing a window with a laptop, plants, cellphone, and lamp on a desk.
[Image description: a rustic workplace facing a window with a laptop, plants, cellphone, and lamp on a desk]. Via Roberto Nickson on Unsplash.

Most brands test on animals. Shopping for beauty products without a rough idea of what brands don’t test on animals can be disheartening and seemingly impossible at times. Luckily, there are websites and guides online like Peta.org and Cruelty-Free Kitty that list cruelty-free products. Browsing through these lists before embarking on a shopping trip will save you time and your sanity.

Because cruelty-free products can be pricier, I’ve always found it helpful to do research on more affordable brands prior to going shopping. Good on You provides a comprehensive list of affordable cruelty-free products and Cruelty-Free Kitty lists drugstore makeup brands that do not test on animals.


2. Read the fine print

A woman in a shop isle holding a product and looking directly at the camer
[Image description: a woman in a shop isle holding a product and looking directly at the camera]. Via Joshua Rawson Harris on Unsplash.

Products that are cruelty-free are often labeled, either with a leaping bunny or the words “cruelty-free.” You can verify that the labels are true by googling the brand or using an app. Be wary of conflicting information online. This may mean the product is not actually cruelty-free.

3. Download the apps

A smartphone with a pink cover and a hand hovering over it with glittery pink painted nails.
[Image description: a smartphone with a pink cover and a hand hovering over it with glittery pink painted nails]. Via Rob Hampson on Unsplash.

There are apps to help if you are still unsure of whether the product is cruelty-free. Most of the apps allow you to scan the barcode and will provide you with all of the information you need to know including whether the ingredients are vegan. A few good apps to use include Cruelty-Cutter, Bunny Free and Cruelty-Free.

4. Shop online

A smiling woman looking at her laptop in what appears to be a restaurant.
[Image description: a smiling woman looking at her laptop in what appears to be a restaurant]. Via Brooke Cagle on Unsplash.

Amidst the busyiness of our day-to-day lives, finding the extra time to find beauty products that are cruelty-free and affordable can still be stressful. Many cruelty-free brands like Nyx and Milani allow you to shop for your products from the comfort of your home.

5. Go slowly

[Image description: a caution sign reading “slowly please” with a backdrop of a window and trees]. Via Rainy Wong on Unsplash.

When I was in high school I gave away all of my makeup. At the time, I couldn’t afford to fully kit myself out with cruelty-free makeup. The fact that many cruelty-free brands are slightly pricier made this harder. There’s no point in throwing away makeup you’ve already bought. Instead, use the products you have and gradually replace them with cruelty-free options as they run out. This makes the transition a lot easier on both you and your wallet.

6. Cut down

[Image description: a drop of lotion on the back of a hand while the other hand hovers over hand with lotion on]. Via

The easiest way to affordably transition to a cruelty-free beauty routine is by buying less. We probably don’t need three different mascaras. Or five different moisturizers. Cutting down on the products we use will make the transition a lot more affordable, manageable and better for the planet.

Of course what beauty products we choose to buy is entirely up to us. But choosing to boycott products that have been tested on animals can play a powerful role in protecting animals’ rights.