While many of us craft New Year’s resolutions to start working out or quit peeping our ex’s Instagram (we’re guilty!), there’s another idea that’s piqued our interest for 2014: learning more about cruelty-free products. The hot button issue got a lot of press in the ‘90s, but what’s changed since then? What do we need to be aware of now? It turns out, a lot.
Let’s start with new regulations. China’s economic boom has played a part in animal testing, since they’re the only major market that actually requires animal testing on all cosmetics. What does that mean to us? Many brands that once swore by cruelty-free practices have quietly changed their stance to enter the $22 billion dollar a year Chinese market. Luckily, there have been recent reports predicting that China will officially change their policy. Why? The European Union—which actually banned the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals last year—and various others are pressing for a legislative change. The U.S. is in the middle of the argument: we have not required or banned animal testing on cosmetics.
We won’t get into detail about the things that happen to animals during cosmetic testing, instead let’s talk about the good news. (Yes, there’s good news!) With a little more awareness and thoughtful shopping on your part, it’s very easy to revamp your medicine cabinet. In fact, you may not even realize that some of your favorite products are already cruelty-free. You can check in on your favorite brands using the watchdog group Leaping Bunny—they even have a free app to check while shopping—or just shop our slideshow. We’ve curated our favorite must-haves from 100 percent cruelty-free brands. No one is asking you to toss the contents of your makeup bag and start from scratch, but when it’s time for a new mascara next month, consider buying off this list. Nothing goes better with a bold lash than a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Aubrey's Lumessence Eye Crème ($27) brightens the eye area and helps reduce puffiness with a cocktail of rose hip oil, oat protein, and liposomes.
Get your matte red lip fix with Illamasqua’s Lipstick ($24) in Drench.
We swear by Renee Rouleau’s Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel ($36): the minty face wash removes makeup and is incredibly gentle.
Craving a smoky eye? Pick up Urban Decay’s Naked Palette 3 ($52). It has every shade you’ll need and a two-sided brush!
We doubt you’ll be able to limit yourself to just one of Julep’s Color Treat Polishes ($14), but Sylvia is a great place to start.
100 Percent Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Mascara ($21) is totally natural, and made from berry pigments and black tea.
Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Nurturing Body Wash ($23) has earned a permanent place in our showers, thanks to the amazing scent.
One sniff and you’ll love Le Labo Santal 33 ($160)—trust us, we do!
The Body Shop Almond Body Butter ($20) is as luxurious as you remember!
We love all of LVX’s Polishes ($16), especially Modena, a classic cherry red.
Sonia Kashuk’s Beautifying Blush ($10) in Flamingo is an office favorite for fair skin.
Trust us, you’ll be addicted to the Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr Vitamin Enhanced Lip Balm ($25).
How pretty is Spa Ritual’s Nail Lacquer ($12) in Air Head?
For a slight tint, and SPF protection, try Suntegrity’s 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30 ($45).
You’ll want to exfoliate your lips regularly to pull of this season’s matte lip. Try Lush’s Cosmetic Mint Julip Lip Scrub ($10)!
Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ($26) is a favorite of our of editors, especially the universally flattering hues Fearless and Adored.
Tom’s of Maine’s new Simply White Natural Toothpaste ($5) in Clean Mint is insanely refreshing and natural!
Nature’s Gate Moisture Rich Body Wash ($8) is packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients like aloe vera, extracts, and shea butter.
John Masters Organics’ brand new Green Tea & Calendula Leave-In Conditioning Mist ($24) will make your hair incredibly soft and healthy looking.