With more and more big name brands making the transition to cruelty-free beauty, we wondered what all the fuss is about and how to make our routines more bunny-friendly.
There is no doubt that ‘vegan’ has been a hot word in the last few years. Thanks to celebrities and social media the vegan lifestyle has blown up and became one of the most popular trends in the world. So popular in fact, that The Vegan Society now estimates that there are over half a million vegans in the UK. So, naturally, it was only a matter of time until what we put on our faces took a turn for the green also. But what exactly is vegan and cruelty-free beauty, you may ask? Cruelty-free is the label used for products that are not tested on animals, and vegan products are those not containing any animal products. It’s safe to say that the vegan beauty industry is booming, with more high end and high street brands joining the craze.
— Hourglass Cosmetics (@HourglassMakeup) 1 November 2017
We spoke to Pip Box, a monthly subscription box that contains exclusively vegan and cruelty-free beauty products to find out what the hype is all about.
Hi! So, what inspired you to start Pip Box?
I decided to go cruelty-free with my cosmetics not long after I got my puppy Pip. I found it quite difficult to find cruelty-free cosmetics, and misleading animal testing policies from big brands meant I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I hunted around for a cruelty-free subscription beauty box and could not find one so decided to start my own – named after my puppy Pip, hence The Pip Box.
How difficult has it been to find good quality products, and which brands do you use the most?
I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but there are a lot of ethical brands out there once you start looking. My favorites include Toontown for bath and body items, Saturated Colour for lip items, and Benecos do lovely eyeshadows.
What could a new subscriber expect to receive in a Pip Box?
Every Pip Box contains 5 beauty items – one of which is always a full-sized make-up item. Our current average value per box is just over £40 – so our subscribers always receive great value for money too – plus most boxes contain discount codes for the brands featured so you can treat yourself to other items if you’ve been introduced to a brand you particularly like.
I can see that you offer a cruelty-free box and a vegan box. Is there much difference between the two?
Most months the boxes are the same, however, on occasion, we have featured a product which contains beeswax or honey. When this happens we substitute our vegan only subscribers with a vegan-friendly product instead.
Do you think cruelty free and vegan beauty options are accessible and affordable for everyone?
Yes definitely! Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly beauty being more expensive is a myth, and you can pick up the cruelty-free beauty on the high street from brands such as NYX, Urban Decay, Lush and Barry M. I think we can expect to see a lot more vegan beauty items being released in 2018 too.
What advice would you give someone who plans to start a cruelty-free or vegan beauty routine?
I always say to start one product at a time. Do your research and find a cruelty-free alternative. There are lots of bloggers such as Logical Harmony, or Cruelty-free Kitty who have a list of cruelty-free brands – read the products review and make the switch. Go cruelty-free gradually, and don’t throw away products that are not cruelty-free as that is wasteful. It took me just over a year to move everything over to cruelty-free beauty. I’d also say do not worry if you make a mistake and buy a brand that you thought was cruelty-free but then it turns out they’re not. Just use the item up and then try again.
We will be celebrating 1 year in business in February 2018 – and we’re planning a big birthday event with giving away, and extra treats in our boxes
So, how can you tell whether your favourite products are kind to our furry friends? Most products will state clearly on the back, or on their website if they’re cruelty-free or vegan. You should also remember to look out for key ingredients such as honey and gelatin, both of which can be found in many products, and remember; vegan products are not always free of chemicals, so do not let those put you off an otherwise perfectly animal-friendly product. Cruelty-free however, can be a little trickier. The EU banned animal testing in 2013, but any brand that sells in China must submit to animal testing. This means that whilst the foundation in your makeup bag has not been tested on animals, the same product in China has been.
The Body Shop is setting the standard for cruelty-free activism on the high street. Their website states that they have always been cruelty-free, and now the brand is even running a petition to ban animal testing completely. From expert skin care to affordable makeup, The Body Shop offers it all with a clean conscience.
So whether you are planning a beauty overhaul or just want to introduce a few new products to your routine, make the switch and go cruelty-free. Products that are pretty and animal-friendly, what more could you want?
Words: Kadie Eve I Subbing: Miriam Cocuzza