I know lots of people genuinely aren't aware how many companies still do test on animals but let's be blunt: it's most of them. If you use any of the mainstream cosmetics brands, you are almost certainly using make-up which has been tested on animals.
When I was at school in the 90s, there seemed to be lots more talk in the media about cruelty-free cosmetics than there is now. I always tried to buy cruelty-free, as did most people I knew. I suppose animal rights have gone out of fashion a bit since then so the topic of cruelty-free is much less on the agenda than it was then. I still buy cruelty-free though and make sure not just cosmetics, but all my toiletries and household cleaning products are 100% cruelty-free, preferably BUAV approved. It's easy enough to find out about the horrific procedures used in cosmetic testing on animals and I'm not going to go into any of that here. If you aren't familiar with the topic, I suggest you do a quick Google search on animal testing which may change the way you shop for beauty products in future. BUAV has great resources on all aspects of cruelty-free shopping, as well as a list of approved companies which you can find here.
It's easy enough to buy BUAV approved products now and I can't think of anything that I regularly struggle to find a cruelty-free version of. It also doesn't have to cost more to buy 'kind' products as there are budget brands available. Also, don't be misled by any products which say 'We are against animal testing'. This doesn't mean the product wasn't tested on animals. If in doubt, check out a company's corporate website. If they are 100% cruelty-free, they will say so. In my experience, if you can't get a definitive answer from the Internet, they're not cruelty-free.
To prove there is a cruelty-free alternative to just about everything, here are some of my favourite companies:
Cosmetics and toiletries
100% cruelty-free and available in selected branches of Boots, Debenhams and House of Fraser. I'm a big Urban Decay fan. I especially love their Surreal Skin mineral make-up and have been using it for the past couple of years. They're also great for bronzer, blusher and eye make-up.
|Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette|
I just LOVE Barry M! They're affordable and cruelty-free and are readily available in most branches of Superdrug and Boots. Their nail polishes are excellent and come in every colour imaginable. I'm also a big fan of their Wink eyeliner pen which is easy to use and long lasting.
|Barry M Wink|
Marks and Spencer
All own brand products are BUAV approved. M & S have a few different make-up and beauty ranges. I like the Autograph range of make-up best, but they also have a really reasonably priced basics range, too. Also good for sun-care and skin-care, especially their delicious smelling body butters!
|M & S Coconut Body Butter|
All their own-brand toiletries, cosmetics and household goods are guaranteed 100% cruelty-free and are BUAV approved. I buy most of my hair-care and skin-care here. They're also great for own-brand hair dyes, sun-care and household products.
|Superdrug Hair Colour|
100% cruelty-free and made using vegetarian ingredients, I'm sure everyone is familiar with their brilliant little facemask sachets. I've been using these for years and they really do work!
|Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask|
Did you know two major UK supermarkets are now 100% cruelty-free and BUAV approved? Both Co-op and Sainsburys carry the 'leaping bunny' symbol on all own-brand products.
I hope you will think about buying from some of the companies on here, if you don't already. This is by no means and exhaustive list of all the places I buy from, just the ones I've come to depend on most over the past few years. The Go Cruelty Free website has an extensive list of all BUAV approved companies and is a good place to start if you're not sure what is classed as 100% cruelty-free.