As most of you know being vegan goes beyond what we eat. The philosophy of environmental compassion and compassion for sentient beings transcends form the kitchen into our closets, make-up drawers, car seats, you name it.
Today I went to Sephora to buy some new makeup for my brother’s wedding which is coming up soon. So excited! Anyway … I have asked about their policy on animal testing many times (and many different people) and they always say that all of the products in their store are NOT tested on animals. When they first told me that, I just about fell over. Seriously? Could this super kewl, huge beauty store really have such a great policy when animal testing is rampant in the cosmetic industry? Sure enough every time, they tell me the same thing.
As for the details …. I look at every box and read all the ingredients and most of them do not say “cruelty free” but I trust the people that work there and they do seem knowledgeable so I try to go with it. They also guarantee that any of the products in their “natural and organic” section are not tested on animals AND the products within those products are not tested in animals. That is so great! Most of those packages say “cruelty free” so I try to stick to those. My favorites are Philosophy and Juice Beauty.
Today I bought some eye shadow and some foundation and then I realized that I needed a brush to put on that mineral-based, fluffy powder. The assistant was so great … we walked over to the brush section. For those of you that have never been to Sephora, they have like over 50 brushes just for putting on different kinds of make-up. Of course I asked what they were made of and the lady answered “squirrel hair”. I looked at her kind of funny.
“I thought you were a cruelty free shop here.”
“Well the animals are not harmed during the process,” she answered.
“You mean when their hair is shaved off you can guarantee me that the squirrels never get cut, that they’re not kept in cages, they’re not killed when they can no longer produce good quality fur? You mean like how merino wool comes from sheep who are not harmed during the shearing process … yet the skin on their butts is sliced off to prevent fly infestation?” Ok … well I didn’t go that far but I wanted to.
I tried not to let my jaw hit the ground and just made the point that I would absolutely not buy a squirrel hair makeup brush. Surely there must be one that doesn’t involve animal hair. Apparently that is harder to find. After much searching and reading their product descriptions in the computer, they found one for me. This is why I love Sephora. They take my concern for the animals seriously and will work extra hard to find me products that meet my needs and my ethical standards.
A+ to Sephora for their diligence in helping me but seriously what is the company thinking? How can you be cruelty free yet sell animal-fur makeup brushes? I’m confused on that. If any one can enlighten me, I’d be grateful.
I decided to test this idea a bit further and went to Target to look for non-animal-hair brushes. They carry a makeup brand called Sonia Kashuk that I like to buy. All products say they are not tested on animals so I assumed the brushes weren’t either. I was wrong! Apparently having a “cruelty free” beauty product line mean that you can use animal hair in brushes. WHAT? Sonja’s brushes are made from sable (a small mammal) hair. I’m very disappointed in Sonia today. Even more horrified to realize that I bought a Sonia brush about a year ago and when got home to check on it … indeed it is made of sable hair.
What are we vegans to do about makeup brushes? I know it seems silly to be chit chatting about makeup brushes. It’s such a frivolous thing but part of my writing on this blog is to show that vegans can live totally normal lives without sacrificing their daily wants and desires for food or material things. Thankfully there is the internet when all else fails. I found a company called Sevi and they have tons of beautiful, (honestly) cruelty-free brushes. Next time I find myself in need of a frivolous makeup brush, Sevi will no doubt get my business.