We’re nearly squeaky clean!

Ben and I have been researching the net for a while now, searching for our cruelty free household and cosmetics stuff. Well, we’ve pretty much succeeded in our goal there. I think 99% of our bathroom things are now animal friendly. I went to M&S and had a spend up on make-up and then I went to Pure Nuff Stuff and had another spend up on soaps….And then I went to Co-op….and didn’t have a spend up! I was so impressed – I needed a new shampoo because my Lush solid bar was [unfortunately] making my hair greasy. So I drove to the little Co-op in the next village where I found tCo-operative Toothpasteheir most basic shampoo (BUAV approved) – it was under a pound! Then to top it off I bought their toothpaste… 70p! Wow.  I am incredibly tight with money and believe that anything over £4.00 is expensive (it’s a hereditary thing).  But believe it or not, the shampoo is actually quite nice (it’ll do for me – it was under a pound!!) and the toothpaste is really nice.

The thing I was most pleased about changing was my make-up. Most people are aware that “make-up” is tested on animals. I was quite worried about changing, as I really did love the Boots No7 range. I’d been using it since I was about 18 and even though it’s expensive (it WAS more than £4.00…) I did indulge myself. BUT…It isn’t approved so out it went! I went to Marks and bought myself some foundation, a mascara, a duo eye shadow and an eye liner. It came to about £30 with a few other bits and pieces. I know that sounds a lot, but I’ve bought it now, and replenishing bits every month or so is going to be something like five or six quid.

Being a former purchaser of Boots No7 products I was used to beautiful packaging and sumptuous names, but M&S make-up just says what it is – no faffing. It’s a bit plain to look at and doesn’t make you think – ‘wow – I need that, it looks lovely!’ – but then that’s just me being a marketing dream. The products themselves are pretty good; the foundation is alright – it feels quite oily when I put it on but after that I don’t notice it. It seems to stay on all day; I have a tendency to rub my face when I’m tired (so that’s all the time) and I don’t look like death when I get home, so that’s good. I’d give it an 8/10. The  eyeshadow is really nice. It’s a duo, so light and dark brown are my colours. 9/10 for that. Eye liner. Now – I bought a pencil eyeliner to start with. It was nice: very easy to apply, stayed on most of the day, BUT… make one little mistake on your eye and you will not be able to get rid of it! It’s like permanent marker! And one morning I needed to sharpen it – bad idea. My pencil sharpener is now clogged up with eye liner… So I’d give that a 5/10. I bought a liquid liner the other day though, and that is great. Dries really quickly and the applicator is long so you can see what you’re doing. 9/10 for that. Onto the mascara…well, I’m very fussy with that anyway. I have rubbish eyelashes and need lots of oomph to make me look like I’m 23 and not 43. This didn’t live up to expectations. My lashes seemed to flop after about 2 hours. I give it 3/10. All in all, the products are pretty good. It’s all about trial and error with stuff like that, so I’m sure I’ll find something to suit my awful eyelashes.

I bought a face wash and a hair & body bar from Pure Nuff Stuff a few weeks ago. I found a page on their website which listed ‘The Dirty Dozen’. All the nasty chemicals that go into our cosmetics. Nasty. I’d heard good things about Pure Nuff Stuff, so decided to try their Moisturewash. Ben wasn’t getting on with my M&S creamy face wash, and I found this. It contains no SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) which is the thing that makes products foam. According to a lot of people SLS is bad for your health as the molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin. Eurgh! I bet if you look on your shampoo, soap…anything that foams – it will have SLS at the top of its ingredients list. Mine do. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day… So my moisturewash arrived along with the hair & body bar. The latter does what it says it does. Not heavily perfumed, all natural ingredients… lovely. The moisturewash – well. It’s really nice. And it takes my make-up off better than commercial ones. My skin does feel a little tight afterwards, but hey. Well done PNS! I shall be purchasing again soon.

All in all pretty good products. See it’s not that hard to change, is it?










L-R Co-op shampoo, Co-op deodorant, M&S moisturiser, M&S eye pencil, M&S mascara, M&S liquid liner, M&S foundation, M&S facewash, M&S eyeshadow duo, Pure Nuff Stuff moisturewash, Lush Flying Fox shower gel, M&S lime shower gel. At the front on the left is (the remains of)  Lush shampoo bar and on the right is Pure Nuff Stuff body and hair bar.



Follow me on twitter @jadeheathfield and search for A Cruelty Free Life on facebook.

OneKind – Take a look around!

OneKind is a charity I came across whilst nosing around Twitter.  They’re based in Edinburgh and are an animal protection charity. Their justification for animal welfare  is that at the end of the day,  animals and humans are the same. They have thoughts and feelings, just like us. With that in mind, why subject an animal to fear, loneliness or pain?

They have  several ongoing campaigns, one of which is the campaign against animal experiments. The petition is here. I recommend that you have a thorough look around and sign some petitions. I also think you should have a look at their Inspiring images. They are truly inspiring.

A Few Small Changes…

A few months ago myself and Ben had a discussion about animal testing. Being animal lovers, we obviously disagreed with such cruelty and we decided to research the every day products we were using. Ben began by finding a list of companies that test or commission testing on animals which – to our disgust – we purchased from about 80% of them. We felt we could no longer give these companies our money and so we pledged to boycott them. I went to the BUAV website and came across a video about animal testing. It was obviously meant to shock – which it did. I felt I could no longer use these products, let alone buy them. One afternoon, I decided to empty the drawers in my bathroom of every single product I didn’t use / need. (ALL of which were from companies that test on animals). This resulted in a full carrier bag of cosmetics (probably worth quite a lot of money!) being given to relatives. I explained why I was doing this, but unfortunately some people didn’t seem to take me seriously – but there we are. Ben did the same, and we also emptied our kitchen cupboard of any unnecessary or unused cleaning products. These also went to relatives and colleagues. I know it seems a bit odd to give people products you don’t agree with using, but if thrown away they would have then been unnecessarily produced, which is just a waste. So after having a big clear-out, my kitchen and my conscience was feeling a little clearer.
We wanted to start afresh, so I downloaded and printed off BUAV’s Little Book of Cruelty Free. It contained a list of BUAV approved companies that sold cosmetics and household products. (It now lives on a cupboard in my kitchen, so I can always find a company if I need to).We started with the Co-op. After working for them for four and a half years, I’d come to the conclusion they were a crap company, but turns out it was just the people who ran it…! They have a fixed cut-off date of 1985, which means any ingredient or product they use or produce has not been tested on animals since that date. All their own brand household / cosmetic products carry the BUAV logo (the leaping bunny logo). We visited our local Co-op and were so pleased with the products they stocked. A good range of household and cosmetic products were on offer, and we started to feel that we weren’t going to fail in our mission. Another company we had researched into was Method. Although the products we have bought do not carry the leaping bunny logo, they are listed as an approved company. We had previously purchased their French Lavender surface spray and liked it very much. Other sprays are harsh on my hands when cleaning, but this has a pleasant smell and isn’t full of nasties. I later looked on their website and discovered they have an array of products. We then bought their laundry detergent which is 8X concentrated – using less packaging and water (makes sense!), and we have replaced most of our household products for method ones. My main issue in the kitchen was losing Cillit Bang (made by Reckitt Benckiser) – being in a hard water area, my sinks and taps get very lime-scaled. Not the end of the world, I know. So I’ll live without it until I can find an alternative.
So onto the cosmetics side of things. I had previously been a devoted fan of Boots no7 range, and was sorely disappointed when Ben told me they were not an approved company. I left these products until last to replace, as I am very particular about my make-up! I looked to Lush for shower gels and shampoo, buying their gorgeous Flying Fox shower gel and a solid shampoo bar. I was hesitant about the effectiveness of a shampoo bar, but to my surprise it was excellent. Whist on Lush’s website I came across their ‘revolutionary’ Dirty Toothy Tabs – a small tablet (smaller than a paracetamol) which you chew. You then wet your toothbrush and scrub your teeth. They foam up really well considering their size, but on the downside, don’t taste very minty. Though I have persevered with them, and have gotten used to their flavour (or lack of). As Lush say, toothpaste is just a habit. Ben has been using a bar of their soap which I’d had hanging around for a while, and he said he’s found it OK, although he prefers a shower gel. There’s no doubt about it though, Lush’s products are wonderful and they do the job.
Wanting to find Ben a shower gel, I went into Marks & Spencer. There, I was flabbergasted at the amount of toiletries and cosmetics they sell – I had never noticed before! They all carry the leaping bunny logo, so I was in my element. I decided to take the plunge and replace all of my make-up. And buy a shower gel…!
So right now, we are about 95% there. We have a few more things we need to find alternatives to; one important one being our cats’ food. This is a whole different kettle of fish, I can tell you. I’m struggling very much to find a cheap(ish) ethical / cruelty free pet food. We currently feed them on Go-Cat which is owned by Purina. A very unethical company from what I’ve read. Unless your cat or dog would like to go veggie or vegan, there’s not a lot of options out there for cruelty free because of the meat trade. But we will persevere!
I’ve written this to show that just by putting a little bit of thought into what you buy, you can make a difference. I had never ever thought that Unilever, the company that owns Hellman’s mayonnaise and Comfort fabric conditioner, would commission testing on animals. They are a huge parent company and own many many household names. By buying their products, you’re saying that it’s OK for them to carry on. Every time L’oreal bring out a new product with a new “anti-ageing” chemical in it, think to yourself – how did they test that chemical? On an animal, that’s how. And the sad thing is, you can be easily fooled into thinking some companies are safe. Although The Body Shop is approved by BUAV, it’s parent company, L’Oreal, isn’t. So I won’t give them any of my money, because I’m sure somewhere along the line, it will end up in L’Oreal’s pocket.
So, just take a moment when you next go shopping and think about what you pick up. It could be a food product or it could be a cosmetic product. But it may have been directly or indirectly tested on an animal. Changing the products you use isn’t that hard or expensive if you do a bit of research, and you can go to bed with a slightly clearer conscience!