Product Review

Ethical Beauty Blogging

May 23, 2016

Ethical Beauty Blogging

The title of this post seems hyperbolic, but at the same time perfect. At any rate, it’s what I’m going with. I’ve been struggling for quite a while with whether or not to write this, or how to. It’s a tough thing to tackle. See, mainstream beauty blogging doesn’t meet up with a lot of my ethical standards. But I also don’t want to change what I do – I love testing out new products, I love the excitement of seeing new products dropping at the drugstore, Sephora, high end counters. Nothing gets me quite as excited. But then I go back to the ethics and I feel conflicted and guilty. What to do?

Going Cruelty Free

I have been playing with the idea of going cruelty free for over a year now. At first I said I was going full cruelty free, and then I chickened out because it was hard. Recently I’ve tried to take the plunge again because animal welfare is so important to me – I can’t imagine a poor puppy being tested on just so I put some makeup on my face. But…some of my favourite makeup brands aren’t cruelty free. It’s so hard to watch them release cool new things and telling myself I can’t buy it. It’s ridiculous, the choice should be easy, but I don’t want to miss out. And I feel like part of being a beauty blogger is trying out everything I can get my hands on so that I know what is actually the best. How can I do that if I can’t try everything? I know there is a cruelty free beauty community, and independent beauty companies are usually cruelty free, but it’s very difficult.

And then there’s the extent I go cruelty free. Do I go all in? Everything from cleaning supplies to body care to makeup? Or do I only change my cosmetics?  Do I only buy cruelty free products, but still work with brands that aren’t for the blog? That feels like cheating. But I don’t want to miss out on amazing opportunities either.

On Sustainable Beauty

This is a big one for me – possibly even bigger than cruelty free cosmetics. I practice sustainability in a lot of my life, though of course I could always be better. But cosmetics is one place I truly don’t. I have an excessive amount of cosmetics, I’m constantly getting more so that most of it goes unused. The amount of plastic in my house is ridiculous because of it – and that doesn’t even count the packaging that the products came in or externalities like gas used to get it to me.

I know my beauty blogging lifestyle isn’t sustainable in the long run and having too many products can be daunting and burdensome. But once again I have this horrible fear of missing out on the next best thing or a cool opportunity with a brand because I’m trying to cut my footprint back.

Agh, I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know what the point of this post is, other than to share my thoughts. Maybe if I get my thoughts out there I can process better?

9 Comment

  1. Well, at least you’re thinking about and discussing these difficult decisions out in the open. I still haven’t gone completely cruelty-free but I’ve heading in that direction. For small companies, it’s less of an issue but for the big multinational companies, it will be difficult because they want to do business in China and China requires animal testing. I know they know how many American and European women feel about the issue, but with that vast market in China I don’t foresee quick change. On sustainability, I recycle everything that seems to be recyclable and most plastic is. What to do with the things that have some product left in them, e.g. old eyeshadow, mascara tubes – I don’t have a clue. Let me know how you handle them!

    1. I don’t know how to deal with those either! I recycle as much as possible, but it’s definitely tough to figure out what to do with some stuff. Mascara is definitely one of the tough ones!

  2. I think this is such an important topic and it is hard to side with one “lifestyle choice” since, as you said, we are in an industry where, essentially, consumerism is the driving force behind our field. Personally I have been making a conscious effort to not buy new products and give away items I do not use. I have even turned down opportunities because I just had too much on my plate, in terms of products. Personally, I do not think I could go cruelty free in all aspects of my life but I have been making an effort to choose cruelty free brands in my home, such as cleaning supplies, soaps etc. While I admire those who have made such a shift in their lifestyle and gone cruelty free, I believe in taking baby steps, and taking things in moderation.

    1. I really appreciate the insight into what you’re doing, Zubie! It’s definitely a difficult balance. I think it will be much easier for me to go cruelty free with home products than cosmetics, but often the price difference is also so huge, which is another difficulty. Taking it slow is definitely great advice, thank you.

  3. I understand completely where you’re coming from – what I struggle with is that I also want to be accessible to all my readers and while there’s definitely a large group that would appreciate a cruelty-free only site there is also a large group that doesn’t pay attention. I also struggle with the fact that many brands WERE cruelty free but now are not…but of course you’d have to dig to find that information – the brands aren’t going to just tell you that! I had a reader email me asking about it once and I did explain that it’s difficult for me to keep up as brands may change their business practices and I would never want to give readers false information; so the best I can do is report on what I currently know and leave it to the readers to their own research. In terms of a personal level…I admit I don’t go out of my way to ensure things are cruelty free, however if a brand’s practice that I don’t agree with comes to light then I would consciously make a point to avoid them in the future.

    1. Yes, that’s exactly my struggle too! I don’t want to isolate anyone! And yeah it is so so hard to keep track. Agh, it’s so tough! I have been pretty good recently but there are certain brands that I cave for consistently – Maybelline (their lipsticks!), Sephora Collection, MUFE, a bunch of skincare brands….

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