Since changing to a plant-based diet last year, I realised that there was more I could do when it comes to animals, so I started looking into cruelty free skincare/beauty brands and making some changes to my beauty routine. I thought I was making good choices long before last year, but it was clear I needed to educate myself more. Some of you might not know that for a brand to sell their product in China it means that by Chinese law they MUST test on animals. Some brands are able to get away with saying they are cruelty free when it comes to the UK market, even if they stock in China, which is where I was getting confused. Remember that a product that is all-natural and organic can still be a product that is tested on animals.

It’s such a shame because with China being such a large revenue for companies, they aren’t going to be pulling out any time soon, so it’s up to China to change it’s law. There are petitions in place to make this change happen, so make sure you sign here to be part of the change.

The Body Shop Forever Against Animal Testing Campaign.

I thought it might be helpful to share with you the brands I’ve been using throughout January, making them some of my February favourites, on my quest to find cruelty free products.

Obviously there are many other cruelty free brands out there, but these are the ones I’ve been using most and therefore want to share with you all. I have hyperlinked every product that I use, so you can click straight through to shop.


Maria Nila – This is the newest addition to my cruelty free favourites, as I’ve always found the right haircare for me a little harder to come by. I have very fine hair, but lots of it and it gets extremely knotty. To the point that I can brush it, not move for a minute, brush it again and somehow knots will have appeared! I need a conditioner that can soft my hair enough during a wash to then be able to get a brush through it. Maria Nila does just that. Vegan, cruelty free, smells great and does the job. I’m currently using Luminous Colour Shampoo and Conditioner.


The Body Shop – If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know by now how much I love The Body Shop, as they are my go-to for cruelty free skincare. They are more of a lifetime favourite than just a February favourite. I use so many of the products, so I won’t list them all. My absolutely favourites right now are the Himalayan Charcoal Mask, Oils of Life Face Oil and the Sleeping Cream, Moringa Body Butter and the Spa of The World Polynesian Monoi Radiance Body Oil – for any yoga teachers out there, this is what I use in Savasana.

Not only are The Body Shop cruelty free and 60 % vegan they also have an amazing programme called Trade Not Aid, which helps empower people in other countries within business and works with them on long term trading contracts for sustainable ingredients. Now can you see why love them so much?! If you missed my latest vlog, click here to see what I got up to in Rwanda with The Body Shop.

By Sarah London – I hadn’t heard of By Sarah London before this year, but after having the nighttime face oil kindly sent to me a while back I’m now really keen to see what’s in store next for the brand. All about minimal ingredients and clear labelling, By Sarah London makes easy for you to know exactly what you’re putting onto your skin. I recommend the organic facial oil.

Neal’s Yard – Another brand that I’ve been a fan of for many years and one that has such a wonderful ethos around our world, the environment, animals and people. Neal’s Yard are my go-to for all lifestyle products such as candles and essential oils, but they also do some amazing cruelty free skincare products too. The Frankincense Intense Lift Duo is one of my favourite things to use. The moisturiser isn’t particularly light, so you don’t want to be putting make up on straight away, but for someone like me who works from home and doesn’t wear make up much anyway, it’s perfect. Really hydrating and leaves my skin feeling all smooth and lovely! Oh and anything Lavender from Neal’s Yard is amazing!


Inika – Inika isn’t just a cruelty free skincare and makeup brand, they are also fully vegan giving them extra brownies points in my eyes. I love the baked mineral foundation, the BB cream and the bronzer. On days when I don’t really want to wear make up, but would like a very light coverage, just to even out my skin tone, the mineral foundation is perfect. Inika also does a lose powder mineral foundation too, which I’m going to try.

Charlotte Tilbury – This is my current go-to brand for those days I want to look a little more awake/glamorous! I’ve never been a fan of liquid foundations, as I never liked that slightly sticky feeling and also the thought of my skin not being able to breath. This is why I love the Charlotte Tilbury range, as it’s not like that at all. The light foundation is exactly that, light. And of course I can apply extra to give myself more coverage if I need to. I’m also using the Charlotte Tilbury concealer and the Filmstar Bronze & Glow. Charlotte Tilbury also saved me on the lipstick front. You know when you’ve been using a lipstick for so many years and it’s your ‘thing’, well as I won’t be buying from Mac anymore, I needed a replacement and Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Matte Lipstick was perfect.

Glossier – This one splits across make up and cruelty free skincare. I’ve been using the milk jelly cleanser on and off since last year and really love it. I’ve always had a very simple skincare routine, so cleansers are rather new to me. This one makes my skin feel really soft after use and doesn’t irritate my eyes, which is something I’ve always disliked about a lot of cleansers. I can’t be dealing with the “keep away from eyes” warning, I just want something that is friendly to my whole face. The other Glossier product I’ve been using is the Boy Brow. It’s taken a little bit of getting used to, as I was always using a dry product before, so at first I didn’t like the feel of putting this on. No I use it alongside a pencil, which works for me really well.


I’m always up for trying new brands and products, so do comment below with your cruelty free skincare and beauty favourites. 

Love, Cat x



  1. February 4, 2018 / 7:12 pm

    Hi Cat,

    I love these recommendations, I’m going to look into trying a few!

    Where do you stand with Origins? I absolutely love the products but I’m not sure they’re 100% not tested on animals?

    Bells x

    • cmeffan
      February 4, 2018 / 8:19 pm

      Hi Bells,
      I used to work very closely with Origins, as I love the product and I thought they were cruelty free. Sadly that’s not the case, as they sell in China and are owned by L’Oreal. 🙁

  2. Laura
    February 4, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    I’ve been cruelty free for over a year now and love finding new brands!
    Kiko and NYX are among my fave make up brands… super affordable too!
    I also use a lot of body shop and Liz Earle skin products
    Have you ever thought about what you use to clean your house? Toothpaste? Deodorant? Most well known brands do test on animals at some stage in their production!
    E-cover is a great brand for cleaning products, and also supermarkets own brands tend not to test on animals too!
    Great post! I’ll be looking into some of your suggestions xxx

    • cmeffan
      February 4, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      Hey Laura,
      We’ve just started working through cleaning products etc. It’s such a big job, but we’re making changes. Thank you for the advice. 🙂 Also I didn’t realise Kiko was cruelty free, so that’s made me very happy. I love their nail varnish!
      Cat xx

      • February 13, 2018 / 1:01 pm


        I’m an Independent Consultant for Neal’s Yard and I have started making my own cleaning products after being told about them. There is a create range, which are base products that you can add to, so for surface cleaner I use about a third of a bottle of our hair and body wash poured into an empty spray bottle add to this 25/30 drops of Organic Defense Oil and 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil. Top this up with water to the neck of the spray bottle and give it a really good shake! Voila chemical free anti bacterial spray which smells wonderfully uplifting too! Also, use the hair and body wash with some essential oils in the washing machine instead of washing powder/gel etc 🙂 x

  3. February 4, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    Hi I sell Tropic skincare which is 100% cruelty free. It is created by a woman called Susie Ma. If you would like to sample some and find out more please message me. It’s all vegan, and made from natural plants and essential oils. It’s lovely!

    • February 11, 2018 / 8:25 pm

      Hi, I would be interested in trying some skincare products which are cruelty free. Recently became vegan after being vegetarian for 35 years, and would like to extend this into my choice of skincare and hair products. It’s a bit of a minefield out there. If I can find products which suit me without spending a fortune it would be great. I am 66 years old and have quite dry skin. Many thanks!

  4. February 5, 2018 / 12:47 pm

    Cruelty free is such a tricky area! Big brands now are saying they are CF even if they sell in China, and a lot of people get caught out on this. Sometimes they can say they don’t test on animals but the companies where they get their ingredients from do test, so it is even more confusing!

    Logical Harmony has a really up to date list of brands that are completely CF so if you ever need to look something up, definitely browse on there.

    I love the Body Shop, NYX, Kiko, Kat von D (the tattoo liner pen is the best I have ever used! and all vegan too), Urban Decay, Sleek and a lot of my professional kit is Arbonne (also vegan).

  5. Brittany
    February 8, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    Hi Cat!

    I definitely want to look into these products! I also really like the cruelty free products. When I do wear makeup, I use Juice Beauty. They use organic ingredients, are vegan and cruelty free and also made in the US. I’ve also been using Burt’s Bees for some makeup products and also skincare.

  6. Berti
    February 12, 2018 / 2:41 am

    I would never use anything Bodyshop. If you can read labels there are enough ingredients that should not be put on your skin. Also, bodyshop is owned by l’oreal. And from what I have read so far the products might be cruelty free but the ingredients might very well not be, and be tested by the producers on animals. It’s good to inform yourself .

    • cmeffan
      March 19, 2018 / 8:24 am

      Hi Berti, Thank you for your comment. The Body Shop is no longer owned by L’Oreal (since August 2017), as they understandably didn’t feel it was the right fit for them. They are now owned by a cruelty free parent company. x

  7. February 14, 2018 / 9:53 am

    Really interesting, I also love body shop and am definitely going to try the BY SARAH oil thank!! At the moment I only use pai skincare who are amazing, vegan and cruelty free and totally natural so super good if you have sensitive skin like me!

  8. February 15, 2018 / 9:26 am

    I’m a big fan of Maria Nila Haircare & also Neil’s yard too.
    Also love Hourglass products which are CF!

    Leanne |

Leave a Reply