There has been a kerfuffle recently about beauty brands testing on animals. Fair enough: we must surely be able to distinguish between animal testing in the quest for life-saving medications and animal testing for the sake of a new lipstick. But the furore and putative boycotts are slightly misleading.
Under EU legislation, no cosmetics brand can test new products sold in member countries on living sentient creatures. It’s brands that sell into China that have (and become) the problem, because China insists that imported beauty products sold there are animal-tested. We should be directing our energies into convincing the Chinese that this isn’t necessary.
eanwhile, here are my favourite purer-than-the-driven-snow labels – not only because they’ve never tested on animals, but because they’re dedicated to eradicating toxicity from their products while delivering performance.
e Mamiel, Alexandra Soveral, Neal’s Yard… Britain excels at impeccably sourced organic and/or ‘natural’ skincare lines. The Body Shop may not thrill the way it once did, but it’s the mummy of them all, and budget-priced. And if you don’t know Tata Harper’s line– from further afield, in Vermont – you’re in for a treat.
uxurious, high-performance organic make-up is trickier to find. The Organic Pharmacy says it took five years to perfect its mascara, but it was worth it. I love the brand’s Nude Sparkle Palette, £49, too – it absolutely holds its own colour-, texture- and longevity-wise, as do the wonderful-by-any criteria lipsticks.
jær Weis organic foundation, £51, is very matte – which I initially found off-putting and ageing. But it transforms into something lighter when applied over generously moisturised skin, or a layer of the brand’s own Beautiful Oil. Use the foundation for full coverage, or blend around your nose and under-eyes as a concealer. Bear in mind that, without certain chemicals, it may go off faster than conventional concealers, and wash your hands scrupulously before each use.
If you’re seeking synthetic brushes, I suggest Nanshy – an ergonomically designed range that allows for precise application and stays soft after numerous washes. Nanshy Blush & Bronze A01, £9.95, is particularly good.