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Sunday, April 24, 2011
Thought I'd just share some of the products I use and think are good! Of course I use a range of other makeup and skincare items, but I haven't established concrete favourite brands for those while the below are all items I would seek to replace!


Clinique Clarifying Lotion
This pretty much works as a toner, and I like how my skin feels clean afterwards but not dry.

Nail Varnish Remover, Topshop
This nail polish remover is awesome! It comes in circular, pre-soaked pads - they smell good and are oily, meaning your nails and skin don't feel so wrought out afterwards.
It's not that cheap for nail polish remover ($6) though!

It is the best moisturizer to me because that's all it does - moisturizes. It is pure petroleum jelly so there are no other artificial additives that usually tend to irritate my skin.


The Body Shop concealer stick
Good coverage, and it doesn't leave my skin feeling dry because it has an in-built moisturizer.

Sally Hansen Hard as Nails
I like Sally Hansen's range of clear, fortifying nail polishes. My nails are really weak so I like applying their nail polish as it is supposed to keep it strong and protected. They have a huge range, going from super tough diamond-like protection to normal, etc.

Sephora Nano
This is a Kohl pencil eyeliner, it glides on well and doesn't smudge easily!
It is a fairly short stick however, so I recommend buying 2 at a shot (it's around $9). Also, note that you have to buy the Sephora pencil sharpener; normal ones won't fit.

Nexcare Pimple Patch
This is damn good for drying up specific pimples!

Here's another photo to show what I'm talking about!

Here you can see The Body Shop concealer (it's an old one, so this is it used down to the end). The middle, lighter-coloured circle is the in-built moisturizer I mentioned earlier on!

Furthermore, The Body Shop does not test on animals. I've always known that and I'm sure all of you do, but I never really thought about it that much (meaning I didn't make specific effort to buy from them instead of other brands) until Cleo magazine highlighted it recently.

It kind of stuck with me so I did a little research on animal testing...

I was originally planning to blog some pictures to hopefully emotionally blackmail all of you to follow suit, but the images were so horrifying that I couldn't bear to.

I know a certain amount of animal testing is necessary, but these should be done in conditions that are as humane as possible. Consider this - most product testings have in goal to find out how much of a product is needed for severe pain or distress to occur. This means that ultimately, animals are tested to see how much of the product is needed for them to die.

Substances are dripped in their eyes, injected into them, applied, inhaled... this is a 24/7 torture. It is tantamount to non-stop beatings - as soon as an animal shows some kind of coping with the pain or the start of healing, it means that this dose is acceptable and must be increased to see the limit.

None of these animals even have the possibility of the end of their suffering and adoption into a loving home. They are maintained purely for testing purposes, and will be used throughout their lifespan.

Some are bred for this purpose alone, others recruited from animal shelters.
Imagine being abandoned, possibly abused/neglected beforehand, ending up at a shelter with a tiny chance of happiness through adoption. Then you are sent for animal testing instead.

Did you know that beagles are especially popular for animal testing due to their good nature and hence easy handling?


I'm sitting here crying as I write this. But ultimately I feel so guilty because I don't go out and actually do something about all this, because I'm selfish, I'm lazy, I tell myself I don't know where to start...

But firstly, here are some brands that do not test on animals, and there are actually so many!

Bobbi Brown
Crabtree & Evelyn
E.L.F Cosmetics
Estee Lauder
Everyday Minerals
La Mer
MAC Cosmetics
Urban Decay

So we CAN make a choice, animal-testing brands aren't just obscure ones you don't really want to use.

Brands to avoid:
Anything under Johnson & Johnson (Acuvue, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, etc...)
Anything under L'Oreal (Lancome, Garnier, Maybelline, Biotherm, Khiel's, Shu Uemura etc...)

Sadly L'Oreal is the world's largest cosmetics conglomerate, and has been pushing to be able to continue animal testing. The European Union has moved to try and phase out cosmetics-testing entirely, with countries such as the UK and Belgium having already banned it.

Singapore as usual, takes an extremely lax attitude with regards to animal welfare, perpetually prioritizing economic development over anything else.

As consumers, we can opt for ethical brands. You can check PETA's database for safe brands/brands to avoid:
(I think searching by product type is easier)
(Makeup is under "colour cosmetics")

When you're looking at buying cosmetics, and thinking, Oh this has nicer packaging, this one is "cooler", this one is a little cheaper... think of the crazy pain and torture the thousands of animals are going through so that you can buy something a little prettier, something to show your friends.

Lots of brands are phasing animal testing out. The major obstacles are the two big companies I mentioned above, and they are highly identifiable. It's not hard to avoid, and it's not hard to try and make a difference.

P.S. Omg I just checked the list and Vaseline is a brand to avoid ): I completely retract my recommendation! I will go find something better and will share when I do!
23 comments on "Essentials"
  1. Anonymous6:02 AM

    Many of the shops claimed to phase out animal testing but are they really?

    Body Shop was in a huge scandal and long story short, they didn't do the animal testing, they let their suppliers do it before buying from their suppliers. At least thats what the scandal is about.

    Think again, if they phase out animal testing, what are they testing the products on? Humans?

  2. Ooh! You should try JASON Powersmile toothpaste or Tom's toothpaste! I absolutely love it! If they don't sell it in Singapore, I'm sure you could find it online. They are both vegan, and if you can find the Burt's Bees toothpaste, that, I believe, is vegan too [:


    PS. If you need any advice about animal-friendly products, I'm your girl [:

  3. Anonymous7:52 AM

    it's an irony whe you say vaseline doesn't have artificial additives, because vaseline is petroleum jelly, and that itself is artificial

  4. Anonymous9:18 AM

    does clinique clarifying lotion contain alcohol? i know some of clinique's does! u shld try some of the moisturisers from clinique though, they're pretty gd :)

  5. Anonymous1:12 PM

    good informative article sophie..!

  6. Hi, The Body Shop was bought over by L'oreal several years ago... So I'm thinking you need to rethink this entry.

  7. Anonymous:
    Uh yeah, al ot of things do have to be tested on humans before they're fully released.
    And there exist a lot of other scientific ways which don't involve testing on either humans or animals, which I won't go research. Like what, you think the entire "don't test on animals" thing is one big lie? Really?

    And btw, there are no laws that state that cosmetics must test on animals (the way drug companies need to). They do it because obviously preventing customer complaints is high on their priority list.

    It may have been bought over but that doesn't mean it operates the same way (the article states: "as a completely separate entity").

    The Body Shop is famous for being environmental friendly and ethical; that's one of its major appeal points. L'Oreal wouldn't be stupid enough to change that.
    And The Body Shop is still on PETA's list of approved brands, and the list is kept updated.

    ***P.S. to all: animal testing has also come under a lot of criticism for NOT EVEN BEING RELEVANT. It is said that it is completely outdated and unreliable because it is gauged on animal models.

  8. Anonymous: -_- I said artificial ADDITIVES. Meaning stuff added in. Not that the whole thing is pure... what? Does moisturizer grow naturally? I was referring to stuff like esters that make it smell good, and supposed whitening elements blah blah.

    Anonymous: I would assume it does! I think toner is quite naturally a kind of alcohol. Ok I will go test them out since Clinique is on the safe list haha.

  9. Coco: Haha thanks for the recommendations! I'll try to hunt something down. Never though toothpaste could be so problematic haha.

  10. Anonymous4:59 PM

    oh no but what if you wear contact lenses? difficult to avoid acuvue ): I heard alcon does animal testing too, so bye bye contact lens solution...

  11. Anonymous5:00 PM

    where do you get the nexcare pimple patch from? :> thanksss

  12. Anonymous10:34 PM

    hi there,

    i'm a random reader who have been following your blog for a while. just wanted to say i enjoy reading your entries & appreciate your frank but down-to-earth take on the issues around you.

    i have always been an animal lover, but never really knew much about PETA until i read this post. thanks for spreading this message to your readers, i'm with you in this cause! :)


  13. Anonymous11:51 PM

    outgrown: haha there's no natural kind of alcohol but there are good and bad ones

    some good ones are stuff like cetyl alcohol etc which helps to bind the cosmetic ingredients or serve other functions

    but there are a couple of bad ones like
    Alcohol Denat
    Ethyl Alcohol
    Isopropyl Alcohol

    which can be VERY dryin and irritating(damages the skin as well) in the long run esp if they are located near the top of the ingredient list (cuz they would be in significant amts)

  14. Anonymous11:58 PM

    hey c'mon SK II is good !

  15. Anonymous12:30 AM

    what a meaningful post! =) i wish more bloggers would highlight this kind of issues. i've been thinking of changing shampoo, this post helped!

  16. Anonymous12:31 AM

    toothpaste is fucking problematic now!!! I have been living off colgate all my life. maybe Oral-B? just a suggestion for you readers! =)

  17. Anonymous1:04 AM

    hi sophie, just to let you know, Bodyshop is actually bought over by Lo'real so its under Lo'real too!
    not sure if animal testing is still not being done for bodyshop products.. ):

  18. vicks uses animal testing?! :( but i need it to fall asleep every night wth no :(

  19. Anonymous12:21 AM

    Mom: The SK II you bought me is bulls**t!
    Dad: Huh? But the stars swear by it!
    Mom: The stars were paid tons of money to swear by it ok!

  20. Actually Sophie, for serious ethical consumers, the fact that L'Oreal owns Body Shop is enough to keep away. (This is disregarding all the lies they've been covering up from consumers)

    Although they may say that they operate the businesses separately, the money consumers spend still goes back to the conglomerate which in turn goes back to animal testing and other unethical business behavior.

    Perhaps Mel did have a point, it is actually very interesting to find out more about Body Shop and how they seem to be green-washing a lot of their claims.

    I'm not saying that buying Body Shop may not be better than buying from L'Oreal or Maybelline but I think your many readers who look to you for recommendations could be provided with a disclaimer so that they can make more informed decisions.


  21. I swear by Vaseline too! Best lip balm for my lips...

    Great blog! Followed ya!


  22. initially, when i first read your entry, i was rather upset cos im a vaseline/garnier/loreal user for makeup and daily facial care regime. i started to seek for cruelty-free products. im gna use QV Skin Lotion (now $21 at watsons!), and switching over to the body shop for cosmetics/facial pdts.
    was rather confused while reading the comments from other ppl about bodyshop and loreal controversial issues, but i found this article which i think is safe to say that bodyshop's products are still cruelty free.

    thought i'd share with you :)

  23. Anonymous: I think for contact lens solution then yeah.. kinda hard to find non-animal tested one I think :/

    Anonymous: Haha cheem... as in no one would go read labels to see which alcohol is used etc.

    Anonymous: Yep I mentioned how The Body Shop, despite being under L'Oreal, is still cruelty-free.

    Seventoes: I don't use Vicks so I can't give any alternative recommendations! :/

    Alice: Of course, I think it sucks that they got bought over and I did not know they were. If you're a serious ethical consumer I would trust you to do your own research, and I provided the PETA link and other alternatives to The Body Shop.

    L: So sad too because I love Vaseline as well! Thanks for sharing about the products and the article, and I'm so glad you're so actively trying to switch! That's so awesome!!! :D