Day in and day out, many of us cover our faces and bodies in makeup, oils and countless other lotions and potions. But do we really know what we’re putting on our skin? In the age we live in and with the growing concern for the welfare of animals and the standards to which they are kept, it’s still shocking to see how many of our favourite brands continue to test its products on animals.
Living in Hong Kong, with the pollution, weather and work-hard/play-hard lifestyle, a girl does tend to rely on her products to keep herself feeling 100%; but wouldn’t it be nice to know that we can start making a difference by changing what we slather onto our bodies (and make ourselves feel fabulous while we’re at it!?)
Here are some of our top picks for cruelty free makeup and skincare brands to try out now…
The New Zealand brand’s mantra is to have “maximum effect on your skin, minimum effect on our environment” and that’s just what it does! As well as being cruelty free, the products are non-GMO and certified natural. With recyclable and environmentally friendly packaging to boot, this brand is leading in saving our planet, one product at a time! Make sure to check out the Organic Rosehip Oil, which can help to reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines and pigmentation and restore the skin’s moisture balance.
Available online here or at 2/F, Wellington Plaza, 56 – 58 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
A firm favourite amongst the Sassy Team, LUSH is renowned for its all natural skincare and products. As well as always taking a solid stance against animal testing; in recent years, all LUSH soaps have been made with palm-free soap base, and the brand has also removed all traces of palm oil from its products – helping to reduce the impact on the environment.
Available online here or from LUSH stores across Hong Kong
Coconut Oil has become a household staple in recent years and Coconut Matter’s amazing products are some of the finest out there. The brand chooses to only work with fairtrade farmers to ensure that all of the products are pure and organically made just for us (as well as being cruelty free!). Coconut Matter have an awesome range of products from lip balms and soaps, to creamed coconut for cooking (even making a coconut barbecue sauce!), but my choice pick is its original Odourless Coconut Oil – use it to moisturise, tame frizzy hair, remove makeup, shave your legs and so much more!
Read more: 10 Ways To Use Coconut Oil
Available online here
A personal favourite of mine, Aesop is known for its sleek design and minimal approach to packaging (the products are forever popping up on my insta feed #bathroomgoals) – so it’s a huge plus that the brand doesn’t use any animal-derived ingredients and that none of the finished products are tested on animals. A staple in my bathroom is the Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash, which smells amazing and gently exfoliates hands to leave them feeling silky smooth!
Available online here or from Aesop stores across Hong Kong
The British makeup brand is always my go-to as the products work super well for everyday looks and for getting glam in the evenings! The colossal range of makeup, skincare and the recently launched perfume are all cruelty free; with the company not testing the finished products or any of the ingredients they contain on animals. For an ultra-long-lasting eye pencil, with a shade to make every eye colour pop, be sure to try out the Colour Chameleon pencil, along with her Hollywood Beauty Light Wand Highlighter.
Sassy tip: Charlotte will also be officially launching her full range of makeup and products in Lane Crawford Hong Kong, this summer, check back for more details to come soon!
Available online via Net-a-Porter
“Existing to make a positive difference in women’s lives” – bareMinerals have always strived to be different and of course take a solid stance against animal testing. The products are formulated with purity in mind, so that you can be sure to feel good about what you’re putting onto your skin. Although the range has grown so much, the original SPF 15 Foundation is still a favourite of mine, available in so many shades and with the guarantee of a silky, soft and flawless finish; you can never go wrong!
Available online here or from bareMinerals stores across Hong Kong.
A brand certified by both PETA and The Leaping Bunny Program as cruelty-free, Urban Decay is committed to ending animal testing and is definitely one that you can feel great about using (on the inside and out!). Even the makeup brushes are cruelty-free and vegan, allowing you to perfect your look with the velvety soft bristles made from recycled plastic bottles! It would be criminal to not mention the iconic Naked Eyeshadow Palette. Loved by girls worldwide, it’s loaded with 12 bronze hues and mixes it up with a little matte and a little shimmer to provide us with the ultimate tool for any look.
Available online here or from selected retailers across Hong Kong.
Too Faced is another amazing brand that is dedicated to being 100% cruelty free, and it has an extensive list of products on its website which are totally vegan. A must try for any Sassy Girl has got to be its Hangover Primer. Infused with coconut water, use to boost skin’s radiance, promote elasticity and give your makeup extra staying power! Perfect for skin that’s crying out for a little love after one too many late nights.
Available online via Sephora
Gourmet Skin Bar is HK’s luxury organic beauty boutique and your one stop shop for products which are 100% natural and never tested on animals. GSB has done the hard work for us and offer up an incredible range of independent luxury brands, with a focus on making natural and sustainable products – so better for us and for the planet! Offering a selection on brands available for delivery on its website, you can be sure that you’re getting quality products which have never been tested on animals (except people!).
Available online here.
Rooted in ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and with the mission to create ethical skincare, Purearth is all about being vegetarian, vegan and cruelty free. For the most energising exfoliant, a must-try is the Himalayan Salt Body Polish. Made from the pure salt crystals and blended with bitter apricot kernels and wild pomegranate, use this for an indulgent at home spa-experience and come away feeling truly refreshed and ready for anything!
Find it at 6/F Cheung Hing Ind Building, 12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong or online here!
For the last three decades The Body Shop has campaigned against animal testing, and has been an industry front runner for cruelty free products. With its hashtag, #ForeverAgainstAnimalTesting, the brand ensures that it is always cruelty free, 100% vegetarian and Leaping Bunny certified, so whether you’re looking for face or hair products, bath or body care, fragrances, makeup and gifts, The Body Shop is the place to head to.
Available online here or from The Body Shop stores across Hong Kong
Looking for some new cruelty free haircare? Look no further than OUAI. Gaining cult status for its revolutionary foaming dry shampoo, the brand has only gotten bigger and better. We especially love the anti-frizz hair sheets, along with its weightless wave spray – just what we need to beat the Hong Kong summer and keep our hair looking fresh, sans animal testing.
Available online via Sephora and Harvey Nichols
Landing in Hong Kong this past summer, John Masters Organics is a leading organic beauty brand from the US, which is also strictly against animal testing. With more than 25 years in the beauty bizz, the brands mantra is to promote “perfectly natural beauty”, stocking everything from haircare, to skin and body care products for men and women. We especially like the rose and apricot hair milk, a leave-in product sure to refresh even the most tired looking tresses.
Available online here or from John Masters Organics stores across Hong Kong
We tried out the KARI GRAN Lip Whip (which is included as part of Harvey Nichols’ new eco-luxe Clean Beauty Box!) and loved the soft, pillowy texture. Perfect as an everyday lip balm, with just a hint of colour, the cruelty-free products are a must try.
Available from Harvey Nichols Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong and Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Okay, this one isn’t strictly available in Hong Kong yet, but it’s 100% worth an honourable mention amongst our fave cruelty free brands. It had us at the simple and chic packaging, but the products themselves all offer so much more than what’s on the surface. We’ve especially been loving the boy brow eyebrow grooming wand of late. All you need for perfect brows in a flash, with none of the fuss!
Available online here, with shipping to UK, USA and Canada – with the hopes of coming to Hong Kong soon!