Thursday, June 27, 2013

Is Sleek Makeup Tested on Animals?

            I am a Youtube person.  I honestly learned everything about makeup by watching famous makeup artists and amazing everyday gurus on Youtube.  Somehow I follow an unproportionally high number of British makeup gurus so, although I’ve never bought makeup in the UK, I know what they have.  Sleek is one of these brands I’ve noticed in numerous videos so I sent them an email.

April 26, 2013
“I have some inquiries about Sleek's animal testing policies.  I understand the EU ban on animal testing recently went into effect, but I would appreciate if you would still answer these individual questions for all of Sleek's products, not only those produced/sold in the EU.

Does Sleek test ingredients and/or finished products on animals or have a third party do so on its behalf?  Does Sleek direct sell to China or any other place which requires animal testing of products?  Also, are any of Sleek's products free of animal products and suitable for vegans?
Thank you in advance”

April 26, 2013
“Thankyou for your interest in Sleek Makeup.

We do no currently test ingredients or finished products on animals.
We do not test ingredients or products on animals through a 3rd party
Our manufacturers do not test ingredients or products on animals.
We are not owned or affiliated with any companies that test products or ingredients on animals.
We do not currently sell our products in China and have no future plans until the laws there change on animal testing.
A list of our vegan products is attached.”

            As far as this list of vegan products is concerned, you can see it is very well organized.  When I compared this list to Sleek’s website there seem to be more items online.  Some of this has to do with repackaging certain products in palettes but other than that I’m not sure.

I’m happy and satisfied with this complete and clear response I received from Sleek.  This is the kind of prepared, comprehensive, and competent response we should be receiving from forthright and professional companies.  While I wish they had a greater variety of vegan products, I’m happy to know there is a drugstore/high street brand that I feel comfortable purchasing. 

I will purchase from Sleek’s selection of vegan products.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vegan Food in Paris, London, and Dublin

I’ve spent the past few months traveling much more than usual.  Therefore, I’ve been out eating awesome food and not emailing companies about their animal testing policies.  It only makes sense that I post a blog on vegan food and not my usual shtick.   I have six places that I will be covering split between two posts.  This post will cover vegan food in Paris, London, and Dublin while the previous post covered Los Angeles, Seattle, and Israel [link].

This was my first time in Paris as a vegan.  I thought Paris would not be the best place for vegan food, but I was wrong.  I went to Loving Hut and had a nice bowl of pho and the pictured seitan in orange sauce.  East Side Burgers has the best vegan burger I’ve had to date.  I have no photos because I ate it so quickly.  This is a vegetarian restaurant but almost all of their burgers are vegan and can be made with vegan cheese.  I also got this awesome apple tartlette with a crème brûlée-ish sugar top.

MOB is also another burger restaurant which I believe is all vegan.  I had their signature burger, and while I was eating I wasn’t too into it.  It was very plain with bun, patty, sauce, and some onions (I believe).  However, I’ve been thinking of it since and would probably try it again if I were around.  I also got this amazing chocolate cheesecake.

London has two Loving Huts. Yes, two both off the Northern Line.  I personally like the one farther from central London, but they are both good.  Maybe buffets are big in London (?) because both offered a buffet for a really reasonable price with many good options.  They were also selling these cute illustrations of vegan sources of vitamins and vegan holistic remedies that I wish I had picked up.

Ms. Cupcake was pretty good, if I do say so.  My first time there I got the Pecan Madness cupcake and enjoyed it.   However there was a lot of frosting and it was very sweet.  The second go around I got this amazing chocolate chip cookie sandwich.  Yum!

I ended up spending a lot of time around Trafalgar Square during this trip and there was a great grocery nearby (had co-op something in its name).  I could be in and out in about 3 minutes as they have a sort of express hot food station set up already.  I was particularly fond of their potato wedge fries for a warm option and a bigger package of cut up fruit.

Dublin was the last stop on my whirlwind Fall/Winter travel extravaganza.  By this point I had picked up some weird congested cold thing from an Australian girl.  I needed to take things a bit easier, so my first night in Dublin I headed out for the closest vegan restaurant called Govinda’s.  The food was so tasty, the portions so big, the prices so reasonable, and the people so nice that I ate every other meal there. 

If you go, get the small plate.  Trust me they will pile it up with all the food you ask for.  They make five new entrees a day plus rice and soup.  The vegan items are marked, but I simply walked in and asked for a bit of all the vegan food.  Again, I ate so quickly that when I remembered to take a photo I had demolished most of it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Is elf (Eyes Lips Face) Cruelty Free?

Most people have heard of elf cosmetics or Eyes Lips Face because it is one of the most inexpensive cosmetics brands on the market.  I have purchased quite a few of their products in the past even before going cruelty free.  Honestly, I was disappointed with most of their products although the few I do like, I really like.  Please leave a comment if anyone is interested in a post on the elf products I enjoy.

I’ve emailed elf at least twice before without receiving a response which, to say the least, was annoying.  I was happy to finally get a reply with my last email since I was chiefly concerned about whether their ingredients were vegan or not.  On elf’s FAQ page [link], seen in the image below, they state all their ingredients are vegan, but then only discuss beeswax and lanolin.  I wanted to confirm that all their ingredients were vegan not only their lanolin and beeswax replacers.  Of course, their animal testing statement was also very narrow so I wanted to confirm they met all of my cruelty free requirements.

April 26, 2012
“I have emailed elf about its animal testing policies multiple times, but have yet to get a response. Can you please let me know if elf animal tests ingredients and/or finished products at any stage of development or has a third party do so on its behalf? Does elf sell in China or any other country which requires animal testing? Also, many elf products contain ingredients which can possibly be plant based or animal based. Are any elf products free of animal ingredients and therefore suitable for vegans? Thank you”

April 26, 2013
“Thank you for your support and interest in e.l.f. cosmetics. At e.l.f. Cosmetics, we believe that beauty comes from within all of us. Our line of luxurious cosmetics captures great looking skin with gorgeous colors and quality ingredients. Our products are designed to let your inner beauty shine through.

We are proud to say that we do not test on animals or endorse such practices. We currently support PETA and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project. All of our brushes in our essential line are made from cut natural horse hair and have genuine wood handles. Our brushes in our studio line are vegan friendly and made of anti-bacterial, synthetic Taklon hair. You can find all e.l.f. ingredients indicated on the packaging of our products as well as on our website. All ingredients used in e.l.f. cosmetics are vegan friendly, safe and meet F.D.A requirements. Ingredients are listed on our website as well as on the packaging of our products.

Our vision is to empower and educate women to play in innovation without sacrificing their budget and feel confident in herself and the products she's using. We offer a complete line of makeup and professional tools-all at an extreme value price! To learn more please visit”

May 20, 2013
“Thank you for answering my original email but can you please answer these three questions clearly.  Does elf or a third party test ingredients?  Does elf or a third party test elf's finished products?  Does elf sell in China or any other country which requires animal testing of products? Thank you!”

May 21, 2013
“We manufacture our products in our own factories. We test our own ingredients and products. We do not sell our products in China, although we do manufacture them there. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions or concerns.”
I was happy to learn that all of elf’s cosmetic ingredients are vegan friendly.  However, I was a little surprised that they sell horse hair brushes.  As I discussed in my Real Techniques post [here], synthetic Taklon brushes have numerous advantages over natural hair brushes.  As always, I don’t believe PETA’s animal testing standards are up to par, so elf’s association with them is not a plus to me.

The only element of their response that strikes me as controversial is their relationship with China.  They do not sell in China and therefore their products are not subject to Chinese government animal testing.  However, they manufacture their products in China making their products extremely inexpensive and presumably bolstering the Chinese economy.  This distinction is another one of the personal comfort decisions to be made when deciding what you consider cruelty free.  At the moment, I am personally fine with this as I do not purchase much or often from elf.

I will continue purchasing elf’s products.