Animal rights is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I am an animal lover. I do what I can for animals, make donations to no-kill animal shelters, sign every animal related petition that enters my inbox, I don’t patron circuses, rodeos, or aquariums. My friends and family tease me about praying for the souls of road kill. If I had the resources, I would have the largest no-kill shelter and animal sanctuary in the world. I want to do more, and I should. We all should. So when I became a makeup artist and esthetician I knew that I was not going to use, or endorse ANY brands or products that conducted animal testing or used animal derived ingredients. This hasn’t been a particularly arduous task, I read my ingredients and labels. Good ol’ Google has been an invaluable resource for researching product lines. I’m happy to report that there are so many wonderful cruelty-free lines to choose from! The puppy loving people at PETA and leapingbunny.org have made it even easier for us when it comes to knowing which lines test, and which ones don’t. It is crazy to me that, in the year 2010, archaic and cruel animal testing is still being conducted. Be an advocate for animals, and a caring consumer, only patron the good companies that do not use animal testing. Visit here and here, to see which companies are animal cruelty-free. You’ll be interested (and appalled) to see that some of the brands you use every day in your home conduct animal testing, I know I was, so I started e-mailing them. If you find that the makers of your beloved products animal test, drop it like it’s hot and don’t buy it again. If you want to take it a step further, contact these companies and let them know they just lost a customer due to their inhumane practices (like the old expression, a squeaky wheel gets the grease). Leave me a comment, and I’ll make a personal recommendation for a replacement product that you will love even more. There is nothing beautiful about the suffering of innocent animals. Here are a few of my favorite cruelty-free companies: AVEDA, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Seventh Generation, Tom’s of Maine, Aubrey Organics, Inc., Dermalogica, and Kiss My Face.