True beauty: becoming a cruelty-free artist.

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As a professional hairstylist and makeup artist, I've spent nearly 20 years in the beauty industry. In my kit you'll find a wide range of products and brands, a solid mix of both professional and drugstore finds.  Do you know what you won't find in my kit anymore? 636a4f43aaf8dde1c552f7685bb37248Products that are tested on animals. Earlier this year I challenged myself to take a closer look at the products I use on my clients in the name of beauty, learn which of those companies conducted animal testing, and to make changes to be completely cruelty-free by 2017.

Turns out, there is much more to being cruelty-free than just animal testing. Some companies don't test their products on animals but use animal products such as beeswax or caramine in their ingredients. Some companies meet cruelty-free standards but are owned by larger parent companies that do conduct animal testing required to retail their products in China.

Because there are several different, independent labeling systems for cruelty-free companies, it's hard to know what it all means. For more information on what common labels like Natural / Organic, Vegan, Peta Certified really mean, check out this Care2.com article.

Do you want to know how your favorite products measure up?  Check out Cruelty Free Kitty the most current list of cruelty-free makeup, skin care, hair and nail companies.

So while I've chosen to said good-bye to some old friends this year... (my favorite Smashbox eyeshadow palettes, Makeup Forever Aqua lash mascara, and my can't-live-without YSL Touche Eclat and Bobbi Brown powders, oh how I will miss you all!)   I've gotten to say hello to a whole new world of natural, eco-friendly, beauty brands with a conscience.

I promise to introduce you to some of my favorite finds in future posts.