Image via Refinery29

BY ALEX STRACHAN                                 


If you’ve been following along this semester, you’ve no doubt realized by now I have a lot of advice for you on how you should live your life- because obviously I’m very qualified! All jokes aside, I like investigating trends and sharing them with an audience- so I hope you guys are liking the ride so far!

Today I’m talking about cruelty free brands, and not just cosmetics- household items, shampoo, perfume, cologne and of course make-up, so in principle, everyone should get something from this.

I have to preface that with my inspiration for this article – my housemate and great friend, Serena. I’ve lived with her for two years now and she inspires me every day to be more conscious of the world around me. Living a cruelty free life for her isn’t something she needs to tell everyone (she is not a vegan for the record) but rather a small way she can contribute something positive to this world. She’s also shown me that it’s really not that hard.

“I think I first realized that companies test on animals when I was re-watching Legally Blonde 2 for the hundredth time in high school. The thought just never occurred to me. Then I thought, “would I ever compromise my pet’s health for the benefit of my beauty preferences?” It just didn’t make sense. So, I purged all my makeup and committed to a cruelty-free lifestyle. It took a while to navigate this sub word of the cosmetic industry but I’ve never questioned its worth.” – @serenafenn

It’s difficult to quit cold turkey, and difficult to be aware constantly when you’re grocery shopping, or make-up shopping but it’s a worthwhile endeavour. There is always a substitute for your favourite brand by a company that is using ethical sourcing and practices, so here are some of my faves I’ve learned along the way:



This is a great, affordable brand that smells amazing! I’ve been using their Age Renewal Vitamin E Crème which is a super dense cream that lasts for a really long time. Lots of people also love their body wash and hair products.

You can find them at Winners a lot of the time, Wal-Mart and most PC stores (Superstore, Loblaws etc.)

Image via @WishWishWish


Lush & The Body Shop  

These are classic cruelty free brands, but something you may not think of them for is for their fragrances! As it turns out, most designer ones are not cruelty free.

Maui Moisture

Both Loblaws and Wal-Mart carry this great haircare brand. I use their Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Hair Mask, as a conditioner. They have a whole line under this same scent (shampoo, conditioner, oil & leave in conditioner).


Why would you buy expensive, designer mascara when Essence is at Shoppers for $4, and sometimes goes half off?! Essence is in a tiny section usually at the end of the cosmetic section in Shoppers and the products are definitely worth it for the price, on top of being cruelty free. Their brow mascara and highlighters are definitely great buys, too.


Image via Detail Oriented Beauty

The Ordinary

This is on the most expensive end, but remains affordable and is Canadian! Supporting local becomes easy also when you start paying attention. Their serums are a God-send and their foundation works on such a variety of skin types.

You can get their products on their online store, at The Bay and their few locations in Toronto.

Method Products 

Method Products is a home cleaning products brand whose foaming hand soap you’ve definitely seen in restaurants or your friend’s mom’s bathroom. They’re great, affordable and have the cutest packaging.

Get these products literally anywhere – Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Wal Mart, Loblaws, and for a very reasonable price. Feel good about cleaning your house! They have products ranging from hand soap, to laundry detergent, to multi-purpose cleaners. They’re cruelty free and environmentally sustainable – read about their business practices and fall in love.


I have to mention Glossier because they are the ultimate lineup – they basically sell everything you could ever want, and if you follow them, then they’re bound to make a new product that you’ll fall in love with.

I use their face wash – “Milk Jelly Cleanser”, and their toner – “Solution”, their lip balm (which is multi-purpose) “Balm Dotcom” and their body cream – “Body Hero daily perfecting cream”


I hope this gives everyone some inspiration- Happy shopping!


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