Testing of cosmetics using animals

Did you all know that many of the beauty products (shampoos, make up products, perfume etc) that we use in our day-to- day life are tested on animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs? I got a little emotional/disturbed when I had to watch a bunch of cute bunnies go through some painful tests and are later killed, in order to test for the overall toxicity in the cosmetics. Honestly, I am against killing animals for the sake of satisfying human needs. Just because they don’t speak like us, doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings. Lets pause here for a moment and take a look at this video

http://www.peta.org/videos/. (Sources- PETA website) and let me know what you think?

 

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This horrifying reality video can definitely change our views on buying those animal tested cosmetic brands and will want you to convert yourself to a cruelty free life.

These practices bring up the question of morality. Should we human beings do this in order to make ourselves look beautiful? I often wonder how inhumane and unethical are those people working in the lab, who torture these defenseless animals in the name of experiments? What makes it unpalatable to me is that these tests are continued to be performed by companies in spite of many supplemental non-animal testing methods that are widely available and adopted by many. All for what? Vanity? I personally feel all these tests should be put to an end.

Cosmetic animal testing is a global issue that requires awareness of the consumers and calls for a change in the beauty industry and to live a cruel free world. Statistics say that United States, compared to other countries (European Union, Israel, India) is lagging behind other countries that have already banned these tests on animals and have approached more humane methods of testing. Moreover it has been proved in many cases that research conducted on animals doesn’t always translate effectively to humans and there are other fine (more ethical) ways to do research and include newer ingredients in their products for future.

Not all is dark and gloomy. Altruism still does exist in this world. Its worthy to note that non-profit organizations such as “Human Free International” plays a significant role in bringing consumer awareness globally, through its “Be Cruelty-free” campaigns (one of the largest global campaigns) that was formed to end the animal testing for cosmetics worldwide. One such company that supported the campaign was “Miss Apricot” beauty brand from Japan. The vegan company (Miss Apricot) along with other retailers used social media and online wisely (taking advantage of their large consumer base) in spreading awareness to their Japanese consumers about the animal testing and put an end to these cruel activities by making their customers go online and sign the “Be Cruelty-Free pledge”. (One example of powerful brands using social media effectively). If Japan could do it then everyone should be able to do it.

How could “we” contribute to this revolution? The least I could do was stop using the products that are exploiting these innocent creatures. Here is the link for the list of cruelty free cosmetic companies if you want to make a change.

http://www.mybeautybunny.com/cruelty-free-brands/

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Companies listen to customers and if we demand for products that are cruelty free then we would have a world full of cruelty free cosmetics.

 

“ Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter” –

Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

Media and the Beauty Industry

There is absolutely no doubt that we live in a world of constant change and beauty industry is one of them. Women are always thinking about enhancing their beauty and in keeping themselves updated with the latest trend. It’s not quite easy though. Losing countless hours in shopping the right product and still end up not being able to decide on the right ones can be nerve wracking. Print Media like magazines/newspapers and  digital media like TV ads play an important role in educating us about their products. (Talking about magazines I used to enjoy Macy’s catalogues that came away with samples of perfumes and beauty samples. This helped me quickly try out a new perfume without having to leave my couch!)

free-perfume-sample-magazine                   Nordstrom Roosevelt Field Cosmetics Trend Show

But that was not good enough. Beauty/Fashion industry never stays the same and there are myriads of options to choose from. Few years before, regardless of how much products I came across I still wouldn’t be sure of what make up products do I really need to wear, which ones suits the best for my face, how to apply them, which shampoos/hair color/hairspray should I go for? And the list was endless. Searching for the best beauty products used to be exhausting and made me feel insecure in a way. However I did enjoy a little bit of a cosmetic make over at retail counters like Macy’s and Nordstrom where the beauty experts analyzed my skin and prescribed beauty products that was more appropriate. But this required lot of planning particularly when you are a busy Mom. Not to mention my level of discomfort in clarifying my doubts (as simple as when exactly you apply a primer) with the beauty consultants. Most of my friends even today are still left in the dark when it comes to beauty aisle. Now what’s an under informed (who cannot differentiate between a bronzer or luminizer) girl like most of us to do besides go to a beauty consultant in a larger/retail stores?

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That’s where social networking sites like Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogging sites helped in satisfying our needs. The you tube vloggers like Michelle Phan and Mota have made beauty accessible to anyone out there and make us feel like a celebrity with their simple step by step make up videos which are very inspiring for millions of viewers like you and me. If many of you did not know who she was, feel free to take a look at this you tube celebrity’s website. (http://michellephan.com/category/tutorials/). She is mind-boggling.

What’s even better? Access everything and drive the channel’s content right from where you are seated and there is no question of “failing to remember” something (as I know I can watch the videos as many times as I want :).

I have always had this notion that beauty stuffs cannot be shopped online, as you don’t get to try it on you. Having said that when it came to beauty products we all have/will always enjoy certain “word of mouth” preaching, as it was more believable when it came from a friend/family you trust the most. Social media plays a significant role at that. Hundreds of positive comments about a product give the brand a buzz and in turn attracts the customers. This was one important element that was missing from the beauty brand’s earlier marketing approach. Social networking sites (YouTube, Face book, My Space) solved this problem by introducing consumer-related contents that contained products recommended by peers and friends and make up tutorials that can be viewed in your own sweet time. What more can you ask for?

Smart phones world has forced people to have a short attention span these days. Social networking sites are providing us with links that takes you directly to the product website saving much of your time. Also, online retailers like Amazon has made most of our lives much simpler with their customer’s unbiased/detailed product reviews and ratings and the company constantly strives to give their target consumer an outstanding experience (Amazon introduces Luxury Beauty channel matching content with product). Today as people are more and more reliant on smart phones and tablets, networking/blogging sites is a powerful channel for both the consumers and the cosmetic brand as well. On the whole, beauty shopping seems to be a no brainer for consumers since the popularity of these social shopping sites and I can only imagine marketers to leverage these exciting trends and give their audience an exceptional experience as technology continues to evolve.