Cubalah Cruelty-Free: Beauty Products

For me, finding the right nude lipstick is a lot like my experience with finding the right guy, bra or best Drake song — I haven’t found one yet.

There are way too many factors to consider when it comes to nude lipsticks like price, durability, fit, texture and etc. Thinking of such factors usually, leaves me standing at a makeup counter at Sephora or Watsons with makeup covered hands for hours.

Here’s a factor I admit that I have completely failed to consider for anything – not just nude lipstick – till recently, “Is it cruelty-free?”

The conversation of cruelty-free products is progressively becoming a popular one and it is definitely an important one to have. Before I continue, let me explain what cruelty-free means to anyone who isn’t familiar with the term.

A product that is cruelty-free is a product that has not been tested on animals.

Now, what is animal testing, you may ask?

It is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s definitely worth an in-depth look so I refer you to an article like this one to catch you up to speed. This video by Lush will give you a better as well, however, we must add that it is a tough to digest video.

Anyway, I embarked on a quest to see how it would be like to go cruelty-free here in Malaysia. I’ll break down my experience into a handful of questions that I or other people have asked me.

  1. How easy is it to find cruelty-free products here?
Here are definite statements on packaging to look out for!

It boils down to how you define ‘easy’. It is definitely feasible.

I made trips to every major chain beauty store like Sephora, Watsons and I have never failed to find at least one brand that is cruelty-free such as Silky Girl, Nyx, Burt’s Bees and Safi. Companies like The Body Shop, L’Occitane, and Inglot are entirely cruelty-free so you can shop at those places without worrying.

Yes, having only a handful of brands to choose from instead of an entire store worth of brands can appear to be a little daunting at first. Speaking from my experience, though, having a smaller selection of quality brands to choose from lessens the tendency to mindlessly wander the beauty store aisles.

I also have major respect for companies that respect animals and I am happy to support them.

Another tip when shopping for cruelty-free products is to find out if the brand sells in Mainland China.

Why so? There, it is required by law that beauty products must be tested on animals before being released to the market. So, brands like MAC and Biore that are sold in China are not cruelty-free. On a personal note, I’d really like to see this law be lifted one day.

2. Isn’t an animal-tested product safer and better to use?

Back in the 1920’s, maybe. In this day and age? Nah.

Technology and advancement of beauty products have led to animal testing becoming unnecessary in my opinion. There are plenty of safe and humane alternatives to animal testing.

Many beauty products continue to use the same ingredients for years and therefore why would we need to test on ingredients that have already long been tested?

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I can safely say that cruelty-free products hold up just as well as their non-cruelty-free counterparts. I love collecting The Body Shop’s scrubs. I adore the hell out of NYX’s affordable lip creams. I have a friend who swears by Silky Girl’s lip pencils.

Good Virtues & Co’s products aren’t just nice to look at but feel nice on your skin too. And come on, Urban Decay’s setting spray is highly lauded. All of those brands are cruelty-free!

3. Aren’t cruelty-free products expensive?

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No worries, cruelty-free products pun can go on sale!

I can definitely see why one would think this. The reason why a lot of companies don’t go cruelty-free is honestly due to profits. Animal testing is the easy and cheaper option for a lot of these companies. Capitalism and all that.

Popular cruelty-free brands such as Urban Decay or The Body Shop can be pricey, but Watsons and Guardian have brands like Silky Girl as well as Good Virtues & Co. that cost just as much – if not cheaper – than their competitors so no, not all cruelty-free products are expensive.

4. Are you going cruelty-free after you’re done with this article?

Yes, I definitely am going to try my best to do so! I think using cruelty-free products in Malaysia isn’t as tough as one might think and more importantly, it supports a powerful movement to stop an extremely cruel practice.

If you’re thinking of giving it a try, too, I’d say to take it slow. If you already have animal-tested products, I’d say to just finish them and then make the switch. It doesn’t hurt to have more people who support cruelty-free products. More and more beauty companies are making the switch to cruelty-free and more and more animals like rabbits or guinea pigs are becoming free.


Marsya tried out veganism for a week in our last Cubalah. Want us to give something a shot and share our experiences? Hit us up at contact@thisiskul.com.

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