Your Guide to Cruelty-Free Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping is approaching, and so the stress begins. However, before you start scrambling for the stores to buy your favorite people those gift sets that promise you savings, let’s think about fur babies.

Have you been trying to go down the cruelty-free route, but have found it hard to stick to? Sometimes you go into a store looking for one thing with the intention of buying that item from a brand that is cruelty-free, vegan, or both, but when you check the brand’s name online it’s not certified. There’s also the chance that you find said product and it is cruelty-free, but you check the price and quickly wonder if it’s worth it. It can get pricey! Especially for college students that are focusing on what they’re going to eat next and how can they stretch twenty dollars for the week.

Most of the companies that manufacture the products we use on a day-to-day basis test on animals. On the other hand, I understand why some people tend to shy away from the cruelty-free option: it can leave a dent in your wallet. But, no fear! That’s what this guide is here for—because cruelty-free should be the first option.

Here are a few alternatives that will help you go cruelty-free while saving a couple Hamiltons:


Oral hygiene

These don’t necessarily have to be gifts unless you know the person will get excited about such a present. In that case, go for it! Nevertheless, these are good options for that person in your life that wants to go 100% cruelty-free.

Tom’s of Maine is a great option for this category. They offer a variety of toothpaste, from whitening to fluoride-free, to antiplaque... You name it! They’re available at Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. You can also find them on Amazon, a pack of 2 for $7.42. As for mouthwash, a great option—hear me out—is LUSH Cosmetics. They have mouthwash tabs that are $9.95 (plus tax) versus other cruelty-free mouthwash options that can cost a minimum of $12.42 (but they’re really good if you’re willing to spend the extra buck, of course).


Hair products

Personally, I have splurged on LUSH hair products and have felt the cries of my wallet. Being a devoted LUSH customer, the empty wallet pain lasts minimum 5 minutes because you get your money’s worth from the amount of product you receive. Even though this is good, there is still a better option for that cruelty-free lover in your life once more.

Nature’s Gate is certified as cruelty-free after ending their sales in China since this country requires animal testing for all their products. Sometimes a company can be cruelty-free, but if they offer their products in China, it makes their case to be accepted on the list as tentative. Once they cut ties, they’re approved!

Exploring Amazon, I found a nifty shampoo and conditioner set here for just  $12.99! Also, it’s great for all hair types. Score!


Full body care

Nail polish is something that is used very often, and that’s why it’s very important to decide on cruelty-free options. If more people chose to only buy cruelty-free nail polish, there could possibly be a change in the industry. Here is a full list of nail polish brands that are cruelty-free, but my personal favorite would have to be the Wet n Wild polishes. They have never failed me. It takes a while for them to chip, so they’re long-lasting without needing a base or top coat, and they’re the perfect example of affordable!

Another option would be Colourpop, whose policy is to “let fur babies be fur babies.” Their packaging emphasizes their cruelty-free status, featuring bunnies and their cruelty-free logo, and their motto is to get you trendy makeup at a very affordable price ($3.00!). Win!

For skincare, which is another daily product, we have lotion. When it comes to lotion and affordability, we can probably direct ourselves to the drugstore. The only problem with that is that most of the options in a drugstore aren’t cruelty-free, so it can be difficult to stick to the cruelty-free commitment.

A wonderful and affordable brand very common is the Yes To brand which has a variation of scented products including cucumber, grapefruit, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, and more. This is perfect for all skin types. Their makeup removing towelettes are also very good!

A second option is the brand Pacifica which is mostly available on Amazon or Ulta. The great part about Pacifica is that apart from being cruelty-free it’s also 100% vegan, so you’re giving your skin the healthy love it deserves.

Finally, we’ve got something that is often given as a present during the holidays—I know I got my fair share. Perfumes are probably something you might not wear every day, but they do have a range of stronger scents to the very helpful splashes (especially in warmer, tropical climates like in Puerto Rico). My personal favorite isn’t a budget-saver exactly, but it’s Tarte’s newest fragrance which comes in a rollerball. It’s $24.00, but it’s definitely worth the money. This rollerball is infused with the same rich and sweet vanilla scent they use for their palettes. You’ll be smelling like a Sweet Tartelette in Bloom in no time.

In the end, you could maybe put all these items together and make a cruelty-free starter kit for that person you have in mind. But, that’s all for now!

If you wish to have more information on cruelty-free brands you can download the Leaping Bunny app, but keep in mind that the list of brands is always changing. In the blink of an eye a brand can become cruelty-free or lose this title, so the application isn’t always accurate. Cruelty-free kitty, on the other hand, is a great website that is constantly trying to bring you updated lists. To access it click here.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.