Friday, 9 March 2012

Cruelty-Free Dance!

As you know, all of Sakura are either vegan or strict vegetarian - not something that was planned; it just sort of happened. Anyway, those of you who have similar beliefs or know someone who does will understand that this is about far more than what we eat. It extends to our whole lifestyle .... and that naturally includes our dance! Quite simply, we don't want any living, sentient being to suffer pain, or indeed disrespect, in our names.

Now don't worry - this isn't going to be a preachy post. It's going to be a deliciously sparkly one. We thought we would share with you some of our favourite products and suppliers of ethical, cruelty-free dance goodies. If you have any further recommendations we would love to hear from you! We would also love to know of any other dance troupes who are all veggie/vegan - it would be fabulous to know there are some like-minded groups out there (particularly if you too feel the need to discuss the latest Sea Shepherd adventures during warm-up time!!).

In actual fact it will probably take two or even three posts to get through all this. There will be much photo-sharing, drooling and rambling we suspect. So - on with the sparkly sharing!

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

Something dear to the heart of every tribal dancer is her make up! There is so much in the way of shimmery goodness out there that it's easy to want it all! For us, however, it's important that it's cruelty-free. Firstly it shouldn't contain any animal derivatives, and secondly it shouldn't have been tested on animals. I'll give you some links at the bottom of this post so you can find out more about this.
Anyway, who do we go to when we need a bit of colour in our lives?

URBAN DECAY

Well, first on the list is lovely, luscious old Urban Decay! What can we say - shadows, liners, lip stains and colours, make up basics ... and all in wonderful, rich colours! They also do goodies such as false lashes, temporary tattoos, glittery body art kits ... ooh, we could go on and never stop! Cayte swears by their eye liner - goes on like a dream, stays put and is just perfect for adding any tribal markings. Their palettes, for example The Black Palette - eyelid primer, pencil liner plus six gorgeously deep smoky shadows are totally dream worthy and their shadows bear names such as Sabbath, Barracuda and Black Dog. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

As you will see if you check out their US website here (UK site is here), Urban Decay have been awarded the 'Leaping Bunny' logo :

'Products bearing the Leaping Bunny mark are certified ‘cruelty free’ under the internationally-recognised Humane Cosmetics or Humane Household Products Standards. These rigorous standards stipulate that no animal testing is conducted or commissioned for finished products or ingredients in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or its suppliers after a fixed cut-off date.'

According to their site, although they are working hard to make appropriate susbstitutions not everything on there is currently vegan (i.e. some includes animal derivatives) - but the US site does have a useful 'Vegan' filter on their shop so that those of us who are that way inclined can make appropriate choices - such as these fabulously packaged eye shadows! You can order via selected retailers either at local stores or online - check out the site for details.

There are links to videos on the site, but plenty more on You Tube. We particularly like the wonderful smoky eyes in this one (the video is in French but you can see what's going on really clearly :




Fabulous! Here's another lighter but equally intense look :



Urban Decay rocks!

STARGAZER

Next on the list of cruelty-free (although again not necessarily vegan/vegetarian) is the fabulously funky Stargazer - 'Make Up With Attitude'! Again some really cool stuff - make up, nail goodies (including some rather cool nail art pens!), hair dye, false lashes .... In fact Cayte has some pretty funky black and purple Stargazer lashes at the ready for our next performance!


The company actively encourage queries about any of their products so you can find out what's vegan. You can order online here (check out the gorgeous tattoo pens!) or at local retailers (such as Affleck's Palace in Manchester!). They are a UK based company (started off on a stall on the Kings Road in London during the punk years of the late 70s) but do ship internationally too.

There aren't any videos on the site, and it proved quite difficult to find any on You Tube --- stargazer lilies, astronomy , you name it! We did find this neon eyesgadow one though. It probably isn't a look we'd try, but it does show the intensity of the colours up really well:




Whilst looking for Stargazer cosmetics videos we did however find this. Nothing at all to do with make up, but hey, who cares?



TIP : Don't try headbanging whilst trying to apply eyeliner. It's not a good combination ....

BARRY M

Our final featured company is Barry M. Again this started in London, but in the early 80s, with bright funky colours being their key look. Lots of sparkle here girls! Their website is bursting with information - downloads, games, videos demonstrating how to get certain looks - you could spend hours on there! They have very clear information regarding their cruelty free policy. You do have to scroll down to the bottom of the page, where the link is in really small letters, but once you get there it does tell you exactly what products are/aren't suitable for vegans, which is great. There's also a symbol next to vegan - friendly products which is invaluable!

Their glitter liquid eyeliner is one of our favourite products ...it's not as heavy on the eye as plain old black and really catches the light beautifully! Their loose Dazzle Dust is also very popular

In addition to links on the site there are plenty of Barry M make up videos on You Tube - here's one of our favourites:



Beautiful!


Ok, so those are just three of our favourite companies. There are lots more cruelty-free organisations that don't test on animals - in the UK the Co-op, Superdrug, Sainsbury's and M and S amongst others are all on the BUAV list of certified companies, along with many more familiar names. You can check out the full list of companies carrying that 'Leaping Bunny' mark right here, as well as getting involved in campaigns and sending for a free 'Cruelty Free' guide.Ok, so those are just three of our favourite companies. There are lots more cruelty-free organisations that don't test on animals - in the UK the Co-op, Superdrug, Sainsbury's and M and S amongst others are all on the BUAV list of certified companies, along with many more familiar names. You can check out the full list of companies carrying that 'Leaping Bunny' mark right here, as well as getting involved in campaigns and sending for a free 'Cruelty Free' guide.

Not all animal-friendly companies are on the list however, for a variety of reasons - you will notice, for example, that Lush (a strictly cruelty free organisation, as was it's much-lamented late sister company, 'B Never Too Busy Too Be Beautiful which did the most sublime make up!) is missing. You can either check out stheir sites or e mail them directly to find out about their policy and practices.There's also some vegan stuff on Carolena's site - Jan has some of her Kohl! If you trawl etsy you will find some gorgeous vegan make up, but we've never purchased from there, so really couldn't recommend any. If you can, please let us know!
There are also plenty of other sources of information. In the UK these include :

The Vegan Society : You can do an online check for vegan products or order a copy of their 'Animal Free Shopper'
Naturewatch : Who publish a 'Compassionate Shopping Guide'
Pretty Veggies : A funky site with lots of links!

Well, that's about it for make up! Next time we'll look at cruelty-free toiletries as well as ethical, cruelty-free costuming --- and how we do it!!

Until then, happy dancing!