Ask Alexis: Cruelty Free Personal Care and Cosmetics

Various cosmetic products arranged on a countertop

Reader L sent this question:

You wrote a while ago about switching to cosmetics that aren’t tested on animals. I’d like to make that switch, but I’m not sure where to start. It seems overwhelming to research all the beauty products on the market. What products do you use?

In case you missed it, I believe L is referring to this post.  I’m a little hesitant to post a full list of the products I use for fear of seeming high-maintenance (don’t judge!), but I did do a good bit of research on this topic, and I’m happy to share that research if it will help you make the switch to cruelty free products.  European readers don’t need to worry about this, as animal testing for cosmetic purposes is banned in the European Union.

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Five Things Your Lawyer Can’t Do

This post is not intended as legal advice. Please read the Disclaimer posted above.

Lawyers get a bad rap. I’ve had the “lawyers and liars are the same thing” jab thrown at me before, and there’s no short supply of jokes painting lawyers as bad guys. Are there less-than-honest lawyers in the world? Sure–there are bad apples in any bunch. But day in and day out, I see dedicated, hardworking attorneys counseling clients to do the right thing and fighting for their clients’ rights in court.

Non-lawyers might be surprised to know that attorneys are governed by strict ethical rules, and violations of the rules are taken seriously. Attorneys and judges are encouraged to report violations to disciplinary boards, and investigations often lead to suspension of lawyers’ licenses to practice or disbarment.

Here are five things your lawyer can’t do:

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Becoming a More Conscious Consumer

A square still-life painting of vegetables and fruits.
Farmer’s Market Finds, 2012. Private Collection.

Over the past year, I’ve made a few significant changes in my purchasing habits. These changes weren’t part of any resolution or major life overhaul. They came gradually as I educated myself on certain issues and decided I no longer wanted to contribute to certain problems. I changed what I buy to support positive practices and avoid supporting negative ones.

Now, I don’t mean to be preachy. I don’t judge people who haven’t made these changes, because it wasn’t very long ago that I changed my ways. I also understand that I am privileged to be able to make these choices. I am paid a good salary and can afford to choose more expensive products that align with my values. I realize not everyone has that luxury. Some people must accept what is available to them. With those caveats in mind, here are three steps I’ve taken toward building a better world with my dollars.

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