Belfast Telegraph

Why there's nothing sexy about make-up tested on animals

By Nuala McKeever

BBC Children in Need are running a campaign this year called Bearfaced. Famous women pose for frank headshot photographs with no make-up on. Well, almost no make-up.

Some had a little mascara or eyeliner but no foundation, blusher, eye-shadow, undereye bag concealer, over eye highlighter, lip liner, lipstick, lip gloss or translucent powder (don't think I've left anything out, have I?).

Apparently it's brave of these women to show themselves sans mask. Well, having seen the women, I'm not so sure it was that brave.

I mean, if you're Heidi Klum or Abbey Clancy or Jodie Kidd, with cheekbones you could slice a plain loaf with, you're gonna look pretty damn alright without any slap on.

Fair enough, the likes of Lulu and Sian Williams, who does the news ... maybe they're not so young or so chiselled, but still, they look smooth, fresh and quite lovely.

Years ago, a guy said to me, "I like you better without all that stuff on your face". I don't think he'd be saying it to me now but ...

"Age shall not weary them." So says the moving tribute to those who died young in battle.

For the rest of us unfortunately, age is doing just that - withering us. I think I'm relatively sanguine about appearance. I'm not a dolly bird and I'm not anti-make-up, either.

But as my friend and I confessed to each other recently, in a particularly brightly lit Ladies, the effects of age have suddenly become very apparent on our necks and faces and all our assertions, years ago, in the smooth-cheeked times, that we would "NEVER consider interfering with Nature, no, not at all, how awfully shallow you'd have to be to even think about that" now seem to belong to much younger, less vulnerable women.

Intimations of mortality and all that.

Drying out, drying up, heading towards the end. Doom!

So, all this is by way of saying that a woman of a certain age can feel she needs a little help to even out the skin tone so she appears less dead already (in some wan people's case) or less I've-just-finished-running-a-marathon red (in my case).

But, I don't want my appearance to be at the expense of animals' suffering.

So imagine my horror to read that so many leading brands, whose make-up I use and who I thought were cruelty-free, actually do use ingredients in their products that are tested on animals.

Labels may say, "Our products are not tested on animals", but omit to mention that the ingredients are. Sneaky. Dishonest, I would say. Certainly very misleading.

And cynical in the extreme, to accept that many people care about animal welfare and then deliberately word a label to imply you care too, when in fact, you're happily subscribing to new tests being done on new ingredients, so that shampoos and moisturisers can be sold as "new" and "improved" and you can make more money.

We're ageing, get over it. No fancy ingredient is going to stop that happening. It's obscene to drip chemicals into rabbits' eyes or rub them into their skin or inject them with stuff, just so a woman can try to convince herself she's holding the passage of time at bay.

If you care and want to check your own make-up brand, go to


From Belfast Telegraph