Adopt, don’t shop

Adopting & rescuing dogs. This is something I’m extremely passionate about. And there is a good reason to be.

Please note – there are reputable breeders out there. You need to research thoroughly to ensure they are reputable. They will also likely be Irish Kennel Club registered. More information is available here, and Dogs Trust also offer some helpful tips here.

To start off, here is an excellent article which contains a link to the 2016 BBC investigation into puppy farms in Ireland.
In 2013, we rescued Angel from Dogs in Distress. She had spent her entire life as a breeding bitch on a puppy farm. She was malnourished, and her tummy muscles were stretched from having continuous litters. We are unsure if she was rescued or dumped when her breeders realised she couldn’t have any more pups, the latter is the most likely case.

When Dogs in Distress took her into a foster home, she was given a tummy tuck, the growth on her forehead was removed and she was, for the first time in her life, minded and properly fed. We adopted her after a few weeks of living with her foster family.

She was so happy. She got extremely excited every time we fed her, loved lying out in the sun, but didn’t know how to play with toys or other dogs. She was initially nervous of men, particularly wearing hats and sunglasses etc, but thankfully she grew to trust those around her.

After a few years, she ruptured the cruciate ligament in her back leg. The vet told us it was because she had been so malnourished during her years on the puppy farm. It wasn’t long before the same thing happened to her other back leg. Then she ruptured the first implant she had, and we couldn’t put her through any more suffering – there was a long 6 week cage confinement for her recovery after each surgery.

We lost Angel in January 2017.

Her story is only one of thousands.

Throughout lockdown, puppy farms have been the busiest they have ever been. For several reasons this is extremely concerning.

The first is, of course, supporting an industry that profits from the cruel treatment of the breeding mothers. They can often live their whole lives indoors in a cage, with little to no natural light, living in their own filth. They often have very little human contact, except for when the puppy farm owners fill up their automatic feeders once to twice a week. When you purchase from a puppy farm, you are directly keeping these people in business, and keeping these dogs living their lives in horrendous conditions.

When life ‘goes back to normal’ (eventually!), I do worry that a lot of people won’t be able to manage keeping their dog, while going back to the office etc. There is a high chance that rescues are going to be a extremely overwhelmed. However, if you need to give away your dog, please never list your dog online as ‘free to a good home’, as there are people out there who will use your dog as bait in dog fighting. It is so difficult to think about, but there are horrible people out there. Please discuss with your vet and local rescue.

Tips for getting a dog
If you do decide to purchase a dog, the best way to go about this is by searching on the Kennel Club site for a list of registered breeders.

Please, please do not simply buy based on a search for pups online ( for example) or on Facebook. You need to ensure when getting a puppy that you see the breeding mother and the conditions she is living in. If you simply go to collect the pup, and they don’t let you passed the gate, or see the mother – this is warning sign of a puppy farm. It is also worth noting that a lot of bought puppies from these breeders can be very sick. They often haven’t been vaccinated, haven’t been minded properly, the mother is sick, and also can be sold too young (they need to be kept with their mothers for at least 8 weeks). If they offer to drop the puppy to you, or meet in a car park, this is a red flag. More great tips are available from Rescue Animals Ireland here.

Ireland is the most notorious country in Europe for puppy farms, but we can stop this. But it is down to the choices of the general public.

If you can, please rescue. My family have rescued dogs since I was born. And each has been more loving than the last. A lot of rescue centres run strict checks, to make sure there is a secure garden etc. This is what seems to put a lot of people off rescuing, but please remember – if a rescue doesn’t approve you for adoption, there is probably a reason for this, which also means you shouldn’t purchase a dog either.

I sincerely hope this article helps persuade at least one person away from purchasing. Here are a list of some of the most fantastic rescues out there:

Dogs in Distress
Dogs Trust
Dogs Angels Ireland
Dogs Aid
ASH Animal Rescue
Cara Rescue
Rescue Animals Ireland
Irish Retired Greyhound Trust
Homes for Unwanted Greyhounds
Husky Rescue Ireland
Limerick Animal Welfare
West Cork Animals
Sera Husky and Animal Rescue (Kerry based)
Inistioge Puppy Rescue (Kilkenny)
Kilkenny SPCA
Galway SPCA
KWWSPCA (Kildare and West Wicklow)
Waterford SPCA

Find out more information on puppy farms from the National Animal Rights Association here (contains images some may find upsetting).

The Irish Times published an article on a puppy farm which was uncovered in Offaly, and the offer a wide range of articles on animal cruelty.


I was very kindly sent some sample Elave products by the Gardiner Family Apothecary recently, and for a number of reasons I believe a lot of you may like their products. They were founded in 1934 in Ireland, and have been since creating skincare products which combine their expertise in traditional formulations with latest (cruelty free!) dermatological advances.

They are certified Cruelty Free and Vegan by PETA. In terms of the Mainland China market, they get around the mandatory animal testing by selling directly to customers online. Their products are not in any shops, so they avoid the mandatory testing law this way, which is great.

Their range of Elave Sensitive products offers everything from shampoo, hand wash, hand sanitiser, to a range of face creams and coconut oil. Check out their website, linked below, for a full list of their available products. All but 4 of their products are certified as Vegan, as seen below;

Elave sensitive skincare is committed to being vegan friendly. 38 of our 42 elave products are certified by PETA as Vegan and are free from all animal products and by-products.The 4 elave products which are not certified as Vegan contain either Beeswax or Honey, natural ingredients that have been used for centuries to help maintain good skin health.
Elave baby nappy cream 100g (beeswax)
Elave dermo renew daily lip defence SPF 20 15ml (beeswax)
Elave dermo renew skin balancing moisturiser 50ml (honey)
Elave dermo renew skin balancing cleansing gel 200ml (honey)

Elave sensitive skincare Vegan products are clearly labelled with the PETA Cruelty-Free and Vegan logo under the Ingredients tab on each product page.

Their Elave range contains no sulfates SLES/SLS, no parabens, no perfume, no formaldehyde, no methylisothiazolinone (MI), no alcohol, no soap, no colours & more. They basically contain what is needed to do the job, sensitively, and without anything harmful. ‘Absolute purity’ is the term they use for this, and you can see more details of what they leave out and why here:

A lot of their products are suitable for children also which may be great news for some of you, please check out their website for full details of this.

I’m sure a lot of us are in the same boat when it comes to our hands – my hands are so, so dry all the time at the moment from using hand sanitiser in shops – the sensitive hand wash has been great. They also offer their own sensitive hand sanitising gel, which is great for keeping in your handbag or in your car.

Another great note to mention about the Gardiner Family Apothecary – they are very focused in terms of sustainability – they have lithium free solar panels at their manufacturing plant, they minimise the use of toxic chemicals which reduces harmful waste, and all of their packaging is recyclable.

Our skin is the largest organ we have – let’s look after it ūüėä

Stay safe x

What it means to be a ‘Cruelty Free’ brand

In summary, for a brand to be Cruelty Free (CF), they must comply with the following 4 points;

1. They don’t test finished products on animals at any point during production.
2. Their suppliers don’t test raw materials, ingredients, or products on animals.
3. They don’t test on animals where there is a law requiring testing, such as Mainland China.

4. No third-party tests on animals on their behalf.
* The reason we state ‘Mainland China’ is because Hong Kong doesn’t have a law for mandatory animal testing. A brand can sell in Hong Kong and still be Cruelty Free.

These are the important questions to ask when seeking CF status of a company or brand. You will find that a lot of companies ‘green wash’ themselves in order to appear Cruelty Free.

An example of this is MAC;


M·A·C does not test on animals. We do not own any animal testing facilities and we never ask others to test on animals for us. While some governments conduct animal testing to prove safety before they will allow us to sell our products, M·A·C has never tested on animals and we continue to be a leader in the movement to end animal testing globally.  To this end, we are proud to partner with IIVS (INSTITUTE FOR IN VITRO SCIENCES) to expand the use and acceptance of non-animal testing methods worldwide.

Convincing enough. However, as you scroll further down the page under FAQ, you come across this;

Which countries require animal testing?
China tests on animals as part of its safety assessment of cosmetic products. We love our fans and we never want to exclude them anywhere.”

So they are not CF, as they allow third parties in China to test their products in order to be allowed onto the Chinese market.,to%20end%20animal%20testing%20globally.

Another ‘green washing’ point to note is that a company/brand can claim to be ‘vegan’, while they don’t even hold a CF status. Garnier is one of these.

They offer a range of ‘vegan’ products, but they have a spot in the market in Mainland China to sell their products, where they know their products can be pulled for testing on animals at any stage. This is their statement on their CF status – note how they don’t mention third party testing.

There is so much to be aware of when searching for CF products, however, I hope that my blog can help you become aware of the status of different brands.

It is important to remember not to be too hard on yourself – if you buy something that you discover after, isn’t CF, it happens. It can be very hard to distinguish at times, as so many brands work so hard to cover their true status. The main thing is to be conscious of what you buy and to do your best to ‘vote with your money’. There are some fantastic CF brands out there, and it’s just a matter of finding which products suit your needs and work for you best.

There are a couple of ‘Beauty Boxes’ which you can try, which will arrive to you monthly with samples of various products, usually valued a lot higher than what you pay. It is a good way to try out different brands and see what you like, without paying too much;

Evanna Lynch has co-founded Kinder Beauty Box with Daniella Monet –

Another very popular option –

Here is an article with several other options –

I hope you will find my blog useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or know of any brands that I am missing!

Sign the Petition to help Cruelty Free International

I was contacted during the week by a representative of Cruelty Free International asking if I would help promote their campaign to stop nasty chemicals being tested on animals right here in Europe.

“The testing ban on finished cosmetic products applies since 11 September 2004; the testing ban on ingredients or combination of ingredients applies since 11 March 2009.” – European Commission Website

However, the REACH regulation still requires chemicals to be tested on animals before the chemical is registered – however I don’t believe this changes any of Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny certified products. CFI go into huge depth when certifying a product – including looking at where the brand acquires their ingredients.

I believe this is not just a matter of testing for cosmetics, but other products too. REACH claim that a lot of the chemicals they test are used only or mainly in cosmetic products. Studies show that the alternative methods to animal testing are even more accurate, such as ‘in vitro’ models, cell cultures, computer models, and various new imaging techniques (See NCBI link below for more details)

More information about REACH can be found here;

Please sign the petition to help enforce the EU ban across REACH too.
Here’s what Cruelty Free International have to say on the matter;

“Help us stop European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) overreach! Stand up for cruelty free cosmetics!

Across Europe, the use of animals to test cosmetics is banned.

Information we have uncovered shows clearly that chemicals testing rules ‚Äď REACH ‚Äď are being used to test substances used in cosmetics. The agency argues that it can even require animal tests on substances that are used only or mainly in cosmetics. We disagree.

We need to stop this overreach now and make sure the cosmetics testing bans are honoured.”

You can sign the petition here:

More information is available here;

Bella Forever

I was fortunate enough to be sent some samples from the lovely Annabella from Bella Forever – which offers a range of Vegan, Cruelty Free and Organic homemade DIY face masks. By DIY, it means you get a set to mix up the face mask with:


I got a bowl, stirrer, measures, a spray (optional way to add water gradually), brush for application and sponge for removal. I have mixed/oily skin, so I got Mint Cooler Cleanse and Yellow Bird Repair. I tried the Yellow Bird repair tonight – and I loved it!

I really enjoyed the process (would’ve been even nicer with a glass of prosecco but what can ya do!) and it was lovely to apply the mask with the brush! You then leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then remove with the sponge!

One of my new years resolution is to take better care of my skin. I’m very lucky to have clear skin, which I put down to drinking a lot of water and trying to eat half decently most of the time, but for as long as I remember I’ve always used makeup wipes!

As well as trying to regularly apply a face mask, I’m also going to consciously use the makeup remover cloths (you just add water!) from Penneys and cleanse and tone properly (stocked up with SuperDrug’s own brand for this- buy one get one free!)

Really looking forward to using the Mint Cooler Cleanse! As new years resolutions go, self-care ones are always the best to go for.


With the new year on the horizon, I want to take the time to thank you all for your support in 2018 – the first year of my blog!

I first began to look into animal testing for cosmetics about 4 years ago when I saw videos on Facebook about the torture those animals go through – I had NO idea it still happened in this day and age!

I went to research all my makeup and change things bit by bit as I needed to buy new products, but then as I told different people in work, I soon found that a lot of people were interested and soon a few were even talking to each other about my use of Cruelty Free products – which is what inspired me to start my blog!

It really warms my heart when I see so many people who are compassionate and willing to make changes in their lifestyle to help change the world – and change the world we will!

Since my blog began I have already seen so many more brands become Cruelty Free, and I’ve learned that so many of these brands are so accessible and affordable, so this journey is free to everyone to join!

I’ve done my best to research which brands also have Cruelty Free parent companies, and which are certified CF through the Leaping Bunny Programme or PETA, etc.

I really do see a future where blogs like this will be obsolete – all products will be Cruelty Free and I’ll have to find a new hobby! In the best possible way, I really look forward to this day! (I’ll probably get cracking on a new jigsaw or take up Yoga)

In 2019, I will be starting a new job which will hopefully give me more time to access and work on my blog. Please continue to message me with questions or brands you’ve found/products you love! I can’t do this without the help of all of my amazing followers.

Also in the new year, I want to branch out my blog to cover more of other areas of animal protection – such as spreading more awareness of Puppy Farms, encouraging pet adoption, and also helping to raise more awareness around Palm Oil and microbeads, veganism and vegetarianism etc. All of these issues affect us as humans and affect our planet and so many lovely creatures. I also wish to focus on different ways we can all cut down on plastic and see what actions we can all take towards a greener future.

Thank you all again for your continued support ‚̧

H x


Christmas Ideas!

So, 10 days to go and then it’s all over! Is your shopping list endless? If so, you aren’t alone!

Here’s a few ideas of different brands that make lovely presents – from most affordable to more expensive (it’s an expensive time- we all feel the pinch!)

  • Penneys PS… (Leaping Bunny Certified)

First things first- the perfumes. I absolutely love them and have a few big bottles (‚ā¨4.50 each) and several smaller ones (one is a Jo Malone knockoff, not available in store anymore unfortunately but they might bring them back one day because they were so popular!) I also use the highlighter powder and find it excellent – but have heard great things about Penneys other PS… makeup too, including the facial masks. Excellent stoking fillers!,cosmetics 

  • River Island (CF and Vegan)

Another excellent stop for both makeup and perfumes – with lipsticks starting at ‚ā¨13 and perfumes from ‚ā¨17. Can we also mention their purses?!

  • The Body Shop (Leaping Bunny Certified)

It’s no secret that this is one of my favorite brands and has been for a long time. They offer gift sets already made up or you can just pick some of your favorite products. I also recommend the Body Shop’s perfumes- as CF perfume isn’t overly common unfortunately, the Body Shop offer a lovely range for various tastes.

  • No 7¬†

Another brand which is affordable, and comes in a variety of gift sets ready to wrap and give. High quality for your money- and the nail polish tends to last very well! Their lipstick are long-lasting too- win win!

  • Liz Earle (Leaping Bunny Certified)

Pop into a Liz Earle counter in any Boots store to see their range of affordably priced beauty products for all skin types- with a range of products for men also.

  • Baylis & Harding

One great secret about this brand is that Baylis & Harding gifts can sometimes be found in TKMaxx! So keep an eye out next time you’re out shopping. They are beautiful presents, from gifts such as a box with cosy socks and foot cream, to soaps and lotions. And it is fluffy socks season!

  • Nacomi

Nacomi in Malahide, Co. Dublin offers both gifts for men & women, catering for anti-aging, acne, hair masks, candles, oils, body scrubs… The list goes on! Nacomi also offers a range of Christmas gift sets (in case you’re finding it hard to choose!)

  • √ör Makeup (PETA Certified)

Irish, Cruelty Free and Vegan! Individual brushes priced from ‚ā¨9 and sets from ‚ā¨50, they offer high-quality brushes at an affordable cost. Discount available for professionals too!

  • Tata Harper

A more luxurious brand to gift this year- Tata Harper offers all things skincare. From serums, moisturizers, and anything else you need to get that glow!

  • Charlotte¬†Tilbury¬†

It was only recently I got a present of a beautiful Charlotte Tilbury lipstick- a more expensive option but very luxurious! Below is a link to CT makeup under ‚ā¨130:





Cruelty Free Labels


If every Cruelty Free product was marked, wouldn’t it make shopping so much easier? There wouldn’t even be any need for this blog! But as it stands, certification takes a lot of time, money and commitment¬† from companies, and some simply can’t afford it. Or they choose not to have it.

There are many different versions of Cruelty Free labels from all parts of the world, and I’ll list some examples of these below. The most common that we see in Ireland is the Leaping Bunny Certification and the PETA approved logo.

It is important to be aware of what is legitimate and what isn’t, though. If you take the L’Oreal or Garnier ‘Vegan’ labeling, for instance, you could be easily fooled into believing this is a Cruelty Free product, as Vegan is defined as ‘a person who does not eat or use animal products’. I don’t consider a product or brand that tests on animals to be Vegan, and both L’Oreal and Garnier sell in mainland China. Therefor, their Vegan product claim is false.

Another instance is one I was fooled by myself a few years back. OGX. When I was in Boston, I came across their shampoo and conditioner in a Walgreens and read ‘Not tested on animals’ on the back of the bottles and thought, great! Cruelty Free! However, when a brand writes this, they can take it to mean whatever they feel like. OGX is sold in mainland China, so I can assume they don’t test their products in the USA, but it is sold in China and therefor OGX pay for their products to be tested on animals for sale there. I should also mention that when I examined the OGX bottles in Boots here in Dublin, they didn’t have the same No Animal Testing claim. Odd one, isn’t it?

An opposing example of this though, is Tesco, who bare the same statement on their products; ‘Not tested on animals’. I wrote to Tesco to ask about their position on animal testing, and they were able to confirm to me that all of their household products and other own brand products are not tested on animals and are therefor Cruelty Free (It should be noted that they have their own range of medicinal products and therefor these fall under different categories for animal testing etc. which is a different issue).

We also have companies who do not test, or have finished products or ingredients tested, but do not opt for any certification. Boots is a prime example of this.  They assured me they did not use any animal testing in any area of production, even before the EU ban came into place. They told me they do not feel the need to get a certification, however I wish they did.

The final issue to be considered when choosing brands is a personal one.

Some individual brands are Cruelty Free, but have a parent company/ are owned by a company who are not Cruelty Free. This doesn’t affect CF certification of the individual brand, so it is one to be aware of.

Burt’s Bees is the best example of this. They have received the Leaping Bunny certification, but they are owned by a major corporation called Clorox, who are not CF.

Supporting a brand with a Non CF parent company can be looked at two ways:

  • You are showing a demand for Cruelty Free products
  • A portion of the money you pay ends up going to the Non CF parent company

I leave this down to you from here. Personally, I choose to support these brands and help show a demand for these products. But if you choose not to, you can find more info on brands and parent companies here .

Leaping Bunny


Leaping Bunny certification comes from Cruelty Free International (formerly BUAV), a major organisation which is made up of 8 different groups: American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Alliance of Canada, Beauty Without Cruelty USA, Doris Day Animal League, Humane Society of Canada, Humane Society of the United States, New England Anti Vivisection Society, and the National Anti Vivisection Society. Their aim was to come together to produce a certification which had clear understanding and meaning, as many companies had produced their own versions of ‘CF’ which was able to mean whatever that company wanted.

As mentioned above in the Burt’s Bees example, they do not take the parent company into consideration. It also doesn’t mean that a product is Vegan, so have a look at the ingredients list!

You can read up more here :


Choose Cruelty Free (CCF)


Australia based organisation which has been campaigning for an end to animal testing since 1993. They seem to work in a similar fashion to the Leaping Bunny Programme, whereby a company applies to them for certification and go through months of examination, and pay an annual fee to have the CCF bunny logo on their products. The symbol doesn’t necessarily mean it is vegan though, so you’ll have to check this out with the brand itself! Their website is really interesting and has loads of information on animal testing and sales in China: 



PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) also offer a ‘Beauty Without Bunnies’ certification. However, the process appears to be a lot simpler than the Leaping Bunny, and only incurs a once off fee of $100. Some consumers are more skeptical of the PETA logo, which just reminds us of how hard it is to make the right decisions while shopping!

More information can be found here:  


Whatever way you choose to shop Cruelty Free, your actions are making a huge difference and impact in the world!

H x

Hair Colours


This has been, by far, my biggest struggle. I used L’Oriel for years and I loved it, but for obvious reasons have had to move away from it ASAP.¬† Colour is vital- those of you who use it every few weeks will know the struggle if it! Since going Vegetarian (wannabe Vegan) I have found my hair has been growing faster too, which is good, but means I barely get 3 weeks out of my colour before the roots (and greys) appear!

Below are a list of the CF (and some Vegan) brands that I am aware of. If you know about any more please let me know and I can add them on to the list!



  • Revolution Root Cover Up – Available in SuperDrug




Tan Tan Tan!

Summer is nearly here – and so many of us are excited to have the glow to match it.

But what can we use that is Cruelty Free and which ones are Vegan?

Bondi Sands – This Australian favourite is CF and is applying to be CF certified!

B.Tan¬†– “Well you‚Äôve come to the right place. simply no gimmicks, no added nasties,¬†no animal testing and definitely no bullsh*t.”

Fake Bake¬†– “Our product has no animal testing, first because our company members feel very conscientious about that and second, because we are not dealing with harmful ingredients that would require extensive testing. We feel we have the most natural based product to promote healthy skin.”

Isle Of Paradise¬†– Vegan, CF & Organic –¬†

James Read¬†– “All products manufactured by James Read Tan whether in house brands or for third party contract manufacture have never been tested on animals. James Read Tan has never conducted animal testing and has never commissioned any outside organisation to do it on our behalf. We also purchase raw materials entitled to be sold in European Market, not known to be tested on animals as per the European Commission.”

Lavera РCertain Lavera products are Vegan РCheck out the tan here:

Model Co¬†– “ModelCo is proudly cruelty-free and a PETA certified cosmetics company.
What this means, is that ModelCo do not test on animals at any point of a products creation. From supplier, producer, manufacturer or independent party all the way through to the shelves and into consumer‚Äôs hands, there are no furry friends involved.”

No.7 РBoots own brand

Sienna X¬† –¬†‚ÄúWe can confirm that none of our products are tested on¬†animals, meaning you can¬†confidently pass on this¬†message to all your tan¬†and wax clients.‚ÄĚ

Skinny Tan¬† –¬†Vegan

Soap & Glory РGlow Getter РBoots Own Brand

Soltan РBoots own brand

St Moriz РNot sold in Mainland China

St Tropez¬†–¬†ST.TROPEZ is against animal testing and none of our products have been testing on animals.”

Tan Organics – the first and only tan I’ve used myself. I liked it, but it can be hard to put it on evenly as its an oil. However, it really did help to even out my sunburn/farmers tan that I got climbing Carrauntoohil! Needless to say, it is organic too.

Triology¬†– Available at the Health Food Store –¬†

Vita Liberata РVegan and CF (Vegan except for one product that contains beeswax)