Saturday, March 16, 2013


UPDATE: (August 8, 2013):

Hey guys!
Do you guys remember my post of theBalm? I was excited to learn that they are cruelty-free! However, I really urged them to become certified by either PETA or LeapingBunny. Which, I sure you can agree with me, would make shopping SOO much easier! Well,  have exciting news!!

Today, I emailed them urging them to take a look at the comments of that post! THis is what I said:

Hello [I've omitted any names],I emailed you back in March about your cruelty-free status. Being an animal lover, I was so thrilled to find that theBalm is cruelty-free! I even wrote an article on my blog. I have emailed you guys before urging you to become accredited by PETA or leapingbunny. I would like you to take a look at my article and read the comments. You will find that when a company is accredited it makes it soooo much easier to shop. I'm not the only one who thinks so. I love your company! Especially because you stand up for the furry ones, but not everyone knows that. Please consider it. 

They emailed me back! Take a look for yourself:

Hi Camila, Thank you for reaching out again!  We completely understand you concerns and are working to become part of the Leaping Bunning list. If I can help answer any further questions, please let me know.
How exciting is this!!!???? I am beyond thrilled! This is a huge milestone! I can't wait to hear back from them once (fingers crossed) they become certified. Which, like I've mentioned before, just because a company is not on a list it DOES NOT mean they aren't cruelty-free. However, it does make life easier for the cruelty-free community! 

Lots of Love,

Hey guys.

Sometime around the last week of February I began contacting theBalm. theBalm is becoming very popular in the beauty-community. Their products range from lips, face, eyes, etc. If you are a beauty enthusiats, I'm sure you are similar with them.

Of course, I felt inclined to look into their cruelty-free status.

I had little knowledge about them, before beginning my research.

First, they are not on LeapingBunny's nor PETA's list. Which is frustrating! I feel more confident purchasing from a company that has an accredited organization that verifies said company's status. However, that is not to say that companies who are not on a well-known list are not cruelty-free. What it does mean, at least for me, is to be more cautious. Especially if I were to add them to my cruelty-free list. I urge those uncertified companies to get certified. (Note: Not all companies on either LeapingBunny's or PETA's list are 100% cruelty-free!)

Anyway, I contacted them with this email. I use the template developed by VeggieBeauty. It's clear and gets to the point, which I like.
To Whomever it May Concern:
I am doing research on animal testing, and I need to verify a few key points about your company.
1. Does your company test ingredients or finished products on animals?
2. Do you test ingredients or products on animals through a 3rd party?
3. Do your manufacturers test ingredients or products on animals?
4. Are you owned or affiliated with any companies that test products or ingredients on animals?
5. Do you/your parent company currently or have plans to market and sell your products in the Chinese market, which requires animal testing by law to sell in that country?
6. Do you use palm oil/carnuaba wax in any of your products? If so, is it from an organic and sustainable source?
Thank you so much for the information and your time.

Also, note that any correspondence I receive will be published on, which is a privately owned blog.
-Camila Alvarez
About five days later, I received this email back:

Hi Camila,
 Thanks for your email. We do not test our products on animals, suppliers of raw materials used in our products certified that they have not been tested on animals since December 31, 1990 and our products have not been tested on animals. Our line of cosmetics is not considered a vegan line as some of our ingredients may have animal byproducts (such as bees wax or carmine) but do not contain any ruminant extracts or derivatives.
Distributors of theBalm Cosmetics from all over the world do not test our products on animals.
We hope this answers your questions.
 Thank you,
[I've omitted any names] 
As you can see, they basically evaded the China question. This is where being certified by an organization is helpful. I know LeapingBunny checks out the suppliers of the raw-ingredients to make  sure they are 100% cruelty-free. As for me, I can't do much when it comes to that. I could ask who their raw suppliers are, but most companies are not eager to give that information out. I like to ask if their products are vegan, even though I am not vegan.
Feeling unsatisfied with this email, I emailed them back:

Hi [name],Thank you for replying so quickly, I truly appreciate it. I just have one more question. Does theBalm sell in China. I don't mean online, but in a store. I'm sure you are aware of China's strict, animal testing policies.

Thank you!Camila
Their reply a few days later:


We currently have 0 vendors in China and no current plans to expand into their market. Let me know if you have any more questions!
[name omitted]theBalm
Excuse, the Camila, Camila thing. I seriously just noticed that. I didn't change the email. Anyway, well as you can see that theBalm does not retail in China. Which is very good!

I later emailed theBalm back to urge them to become certified my an accredited organization and asking about their parent company.

Hello [name omitted],

I truly appreciate your cooperation with me on these emails. I wonder why theBalm does not become certified my LeapingBunny or PETA. I know, the market of people who only shop cruelty-free would really appreciate it. It just helps the costumer feel secure about their purchase. Please, give the idea some consideration. Lastly, is theBalm owned my a parent company or does it have a private CEO?
 Thank you!Camila
They replied quickly saying the following:

Hi Camila,
theBalm is a privately owned company. Have a nice week!
[name omitted] 
 As you can see, the representative who answered my email completely evaded the becoming certified question. I did appreciate them responding to the parent company question. They are "privately owned"which is encouraging. If they had a parent company, I would certainly look into the parent companies animal testing status as well. As you know, I do not consider companies that claim to be cruelty-free, but are owned my parent companies who are not cruelty-free to be 100% cruelty-free. I do not settle for 50%, 80%, nor 99%, when it comes to using animals as lab subjects! I've emailed them back to ask about them becoming accredited, hopefully they do not evade my question again. I will keep you updated!!!


  • Is not owned by a parent company.
  • They do not test their raw ingredients, nor their final products on animals.
  • They do not have vendors in China, and do not have plans to go there any time soon. 
  • They are not certified by PETA or LeapingBunny. 
    • (I have urged them to become accredited, however if they do not, it does not mean they are not 100% cruelty-free!, I will keep you guys updated) 
    • I just don't see why they don't.
If you have a question about anything I have mentioned above, feel free to ask me in the comment section below. 

Please let me know if you think it's a good idea for companies to become certified by an animal rights organization? Don't you think that would make the going cruelty-free process easier for people? 

Until Next Time, 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Something to Celebrate | European Union Bans Animal Testing on Personal Care Products

(European Commission

Hey guys!
I have some very exciting and joyful news. I just found out (maybe a few hours ago) that beginning March 11th the European Union's ban on using animals to test "personal care products" goes into effect.

So what does this mean?
It basically means that no animals can be used to test final products and "ingredients and marketing of products." (
According to Vicki Katrinak LeapingBunny's Administrator starting March 11, 2013 "it will be illegal to market, import, or sell animal-tested finished personal care products or their ingredients in the 27 countries that make up the EU." This news makes me want to jump around and bake cupcakes! It's such a huge achievement for the people working to get this passed and for those who can only cheer them on from the sidelines. However, there are some things to be aware of.

So what are the "bad" news?
According to LeapingBunny, there are some loop-holes to be aware of. For example, the term "cosmetic ingredient" has not been clearly defined. Also, they have not release information which tells us exactly what the ban covers.

We have to wait and see the terms of this ban. Don't get me wrong I'm thrilled, because I know this is setting a path for more, but that's just it. We can't stop here! I just heard about this and haven't researched the terms of the law (I'm not a lawyer) so bare with me. I hope to fill you in with the best of my ability soon. For now! Join the celebration <3

Until Next Time,

Camila Alvarez


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