Cosmetics shopping with a conscience

Last week, Sephora just announced that it’s going on sale for as high as 60% off, coinciding with The Great Jakarta Sale.

Sephora The Great Jakarta Sale

At the risk of sounding either preachy or party pooping, I’m using this time to update you on the 2017 list of cruelty-free cosmetics and brands.

2017 cruelty-free brandsTwo years ago, I started cleaning up my toiletry kit, vanity dresser and shower room to get rid of cosmetics, toiletries, bath and body products that are using animals for testing. At the same time, I researched on brands that are organic, vegetarian and those that do not use harmful chemicals.

Personally, I have a bias for the following brands:

  1. The Body Shop –  certified vegetarian and a fair trade supporter, The Body Shop remains to be on top of my list. I used to lead the brand’s marketing division some lightyears ago and until now, I have a strong affiliation with it. I use most of their product lines: face, fragrances, bath and body, essential oils and even candles.
  2. Josie Maran –  I am a fan of Josie Maran! I discovered this brand when I was in the US 3 years ago and I have been using the argan oil and moisturizer ever since. Sadly, Sephora stopped carrying it here in Southeast Asia and I’m still stumped where I can continue to get the products.
  3. Urban Decay – is my favorite when it comes to eye shadow palettes and prep spray. This brand also has a vegan line already with no animal-derived ingredients!
  4. Nyx – is my alternative brand for face powder, eye liner and prep spray when all my other brands are out. Although it started as an alternative for me, their soft matte lip creams, lip creams and whipped lip and cheek souffle are noteworthy.

Bella local brands

Local brands that I recently road-tested: Serambi Botani, Utama Spice and Indoganic

Very recently, I started testing out Indonesian brands and so far, I have not been disappointed. They are reasonably priced, too! I chanced upon Serambi Botani in Grand Indonesia and tested out their face powder-foundation in chocolate shade. I stuck to the face powder ever since.

For body and hair oil, Utama Spice, a Bali-based brand, is a favorite. A lot of their products are coconut-based, which I love. They have consignments in Grand Indonesia for Jakarta-based customers. Their customer service was quite fast in responding, too, which is a definite plus.

For wellness oils, essential oils and wellness sprays, I turn to Indoganic, which I discovered last Christmas. I buy it online from Milamili.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not expensive to convert to environmental and animal-friendly brands. If you will read my list above, there are cheap drugstore brands and mid-range brands that won’t break the bank. I stick to my mid-range brands because they are easier to maintain and more accessible, too.

So yes, Maybelline, L’Oreal, Revlon, Mac, Bobbi Brown and Kiehl’s are NOT welcome in my vanity kit. You won’t find these brands on my dresser table. I tossed them away a long time ago. For other brands who still mercilessly test on animals, see below.


This Great Jakarta Sale season, I hope more shoppers will and can shop with a conscience since there are more and more brands accessible to us in the market who are organic, vegan or vegetarian, environment-friendly and cruelty-free.

Happy cosmetics shopping, everyone!