Hey FAB gals and guys! For this months interview, we are excited to be schooled by cruelty-free beauty blogger Stephanie Kilbourn of FreetheBunnies.com. Join us as we find out her favorite cruelty-free beauty brands and her, oh so familiar journey from meat-eater to vegetarian to vegan.
SF: So, tell us a little about yourself and how you got started.
Stephanie: When I first started college, I realized that as we grow older, we become more conscious of our everyday decisions. Something inside of me, while eating my lunch one day, made me think to myself “How did this food end up on my plate? I can see how plants ended up here, but what about the animal products?” I educated myself on and off for two years on commercial farming, and it disgusted me every time. In my third year of college, I just couldn’t support it anymore and I became a vegetarian to cut out meat entirely. This was the best decision I made six years ago. Soon enough, vegetarianism was no longer a choice, but it was just simply my lifestyle. And that’s when I made the choice to be cruelty-free not only on my plate but also with the materialistic items that we don’t even need to survive: beauty products. I learned how animals are treated in laboratories, I’ve seen the photos, videos, and all, and it’s just as heart-wrenching as learning about the food industry. We don’t need beauty products, and we especially don’t need animals to suffer on our behalf for us to enjoy them, so I decided to support only cruelty-free brands who choose ethics over profits.
A year ago, I created Free The Bunnies to help others like me who share the same passion of having a cruelty-free lifestyle. Free The Bunnies is now one of the top cruelty-free resources available today, and I am completely vegan
(cutting out meat AND dairy) and 100% cruelty-free in my everyday lifestyle.
SF: What is your favorite drugstore makeup brand? High-end brand?
Stephanie: My favorite cruelty-free drugstore makeup brand is Pacifica. They were the very first brand I confided in when I made the transition and they’ll always have a place in my heart. Pacifica is completely cruelty-free and vegan, so they made the switch very easy.
My favorite cruelty-free high-end makeup brand is Anastasia Beverly Hills. They also make it easy by stating which products are vegan right on the packaging, and all their formulas are pigmented, creamy and of the highest quality.
SF: What is the biggest complaint you hear about sunscreen?
Stephanie: The biggest complaint I hear about sunscreen is that it hurts our oceanic ecosystems. As we become more eco-conscious as a society, we are learning about how sunscreen harms ocean wildlife, including our coral reefs. It’s exciting to see more sunscreen options become available that are mineral-based and reef safe.
SF: Do you feel the beauty industry is embracing the cruelty-free movement? Do you think it will continue to grow?
Stephanie: Absolutely. The cruelty-free movement is growing exponentially and at the end of the day, beauty brands are going to need to follow if they want to continue to grow their brands. I see new brands hit the market all the time who make an effort to be 100% cruelty-free on Day 1, because that is becoming the new norm, and it just makes sense.
SF: What is your favorite quote?
Stephanie: “Compassion is the best side effect of choosing cruelty-free.” This resonates with me so much because I truly did gain respect and empathy for all other species on this planet when I went vegetarian, then cruelty-free and then vegan and cruelty-free.
SF: What advice would you give others that want to transition to cruelty-free or vegan products?
Stephanie: My advice to those just starting to transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle is to take it slowly. You may feel like once you find out which brands are testing on animals, that you will immediately want to throw all their products away. Please don’t do that. The brand already has your dollars, you paid good money for it, and if it’s still usable, go ahead and use it up. Only when you run out of products, should you replace them with cruelty-free alternatives. That’s the best way to not overwhelm yourself and make it feel like a more sustainable lifestyle.
SF: Why is supporting cruelty-free or vegan beauty brands important to you?
Stephanie: I just don’t believe that animals need to suffer for our personal gain. With over 200 and counting 100% cruelty-free brands on my website, it is completely possible to choose to buy beauty products that don’t involve animal cruelty. The cruelty-free movement is what it is today because of us consumers voting with our dollars and showing society that animal lives matter and they don’t deserve to suffer for our own benefit.
Visit FreetheBunnies.com to learn more about how to transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle and if your favorite brands are cruelty-free.
If you're looking for a cruelty-free and/or vegan sunscreen for everyday use that is reef-safe and leaves NO white cast, check out ZINC IT OVER. This 3-in-1 antioxidant-rich formula protects, hydrates, and sets makeup for convenient reapplication every 2 hours as recommended by cancer and skincare experts. Learn more here.
Are you a beauty blogger or influencer interested in participating in our Q & A series? Email us!