Why I Went Cruelty-Free (And How)

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In 2015 I decided to go cruelty-free. If you don’t know what the term means, it simply means that beauty products aren’t tested on animals. In this post I wanted to explain why I went cruelty-free, but also how (in case you’d like to do the same thing, and hopefully my little guide could help you at that). To be honest, I don’t really have a valid reason for not doing that sooner; it’s not like I didn’t know brands were testing on animals, but I obviously chose to look the other way or to ignore this issue. I’m glad I finally did some reading because I realised I didn’t want to contribute to this cruel practice any longer just so that I could buy a pretty lipstick or mascara. So, if you’re interested in my reasons and how I went cruelty-free, keep reading!

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WHY

There are many reasons why I decided to go cruelty-free, and while certain reasons were more important than others, all of them lead me to my decision.

Animal testing is cruel and disgusting

Have you ever wondered how testing on animals looks like? Did you know that chemicals are literally rubbed into their shaved skin, dripped into their eyes or given to them oraly? I know I wouldn’t allow such tests being performed on my dog, so why would I be okay with them being performed on other animals? And can someone explain the purpose of that? I have a really hard time understanding how are these tests helping anyone.

Animal testing isn’t necessary and there are other alternatives

Beauty products don’t need to be tested on animals and it’s completely unnecessary since thousands of ingredients have already been proven to be safe for use and there is no reason to test them over and over again. Not to mention there are other alternatives to animal testing like, for example, in vitro testing.

I didn’t want to support animal testing

You know how they say that we, consumers, vote with our money? Well, that’s true and that’s why I wanted to stop supporting companies that test on animals. Because, let’s be honest, everytime I purchased something from companies that do test, I was basically paying for animal testing (among other stuff). Well, I figured there are better ways to spend my money so I was done supporting companies that test on animals.

I wanted to support animal-friendly brands

This is actually related to my previous point. There are many cruelty-free brands which means that I actually have a choice and that I could support brands that shared my view when it comes to animal testing. There are actually so many brands to choose from, and you would be surprised how many brands are cruelty-free. I will link some lists in the ‘how’ part of this post.

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HOW

When it comes to how I went cruelty-free, I can tell you that it did feel a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but it isn’t impossible.

Research

First thing I did is, obviously, research. As I said, it felt so overwhelming at the beginning and I didn’t know where to start, but luckily there are so many excellent cruelty-free bloggers and various organisation who share their information on cruelty-free brands. After checking lists with cruelty-free brands, I went through my makeup bag to check if I already owned any of those brands. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so good at that, I actually have many products from brands that do test, but I did make a list of brands and products that I planned to purchase in the future.

Switching products I already owned

When it comes to this, I can tell you that I did (and I still do) this as I go and I would recommend this to anyone who’s going cruelty-free. I didn’t throw anything away because I don’t like to throw stuff away and I don’t see the point of that; I rather gave away some of my products and I even sold a few, but I still have many products since I am a bit of a hoarder, so I’m still figuring out how to deal with that. In the meantime, I’m buying products as I go and as I use up something (I mostly use up skin careproducts  because I have less of those and it’s easier to use them up ).

Being up to date

Even though I did my research at the beginning, it’s important that I’m always up to date because brands do change their status – some brands lose their cruelty-free status (unfortunately), while others join the cruelty-free community.

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USEFUL LINKS

As I mentioned above, I started by doing some research and here are the links to bloggers and organisations that helped me with information on animal testing and cruelty-free brands.

Organisations

  • Humane Society International – is a global organisation that helps all animals through various programs and on their website you can read more about animal testing – HERE
  • Leaping Bunny – is an organisation that has so called Leaping Bunny Program which means that brands (companies) can be certified by them; this certificate means that these brands do not test their ingredients or products on animals, nor do they pay a third party to do the testing for them. You need to keep in mind that not all companies are certified by Leaping Bunny and that doesn’t mean that they’re not cruelty free. Click to see which brands are certified – LINK.

Cruelty-Free Bloggers

  • Logical Harmony – this is probably one of the first blogs I came across; Tashina, the author behind the blog, has her own list of cruelty-free brands – she contacts them directly with a set of questions and then adds brands to three lists: cruelty-free, gray area brands and brands to avoid. Lists are available HERE. Again, keep in mind that not all brands are on these lists, simply because it takes time to contact all these brands and then for them to answer; not to mention she’s just one person.
  • Cruelty-Free Kitty – another blogger I like to read and I’ve been following since I started my cruelty-free journey. She, too, has her own list and you can see it HERE.
  • Phyrra – I’ve been reading her blog for years, even before she went cruelty-free; the reason I followed her is because she has many indie reviews and I just love indie brands! You can see her list of cruelty-free brands HERE.

There are many other websites I follow, but these are probably the ones I read on a weekly basis, especially when it comes to cruelty-free lists. You’ll notice how many lists have similar brands  on them, but then there are some diffrences. That can depend on various reason, but I think one of them is the fact that they (bloggers I mentioned) all contact brands by themselves and that’s something that just takes time.

I hope you’ll find this post useful, but I do plan to go a bit into more details about cruelty-free brands and why certain brands still test their products on animals. I’ll also share some of my favourite brands in this range, but I’m sure you already know which those are since I’ve been all about certain brands. ;)

 Vesna ♥

2017 | plans & goals

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I don’t usually write posts like this one, but this year I’m making an exception. I won’t be making any big plans, I prefer to stay focused and realistic. In order to do that, I needed to set reasonable and achievable goals. I decided to stick to some of the things I’ve already been doing in 2016, but I’m taking that a step further in 2017. In addition to that, I’m starting with some things which have been on my mind for a while now, but I never found the time to sit down and decide how and why I want to do them, but now I know. Anyway, let’s get to my plans & goals in 2017!

DECLUTTER

I’ve spent a big part of 2016 reading about minimalism, how to declutter (your home, life or whatever you need to declutter), how to simplify your life… and I’ve been really good at decluttering one area in my life: my closet. I’m 90% satisfied with how it looks at the moment;  I still need a few statement items, but in general – I’m almost done and I see a bright future in front of me when it comes to my closet. I am so happy I finally got at the point where I like the clothes I have and wear, even though it took me a long time to get here – two years, to be more precise (I started decluttering my closet before I actually knew about ‘decluttering’ / minimalism as a movement).

My plan is to declutter all other areas in my life – craft supply, make up, kitchen, etc. Some areas are easier than others (like kitchen – super easy to declutter), but I’m taking one step at a time since it’s REALLY important not to rush anything. It is difficult to get rid of stuff, especially since it took me years to collect some of it, and it would be unrealistic to expect I can get rid of it in just one afternoon. I mean, it would be great if I could, but it’s just not the way it works. Of course, this is a long-term plan since it will take me a long time to declutter everything, but I feel now that I’m ready since I have experience. Anyway, I will let you know how I’m doing!

BUY LESS / NO NEW MAKE UP IN 2017

This might seem a bit radical, but I don’t think it is. Buying less is something that’s connected to decluttering (at least that’s the case with me). I want to buy less stuff in general (I actually have a list of items I plan to buy in 2017) since that’s how I got in over my head with the clutter in the first place – buying too much without thinking if I really need a new item in my life, and if I even have the space for it. Not to mention the amount of money I wasted on items I didn’t really need. This year will be different and I’ll finally pay more attention to how I spend my money, why I spend it and I’ll be writing everything down because I want to have a clear overview of my finances.

Along with spending less, I decided to quit buying new make up and by that I really mean – NO new make up in 2017! It might seem strange and crazy, but to be honest, all this make up I already have is just suffocating me and I really want to use products I own, and quit being a hoarder. This will also be a way to help me declutter my make up since I’ll be saying goodbye to some products I haven’t used in ages. Further more, I’m looking forward to using up many products in 2017!

As mentioned, I have a list with products I plan to buy this year, and when it comes to make up, this is my list:

  • Maria Nila Cacao Intense (link)
  • liquid foundation (still searching)
  • mixing liquid from Make Up Store (for cake eyeliner)

Definitely satisfied with my list!

BE CREATIVE

I’ve been struggling with my creative side in 2016, and I want to do something about that this year. I miss being creative, so for this year I came up with a plan: every week I have to spend 3 hours doing something creative. It doesn’t matter if I spend this time all at once or if I divide it, but it has to be 3 hours per week (if it’s more, then it’s a plus!). I have so many options like watercolour painting, knitting, making cards… you name it, I just need to let myself go and create.

I would also love to take a course in photography / water colouring / ceramics, but I’m not really sure I have the time since all courses are a few weeks long. For now, I’ll just work on my own and in case I have extra time, I’ll use it wisely!

EXPLORE STOCKHOLM

I’ve been in Stockholm for two years now, but sometimes I feel like I don’t even know this city. To change that, I’ll be exploring Stockholm 2 or 3 times a month in order to get to know it better. I also decided to share my favourite spots in Stockholm so that you can get to know it, too. And who knows, maybe you’ll visit it one day and my posts might help you to explore it easily.

Along with exploring new places in Stockholm, I plan to share with you my favourite spots like favourite coffee shops, favourite second hand shops, favourite parks, and so on. I want you to get to know Stockholm through my eyes, and I hope you’ll like that!

I do have some other things on my mind, too, but I think I’d rather keep it real than to push too many plans down my path. I can easily add something if I think I can manage it, but I really don’t want to feel overwhelmed with too many plans. As I said at the beginning, it’s important that my plans are reasonable and achievable, otherwise I might give up if it seems too difficult / too much.

How about you? Have you decided anything for 2017 or that isn’t your cup of tea? Feel free to share in the comment section!

Vesna ♥

2016 | An Overview

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It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that 2016 is almost over, and here I am, writing my last post this year. 2016 was more than interesting, so many things happened, and 95% of those things were good ones. Definitely can’t complain about that. Instead of writing a novel about these past 12 months, I thought writing an overview would be a much better idea since I’ll be able to see all important points in an organised way. So, let’s start!

  • another year in Sweden – let’s start with the most obvious thing – it’s almost our 2nd anniversary in Sweden, and I have to admit that this year was much harder when it comes to all those changes which you might encounter after moving to another country. I had (or still have)  my ups and downs when it comes to moving to Sweden, but I think I might leave that for another post since I really could write a novel right now. :D Either way, moving to another country is a huge thing, and I guess it will take me another year or two to get used to the fact that another country is now my home.
  • learned a new language – great thing about Sweden is that you can learn Swedish for free, and I did just that! I went through every possible course that was available, and I’m proud to say that now, I do speak Swedish! It might not be perfect, I might have a terrible accent, but hey, I’ve learned a new language! And it feels so good to speak Swedish! I’m so happy every time I speak Swedish even though I have bad days when I don’t feel like speaking Swedish (in that case, English does the work). Personally, learning Swedish was really important to me, because that’s a way to get to know Sweden and Swedes, their traditions, to understand what they do and why they do it in a certain way, and so many other things. Not to mention I had further plans with my Swedish language, which brings me to my next point…
  • …I applied to university, and… I got in! – this is the weirdest thing ever, I could never imagine I would be studying in Sweden! And not just that, but my classes will be in Swedish! To be honest, I’m totally freaking out about the Swedish part, but if I got this far, I’m pretty sure I’ll manage the rest of it, too. Still, it doesn’t mean it’s less scary haha :D Anyway, wish me luck, I’ll need it!
  • met new friends – the thing that I love the most about moving to Sweden, is the fact that I met so many people from so many different countries, and it’s such a pleasure to learn about other cultures and traditions. At the moment, I have friends from Mexico, South Africa, Syria, Iran, UK, Sweden… just to name a few. I’m so grateful for every person I met here and I guess that’s just the beginning. ♥
  • personal changes – last, but not least, I experienced (and still am) many changes on a personal level. Of course, this was expected, but I don’t think I was actually aware how much it would affect me. A lot of things changed in the past year, and definitely for the better. As you know, last year I decided to go vegetarian and with that came some other changes like supporting only cruelty free brands, thinking more about the impact we have on people and environment around us, what do I want to leave behind me, and more. This inspired me to introduce additional changes into my life, and since 2017 is about to start, I decided to continue what I was already doing, but also to go a step or two further. This is something I’ll be writing in my upcoming post “Plans for 2017″. :)

So, these were my significant points in 2016. How about yours? Or are you relying on 2017? Feel free to share!

Vesna ♥

Cheers to new beginnings!

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This year has been full of changes and recently I made two very important decisions which I wanted to share on my blog. I really don’t know why I waited so long but I’m happy I finally decided to embrace these decisions and I really look forward to new experiences and discoveries.

My first decision is one that has been on my mind for a long time. I’m officially a vegetarian now. I never was a meat person to begin with but I ate meat here and there and 95% of the time I ate chicken. The reason I decided to go down this path is that I’ve been thinking a lot about food lately, especially since we moved to Sweden. Here is everything (or at least majority of it) about being environmentally friendly and it got me really into thinking about what food am I eating, where was it produced, under what conditions, what about employers and so on. I know I can’t change everything but I do hope that my choices make some difference. That’s why I’m trying to buy eco-friendly, organic, locally produced and fair trade products (I began doing this last year and I see vegetarianism as an addition to this). It’s not always easy but I’m lucky that here in Sweden there is a great range of such products. I know it’s also more expensive, not everything although many things are, but I’ll rather buy less and have better quality knowing that I support something good.

The other decision I made is that I will no longer support brands that test on animals which means, from now on, you’ll see only cruelty free products on this blog (I already deleted posts which contained non cruelty free products). I’m actually sad I haven’t made this decision ages ago, I really don’t know why, but I guess it’s better late than never. I already have a handful selection of cruelty free products but, unfortunately, many of my products aren’t cruelty free. With time I will be replacing my beauty products even though I plan to give away and/or sell most of my current collection.
When it comes to cruelty free brands, I’ve been researching a lot for the past few weeks and I can say it’s really a complex thing. Many brands are really sneaky when it comes to labeling their products as cruelty free when, in fact, they’re not cruelty free because, for example, they sell their products in China where testing on animals is required by law! Good research is a MUST when it comes to cruelty free brands!

There are many cruelty free blogs out there but many of them aren’t up to date so you have to check everything more than once. Locical Harmony and Phyrra are  more than helpful and they offer more than enough information to start with. :)

I don’t want to keep this story too long, I just wanted to shortly explain what happened and show you in which direction this blog will continue. See you tomorrow when I’ll post my first cruelty free review! :)

Vesna ♥

Introduction

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Södermalm, Stockholm (taken on February 2nd, 2015)

Before writing anything remotely useful I wanted to start with an introduction. Well, sort of. I’m a long time blogger (5+ years as beauty blogger and a few more years as a random blogger, I’d say) so blogging isn’t anything new to me. In the past few months I was thinking about starting a new blog which would be more of a lifestyle blog or at least something in that direction. The reason for starting a new blog were big changes coming my way and definitely the biggest one was moving from Zagreb, Croatia to Stockholm, Sweden at the beginning of the year (which actually happened only a few days ago). So, I decided to use that change to start something new since I will have more time and I simply wanted to share thoughts and ideas with others (you).

So, frozen-spring.com will handle a bit of everything, especially:

  • Stockholm and Sweden
  • food (photos, recipes & stuff)
  • home decor
  • crafts & DIY (various simple and creative ideas)
  • a bit of style & beauty (not sure what will this be about but lets keep it here :D )

Anyway, hope you’ll find my future posts interesting enough to hang around!

Vesna ♥