Cruelty free beauty products are always my preferred choice, and I’m always on the lookout for new brands, products and commitments by big businesses to make it the norm. It’s also great to hear of industry professionals making the switch to using only cruelty free beauty products – especially makeup artists who create many of the trends we adopt in real life.
As part of a new kinder beauty series, I’ve interviewed a set of very talented, trailblazing makeup artists who have made (or are making steps) to using only cruelty free products in their kit – a tricky but not impossible commitment. So, to kick things off, I’ve interviewed the wonderful Erin Fuller, a freelance MUA based in London.
Stay tuned for the rest which I’ll be posting in the next few days…
How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get started?
My love of makeup really began when I was in my teens. Clothing didn’t really inspire me as I had quite a few body and confidence issues, so I brought attention to my face instead with makeup – I found it came naturally to me. After studying makeup for film and television in Australia, I moved to London in 2011 and earned a place at the London College of Fashion on its ‘Introduction to Beauty’ course. It was here that a switch flicked. Beauty makeup is instantly gratifying and I found it really addictive. I now freelance independently across London and beyond.
What kinds of clients do you work with now?
Initially it was kind of everyone and everything, but now my client base is really fine tuned. I paint faces of men and women who need makeup for events, meetings, red carpet and photoshoots and I really love doing weddings. There are some women who have been with me since I started which gives me a huge sense of pride. Repeat clients are my bread and butter and I cherish every booking.
You recently announced that you’re committing to only using cruelty-free products in your kit by 2020. Tell me why you’ve decided to do this?
It feels like the right time for me to do this. Initially I was hesitant because of product performance. Most of the brands I trained with were under umbrella companies that still tested on animals, and for years I had really separated this in my mind because the products were so reliable and had been around when my make-up heroes began their careers. There were caveats when it came to where the products were made and sold but ultimately, I don’t want to support any brand that has an underlying support for animal cruelty – no matter what laws the countries that sell their products have. There’s a sense of awareness and social consciousness within other areas of my life so I wanted that to extend to my professional life too.
I decided that 2020 would be my aim as it works well with my projection on when my non cruelty free products will run out or expire. So all new purchases will be from these companies who share this ethos.
Which CF brands do you love and plan to invest in? Who should we be excited about?
Now this is the exciting part. Charlotte Tilbury is a huge favourite of mine – the products are so luxurious and perform so well. I think because Charlotte was a make-up artist herself, she just knows what we need. Hourglass is another brand I plan on investing heavily in. everything I’ve tried has been very, very good. I also really love Zoeva brushes as they actually perform better than my old ones. I recently dipped my toes into their make-up range and I’m impressed with the products. I’m getting excited about Glossier because they really nail the chicness of ‘no make-up makeup’ and I feel like that’s making quite the comeback (Goodbye HD Brows, and good riddance).
I’m really fascinated with Fenty Beauty, personally. I haven’t seen this much success from a brand in a long time and I feel like Rihanna has broken down barriers for make-up users. I’d also keep a watchful eye on brands like Natasha Denona, CoverFX, ELF, Marc Jacobs Beauty & RMS Beauty.
Do you have clients who specifically request cruelty free makeup?
Genuinely, I haven’t – no. There have been a couple of bridesmaids at weddings who have asked me to use their own cruelty-free products, but no-one has expected me to have them already available. There’s a lot of MUA’S in the industry who focus solely on cruelty-free and clean makeup so I always assumed that those clients who wanted that specific niche gravitated towards them. I hope this opens more doors from this perspective, but also gives my existing client base that peace of mind knowing they aren’t contributing to that industry at all.
Do you think the quality of cruelty-free brands has improved over the last few years? Would this move have been possible say five years ago?
For sure. I would say as well that there’s just more versatility. Maybe in the past cruelty-free was put in the same bracket as say ‘Clean Beauty’ – therefore those products were more expensive, more niche and they didn’t perform as well. Years ago there were more limitations on what you could purchase, whereas now we are truly spoilt. I don’t think there was as much awareness either to be honest – but that’s one of the wonderful things that the internet brings. I’ve certainly had my eyes opened this year to just how many amazing brands there are available to us that have made this decision, and I truly feel that this is the direction the industry will move in from now on.
Follow Erin on Instagram @erinfullermakeup