Monday, January 23, 2012

Are Samantha Chapman's Real Techniques Brushes Cruelty Free?

One of the most popular youtube beauty items of 2011 was undoubtedly the Real Techniques brushes released by Samantha Chapman of pixiwoo. I have been watching Sam and Nic’s channel for a while, and they claim to be cruelty free. To make a long story short: They aren’t cruelty free.

When I first tried to be cruelty free, I only used products Nic and Sam applied since they claimed to be cruelty free. With a little research, I quickly realized almost every single brand they used in their videos was not cruelty free. Obviously they have no malicious intent, but it called into question their research and their dedication to being cruelty free.

So when Sam announced she was creating a cruelty free brush line I had reservations about the product. As I will discuss later, her brushes are undeniably cruelty free, but I was worried about the parent company Paris Presents Incorporated. Their most popular subsidiary is ecotools. A full list of Paris Presents Incorporated’s additional subsidiaries can be found here.

While it appears that Paris Presents sells mostly synthetic brushes (EDIT: some of their subsidiaries do sell animal hair brushes), I didn’t understand exactly what some of their subsidiaries sold so I wanted to make sure they are cruelty free. I sent off my usual email and received this response:

Paris Presents, Inc. does not subscribe to any animal testing on our finished products or individual ingredients. With today’s huge bank of safety tested ingredients and several alternative methods to animal testing available, we find it unnecessary to conduct animal safety studies on our products or ingredients.

In those cases where chemicals may have never undergone safety screening, and we believe there is a reasonable basis to question the safety of such an ingredient, we take two paths. First and foremost, we try to avoid the use of such ingredient. Secondly, in some instances where the ingredient is vital to the performance of the product, we conduct other (they put this in bold) types of laboratory testing, but do not conduct testing on animals.

Customer service satisfactorily answered whether their finished products and ingredients were animal tested but did not overtly address the possibility of third party testing. I believe the second paragraph was meant to address this and to reinforce the statement in the first paragraph that their products are not animal tested. I am always overly paranoid about these things so I took a look around their websites. Ecotools has a line with Alicia Silverstone, the ultimate ethical vegan celebrity, and this made me feel a lot better about the company.

I will continue to purchase from Paris Presents/Real Techniques.

The Real Techniques line of brushes are, as stated previously, definitely cruelty free. These brushes have Taklon bristles; Taklon is a synthetic material and therefore cruelty free, but it also has many other benefits.

Taklon is:

· Cruelty free

· More Sanitary

· Provides better application

An article on Taklon makeup brushes is available here to provide more in depth information. With all the information just in this article I’m surprised that any company would still make brushes with animal hair.

I own a few of the Real Techniques brushes for face and eyes, and I thoroughly enjoy them. In the US, they are very affordable and available at Ulta. They are great quality, amazingly soft, and provide great makeup application. I recommend them to anyone who needs a great, affordable, and cruelty free brush!


  1. Thanks for sharing this information! Great posting :)

  2. It is nice wen you find that someone did the "dirty job" already! =)
    Thanks for sharing, very much appreciated.