Growing up, there were two movies that, despite all the praise they got, I couldn't stand to watch: 101 Dalmatians and Dumbo. It felt unbearably painful to sit through 1.5 hours of the evil that is Cruella de Vil vying for a new fur coat or circus performers shackling an elephant to a tent.
Flash forward to my formative years, where I soon discovered that it wasn't just cartoon dogs getting the brunt of things — the lipstick I was stealing off my mom's vanity also could have been contributing to the harm of a furry friend. Luckily for 10-year-old-me, a beauty industry without animal testing is no longer just a fairytale these days: Countless brands in the U.S. have made a cruelty-free pledge, promising to never test on animals at any point in the production process.
If you're worried that the quality of these products takes a nosedive as a result, I'm here to tell you that couldn't be further from the truth. For one month, I tested hundreds of options to find the very best in the cruelty-free hair, makeup, and skin categories, documenting my progress each week. What I discovered was 41 damn good products I actually want to keep using — with the fact that it didn't take a bunny wearing mascara to get it in my hands being a big bonus, indeed.