Mariam is one of the first, if not only Egyptian, Makeup Artist to work solely with cruelty free products. Proving you can have gorgeous makeup without harming innocent animals in the process! We speak to her to find out more about her brave decision.
First, explain to us what are cruelty free products? What are the guidelines for a product in order for it to be considered cruelty free?
It’s a very complicated process and many of the major companies try to get away with technicalities. They can say they are cruelty free when in fact some of their ingredients have been tested on animals in other labs. A cruelty free product means that nothing in the product was tested on animals; from the beginning until it reaches the shelves. None of the ingredients should be tested on animals either.
How did you become aware of cruelty free products?
It all started right before my wedding, when I decided I wanted to do my makeup myself. Being an animal lover, I started looking into what products weren’t tested on animals. When looking into this I came across many graphic images and videos, which of course had an effect on me. It took a lot of dedication and effort to find alternatives but they are there.
“A cruelty free product means that nothing in the product was tested on animals; from the beginning until it reaches the shelves.”
Do many people approach you for that reason?
Surprisingly, yes! I thought people wouldn’t care, but then they started realizing that they can have the exact look they want without harming animals in the process. I even get people messaging me thanking me for making them more aware of this.
With many temptations and offers around, is it difficult to stick to what you believe in?
There is no animal tested product that doesn’t have a replacement; you just need to research and try them out to find what works for you. There are several stores in Egypt that provide cruelty free brands, and of course you can always order online.
“I wouldn’t give up what I believe in for a few extra followers.”
Do you think other local makeup artists will become more aware and use cruelty free products too?
I just did a collaboration with Asma Sherif, while going through her products we realized that most of them are already cruelty free. So it’s not that hard to let go of a few products. The hassle is at the beginning to find out which brands to use, but then you’re good to go!
We heard you declined an offer from one of the biggest brands out there, was that a difficult decision?
As long as you keep your eyes on the bigger cause and what you believe in it’s very easy. I can understand that it would be tempting to get great exposure, but it’s definitely not worth it. I wouldn’t give up what I believe in for a few extra followers.
“There is no animal tested product that doesn’t have a replacement; you just need to research and try them out to find what works for you.”
What do you want to do next, to help this cause?
I want to open my own boutique. It would be a wonderland of animal friendly products! People could comfortably shop knowing everything is cruelty free. I think this will also get more people into being more conscious about it.
Give us some of your favorite products that people could easily replace their animal tested products with.
Anastasia Beverly Hills; they have amazing brow products which are every girl’s must have these days!
Urban Decay; I love their eye shadow pallets. They have a great variety and great colors.
Color Pop; they have one of my favorite liquid lipsticks that really last!
Too Faced; one of the best selling mascaras in the world is from too faced.
NYX; their lipsticks are simply the best!
The Body Shop; this is one of my favorite brands, I love all their products. Plus they help replant the rain forest!