From 11 March 2013, the EU completed the ban on the sale of cosmetics animal-tested after that date anywhere in the world. The ban applies to both cosmetics products and ingredients, again irrespective of whether there are alternatives. It is known as the ‘marketing ban’.'
Obviously this is a huge victory in the animal rights sector, however there are ways and means of brands getting around these laws - and boy they do. The main way I've come across so far are brands who word their 'cruelty free' policies carefully - hoping that people don't notice or care that the testing is happening overseas. The main culprit of this is China. China requires animal testing by law, something that has been and continues to be debated internationally as technology has advanced so far that these testing methods should now be redundant. Unfortunately this is still the case however some consumer brands admit to be working with the Chinese government to end these tests.
Another issue I've had to research into is parent company testing. As you're probably aware, most brands are owned by a parent company, for example Mac is owned by Estee Lauder, The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal etc. I'll continue to use The Body Shop as an example as it's known on the British High Street for being widely known as a cruelty free brand. Well - technically it isn't, depending on what your personal definition of cruelty free is. You can be sure that The Body Shop's ingredients or finished products have not been tested on animals, and if you're happy knowing that then fair enough, however much of their profit is paid to their parent company (L'Oreal) who are one of the biggest animal testers in the world. So effectively you are funding animal testing in this sense by purchasing their products. This is why I have decided to go a bit further and not purchase products by brands whose parent companies test on animals. Here's a link to the Daily Mail's article on the subject for more information.
I was soon introduced to the massive market for cruelty free cosmetics as an alternative online. Blog's such as Cruelty Free Kitty have been a huge help, shedding light on who's who in the cruelty free world. It took a good few weeks of heavy Googling to find out the worst offenders and I've compiled a handy little list on the Notes app on my phone for when I'm out and about (I will share this with you.) It does make shopping a little more difficult I'll admit, but if it takes me an extra 10 minutes to find a shampoo that hasn't harmed a little bunny somewhere then that's fine with me.