make-up artist

Go Cruelty-Free with Make-Up Artist Nicola Whitfield

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Photography by Liz Caneda

Nicola Whitfield is a local Make-up artist, with a bit of hair styling too, that does fashion shoots, wedding make-up, client appointments and more. She stands by the ethos of only using cruelty-free products and why  you should too. Here’s our interview with her and some beautiful looks!

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Photography from Sarah Brabbin

BFC: Hi Nicola, you are a make-up artist here in Barnsley that made the decision to go cruelty free, why did you decide this and how easy was it to do so?

Nicola: Hello, I decided to go cruelty free with my kit as I have animals of my own ( 2 rabbits and a dog) so I felt it was the right thing to do not to have products in my make up kit that were tested on animals. To further help my decision I also researched how the cosmetics are tested on animals. After reading about what I feel are cruel and barbaric experiments the animals have to endure all in the name of beauty, my decision was easy. I found it very difficult initially as a lot of companies who don’t test themselves, for example Body Shop, Urban Decay and Liz Earle, are actually owned by companies which do. It is also difficult when a company is bought out by a larger company, this has happened recently with the NYX brand as they don’t test but the company who has bought them out does. It is fairly easy now to research and there are plenty of websites you can look at for this information. You just need to be aware some companies will claim they don’t test unless required to do so by law – this means they do as they sell their products in China which does require that all cosmetics are tested on animals by law. If products are made in Europe or the UK, they have not been tested on animals as there was a ban on animal testing across Europe in 2009.

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Photography by James Scrivener

BFC: So would you say its hard to find these products? Like they don’t make it easy for you to find out?

Nicola: It is hard to keep track of as you can use a product believing it to be cruelty free, only to find out the company is owned by another company which sell their products in China therefore they must test their products by law.
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Photography by Urban Images

BFC: So after eventually figuring out which ones you can and can’t use, which do you use most often? Do you have some favourites?

Nicola: I use lots of different brands in my kit which are mostly professional brands such as Kryolan, Ben Nye and Le Maq Pro but I do have some great brands which can be bought on the high street like, Illamasqua, Sleek and Barry M are all amazing.

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Photography from Ellie Grace
BFC: And what do your customers and clients say about your choices?

Nicola: Most cannot believe that testing on animals still goes on and big cosmetic houses such as Estee Lauder, L’Oreal and Garnier still test. I always tell people that there are many different ranges available that are now cruelty free, it is much easier with a little bit of research to be completely cruelty free. My clients love the products I use as they are so long wearing and highly pigmented so a little goes a long way which means if they are wanting to purchase it themselves it is good value for money.

BFC: It’s crazy that those names are big brands that still test and yet sound like the cruelty free products are way better for you! Can you describe one of your favourite looks you ever did and which products you used?

Nicola: There are so many !! I like different looks I have created for different reasons but I do tend to like creative avant garde looks the best. Of these, my favourite has to be this one because I designed it from start to finish, made all the headpiece and did the styling for it. I used mist air airbrush foundation and also on the cheeks. For the eyes and lips I used Illamasqua liner. The false lashes and gems were from stargazer.

BFC: It’s always hard for creatives to choose favourites, that look is amazing though! Also, as you said, you do styling and hair as well, how do you find doing those elements along side your make-up?

Nicola: I love been able to do both hair and styling so I can design the total look and produce a completed work. The downside is the amount of time a complete look takes this is why I also love to work with fellow creatives.

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Photography by Liz Kaneda
BFC: And lastly, how would you persuade other make-up artists to go cruelty free? Other than what you also said about the great value and pigmentation?

Nicola: Just because I think its totally unacceptable to be testing on animals in the name of beauty, when there are such great alternatives out there.

You can see more of Nicola’s portfolio and get in touch with her on her website here!

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Photography by James Scrivener

 

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