Montclair Animal Activists (MAA) hosted their second annual Cruelty-Free Beauty Soiree on Nov. 1 in the Rathskellar. The soiree was held to raise awareness about animal cruelty in the beauty industry and to offer cruelty-free alternatives to makeup, skin care and feminine and sex products.
“People understand food, but I don’t think people understand beauty or cosmetics,” said MAA President Heather Francis. “It’s something that’s so integrated into people’s lives. We want to get this information out there.”
The event included several presentation tables to educate attendees on cruelty-free products. These tables included a DIY cruelty-free lip and face scrub bar as well as an information table on vegan sex and feminine products run by Health Promotion, the LGBTQ Center and Arbonne, a botanical health and wellness company.
“What we’re hoping to do is raise awareness for the different ways animals suffer,” said MAA Vice President Erin O’Connell. “The goal is to have students aware of what they’re buying on a daily basis.”
Francis said attendance to the event this year looked larger than last year’s. There was a line of over 20 students before the soiree began. Many students who attended showed high interest in both the event and its cause.
“I think it’s awesome and animals deserve just as much rights as humans do because they’re living things just as humans are,” said freshman Heather Teran, who was walking by when she noticed the event. “I want to be a veterinarian, so I walked in when I saw the flyer.”
As the event continued on, many attendees were able to take their time listening and learning about cruelty-free products.
“It was really informative,” said graduate student Portia Edionseri. “The little projects and the little giveaways, I really liked it. It’s better to know about it and then know what to buy and what to pick than just keep using whatever.”
At the end, a cruelty-free raffle was held. Some of the gifts included a Lush basket filled with bath bombs and lotions and an Arbonne gift.
The event was co-sponsored by many Montclair State organizations, including the Enviroclub, Femvolution, Health Promotion, Unified Asian American Student Organization (UAASO), Mufasa, Theta Kappa Chi and the LGBTQ Center.