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Beauty at the Cost of No Animals

by Victoria Garcia

Montclair Animal Activists (MAA) hosted their third annual Cruelty-Free Beauty Soiree and returned to the Rathskeller at Montclair State University on Tuesday. New additions to the event included a juicing table and a henna station.

Presentation tables and DIY booths were set up around the student-packed room, with more than 140 people visiting the soiree. The tables gave anyone in attendance the opportunity to learn about the meaning of cruelty-free and to create their own beauty and health products with the help of an instructor.

Cruelty-free means that a product does not include anything from an animal, like milk and eggs. It also means the products were not tested on them.


A colorful diffuser blew aromatic steam into the air at the essential oils table. Students could learn about different oil properties and how to make cruelty-free perfumes.
Christina Urban | The Montclarion Photo credit: Christina

The process of setting up the event was similar to that of last year, but MAA President Stephanie Russo explained how re-ramping the DIY activities was the most significant difference this time around.

Russo said the soiree usually receives a lot of attention because free samples are provided.

“There’s a lot of stuff you don’t realize isn’t cruelty-free,” Russo said. “Once you start going down the rabbit hole of what is cruelty-free, it’s amazing.”

Pamphlets and information guides on how to live a vegan, cruelty-free lifestyle were displayed throughout the room. The juicing table allowed students to sample juice recipes and learn what health benefits each juice provides. Healthy snacks were also available at a first-come, first-serve basis.

Students could sample freshly made juice from volunteers and copy the plant-based recipes.
Christina Urban | The Montclarion

Although the soiree was promoted before its planned date, some students learned of it from walking by the Rathskeller the day of the event.

Nutrition major Rafaela Junqueira noticed the event taking place before walking in. She said the event opened up her eyes.

“I’m vegan and this event is cruelty-free, so I was really interested to see what was going on,” Junqueira said.

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