Make-up Trade

cosmetic companies animal testing list 11-down-Revlon
Revlon is the 11th down, click for larger view

Revlon tests products on animals, Facebook says. Huh? I thought Revlon was one of the few major mainstream cosmetic companies that did not do animal testing. On-line searching turned up confusion matching my own. But from what I could glean, Revlon, formerly cruelty-free, no longer is.

About a year ago, the company wanted to move into the huge market of China. All cosmetics sold in China must meet that country’s safety standards that require animal testing. So Revlon, along with many other previously cruelty-free companies, quietly reintroduced animal testing of their products.

revlon-csr-testingThey certainly haven’t advertised this fact. You can go to the Revlon website and see nothing about it one way or the other. PETA apparently had to buy stock in the company in order to raise the question and get a ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ answer. Revlon has been taken off PETA’s cruelty-free list. Avon, Mary Kay and MAC are among others that now do animal testing in order to sell in China.

Law requires animal testing

China is home to companies that have made and exported baby food, toys, pet food and dog treats that have killed and sickened countless children and recalled-dog treats cbspets over the past several years. There have been many recalls in North America alone of products due to contamination with melamine, use of lead-based paints and other toxic substances – all made in China.

And now expansion into the huge Chinese market requires, by law, that companies previously committed to cruelty-free production and testing must renege on those promises. Such irony! Companies based in the personal injury lawsuit capital of the world – the US – now have to use testing methods that are not required in the US in order to sell in the country that makes and ships toxic goods to US stores.

Companies quietly change practices

When companies change policies and practices quietly, it is hard for watchdog groups to keep track and keep lists updated. And why should a third party even have to do this? Should a company not make its policies and practices, and any changes to those, cosmetic companies testing-rabbit welovepetsq8known to its customers? Sneaking around, hoping no one finds out, splitting hairs about ‘when’ and ‘where’ does not seem like good corporate citizen behaviour to me.

I will use the Revlon products I have. I will not add the crime of waste to that of animal testing  But I will not buy any again. If Revlon decided to do something this significant without making it known to their customers, I won’t be going back to them unless they take out banner ads that I cannot miss saying they are not and will never again test on animals. It’s easier to lose a customer than regain one and, Revlon, you’ve lost me.

So how can I buy any company’s products and be sure that a rabbit or a guinea pig has not Leaping-Bunny-logo-CCIC buygreen.comhad to suffer pain and death to ensure that manufacturer’s sales in China? From now on, I will need to see a clear statement on the package. I shouldn’t have to do research each time before making a purchase to know if a “safe” company still is. The bunny will be my guide.

Cruelty-free Beauty takes you to ethical products for sale on Amazon.

Corrie Street Oct. 27/13

Backstreet Boozer

high-heelOh, the joy of seeing Liz McDonald come through the Rovers’ door! A real landlady back. And just in time, before Michelle and her ego have a chance to completely destroy the business. I agree with Michelle: being the barmaid is a less taxing job than being the landlady. Having no real responsibility or authority better suits her skills.

However, now having her feet planted behind the bar as landlady and being able to lord it over the likes of Tracy, Michelle will surprise-gift-for-menot go gently. The next fight, I predict, will be between her and Liz about the sign over the door. It will be more evenly matched than fights Michelle has with Steve. He proudly put up a new sign proclaiming Steve McDonald and Michelle Connor as proprietors.

sign-over-doorIf Liz put money into the Rovers’ purchase this time, she will want her name back up there. And incidentally, have the rules changed? Last time Steve bought the bar, his criminal record meant that he could not be the legal licensee.* That is why Liz was, despite having no financial investment in it at all.

Belittling as an art form

I don’t know if I have ever wished that a grown man would revert to living with his mother and being a perennial ‘mamma’s boy’ but, given the choice of Michelle or Liz as Steve’s partner in life, I think he’s better off with Liz. Although she is very good at belittling him, she’s not a patch on Michelle. Of all the bitchy women who have been part of Steve’s life, Michelle has raised it to an art form.

steve-plays-possumConsider her initial reaction on Thursday to his surprise gift of the Rovers to her. Despite knowing, as everyone on the street except Steve knew, that Michelle doesn’t like surprises, I was shocked by the nastiness that came out of her mouth. In front of the whole bar, she told him what a loser he was and that having to work all hours in a “backstreet boozer” was not what she had dreamed of for her life.

One’s mouth can run ahead of one’s brain, so maybe Michelle would quickly realize that what she said was hurtful and ungracious. She took herself off to the Bistro for a think or why-is-she-sayinga sulk. Steve came in to make amends. Nope, she was not having any of it. It was a step back for her, she said, she had a career at the factory, she said, that she loved. Fair enough, but she made it sound as if he had been responsible for her no longer having it. Steve did not say, you got in a snit and walked out. He’s a bigger man than I am.

Round three of negotiations: Michelle returns to the Rovers ostensibly to apologize. But liz-settles-fightshe still makes it Steve’s fault. The words she said about “we need to communicate like adults, with inflection and pointed glance, came across clearly as you. Steve really should have told her, when she asked if there was anything else, that there was another partner. But after her earlier explosions, who would willingly cause another one? How he thought he was going to hide the presence, and involvement, of Liz, I don’t know but I can’t blame him for wanting to.

pack-it-inAs soon as she walked in, Liz had to settle a catfight in the middle of the bar. Her biggest fight is going to be with Michelle and my money is on Liz.

* The answer is here. Thanks.

Corrie Street Oct. 20/13

Make ’em count

“Spit it out, Nick! Heave it out of ya, b’y!” String your few words together so they tell he-is-talking make your words countsomebody something. That’s what I was yelling at the screen early this week. Words: make them count!

When Nick regained consciousness, his first word was “David”. Then “David. David. David.” Saying “David. Tried. To. Kill.” would take the same amount of effort and be enough to make Leanne and Gail wonder what he was talking about. Instead, they flapped around assuring him that David was fine, only cuts and scrapes, and on and bloody on. You can’t really blame them; with giving no context at all for his brother’s name, it is understandable that they should think he is concerned for David’s well-being.

nick-and-davidThen when he saw David words totally deserted him. He got very agitated and distressed, especially when David came near him. But not a peep from him about why. Leanne and Gail again flapped around, and came to the not unreasonable conclusion that seeing David brought back the trauma of the accident to him.


not-his-mineWhen he finally managed to string a couple words together, he landed Kylie in it. “Not. His. Mine.” he intoned with a hard look at Kylie which Leanne, sitting on the other side of the bed, did not see as she went on putting explanatory words in his mouth.

When Kylie got home, she told her co-conspirator Gail about Nick’s words. That led Gail to do some soul-searching. A few days later both of them were nervous because David was doing Nick-tending on his own. What gail-we-just-have-to-sit-tightmight the almost loquacious Nick say to him? Gail summed up their predicament, que sera, sera was the upshot. They couldn’t do anything but hope for the best.

They had made their bed of deceit and had to live with the consequences. Of course, she got in a few digs while dispensing her wisdom. We lied and hid facts because some of us are trying to protect our chicks while others of us are drunken harlots trying to protect ourselves. Guess who’s who, Kylie!

Truth or consequences

And while David, a jangling bag of nerves with his own deceptions and wrongdoings to protect, was attending his brother, Nick did speak. And finally it was with words that did count, nick-says-do-dna-teststrung together in a very clear and understandable manner. “You. Tried. To. Kill. Me.” Yes! ‘Atta boy Nicky, you did it! Just with the wrong person.

But, as Nick’s ability to speak improved, it became clear that he had a plan in mind. This is despite his caveat that his brain was muddled and he couldn’t think clearly.

david-reacts-to-test-demandHis plan is to decide what to do about David and the baby after he finds out whether he or David is the father. To that end, he told David to get a paternity test done or he will tell the police about the accident. Clear enough.

With Kylie now in such a state, will she or Gail revisit the idea of paternity testing? Will we soon see all the Platts scurrying around trying to get DNA samples from the baby and possible daddies without letting the others know? That would be funny.

Corrie Street Oct. 13/13

Christian Circus

christian long lost sonThursday, Hayley and Roy go to the Rovers with Christian, her long lost son. Hayley is Christian’s father, from when she was Harold. It has been very difficult for Christian to wrap his head around that – finding out his absentee father had become a she. The previous time they had met, six years ago, turned out badly when Christian struck her. So Hayley is uncertain about contacting him but she wants to try to make peace with him in the time she has left.

However, she doesn’t want to tell him of her illness. Doesn’t want “to play the sympathy card,” as she puts it. Roy has been opposed to her contacting him, not wanting her to endure whatever he might throw at her (figuratively and literally).

hayley-looks-at-photosThings go not too badly between them until Christian shows Hayley photos of his two children. She wishes desperately to meet them, her grandchildren. Christian doesn’t say no but he says he needs time.

The circus that is our lives

How much time, Hayley and Roy ask, knowing that time is the resource they have in shortest supply. Maybe when they are older, like say when need-time-to-adjustthey’re in their teens, when they are better equipped to understand–. His words trail off, he doesn’t know how to finish his sentence. The circus that is our lives, Roy throws back a word that Christian had used inadvertently earlier in explaining why he and his wife had no family present at their wedding.

hayley-happy-roy-notHayley’s mother hen side, wanting to see the grandbabies, is fighting with her wish to protect herself and Christian from the news of her death occurring way before those children reach their teens. While she tries to figure out a way out, Roy loses what little patience he has for Christian and for Hayley’s need to reconcile with her son.

He no-concern-to-uslashes out at Christian and his bigotry and stomps off.  Surprisingly, Hayley is prepared to leave with him. All of them angry by this point, Christian gets one final jab at her. When she says just be a good dad, he says he couldn’t be any worse than she was. That makes leaving him easy, she tells Christian as she takes Roy’s arm and walks out.

be-any-worse-than-youA frustrating scene, not because it was not believable. It was very credible for the characters, but not what I want to see from Roy especially. Hayley’s illness is bringing out the worst of his obsessiveness. He is monitoring and micromanaging her illness, her actions, even her wishes, all in the name of protecting her. She must deal with his behaviour and his sorrow as well as deal with her own imminent mortality. Unduly stressful for her.

goodbye-christianRoy should never have gone to the Rovers with Hayley and Christian. His presence was unnecessary and he was too angry. If Christian had taken another jab at Hayley, a bar full of people would have immediately jumped to her defence.

Maybe we got the real reason for his presence later when they were back at home having cocoa. He doesn’t want to share the little time he has left with her, not with anyone, he told Hayley. Perhaps especially with a son who came from a previous life as a different person, literally. Whatever the reason, it is Hayley who suffers my-hayleybecause she has been denied the opportunity to reconcile her past and her present. And Christian too, who seemed to truly want to put things right and try to understand his own past and parentage.

Corrie Street Oct. 6/13

An Ant Farm

roy-and shoes ant farmSo many scenes this week, most of them involving Hayley and Roy. But the one that got me was Roy preparing for the birthday party organized for him by Hayley. Sat at the kitchen table, tie untied, furiously polishing Hayley’s black pumps, he had little time for Anna’s solicitude.

But he told her a lot in his impatience over her concern that he should enjoy the party for Hayley’s sake. He gave a capsule of history – his childhood, his mother and his relationship with Hayley – while giving those shoes a shine that a drill sergeant could not fault.

factually-inaccurateHis turning twelve had been the occasion of his last birthday party. Desperately hoping for an ant farm, he received an action figure instead. A British military figure dressed in WWII US Forces uniform, something that distressed young Roy to no end.

Might make him peculiar

Just as well he didn’t like it, his auntie opined to his mother, playing with dolls might make until-I-met-Hayleyhim peculiar. He ended up peculiar anyway, he told Anna. He sent his action figure “to a watery grave” and he never got the ant farm.

Roy did get Hayley though, the only time he ever got his heart’s desire. So the desperation he feels at losing her is palpable. So too is his desperation at the thought of spending an entire evening being sociable and the centre of attention at a party. But he will do it – for Hayley’s sake.


Later that evening, outside at the back of the Rovers, Roy tells Hayley what she means to him. Another calmer beautiful moment when he opens the big heart that he usually keeps so buttoned up. Another roy-back-of-roversmoment of tears welling in my eyes and my husband’s. This one was his pick of the week. I liked it a lot too. But somehow the rawness of emotion and breadth of content in Roy’s near-soliloquy when preparing for the party hit me somewhere deeper in my psyche.


eva-at-barMy husband had another pick this week: any and all the scenes of Eva and her girls in the little red polka-dot dress. The choked back sobs and “aww” sounds I heard from the chair beside mine during touching Hayley and Roy moments turned more to ‘hubba-hubba’ noises whenever she, and they, appeared on the screen. “Those things ought to have a warning flag on them,” he said.

Coming Home

Coming Home Talbot-St-to-east-photo-D-StewartComing home after an absence, you see it differently. When you leave one home to visit another, you get it both ways. Going back to Ontario after a year in a new home, I was both visitor and resident simultaneously. I was surprised St. Thomas looked the same, but how much does anywhere change in one year?

St. Thomas at night

Talbot-St-to-north-dorothystewartMy eyes had changed, though. I saw beauty in things I’d never really noticed for a long time. Waiting for a pizza one night, I looked at the main street – the buildings themselves and the details of architecture we often forget to look at. Chef Bondi Pizza, in business since the early 1970s, next door to Your Fish & Chips, in business for even longer. Both with signage I’ve known all my life.

At 10 p.m. the street was empty enough to stand on the middle line. Yet cars are driving somewhere. People singly or in pairs walk home or to the bars. Dogs and their people are out for their late night constitutionals.

Aylmer, Ontario

Being in Aylmer at a Scottish-surnamed, German-speaking family-run Mexican food shop, The Tortilla Store, buying corn Tortilla-Store-Aylmertortillas in bulk to bring back to NB. Looking at the parking lot of The Bargain Shop across the side street. A horse and buggy parked alongside the cars and minivans.

Teary-eyed outside the John Street Tim Hortons in Aylmer. Waiting for my coffee, I automatically nodded to people at the tables. They nodded back. They may well be the same ones I’ve seen for years at the same tables at the same time of day. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know the other outside this common meeting ground, we always nod hello. Then again, maybe I’ve never seen these particular people before. Doesn’t matter, we always nod hello.

horse-and-buggy photo D StewartMissing Aylmer; the complex mix of peoples in a small town, there long before the term cultural diversity became common parlance. Stores and restaurants that have remained exactly the same since I went to high school there.

Small town, big city

I hated Aylmer and all small towns then, thought the big cities had it all. Eventually learning that, really, big cities become living in your own small neighbourhood for the most part and that getting away to see fields and forests requires a Clarkes-Aylmer photo Dorothy Stewartmajor expedition. In Aylmer or St. Thomas, you drive only a few minutes and you are in countryside with cows and horses or woods.

In a London department store, the young sales clerk who waits on us isn’t busy so she starts chatting. She’s counting the months until she graduates from university and can leave the small-town dust of London behind her for the Big City. She can’t wait.

I remember being you, I think as I listen to her talk about what London doesn’t have. But she will do well in Toronto. I can see the virtues of Hogtown, but London Ont is big city enough for me now. I was born and bred in real small town Ontario and I have grown old enough to appreciate that.

Home to NB

coming home, field-walk-photo-Jim-StewartThen returning to New Brunswick and what is now home. No take-out pizza close enough to get it home still warm. No Tim Hortons without a 20-minute drive. But the stars fill the sky as they cannot do against the lights of any city or town. The fields and woods beckon us to come for a walk. Silence other than the songs and squawks of birds.