Using only cruelty free makeup can seriously limit your options, especially when you’re looking for something specific, or if you’re looking for cruelty free makeup on a budget. Luckily, more and more affordable makeup brands have become aware of their need to go truly cruelty free in recent years, and more brands than ever are ending animal testing for good.
Below I have listed my favourite, tried-and-tested cruelty free makeup brands on a budget!
Cruelty Free Makeup on a Budget
Makeup Academy are one of my faves because not only are Makeup Academy cruelty cree, as of 2019 they’re also a 100% vegan brand. It’s great to see brands moving in the right direction, and they also sell some really good quality, affordable makeup pieces. When I say ‘good quality’, I wish I meant Anastasia Beverly Hills textured eyeshadows (I really do). I should clarify that I mean good quality for the price. I own a few pieces from MUA and I happily wear them, but if you’re looking for luxury you do have to spend a few extra pounds. If you’re new to MUA’s cruelty free and vegan makeup, they’re currently offering 20% off for your first makeup order!
Barry M’s cruelty free makeup and nail range reminds me of my childhood. My sister had SUCH an impressive range of their nail polishes (which I still think is their best product, even though they have a great range of cruelty free and vegan makeup). Their nail polishes start at £3.99, and I’ve yet to find one of better quality. I’ve even tried a couple of high-end nail varnishes that simply aren’t as good. I’m also so excited to try their new vegan bio body glitter, which biodegrades naturally in fresh water.
If you’re a regular reader, you’re probably sick to death of me talking about e.l.f., but I think that says a lot. It’s not just the low price that draws me to them! e.l.f’s cruelty free and vegan range has been around for longer than I’ve been vegan, and I have a modest collection of their palettes to show for it. Their eyeshadows have the creamiest vegan formula I’ve found, although if you can afford it I’d splash out a little more for things like foundation. (See below!)
Natural Collection is Boots‘ own cruelty free and sometimes accidentally vegan makeup brand. I have used their cruelty free and vegan mascara religiously for many years (although – spoiler alert – I have been convinced to try something new when this tube runs out!). This is a perfect range for those just starting out with makeup, or for anyone who wants a natural, understated look. It’s probably the most affordable brand in this list, with everything under £3.
Revolution Beauty is several cruelty free brands rolled into one, the cheapest of which is Makeup Obsession, working up to Revolution Pro which is the most expensive. It’s super easy to figure out what’s vegan and they have a great range of other cruelty free products on offer. This is probably the brand I am least familiar with, having only tried a couple of their products. The ones I have tried have impressed me, especially with such a low price (and I’ve heard good things about them, too!).
Affordable Cruelty Free Makeup
Gosh are an ‘oldie but goldie’ in my makeup routine. They’re one of the first cruelty free and vegan makeup brands I came across, and I’m still obsessed with their trademark #foundationdrops and their Liquid Matte Lips lipstick. They are probably leaning more towards mid-range than low-budget makeup, but they do have some absolutely amazing products and they still work out super cheap if you can get them on offer. None of their prices show on their website, which may be a sign that they’re no longer selling online. They’re still available in-store or online at Superdrug.
Collection is a great all-rounder, with a selection of budget products across their cruelty free makeup range. My go-to recommendation for Collection would obviously be the Lasting Perfection foundation and concealer range that took the blogging world by storm a few years ago. Lasting Perfection loose powders are only £2.99 and well worth that amount.
Lottie London are another near-mid-range brand, but I’ve listed them here for their eyeshadow palettes. Certified cruelty free by Peta, you can grab 9 shades for £4.95. They are quite small palettes, but this could easily be a good thing – I often find I’ve gotten bored of shades by the time they run out! The rest of their haul still looks like good value for money, especially if you get one of their bundles.
W7 is a cruelty free brand I’ve only tried a couple of times, when I’ve managed to snap up some of their palettes in TK Maxx for a total bargain. Again, they’re low-to-mid-range when you buy from them directly, but I do see them in TK Maxx (especially from their vegan range) on a regular basis with great savings. Their ‘Brow Eco’ kit is great and even came with a set of tweezers which I still use and adore today. (Seriously, the best and most precise pair of tweezers I own!)
Okay, The Ordinary is kind of a cheat one, which is why I put it at the end. They are cruelty free (and most of their products are vegan), but they are primarily a skincare brand and the only makeup they sell is foundation. I had to include it because it is so good. You can choose between ‘high coverage’ or a ‘serum’ foundation and they have a good range of shades. Both foundations contain SPF (without chemicals), are vegan and are oil-free. One of the reasons they’re so great is because they’re from a skincare brand, which means you get a really good quality product for just £5.90. The bottles are also 30ml, which should last you a while.
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