I have been a vegetarian for quite some time, but my cruelty free journey began 11 months ago, when I watched documentaries that shed light on animal testing in the make up industry and I was horrified. I thought that being a vegetarian made me automatically cruelty free, but I had no idea how the suede and leather I was wearing impacted animals and immediately I threw out all animal materials that I had in my wardrobe, giving them to friends and family who were not opposed to animal products. I never wore fur, as I saw it as ‘cruel’ but when I realized how cruel wearing animal products like leather and suede were, I ensured that I would never buy an animal product again. I must have thrown out at least £700 worth of clothing and handbags because I couldn’t bear the thought of buying into an industry that willfully hurts animals. And that was just the clothing; imagine my horror when I found that make up brands that I had trusted like Revlon and Rimmell were still testing on animals, because there was ‘money in China’where animal testing is legal.
It broke my heart and from that day forward, even the cleaning products that I use are 100 % cruelty free. I fact check every brand before purchasing when I don’t know whether they are cruelty free and read other websites like Cruelty Free Kitty and Ethical Elephant who are also cruelty free bloggers who have verified lists of cruelty free brands, many of which are ‘budget friendly too’. When I wrote about how much being cruelty free means to me and how much being cruelty free rocks, I was touched by how many of you, my readers reached out to me to say that after reading my post, you too were making it a personal mission to go cruelty free and how many of you were already cruelty free and loved that I was spreading the word.I also had a lot of emails and messages asking me what the best ‘budget cruelty free brands’ are and to dispel the myth surrounding the notion that cruelty free products are expensive.
Fortunately for you I have Seven fabulous budget friendly brands, that are available in the UK and internationally, for all you lovely readers out there, who like me can’t afford to spend loads of money on makeup. And let me tell you something hunny, my entire ‘done up’ looks usually cost under £55. Don’t believe me? Well let me give you an example; a typical Faded Spring look includes Sleek Eyebrow Kit in the shade dark £8.49, NYX foundation £7, Nyx Sunset Daze and Fireball both £6 each (12), Slay Cosmetics matte lipstick in the shade ‘Obsessed’ £10, Nyx Mascara £7 and Nyx Highlight £7 (yes I have a thing for NYX) bring my MOTD to a grand total of £53.49. Not bad considering a cruelty free brand like Fenty charges £30 for a highlighter like ‘Trophy Wife’ , although to be fair the glow that it gives you is goals. From NYX to Colourpop, here are seven cruelty free budget make up brands that wont break the bank. Who said Christmas was just for kids?
Make-Up Revolution : Best For Make Up Gift Sets
Out of all the brands listed, Make Up Revolution is the cheapest overall and being a super budget brand, pigmentation when it comes to ‘eyeshadows’ can take a while to build up, while some colours are super pigmented and creamy straight away. But their lip kits on the other hand? Ooh child, they bring me back from the dead and give me life! I have recently discovered their ‘lip kits’ which are modeled after Kylie Jenner’s lipsticks and let me tell you a little secret… they are so much better! OK I won’t lie the lip liner that comes with the lipkits break straight away but the actual doe applicator and the colour of the lipsticks are ‘fab-u-lous’ with a capital f. Not only does the pigmentation rival brands like Limecrime, but the range of colours are fantastic. So naturally I would suggest that you treat yourself to a lipkit or two.
Where Makeup Revolution really excels however is through their ‘make-up gift sets’ where you can get steals like a gorgeous ‘Mermaid 32 Eyeshadow Palette’ for £8, A Make Up Advent Calendar for £30 (with 25 make up products) and the Retro Luxe Lip Vault for £30 which contains 5 matte lip kits complete with a matching lip liner with each shade, 3 amazing metallic lip kits and 2 stunning gloss lip kits. In fact, the cheapest product that Make Up Revolution does is I kid you not £1 , with eyeshadows, blushes and lipglosses all priced accordingly.
An example of a Makeup Revolution Lipkit Swatch
Shop Makeup Revolution Below
Nyx : Best For Matt Liquid Lipsticks
In case you didn’t realize, by the overwhelming amount of NYX in my ‘everyday glam look’, NYX to me is the holy grail of budget friendly cruelty free brands, with 80% of my make up kit being made up of Nyx. While the prismatic shadows are gorgeous and quite well pigmented, it is their matte liquid lipsticks that tick the boxes for me, especially their brown and nudes selection, which is smooth and easy to apply and does not crack or create uneven application like many budget lip paints can be. Of course the darker the shade, the harder to apply, which is why NYX might offer a great variety of ‘colourful lipsticks’ but it is their nudes and browns that create the best lipstick looks. I recommend shades like ‘Lip Lingerie in Exotic’ for ‘day wear’, which is a creamy matte rose lipstick (as shown below), while the best brown NYX lippy in my opinion is the ‘Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in the shade ‘Vintage’.
For those who live, sleep and breathe colour, NYX have plenty of colourful eyeshadows, lipsticks and mascaras that will tick your boxes. If you consider yourself to be somewhat of a maven of colour, then ‘Little Denim Dress’ a liquid suede lipstick and their prismatic shadows like ‘Gilded’ as you can see below will help you stand out from the colourless crowd. Best of all NYX has been ‘leaping bunny certified’ demonstrating that they are proud to call themselves cruelty free and even have a wide variety of vegan products too!
Shop NYX below
Sleek : Best For Brows
While Sleek does not have the ‘leaping bunny symbol’, vegan beauty bloggers Ethical Elephant and Cruelty Free Kitty have reached out Sleek and received the following response :
Sleek Makeup and our parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) make it our responsibility to ensure that none of our products are tested on animals during any stage of the product development process.This also applies to the raw materials used.Due to this, we are therefore able to declare that all of our products comply with the Directive 2010/63/EU and are not in any way tested on animals.
Sleek Makeup has a legal obligation to ensure that its products are safe; we therefore endeavour to carry out a safety assessment on every single product prior to placing them on the market.
The safety of a cosmetic product can be assessed on the basis of the safety profile of the ingredients used within a formulation.
All of the ingredients used within our products possess well established safety records, due to this they do not require animal testing on a routine basis.
We do not sell our products directly in China (this would require animal testing) and we do not plan to until China changes its laws on animal testing.”
So naturally being a fan of Sleek eyeshadows and brow kits, I was delighted to find that they do not and will not test on animals. While I have loved Sleek’s eyeshadow palettes like Enchanted Forest and Vintage Romance- colours of which you can see below, their brow kits are pretty extraordinary too. As someone who has gappy eyebrows-although better now due to microblading- I always fill my brows in to give them more shape and definition and swear by Sleek’s brow kits at only £8.49. The only criticism I will have is that the shade ‘dark’ is more of a brown than a black, but as my natural hair colour is blackish brown, it nevertheless matches my hair colour regardless.
Shop Sleek Below (Available to Buy At Pretty Little Thing)
Barry M : Best For Nail Varnish
Ok technically ‘nail varnishes’ are more of a ‘beauty item’ than ‘makeup’ per say, but in my eyes who says that we cannot categorize it under ‘make-up’? At least that is my reasoning but the question is what is the best cruelty free budget brand for ‘nail varnishes’? Two words…Barry M. Not only do they have a wide variety of nail polishes in gel and matte formats, but they also have one of the most extensive ranges of ‘nail polish’ colours that I have ever seen, all for a budget friendly price. Naturally being cruelty free, it goes without saying that I am a big wearer of Barry M nail varnishes, and my favourite shades include Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in ‘Greenberry’ and Barry M Matte Nail Paint in Burgundy Crush, although I have been meaning to try some colours outside of my comfort zone like yellow (which can be seen through Barry M’s Coconut Infusion Nailpaint in Lemonade) and Barry M Superdrug Exclusive Nail Paint in Copper Dreams, which like the names suggests is a gorgeous molten copper colour .
Shop Barry M Below (also available at Pretty Little Thing)
Colourpop: Best For Eyeshadows
If I could afford the shipping for ‘Colourpop’ I would have far more of their eyeshadows and lipsticks in my ‘make-up files’ but I’m hoping that someone can send me some (hint hint) and bless me with their beautiful cruelty free products. That being said, the products are very reasonably priced with products ranging from $5-$18, not bad considering the pigmentation is crazy AF. And I mean that as a compliment FYI! For example their supershock shadows like ‘Paradox’ as you can see below is priced at $5 and is described as a ‘warm satin burgundy red’ , although in photos it has more of a purplish red tint but nevertheless is gorgeous. While I love their lipsticks like ‘Ultra Matte Lip’ in Times Square (shown below) which fantastic creamy pigmentation and even coverage, it is their eye shadows that doth hath me shooketh. Yes hunty you better werk that eye gurl. While I have paradox which I highly recommend, I have also been lusting after their ‘Super Shock Eyeshadow in ‘Baby Talk’ ( a matte blue-red) ‘Banana Daiquri ( a teal shade with gold glitter), Coconut (A satin blue teal) and Cusp (a bright green with blue and gold glitter).
*This is more for my American Readers, as Shipping Colorpop to the UK is quite expensive, but it is overall a beudget makeup brand.
Shop Cruelty Free Eyeshadows Below
Not only is Milani a budget makeup brand, available at online retailer Beauty Base but alongside being cruelty free, the budget friendly brand is also vegan friendly too. With no animal derivatives in any of their products, Milani offers a range of matte and liquid lipsticks, blushes and even primers that are guaranteed to give you that ‘glow up’ that you have been searching for your whole life. The primer does an excellent job of keeping your makeup in place, acting as a great base to apply your foundation over the top seamlessly, while the blushes are well pigmented and are guaranteed to give you the sensual flush that you have always dreamed of having. But it is the matte lipsticks available in neutral nudes and vibrant reds that have the most impact. The reds are well pigmented, easy to apply and give you the added bonus of moisturizing your poor sun deprived chapped lips, while the colours available are guaranteed to turn you into the Girl Boss you have always dreamed of becoming. Above you can see the shade Milani Baked Blush in ‘Red Vino’ with the Milani Prime Perfection Primer and the Milani Colour Statement Lipstick in ‘Matte Passion’ for a fresh and flirty, spring approved look.
Oh and on a side note, alongside vegan makeup brand Milani, Beauty Base also has vegan skincare brands like Bomb Cosmetics, Stay Cool, Himalaya Herbals, Nirvana Spa and DR. Pawpaw , meaning more vegan budget brands for your buck. Because while its all fun and games to dress up and feel pretty, there is nothing more satisfying than having a deliciously fragrant bath, while you slather yourself in luxurious oils and creams.
Shop Milani Below
* So Eco: Best For Make Up Brushes
Available to buy from Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Amazon and Fragrance Direct, So Eco is an up and coming make up brush brand who places emphasis on components being 100% responsibly and ethically sourced. In a world where we waste plastic and other forms of packaging which has an impact on oceanic habitats, the environment and more, we must look at new ways to protect the world we live in and So Eco is an ambassador for change. Not only will buying So Eco’s make up brushes lower your impact on the environment through responsibly sourced packaging solutions, but it will also allow you to buy brushes that are both vegan friendly and sustainable . The brushes unlike many mainstream brushes are not made using animal or human hair; instead So Eco uses bamboo brush handles from sustainable sources and recycled aluminium ferrules, while the bristles are made from taklon and are of course cruelty free.
And it’s not just the brushes that will make your makeup game ‘glow up’ with an easy conscience; printed using planet friendly vegetable inks, the packaging uses biodegradable and compostable windows made from corn starch, for packaging that is guilt free. Which means more hapy customers and an even happier environment. As someone who is not only cruelty free but is also trying to educate herself on sustainable solutions, So Eco has shown me that it is important to think about our impact on the environment as well as the habitats of animals.
Shop Cruelty Free Brushes Below
Are There Any More Cruelty Free Budget Brands That You Would Recommend?
*I am and will continue being proud of being able to call myself a committed vegetarian and 100% cruelty free. Should you find that a product that I have mentioned or a brand is no longer cruelty free please keep me posted. All prices are correct from the time of writing. Products That Have Been Marked With Asterisks Are PR Samples.