On a Budget: Cruelty-Free Makeup

budget cruelty-free makeup the squealing piglet

If you’ve read my last blog post on cruelty-free skincare products, you’ll know that I’m looking to replace my current skin and hair products with cruelty-free brands. However, it’s quite an expensive feat, and most cruelty-free brands I knew of before doing some research were pretty pricey. So, having snooped the internet and shops for bargains, I’ve come up with a list of budget-friendly cruelty-free makeup brands and products.

I wanted to mention in this blog post a bit more about the Leaping Bunny stamp you sometimes see on product packaging. This, for me, is the most trustworthy source of information for ensuring a product is, in fact, cruelty-free. There’s a problem in the UK with smaller brands being branded as cruelty-free, but whose parent companies (often living under a P&G or Unilever-shaped umbrella). These larger conglomerates do not adhere to cruelty-free standards across the board, usually because they trade in China (whose laws state that products must be tested on animals before hitting the market). This makes it trickier to root out the more ethical brands from those less so.

A lot of groundwork is needed, but luckily for you I’ve done just that. This is certainly not an exhaustive list (please leave any brands I’ve missed out in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them in!), but here’s my list of six great, go-to budget cruelty-free makeup brands.


Short for eyes lips face, e.l.f. boasts a wide variety of makeup – all of which is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. They’ve replaced beeswax with a synthetic wax and lanolin has been substituted with Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2 (whatever that means…). I recently bought my first e.l.f. products, which I’ll write a separate review about, but I will say that I spent £31.50 and for my money I got a pack of face wipes, a lip balm, mascara, finishing powder, bronzer and a primer mist (with a great freebie present for spending over £30). Not bad, eh? TReheir products start at as little as £1, and I have to say I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. I bought my products straight from their website, but I know that Superdrug carries a small selection of products too.

(Want a £5 discount? Use this link: http://i.refs.cc/G3gmkQWj?u=1524523088193)

Barry M

What started out as a teenage-friendly makeup brand I adored in the early 2000s has blossomed into a cruelty-free brand that delivers. Best known for their nail polishes, Barry M provides consistently good quality products at truly affordable prices. Personally, I’m really excited to try their Crushed Jewel Cream Eyeshadow range and stock up on some cruelty-free nail polishes. They’re working on recipes for vegan-friendly products, too – those products have a wee vegan symbol, keep your eyes peeled!


With a whole section of their website dedicated to purely vegan products, Revolution‘s cruelty-free makeup offering is pretty extensive! Their eyeshadow palettes are the stuff of dreams and their lip kits are divine. I’ve used their Pro Studio Oil Control Base before and found that it gave good coverage without an oily residue. The prices are reasonable and the products are good quality. You can buy from their own website, or Superdrug. None of their products are tested on animals and they’re a British brand – what more could you want?

Natural Collection

Boots’ own brand of makeup is another cruelty-free option. Natural Collection was one of the first makeup brands I ever tried. I have sensitive skin and their lightweight formulas made sure my skin wasn’t overwhelmed by the chemicals. I’m not a fan of their liquid foundations, personally, but their powder-based products are great!

No. 7

Boots’ more grown up range, No. 7, is another range of cruelty-free makeup that won’t break the bank. I think Boots are great. They promote cruelty-free makeup products and help the other brands they carry to find alternative testing methods to save the animals, too. Lads. No. 7 is a great range, with plenty makeup options to suit everyone’s needs. Their liquid foundations are a little heavy for my taste, but again, their powders are fab and I am a big fan of their powders and mascaras. I definitely recommend giving them a try!

MUA Cosmetics

Another cheap, cheerful, cruelty-free brand I adore is MUA Cosmetics. Their Pro-Base Smooth Set and Prime primer pot lasted me a year (I’m just eeking out the dredges now) and their array of eye shadow palettes are calling to me. Can’t wait to restock my palettes with some cruelty-free goodness!


If you’re a little more flush at the end of the month (which is always a good feeling when it happens), you might want to push your budget a little further for some Zoeva products. The German makeup brand is cruelty-free (according to my latest Google search) and while some products are a little pricier, you can still bag a mascara for £9, or an eyeshadow palette for less than 20 quid. Check out their own website, or grab their products on BeautyBay. I’m intrigued to try some Zoeva makeup, and will report back as soon as I have.

There you have it – every beauty product you could possibly need from cruelty-free makeup brands at affordable prices! Know of other brands that are cruelty-free and don’t cost the earth? Let me know in the comments and I’ll update the list!

Author: Amy

The Squealing Piglet - a nickname that started at birth and has reappeared throughout the course of my life (not least because of my "unique" laugh...*gigglesnort*) PhD candidate, intersectional feminist and occasional blogger.