On a Budget: Cruelty-Free Makeup

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!

On a Budget: Cruelty-Free Skincare

Finding cruelty-free products is hard. Shop shelves are bamboozling and a lot of information online seems to contradict each other.  I’ve also been finding that a lot of cruelty-free brands’ products are much more expensive than the animal-tested options, which can make the “ethical” decision a pricey one. For those of us who haven’t made their first million, that’s problematic. After doing some research, I compiled a list of budget cruelty-free skincare brands for myself – I thought you might find it useful!

I’ve been looking more into vegan and cruelty-free products across the board in an attempt to minimise the chemicals I’m using, opting for natural alternatives where possible. I’m not vegan; I eat animal products, wear leather and love seafood. My mind is not fully made up on the environmental impact of veganism, but I do understand why others follow the lifestyle, and I applaud them – the high street and supermarkets don’t always make it easy!

Anyhow, I’m gradually replacing my makeup, skincare and haircare products with cruelty-free (or vegan) options, in the hope that I’ll be reducing the chemicals and improving the condition of my skin and hair (which have both taken a bit of a beating in recent months with bad weather, bleaching and general lack of care). So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into the budget cruelty-free skincare products and brands I’ve found that don’t break the bank!

Soap and Glory

With a fun testamonial on their website, Soap and Glory boast the cruelty-free badge of honour (while also explaining that they cannot promise that their ingredients haven’t been animal-tested before arriving in their factory, but it reads more as a safety notice than a real worry). I adore their Breakfast Scrub and use it religiously on my legs when I’m showering (gotta get my pins ready for sunshine). I’ve used a few of their body lotions and hand creams in the past, too, and have found that they smell delicious, but that I should use them sparingly to avoid a little oily excess (my own fault, getting carried away smelling like a tutti fruity).


Superdrug’s own product ranges are all cruelty-free and mostly vegan-friendly too. I already use their Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye Cream for my eye bags. There are masks, scrubs, lotions and potions for all skin types across their various ranges, and all are totally affordable!


Superdrug’s own B. range is tailored by age to ensure you’re using the right products for your skin’s needs. They cover all your daily routine product requirements, from day creams and night creams to micellar water (which I cannot live without and am so happy to have found a cruelty-free version) and face washes.


One thing I only recently realised I should look into is sun cream! I found that Solait (which you can pick up at Superdrug) is vegan-friendly (and therefore cruelty-free too). I’m going to stock up on their Factor 30 and Factor 50 for our holiday next month, and will report back! They also do fake tan, which I’m not particularly partial to, but if it’s your cuppa you should try it out!

Yes To

Another brand you can find on Superdrug’s website, British brand Yes To boasts the Leaping Bunny Programme symbol and is also mostly vegan-friendly (check for beeswax and honey). Their products are segmented by skin type, and each skin type has a primary ingredient; charcoal, carrots, etc. They offer face masks, micellar water and other skin care products to build your daily routine with yummy smells that suit your skin type.

Une publication partagée par Yes To (@yesto_uk) le

Nip + Fab

While on the top end of the budget, if you can grab Nip + Fab products on offer, they’re well worth the money.  All of their products are cruelty-free, and most are vegan (their FAQs list the non-vegan-friendly products, there aren’t many). Check Superdrug’s promotions for the best deals!

Original Source

If you, like me, enjoy leaving the shower smelling like a tropical fruit smoothie or cocktail, then you should definitely check out Original Source. Their products are vegan-friendly, deliciously infused with natural fragrances, and cheap to boot. My current faves are Mint and Tea Tree (although I’d not recommend slapping that on freshly shaved legs – stingy!) and Coconut and Shea Butter. Good enough to eat! Their foaming shower gels are pretty snazzy, too.


If you’re a lip balm lover, but can’t justify forking out £10 for a 15ml tube of Glossier’s cruelty-free Balm Dotcom lip balm, you should try Carmex. I especially love the cherry one, it makes my lips tingle!

Source of Nature

Sainsbury’s own range, Source of Nature, is incredibly afforable, available online and their products sound positively scrummy! They mainly deal in face washes and creams, with most products priced at a measley £2! Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, I’m really excited to try these products out.

Nature’s Alchemist

If you love a face mask, but don’t have the dosh to splash out on a tub from Lush, Nature’s Alchemist might be the brand for you. While you’re at it, check out their cheap, delicious smelling hand creams, body moisturisers and face mist (which I’ve added to my basket now). You can find these products on Superdrug’s website.


This list is long, but certainly not exhaustive. I’ve tried to give you a range of brands to try that will help tick off all your daily skincare routine boxes. Let me know about your budget cruelty-free skincare brand recommendations – I’d love to hear them!


An earlier version of this blog post included Sanex as a suggestion. I’ve since learned that Sanex is owned by a company that trades in China. China requires that all products be animal tested, so the parent company of Sanex is not cruelty-free. This is a huge problem when trying to buy ethically. P&G, Unilever and Nestle are some of the largest organisations whose brand collections reach far and wide. It’s so important to keep checking for parent companies when trying to shop ethically. So, Sanex has been removed from my suggestions, and the hunt continues for a good cruelty-free deodorant!