Victoria Jenna here! Did you know that you can find inexpensive, high-quality vegan and cruelty-free makeup products at the drugstore? If you’re lucky, you can also find the occasional vegan/cruelty-free beauty steal at Winners and Marshall’s. If you go to an off-price retailer, be sure to fully inspect the makeup before you buy it. Sometimes the products are broken, are old, or have been touched and tested by other customers.
Unfortunately, big name brands L’Oreal, Maybelline, Covergirl, Rimmel London, and Revlon all test on animals, and are therefore NOT VEGAN. This sadly also includes popular higher-end brand MAC Cosmetics. Essentially, know that cosmetics made or sold in China are required to undergo animal testing. Boo!
But fear not, because lots of other budget-friendly brands make cruelty-free makeup for achieving all sorts of looks. Below is a list of my ultimate top 11 go-to products from my favourite cruelty-free brands.
1. e.l.f Angled Blush Brush – $6
Why I like it: This $6 e.l.f. brush applies product just as well as higher-end makeup brushes! Ideal for all types of blush, I was most impressed with how easy this brush is to use when blending. Get the same result for less money!
2. EcoTools Six Piece Starter Collection – $17
Why I like it: I recommend any and all of the brushes by EcoTools. The bristles are so soft and great for beginners. I also love that their products are made from recycled materials and bamboo.
3. BH Cosmetics Eye Essential 7 Piece Brush Set – $20
Why I like it: No need to buy extra brushes outside of this set! The BH Cosmetics Eye Essential 7 Piece Brush Set includes every single brush you need for endless looks. I would say that the quality of the bristles is comparable to those found in Sephora or a department store. Each brush picks up a good amount of product and can be used in multiple ways.
Find it on amazon.ca!
4. NYX Eyeshadow Base – $10
Why I like it: Incredibly long-lasting, NYX’s eyeshadow base primers make a huge difference in my makeup application. I find that my eye makeup looks far more vibrant, and the product acts as a nice canvas for powdery eyeshadows. I apply it all over my lid using my using my fingers. For extra intensity, buy these bases in white or pearl.
5. Annabelle Skinny Palette – $10
Why I like it: If you feel overwhelmed by large eyeshadow palettes, or have trouble pairing single eyeshadows together, the Annabelle Skinny Palettes are for you. The compactness of these little palettes is also perfect for travel! Full of beautiful, buildable colour combinations, my go-to Skinny Palettes are Taupe Neutral Basics and Summer Purple Shades for softer looks.
6. BH Cosmetics Smokey Eyes Palette – $15
Why I like it: Found at Winners in perfect condition for $15, the pigmentation of this BH Cosmetics palette is incredible considering how little I paid for so many colours. There are 28 different colours to play with, which is ideal for experimenting. What is also great is that each circle has a generous amount of product, yet I don’t need much when I apply it to my eyelids.
My favourites in this palette are the purples, darker pinks, and silvers.
7. NYX Slide On Pencil $12
Why I like it: These NYX Slide On Pencils last for months and don’t require too much sharpening. Most importantly, the formula goes on smoothly and lasts the entire day.
NYX has these in so many different colours, but I personally like to stick with neutral browns and blacks.
8. Essence Get BIG! Lashes Volume Waterproof Mascara $4
Why I like it: If I am ever in a pinch or strapped for cash, the Essence Get BIG! Lashes Volume Waterproof Mascara is a cheap, yet fantastic option for my straight lashes. This product holds a curl and doesn’t flake!
9. e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer $8
Why I like it: I unfortunately have oily, acne-prone skin, so I feel so lucky to have found this primer at such an affordable price point during a trip to Rexall. I love how silky smooth the product feels on my skin, and it helps my makeup last for an entire work day. Despite the primer’s salicylic acid content, I don’t find the formula too drying!
10. Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush – $18
Why I like it: How can I not feel happy using this blush?! Just looking at all the little cute hearts, I felt inclined to pick it up. Aside from being sucked in by the packaging, the biggest plus for me was that it was okay for my sensitive skin. I bought the Happy Booster blush in Rose from Shopper’s Drug Mart, and the pink has so far been a solid option for both day and night looks. So versatile!
To use, simply swipe a large brush over the entire compact and apply to the apples of your cheeks. Be sure to swipe the colour in one direction for consistent application and easy blending.
**NOTE: Physician’s Formula is a cruelty-free company, but not all products are vegan. – Some items contain beeswax. The rest of the brands featured in this list are vegan.
11. Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick Crayon – $10
Why I like it: Annabelle makes these lipsticks in so many different reds and pinks, but I am obsessed with the purplish-pink Royale colour. The creamy texture goes on so smoothly and there is hardly ever a need to reapply throughout the day.
The size of the crayon is like a hybrid between a regular lipstick and a lip liner, making this a good convenience option.
Is your makeup vegan and/or cruelty-free? Check Cruelty Free Kitty’s master list of cosmetics brands to find out!
What are your favourite cruelty-free brands and/or products? Do you have a go-to makeup look? Leave us a comment! Thanks for reading my list of top 11 inexpensive vegan & cruelty-free products
Live Your Truth, and Respect Others’!
Victoria Jenna Lee