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The 5 Best & Inexpensive Cruelty-Free Brands

Makeup is universal, it’s used by women and men, it’s thought to be an art, a way to express yourself, or even a way to make ends meet. Makeup can transform a person’s face into an even more beautiful version of itself, be used to portray a person’s worst nightmare, and used in a minimalistic manner. Unfortunately for many years, makeup has not always reached its perfection in the most ethical way. Back in the day, a large amount of makeup brands would test their prototype makeup on animals to see if it would be safe on humans. Some makeup brands still test their makeup on animals because their products are made in China. China’s laboratories require the animal testing because they don’t have the accessibility for other methods. Fortunately, there are various brands out there that are now “cruelty-free”. However, these brands tend to be on the more expensive side because it’s costlier to manufacture the makeup in-state. Thankfully, more inexpensive brands are transitioning to the “cruelty-free” side of the spectrum. This is extremely good news because it makes it easier for lower-income households to achieve the beautiful makeup looks without causing pain to an animal.

1. E.l.f cosmetics

This extremely affordable brand is often overlooked because of the stigma that inexpensive brands have. This brand has a large range of makeup varying from primer all the way to setting spray. Not only do they have a large variety of makeup, but they also have an abundancy of skincare products! Something very important that this brand also has which many brands seem to overlook is a large shade range in foundations and concealers. Although it seems like something silly to note, many pricey brands seem to overlook the “dark” and “deep-dark” shades and it’s amazing that a drugstore brand could achieve that. Not only can someone save money on amazing makeup, but they can also save a large sum of money on skincare too? It’s honestly a win-win for everybody! A win-win for the consumer, for the brand, and for the animals!

2. NYX Professional Makeup

NYX is one of the most sought-out makeup brands in the drugstore, and for good reason. Not only is their makeup range exceptional, but the quality of the makeup never seems to fail. They have dupes for brands like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kylie Jenner Cosmetics, and MAC! Not only can someone use NYX for an everyday makeup look, but there’s options for good quality face paint for Halloween and SFX makeup. Something that is also worth noting about this brand is the shade range in regards to the face products, the range is to die for! It’s easy to say that this brand is very diverse and that’s why it’s so loved by the beauty community.

3. Milani Cosmetics

Milani is another brand that is loved in the drugstore not only by the variety of makeup there is and the quality that accompanies it, but because of the packaging! This is one brand that you get the price of drugstore but the packaging look of an expensive product! They also have products all the way from primer to setting spray. However, some of their brow and mascara products are a little bit hit or miss, but everything else is superb quality! Another thing to note is the shade range: it is a little bit lacking in the diversity of colors, they do range from light to dark but there is still room for improvement!

4. Colourpop Cosmetics

Colourpop has quickly become a cult favorite for many makeup lovers out there and there are various reasons for that. Colourpop started off their brand with just this product called “Lippies” which are these lipsticks in the form of a thick lip liner. These lippies were raved about by various beauty influencers and as the customers started growing for Colourpop, so did Colourpop as a brand. Now Colourpop has everything from primer, to setting spray, to brushes, and even has a sister brand called Fourth Ray Beauty that has inexpensive skincare! The beauty community calls this brand the “brand that never sleeps” because of how many products they’re releasing daily! Just like the other brands, the shade range is worth mentioning because it’s very important to support brands who are inclusive instead of exclusive. Now this shade range is to die for, they have 42 foundation shades! They have 42 liquid foundation shades, 30 concealer shades, 30 stick foundation shades, and six pressed powder shades. It’s safe to say that the range is there and so is the quality with Colourpop Cosmetics.

5. Wet-n-Wild Cosmetics

Wet-n-Wild has grown to be a brand to be reckoned with, it’s moving away from the stereotype it once had and it’s moving into a new era. This brand has a large range of makeup and even has brushes that range from $1.00 – $5.00! How amazing is that? A person can walk into a drugstore, grab ten eye brushes from Wet-n-Wild and spend $10.00 with tax! Try doing that in a Sephora or MAC and see what the total will be. Even though this brand is amazing and cruelty free, there are some misses. The shade range isn’t as spectacular as Colourpop’s but the quality is there. Other than the shade range being on the disappointing side, there really are no other downsides to this brand.

Angely is a Biology major on a Pre-Med track, she is hoping to be either a Neurologist or Oncologist in the future. She has a high interest in the Environmental Sciences and hopes to get her Master's degree and Ph.D in Environmental Sciences in order to do research on coral reefs. She is a volunteer at Nicklaus Children's Hospital and Co-Fundraising chair for Tri Beta.
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