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Looking for affordable cruelty-free drugstore makeup? In this ethical shopping guide, I share some budget-friendly, cruelty-free makeup brands that weren’t tested on animals, along with some vegan makeup options.
Whether you’re shopping cruelty-free makeup at the drugstore, online, Amazon, Target, Ulta, Superdrug, CVS, or London Drugs, there’s something for you on this list!
What To Look For:
Let’s first begin by asking what exactly is cruelty-free makeup?
Most drugstore makeup brands are still engaging in animal testing like, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Neutrogena, and Almay and should be avoided when looking for cruelty-free makeup.
What is vegan makeup? Most makeup and cosmetics products contain animal-derived ingredients and by-products, including carmine, beeswax, silk derivatives, tallow, animal-based glycerin, stearic acid, or other animal-derived additives.
Vegan makeup is considered as cosmetics formulated without any animal ingredients or by-products and wasn’t tested on animals.
Best Cruelty-Free Makeup in 2023
Below is a list of the most affordable vegan, cruelty-free makeup brands.
All of the makeup brands below have been verified as being truly cruelty-free and don’t test on animals. Note that I’ve included some options from cruelty-free brands that are owned by an animal-tested parent company. If you choose not to purchase from these beauty brands, avoid the ones marked with an * asterisk.
And all of the cruelty-free makeup brands have been verified as either being 100% vegan or offering at least one or more vegan-friendly products that don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.
At the very bottom of this post, I also list drugstore makeup brands that are NOT cruelty-free and continue to test on animals and, therefore should be avoided.
List of Affordable Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands
The following is a list of affordable cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands that are either 100% vegan or offer one or more vegan products.
2023 Update! I’ve rearranged the list in order of affordability, starting with the cheapest options. I understand “budget-friendly” is entirely subjective, so I tried my best to narrow down the list to some of the most affordable makeup brands.
- LA Colors
- MUA Cosmetics – 100% Vegan
- Stargazer Cosmetics
- Essence – 100% Vegan
- J.Cat Beauty
- Barry M – 100% Vegan
- ELF Cosmetics – 100% Vegan
- L.A. Girl
- CoverGirl *owned by Coty
- BH Cosmetics
- Makeup Revolution
- Lottie London
- Rimmel *owned by Coty
- POPbeauty – 100% Vegan
- Flower Beauty
- EcoTools – 100% Vegan
- Undone Beauty
- GOSH Cosmetics
- Soap & Glory
- Honeypie Minerals – 100% Vegan
- Arches & Halos – 100% Vegan
- KimChi Chic Beauty
- Pixi Beauty
- Pacifica – 100% Vegan
- NYX Cosmetics *owned by L’Oreal
- Atomic Makeup – 100% Vegan
- Coloured Rain
- Medusa’s Makeup – 100% Vegan
- Lunatick Cosmetic – 100% Vegan
- About-Face – 100% Vegan
- The Body Shop
- Honest Beauty
- Axiology – 100% Vegan
- Clover – 100% Vegan
- Pure Anada
- Emani – 100% Vegan
- Trixie Cosmetics
- PHB Beauty – 100% Vegan
- Root Beauty – 100% Vegan
- Winky Lux
- W3LL PEOPLE
- NCLA – 100% Vegan
- Honeybee Gardens
- Aromi – 100% Vegan
- Barefaced Beauty – 100% Vegan
- Jolie Beauty
100% Vegan Drugstore Makeup Brands
The following vegan makeup brands are both cruelty-free and 100% vegan. Meaning these companies do not test on animals, and none of their products contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.
All of Essence’s products are now 100% vegan.
Essence cosmetics is a popular EU-based vegan drugstore makeup brand dedicated to bringing affordable, fun, and high-quality products into the serious world of cosmetics.
All of Barry M products are now 100% Vegan!
Barry M is Britain’s leading cruelty-free and vegan makeup brand, creating the finest quality, on-trend, and cruelty-free makeup since 1982. Barry M is a great affordable makeup brand for UK shoppers. Barry M’s cosmetics and nail polish are now 100% Vegan!
Available at Superdrug.
All ELF makeup and beauty products are 100% vegan.
e.l.f. cosmetics offers professional cruelty-free makeup and beauty products that are affordable for any budget. ELF offers an extensive range of inexpensive, high-quality makeup and skincare products for around $1-6/each.
All POPbeauty’s products are 100% vegan.
POPbeauty takes the guesswork out of your beauty routine with easy skincare solutions and vegan makeup for cheeks, eyes, and lips!
EcoTools makeup brushes, sponges, applicators, and bath accessories are 100% vegan.
EcoTools makes 100%
All Arches & Halos products are vegan.
Arches & Halos is dedicated to providing all women, no matter their eyebrow type, simple and easy-to-use, Eyebrow Grooming, Shaping, and Coloring tools and tips.
Arches & Halos products are sold at some drugstores, including Target, CVS, and Rite Aid.
Pacifica’s makeup, skincare, and perfume are all 100% vegan.
Pacifica offers ‘clean’ skincare and beauty products with a selection of vegan makeup, perfume, hair care & more. Pacifica offers beauty and skincare products formulated without parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, benzene, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan, phthalates, and FD&C color.
All of Emani cosmetics are 100% vegan.
Emani Cosmetics is a skin-caring vegan makeup brand that is more than just makeup, it’s where great skin begins. Emani is known for its talc-free, paraben-free, vegan cosmetics that do not contain harsh chemicals or petrochemicals. Emani products are suitable for the most sensitive and problematic skin.
Available at select drugstores, including Target and London Drugs.
Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands With Affordable Vegan Makeup Options
Below is a list of cruelty-free drugstore makeup brands with some vegan options, meaning these makeup companies do NOT test on animals. And although not all of their products are vegan, as some may contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products like carmine or beeswax, these animal-test-free makeup brands do offer some vegan products.
Some of Milani’s makeup is vegan (but not all).
Milani Cosmetics offers a full range of top-quality cruelty-free makeup products, for women and everyone of any age or skin tone.
Some of NYX’s makeup and beauty products are vegan (but not all).
NYX Professional Makeup offers a full range of beauty products at affordable prices, which are available at most drugstores. However, note that NYX is cruelty-free, but NYX is owned by L’Oreal, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.
Some of CoverGirl’s cosmetics are vegan (but not all).
CoverGirl is an American cosmetics brand founded in Maryland, USA. And in 2018, CoverGirl became Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. However, it should be noted that CoverGirl is owned by Coty, a parent corporation that still tests on animals when required by law.
Some of Pixi’s cosmetics, makeup, and beauty products are vegan (but not all).
Most of Makeup Revolution’s makeup, beauty, haircare, and skincare range is vegan (but not all).
Makeup Revolution is an incredibly affordable cruelty-free makeup brand known for its eyes and face palettes. Revolution Beauty has an impressive and growing range of makeup, skincare, and beauty products.
Some of LA Girl cosmetics are vegan (but not all).
LA GIRL Cosmetics offers professional makeup & beauty products, like eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, primer, lipstick, lipgloss, blush, foundation, & many more. Some of LA Girl cosmetics are vegan, find a list of LA Girl vegan products here.
What I recommend: Pro Coverage HD Foundation
Some of BH Cosmetics are vegan (but not all)
Proudly born and raised in the City of Angels, BH Cosmetics is a constantly evolving, innovative beauty brand dedicated to bringing you the best in cruelty-free cosmetics. BH Cosmetics is all about affordability and inclusivity and encouraging the community of beauty enthusiasts to make the most out of makeup.
Available at Ulta.
Some of Catrice’s makeup products and cosmetics are vegan (but not all).
EU-based, Catrice Cosmetics provides makeup with high-quality ingredients, luxurious textures, and innovative formulas, all at a price point that gives you the freedom to play and experiment with makeup.
Some of theBalm’s cosmetics are vegan (but not all).
theBalm is committed to creating premium cosmetics at an accessible price with velvet textures, rich colors, triple-milled pigments, and anti-aging ingredients. Find a list of theBalm vegan products here.
Available in stores at Rexall.
All of Ardell Lashes are vegan and some of Ardell’s makeup products are vegan too.
Ardell is the worldwide leader of false lashes, with the largest selection of high-quality cruelty-free lashes for every style and occasion. Ardell lashes are made without animal hair.
Available at most drugstores.
What I recommend: Ardell Demi Wispies
All of Eylure’s lashes are animal-free and vegan.
Eylure is the leading lash brand in the UK for over 70 years with its collection of false eyelashes. All of Eylure lashes are made from materials that were not derived from animals, making them all vegan!
Some of the INC.redible products are vegan (but not all).
INC.redible Cosmetics is the sister brand of Nails.INC, which encapsulates the premium essence of Nails.INC but for superpowered beauty products with a mission to make everyone feel their most INC.redible self.
Available in stores at Superdrug.
Some of W3LL PEOPLE’s products are vegan (but not all).
W3LL PEOPLE provides plant-powered beauty, dermatologist-developed makeup that is recognized by top beauty editors as best class. If you prefer ‘clean beauty’ products at an affordable price, then you should give W3LL PEOPLE a try.
Some of Winky Lux’s products are vegan (but not all).
Purveyors of luxury color cosmetics and makeup inspired by magic, Winky Lux delivers the highest ingredients to woman-kind at a price that’s nice. Their packaging is chic and sophisticated, with premium formulas while staying budget-friendly.
Drugstore Makeup Brands That Are NOT Cruelty-Free
The following makeup brands are NOT cruelty-free, as they allow their products to be tested on animals in 2023.
- L’Oreal Paris
Cruelty-Free But NOT Vegan
There are some brands that are considered cruelty-free as defined as not being tested on animals. However, some “cruelty-free” brands may not offer any vegan products that are formulated without any animal-derived ingredients or by-products. As a result, I have not included those brands that don’t offer any vegan products on this list.
Physicians Formula and Wet n Wild
Physicians Formula and Wet n Wild were previously on this list of cruelty-free and vegan drugstore makeup brands, but both brands have decided to sell in China. Where animal testing is required by law for some cosmetics.