Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Budget Friendly Vegan/ Cruelty Free Makeup Guide

Vegan and Cruelty Free Makeup Guide

Having recently transitioned from vegetarian to vegan after 15 years of vegetarianism I have been trying to be more aware of the other non-food products I use, such as makeup and bath products, endeavoring as best I can to ensure that these are also cruelty free and vegan. Cruelty free products have always been something I've considered at the back of my mind although never very diligently, mostly due to the daunting prospect of researching every single brand I use and the ingredients within each product. Knowing how off-putting this is along with the awkwardness of standing at a drugstore makeup stand with your phone in your hand as you frantically google every product you're looking at, I thought  it might be useful to compile a little list of my favourite cruelty free and vegan brands I've come across. I've seen a few of these lists around on the internet but so many are out of date and are mainly comprised of products which can only be found online so I thought I'd chip in with a budget friendly and MOSTLY drugstore vegan list.

ALL brands mentioned on this list are cruelty free (ie. do not test their products on animals) and are categorized as per how many of their products are also vegan friendly (all, some, some but no official list).

Beauty Without Cruelty

This is a brand which, as far as I am aware, can only be found online but is one which is readily available and even available on Amazon. It's certainly worth mentioning due to their foundation which, for pale girls, is a godsend. Finding a good high-street price foundation which is light enough to match a a skin tone which could rival Snow White's is difficult enough, let alone when you throw cruelty free and vegan into the mix! As a pale girl myself, the Beauty Without Cruelty Foundation in shade 'Sheer' was a very exciting find and is a foundation which I would recommend to any ghostly pale girls out there, regardless of whether their vegan or carnivore. I will warn you however, it has a rather odd and quite strong smell which may be off - putting to some, but this isn't a deal-breaker for me personally and it's fine once you're wearing it. Beauty Without Cruelty also have a good range of other products from nail polishes to lipsticks which are well worth checking out. Leaping Bunny Certified and Vegan Trademarked!
Price: £6 - £15 (excluding gift sets)

B. Beauty

B. Beauty is Superdrug's own makeup brand and probably one of the most affordable on this list. The only downside to this brand is that the displays tend to be rather small and badly looked after. This is largely due to the lack of samples, which leads to some customers opening the products and making a mess (very annoying, as I'm sure you'll all agree). It's also not usually the most eye-catching stand and always seems to be shoved into a random corner of the store so it's a brand which can easily and quite undeservedly fall beneath one's radar. There are certainly some gems in there and the quality is very good for the price so if you find a decently stocked stand in your local Superdrug, it's well worth a snoop. They are Leaping Bunny Certified and Superdrug states that  B.Beauty "does not contain any animal  derived ingredients of by-products, even beeswax which can often be found in mascara."
Price: £5 or less


This brand is one which predominately sells online through their website. It's well known as a budget beauty brand and this is reflected in their products which can be a bit hit or miss. There are certainly some great products among there and they have a great range of eye-shadow palettes but the foundations and concealers don't cater to a very wide range of skin tones and shades so the 'face' part of 'Eyes, Lips, Face' is a little lackluster. ELF support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.
Price: £1 to £15


I must admit I wasn't aware GOSH had an official vegan list until I took to google to double check  their Leaping Bunny status (not certified I'm afraid) for the compilation of this list. There are a lot of unofficial lists out there but I have yet to come across anyone mentioning this official link so I'm happy to have found it to share with you and refer to myself. Yay! GOSH products are available at Superdrug although unfortunately not Boots and have some beautifully pigmented products in their collection. They do not test their products or ingredients on animals or commission any third parties to do so, nor do they sell in China. Their vegan list can be found here.
Price: £15 or less

Barry M

Barry M is a brand which, for me at least, is synonymous with bright nail polishes and glittery eyeshadows. However, they also have a whole host of affordable vegan makeup in their collection which can be picked up at most Boots or Superdrug stores. Barry M haven't compiled a list of vegan products, however they clearly indicate on the ingredients for each product on their website if an individual item is vegan friendly. Simply click on 'ingredients' and look out a green 'vegan' symbol. If it isn't present, it isn't vegan. Barry M Supports the Humane Society International's global 'Be Cruelty-Free' Campaign and have not tested on animals since their foundation in 1982. However they are not Leaping Bunny Certified.
Price: £8 or less


This is a brand which I was quite suprised and happy to find had vegan options - we all know what a makeup bag staple their concealer is. Another very affordable brand (although some products are hit and miss) which is available in both Boots and Superdrug. Collection do not sell in China and neither the company, nor any manufacturers or third parties acting on their behalf test on animals. The official vegan/vegetarian list can be found here and includes information as to what specific animal derived ingredients are present in the non-vegan products for the curious among us.
Price: £6 or less

Models Own

Model's Own can be found in many Superdrug stores, although, unlike some of the other brands mentioned, is less likely to be available in the smaller stores. However, if you do come across a Model's Own stand I definitely recommend trying their products out, the majority of which are great quality and well pigmented. Check out their ingredients list here and look out for products with a green 'v' for the vegan options. This company does not sell their products in China and states that "Our approach to animal testing is simple. We don't do it. We don't test our finished products or ingredients on any animals. End of story."
Price: £5 to £15


Although mostly known for their bath products, Lush also have a makeup range with features many vegan options, stating that "80%" of their products are vegan. They don't exactly have a vegan list per se but many products are Vegan Society Trademarked, so simply look out for the symbol when browsing their products.
Price: £15 or less

WARNING: These brands, although cruelty free and with vegan options, do not have official lists dictating which products are suitable, meaning you will have to research the ingredients of individual products in order to be sure. A quick google will reveal non-official lists compiled from others' research or communications with the companies. However, please do take these with a pinch of salt and remember that many will be out of date or may be incorrect. I'd advise using these lists as a starting point for your research and using them to help you ascertain which products are worth looking into rather than taking their word as gospel. I wont link any here as they do get out of date quite quickly but they aren't too hard to find.


Boots recently started selling NYX products in their stores and makeup fans across the UK rejoiced
as their gorgeously pigmented range hit our shelves! This brand does not sell in China and is recognized as cruelty free by PETA however its parent company is L'Oreal, a company which is very much not cruelty free, something which may put some people off. This is also one of those brands for which there are a few incorrect or out of date unofficial vegan lists floating around. I've seen it mentioned that the matte lip creams are vegan when they in fact contain beeswax so watch out for that!
Price: £4 - £30 (including large collections and palettes)


Another brand with lovely pigmented products which I wish would release a vegan list! Supposedly their product descriptions will say if it is vegan or not but I've found that whilst a couple are described as 'vegan' and some do specifically say they are not, the majority of Sleek product descriptions neglect to mention anything either way! Almost as if Sleek began to label their products then got lazy and gave up halfway through...disappointing. Also, this is once again a brand for which there is a lot of misinformation out there. For example, I keep seeing it mentioned that their i-Divine palettes are vegan but, upon consulting their website, I found that the vast majority of product descriptions for these products specifically state that they are not vegan and only two are labelled as being vegan (for reference, these are Vintage Romance and Garden of Eden).
Sleek do not test on animals but are not Leaping Bunny Certified.
Price: £15 or less

I hope someone out there found this list useful! Please do chip in in the comments with any cruelty free/vegan products and brands you've come across to help me keep updating this list.
I am aware that this is not a post which will apply to everyone but I think a certain degree of awareness as to what's in the products your using is always important and products which have been tested on animals are avoided by many people, vegan or otherwise.

I am debating making this into a mini-series covering other products such as bath products, skincare etc. Please pipe up in the comments if anyone would find such a series useful or interesting.

This guide will be updated routinely to ensure that all information and links to vegan products lists are up to date and correct.

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  1. thank you so much for this! i didn't know almost half of these. i'm surprised at collection!
    jen / velvet spring xxx

  2. This is such a handy little post - thank you!xx

    Lucy x | lucy-cole.co.uk

  3. Wow, I would have never guessed that Collection is Vegan! That's very useful to know. Wonderful post, I have recently gone pescatarian and I am trying to be more aware of beauty products re: animal cruelty.

    Louise | www.louiseroserailton.com

  4. I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but just stumbled across your blog. I recently bought some skincare products that are vegan or vegetarian, and maybe this might help you somehow. First brand is alba botanica, i think american, and is vegetarian. The other one is DAYTOX from germany and its vegan. Both brands don't test on animals. Hope that it helps somehow



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