5 Affordable Cruelty-Free Cosmetic and Skincare Brands

It's 2019, there are so many incredible (and affordable) brands that are cruelty-free. Most of these can be picked up at your local department store or "drugstore".

I try to be as conscious as possible when buying any skincare or makeup that the brand does not test on animals or pay/allow others to do so either. It can mean spending a little extra time researching, or not being swept up with the new hyped up product even if they look great (Dr Jart *tests on animals*), but it's worth taking the time to avoid buying products that cause harm.

All of the brands listed below have products that I regularly use and love. There are definitely cheaper brands available. However, I've selected 5 companies out of my makeup bag that I think are good value for money and readily available.

Cosmetics and Skincare
The majority of my daily makeup is from No7, this includes my foundation, bronzer, concealer (although I use Tarte shape tape under my eyes) and highlighter. My current mascara is from them too, I got it free with my foundation the last time I was in, it's ok, but I probably wouldn't buy it again as I found it started to crumble as the day went on.

No7 regularly throw in free gifts which I love because it lets me try a lot of their products without having to risk wasting money on something I end up hating. The best freebie was their Nude to Night palette, I absolutely love this. It contains the bronzer, highlighter and eyeshadows I use on a day to day basis. I've had so many compliments from this highlighter, I'm not sure if they sell it separately...but they should.

E.L.F Cosmetics
An extremely affordable cruelty-free brand, I've previously used their concealer which I liked although I wanted something paler than they offered at the time. I have been using their Mineral Mist for years and absolutely love it, I take this product practically everywhere. They have discontinued it which was a bit of a sad find. However, they have a product "Hydrating Coconut Mist" (around £7.50) which I think I'll try next. The reason I love a hydrating mist so much is how versatile it is, so good for long haul flights or a refresh of your foundation after work.

I'm a huge fan of their setting spray too, it's such a steal and really works.

Urban Decay
Urban Decay is my favourite eyeshadow brand, I'm not crazy with the colours I use and tend to stick to their more neutral palettes. Their products last a long time for me and their eye shadow primer potion is some kind of magic. I have heard incredible things about their setting sprays if you want to get a slightly more expensive product than E.L.F, it's about 5 times the price, £24 - although it's on sale right now at £19.20 and I'm not sure how long that will last.

Cosmetics and Skincare
This is an online company, all of their products are vegan as well as cruelty-free. It's more expensive than the other brands I've mentioned, but this is a brand I've previously worked with and have been using for around 6 years. The quality of both the skincare and makeup is up there with some of the luxury brands you'd be paying at least double for. Based on their pure, safe and beneficial philosophy the products never contain any parabens or other nasty ingredients (you can read more here). You can sign up to be a "prefered client" and receive a 20% discount on all purchases which is well worth it.

They have a whole line specifically designed for male skin, worth checking out!

Not only is Illamasqua a cruelty-free brand, but they are also one of the few companies I've come across that actually cater to pale skin tones (their Skin Base Foundation comes in at £33). Illamasqua is definitely more of a mid-range price point, but they have some incredible products that last a while giving you good value for money (Students can get a 15% discount). I wouldn't use this foundation for every day because I don't like wasting money for a trip to the supermarket, I'd save it for nicer outings.

What's In My Makeup Bag
The product I've been using for years from Illamasqua is their Sculpting Face Powder Duo. I used the highlighter up much quicker than the contour, but what I love about this product is the cool tone of the contour. This is something I've really struggled to find in other brands, it also blends really well.


This is a cruelty-free men's skincare brand widely available on the high street.  Their moisturiser is around £6; I think you'd be hard pushed to find something cheaper that is actually good for your skin.

The Ordinary
I recently purchased a couple of serums from this company, and I'm really impressed so far, I've only been using them for about a week, so it's difficult to tell how I'll feel with long term use. However, their products are insanely affordable, the packaging is lovely and simple, and it's suitable for both male and female skin.

What's In My Makeup Bag
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B; for morning and evening use before moisturiser.
100% Plant-Derived Hemi-Squalane; for evening use after moisturiser (you can also use this as a hair oil while damp).

There are many more amazing cruelty-free brands out there, I'd love to hear any brands you use and would recommend.


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