A couple of months ago (long time, no see!) I published a post detailing my makeup bag ‘picks’ (my favourites, essentially), and whilst writing this post, I discovered that a lot of the makeup I used wasn’t completely cruelty-free. Since then, I have been trying to swap some of my less ethical products for others that are much friendlier. Here’s what I found:
Then: Nivea MicellAIR Water
Now: Glossier Milky Oil [CF]
In the previous post, I never actually discussed Nivea’s Cruelty-Free status, but I have since found out that they aren’t cruelty-free. If I’m honest, this surprised me.
I swapped my Nivea makeup remover for Glossier’s Milky Oil makeup remover. Glossier is certified cruelty-free, unlike Nivea, which makes this a good swap. Glossier’s product is oil-based rather than water-based, which means it’s much more effective on waterproof makeup. I find that not much product is needed; otherwise, you feel a bit oily! This is okay, though, because this means the product will last a while!
A downside of Glossier’s product, however, is the price. At £10 for 100ml of product, it’s quite a markup on Nivea’s product, which costs £1.99 for 100ml at Boots. I knew I might have to compromise on price for a ‘kinder’ product, but £9 is quite a lot of money. Choosing Glossier wouldn’t be a wise choice if you’re on a budget, so I took the liberty to research some more budget-friendly cruelty-free alternatives to Nivea:
- Garnier Micellar Water [CF] £3.99 per 200ml (£1.50 per 100ml) at Boots
- Boots Cucumber Cleansing Lotion [CF] £1.50 per 150ml (£1.00 per 100ml) at Boots
- Revolution Skincare Aloe Vera Micellar Water [CF] £5.00 per 400ml (£1.25 per 100ml) at Boots
If you want to be more environmentally conscious, I recommend using reusable face pads with these makeup removers. I believe I placed a link in my original makeup post for some, but they are quite cheap and readily available these days.
Then: e.l.f Flawless Concealer [CF]
Now: Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer – Shade C2 [CF]
e.l.f is cruelty-free, but I ended up running out of the concealer, so I decided to grab another one that I’ve tried and tested before that I also knew was cruelty-free – Revolution’s Conceal & Define!
Revolution’s viral budget concealer does an excellent job, in my opinion. I’ve used it before, and I’ve never had any problems with it, and at £4.99, it’s quite a steal! This demonstrates that you don’t always have to spend more to be cruelty-free, and it is vegan as well. There really aren’t many excuses not to buy cruelty-free cosmetics when the prices can be this low. Revolution’s product has 50 shades in its range, which I believe is a good representation.
If you’re more interested in the e.l.f concealer, it’s available at Boots for £5.00. The shade range is quite limited compared to Revolution’s, just to be aware. Here are some other cruelty-free budget concealer options:
- 17 Second Skin Concealer [CF, relaunched by Boots in February 2022] £2.00 at Boots
- NYX HD Concealer [CF] £6.00 at Boots
- Revolution Conceal & Hydrate Concealer [CF] £7.00 at Boots
- Florance By Mills See You Never Concealer [CF] £8.00 at Boots
Each range varies in the shades they offer, some are much better than others, but at the end of the day, it’s about finding the best shade for you!
Then: Revolution Matte Base Powder [CF]
Now: No Change!
As I mentioned in the original makeup post, I don’t always use powder, so that’ll be why I haven’t felt a need to switch out my current product – especially as I was already using a cruelty-free brand.
Here are some other cruelty-free, budget-friendly powders:
- Collection Pressed Powder [CF] £2.49 at Boots
- 17 Ultimate Look Finishing Powder [CF] £3.00 at Boots
- Makeup Obsession Game Set Matte Face Powder [CF] £3.00 at Boots
Then (although not included in the previous post): Revlon Colourstay Foundation – Shade Buff
Now: Revolution Conceal & Hydrate Foundation – Shade F2
I only mentioned my foundation in the previous post in passing as I don’t always use it. The Revlon Colourstay Foundation (the one suitable for combination/oily skin) is actually good but, unfortunately, not cruelty-free.
I decided to switch it to a Revolution one as I already knew that Revolution’s whole brand is cruelty-free and affordable. The ‘Conceal & Hydrate’ foundation provides medium-full coverage and is enriched with hyaluronic acid, a hydrating serum. It sports a pump for easy application onto a blending sponge or brush, and I don’t think it’s ‘cakey’, which is good! Revlon has a reasonably decent shade range, but I know that Revolution tries to be inclusive as possible, so it has an even more extensive range!
Of course, this is just one example of a cruelty-free affordable foundation. Here are some others I found:
- The Ordinary Serum Foundation [CF] £5.70 at Boots
- The Ordinary Coverage Foundation [CF] £5.90 at Boots
- Revolution Conceal & Define Foundation [CF] £9.99 at Boots
I want to try ‘The Ordinary’ foundation, which I have been meaning to do for a while now!
Then: Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Now: MUA Bronzed Bronzer Powder in Solar (#100) [CF]
As mentioned in the last makeup post, Benefit supports the cruelty-free movement but doesn’t practice it themselves as they still have a market in countries where animal testing is required by law, such as China. Upon learning this, I took the opportunity to try a new bronzer, especially as Hoola was slightly too dark for me.
I chose MUA’s powder bronzer as it’s simple, cheap, and certified cruelty-free. This further demonstrates that it’s not the most expensive brands that are the best placed ethically; I’m finding more and more smaller brands that are kinder, and their products can be just as high quality as the most famous high-end brands.
Here are some other affordable, cruelty-free bronzers:
- 17 Glow and Define Bronzer [CF] £3.50 at Boots
- Revolution Bronzer Reloaded [CF] £4.00 at Boots
- Revolution Mega Bronzer [CF] £5.00 at Boots
Fun Fact: I used to use the Revolution Bronzer Reloaded!
Then: Kylie Cosmetics Pressed Blush Powder
Now: Kylie & Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff
Again, I didn’t feel the need to completely change what I was using as I was already using a cruelty-free product; however, I did decide that I wanted to try a liquid blush… so I went for Glossier’s Cloud Paint! Glossier isn’t the best when it comes to being on a budget, but I do really like their products, so I try and treat myself to some every now and then! I’ve also visited Glossier’s shop in London (Covent Garden), and it’s really nice. I would recommend it! I want to go back soon!
Anyway, here are some budget-friendly cruelty-free blushes:
- 17 Powder Blush Edit [CF] £3.50 at Boots
- 17 Cream Blush [CF] £4.00 at Boots
- Revolution Blusher (Powder) [CF] £4.00 at Boots
- Revolution Superdewy Liquid Blush [CF] £5.00 at Boots
I included two powder options and two liquid options.
Then: Revolution x Soph Highlighter Palette
Now: No change!
I didn’t feel the need to change up my highlighter just yet, especially as I love one of the shades on this palette (I use it all the time). I do love highlighter as a whole, though, so I’m very open to trying some more. I would like to try a liquid highlighter soon, as well as some other brands. Or Glossier does one in some ‘stick’ which could be interesting to try; I’ve only ever tried stick concealer and foundation before!
Here are some budget-friendly highlighters, and who knows, I may try them myself!
- 17 Lights On Highlighter Powder [CF] £3.50 at Boots
- 17 Multi Light Precision Highlight Pencil [CF] £4.00 at Boots (I’ve never seen a pencil one before!)
- Collection Gorgeous Glow Stick [CF] £4.99 at Boots
- Revolution Bright Light Highlighter [CF] £8.00 at Boots
- Sleek MakeUP Highlight Drops [CF] £6.99 at Boots
I tried to include one of each ‘type’: Powder, Pencil, Stick, a Sponge-Type applicator one, and Liquid!
Then: Freckle Pen from Amazon
Now: No Change
I get along quite well with my current freckle product, and I’m a bit nervous to try any other one. I know, though, that my one probably isn’t amazing in terms of ethics, so I am seeking an alternative before mine eventually runs dry…
This is what I found which could potentially work; otherwise, I am seriously considering some kind of semi-permanent makeup thing to help enhance my natural freckles (if anyone knows any information about this, I’d love to know!):
- XX Revolution Fake The Freckle Pen [CF] £7.00 in Boots
- Revolution Freckle Me Pen [CF] £5.00 in Boots
- Missguided Frecks Appeal Freckle Pen [CF] £8.00 in Superdrug – this is most like my current one.
- Lottie London Freckle Tint [CF] £6.95 from Lottie London – note that I have tried this before and really didn’t get along with it… I may have been misapplying it, but I don’t know for sure.
There’s also the option of using a brown liquid eyeliner… I’m not sure how well this would work!
Then: Maybelline Sky High (Waterproof) Mascara
Now: Glossier Lash Slick Mascara [CF]
I really like the Maybelline mascara, and I still use it sometimes as I don’t want to waste the product (as well as my Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara!), but I have also made a cruelty-free swap for mascara as well. I use Glossier’s mascara most of the time now, and I chose it because it’s Glossier and because the wand is very similar to the Sky High wand, which is one of the features I liked the most.
I sometimes find Glossier’s product to be a bit dry, so I have to be more careful that it doesn’t clump; otherwise, it’s a perfect mascara. The price is slightly painful, though, at £14 each, but Glossier is nice, and I do want to try more of their things!
Here are some cruelty-free & budget-friendly mascaras:
- Collection Colour Lash Mascara (Black) [CF] £1.99 at Boots – I used to use the clear version of this at school because I thought I was really cool (note: I was not)
- Revolution Big Lash Volume Mascara [CF] £6.00 at Boots
- Revolution 5D Lash Mascara [CF] £8.99 at Boots
Primark’s makeup is also cruelty-free (I believe), and I know they do a mascara that is meant to be similar to Too Faced’s ‘Better Than Sex’ Mascara if that’s one that you like! I like it; I’ve used it before along with the waterproof version but unfortunately, Too Faced is a little pricey (but it is another brand I really like, and it’s CF, I may have to treat myself soon!!)
Then: Rimmel Wonder’Full Brow Mascara (Clear & Brown)
Now: Glossier Boy Brow (Clear) and I Heart Revolution Avocado Brow Gel (Brown) (both CF)
My eyebrows often look awful, so I tend to use two products in conjunction with each other. The clear one to neaten and the tinted one to ‘fill in’ a bit. The Rimmel product was good but not cruelty-free, so I made a swap.
I’ve heard many amazing things about Glossier’s Boy Brow over the years, so I set out to test it myself, and I love it too! I only have the clear version at present, but I hope to try out a tinted version soon. Glossier also has a product called Brow Flick, a microblading-type pen that I also want to try!
I adore Revolution’s sister brand ‘I Heart Revolution’. I think the products are super fun, and I’d love to try out more of their range. Their brow mascara works really well, and Revolution has more brow products under their main and pro brands that I’d like to give a go!
Here are some CF picks:
- Revolution Duo Brow Pencil [CF] £3.00 at Boots
- Revolution Brow Gel [CF] £5.00 at Boots
- NYX Control Freak Brow Gel [CF] £7.00 at Boots
Then: I Heart Revolution Gingerbread Lip Stick [CF]
Now: Same as above, plus I Heart Revolution Cranberry Lip Gloss, and I Heart Revolution Chocolate Brownie Lip Gloss [All CF & Coloured]
With the exemption of the Chocolate Brownie Lip Gloss, these products were from a Limited Edition Christmas gift set, and so I’m not sure I’ll be able to replace them with the same product when they run out. I bought the chocolate one since it’s part of the permanent collection, and it’s good, so I’m excited to try more of Revolution’s lip products, especially lipstick, as I only have one, and perhaps other brands too! I’ve never really had a problem with Revolution, except I didn’t really like the stick foundation (but that wasn’t to do with their product, I just prefer liquid ones)
Here are some more examples of cruelty-free lipsticks, gloss, and tints (some of which I may even try myself!):
- 17 Matte Lip [CF] £3.00 at Boots
- 17 High Shine Lip Crayon [CF] £4.00 at Boots
- Revolution Powder Matte Lip Stick [CF] £5.00 at Boots
There are so many lip products, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with some! I’ll include links to lip glosses and tints in the next section.
Lip Gloss (Clear) & Tints
Then: Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss
Now: Glossier Lip Gloss & Glossier Balm Dot Com
Again Glossier, I love it! The clear lip gloss gives a nice shine to my lips, and the lip balms are so beautifully scented (I have so many of them, but I haven’t tried all the ‘flavours’ yet). Not budget-friendly, I know, but Glossier is too good to pass up! Glossier’s lip gloss also comes in a couple of colours too. Another lip balm that I’ve raved about in my past is the EOS Sphere lip balms, and I still really like them as well ahh, but they’ve had a few lawsuit issues!
Not sure why I’m getting so excited, but here are some cheaper cruelty-free picks you could try:
- e.l.f Ride or Die Lip Balm [CF] £5.00 in Boots (Mint is Clear, the other scents are tinted)
- Dr PawPaw Shea Butter Balm [CF] £3.95 in Superdrug (Again, I believe some scents are clear and others are tinted)
- Collection Gloss Me Up Lip Gloss – Clear [CF] £2.99 in Boots (some clear and some tinted shades)
- Revolution Protect SPF10 Lip Sheen – Clear [CF] £6.00 in Boots
- I Heart Revolution Watermelon Lip Gloss – Splash (Clear, tints are available) [CF] £4.00 in Superdrug
Then: Urban Decay All Nighter
Now: No Change!
This setting spray is my favourite, but I would be open to trying others alongside this. Urban Decay is cruelty-free, but their parent company isn’t, making this a little foggy!
If you’re not happy with Urban Decay, whether it be the price or the ethics, here are some alternatives:
- NYX Setting Spray – Dewy [CF] (also available in Matte) £4.50 in Boots
- e.l.f Mist and Set Spray [CF] £5.00 in Boots
- Revolution Hydrate & Fix Spray [CF] £7.00 in Boots
In my makeup bag, I also have a couple of eyeshadow palettes that are Revolution so cruelty-free from the start! Additionally, I have a few other Glossier bits (love!) and a couple of Body Shop things.
I hope this post was helpful for you; here are the products that I mentioned that I have swapped for if you’re interested:
- Glossier Milky Oil
- Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer
- Revolution Matte Base Powder
- Revolution Conceal and Hydrate Foundation
- MUA Bronzer
- Kylie Blusher
- Glossier Cloud Paint
- Revolution x Soph Highlighter Palette
- Glossier Lash Slick
- Glossier Boy Brow
- I Heart Revolution Avocado Eyebrow Gel
- I Heart Revolution Chocolate Brownie Lip Gloss
- Glossier Lip Gloss
- Glossier Balm Dot Com
See you next time!