As you know, I’ve been trying to go cruelty-free with my new makeup purchases.
Buying cruelty-free hasn’t been as challenging as I expected–once I got over the shock that it was still a thing–I missed the whole “China mandate” that requires it to sell products there. Luckily, it looks like there might be an end to that rule on the horizon, which will hopefully make it an issue we never have to think about again.
There are definitely a few high end makeup brands that don’t work for me anymore, but primarily, my favorites like Tarte Cosmetics and Urban Decay are still good.
It’s a little more difficult on the drugstore side–and with skin care TBH–but I’ve found a few lines that are extremely affordable and have some great products I might’ve missed out on.
To get a pretty comprehensive listing of who tests on animals and who doesn’t, Cruelty-free Kitty has been a great resource. And rule of thumb on the drugstore side–if it’s one of the big companies like Revlon, Maybelline and L’Oreal–there is testing.
With Ulta’s variety of BOGO deals through their “21 Days of Beauty” sale--I thought it might be a nice time to review some of these new items I’ve picked up since focusing on cruelty-free shopping–just in case you’re looking to refresh your makeup bag for spring. (SPRING!!!!)
Wet n Wild: This line was a shocker to me, but it’s actually even on Peta’s list of cruelty-free brands. How great is that?! I’ve got two favorites from the line–one old and one new. First the new:
I know I’ve mentioned it before but it’s worth saying it again: this foundation is fantastic! And so easy to apply. I can tell it’s going to be a summer staple–it’s so lightweight–and the cover is perfect for me. And $8.99! I can tell it’s gonna run low faster than other foundations I own, but it’s still worth it. And it means I’m reaching for it all the time, which I am!
I’ve had this bad boy for a while–Jess gave it to me for my birthday or Christmas one year–I can’t remember. But it’s my go-to highlight! Admittedly, I don’t use a highlighter much, definitely not like Pamela! But when I do, 9 times out of 10, this is the one I use. Oh, and it’s $4.99.
Physicians Formula: I wasn’t sure this one would make the list because Almay, which seems like it would be cruelty-free, is not. But this one is certified–thank goodness!
Seriously, what would I do without this bronzer! It is an every day thing for me. Even when I’m doing a “no make-up” make-up look, like today, I put this on. Holy. Grail.
This is one of my favorite spring/summer blushes, yet I’ve never mentioned it! It’s a really soft wash of color that just picks up your look and gives you that nice, natural, healthy flush. At $13, it’s a little pricey for drugstore, but I’ve had mine forever so it lasts a long time. And if you wanna try it, a BOGA is a nice time to do it.
NYX: Phew! I was also nervous for this one because I use so many different products in the line–we all do!–and it’s owned by L’Oreal, so I wasn’t sure. But it’s good, so I grabbed some new things to try.
I picked up Rose Pearl during an Ulta 20% off sale and was lukewarm on it. But I recently decided to take my advice and try another color and grabbed, Nude to Me. It made me like this entire product a lot more. Basically, I’m looking for an alternative to my favorite Maybelline Eyestudio® ColorTattoo® 24HR Cream Gel Eye Shadow which is definitely not cruelty-free. I’m a sucker for a cream, easy-on, no-fuss eye look and those pots have served me well. But I think I’ve found a replacement I can get behind. I’ll definitely be grabbing other colors to try, but I like these both a lot.
I had heard the Whipped Caviar is a must-try lip color, but they didn’t have the lipstick, so I decided to try the lip pencil. It’s definitely a your lips but better color. A perfect neutral.
Whipped Caviar is slightly darker than Peek-a-Boo Natural, but both are really lovely lip liners. And at $3.99, they are definitely a major drugstore must have!
And if these two colors don’t work for you, they have 48 more!
Jess has already turned us on to these little gems, but I wanted to concur. She gave me Group Love for Christmas and I liked it so much I grabbed Squad Goals. Love them both!
I still struggle with eyeliner, since our first post! These guys help a little. They are REALLY tiny, so I can snug them right into the lash line. Admittedly, they do snap pretty easily which can be frustrating. But I’ve also had really good eyeliner days thanks to these little pencils.
Flower Beauty: I knew Drew Barrymore had this brand on lock–but I so rarely go to Wal-Mart and rarely picked it up. (pamela loved the highlighter trio though!) Now that it’s at Ulta, I see myself checking up on their line way more often.
So funny story, I’m obsessed with wanting to buy things I see on Instagram. (perhaps i should do a post on all the dumb things I’ve been sucked into through my IG feed…)
One of the things I keep seeing is an ad for Charlotte Tillbury lipsticks and lip pencils. They look amazing!! But then a remember a few years ago going all in on these stupid Burberry eye shadows that a YouTuber convinced me were the bee’s knees and I got two that were insanely expensive and I NEVER use! So I’ve stopped myself from spending $30+ on a lipstick, but I was still super intrigued by the color.
I stopped at Ulta specifically to pick up some Charlotte Tillbury dupes I found on Temptalia. They actually didn’t have what I was looking for, Petal Kiss, but I grabbed one of these in Nude Blush and liked it so much, I went back and got Rosewood.
Now these aren’t super matte–more like a velvet matte. But I really like the formula and these colors are perfect for spring. Nude Blush is a little more on the pink side and Rosewood is a browner pink. I can see myself grabbing these a lot as it gets warmer.
Essence: I actually had a post all written a long time ago about an eye shadow palette that I really liked from here, but when I went to put the links it, I found out it was discontinued! I think I’ve tried a mascara from here, but not much more. Now that I know it’s a cruelty-free line–and wicked affordable!–I’ll be trying more, for sure!
Yup, I just talked about this, too, but it’s really good. And $3.49!!! Seriously, grab one or two or three and throw them in your bag, car, desk drawer. They are so weird and I love it! It’s not a gloss, although it applies kinda wet. It’s not a balm, although it feels hydrating. It’s not a stain, but it does kinda stain your lips. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s really nice and I can’t wait to try more colors.
Hope these reviews give you some new ideas on products to pick up during the Ulta sale that are affordable and cruelty-free.
I’m on the hunt for a good cruelty-free mascara–so holler if you have a favorite!
Any other cruelty-free drugstore products I should check out? Let me know below!
Yup, my money. Thus the drugstore splurge!