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Switch Your Makeup to Cruelty Free for $29 or Less
Jean Knight, White Rabbit Beauty, updated May 8, 2017
Foundation, blush, shadows, mascara, lipstick for $29 or less, without sacrificing quality!
Switching your makeup to cruelty free has never been easier...or cheaper. With more than 50 makeup brands now certified cruelty free, great cruelty-free makeup is available at every price point.
Three brands are also standout values: BH Cosmetics, Jordana, and Glamour Dolls. A fourth brand, Milani, costs slightly more but is still a good value. Jordana, BH Cosmetics, and Milani are available in local stores as well as online. Milani owns Jordana, so you often see them in the same stores.
With Jordana and BH Cosmetics, you can get a complete, quality makeover of your makeup for $29 or less.
Milani has some great individual items that are value-priced, letting you mix these items with the other brands and still come in under $29.
Glamour Dolls makes lip and eye makeup, so a complete makeover isn't possible with Glamour Dolls alone. The big find here is their $4.99 vegan mascara that performs great.
Jordana Cruelty-free Makeover: $26.94
Jordana has a complete makeup line, with many good products. To browse the full line, visit the Jordana online store. A more limited selection is available at Walgreens, Kmart, Duane Read, and Save Mart Supermarkets. Check the Jordana store locator here. Jordana selections vary among stores, so you may want to call your local store first.
Here's the Jordana makeup makeover that worked well for me, purchased online and at Walgreens for just under $27 total.
Made to Last Eyeshadow Collection in Mint Condition, $7.99. This palette and the What a Steel palette are all vegan, but most of the palettes have carmine, so are not vegetarian or vegan.
Easyliner for Eyes Retractable Pencil, in Coffee Bean, $2.99. To stay vegetarian (and vegan), stick with Black, Brown Suede, Smokey, Seagreen, Coffee Bean, Blue Devine, Lavish Brown, Sterling Blue, Jet Black, Khaki, and Tantalizing Teal (avoid Eggplant and Blackest Blue, which have carmine).
Total: $26.94. And if you order online, free shipping kicks in for orders over $25, so there's no extra cost.
You can find user reviews of many Jordana makeup items at makeupalley.com. To view most of MakeupAlley, you need to register, but it's free and well worth it.
BH Cosmetics Cruelty-free Makeover: $29.47
One of my favorite brands, BH Cosmetics has a wide makeup range with many high quality products. Available online at bhcosmetics.com. Sign up online for BH's newsletter for coupons and sale alerts. ULTA now also carries many BH Cosmetics products. Check ULTA online or find a local ULTA store near you.
Here's my makeup makeover from BH Cosmetics, just $29.47. All items are vegan, except the mascara. For a good, value vegan mascara, check out Glamour Dolls Lashlight Mascara, described later in this article.
BH eye shadows are only available in palettes. For the best value, find a palette that also includes blushes. The palettes change frequently. If the ones recommended here disappear, you'll be sure to find another good one.
Total: $29.47 This is the full retail price. They run coupons frequently, and the 20% off coupon at the time reduced my total to $23.58, enough to cover shipping ($5.95) and still come in close to budget. Shipping is free on orders over $50.
For product reviews, check the BH Cosmetics online store. BH Cosmetics has an active user community with many reviews on their site.
Glamour Dolls' Great Vegan Mascara for $4.99
Pro MUA Yisell Santos has been testing cruelty-free mascaras for Bunny Army. She gives Glamour Dolls Lashlight Mascara high marks. In her tests, it held up all day with no clumping or flaking even under grueling conditions of humidity and exercise. (Yisell notes application can be tricky, though, so check her review for tips.) Lashlight Mascara is only $4.99! Available at Glamour Dolls online store.
Milani selections vary among drugstores. Here are good items that seem to be stocked almost everywhere. Note that drugstore prices for Milani are typically $1 or $2 more than the prices at Milani's online store.
Milani mascaras, $8-$10 typically in stores. Milani shines when it comes to mascaras. Most drugstores carry Milani's Lash Trifecta mascara, but you may also find the Big & Bigger Lashes mascara. Lash Trifecta gives great lash separation, length, and some curl.
Milani Everyday Eyes Powder Eyeshadow Collection, $12 typically in drugstores. Each palette comes with six different shades, from mattes to (not too sparkly) metallics. The complementary colors are really pretty for everyday and can be mixed and matched for evening looks as well. The shadows have great color payoff and blend nicely. Plus, most of the palettes include one shade that could double as a highlighter. And the included brush is actually not bad, making it even more travel friendly.
Milani has a full makeup line at their online store, and it's worth exploring their other items, too. You can find user reviews of many Milani makeup items at MakeupAlley.
Thumbs Up on Performance
The hardest items to find cruelty free are good foundation and mascara. I was glad to find such nice foundations and mascaras at these low prices.
BH Liquid Foundation gives medium coverage with a satin matte finish. Jordana gives medium coverage and a soft, almost dewy finish. Neither BH nor Jordana has a great color range for foundations, but they've chosen shades that work for many people.
Both foundations blended easily on my skin and lasted my day. For my fine lines, Jordana gets the edge because it has a soft focus effect that blurs the appearance of lines, much appreciated by me!
Jordana is fragrance free. The BH foundation has a floral fragrance. BH states it's fragrance free, so the scent is probably from the preservative, phenoxyethanol, which has a floral scent.
All the mascaras mentioned here performed well for me, giving me at least length (and some gave volume, too) without clumping or smudging. All held up well all day, too.
The shadows and cheek color I chose have average to good pigment. The brands are about equal here. A shout out to the Jordana Color Tint Blush (a creamstick blush) for especially nice blendability!
For the lip color, the BH and Jordana products mentioned here have good pigment. The BH I chose is a traditional lipstick, and the Jordana is a liquid, matte lip color designed for super staying power. Both worked great for me.
These products are equal in quality to more expensive brands I've used, and I have no trouble making them work for me.
Notice: This site was developed and is hosted by White Rabbit Beauty, LLC, a retailer, as part of a broader public goal to make cruelty free products more accessible. We strive to make this an independent resource for cruelty free consumers. Here, we take the consumer's point of view, enabling you to find the best cruelty free products at the best prices at as many stores as possible. The site also has a direct advocacy role, providing news and information to help you take action to end animal testing.