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$20 Cruelty-Free Makeup Challenge!

Written by PETA | November 21, 2012

Are you a compassionate shopper on a budget? You can leave cruelty out of your beauty routine without breaking the bank! There are plenty of inexpensive options that will keep you beautiful on both the outside and the inside.

If you’re ever unsure if a product has been tested on animals or not, you can search our cruelty-free database or order PETA’s cruelty-free shopping guide to have with you on the go.

Here are two sets of makeup essentials, each for less than $20!

Makeup Kit 1: $15 bag:

Sunkissed Glow Bronzing Powder by e.l.f. ($1)

Liquid Eyeliner by e.l.f ($1)

 Volumizing Mascara by e.l.f. ($2)

Glassy Gloss by Wet n Wild ($2.99)

Total: $13.99, plus tax

Makeup Kit 2: $20 bag:

Flawless Finish Foundation by e.l.f. ($6)

               Baked Bronzer by e.l.f. ($3)

Color Icon Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil by Wet n Wild ($0.99)

Studio Volume Plumping Mascara by e.l.f.($3)

Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow by e.l.f. ($3)

Wet n Wild Wild Shine: Bijou Blue ($.99)

Total: $19.98, plus tax

Not a fan of carrying your beauty products around in a plastic baggie? For a few more dollars, get a colorful, fun cosmetic bag to keep all your makeup in! Here are a couple of cute and low-cost options:

Cosmetics Bag From H&M ($5.95)

Wild Sequin Cosmetic Bag from Forever 21 ($5.80)

Toiletry Bag From H&M ($6.95)

Do you have any other suggestions for inexpensive, cruelty-free products or tips on how to live compassionately on a budget? Leave us a comment below and share your secrets!

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  • Lauren says:

    I love ELF’S products, however if using them stick to their Mineral line because it is 100% all natural. Their essential and studio lines contain harsh chemicals that everyone should stay away from!

  • Mystico Verdi says:

    @Elise According to the Wet n’ Wild cosmetics website at if you click on the bottom left-hand corner of the homepage on ‘Contacts,’ it will redirect you to a ‘FAQ/Contact Us’ page. On the FAQ page the questions: ‘What is Wet n’ Wild’s animal testing policy?’ and ‘Are Wet n’ Wild products vegan?’ indicate that the company is indeed cruelty-free and offers a large variety of vegan friendly products. I have used their products in the past, which I’ve personally recommend such as the Silk Finish lipsticks and Wild Shine Nail Polish. The suggested retail prices for these items are $0.99 each and are high quality. Not many people are aware that Wet n’ Wild cosmetics has been around for over 30 years. Also, if you do an Internet engine search on ‘Cruelty-free Summer Makeup,’ you can pull up an article published by PETA titled ‘Getting a Sizzling Summer Look With Wet n’ Wild Cruelty-Free Cosmetics,’ which also indicates that the Markwins Beauty Products, Inc. does not test their products on animals. I hope this helps.

  • Angel D says:

    @ KMac – over the years I used Clinique, Elizabeth Arden and Avon too, but since they all seem to prefer profit to principles I have stopped using their products. For the past year I have been using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E (pink packaging) skincare range and I find it amazing; it works out very affordable – especially with their regular promotions. I just tend to open the products at the counter to smell them – sometimes Vitamin E can go a bit off, but the staff have always been very helpful and agreed if an item was tainted, replacing it with a fresh one.

    I’ve also moved over to their makeup – their eyeshadows last AMAZINGLY.

    Now I just need to find a cruelty-free conditioner for colour-treated hair that actually works…

  • Vicki says:

    Christine: regarding 100% Pure, MOST of their products are vegan, but NOT all of them. None are tested on animals, but a few of their products are VEGETARIAN, but NOT VEGAN. However, their website clearly states which products are VEGAN and which are VEGETARIAN and I have also found their customer service reps to be very well-trained to provide clear and correct information.

  • KMac says:

    I used to be a big fan of Clinique until I found out they sold out. I used their “redness solutions” line and loved their clairifying lotion. I’m having trouble finding skin care (face soap, toner, lotion) that is equivilant in quality but cruelty free. Anyone have any suggestions?

  • CHRISTINE says:

    another wonderful vegan and cruelty free cosmetic line – and is another great line too

  • Elise says:

    Clinique tests on animals now?? When did that happen? And when did Wet & Wild stop testing on animals?

  • allison says:

    I’ve been using E.L.F for about a year and adore it. Its fantastic quality and you cant beat the price.

  • Tabitha says:

    LUSH Cosmetics released an entire cosmetics line on July 21st! There is a beautiful wheatgrass infused mascara, a cream highlighter skin tint, a cream bronzer skin tint, a setting powder, and a whole bunch of liquid lipsticks, cream eyeshadows, and liquid and gel eyeliners. The whole line is called Emotional Brilliance because it is based on colour therapy and the idea of wearing what you feel every day to empower yourself instead of wearing whatever is trendy. Check it out:,en_CA,sc.html

  • chander kumar soni says:

    so cheap price.

  • Alyssa says:

    Lime Crime makeup is vegan and cruelty free

  • deborah mcgowan says:

    I hadn’t checked the recently updated lists of companies that do & do not test on animals until yesterday. I am extremely disappointed to see that Clinique & especially MAC cosmetics have sold out & are now on the companies that DO test on animals! I really liked MAC & now I have to throw out all those cosmetics & change over to another brand that is cruelty free! I am committed to only using cruelty free products. Your loss Clinique & MAC!

  • becca says:

    I’m so pale, I hope the foundations come in white haha.. I’ve been usuing other expensive cruelty free. It would be nice to save some money;)

  • MalkatHaMuzika says:

    E.L.F. is the best!

  • Suzanne says:

    These companies are wonderful, I shop there as well as my friends and family!!!

  • Rita Lemkuil says:

    Urban Decay is one of my favorites. They have a big array of beauty enhancers. 🙂

  • Joanne Mitchell says:

    I started with Avon when they introduced their Anew line back in the 1980’s. I used it regularly with wonderful results and always was complimented on my “look.” When I learned from PETA that Avon was back to animal testing, I discontinued using their products and have never bought another item from them, even if it’s not makeup! I’m only one person and the Avon company probably isn’t threatened by my lack of revenue but every little bit helps get the message across. There are plenty of anti-cruelty cosmetics our there.

  • holly says:

    awww – i thought these were options to order from PETA … not that you’d have to go out and buy (possibly from different stores) …
    maybe it would be worthwhile for PETA to sell these kits online?? 😀

  • Katrelya Angus says:

    I’m a professional belly dancer and model. As such, I know the importance of looking sharp in good makeup. I have been a member of PETA right from the moment of its founding in 1980, when I was nineteen years old and majoring in medieval/Renaissance studies with minors in history and dance. I became a model in 1981, for the Claremont Colleges, where I worked on my degree at Pitzer, and throughout my entire modeling and dance careers I have never once used animal-tested makeup! I strongly encourage everybody to spend the extra money on non-animal-tested makeup because the lives of little animals are worth it! If you must, then do as I do and cut back on other things; get books from the library; eat out less often; and make your own Christmas cards! Beauty comes from within, and those who are beautiful within make sure that their beauty is enhanced by non-animal-tested makeup and not detracted from with animal-tested makeup.

  • Tia says:

    I think this is a great concept. I just want to throw it out there that Creator made us perfect the way we are. I’ve learned to love my face without slathering it with products. I hope in addition to saying no to animal testing and carcinogenic ingredients, that we can learn to say no to social expectations.

  • Carla N. says:

    I stopped buying from Avon, Mary Kay, and all Estee Lauder brands this past spring, because of all of the aforementioneds’ altered animal-testing policies. I found plenty of other great options, but also found that cruelty-free often means paying more. Of course, it’s totally worth it, but I wanted to share some budget-friendly sources I’ve “discovered.
    *J. Lynne – mineral makeup; their “satin pearl” loose powder eyeshadows are easily the equal of a certain famous EL brand, known for its “pigments.”
    *Pure Luxe cosmetics – mineral makeup; they make an absolutely kickin’ powder foundation, some superb eyeliners, and some great settig powders.
    *Paula’s Choice – Their make-up selection is limited to “basics,” like foundation, powder, concealer, mascara, and lipsticks, but the products are high quality and reasonably priced.There are also some great skin-care options here.
    *Ecco Bella – Nothing fancy here, but there are good products at reasonable, though not cheap, prices., and many vitamin/health food sites
    *100% Pure – Extensive collection of lovely cosmetic and bath products; prices on some items are a bit on the steep side, but are not unreasonable.


  • Dizzy Nicky says:

    A few other budget friendly cosmetic brands are: Jessie’s Girl Cosmetics (sold at Rite Aide), Essence Cosmetics (sold at Ulta), LA Colors / LA Girl (Great deals at Cherry, also sold at Dollar Tree), Hard Candy (Sold at Walmart), NYX (Sold in beauty supplies, Ulta, and also have great cruelty free brands!