Back in November, I challenged myself to replace some of the items in my beauty routine with affordable, cruelty-free alternatives (I made a list of my favourites that you can read here). Well guess what, people: I’m still broke and I still like animals, so I’ve kept up with it!
While I’ve still got a ways to go, the items on my vanity are looking a lot different than they did a few months ago, and I’m happy to say that finding these products is becoming easier and easier. From skincare to makeup to hair care, there are tons of options out there for the conscious consumer on a budget.
Here’s another list of inexpensive, cruelty-free products I’m loving at the moment.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%—$5.90 for 30 millilitres
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that works wonders for the skin by reducing inflammation and balancing oil levels. So, if you have skin that is sensitive and/or acne-prone, then this serum from The Ordinary is definitely worth trying. The texture is light and a little goes a long way—just make sure to seal it in with moisturizer afterwards!
Comparison: Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster — $63.82 for 20 millilitres
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Butter Bronzer—$21.99 for 10.8 grams
This bronzer from Physicians Formula is my favourite of all time, hands down. The texture is smooth and blendable, so there’s none of the patchiness that bronzers can sometimes cause. Also, since the shades have a slight coolness to them, it won’t leave you looking like Donald Trump after a day at the tanning salon. Plus, it smells amazing!
Comparison: Benefit Hoola Bronzer—$40.00 for eight grams
The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants—$9.70 for 50 millilitres
Sunscreen is something we should all be wearing daily (even in winter, folks). Luckily, this SPF from The Ordinary is an inexpensive option that sinks into the skin quickly and doesn’t leave your face feeling oily throughout the day. I will say that, since it’s a mineral sunscreen, it does leave a slight white cast on the skin. This doesn’t matter much for me since I’m literally the colour of drywall, but anyone with a deeper skin tone might have to experiment with it a bit.
Comparison: Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42—$44 for 30 millilitres
Covergirl Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation—$19.49 for 30 millilitres
This foundation from Covergirl has a unique, almost mousse-like consistency that feels lightweight and comfortable, but provides surprisingly full coverage. What I like most about this foundation is that it doesn’t separate and become patchy throughout the day, which, in my case, even some of the most expensive foundations tend to do. It’s easy to layer and easy to blend, so the finish is nice and natural.
Comparison: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation—$55.00 for 30 millilitres
Essence Shine Shine Shine Lipgloss—$3.99 for 4.5 millilitres
This $4 (!!!) lip gloss from Essence is as shiny and glossy as they come. This stuff seriously rivals some of the fancier glosses on the market, and it comes in a surprising number of shades. It’s good stuff.
Comparison: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer— $25 for nine millilitres
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Reparative Leave-in Conditioner—$13.49 for 325 millilitres
As someone with really dry, damaged hair, the leave-in conditioner has been a game-changer. I love this one from Shea Moisture because it thoroughly hydrates my hair without weighing it down. It also smells amazing and helps to define my waves.
Photo by Laurence Brisson Dubreuil/Graphic by @sundaeghost