How to go Cruelty Free on a Budget | Pt. 4



PT. 1 (Skincare)| PT. 2 (Foundation)| PT. 3 (Eyeshadow & Liners) | PT. 4 (you are here)

Welcome to the fourth installment of my cruelty free on a budget series! I hope you’ve been enjoying the series and are learning about new brands and that you can afford cruelty free products & it’s easy to get them! I have been talking a lot about the same brands (e.l.f., Milani & Wet N Wild) but today I show you 3 different brands to hopefully help you find some new products/brands that will work for you! Today’s posts is all about mascaras & brows (buckle up, it may be a long one)


essence is a cruelty free brand that can be found at Ulta, Fred Myers and Shoppers Drug Mart. Their products are extremely inexpensive but I’ve heard their quality is great, don’t judge a product by it’s price! I cannot stress that enough 🙂 They have loads of cutely packaged cosmetics (they sort of remind me of benefit and the Balm’s packaging).

Mascara: Pictured above is their Pump No Clump! Volume Mascara that sort of mimics one of Maybellines’ (ew) mascaras. They also have lots of different mascaras that will volumize, lengthen or curl your lashes. You’re bound to find something you’ll like that your wallet will approve.

Brows: essence carries a brow gel that reminds me of benfits Gimme Brow (pictured above) gel, I’m not sure if the quality is anywhere near comparable but it’s only $2.99, so why not try it out?! They also have eyebrow styling sets, an eyebrow fixer pencil and clear brow and lash gel.

Stop by your local Ulta (or other stores listed above) to find your perfect match!

Flower (only available at Walmart)

I mentioned Flower before in my foundation post (I actually own the foundation!) and I recently stopped by a local Walmart to look at some of their other products and picked out one of their mascaras – and I love it! (May or may not do a first impressions/review…let me know if you want to see that!) I purchased the Zoom In (pictured above, rose gold package) mascara and it’s great. It lengthens, curls AND volumizes. Wanna know the best part? It was under $8. It was a steal.

Mascara: Flower carries three different types of mascaras – a lengthening, volumizing and one that does those two + curls them (Zoom In mascara). The Zoom In mascara has a wand that can change its shape when you turn the knob on the top, it’s great because you can easily add volume and length without having to use multiple mascaras. This mascara doesn’t flake and is easy to take off, my only complaint is that it smells and takes a little while for the smell to go away. But other than that, it’s my new favorite and I 100% recommend it.

Brows: Flower has tons of makeup products, including stuff for your beautiful brows. There are brow quads to make sure your eyebrows are super on fleek as well as pencils (pictured above) to define and mimic hair strokes. I haven’t used these products, but from what I’ve tried from Flower so far, I’m sure they won’t disappoint either.


I’ve been trying more of Milani’s products and I’m super impressed and intrigued. Their quality is spectacular for a drugstore brand and their prices are right (which I’m sure I’ve stated before).

Mascara: Pictured above is the Lash Trifecta mascara (blue tube) that lengthens, curls & separates. I love lengthening mascaras since my lashes are sparse and short. I also hate clumpy lashes so this wand looks like it would do a good job of coating all of your lashes and would make sure they do not clump (total plus in my book). I personally haven’t used any of their mascaras, but I might have to pick this one up.

Brows: Milani has great brow products! I picked up the Stay Put Brow Color (pictured above & vegan) in Natural Taupe, it is a *little* bit too warm toned for my skin, but it works very well with my hair if I don’t apply it too heavy. I grabbed this for about $8 at CVS. I love that it came with a brush that works well, not a huge fan of the spoolie but I use a separate one. I’m not sure how comparable this is to Anastasia’s dip brow but if you’re looking for a cruelty free + drug store option I’d totally go for this. It’s $10 cheaper than the dip brow too! (You get 0.14 oz with Anastasia and 0.9 oz with Milani, so I guess whatever you think is the better value.)

Wet N Wild

Wet N Wild is so inexpensive and has great products if you’re looking to start your makeup collection or add to it!

Mascara: Pictured above is their Mega Plump Dual Ended Mascara that is a copycat of Maybelline’s Big Eyes mascara (I do own both – but I will not be repurchasing Big Eyes even though it was one of my favorites before going cruelty free). I do like the Wet N Wild mascara, it’s easy to get to your lower lashes with the special brush. My only complaint is that the upper lash brush is spaced too far apart so it’s easy for your lashes to clump, but I coat my lashes *first* with the lower brush to separate them, put the top lash product on, then go back in with the lower brush to separate them again. Works well! Wet N Wild also has different mascaras, usually under $5 so you won’t feel guilty purchasing a few.

I’m not going to include any brow products from Wet N Wild in this post, only because I have tried their brow pencil and it was awful for me. The color was WAY to warm and looked awful on me, but you may have better luck if you want to try their brow pencil out, it’s not something I would recommend.

NYX (parent company is L’Oreal, who tests on animals. Some people boycott companies like this entirely, but I thought I would still add it to the list.)

Mascara: Pictured above is the Za Za Zu mascara from their Boudoir line. I love this mascara, it volumizes and plumps my lashes so much. You really don’t need a lot of product to get thick, beautiful lashes. My only complaint about this mascara is that it dries up quickly, but you can combat this with eye drops (I believe). I didn’t do this to mine when it was dried up, I tossed it because it was way past the recommended open-shelf life. NYX has loads of different mascaras (that I’ve yet to try) that are usually under $9 so they are drugstore priced, but have great quality.

Brows: (no products pictured above) I personally have not used any of NYX’s brow products but I’ve heard so many good things about them. Some people compare their new Micro Brow Pencil to Anastasia’s brow pencil, which retails at $21. The NYX pencil retails at $9.99. The same amount of product comes in each pencil, so if it is comparable to the Brow Wiz, then NYX’s is totally the better value. NYX also has a brow pomade, brow cakes, brow gels and new brow sculpting pencils.


I didn’t include any mascaras from e.l.f. since I haven’t had good luck with any of them.

Brows: Pictured above is the e.l.f. eyebrow kit. This kit comes in 4 different colors – includes a powder and wax in each compact + a dual ended brush. They also have brow cream, gels and pencils. I personally have not used these products before, but have seen some use them on YouTube and they had good things to say.

and lastly, but not least…

bh Cosmetics

I mentioned Carli Bybel’s palette by bh Cosmetics in my last post and thought I would let you know that they have brow products too!

Brows: Pictured above is their Studio Pro HD Brow Pencil. Someone reviewed these in the comments and compared them to the brow wiz, I’m not sure how much product is in these but they retail at $8.00 (a little cheaper than NYX). They are currently on sale right now for $5.50, so now would be a good time to snag one! They have 5 shades, so you should be able to find one that suits you. They also have a brow palette (with multiple shades), brow gels, brow highlighters and other eyebrow pencil products. Great value for these products!

Thanks all for joining in on this 4th post in this in series. I appreciate you reading!

Have you tried any of these products before or want to try them now? Let me know in the comments below!

P.s. Super proud of myself for posting more often…even if I am procrastinating on my homework (but shh, don’t tell my professors that…)

Xoxo, Rae

*This post is not sponsored but sponsorships/items sent to me do not alter my opinion in anyway. I’m here to help you (my readers) to find new products that you may have never heard about. I am all about giving 100% reviews, whether I’m paid for the review, sent the item or I purchase it myself. Just something to keep in mind for my past/future reviews.

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  • Reply Sally.

    I’ve actually been thinking about going cruelty free for a while but thought I’d have to end up in some weird organic shop to find some crappy expensive product. I had no idea so many of these brands were cruelty free including essence, milani and elf!

    Sally ~ DiagonSally

    February 1, 2016 at 10:17 pm
    • Reply Rae

      Glad to help you out! I thought the same thing before too but then I did tons of research! Logical Harmony has a great list of companies that are cruelty free and those that are not, great reference guide 🙂

      February 2, 2016 at 8:11 am
  • Reply Anna - Alina

    Great blog, so if you want, we can to follow each other on bloglovin! Just follow me here and I’ll follow you back! ♥

    February 6, 2016 at 9:00 am
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