Whilst I was in the USA recently I took the opportunity to stock up on a few cruelty free beauty buys that we don’t have easy access to in the UK. It’s not that the USA is better for Cruelty Free shopping, but there are brands which are more readily available (and much cheaper) when stateside.
I mostly bought lip products, because I rarely find ones I like in the UK. Today I thought I’d share my “top drugstore American lips” – and lets be clear that I’m only saying ‘drugstore’ because that’s what they call it over there. Had these items been from boots… it’d be chemist. Ready?
1. elf Lip stain pen in Crimson Crush, $2 at Target.
This is a felt-tip style stain pen in a mid-deep red. It has a really pointy tip and chunky base which means application is actually really easy compared to other stains I’ve used. I was also surprised that it doesn’t bleed out, which is a miracle for just $2 (just over £1). As with most stains, it does dry out your lips a little, but lip balm obviously helps.
The colour itself is a vintage type red, but not so vivid that it looks like a costume colour. I rarely wear a bright lip, so this is definitely an evening cosmetic for me, but I’m really impressed with it nonetheless.
2. Wet n Wild Megalast Lip Colour in Smokin’ Hot Pink, $0.99 at Target (on sale)
Would you ever expect a lipstick that cost just over 50p to impress you? I wouldn’t, but this little babe has proven me wrong. I’ve enjoyed Wet n Wild products since I was old enough to buy makeup on holiday (about 13) and particularly like how affordable their products are, without sacrificing reasonable quality. I was obviously thrilled to hear they’re also Cruelty Free.
Smokin’ Hot Pink isn’t quite as vivid as you’d expect, but that’s what I was after. It’s a sort of pomegranate hue, which is dark enough that I feel comfortable wearing it even during the day sometimes. If you’ve bought lipstick in the USA before you’ll know the formula tends to be different and this is no exception – it’s less buttery than UK products, so does dry your lips a little. Like above, I’ve found applying with a brush and slicking over with lip balm solves this problem really easily.
3. Wet n Wild Natural Blend Lip Shimmer in Spice (106) $1.99 at WalMart
This product is much more akin to a tinted lip balm than a lipstick, which makes it absolutely perfect for everyday wear. It’s slightly more pigmented than a standard tinted balm, though, which is great for more dressed up days out.
For a shimmer, it packs a surprising ability to moisturise just like a balm, which I was really happy about. I also found it was just the right colour for me to have a plumping effect, without looking overly Leslie Ash – I can’t say whether all of the range is like that, but it certainly worked for me. Had I been told it was a high end product at 4x the price, I wouldn’t have grumbled at paying up.
So there you have it, three great products I picked up in the USA for under £4 ($6) total. All cruelty free, all better quality than the price tag suggests.
Now if Asda and Tesco could just up their game…