Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by the total your Sephora cashier rings up at the cash. If you haven’t, it’s probably either because a) you don’t shop at Sephora (looking at you, ULTA fans) or b) you’re lying.
Let’s face it: makeup is expensive. Your credit card bill probably reminds you of that on a monthly basis. As a makeup artist, though, those pricey products are the tools of your trade. We’ve already talked about how to build your kit on a budget and what high-end products you don’t need to splurge on—but how do you track down the dupes that are actually worth buying?
Well, you can start by branching out. Move over, Maybelline—you may not have heard of these 9 affordable makeup brands yet, but we bet they’ll soon be making their way into your kit!
Buying makeup on a budget shouldn’t have to mean compromising your values. In addition to being easy on your bank account balance, Coastal Scents is also cruelty-free. And if you’re looking for affordable makeup palettes perfect for professionals, Coastal Scents has you covered. From modest 4-color sets to enormous palettes boasting 100+ shades, this brand provides the variety you need in your kit—at a fraction of the cost. Their individual “hot pots” also let you create a custom palette featuring the shades you know you need.
The good news? 2B provides a ton of colorful products to let you experiment with any shade you desire. The even better news? This affordable makeup brand—previously only available in Europe—has now come to an ULTA near you.
While the brand itself may be a mere 2 years old, the folks behind Makeup Revolution know their stuff—they’ve been in the beauty business for almost thirty years! Like Coastal Scents, all their products are cruelty-free—and super affordable. From their eponymous Makeup Revolution collection to their Freedom pro brand, their products cover many of your makeup kit basics—and all in sleek packaging you’ll be proud to whip out for your client.
Are you on a quest to find the perfect dupe for your favorite high-end super-pigmented eye shadow? Look no further than Catrice Cosmetics. Their goal? Quality beauty products that are affordable and on trend—that’s why they release several limited edition collections every year, all based on the latest runway trends.
(Bonus: another cruelty-free brand. We’re not sure where this trend for cruelty-free affordable makeup products came from, but hey, we’re not complaining.)
Here’s a twist: Pacifica’s products aren’t only cruelty-free, they’re also 100% vegan. Their range of shades is a little limited compared with some of the other brands on our list, but if you’re in the market for some soft nudes and pretty pastels (and really, who isn’t?) we definitely suggest checking them out. And let’s take a minute to appreciate their gorgeous packaging—like their Dream Big mascara, which is literally covered in unicorns.
W7’s iconic eye palettes range from soft neutrals to bold neons, while their palette’s prices stay under the £10 mark (yes, they’re a British brand—but for those of us outside of the UK, Amazon also offers some of their products—all of which are cruelty-free). They also feature a special collection designed specifically for women with darker complexions. Check out Stephanie Wyatt’s blending tutorial to see their In the Nude palette in action!
Could it be true? An affordable makeup brand designed specifically for darker complexions? We promise we’re not making this up—that’s the name of Black Radiance’s beauty game. Plus, they go beyond color-matching—their face products cater to those hard-to-find darker shades, but also to a variety of skin types. And—need we say it—they’re also cruelty-free.
Okay, so their website could use a little work, but don’t be too quick to judge. Their liquid matte lipsticks provide huge color payoff, especially considering the $10 price tag! If you’re itching to try out a deep blue, green, gold, silver, or even black lipstick, Fyrinnae’s prices make it possible—and the quality of their products makes it worth it. Oh, and vegan and cruelty-free? Check and check.
Are you in the mood for a $6 highly pigmented matte liquid lipstick? What about an $8 highlighter? Does it sweeten the pot if we tell you Colourpop offers both of these products (and more) in a ton of different shades? Well, if that didn’t catch your interest, we don’t know what will. They’ve also collaborated with some big-time beauty bloggers (Jenn Im, Kathleen Lights, and Karrueche) to create some special collections. All of their products are cruelty-free, and many are also vegan.