I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but I genuinely don’t like to do a lot of makeup shopping at drugstores. It’s not because I have anything against drugstores or cheaper makeup- I’ve just found through a lot of research that many drugstore brands are not cruelty-free. If you want high-quality makeup that is cruelty-free and possibly even vegan, you’ll simply have better luck at Ulta and Sephora. Cruelty-free makeup isn’t a priority for everyone, of course, but for me, it’s definitely a deal-breaker.
That being said, there are some drugstore brands I love that I’m happy to report are cruelty-free. More specifically, I’m going to be sharing my favorite individual products from these brands, and why I think you’ll love them as well.
Above all, my favorite drugstore brand of all time is e.l.f. It’s very rare that I’m unsatisfied with an e.l.f. purchase; in fact, I think they consistently deliver great product better than most higher-end brands. Some of my favorite products from e.l.f. are their primers (I’m using the Poreless Face Primer right now), their Mad for Matte eyeshadow palette, and their extremely affordable face brushes. E.l.f. is a cruelty-free brand, and all of their makeup brushes are synthetic and vegan!
Another one of my absolute favorites is NYX. Their products are available in slightly higher-end stores, like Ulta, but you can also pick up their products at Target and CVS (among other drugstores). Some of my absolute favorites are the Pin-Up Tease mascara (of course!) and their matte lip creams/liquid lipsticks. Just like e.l.f., NYX is extremely affordable, but with a high-quality guarantee on everything. Their liquid lipstick range is absolutely amazing, too- you can get a lipstick in every color imaginable. Another fun little tidbit about NYX is the symbolism behind their name- “Nyx” is the name of the Greek goddess of the night, which correlates nicely with the brand’s dark, vampy aesthetic.
Upon extensive research, Milani is certified by PETA and the Leaping Bunny program, making me 100% positive that they too are a cruelty-free brand! I haven’t purchased too much from Milani, but they are available through the Hush app, so that’s subject to change. I absolutely love the illuminating face powder I purchased by them- it has quickly become an everyday staple in my makeup box. I’m hoping to do a drugstore liquid lipstick review + show-and-tell in the future, so I’ll have to pick up some more Milani products when I do!
I used to buy a lot of Physicians Formula back in the day, and to be honest, I still really enjoy their products. They’re one of the “pricier” drugstore brands, if you can call a drugstore brand pricey, but I remember them being one of my favorite makeup lines when I was in late middle/ early high school. You’ve probably heard of their famous Butter Bronzer, but my personal favorite product from them is the Natural Nudes eyeshadow palette. The palettes are organized by eye color, so you can be sure you’re getting the best color array to complement your face (something I was grateful for as a fourteen year-old experimenting with makeup!). From personal experience, I know that Physician’s Formula is easy to locate at most Drugstores, including Walgreens and CVS.
There are quite a few other cruelty-free drugstore brands, but these four are my top favorites that I’ve tried and tested over the span of six years. Even as my disposable income is bound to increase in the next few years of my turbulent life, these are the products that I’ll continue to use and value, no matter how many other higher-end products come out. Let me know what your favorite drugstore brands are in the comments below!
Photo links: https://www.boots.com/elf
Coming up next: 2019 Spring Moodboard