12 Cruelty-Free Makeup Staples at the Drugstore

  • Copy by: Mary Hood Luttrell
  • Feature Image By: Kate La Vie

The world of cruelty-free shopping can get a bit complicated, especially when it comes to beauty products. If you’re a newcomer to the cruelty-free lifestyle, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed figuring out which brands are actually committed to avoiding animal testing. As if things weren’t already complex, some brands that identity as cruelty-free are owned by parent companies that are not cruelty-free, making the smaller brand questionably cruelty-free by some definitions. We’ve tried to make things a bit simpler for you by highlighting 12 makeup brands (and their standout products) that are 100% cruelty-free and available at most drugstores.

1. EcoTools Bamboo 5-Piece Brush Set

Where to buy: EcoTools Bamboo 5-Piece Brush Set, Ulta and most drugstores ($17.99)

Perfect for: This brush kit is the best of basics (including brushes for blush, eyeliner, eyeliner, and brow grooming). Stash this handy kit in your desk at work for quick touch-ups.

Why it’s special: EcoTools are made from recycled materials and sustainably harvested bamboo.

2. Flower About Face Foundation with Primer

Where to buy: Flower About Face Foundation with Primer, Walmart ($10.00)

Perfect for: Saving time in the morning. This two-in-one primer and foundation can be used to quickly create a flawless base with buildable coverage.

Why it’s special: The pump delivers the same amount each time for less mess, less waste.

3. Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Mattifying Face Powder

Where to buy: Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Mattifying Face Powder, Ulta and most drugstores ($8.99)

Perfect for: Setting foundation and creating a flawless, matte finish.

Why it’s special: Designed to help protect skin from free radical damage, this matte powder is makeup doubling as skincare. Ingredients like sunflower seed oil, zinc, and iron oxides combine to provide skin with antioxidant support and UV defense.

4. Mineral Fusion Blush

Where to buy: Mineral Fusion Blush, Target ($18.49)

Perfect for: The triple-milled minerals in this blush create a smooth, natural-looking finish. A bit of this highly pigmented powder goes a long way.

Why it’s special: This mineral blush is free of talc, a possible skin allergen.

5. Wet N Wild Contouring Palette

Where to buy: Wet N Wild Contouring Palette, Target and most drugstores ($4.99)

Perfect for: Adding warmth to your complexion, defining cheekbones, and highlighting prominent areas of the face.

Why it’s special: The powders in this palette aren’t as highly pigmented as those in other contour kits, making them ideal if you’re looking for a subtle, natural-looking contour.

6. Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye Palette in “Eye on Neutral”

Where to buy: Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Eye Palette in “Eye on Neutral”, Target ($19.99)

Perfect for: Creating dozens of shadow combinations ranging from understated daytime looks to sultry smoke-y eyes.

Why it’s special: These neutral matte shades suit a range of skin tones—and certain shades can be used as eyebrow powder in a pinch!

7. Pixi Lash Line Ink

Where to buy: Pixi Lash Line Ink, Target ($14.99)

Perfect for: Defining eyes with a simple liquid line or a sexy cat eye.

Why it’s special: Pixi takes measures to make sure both its products and raw materials are never tested on animals.

8. Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara

Where to buy: Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara, Ulta and Target ($14.00)

Perfect for: Layering to create lush lashes.

Why it’s special: Formulated with coconut oil and B vitamins, this naturally sourced mascara nourishes lashes to keep them strong and healthy. Plus, it’s free of alcohol so it’s less likely to leave your lashes feeling dry or crusty.

9. Ardell Natural Demure Black Lashes

Where to buy: Ardell Natural Demure Black Lashes, Ulta and most drugstores ($3.99).

Perfect for: Adding oomph to your natural lashes for a subtle, daytime look. These lightweight lashes are easy to apply and can even be trimmed to suit your eye shape.

Why it’s special: Ardell uses alternatives to animal hair in their entire lash line.

10. E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit

Where to buy: E.l.f. Eyebrow Kit, Ulta and most drugstores ($3.99)

Perfect for: Defined eyebrows that don’t look “drawn on.” You can choose from using the wax or powder that comes in the kit—or both.

Why it’s special: Believe it or not, the little brush that comes with the kit is actually perfect for applying the product. Plus, the kit includes a small mirror, making it an all-in-one eyebrow stop!

11. Milani Color Statement Lipstick

Where to buy: Milani Color Statement Lipstick, Target and most drugstores ($4.99)

Perfect for: Long lasting, fade-resistant lips. This lipstick applies with a cream finish but holds like stain—even after your morning cup of coffee.

Why it’s special: Milani is Leaping Bunny certified, meaning that it’s internationally recognized as a cruelty-free company.

12. Orly Flexible Nail Lacquer

Where to buy: Orly Flexible Nail Lacquer, Ulta and Target ($9.99)

Perfect for: DIY manicures with on-trend colors that boast gel-like longevity.

Why it’s special: Orly nail polish is free of the five nail polish toxins (formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and toluene).

What’s your favorite cruelty-free drugstore product?