Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Cruelty Free Cosmetic Brands You Can Buy At The Drugstore!

Published on February 2, 2014 by   ·   12 Comments Pin It

It’s 5pm, you’ve got a dinner meeting in an hour and your Josie Maran bronzer has just run out. You desperately need a lip gloss, and curse the Revlon gods of chemically dangerous, animal tested crud that you can’t pop into Duane Reade for a cruelty-free quick fix. Worry no more! Cruelty-free makeup doesn’t have to be expensive or inconvenient. Most of us live around the corner from a drug store or super market where we have easy access to cruelty-free brands without breaking the bank! Many mainstream brands sadly don’t label themselves as being cruelty free on the packaging. So we did some digging for all of you bargain hunting Glamazon’s out there to find out exactly what to buy at CVS when your wallet doesn’t allow for Dr. Haushka levels of make up purity. Let’s be clear here: this does not mean that some of these items don’t contain chemicals you are better off not wearing. But if vegan and cruelty-free are your priorities, you are safe with these cheap cuties;

Cruelty Free Cosmetic Brands You Can Buy At The Drugstore!

Wet n Wild

The entire Wet n Wild line is cruelty-free with most items also being vegan. Surprisingly, the makeup line that I’m sure most of us remember from our childhoods as cheap and well, let’s face it, not the best quality has had a major makeover! Their eye shadows are affordable and extremely pigmented making them a must have for any cruelty-free makeup collection. They also have a great range of nicely pigmented lipsticks for less than three dollars!


e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. Cosmetics has taken the makeup world by storm offering high quality cosmetics at affordable prices. e.l.f is available at most major retail stores and is completely cruelty-free. You really can’t go wrong with just about any of their products but our favorites have to be their super pigmented blushes and amazing eye shadow palettes. They also carry a great range of essential tools like lash curlers and brushes.



Physicians Formula

Physicians Formula is one of our favorite brands. They are not only totally cruelty-free but also have a full eco-friendly line of cosmetics. Their mascaras are just as good as the high-end brands but much easier on your wallet. Other notable products are their line of gorgeous baked bronzers and powders and some seriously amazing retractable liner trio’s.




NYX has been raved about all over the web for their low prices and high quality. NYX has a full range of products, including highly pigmented lipsticks and amazing quality eye shadows, gel liners and blushes. You really can’t go wrong with anything in their cruelty-free line with most items being under $7!



We love that Jane brand cosmetics has a strong policy against animal testing and with most items being under $10 they are the perfect brand for all of your essential makeup needs. Our favorite products in the Jane line are hands down the cream eye shadows and water-resistant eyeliner pencils.


Milani and Jordana

Milani and Jordana are owned and distributed by the same company. They have a company policy against animal testing and offer a wide array of eye shadows in unique colors. We recommend trying out Milani’s haute flash line of lip glosses’ because they are incredibly pigmented but not sticky like some other brands.


Briggitte Dix is the owner of Bloom Makeup Artistry an eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free on-location makeup company. She lives with her husband, two rescue dogs and two rescue cats in Galveston, TX.

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Readers Comments (12)

  1. TEYZoo says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. As a newish vegan I’m trying to buy cruelty free products, so this information is very helpful!

  2. Fran says:

    Thank you very much for this list! I have so much trouble keeping track of cruelty-free makeups, as they seem to change constantly. Do you know if these companies are owned by animal-testing parent companies? And do they test on animals in order to sell in China? I’ve heard that a lot of makeup companies used to be vegan, but now test on animals to conform to China’s policies.

  3. Hi Fran,

    Good question! For this list I went by a similar standard as Leaping Bunny in that the products and the ingredients in the product could not be tested on animals to be considered cruelty free. Unfortunately you are right many certified cruelty free companies are owned by larger parent companies that do test on animals. As for the brands I mentioned I can confirm for you that all of the brands I spotlighted are owned by parent company’s that DO NOT tests on animals. Wet and Wild and Physicians Formula are both owned by Markwins Int. and the company as a whole does not test on animals or sell to China. I’m happy to say that e.l.f and NYX, Milani and Jordana also do not sell their products in China. I don’t believe Jane Cosmetics sells products in China but I couldn’t confirm either way. I hope that helps!

    Thanks for choosing cruelty free!

  4. Melissa says:

    With regards to Wet n Wild, you say “The entire Wet n Wild line is cruelty-free with most items also being vegan.” Can you explain how this product could be cruelty-free but not vegan-friendly? Are the other products that are reviewed that have been referred to as “cruelty-free” also vegan-friendly? I ask because I look for both characteristics before I make a purchase. Thank you for your help!

  5. Hi Melissa, thank you for your questions!

    With regards to Wet n Wild, none of their products or the ingredients in their products are tested on animals. My criteria for deeming a company cruelty-free is similar to the standards of leaping bunny, which labels cruelty free items and PETA’s cruelty-free cosmetics guidelines. Just as a cruelty-free line of cosmetics can be deemed non-vegan an eyeshadow containing only vegan ingredients can still be tested on animals in labs and therefore not be cruelty-free.

    In case you were wondering which items in the Wet n Wild line are vegan-friendly I have listed them below:

    • 110, 112-115, 120, 121, 123: Perfect Pair Eye Wand
    • 130-132, 134, 135: Idol Eyes Cream Shadow
    • 154-157: Color Icon Shimmer Eye Pencil
    • 175-178: Intuitive Blend Shade Adjusting Foundation
    • 181A-184A: Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer
    • 221C-238C: Fast Dry Nail Polish
    • 309A-314A: Glassy Gloss Lip Gel
    • 331: Color Icon Eyeshadow;
    • 346, 348: MegaGlo Illuminating Powder
    • 401A – 454D: Wild Shine Nail Colors
    • 505A-553B: Silk Finish Lipstick
    • 560A-563B, 565C-578: MegaSlick Lip Gloss650D-663C: Brow & Eye Liner Pencil
    • 664C-666: Lipliner Pencil
    • 690A-695A: MegaLast Retractable Eyeliner
    • 745-749: Natural Blend Mineral Foundation and Mineral Veil
    • 801-804: Coverstick consealer stick
    • 821A, 823A-827A: Natural Blend Pressed Powder
    • 861-863, 865-868: Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner
    • 920-922, 925-928: Wild Shine Lip Lacquer
    • 942-943, 945, 948-949: Speed Gloss Energizing Lip Shine;
    • 201B-218: MegaLast Nail Color
    • 250A, 252B, 254B, 256B, 380B, 385B: Color Icon Eyeshadow
    • 402-469: Wild Shine Nail Color

  6. Rebecca says:

    I really thought that not all Physician’s Formula cosmetics are cruelty-free… just certain items, right? And only very few are vegan which let’s be honest is the true “cruelty-free” most people think they are buying when they see that label. We as consumers should advocate for a clearer label – cruelty free has to be vegan and vice versa. It is sad to me that any company can stick the “cruelty free” label on their products simply because it wasn’t tested on animals, if there are ingredients within that were ripped from animals bodies at another stage of the manufacturing chain (or vice versa, be labeled vegan but still be tested on animals – though I think few companies that are labeled vegan would stand for such a thing). Can you clarify because Physician’s Formula boxes are very hard to read, the ingredients are so tiny on most brands’ packaging it can be very hard to discern. For that reason and a healthy dose of skepticism, I try to plan shopping so that I can only support 100% vegan cruelty free brands (OCD cosmetics, BWC, and it looks like that Bare Minerals company says it is vegan/not tested on animals too – there stuff is in more and more stores.)

  7. Hi Rebecca!

    Thank you for your questions. The entire Physicians Formula brand is on PETA’s list of cruelty-free cosmetic brands. I agree that clear labeling would be an amazing step but unfortunately, as you know many cruelty-free brands choose to not label their brands as such so it can be very confusing when shopping.

    As an ethical vegan I can certainly sympathize with your view on cruelty-free products being vegan however, that was not a criteria for this article but I do like to point out when there are a large assortment of vegan friendly items to choose from. I certainly encourage you to email companies and ask them about their testing policy and vegan suitable products. The more we ask the more they know that we want those things in our cosmetics!

  8. john hartil says:

    It’s so good to see so many products are now available for not only vegans but all animal lovers

  9. Nancy says:

    This article is very misleading. It wouldn’t be so if it was explained within the article what is meant by cruelty free, as someone above points out. I’ve been vegan many years and was excited to see the options here, only to find out in the comments it’s misleading information. Judging by the comments from new vegans, you have misinformed people on a very important issue. And I’m confused as to why cruelty-free is being discussed when this is a vegan friendly site? Perhaps I’ve missed something but I thought it was.

  10. Kristen says:

    Although some of the makeups are not vegan because animal produced products are in them like honey or crushed seashells or milk protein or silk. Cruelty free is a step in the right direction and the article is still informative and well written.

  11. This is a great resource!! Thank you! I am not a 20-something struggling with money,but nonetheless in our economy-still- I struggle financially. It can be hard and frustrating to find good quality,drug store cosmetics. It can feel a lot like you must shell out hundreds of dollars to uphold one’s beliefs. A list and description like this is perfect to even pull out my phone at the very time I’m looking for nice cosmetics,that are not extremely expensive and still allow me to be true to my passion about zero animal cruelty.

  12. natasha says:

    these brands are hard to find in canada

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