This year in particular, some of my most-used makeup is cruelty free! Keep reading to discover some of my favorite cruelty free makeup brands and my favorite products from each one.
Does anyone else feel like Milani made a huge comeback this year? Not that they really went anywhere, but they really had some amazing releases in 2021 that have become new staples. Milani is certified cruelty-free by PETA— they don’t test their products on animals or allow others to test on their behalf, and hold suppliers to the same standard. A lot of the brand’s newer products have also been completely vegan. You can see a complete list of their vegan makeup here.
Milani does a lot of things right, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a dud of theirs. Some of my favorite products include:
- Milani Eyeshadow Primer: This will help your eyeshadow stay vibrant and crease-free all day.
- Milani UnGilded Most Loved Mattes Eyeshadow Palette: Completely matte eyeshadow palettes aren’t common, but extremely useful. This one has beautiful pigmented shades to create endless looks.
- Milani Glow Hydrating Skin Tint: A very dewy tinted moisturizer that adds a bouncy glow and all day hydration.
- Milani Color Fetish Lipsticks: Comfortable lipsticks with intense color payoff and a glossy shine.
- Milani No Pore Zone Primer: A silky primer that’s lightweight and will keep oil from disturbing your makeup. It smooths the skin and blurs pores for an even base to enhance your foundation’s performance.
- Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation: If you love long lasting coverage, this product is for you! It works as a foundation and concealer to even out skin tone, brighten dark areas, and conceal blemishes with a radiant finish.
Covergirl made a big splash in the drugstore makeup community by becoming certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny in 2018. Covergirl products are not tested by animals either by the brand or their suppliers. This set a huge example for drugstore makeup brands that haven’t joined the movement yet.
Shortly after going cruelty-free, the brand started releasing completely vegan products, including their Clean Fresh collection which is a line made without sulfates, formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens or talc and highlighting ingredients such as coconut milk and aloe vera. They continue to expand this line and other vegan options regularly.
My favorite classic-now-cruelty-free and new Covergirl products include:
- Covergirl Lash Blast Clean Volume Mascara: Everyone’s been talking about this mascara recently, for good reason! It adds length and volume to lashes while still looking light and natural. It’s so good, I named it one of the best drugstore mascaras for short lashes.
- Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream: Not all BB Creams cater to oily, combo, or problem skin. This is one of the few I’ve seen at the drugstore level that not only provides a smooth, comfortable matte finish but has enough coverage to cover dark spots and blemishes. It’s oil-free and has built-in primer so there’s no need to layer.
Read my Clean Matte BB Cream review and see a before and after.
- Covergirl TruNaked Eyeshadow Palettes: I’m a big fan of Covergirl’s truNaked eyeshadow formula— they’re some of the best at the drugstore. The palettes are reasonably priced with a good selection of shades for multiple looks.
- Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer: A super full coverage concealer that’s creamy, easy to blend with a matte finish. It blends so nicely that I can often wear it alone on top of discolorations without foundation.
Read my TruBlend Undercover Concealer review and see before and afters.
- Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Micro-Fine + Define Pencil: One of three drugstore brow pencils I switch between, this has a very fine tip that creates realistic strokes to fill in and define the brow.
One of my favorite drugstore brands has been committed to safe products from the start— safe for you and for the animals! Physicians Formula is PETA certified 100% cruelty free, with many vegan makeup options. Aside from makeup, they also have an expansive skin care range.
They also avoid 150+ known skin irritants, making their makeup a great choice for sensitive skin. Their products are dermatologist and ophthalmologist approved, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. My most used products from them:
- Physicians Formula Butter Collection Palette: This face palette includes the brand’s famous Butter Bronzer, Butter Blush, and Butter Highlighters in two shades each. These are ultra silky and blendable powders that look smooth on the skin to add warmth, color and glow.
Read my review of the Butter Collection Palette and see swatches.
- Physicians Formula Sculpting Bronzer: My favorite drugstore cream bronzer, perfect for creating contour with.
- Physicians Formula Matte Monoi Butter Eyeliner: I’m so picky about eyeliner, but I’ve been using this one more and more recently! It has a beautiful flat matte and rich black finish and a brush tip for precise lines.
- Physicians Formula Natural Defense Sheer Line of Defense Foundation: Natural looking medium coverage, lightweight foundation with SPF, blue light protection and pollution protection.
Read my review of the Natural Defense makeup collection, with a before and after using this foundation.
- Physicians Formula Rose All Day Petal Glow: A beautiful pearly highlight that adds a multi-dimensional glow and is infused with Vitamin C.
Not only does NYX prioritize diversity and equality as a pillar of the brand, but they’re also PETA certified cruelty-free with many vegan formulas. Their products usually come in a large range to work on various skin tones, and many rival high-end options. These NYX products are some of the best at the drugstore:
- NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray: Rivals one of the most famous high-end setting sprays.
- NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner: A new addition to my collection, and it instantly became my new favorite liquid liner for clean lines and a sharp wing.
- NYX Sweet Cheeks Matte Blush: Super pigmented blush with a soft, almost creamy powder consistency that blends seamlessly.
- NYX On The Rise Lifting & Volumizing Mascara: This mascara is excellent for transforming short and straight lashes, giving a ton of length and lift.
See a before and after of the On The Rise mascara.
- NYX Glitter Goals Liquid Eyeshadow: If you love the look of glitter eyeshadow but hate the mess, this product gives you the look without the hassle with easy swipe-on application an no fall-out.
See my comparison of the NYX Glitter Goals eyeshadow vs. Too Faced Twinkle Twinkle Liquid Glitter.
While Flower Beauty has been around for a while, I feel like it hasn’t really gotten the hype it deserves as a high quality cruelty free drugstore makeup brand. It’s become more available in stores, though, which I think will give it more footing among the drugstore giants. They’ve been cruelty free since day one, are listed on PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies list, and are not affiliated with any third parties that test products or ingredients on animals.
I only started using Flower Beauty makeup this year, but a few of their products quickly became must-haves for me:
- Flower Beauty Warrior Princess Mascara: One of the biggest surprises this year, the Warrior Princess mascara became an immediate favorite once I saw how much length it gave my short lashes!
Read my Warrior Princess mascara review and see the before and after.
- Flower Beauty Lip and Cheek Gel Crush: I’ve been wearing a lot more dewy blushes recently for a glowy skin look. This one has a thin gel consistency that is slightly translucent but adds a nice wash of color and dewy finish to the skin.
- Flower Beauty Day Glow Highlighting Glaze: Another great glowy skin must-have, this gel-like highlighter adds a dewy glow that glistens without being sticky or heavy.
- Flower Beauty Liquid Kajal Blendable Eyeliner: A unique liquid liner that can be blended out for a smudgy powder look.
Share your own favorite cruelty free drugstore makeup brands in the comments!– Miranda