Friday, January 17, 2014

Cruelty-free On a Budget: Drugstore Makeup Shopping Guide (Part I)

As a broke student, I know that shopping cruelty-free on a budget can be challenging. It seems like all the big drugstore brands are on the "dark side" of animal testing...Maybelline, Revlon, L'Oreal, Rimmel, CoverGirl, you name it! But look past the aisle-long displays to the endcaps and hidden gems of the drugstore, and you can find some great quality cruelty-free products. This post will focus on makeup (Part I... Part II of makeup is coming soon), and I can do future posts for brushes, haircare, skincare, etc. So, here we go!

*Note: My personal definition of cruelty-free is a brand that does not test its products or ingredients on animals, and ensures that all of its suppliers and third-party distributors also do not test on animals. If a brand's products are sold in China, they are required by law to test on animals, so I do not consider them cruelty-free. If a brand is owned by a parent company that does test, but the "child" company does not, I will note that in the post, as some people have differing definitions of cruelty-free. I am not a vegan.

e.l.f. (eyes lips face)
This is pretty much the cheapest brand around, with a whole range of products for $1. The Essential Eyelid Primer is great if you're really on a budget or just starting out with makeup I find that the best quality, though, is usually in the $3 Studio line, which has some excellent brushes, cheek products (including a Nars dupe), lip products, and sometimes even eyeshadows.
My faves: Lash & Brow Clear Mascara, Studio Blush in Candid Coral, blotting sheets
Find it at: Target, sometimes other drugstores/grocery stores

Prestige Cosmetics
 I don't often hear people talk about this brand, but they definitely have some hidden (affordable) gems. The Automatic Waterproof eyeliners have excellent pigmentation, and the best staying power I've found of any pencil eyeliner. Plus, you don't have to sharpen them! Also, the Primed & Ready eye primer is my favorite. In my opinion, it's just as good as Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I've also heard good things about this brand's eyeshadows, mascaras, and lipsticks.
My faves: Waterproof Automatic Eyeliner in Flannel Grey, Primed & Ready Eye Primer
Find it at: Rite Aid

Wet n Wild
Wet n Wild has the best eyeshadow quality at the drugstore, hands down. I've heard that some of the newer products have a different formula, but you can't go wrong with the classic 8-pan palettes, trios, and singles. Also, they have pretty nice nail polishes, mascaras, lip products, and (I've heard) cheek products.
My faves: Comfort Zone 8-pan palette, megaLength mascara
Find it in: CVS, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart

Jesse's Girl Cosmetics
 This brand has some beautiful eyeshadows and nail polishes, especially the JulieG line. The display might not look as alluring as the big, glossy aisles of Revlon and L'Oreal (shudder), but definitely don't pass this one up next time you're browsing around.
My faves: JulieG nail polish line
Find it at: Rite Aid

Physicians Formula (their brand name has no apostrophe. Why does it have no apostrophe? I don't know. (There should be an apostrophe after the 's' if they're talking about multiple physicians. Just saying.))
Physician's Formula makes my favorite face products from the drugstore, period. They have amazing concealers, powders, bronzers, and blushes. I'm personally not a fan of their eyeliners, but I've heard great things about the mascara. Plus, they have a TON of new BB/CC/ZZ (just kidding about the last one. Although, I bet some brand will make a ZZ cream that is a moisturizing night cream. You know, like ZZ, for sleep/snoring? Did I just invent ZZ cream? Is this genius or just a week of finals taking its toll?) -related products coming out for the spring. This line can get a little pricey, but you can usually find some nice sales in the Rite Aid and CVS circulars.
My faves: Mineral Wear Talc-free Mineral Face Powder, Conceal RX Physicians Strength Concealer
Find it at: Target, Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, CVS, Ulta

That's about it for Part I. Another five or so brands will be featured in Part II, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that!
Comment below: What's your favorite drugstore makeup brand?

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