Happy Makeup Wars Monday! Today I’m sharing my picks for some of the best budget-friendly Cruelty Free Drugstore Foundations and Concealers. Ain’t no shame in the budget-friendly cruelty free beauty game! Seriously though, there are so many drugstore options available today that were not available when I was in high school. I did find a few vegan options too.
Cover FX pr sample. Everything else purchased by me.
Cruelty Free Drugstore Foundations and Concealers
The list of cruelty free brands at the drugstore has really expanded the last several years! E.l.f. Cosmetics, Essence, Flower, Gosh, Hard Candy, J.Cat Beauty, Jordana, L.A. Girl, Makeup Academy, Milani, Mineral Fusion, Nyx, Pacifica, Physicians Formula, Pixi, Prestige, Sheamoisture, Sonia Kashuk, and Wet n’ Wild are all cruelty free. (see cruelty free beauty at Ulta)
Some of the more popular drugstore brands like Covergirl, Maybelline, Rimmel London, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, and Revlon are not cruelty free. (see my Ultimate Cruelty Free Makeup Brands list to find out if your favorite brands are cruelty free)
The big problem I have with most cruelty free drugstore brands is that they don’t cater to my pale skin. It’s even worse if you have a deep skintone. Many brands just don’t acknowledge that people are more than light to medium. In my list I do highlight a few options that are striving to acknowledge all global shades of beauty.
Cruelty Free Drugstore Foundations and Concealers Swatches
L to R – Pacifica Dreamy Cover in Fair – Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Porcelain – Flower Beauty Erase Everything in Sheer
The Pacifica Dreamy Cover foundation in Fair is the runniest foundation I’ve ever encountered. Fair is too dark for me. Hard Candy Glamoflauge in Porcelain oxidizes darker than my skintone. Flower Beauty Erase Everything in Sheer Tint is a nice way to blur imperfections. It also works well as a primer.
L to R – Flower Beauty SF1 – LA Girl HD Concealer Highlighting – Physicians Formula Translucent
The Flower Beauty Skincognito Stick in SF1 did not work well for me. I couldn’t get a good shade match or coverage. LA Girl HD Concealer in Highlighting is a nice white concealer that you can use for matte concealer highlighting or to lighten a foundation that’s too dark for you. The Physicians Formula powder in Translucent is an excellent match for my skintone but it doesn’t last longer than 3 or so hours on me.
L to R – Nyx Hydra Touch Foundation in Porcelain – Nyx #NoFilter Finishing Powder in Alabaster – Nyx HD Foundation in Nude
So the Nyx Hydra Touch Foundation in Porcelain is interesting. It’s a bit darker / peachier than I can wear and it oxidizes when worn. I do think the finish is nice, especially if you have dry skin. I thought the Nyx Alabaster was perfect on me but it ends up turning my face pink, and it doesn’t look good. Nyx HD foundation in Nude is not one I can wear on its own as I have to mix white in, though it looks like it should be a good match. It oxidizes darker.
L to R – Milani 00 Light Natural – Milani 01 Creamy Vanilla – L.A. Girl Fair – L.A. Girl White
As you can see from my swatches above, the lightest shade options from Milani and L.A. Girl are too dark and peachy/orange on my skintone. The only way to make these shades work for me is if I were to add in white foundation. I’m really disappointed to see the lack of variance in Milani Light Natural and Creamy Vanilla. It’s like, why did Milani bother to even make Light Natural if they weren’t going to make it lighter than Creamy Vanilla?
L to R – Cover FX Custom Cover Drops in N10 (not drugstore) – Hard Candy Mix-in Pigment Drops in Fair 1 – Nyx Total Control Drops in Pale
I wanted to swatch these three together because I keep hearing people say that the Nyx Total Control Drops are a drugstore dupe for the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops. I don’t believe the Nyx foundation is a dupe for the Cover FX foundation at all. The Hard Candy Mix-in Pigment Drops are a closer dupe than the Nyx.
Now, the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops is not a drugstore foundation. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops and Hard Candy Mix-in Pigment Drops are both products that are meant to be mixed with other foundations or skincare products to create your foundation. N10 is more peachy-yellow toned than Fair 1, which is more pinky-peach on me. Fair 1 is a very runny formula. Sadly, neither of these options are a good match for my skintone.
One of these things is not like the other. Nyx Total Control Drops are not meant to be mixed with other products. It’s a stand-alone foundation. This color match is perfect for my skintone when it’s blended out. It’s definitely the best match I’ve ever found in a drugstore foundation. However, the formula is difficult for me to work with. I need to try mixing it with Josie Maran Argan Oil Light.
Cruelty Free Drugstore Foundations
Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation – $5.99
The new Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Foundation is available in 20 shades. I still haven’t been able to locate Porcelain in stores to see if it’s suitable for pale skin.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation – $6
The e.l.f. Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation is available in 7 shades from Porcelain to Chestnut. If you have pale skin like me, you’ll need a white foundation mixer like the Nyx Pro White Mixer to make this work for you. It’s got acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, witch hazel, camphor, tea tree and soothing aloe. It’s also vegan.
Hard Candy Glamoflauge Foundation – $7
The Hard Candy Glamoflauge Foundation is available in 8 shades of light to medium. It’s a thick, matte finish foundation. Porcelain is slightly too dark for me.
Flower Beauty Skincognito Stick Foundation – $8.98
The Flower Beauty Skincognito Stick Foundation comes in 8 shades. While this didn’t work for me, it may work for you. It’s supposed to be very hydrating.
Nyx Cosmetics Mineral Stick Foundation – $9.99
The Nyx Cosmetics Mineral Stick Foundation comes in 15 different shades from Porcelain to Cocoa. While none of the options are suitable for pale skin, they do have a decent shade range. This is an easy option to toss in your makeup bag and take with you for touch ups. It can also work as a concealer.
Nyx Cosmetics Hydra Touch Powder Foundation – $9.99
The Nyx Hydra Touch Powder Foundation is available in 20 shades. I own the shade Porcelain, which is suitable for pale skin. It can be used wet or dry. I think it works best with Nyx Angel Veil primer. Nyx is working to acknowledge all global shades of beauty with this line.
Nyx Cosmetics Pro Foundation Mixer – $9.99
The Nyx Pro Foundation Mixer is an essential produt for me. I have White and Opalescent. White lightens a foundation. Opalescent adds a bit of luminosity to a foundation. There are also Olive, Warmth and Deep. Olive can add olive tones to a foundation. Warmth can add warmth to a foundation. Deep can darkern a foundation. The last one, Luminous, adds a bit of golden iridescence.
L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Illuminating Foundation – $10
L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Illuminating Foundation is available in 16 shades including White. I own White and Fair. Fair is not suitable for pale skin unless you mix white into it. L.A. Girl is working to acknowledge all global shades of beauty with this line.
Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer – $10
The Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer comes in 15 different shades. I have 2 – 00 Light Natural and 01 Creamy Vanilla. Both shades are too dark and peachy for pale skin unless you add white. Milani is working to acknowledge all global shades of beauty with this line.
Nyx NoFilter Finishing Powder – $11.99
The Nyx NoFilter Finishing Powder comes in 15 different shades. Alabaster is great for pale skin, though it’s too pink for me.
Ulta Color Correcting Foundation & Primer Stick – $12.50
The Ulta Color Correcting Foundation & Primer Stick is one of the most popular foundations by Ulta. It’s a gel formula with a green color correcting core. It comes in 8 shades. I have Fair Porcelain, which doesn’t work well on its own for me but if you wear it under another product it’s ok.
Flower Beauty Erase Everything Ultimate Foundation – $12.98
The Flower Beauty Erase Everything Ultimate Foundation is available in only 5 shades, one of which is Sheer Tint. I own that one and like it as a base for powder foundations. It blurs imperfections. It has gimmicky packaging, you dispense the product through a brush that’s built into the cap. They only cater to light skintones.
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Powder – $13.99
The Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Correcting Powder is a really interesting product. It’s beige with swirls of yellow, pink and green for color correcting. The shade Translucent is a great match for my skintone. Unfortunately it doesn’t last longer than 3-4 hours on me. It only comes in 2 shades.
Nyx Cosmetics Total Control Drop Foundation – $14.00
The brand new Nyx Cosmetics Total Control Drop Foundation comes in 24 different shades. The shade Pale is an awesome match for my pale skin. I’m really impressed with the shade range. What I struggle with is the best way to apply this foundation. I have dry skin. I drink a ton of water and I have a good skincare regime. I can’t over exfoliate because of my rosacea, so I use a chemical exfoliant. I feel like no matter how I apply this foundation, it still clings to dry spots I didn’t even know that I had. Nyx has done a great job of acknowledging all global shades of beauty with this line.
Ulta HD Ready Soft Focus Liquid Foundation – $14
I just bought the new Ulta HD Ready Soft Focus Liquid Foundation to give it a try. It comes in 10 shades from light to deep in cool and warm tones. It’s one that I know I will have to add white to, to see if I can make a match. Ulta claims it has solid powder microspheres that provide excellent water-repellency and eliminate formula pilling. It’s also vegan.
Sheamoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation – $14.99
The Sheamoisture Weightless Shea Serum Foundation is available in 20 shades. Porcelain will not work for pale skin unless you use a white foundation mixer, but they’ve certainly nailed deep shades. Sheamoisture is working to acknowledge all global shades of beauty with this line.
Pacifica Dreamy Cover Bare-Faced Serum Foundation SPF 20 – $17
The Pacifica Dreamy Cover Bare-Faced Serum Foundation SPF 20 is only available in 3 shades. This is a super sheer, light formula.
Nyx Cosmetics HD Foundation – $17.99
The Nyx Cosmetics HD Foundation comes in 20 shades. The shade Nude, if mixed with white, works for my skintone. This is a foundation I can’t decide if I love or hate. Nyx is working to acknowledge all global shades of beauty with this line.
J.CAT BEAUTY Compact Cushion Foundation – $18
The J.CAT BEAUTY Compact Cushion Foundation is relatively new. While I’ve never been a fan of cushion foundations, I know many people like this sheer type of formula. It comes in 8 shades. Porcelain looks to be too dark for my pale skin. I’m not sure if it would be easy to use a white mixer with this formula. It does contain hyaluronic acid to help your skin stay hydrated.
Cruelty Free Drugstore Concealers
E.l.f. Cosmetics HD Lifting Concealer – $3
The E.l.f. Cosmetics HD Lifting Concealer is only available in 3 shades – Fair, Light and Medium. If you can find a match, this is a nice concealer. Fair is too dark for my pale skin. This is vegan.
Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Concealer – $3.99
The Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus Concealer is available in 6 shades. I still haven’t been able to find this in store. I had a terrible experience the last time I ordered from Wet n’ Wild directly, which is why I refuse to order from them directly again. Until I can find this range in stores, I won’t be buying it.
Nyx Wonder Pencil – $4.49
The Nyx Wonder Pencil is available in 3 shades. This is a nice drugstore dupe for the Cover FX Perfect pencil. See the different ways you can use the perfect concealer pencil.
Nyx HD Photogenic Concealer Wand – $4.99
The Nyx HD Photogenic Concealer Wand comes in 23 different shades. I’ve had people tell me that this is the best drugstore concealer available. Alabaster might be suitable for pale skin. It also has Lavender, Yellow and Green for color correction.
Nyx Full Coverage Concealer in a Jar – $4.99
Nyx Full Coverage Concealer in a Jar is also supposed to be amazing. It comes in 11 shades. There are also 3 color correctors in lavender, green and yellow. I’m not sure if Porclelain is suitable for pale skin.
L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer – $5
The L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer comes in a whopping 28 shades. I own Highlighter, which is the white. The shade range is really amazing.
Ulta Full Coverage Concealer – $9
The Ulta Full Coverage Concealer is available in 8 shades. It comes in cool and warm tones from light to deep. It’s supposed to be perfect for hiding dark circles, redness, scars and other things around the face. The formula is waterproof and has a matte finish. This is vegan.
Sheamoisture Cream Concealer – $11.99
The Sheamoisture Cream Concealer is available in 5 shades from Porcelain to Hazel. The jumps between shades are pretty big. I don’t think Porcelain will work for pale skin like mine. If you can find a shade match, I hear the formula is great.
My Favorite Cruelty Free Drugstore Foundations and Concealers
- Nyx Cosmetics Total Control Drop Foundation
- Nyx Cosmetics Pro Foundation Mixer
- L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer
- Flower Beauty Erase Everything Ultimate Foundation
Out of all the products I mentioned, these 4 are my favorites right now.
What are your favorite Cruelty Free Drugstore Foundations and Concealers? Let me know below!
More to See
- The Pale Girl’s Guide to Concealers
- Urban Decay Spring 2017 Eyeshadows
- The Pale Girl’s Guide to Foundations
- DIY Makeup Geek Peach Palette