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Cruelty Free Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit

 Cruelty Free Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit - There are so many brands out there that it can be overwhelming to know where to start, so I wanted to create a beginner's kit. Here's everything you need to get started with makeup.

Cruelty Free Drugstore Makeup Starter Kit

Today I’m sharing the best cruelty free drugstore makeup starter kit. There are so many brands out there that it can be overwhelming to know where to start, so I wanted to create a beginner’s kit. I was inspired by Jamie Paige’s the Perfect Everyday Makeup Kit video and my friend Angela’s Deluxe Drugstore Makeup Kit post. I loved both but neither are cruelty free, so I thought, well I should try to make my own! This entire cruelty free drugstore makeup starter kit comes in at $92.58 before tax, so it’s even under $100!  I’ll also be creating an indie version and a department store version.

Flower Beauty is a pr sample. Everything else purchased by me.


The Ordinary Serum or Coverage Foundation – $6.70
While not technically drugstore in the USA (they’re sold in the drugstore in Canada), you’ll be hard pressed to find a better, high-quality foundation at drugstore pricing than the Ordinary’s foundations. The Coverage foundation is best suited to oily skin, while the Serum is best for normal to dry skin. It also has a great shade range from light to deep skintones.

LA Girl Pro Coverage Illuminating Foundation – $10 (alternative foundation suggestion)
Still, if you’d rather have a foundation you can walk into the store to pick up, the LA Girl Pro Coverage Illuminating Foundation is your best bet. It comes in 16 different shades and the majority of the shades are suited to deeper skintones. They also have a white foundation mixer to make any shade lighter.

Other cruelty free drugstore foundation brands include Milani, Nyx, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Catrice, Physicians Formula, and the Ulta House Brand. Brands that are popular but NOT cruelty free include Rimmel London, Covergirl, Maybelline, Revlon, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, and Almay.

Brands that are popular but NOT cruelty free include Rimmel London, Covergirl, Maybelline, Revlon, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, and Almay.

Become an expert with the help of my cruelty free drugstore brand guide.


LA Girl HD Pro Concealer – $4.99
The LA Girl HD Pro Concealers are some of the best I’ve ever found at the drugstore. They have 20 different colors available, which includes color correcting shades. I love the brush applicator. A lot of people use concealer (or their foundation) as eyeshadow primer when they start with makeup, so it is dual purpose in this kit.

Nyx Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand – $4.99 (alternative concealer suggestion)
Nyx also makes great concealers like the Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand. They have 22 different shades available.

You may find my cruelty free drugstore foundation and concealer swatches helpful.


Essence I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara – $4.99
Essence makes a ton of different mascaras but my favorite is the I Love Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara. It really does give crazy good results and at the low price, I don’t feel guilty tossing the tube if it dries out before the 3-month window.


Nyx Epic Ink Liner – $7.99
Nyx Epic Ink Liner is one of my all-time favorite eyeliners. It’s a great drugstore dupe for the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner.

Nyx Retractable Eyeliner – $4.99
The Nyx Retractable eyeliner is often overlooked but the formula is excellent. For those people who don’t like to use liquid eyeliner, a black pencil is a must.


Flower Beauty Shimmer & Shade Eyeshadow Palette – $14.98
I’m very picky when it comes to eyeshadow, especially drugstore. I fell in love with the Flower Beauty Shimmer & Shade Eyeshadow Palettes. They’re so good! They have 10 different colors per palette. I own Cool Natural, which is gorgeous for beginners. They also have Golden Natural, Warm Natural, and Intense Natural. Check out my Classic Makeup Tutorial featuring the Cool Natural palette.


Essence Satin Touch Blush – $2.99
I picked up an Essence Satin Touch Blush years ago and fell in love with it. I wish they had more shades available. You’ll love the feel and finish of this blush.

Milani Baked Blush – $8
A good alternative if you don’t like essence is the Milani Baked Blushes. They’re gorgeous. I have Rosa Romantica and I absolutely adore it.


Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer – $14.99
While I don’t wear bronzer on a daily basis, I know many people do. I LOVE the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer! It smells like a tropical vacation in a compact. You can see how it looks on my pale skin in my review.


Nyx Pin-Up Pout Lipsticks – $7.99 each (x2)
Nyx makes my favorite drugstore lipsticks, hands down! They have so many different types of lipsticks it’s hard to choose! I finally went with the Pin-Up Pout formula because it’s fantastic. I’m putting 2 in this kit. Lucy is a true bright red and Almost Famous is a dusty mauve. Though I’m not going to lie, I love Smoke Me, a pastel lilac grey.

Nyx Slim Lip Pencil in Hot Red – $3.99
If you’re going to wear bright red lipstick you need a pencil to help you line and fill in your lips.

Setting Spray

Milani Make It Dewy or Make It Last Setting Spray – $9.99
Depending on your skin type, you’ll need a setting spray. Make It Dewy is for dry skin and Make It Last is for oily skin. I love Make It Dewy. See my cruelty free drugstore foundation routine.

So this is everything I think you need in a cruelty free drugstore makeup starter kit. It covers all the basics for someone who is a beginner and just getting into makeup.

What would you include in a cruelty free drugstore makeup starter kit?



  • Love it! I read your first review of The Ordinary Foundation. I keep waiting till all the products I want are in stock at the same time. Not a winning approach. lol. I’ve been experimenting with LA Girl concealers but haven’t found my shade. My daughter’s been much luckier with that. Sadly, Essence mascaras don’t work for me.

  • Great list and suggestions for drug store cruelty free brands. I love Physicians Formula and Milani.

  • I’ve seen LA girl products and they aren’t expensive so I was thinking about trying them but didn’t know how they were so thank you

  • I love this! I’ve been wanting to try more cruelty free products but just googling that can be quite daunting. Thank you for narrowing it down and telling what you really think!

  • I started using Wet n Wild mascara and it’s fantastic. My favorite one is in a slim purple tube and it’s only $2.99!

  • Is LA Girl cruelty-free? I still love essence I Love Crazy Extreme Mascara and Milani Baked Blushes (and the rose embossed ones too). I wish The Ordinary would be sold in US drugstores someday!

    • Yes, LA Girl is cruelty free! Me too I really love the Milani Rose Blushes-re: The Ordinary, that would be awesome-I did see on one of their Instagram posts that they are opening up more storefronts in the the Us-ie there will be one in LA soon, etc..but that would be nice! I enjoy shopping the Ordinary at Beautylish because they do a really lovely job of curating all the products for different skin types and concerns, and the team there is so amazing at helping you pick a regime because they all use the products. I’m really excited about trying the foundation-that’s one I haven’t tried yet!

  • I need to pick up the NYX setting spray soon. My foundation wore horribly today. I love your suggestions especially The Ordinary foundation. Another CF eyeliner to consider is Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Liquid, I love it!
    I recently realized that I live close to a Walmart now so I want to go discover Flower.

  • we have to buy the Ordinary online up here in Canada too. they do have a few storefronts but not many. they are actually far cheaper than drugstore foundations up here which run between from 10-20+ dollars. they are CAD dollars though, so like 2 USD. 😉

    • I just had to include them because their foundation wears so well for me! Glad to hear they’re less expensive in Canada! I know oftentimes prices are inflated for you!

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