Best Cruelty-Free Drugstore Foundation

5 cruelty free foundations on a purple background including milani, nyx, and wet n wild
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When buying makeup products, it can seem nearly impossible to switch over to cruelty-free. Many drugstore makeup brands are still testing on animals despite buyers constantly searching for more cruelty-free options. But, there are some amazing hidden gems at the drugstore that are both great quality and cruelty-free! Thankfully, the amount of drugstore makeup brands that are becoming cruelty-free is only expanding.

With a now wider selection of cruelty-free products to choose from, products like foundation are much more accessible. Specifically, the NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation is a great drugstore foundation that is free from animal cruelty. With that said, here are our top picks for the best cruelty-free drugstore foundations.

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation

Our Pick

NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation

This liquid foundation offers buildable coverage and evens skin tones to cover imperfections.

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NYX Cosmetics is one of the top makeup brands at the drugstore. Plus, all of their products are completely cruelty-free. The Stay Matte But Not Flat liquid foundation line comes in a wide array of shades, so you are sure to find a good shade match. The finish is mattifying, but it won’t dry out your skin. Since the formula is waterproof, it will comfortably stay in place through the entire wear and tear of your day. This foundation gives medium coverage and it can be difficult to build up to full coverage. Something that may be troubling for some is that the glass bottle makes it impossible to get every single drop out.

Pros:

  • Wide range of shades
  • Waterproof formula
  • Great for multiple skin types

Cons:

  • Not very buildable
  • Can’t get every drop out of the bottle

Where to buy it: Amazon, ULTA

E.L.F. Flawless Finish Foundation

e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation

This lightweight, oil-free formula blends naturally into your skin and lasts all day long.

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E.L.F. Cosmetics is known for being one of the best cruelty-free makeup brands at the drugstore. Particularly, the Flawless Finish Foundation is a fan favorite. The foundation has a lightweight, oil-free formula that works great on multiple skin types. It has a full coverage finish that is great at hiding any discoloration or blemishes. Something to keep in mind is that the color may darken when it oxidizes on the skin. Also, some find that it has an off-putting scent.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and oil-free
  • Great for multiple skin types
  • Full coverage

Cons:

  • Color may darken when the foundation oxidizes
  • Weird scent

Where to buy it: Amazon, ULTA

Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation

Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation

This water-resistant concealer helps fight under eye circles, unwanted redness, and other skin imperfections.

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The Milani Conceal and Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation is designed to be a foundation and concealer all in one product. One of the great things about this product is that they provide an inclusive range of skin tones in their shade selection. It provides medium coverage, but it still feels lightweight and comfortable on the skin. Also, the foundation is waterproof, so it lasts throughout the day. If you are looking for something that is extremely full coverage, this foundation can be hard to build up. Like other foundations at the drugstore, this foundation can get darker on the skin when it oxidizes.

Pros:

  • Foundation and concealer in one
  • Waterproof
  • Wide range of shades

Cons:

  • Difficult to build to full coverage
  • Color may darken when the foundation oxidizes

Where to buy it: Amazon, ULTA

Pacifica Alight Foundation

Pacifica Alight Foundation

This non-comedogenic, dermatologist-tested foundation formula goes on smooth and lasts all day.

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While Pacifica’s makeup brands aren’t very popular, they are a great option at the drugstore. Besides being cruelty-free, the Pacifica Alight Foundation is great for so many reasons. In this foundation line, there is a wide range of available skin tones. Also, the ingredient list is free from any harmful chemicals like parabens, silicone, and others. The formula is very full coverage, so it will definitely cover any unwanted discoloration and blemishes. Since it is so full coverage, it doesn’t give the most natural finish. Unfortunately, this is one of the pricier options at the drugstore makeup selection.

Pros:

  • Wide range of shades
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Very full coverage

Cons:

  • Doesn’t look natural
  • More expensive than other drugstore foundations

Where to buy it: Amazon, ULTA

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation

Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation

This skin-perfecting foundation delivers flawless camera-ready makeup every time you use it.

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The Wet N Wild Photo Focus Foundation has been a drugstore favorite for years. One of the unique things about this product is the applicator. The paddle applicator makes it easy to apply the foundation quickly to your face without any troubles. This comes in a wide range of shades, so you are likely to find an exact color match. Additionally, the formula is designed to mattify your face while still keeping it hydrated. As far as the negatives go, this foundation is very lightweight. So, it can be difficult to build it up all the way to full coverage. Also, the smell of this foundation can be off-putting.

Pros:

  • Wide range of shades
  • Paddle applicator
  • Both mattifying and hydrating

Cons:

  • Not easily buildable
  • Bad scent

Where to buy it: Amazon, ULTA

Things to look for when purchasing a drugstore foundation

Besides choosing a product that is cruelty-free, let’s talk about the other factors to look for when choosing a good drugstore foundation.

The first thing you need to know is what finish you want your foundation to be. Typically, foundation finishes include matte, dewy, and natural. If you have naturally oily skin, something that has a matte finish will help to conceal oils. If you have naturally dry skin, a foundation with a dewy finish is going to give you the hydration that you need. If you have normal or combination skin, you can pretty much get away with using any finish.

Additionally, there are different coverage levels between foundations. If you are going for a more natural look, choosing a low to medium coverage is best. If you are looking to cover up any heavy blemishes or discoloration, a medium to high coverage is best. But, keep in mind that some foundations are easily buildable. This means they will be able to easily add more coverage without looking too cakey.

Another thing to look for is the shade range. Making sure your foundation flawlessly matches your natural skin tone is key. Unfortunately, many drugstore makeup brands tend to lack in providing an inclusive range of skin tones. So, when you find a drugstore foundation line with your exact skin tone, you know you’ve got a keeper.

Lastly, you want to look at the coverage of each foundation. Foundations that have a low to medium coverage are going to give you a more natural and sheer look. Foundations with a medium to full coverage are going is going to give you a very even complexion. If you have any blemishes or acne you want to cover, medium to full coverage is what you want to look for.

Final Thoughts

Finding a good foundation that works for your skin at the drugstore is no easy task. Especially when you are looking for something that is cruelty-free. So, we have compiled a list of the best drugstore cruelty-free foundations. Our top pick would have to be the NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Foundation is an excellent choice. It is cruelty-free, high-quality, and won’t drain your wallet.

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