The Best Natural Makeup Brands At The Drugstore

While I have my favorite natural makeup brands and products, I do love the drugstore.  As a kid, going to the drugstore was one of my favorite things to do.  I would get lost in the aisles of colorful shampoo bottles and makeup brands.  I loved seeing all the products on the shelves and was easily mesmerized for hours.

Now that I’ve gone au-naturelle in the beauty product category, drugstores aren’t quite as much fun.  My preference is to buy cosmetics from companies that are 100% organic, natural, eco-friendly, cruelty free, and without of all the scary stuff like parabens, fragrance, and artificial chemicals.  If a company’s standards are to use ingredients that are kind to us, animals, and the environment, we wouldn’t have to read the ingredients.  But while there are certainly companies that fit the bill, it’s not always possible to purchase exclusively from the good guys.

It’s my hope that things will change, but finding widely available natural and organic makeup (eco-friendly, does not test on animals, and sustainable would also be nice) that’s also free of harsh chemicals is a tall order.  Many cosmetic brands that fulfill my wish list are either incredibly expensive, or small online-only businesses.

I buy local and small business products whenever possible, but I also won’t refuse to buy something just because it comes from a big company.  My dollar is my vote and I vote for small and sustainable business as much as I can – but I also like convenience and well priced products that fit my budget.  Replacing mascara every 3 months can get extremely expensive.  And what about when all my cosmetics were lost by an airline right before a wedding? I had to rebuy everything at the local drugstore – which would be tough with my current standards. But it would be possible; buying the right cosmetics at a drug store is like eating salads at a place known for its meat.

According to EWG’s Skin Deep Database, there are some drugstore cosmetics brands that have low to no hazards in their products.  My favorites are:

Organic Wear
Organic Wear is a relatively new line by Physician’s Formula that promises they are “100% free of:”

  • Harsh Chemicals
  • Synthetic Preservatives
  • Parabens
  • Synthetic Fragrances & Colors
  • Cruelty
  • GMO’s

My Organic Wear faves:  Natural Origin Mascara, Eyeliner, Duo Eye Shadow

Natural Makeup
Mascara ($9.99), Eyeliner ($7.99), Eyeshadow ($7.99)

Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees started as a small natural lip balm company that has since been acquired by a larger cosmetics brand.  They are transparent about product ingredients and their products are generally a good bet.  Not all of their products are 100% natural, so check the ingredients or The Skindeep Database before purchasing.

My Burt’s Bees faves:  Beeswax Lip Balm, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Peppermint Foot Lotion

Lip Balm ($2.99), Foot Cream ($8.99), Cuticle Cream ($5.99)

Almay
It depends on the product, but Almay products are generally lower in hazards than other drugstore brands.  It’s not entirely surprising considering Almay markets itself as a hypoallergenic brand.

My Almay fave: Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow ($7-$9)

If I’m shopping at the drugstore, these are the cosmetic brands I like that I have found to be the most widely available.  There are several other makeup/skin care companies to choose from, I just haven’t tried their products yet.

Honorable Mentions:
Aubrey Organics
Avalon Organics
Kiss My Face
Beauty Without Cruelty

It’s ideal to understand your food, beauty, and health options even when the best situation is not present.  Living naturally isn’t easy; if it were, everyone would do it. All we can ask of ourselves is to make the best choices, no matter the circumstance.

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7 Responses to The Best Natural Makeup Brands At The Drugstore

  1. Nellie says:

    I really like this post. this is my first time on your blog and this was really helpful because I’m the same way

  2. Sam says:

    Time to do some fact-checking! Avon, Avalon, and Kiss My Face specifically are NOT certified organic brands (as per the USDA’s requirements) and most of the products you listed are not certified cruelty free. “Natural” is a completely bastardized word that has been thrown around recklessly by the marketing industry and has no real value when it comes to the quality of our foods or cosmetic products that leach into our skin.

    • sara says:

      Hi Sam -

      Thanks for your comment! You are absolutely right – most drugstore products are not ideal. The point of this post was to find the best options at the drugstore, not the best options overall. When I was stranded in a rural part of the country without my luggage with only a Walmart for shopping, I was inspired to do my research to find the best options when confined to drugstore products. I actually don’t refrain from items that are not “certified organic.” After having some conversations with farmers and smaller beauty brands, the logistical hoops and costs of being “certified organic” were too much for these family businesses to take on even though all the of their practices and ingredients were in fact organic (the USDA is also the same organization that encourages and recommends dairy consumption which I believe is more harmful to our health than helpful). I make my decisions based on the products and ingredients instead. I agree completely about companies using the word “natural,” and I even talk about it in a subsequent post about my favorite beauty products overall, not just the ones from the drugstore.

  3. sara says:

    As I said before, there are plenty of great brands out there that are not certified organic (have you tried anything from honeybee gardens or ecco bella? – they are fabulous) and I think I think it’s really up to each person individually to make an educated call on what products to use, no matter what the product claims to be. The problem with organicconsumers.org (and other sites), is that it’s not comprehensive and can be dismissive of smaller brands.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Sam-
    I am still learning the ends and outs of all of this, but even I know that you should not call someone out and tell them to do a fact check, when you yourself are in need of one.
    Aubrey Organics as a company is not USDA certified; yet many of their individual products are, and their company as a whole has many other certifications to validate that the ingredients in their products are natural, not just “derived from natural”. Point-just bc a company is not certified does not mean one of it’s products is not, and just bc a particular product has been misleading, does not mean all of a companies products are. That is where it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they want to spend their money with a company that mislead them. Nor does it mean that when you are low on cash, or short on options, that there are no companies out there to choose from.
    In addition; the link that you provided for the report on Organic Consumers website refers to something that is going on 3 years old and if you look up some of the products in that very report, you will see that Skin Deep has reviewed these products since then, and many of them are no longer considered “completely bastardized” products. Facts which I am sure you are aware of as you seem to be in the “know”.

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