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10 Drugstore Makeup Alternatives to Wet n Wild That Are Truly Cruelty Free

by Suzana Rose

Jun 30, 2019

Yesterday, I announced that Wet n Wild lost their cruelty-free status after deciding to market their products in mainland China. This is an unfortunate decision taken by Wet n Wild, and I hope they're going to reconsider and pull out mainland China in order to regain their cruelty-free status.

Spread the word.

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Until then, there are plenty of affordable cruelty-free options we can shop. Here are the 10 best drugstore makeup brands that are also cruelty-free.

1. Covergirl

Covergirl recently teamed up with the Leaping Bunny program to pull out of China and go cruelty-free. They made drastic changes in order to make to comply with the Leaping Bunny's requirements, and they're now Leaping Bunny certified and cruelty-free. Covergirl is the biggest drugstore brand to gain a cruelty-free status.

Buy from: Walmart

2. ELF

Elf offers a ton of affordable makeup options, and they're widely available in drugstore across the world as well as online. Their full makeup line is 100% vegan as well, and although their makeup is manufactured in China, they avoid any potential animal testing by refusing to be sold there in stores.

Buy from: ELF -- Walmart

3. LA Girl

LA Girl offers some great quality makeup for their low price, and they're available in drugstores like CVS and Ulta. Their foundations are often raved out, and they even offer an affordable white foundation which can be used to lighten any foundation that's too dark.

Buy from: Walmart

4. Essence

Another super affordable brand, Essence offers quite a few products that perform amazingly for the price point. Most of their products are even priced under the $5 mark, and I've read great reviews about their mascaras, lip glosses, and blushes.

Buy from: Ulta

5. Jordana

Jordana also offers super affordable makeup, mostly priced under $5 per item. Their lip liners and lipsticks in particular receive rave reviews. They also have a vegan section on their website, which makes it easy to find all their vegan-friendly makeup.

Buy from: Walmart

6. Hard Candy

Availably exclusively at Walmart locations across the US and Canada, Hard Candy offers fun, affordable makeup. If you're looking for a colorful mascara or any glittery products, this is your brand.

Buy from: Walmart

7. Colourpop

Colourpop is an online-only brand, but they offer a ton of great and affordable makeup. Their lip products are $7 a pop, and their eyeshadow palettes start at $12. They also offer free shipping over $30 to the US, or over $50 internationally.

Buy from: Colourpop

8. Nyx

NYX is a great makeup brand available worldwide, and they even have their own stores in some locations. They have affordable and high-quality makeup. If you don't purchase from cruelty-free brands with non-cruelty-free parent companies, keep in mind they're owned by L'Oreal.

Buy from: Walmart

9. Milani

One of the best cruelty-free drugstore brands, although they're a little bit higher priced than Wet n Wild. Milani offers a ton of great products, from their blushes to their lipsticks, and they also offer a full coverage foundation that's great for oily skin.

Buy from: Walmart

10. Pacifica

Pacifica's makeup might be a little bit pricer than most brands here, but they're also a highly committed 100% vegan brand. Their products are more "natural", and they're still quite affordable and available in drugstores and at Ulta.

Buy from: Walmart

Feel free to leave your favorite drugstore or affordable makeup brands below!

Don't forget to take advantage of ELF's 50% off discount on your entire order!

It's the perfect time to show ELF some love and stock up on affordable makeup. Their whole makeup range is 100% vegan as well.

Photographer: Tom Medvedich

Suzana Rose

Suzana Rose

I created Cruelty-Free Kitty because animal testing has no place in the 21st century. My mission is to tackle ethical issues in the beauty industry one by one and find solutions for a better future.

+ Show Comments (25) - Hide Comments (25)
  • Avatar michele collison says:

    Can you recycle the Wet n Wild plastic mascara and primer tubes with product still in them? Asking for a friend…

  • Avatar Kaitlynn says:

    Just FYI Colourpop is sold at Sephora too

  • Avatar Janis says:

    NYX – not so sure about that one!

  • Avatar Meryl fine says:

    What about Physicians Formula?
    Although the brands are cruelty free I thought Elf and NYX were own by non cruelty free companies now? As is Covergirl.

  • Avatar Meryl says:

    What about Joah?

  • Avatar Mindy says:

    Cruelty free doesn’t mean vegan so be sure to check ingredients.

  • Avatar Stephanie McCurry says:

    Thank you so much for letting us know about wet and wild! I was just getting ready to purchase a few things from them and SO glad I didn’t!! Unless they pull their products out of China than I’ll no longer be purchasing anymore of their products.

  • Avatar Shirley Toohey says:

    Thank you Suzana. If it wasn’t for people like you, we would never know these things happen; because the companies themselves will not take responsibility. They want it all; the buyers who care about animals and those who do not. It’s always about the money; I should imagine China is a huge market and temptation for companies to go to. Its a shame their morals are not as high as the pound signs in their eyes.

  • Avatar Eddie says:

    Love this article!

  • Avatar Elle says:

    Isnt physicians formula cruelty free as well?

  • Avatar Linda says:

    Will put that on all my social media and ask all my friends to do the same.

  • Avatar Diane Lalli says:

    Keep trying to find out if Color Wow is cruelty free but they don’t answer my inquiries. I suppose I should take that as their answer, but wondering if anyone knows for sure. Thank you.

  • Avatar Sandra says:

    thank you! so disappointing, but glad there are so many (better quality!) alternatives.

  • Avatar Glenna says:

    NYX products say made in China on them!!! Can’t be cruelty free!

    • Avatar Abby says:

      Made in China is different from sold in China. Made in China is not automatically tested on animals. Sold in China is. I would love it if China could change their damn laws ugh ?

      • Avatar Abby says:

        *I mean would, not could. Chinese law simply chooses to refuse to change their laws requiring animal testing.

  • Avatar Debbie Robin says:

    Thanks for informing us about Wet and Wild. Very disappointed!

  • Avatar Jeannie says:

    Ugh! Thanks for the update. So frustrating! Glad that CoverGirl is now officially cruelty free tho, I’m so used to boycotting them ?

  • Avatar Antoinette says:

    Thanks so much for bringing us all this information! I use Wet n Wild specifically because of their cruelty free status and without your info I wouldn’t have known that had changed. I definitely won’t be using them again. Thanks also for the alternatives. It’s fantastic to here that Cover Girl is getting on board. It is sad though that we have to wait for things like that before decent ethical practices are normalised.

  • Avatar Catherine says:

    Thanks Suzana – really appreciate your commitment and communication – very pleased about Cover Girl.

  • Avatar Charlotte says:

    Your updated list shows hard candy is not cruelty free but in your list of 10 drugstore brands you say hard candy is cruelty free so is it or not???

    • Avatar Ezara says:

      Hey, if you use the search bar on her home page and search it, the hard candy page says it is cruelty-free

  • Avatar Laura J Gockeler says:

    Thank you!

  • Avatar Hugs says:

    Physicians formular for another drug store brand.

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