Vegan Drugstore Beauty Products We Can't Live Without—And Neither Should You
For years, I thought I was missing out on the benefits of expensive beauty products as I swung by my nearest Target to stock up on my $8 mascara and budget shampoo.
Eventually, I broke out of my college-girl budget and started to splurge on new products. But most of them left me wondering: are these really worth the price point?
While sometimes a splurge might be worth it, most of the time drugstore products are just as effective and are much easier on our wallets.
Over the years, I have tried every skincare, makeup, and hair care product under the sun. I am sharing the ones that I cannot live without as well as some cult favorites.
Of course, no drugstore will enable you to shop products that are totally clean, vegan, and cruelty-free—unlike Kinder Beauty’s Marketplace, where every product we feature has gone through a strict auditing process to ensure no products are made with ingredients that harm animals or your health.
Are vegan drugstore beauty products good quality?
The short answer: absolutely.
There is a persistent misconception that inexpensive products are less effective. But this is far from the truth. Some drugstore products have even been found to give users better results than their expensive competitors.
Whether you are shopping affordably or splurging, the most important thing is to look for effective plant-based ingredients and products that work for your skin type. Additionally, inexpensive products are a great, low-risk way to try new products, makeup trends, and nail colors.
Another great way to try out clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products that are great for your skin and great for your wallet too, sign up for a monthly Kinder Beauty box!
Best vegan drugstore skincare products
Facial scrubs can often come with harsh exfoliants, but this Acure scrub is gentle yet effective. Its unique blend of charcoal, lemon peel, blueberry, and plant cellulose deeply cleanses your skin to reveal a fresh, glowing surface.
Eyes looking a little tired? Grab this peptide eye cream from Pacifica.
An amazing mixture of concentrated peptides, floral stem cells, and antioxidants work together to moisturize, rejuvenate, and restore your delicate under-eye skin to its youthful glow.
This affordable ceramide serum from Cocokind has tons of 5-star reviews and it is easy to see why.
The formula helps to restore a healthy skin structure and repairs function to the skin barrier. It works to enhance natural ceramide production while soothing inflamed skin and helping balance pH levels without irritation.
Sometimes you just need a good bubble bath and a detoxifying mask. This peel-off mask from Yes To uses white charcoal to gently draw out pore-clogging dirt, oil, and impurities. It works to hydrate dry and sensitive skin in just ten minutes while also exfoliating, leaving the skin smoother.
Healthy skin truly starts from the inside out: and these gummies help you bring out your inner healthy glow. Packed with a blend of multi-vitamins and minerals to help you put your best skin forward, they are also watermelon flavored and quite delicious.
Niacinamide has grown in popularity over the last few years for its incredible anti-aging properties. The vitamin can now be found in moisturizers, spot treatments, and serums, like this one from Naturium. It has been found to help reduce the look of enlarged pores, refine the appearance of uneven skin, and help balance excess oil production.
Best vegan drugstore makeup products
I have tried a lot of foundations over the years, both expensive and affordable: but this acne-fighting foundation from e.l.f. is still my absolute favorite. It offers great coverage and is infused with salicylic acid, witch-hazel, camphor, tea tree, and soothing aloe to help fight blemishes and keep you looking your best.
Ditch the shine with this clean pressed powder by Covergirl. The talc-free formula uses tapioca and aloe vera to absorb oil and keep shine away all day. It also works to make pores less visible, leaving skin looking and feeling smooth. The powder comes in eight shades for a variety of skin tones.
I usually keep my makeup routine pretty simple and I’ll admit it: I was a late believer of primer. I didn’t think I need to add yet another step while getting ready in the morning.
I gave primer a try before a trip to Nashville, in the summer heat, and I was converted to a true believer after a day.
While I usually got shiny by noon, this poreless primer from e.l.f. helped keep shine at bay and kept my makeup in place even into the evening.
Whether you are new to contouring or a seasoned pro, this palette is for you. The set comes with eight shades, allowing you to customize each step of the contouring routine to emphasize your favorite features.
Every makeup bag needs a solid lipstick option.
Packed with moisturizing ingredients like sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, and honeysuckle flower extract, Plushious from Pacifica offers a beautiful lip tint while also providing extra hydration. The full-color lipstick lasts all day and goes on smooth, not sticky.
Until recently I was obsessed with e.l.f.’s mascara, and I do still love it. But on a whim, I wanted to try out something new and ordered this volume-boosting mascara from CoverGirl.
I am officially a fan.
This mascara is extremely light, so you barely know it is there. But it is still thick enough to notice a difference and enhance your lashes in a very au naturelle way.
This inexpensive brow gel has become a cult favorite amongst beauty lovers, working to tint, tame, and thicken all types of eyebrows to leave an ultra-natural finish. This gel is also buildable, so everyone can achieve their ideal thickness. Plus, it’s super long-lasting, wearing for up to 16 hours.
Since moving to Colorado I have become literally addicted to my lip balm because my lips seem to always be chapped. I first tried this fan-favorite balm upon moving to the mountains and have stuck with it ever since. The balm is really rich and heavy which instantly makes my dried, cracked lips feel oh-so-much better.
Have a big meeting tomorrow and an unsavory pimple is showing up? Slap on one of these hydrocolloid stickers to visibly flatten pimples overnight. Just stick it on, get your beauty sleep, and wake up with clearer skin. This is a secret weapon everyone should have in their makeup bag.
Best vegan drugstore haircare products
Does anyone else get sucked into trying the fancy shampoos that they use at the salon, only to be disappointed? I have definitely been there. Luckily, drugstore shampoo has come a long way from the $1 shampoo I grew up on. Now we can easily find an extremely high-quality shampoo that does not leave our hair a frizzy mess. This sweet-smelling biotin shampoo from Love Beauty and Planet helps to rejuvenate our locks for a reasonable price.
It can super helpful to slather on a hydrating hair mask a couple times a month. This strengthening hair mask from Native is carefully crafted with vegan ingredients like almond and shea to strengthen hair against breakage.
Even if you don’t blowdry and style your hair every day, a heat protectant is essential. Aside from protecting against those styling products, this protector from Sun Bum nourishes hair strands, eliminates frizz, and decreases blow-dry time.
Formulated with kelp, sea algae, and banana, this texture spray helps you achieve the ultimate beach babe vibes, whether you are lucky enough to be at the beach or not. It’s as easy as spraying into wet hair and letting the product do the work so you don’t have to.
I think it is safe to say that dry shampoo is officially a girl’s best friend.
Washing, drying, and styling your hair to perfection every day is a lot, but you can skip all that when you have Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. It instantly soaks up excess oil on the hair without leaving a white or sticky residue.
The act of dyeing your hair at home has had quite a resurgence since the pandemic hit. From those who never went three months without touching up roots to others who simply got bored binge-watching Netflix, so many of us reached for the at-home dye.
Naturtint’s at-home kit is a great option as it has beautiful color options that result in gorgeous, refreshed locks. Plus, 92% of the ingredients are all-natural and the formula is ammonia-free.
Ella and Mila nail polish is free of 17 common chemicals that are used in traditional nail polish, making it a better choice for your nails and the planet. It comes in tons of fun colors from deep reds to bright yellows.
Want to perfect your at-home manicure? Grab our guide here.
Elevate your bathtime with this champagne-scented bath fizz. With hints of sparkling citrus and subtle floral fragrance, it is the perfect relaxation aid. The luxurious bathing powder soothes your dry skin and leaves it extra hydrated.
Coconut oil: it’s not just for cooking anymore. The versatile compound also does wonders for dry skin, working to hydrate and soften as it aids with moisture retention, smoothing, and protecting. This fast-absorbing oil from Shea Moisture can actually be used on your hair, face, hands, body, and feet—so go (coco)nuts with it!
Ok, so technically not a product, but I love this inexpensive, sustainable makeup brush set from EcoTools. The set includes an angled foundation brush, a blurring brush, a defined crease brush, an angled liner brush, and a full blush brush—all for $10. The bristles are cruelty-free and vegan and the handle is crafted from bamboo. What’s not to love?
Though all products in Kinder Beauty boxes and our marketplace are clean, vegan, and cruelty-free, some of the products featured in this blog might not meet exactly those same standards. The purpose of this blog is to highlight drug store brands that are vegan (no animal ingredients) cruelty-free (not tested on animals), and clean (no harmful ingredients used), but in some cases, these companies have parent companies that test—or other parts of the companies that test—on animals or that use animal ingredients or ingredients that are known to cause harmful effects.
Jackie Lutze has been writing about cruelty-free beauty for years and loves finding the best vegan products to help readers build their ultimate beauty routine.
Get our Kinder Beauty Box