The Safest Drug Store Makeup Brands to Buy… And Brands to Avoid

Hey, friends! A few people have commented or messaged me asking about safe, but affordable makeup options. I’ve done a little digging, and I am going to provide you with what I can assess to be the 5 safest drugstore makeup brands, from using the EWG’s Skin Deep App and website. This does not mean that every single product in their line will be fabulously natural, or that there are no harsh chemicals. But if you’re on a budget and still want to look like a queen while also protecting yourself, these will be some helpful tips for you.

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Now, bear in mind that I am not a dermatologist, and I am not a scientist. I am just a girl armed with Google and a blog so don’t take my word as gospel, and of course I do encourage you to look this stuff up for yourself!

One important note before we get started: the EWG rates products on a 1-10 scale. 1-2 being low hazard, 3-6 being moderate, and 7-10 being high hazard. I looked at which brands have most of their makeup products in the low to moderate range (so I ignored the scores for things like nail polish and hair dye).

girl with a hat on in a brick alleyway

Brands to Buy

Physician’s Formula Organic Wear. Most of their products fall in the 1-2 range, which is excellent. I have started switching some of my stuff over to them – like mascara and pretty soon I’m going to give their pressed powder a try. Their stuff is a bit more expensive as far as drugstore prices go, but if you’re like me with sensitive skin and eyes, it’s more than worth the few extra bucks to not feel like you have itching powder all over your face.
Check out some of my favourite Physician’s Formula products below. Full disclosure: these contain affiliate links, so if you purchase one of these products, I may receive a small commision from the sale.

Maybelline Most of these products fall in the 1-5 range, and about half of products listed fall between 1-4! The only line I would stay away from is the Dream Nude line, because many of those products fall into the 7-10 category. Yikes.

Olay Most Olay products fall in the 1-5 range. Where it starts to get a bit iffy is in the anti-aging series. So if you just stay away from that stuff, this is a pretty good option!

NYX. There wasn’t a ton of data on NYX, but the data that is there shows that almost all products fall between 1-5. 

Revlon. Revlon is decent, however it’s at the bottom of this list because I feel like of the five brands listed here, it had more products hovering in the 3-6 range, as opposed to the 2-5 range. Plus, a few of their concealers and the Moon Drops lipstick line randomly fall at 7.


Brands to Not Buy

CoverGirl. Most products sat somewhere between 4-6, and several foundations and several of the concealers, lipsticks and powders ventured up to 7. So because foundations and concealers go all over your face for hours on end (thus the badness just sits on there, soaking in, destroying your life and probably murdering puppies), I didn’t think CoverGirl really made the cut. I mean not that this brand is awful… it’s just less good than the other 5.

 Neutrogena. Again, a lot of the makeup products hovered around 4-7… and some of the foundations even ventured into the 8-9 range. This was really disappointing to me because for some reason, I had sort of assumed Neutrogena was one of the healthier brands. That’s marketing for ya. Don’t trust the marketing!!

 Wet n Wild. I wasn’t really sure what to do with this one, because they do have a lot of makeup in the safeish zone (2-6)… but they seem to have an equal number of products in the not-so-safe zone (7-9). I dunno. I’d just stay away from this brand, if it were me.


So what do you all think? Did I miss any brands? What’s you go-to for safe, affordable makeup? Leave a comment below or spread the love! See you back soon!! P.s.  click this link to find out about my FAVE LIPSTICK OF ALL TIME

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11 thoughts on “The Safest Drug Store Makeup Brands to Buy… And Brands to Avoid

  1. I was wondering if you’ve done any research on the LOreal brand? I use some of their makeup frequently like mascara and eyeliner.

  2. Girl me and you have a lot of makeup choices in common 😉 first Bite and now Physicians Formula Organic Wear line. I also have tried a few things from the Pacifica line and have been pretty happy with them and their EWG ratings. Great post!

    1. Haha awesome! I love that – and I think more and more people are following in the safe makeup footsteps 😉
      BTW where do you find Pacifica? I’ve never heard of it.

    1. Yeah! I was excited about that too, because their makeup is pretty well priced. Honestly though, I was so nervous to start looking all this up because I was like, “I’m going to have to throw out all my makeup – I’m sure of it!!” But that didn’t happen!! Thanks for reading! <3

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