• Alyssa Piperis

Affordable + Cruelty-Free Makeup! | My Most-Used Products Right Now (with Links).

Let's talk makeup!

When it comes to makeup, I'm a pretty simple gal. I definitely like experimenting with fun lipsticks, researching different brands, watching YouTube tutorials...that kinda thing. But, when it comes to my own face and routine, I tend to lean towards a natural look.

(A mostly natural look with a bold pop of color! Every now and then I'll go without lip liner, like in this photo, and rock straight lipstick.)

And when I find a product I like, I generally stick with it for a verrrry long time-- I've-been-using-the-same-powder-for-eight-years kinda long. I always have that fear that if I buy something new and don't like it, I won't be able to return it and will have wasted my hard-earned money (booooo).

Because, let's face it, makeup can get expensive.

That's why I've always been mostly a discount/drugstore makeup person (CVS, Rite Aid, Target). Don't get me wrong, I've totally fallen in love with some higher-end brands (i.e. IT Cosmetics, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Tarte, Anastasia Beverly Hills) as I've gotten older. Buuuut, I try to buy and make good use of drugstore makeup so my bank account and I stay on good terms. (And every now and then I'll excitedly splurge on a more expensive CC cream, eye shadow palette, or blush.)

Speaking of staying on good terms... It's really important to me to stay on good terms with myself. I always try my hardest to uphold a strong moral compass and strong personal ethics-- makeup and beauty products included! That's why I've made the decision to only purchase cruelty-free beauty products. I look at it this way: By sticking with cruelty-free brands, I'm taking a stand against animal cruelty AND significantly narrowing down the overwhelming number of makeup brands and products out there (brushes and palettes and beauty blenders, oh, my!). That's a win-win in my book! And luckily, there are enough great cruelty-free brands out there that you won't feel like you're missing out on anything.

(This is a real photo of us cheers-ing. Don't tell me you forgot this moment.)

NOTE: Every brand I named/am naming in this post is cruelty-free (hell yeah!). If you ever want to know if a brand is cruelty-free, PETA can help you out: http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx.

Now, when it comes to drugstore makeup, there's a decent cruelty-free selection-- NYX Cosmetics, Physician's Formula, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and wet n wild, to name a few brands. I, personally, navigate towards NYX and Physician's Formula.

Soooo, without further ado, here are my top affordable, cruelty-free drugstore makeup products (with the exception of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream, which is more costly than the other items):

1.) Physician's Formula's Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Loose Powder with SPF 16 (in the "Soft Ivory" shade since my skin is on the fair side) - I use my own brush and beauty blender rather than the little brush it comes with. :)

- $12.95 on Physician's Formula website: http://www.physiciansformula.com/en-us/productdetail/face/loose-powders/02450.html

- $13.99 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/mineral-wear-mineral-loose-powder?productId=xlsImpprod1320066

You Should Know: This is the powder I've been using for about eight years, since I was 14. I'm open to trying others--and have tried some others--but I've developed a strong relationship with this one, and it's always worked for me, both in terms of price and performance. I switch up the shade based on the time of year and color of my skin, of course.

2.) IT Cosmetics's Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ (in the "Fair" shade) - A little more on the expensive side but worth it for your skin!

- $38 on IT Cosmetics website: https://www.itcosmetics.com/your-skin-but-bettertm-cc-cream-with-spf-50

- $38 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/your-skin-but-better-cc-cream-with-spf-50?productId=xlsImpprod5770257

- $38 on Sephora website: http://www.sephora.com/your-skin-but-better-cc-cream-spf-50-P411885

You Should Know: This kickass moisturizing cream is anti-aging, minimizes pores, and (crucial for me) contains SPF, among other great benefits!

3.) NYX Cosmetics's HD Photogenic Concealer Wand (in "Porcelain" shade)

- $5 on NYX website: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/hd-photogenic-concealer-wand/NYX_013.html

- $4.99 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/hi-definition-photo-concealer-wand?productId=xlsImpprod3460285

You Should Know: This isn't the best concealer in the world, but it's pretty great for $5. It's an awesome little dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29). Just make sure to close it tight as it can dry out quickly if you're not careful.

4.) NYX Cosmetics's Retractable Lip Liner (in the "Nectar" shade - great for an everyday look!)

- $4.50 on NYX website: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/retractable-lip-liner/NYX_051.html

- $4.49 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/retractable-lip-liner?productId=xlsImpprod4141601#

(This is a cropped photo of my actual lips painted in "Nectar.")

You Should Know: This liner is light and pretty, and I just love it! You can paint it on quickly (after hydrating your lips, of course) and leave it on its own or throw a lipstick or gloss over it. Such a fun and flirty color!

5.) NYX Cosmetics's Soft Matte Lip Cream (in the "Monte Carlo" shade)

- $6 on NYX website: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/soft-matte-lip-cream/NYX_007.html

- $5.99 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/soft-matte-lip-cream?productId=xlsImpprod3020045#

You Should Know: NYX's Soft Matte Lip Creams are true to their title-- they're creamy! They can be a little drying, so make sure to hydrate your lips before you apply this (or any) color. Even when my lips feel a little dry from this, it isn't noticeable, and the color still looks good. This color goes GREAT with the "Red" lip liner (shown below)!

6.) NYX Cosmetics's Retractable Lip Liner (in the "Red" shade)

- $4.50 on NYX website: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/retractable-lip-liner/NYX_051.html

- $4.49 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/retractable-lip-liner?productId=xlsImpprod4141601#

(Me wearing the "Red" liner on its own. I may or may not be a spy.)

You Should Know: This is such a fun pop of color. The liner is really nice on its own if you just outline your lips and fill them in, and it's also perfect with the "Monte Carlo" Soft Matte Lip Cream (featured above).

7.) NYX Cosmetics's Matte Lipstick (in "Euro Trash" shade)

- $6 on NYX website: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/matte-lipstick/NYX_005.html

- $5.99 on Ulta website: http://www.ulta.com/matte-lipstick?productId=xlsImpprod4141597#

You Should Know: This lipstick may have "trash" in its name, but it is the opposite of trash. It's not really shown true to color on the NYX or Ulta websites, but these photos do a pretty good job of representing it. I know "Euro Trash" makes me feel sexy and cute, and I hope it does the same for you...if that's what you're going for. :)

Aaaaand, there ya have it! Some of my simple go-to makeup products! The two crucial questions I ask myself when looking at new makeup products are:

1.) Can I afford this right now?


2.) Is this product/brand cruelty-free?

If I have two yes's, I'm a happy camper!

*Disclaimer: All product and pricing information is as of January 4, 2017 (1/14/17).

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