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The Best Clean Drugstore Makeup Brands (EWG score of 3 and below)

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If you are looking to clean up your makeup products but would like to stick to the convenience and affordability of finding makeup at your local drugstore, I’ve got you covered! After finding natural beauty brands and products in stores like Target and Walmart, I bought them and used them. I’m sharing the best products that I’ll definitely repurchase with the peace of mind knowing they are safe as well as affordable. Read on to find the best clean drugstore makeup!

In the past, I’ve focused on using makeup from clean beauty companies like 100 Percent Pure, Hynt Beauty, Kosas and Lily Lolo. Since my oldest daughter has been wearing makeup, I find it hard on my bank account to buy her more expensive products! I don’t want to buy her expensive products from luxury brands but she needs clean, more affordable and accessible options. Plus, she runs out of various products more often than I’d like so I wanted to see if it was possible to find clean makeup products with a much smaller price tag that were available to pick up in stores like Amazon, Target, Walmart or Walgreens. 

I bought quite a few products mostly from Target and Amazon that had more natural ingredients and used them personally for 2 months. I’m very happy to say that I found some really great products I will not only buy again for my daughter but I will use them as well!

I also found drugstore makeup brands that I thought would be cleaner than they were and found a few drugstore brands that I had no idea had so many different products that contained cleaner ingredients and were overall safer products. And the best part is that all these products are much more affordable than typical clean makeup brands. 

What Determines A Clean Product?

For this post, I used the EWG (Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep database as well as the Think Dirty App. I wanted all the products I chose to have a score of 3 and below. If you are unfamiliar with EWG scoring, they give products a score from 0-10. 10 being an extremely toxic product. EWG bases the score on the ingredients in a product as well as the product’s use, demographic and brand and company information. They also consider whether a brand is cruelty free. 

They also hand pick products and label them EWG VERIFIED®  A verified product is the safest, cleanest product you can find. 

“When a product is EWG VERIFIED®, it means it meets EWG’s strict, scientific standards for transparency and health. Our team of toxicologists, chemists and epidemiologists scrutinizes every product, empowering you to purchase safer products.”

E.L.F Cosmetics-Clean & Cheap:

The cruelty-free brand, E.L.F. ended up being such a pleasant surprise. They offer quite a few clean beauty products that perform well. You could achieve a full makeup look using only e.l.f. cosmetics. This cruelty-free makeup and skin care brand is a winner in the clean beauty world. You can’t beat how low their prices are but be sure to check on the each individual product. Just because they have quite a few clean items does not mean the entire product line is safe. However, they are 100% vegan and all products are free from phthalates, parabens, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, triclocarban and hydroquinone. All skin care  is also free from sulfates.

Related Post: DIY Makeup Setting Spray

Clean Drugstore Makeup Selfie
Full Drugstore Beauty Face! Well People Foundation, Physicians Formula Bronzer, Revolution Highlighter, Bert’s Bees Blush, Morphe 2 Eye Shadow, E.L.F. Brow Pencil, Honest Mascara, NYX Lip Liner

Clean Drugstore Makeup Products:

When it comes to makeup companies it can be tricky avoiding toxic chemicals detrimental to your health. I’ve found that some makeup brands have a few promising products but also have quite a few extremely dirty products as well. I’ve rounded up a bunch of drugstore makeup products that are safe, affordable and wear well!

Keep in mind that a product’s score can vary from color to color. Below are mainly products I bought and have been using. You can see the products in action in the picture above. I also threw in a few more makeup products on my wish list that are also safe. 

Related Post: How to Clean Makeup Brushes + DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

  1. Physicians Formula Bronzer Booster Air Brush: I’m loving this bronzer for a subtle tan. I’m even using the brush it comes with and using this product not only to give a natural glow but also to contour. There is a light shimmer that is minimal enough to be very natural. Many Physicians Formula products rate high on the EWG scale but this bronzer rates a 2.
  2. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Origin Blush w/ Vitamin E in Shy Pink: This is my favorite blush I’ve used in a long time. The color is a perfect balance between pink and peach and the blush is highly pigmented. A little bit goes a long way. EWG rating is a 2. 
  3. E.L.F. Liquid Metallic Eye Shadow: This is not a product I bought but I plan to. I wanted to include it because I couldn’t get over the beautiful colors and great reviews. Plus, most of the colors scored a 2 on the EWG scale. 
  4. E.L.F. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer: I tend to have oily lids and grabbed this a while ago when I was preparing to update my hooded eye makeup tutorial. I needed something that would keep my eye makeup from creasing. This product did the trick and ended up being clean as well!
  5. Morphe 2 Ready in 5 Eye Shadow Palette in Malibu: This is one of my favorite eye shadow palettes of all time and it’s only $7! In fact, I don’t even need to use the primer with these shadows. They go on smooth, blend well and are bold hues. I can’t seem to find this palette on EWG again so I looked it up on Think Dirty and it scored a 4. I could’ve sworn it scored lower but I’ll continue to research. 
  6. Well People Bio Stick Foundation: This was the most expensive product I bought but I was in need of a foundation and prefer a creamier, lightweight formula that gives a dewy finish. I love how this product evens my skin tone out without feeling heavy, cakey or dry looking. It is great for sensitive skin and contains vitamin E to help with fine lines. This foundation stick is EWG verified which means it is approved as a clean product. Well People is a natural brand sold at Target with it’s most toxic product being only a 3. 
  7. Makeup Revolution Highlight Reloaded Highlighter in Just My Type: This is an easy to use highlighter that gives a beautiful glow without looking garrish. I use it as an eye shadow as well. These highlighters score a 3. 
  8. E.L.F Camo Concealer Corrector in Yellow: This color correcting concealer works really well on blemishes and dark circles under the eye. It’s not thick and cakey and is long lasting. It comes in several other color correcting shades. Many E.L.F. concealers rate a 2 however, it varies from color to color. 
  9. E.L.F. Bite Sized Shadow in I Love You A Latte: I did not buy this product but it scores a 2 on the EWG scale and has great reviews. It would be a great alternative to the Morphe 2 palette if you are looking for a lower score and a cheaper product.
  10. E.L.F. Camo Powder Foundation: Another product I did not personally try but it also scores a 2 on the EWG scale and is much more affordable ($5) than the Well People Foundation Stick. It is a buildable coverage foundation that is said to be light weight. 
  11. E.L.F Brow Products: I will admit, I’ve had better brow pencils but this Instant Lift Brow Pencil is great in a pinch and has a convenient brow brush. Also, it scores a 2 on the EWG scale. I love the double sided brow and lash mascara and have yet to try the Lock on Liner and Brow Cream which is also on my list to try and also scores a 2.
  12. E.L.F. Expert Eye Liner: I bought 2 liquid eye liners and found that both were comfortable to wear and just as easy to apply as any other more expensive brand I’ve tried. However, after I bought them, I realized the Expert Eye Liner scored a 4. E.L.F. Waterproof Eye Liner Pen scores a 3.
  13. NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie XXL Matte scores a 2 on the EWG scale which is unheard of for lip color. I found this out after purchasing all the products for this post. I’m excited to try it. I did purchase the NYX Line Loud Vegan Lip Liner in Born To Hustle. I love it and can attest that it lasts quite a long time. It scores a 3. 
  14. ColourPop Lippie Liner and Lippie Stix: I ordered the wrong colors so I did not love these 2 products but the line would’ve been fine if I had got the right color. The Lippie Stix in Oh Snap was a subtle lipstick that was unflattering.  I also bought E.L.F. Lip Plumping Gloss in Sparkling Rosé and fell in love. However, it scores a 4 on the EWG scale which isn’t bad but I like to stay below a 3 on products used daily. 
  15. Honest Mascara: I have bought the Honest Extreme Length 2 in 1 Primer and Mascara many times. It’s a great natural mascara and tends to work well for sensitive eyes. It is at a higher price point. I also tried the Honest Healthy Serum Infused Lash Tint which is also at a higher price point. I tend to wear this one on a daily basis for conditioning. It contains castor oil and other natural ingredients to help thicken and lengthen lashes. I find the brush makes it tricky to apply and it can be difficult to remove but I feel like it does my lashes some good. I also bought E.L.F Big Moods Volumizing Mascara. I wasn’t impressed but it is very affordable and scores a 3. I can make it work as long as I do 2-3 coats. My daughter confirmed it was hard to work with and seemed like the mascara wasn’t transferring from the brush onto our lashes. 


Makeup bag full of clean drugstore makeup.

If you’re looking for a clean lip balm, Dr. Bronner’s lip balms are all EWG verified and available at Target. Also, the super popular NYX Fat Lip Oil in clear rates a 3 on the EWG scale. The colored lip oils are not scoring as low. 

After this post, you should be able to fill your entire makeup bag with affordable, clean products easily found at a drugstore near you! And I don’t have to shutter every week when my daughter tells me she’s out of something new! 

xx, Jenni


A collage of clean drugstore beauty and a makeup bag with makeup

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

1 thought on “The Best Clean Drugstore Makeup Brands (EWG score of 3 and below)”

  1. I didn’t know about the EWG app so that is nice to know. What I use is the Yuka app but it doesn’t always have information for every item I want to see, but it does give a score of 0 to 100 and if there is anything hazardous it actually tell you what it is. That part I do like. I also like the elf brand and I used to buy the Burt’s Bees but their mother company still tests on animals and so I quit buying their products even though they don’t test but I won’t support a company that does. I love your website and all the natural products you post. I especially like your Lotion bars. I make them over and over and give them away too. My hands have never felt so good. Thank you.

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