I’ve been trying to use all paraben free hair, skincare, body, and makeup products for the past year, and while finding paraben free natural hair products is super easy, and finding paraben free skincare products isn’t too difficult, finding paraben free makeup that actually matches my brown skin has been harder than finding a pair of jeans to fit my body shape (the ultimate struggle, but I’ve found them!).
As a caveat, I know that the research on parabens is inconclusive, with some studies saying that they can cause cancer, and other studies contradicting that data – I’ve decided to err on the side of caution (bioethicists would call that abiding by the precautionary principle) and avoid parabens as much as possible. It’s totally up to you though!
Here are 11 cheap paraben free makeup products that I endorse for women of color, all under 10 bucks!
Primer – ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer, $6 | Foundation – Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation, $9 | Concealer – NYX HD Concealer Wand, $5 | Setting Powder – NYX HD Finishing Powder, $10 | Bronzer – Black Radiance Artisan Color Baked Bronzer, $5 | Eyeshadow Primer – Wet n Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer, $5 | Eyeshadow – Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Shadow, $4 | Eye Liner – Wet n Wild Color Icon Kohl Liner, $1 | Eyebrow Pencil – NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil, $5 | Mascara – ELF Lengthening & Voluminizing Mascara, $3 | Lipstick – NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, $6
As you can tell, some brands come up quite a few times, so my top three affordable brands to try first if you’re interested in paraben free makeup are ELF, NYX, and Milani. Keep in mind that not all their products are paraben free (I just realized my NYX Illuminator had parabens in it…. to the garbage it goes smh), so be sure to double check before purchasing.
If you want to see how I use some of these products on my face, check out this full face transformation video: