Drugstore beauty products, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: 1. You're affordable, 2. trend-forward, and 3. an easy way to try a new texture or color without buyer's remorse (again, thanks to the affordable price) — and many more, but who wants to count all day?
While we never really need an excuse to muse over all the best beauty found at your local CVS, Target, or Walmart, summer is a perfect time to add a few cheapie finds to your makeup bag. To help guide you, we've tapped some of the most in-demand red carpet makeup artists in Hollywood for the drugstore products they not only swear by but actually use on their A-list clients. The following slides contain both new releases that quickly won their hearts and the things that are getting replenished in their kits before the official start of summer — and, boy, are they good. Think: non-drying matte lipsticks, BB creams that will keep you glowing past sunset, and lightweight cleansers to remove it all at the end of the day. Check them out, ahead.
Makeup Artist: Molly R. Stern Clients:
Reese Witherspoon, Lily Collins, Cara Delevingne
"I like the brightness of this formula and it has an excellent feel on the lips — not drying like many liquid lipsticks can be," Stern says. "My color pick is Orange Shot."
"I love to apply liquid lipsticks and then blot them right away, that way you get the formula and long wear of the product but more as a wash of color, which is perfect for spring and summer."
Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Orange Shot, $6.99, available at
"Exfoliating is a must as we enter spring and summer," Stern says. "We all need to slough off any dryness that has built up on our skin from the cold winter months — and you can’t beat the value of this product.
"Activate with water and apply with circular motions all over the face," Stern recommends. "The tiny bubbles help break down dirt that’s deep in the pores, giving you really fresh and glowing skin."
Baking Soda Powder Cleanser, $9.99, available at
Makeup Artist: Nick Barose Clients:
Abigail Spencer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw,
"This is the perfect powder for touching up your T-zone," Barose told us. "It keeps your face looking polished for long hours and comes in great shades, too."
Infallible Pro-Matte Powder, $10.99, available at
"Lipstick that is matte, dry,
opaque can be too severe, but these have a velvet-y texture," Barose says. "The fun, bold shades are comfy to wear, flattering, and chic."
Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor, $7.99, available at
"This long-wearing liner glides on easily to create thin, discreet lines for day or thicker, more dramatic cat-eyes for night," Barose says. "Plus the brush is user-friendly."
Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner, $7.94, available at
Makeup Artist: Jo Baker Clients:
Salma Hayek, Cindy Crawford, Sharon Stone
"I love using this formula on myself,"
told us. "It's the first radiance tint that I have found that has a rich, luxurious and creamy thickness to it, which, when I apply it, feels glorious. The luminous sheen is beige and golden in color, adding a soft-focus effect to the skin."
9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup, $6.49, available at
"This color range is wide, offering a nude lippy to suit every skin tone!" Baker says. "They go on super creamy, are rich in pigment, and — unlike a lot of nudes — these really last!"
Lasting Finish By Kate Nude Collection, $9, available at
Makeup Artist: Deanna Melluso Clients:
Olivia Wilde, Natasha Lyonne, Ashley Benson
"I'm loving this mascara right now because it's perfect for building a full lash and does not flake," Melluso says. "Apply it into the root before bringing the brush up, or, if you want more of a clumpy lash, just use the tip of the wand."
Volum' Express The Colossal Chaotic Lash Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black, $5.99, available at
The Makeup Artist: Daniel Martin The Clients:
Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, Jessica Biel
"This lip duo is basically three [lip looks] in one," Martin says. "You can easily create an
using the darker color all around the lips and the lighter hue in the center. Or wear each color on its own. It's great for any skin tone!"
Lipstick Duo in Hollywood & Wine, $11.99, available at
"Though these cream shadows aren't necessarily new for spring or summer, I love using them on the face as highlighters!" Martin says. "With a concealer brush or just your fingers, you can shape and add highlights to the face with these four color options. They're all great shades for medium, tan to medium, and dark skin tones."
Illuminance Creme Shadows in Not Just Nudes, $5.99, available at
"This saturated eyeshadow palette has intense color payoff at a fraction of the cost of other makeup palettes on the market," Martin says. "It's great for anyone who wants to get creative with their eyeshadows! I recommend using a white cream shadow base to intensify the color payoff, which will also work like a primer for longer wear."
Ultimate Shadow Palette in Brights, $18, available at
"This is a universal color for any skin tone for summer," Martin says. "If the color is too dark, simply blot and mix with lip balm to sheer it out a bit."
Color Statement Lipstick in Double Espresso, $5.49, available at
The Makeup Artist: Julie Harris The Clients:
Eva Mendes, Allison Williams, Julianne Hough
"This mist is refreshing, hydrating, and soothing on the skin," Harris told us. "I love to [use it] after cleansing the skin and before moisturizing. It's also great to refresh end-of-day makeup by holding it about 10 inches away from your face and giving a light spritz."
Organic Rosewater Toning Spritz, $8.39, available at
The Makeup Artist: Carola Gonzalez The Clients:
Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union
"This concealer is truly amazing,"
told us. "It’s hydrating, creamy, and gives great coverage. It's easy to apply and super blendable on the skin — plus it has a good range of shades for all skin tones."
FaceStudio Master Conceal, $6.99, available at
"This new shade is perfect for summer: It's sheer, glossy,
vibrant," Gonzalez says. "It will definitely give you a pop of color and it contains shea butter, which is very healing for dry lips."
Moisture Smooth Lipstick in Cherry Pink, $7.99, available at
"You are in for a treat if you can get ahold of this lipstick," Gonzalez says. "It’s taken nude to another level: It’s creamy, rich,
matte. I’m obsessed with it, and you can wear it any day, any time."
Color Sensation Lipcolor Buffs in Untainted Spice, $5.49, available at
The Makeup Artist: Michael Anthony The Clients:
Victoria Justice, Poppy Delevingne, Sophie Okonedo
"I use this to clean the skin
to remove makeup," Anthony told us. "It's gentle on the skin, feels fresh, and is super affordable. Plus, you don't need to rinse it off afterward and it won't leave your skin feeling oily in warm weather."
SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser, $8.99, available at
The Makeup Artist: Kira Nasrat The Clients:
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamie Chung, Bebe Rexha
"This is something that I won't be without!"
says. "I love that it has a lacquered finish so the eyes stand out. It's also great because you can diffuse it and create a smokey look. It lasts for a very long time and doesn't migrate all over the eyes, because once it sets, it sets!"
Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner, Blackest Black, $9.95, available at
"It's hard to find a mascara that can give you beautiful lashes, yet still be gentle and affordable," Nasrat told us. "The formula is great because it doesn't flake or feel dry, and I love the fact that the wand is super soft and doesn't irritate my eyes."
Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara, $9.95, available at
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