Cardi B's Foundation Is Under $10 — & Now We're Shook

Cardi B has the kind of personality that can't be contained. It's just one of the reasons the world loves her: Her candor and energy is great for the camera and the red carpet — and it creates GIF-able moments that resonate with all of us. However, it's not so great for her makeup artist, Erika La' Pearl. "From start to finish, it takes a while to do her because she doesn’t like to stay still!" the pro tells Refinery29. "She's always getting up to get something to eat, always doing business calls. It takes a good hour and 30 minutes, sometimes two."

La' Pearl and Cardi have worked together for three years now (including Cardi's Love & Hip Hop: New York), so she's gotten used to her client's wildcard nature. "Her publicist, Patience, emailed me out the blue," La Pearl explains. "Cardi was working on a cosmetics line at the time and they wanted to collab with me on that. I ended up doing her makeup instead, and she fell in love with me."

It's been a wild ride ever since. La' Pearl says that they've evolved from doing complicated cut creases and exaggerated lips to lots of sophisticated nudes and pinks. Oh, and that ride metaphor is actually quite literal. "A couple of days ago, during Fashion Week, I had to do her full face in the car," La' Pearl says. "Contour, lashes, everything. There were six of us squeezed in the car, the sun was going down, and we hit a speed bump. It took me less than 20 minutes, but it still looked amazing!" As always.

Another unsurprising revelation includes the fact that Cardi's approach to beauty is much like her approach to fashion: high-low, baby. The same way that Cardi pairs her Fashion Nova knits with a $100,000 watch is how La' Pearl approaches glam: So. Much. Drugstore. "She's so humble," La' Pearl says. "What you see on TV is how she is in person."

Ahead, get the secrets on Cardi B's everyday face and what she's like in the chair. (When she's able to sit still, that is.)

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Photo: Via @erika_lapearl_mua.
Clearing Things Up

"Before anything, I use a Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes because I want a clean surface. From there, I apply a little moisturizer and let it dry a little bit. I go on top of that with Anastasia Beverly Hills Hydrating Face Oil and let that sit for a couple minutes. Then I use the Poreless Mattifying Primer from Tarte to give her foundation a really even look."
Photo: Via @erika_lapearl_mua.
Bardi's Base

"Cardi's skin tone is really in-between, like a yellow with a pink undertone. Those colors match her perfectly, and I'm usually mixing a lot of different foundations. I mix Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-In-1 Foundation + Concealer in 06 Sand Beige and 09 Tan. I also use BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Total Coverage Concealer for her under eyes and spots.

"I found out about Milani when I had to run to the drugstore, because I didn't have time to go to Sephora to get Nars. It stays in place, though, on the red carpet, at the Grammys, and on stage.

"To contour, I'll take the Nutmeg and Copper Brown shades from Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in Medium/Tan to sculpt. But before that, I like using Black Opal True Color Skin Perfecting Stick Foundation in Beautiful Bronze on her face and nose. She likes her nose to be really contoured. So I do that, and then blend it out with the compact powders.

"I definitely bake, too. You need something on the face to prevent it from glistening. Right now, I use Patrick Starr's setting powder from MAC to go on top, because it has such a neutral tone."
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
Peep This

"For her cat-eye, I take a black eyeshadow and apply tape on the side of her eye to make it sharp. Just any black eyeshadow. I smudge it out first. When I use a gel product, it's Rimmel. It stays in place throughout the entire day. I also do a white liner on her waterline to make her eyes pop even more. The Rimmel is another drugstore find from when I was in a rush. We used it on a shoot, and it stayed all day. I thought, 'Dang, this is really good,' and we've stuck with it since.

"She prefers really neutral colors on her eyes, so I use Ofra's Contour Eyes palette which has lots of browns. On the other hand, she likes very full lashes because her eyes are small. I stack two pairs of Goddess falsies from Lilly Lashes and use a curler to make them stand up and out.

"Cardi always has a sharp brow because I use Anastasia's Brow Wiz and their Dipbrow Pomade, in Chocolate. I use a spoolie and just brush them up to shape them, then go over that same shape with the gel and pencil on top. I make sure not to go a shade lighter than Chocolate. When she takes pictures, I don't want her brows to be too light or highlighted because I want everything to be flawless."
Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.
Lip Service

"If you can't tell, I like to use Ofra a lot. She goes for a nude most of the time. I'll line with Nyx's Slim Lip Pencil in Nutmeg, fill in her lips with Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Mocha, and top it with a clear gloss. When she goes red, I use one of Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvet colors. She's not really big on glitter on her lips or her eyes. She'll do it for a video, but that's about it. When I do use shimmer, I'll apply NYX Face & Body Glitter.

"I'm glad we changed her look over the years. Before, she could look a little clownish. Now, I think she looks a lot more polished and put together."
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