Never before has the gap between drugstore and prestige products been so small. Which, to anyone on a budget, is some
really good news. In fact, many affordable formulas are just as good, if not better, than their pricier counterparts. The challenge, instead, is navigating the selection. After all, aisle A6 at your local pharmacy doesn’t have its own highly trained salesgirl. Luckily, Hollywood is here to help. Red carpet artists have a keen working knowledge of nearly every product available — from the best Korean liquid eyeliner to prestige lipstick priced in the double digits to mascara that costs less than your Sunday-morning latte — and they don’t discriminate. The best artists care about one thing: performance. We’ve tapped the most in-demand red carpet makeup artists in Hollywood to divulge the drugstore products that have earned a place in their kits or their personal makeup bags. Trust us, this list delivers. The dreamy, baby-pink lipstick that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s makeup artist swears by for the star? Yep, that’s from the drugstore. The blush Kerry Washington is always wearing? It costs less than the burrito you had for lunch. Seriously, this is as close to priceless as it gets. Related Content: Bet You Didn't Know Drugstore Makeup Could Do This The Highest Ranked Drugstore Night Cream Right Now Drugstore Beauty Blowout: All The Newness You Need To Know
Photo: Courtesy of Carola Gonzalez.
Artist: Carola Gonzalez Clients:
Kerry Washington, Rashida Jones, Jaime King
“This is one of my top beauty secrets,” Gonzalez told us. “It’s actually a balm for cracked nipples, but I use it on my clients’ chapped, dry, dehydrated lips. It heals lips very quickly and is extra-hydrating. For me, it works better than any lip balm on the market.”
“There's no need to spend lots of money on mascara,” Gonzalez says. “The LashBlast formula is amazing and adds lots of volume and length to your lashes. The Very Black shade is darker than a standard black formula and will make your eyes stand out. Add a few coats, and it will look like you have fake lashes.”
LashBlast Mascara In Very Black,
“This is a great shade for every skin tone,” Gonzalez says. “I use it all the time on my clients, and it's one of my favorite blushes and bronzers. I call it the perfect blush for every occasion! The formula has shimmer, so the skin glows without any need for highlighter.”
Healthy Skin Custom Glow Blush & Bronzer In Raisin Glow,
Photo: Courtesy of Fiona Stiles.
Artist : Fiona Stiles Clients:
Jennifer Garner, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Faris
“Honestly, I don't like the highlighter in this compact, but I love love love the contour,” Stiles says. “It's really sheer, unlike 90% of the contour powders on the market, so it's hard to get wrong. Use a light hand and a soft brush, and you'll be shocked at the cheekbones you can sculpt!”
Highlight & Contour Powder,
“This is a great product to use under the eyes, on the bridge of the nose, and along the tops of the cheekbones to add a really soft, pretty light to the face without screaming highlighter,” Stiles says. “I use a little here and there to add brightness to the face.”
Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer,
“Most body makeup destroys clothes because the formulas tend to be a bit oily, which means it never really dries — and then your clothes get stained — but this stuff seriously stays put,” Stiles says. “Use a little to give a bit of color to the body, or you can use a lot to really cover problem areas, like bruises or varicose veins.”
Photo: Courtesy of Pati Dubroff.
Artist: Pati Dubroff Clients:
Miley Cyrus, Dakota Johnson, Eva Mendes
“There are many primers on the market, but this is the one I turn to again and again,” Dubroff told us. “It has a perfect, satiny finish and doesn't add a lot of weight on the top of the skin. It perfectly blurs out pores and fine lines.”
Revitalift Miracle Blur,
“I have quite a few blonde clients, so I'm always on the lookout for the perfect eyebrow pencil that doesn’t look orange and isn’t too dull or grey,” Dubroff says. “This pencil in Dark Blonde is definitely my go-to!”
Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil In Dark Blonde,
“I like to stick to natural products on my lips for everyday, and I like a little color,” Dubroff says. “Burt’s Bees makes just this — flattering shades with just a hint of tint and not a lot of junk.”
Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm,
Photo: Courtesy of Monika Blunder.
Artist: Monika Blunder Clients:
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Behati Prinsloo, Megan Fox
“This is one of my go-to lip stains because it’s the perfect nude shade. I use it on Behati [Prinsloo] and Rosie [Huntington-Whiteley] all the time, and they love it because it looks so natural on the lips and stays on like a stain,” Blunder says. “The color payoff is great, and the formula is super-easy to apply.”
Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm In Ingenue,
“This is a fantastic cream shadow that comes in so many great colors,” Blunder told us. “I love to layer this product under powder eye shadow for more intensity and a long-lasting effect.”
Color Tattoo Metal 24 Hour Cream Gel Eyeshadow,
“I love this mascara because it is long-lasting, provides a lot of volume, and it does not clump,” Blunder says. “Your lashes will look very healthy and natural. As a makeup artist, I have to change out my mascara quite often, so I also love the price point.”
LashBlast Volume Mascara,
Photo: Courtesy of Nick Barose.
Artist: Nick Barose Clients:
Lupita Nyong’o, Emma Roberts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
“These wipes remove makeup without being greasy, but they still keep the skin hydrated,” Barose told us. “I like the white tea because my clients are in love with the calming scent.”
Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract,
“This comes in great shades, and the formula adds color and shine all in one,” Barose says.
Colour Riche Le Balm,
“I love that one pack of these comes with three lengths — short, medium, and long — so you can use a variety of sizes to make sure they blend in perfectly with your natural lashes."
Individual Lashes Combination, $4.99, available at
Photo: Courtesy of Molly R. Stern.
Artist: Molly R. Stern Clients:
Reese Witherspoon, Lily Collins, Julianne Hough
“This velvety, chubby pencil makes creating a bold lip easy with its excellent delivery and color that packs a punch,” Stern says. “But, the best part is, you can get a true matte finish without dryness.”
Colorburst Matte Balm In Striking, $6.89, available at
“This formula gives a sheer wash of color that’s perfect to throw in your bag for everyday, plus it helps with chapped lips,” Stern says.
Tinted Lip Balm In Red Dahlia, $7.00, available at
“This long-wear gel liner glides on easily, so it’s great for a sharp cat-eye
or a smudged, smoked-out line,” Stern says. “The color is more unique [than black], but still a neutral — and it’s great for all eye colors!”
Infallible Lacquer Liner In Slate,
Photo: Courtesy of Melanie Inglessis.
“This liner has a felted tip for an easy application and is super-black,” Inglessis says. “It stays on, but it’s also easy to take off with makeup remover!”
Infallible Blackbuster Liner,
“This formula has vibrant pigments and is long-lasting, but still very moisturizing,” Inglessis told us. “The palette is extensive, and there are some really great colors!”
“This is a great kohl liner because it’s super-black and really soft, perfect for the waterline,” Inglessis says.
Master Kajal Eyeliner,
Photo: Courtesy of Fabiola.
Artist: Fabiola Clients:
Julianne Moore, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
“These are essential for keeping your skin shine-free but still glowing, without having to apply a lot of powder,” Fabiola told us. “They're a staple for my red carpet clients.”
Clean & Clear
Oil Absorbing Sheets,
“This color is a true black and is really easy to use,” Fabiola says. “It creates the perfect kitten flick and doesn't bleed.”
Master Graphic Liquid Marker Eyeliner,
“This is a staple in my own makeup bag,” Fabiola says. “I love this formula because it's super-black and it really separates and builds your lashes, making them look really full.”
Voluminous Original Mascara,