Makeup Artists Agree: These Are the Only Drugstore Products Worth Buying
Peering inside a makeup artist's kit is like catching a glimpse of a superior universe. Their massive bags are chockablock with not just any old products, but those deemed worthy of red carpets, photo shoots, weddings, and other events that require a flawless face. Let's put it this way: In order to keep their clients happy, makeup artists don't mess with anything but the best.
And the pros will look anywhere to find it. Sure, makeup artists rely on luxury beauty supply shops and department stores for holy-grail foundations and highlighters, but they know better than anyone that there are gems to be found at the drugstore, too. (Personally, almost every makeup artist I've ever worked with has told me that they refuse to use any mascara but Maybelline. Take it from them that spending more than eight bucks on mascara just isn't worth it. Long story short, brand snobbery benefits no one.
Of course, it's one thing to simply recommend a product to a client; it means something more when makeup artists actually keep that product in their kit and use it on the reg. We spoke with a handful of celebrity makeup artists to find out exactly which drugstore products they swear are necessary to their collections.
Want the final word on which drugstore products are actually equal to (or better than) their high-end counterparts? Keep scrolling for makeup artists' top picks!
Maybelline Great Lash ($13)
"For years, I've been a loyal devotee to drugstore mascara," says makeup artist Toby Fleischman. "You just can't beat the price, and even after trying the expensive brands, I always seem to fall back on my mass-market favorites." This classic pink and green product was the first mascara wand we ever loved, and though many brands have tried to steal its place, the original can't be beat. Celeb makeup artists Brittany Spyksma and Fiona Stiles agree that this is one of the best mascaras available, drugstore or otherwise.
Nyx Cosmetics Studio Finishing Powder Translucent Finish ($19)
For all your baking, setting, and mattifying needs, makeup artists recommend this budget powder over most high-end alternatives. "This is the perfect setting powder for ladies of all skin tones," says Spyksma. "A little goes a long way and helps to keep your makeup on all day." The pros love Nyx setting spray ($15), as well.
Ardell Fashion Lashes ($11)
Ask any makeup artist, and they'll tell you: Ardell lashes are the best lashes on the market, period. The Natural line works equally well for red carpets and everyday life, and each band of lashes is flexible and easy to work with, even for falsie novices. We spoke with half a dozen makeup artists for drugstore recommendations, and nearly all of them mentioned Ardell's lashes. (They're an editor favorite, as well.)
Burt's Bees Lip Crayon ($17)
When it comes to lip products, makeup artists are obsessed with "anything Burt's Bees." "From the chubby lip pencils to the lip shimmers, I always stock up on their products," says Fleischman. The brand's new lipsticks ($20) are also an editor favorite for a sheer, just-bitten wash of colour.
L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte 24hr Foundation ($30)
Drugstore foundation is tricky territory, but this foundation by L'Oréal is a rare standout. Makeup artists Nikkia Joy and Zachary Edward Hill agree that it blends beautifully and makes good on its promise of keeping the skin matte (but not cakey) for a full workday or night out.
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner ($14)
Eyeliner is another category in which drugstore products stand out. Celebrity makeup artist Rae Morris says this ultra-pigmented gel liner is the best you'll find. "It's super black. I can't live without it," she says. For $14, it's an absolute steal.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Cream 50+ ($29)
Though it's a little pricey for a drugstore product, this sunscreen is beloved by makeup artists, beauty editors, and consumers. It's lightweight and works nicely under makeup. "This is my go-to sunscreen and I use it personally every day," says Morris. "You won't get breakouts with this one."
Which drugstore makeup products do you swear by? Sound off in the comments below!
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.