With access to the most gorgeous and famous faces on the planet, it’s no wonder makeup artists know a thing or two about buying the right product. It’s natural to assume they only use the most expensive offerings on the market, but contrary to popular belief, sought-after makeup artists always keep a few drugstore formulas on hand at all times, because it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.
With that in mind, we thought it necessary to make like a makeup artist and purchase the wallet-friendly brands they always keep in their kits. We tracked down a couple of our favorites and asked them for the lowdown on an inexpensive product haul. Astoundingly, every single one mentioned L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara ($6), citing its volume-building and thickening properties as absolutely magnificent.
Keep scrolling for more makeup artist favorites found at your local drugstore (and the reasons they love ’em).
Kira Nasrat, celebrity makeup artist and Violet Grey brand ambassador, can’t sing its praises enough: “I’m such a huge fan of this product. It does it all, everything from curl, volume, separation—the works! What I love most is the darkest shade is super pigmented and gives that look of false lashes, except they’re all yours.”
“The Demi Wispies might be my favorite go-to, but they make tons of options. These lashes look beautiful on the red carpet or for anyone wanting a little more lash in their daily life,” says celebrity makeup artist Brittany Spyksma.
“It’s amazing for those who have eczema or skin irritations. It’s great to spray on throughout the day to freshen makeup, and it keeps skin hydrated. I love dampening my beauty blender with this and applying makeup,” Nasrat says.
“Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm is great because you can get a hint of color while keeping lips moisturized. It’s perfect for all year, but especially summertime,” says Nasrat.
“This shadow can be used as a base, neutral tone, or as a nice pop of color. It blends well with other products and doesn’t crease or fade. My favorite color is ‘Bad to the Bronze.’ This is a must-have in my kit as well as my own makeup bag!” says Spyksma.
“Klorane makeup wipes are essentials on my kit. It removes makeup gently, doesn’t leave anything behind, and also doesn’t have a strong scent. You don’t need any water, just a wipe! The cornflower is super soothing, so skin doesn’t get irritated,” Nasrat told us.
“This is always in my kit! For those who want a lacquered finish, L’Oréal gel liners are the way to go. You can use these to create a smoky effect by defusing it close to the lash line. Plus, the staying power is great—it doesn’t crease or migrate all over the eye area,” Nasrat said.
To get even more out of your favorite products, we rounded up nine beauty products that work better together.