The Drugstore Checklist: Makeup

Cindy Crawford
Garance Dore
Julia Restoin Roitfeld
Emily Schulman
Jessica Diehl
Mandy Moore
Victoire de Castellane
Poppy KIng
Emily Ratajkowski
Emily Ratajkowski

The conclusion of the Drugstore Checklist confirms: voraciously stocking up on Maybelline mascaras is 100% totally normal. (Read Parts I and II here.)

Cindy Crawford: "Give me a brown eyeshadow and I’m very happy—that's my comfort zone. This is the only eyeshadow I’ll ever need in my life—Sonia Kashuk Eye Couture Palette. Really, what other colors do you need? I tend toward taupe-y shades because you can’t mess it up. My favorite mascara, and it’s cheap—Maybelline Lash Stiletto. It’s good because I get separation and it's not too clumpy; I don’t really like to see the mascara."

Garance Dore: "I put a little bit of Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Eyeliner on the eyes, on the top and the bottom, just along the roots of the lashes—I want to make my eyes pop. If I could do it better, I would do them a little bit smokier, but I don’t know how to do that."

Susan Cernek: "I love CoverGirl Eyelights Mascara and Eyeliner [ed note: discontinued], which is designed to accentuate your eye color. I bought the deepest navy/black, for blue eyes, and it just makes a world of difference. Sometimes straight black against fair skin and blue eyes can look really jarring, but this shade is perfect for everyday."

Julia Restoin Roitfeld: "What I find is that you don’t need to go for fancy mascara—I always get the L’Oréal ones from the drugstore. I get the gold tube, Voluminous Million Lashes in Black. It’s amazing—even my mom’s using it now. And the trick is, I use it on my eyebrows too, in black/brown. You just wipe off the excess before brushing it on. They sell you mascara brushes and stuff for eyebrows but you can really just use mascara.”

Emily Schuman: "On my eyes, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Black is my go-to. I dot it between my lashes and then just put a tiny bit on top of my lashes. It’s my favorite trick. I like the Revlon liner because it’s almost like a felt pen, so it’s easy to maneuver and draw a really straight line."

Jessica Diehl: "I have a bunch of these Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadows that are amazing—you just shove them in your bag and you’re done. I like the one called Not Just Nude. For a fancy event, I will use the Chanel shadow powder, but for something mellower, I will just do a smoky eye with the Revlon. I will put one color at the base of the lid and one in the crease and then I’m done."

Christie Brinkley: "Sailor just got me into purple lipstick—she took a photograph wearing it and she was so gorgeous that I got obsessed and thought, 'Why not try it?' I bought this L’Oréal Wet Shine Stain in Berry Persistent, and what’s cool about it is that it really has a lot of staying power for a dark lip color. When you put it on, it almost feels like you’re painting and then it dries, but it’s not drying."

Harley Viera Newton: "I actually use a lot of drugstore products—I love the Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stains—I have every single color. I’m a big fan of lip stains as opposed to lipsticks for the daytime, just because I feel like it’s a little more natural and easier to maintain.”

Mandy Moore: "I’m obsessed with Maybelline Baby Lips. They are so good. Strike a Rose is a little pink and a little red, and Peach Kiss is a good neutral. Really, all of the colors are great, the texture is great, and they smell good. I don’t wear a lot of lipstick-lipstick because I don’t really know how to do it myself."

Amy Odell: "Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Candy Apple is one of my favorites. But I usually just wear a neutral lip gloss or Aquaphor—I’m obsessed with Aquaphor for my lips.”

Victoire de Castellane: "I put on powder during the day. Never foundation. Never. I don’t like it because it doesn’t feel fresh—it’s heavy on my skin. Also, I hate the idea of transforming myself with some product and suddenly, the day after, people don’t recognize you. [Laughs] I think that it’s also a way to keep your spirit young—not to cover things. I love compact powder. I buy mine at Monoprix—Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Peach Glow. I like something that’s matte, always. I don’t feel good when my skin is shiny. When your skin is shiny, the lines in your face seem harsher. And with matte, you can be more bold with color. I think that matte is something very elegant."

Poppy King: "When I need a little boost, makeup-wise, Almay Smart Shade Liquid Makeup SPF 15 in Light just makes your skin look that much better. I started using the Almay Smart Shade Concealer because I got it for free once, and I liked it so much I’ve since bought it three times. It evens my skin tone without looking too heavy."

Coco Rocha: "I don’t favor designer brands over cheaper drugstore brands. I mean, I came across the Maybelline Dream Mousse Foundation when I saw the ad…and I was just able to pick the color because I’ve learned what kind of color I am—I know that I am 01, 02 or a C1 or a C2."

Emily Ratajkowski: "I have a serious thing about brows. If I don’t put on any makeup, I at least need to brush my eyebrows with Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara. Once they’re standing up straight, I feel pretty. I used to use a Chanel product, but you don’t need the Chanel, it’s the same thing. I fill them in with Maybelline Expert Eyes Twin Brow and Eye Pencil in Medium Brown."

Anja Rubik: "On my brows, Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde is very good. Otherwise, to keep my eyebrows in line, I just spray a brush with hairspray and comb them."

Photo by Tom Newton.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Haiku Jew

    Revlon revereie:
    I first found you at drugstores
    now, upscaled Ulta.

  • thebloginista

    I love drugstore mascaras, too. I've tried all the high-end ones and there really is no difference.

  • AsphodelJones

    Me-tooing on drugstore mascaras. Maybelline Lash Stiletto is excellent in large part because it makes lashes look great, but not like so much *mascara.* Maybelline The Colossal is also outstanding, for the opposite reason -- it does big, big mascara lashes, for when I want that sort of thing.

    And Revlon Balm Stains. And Revlon Lip Butters. I keep buying lip products at Sephora, but I've never actually met a Revlon lip product I didn't love.

  • Ann

    I used to buy Sonia K blush when I lived in the US, sooooo good! I loved it, havent seen them in Europe.

  • brunetteletters

    this is so true!! i'll ocassionally splurge on expensive beauty products, but I always have my go to's from drugstores at a very low price!

  • lucinda veen

    I feel no need to try high-end mascaras when my Maybelline One by One and CoverGirl LashBlast Length work so well (though I'm on the lookout for a cruelty-free mascara that gives me the same subtle definition). And Candy Apple lip butter is a perfect semi-sheer orange-red!

  • Kira Retana

    i loveee drug store makeup i only splurge on the must have

    items like foundation.

    but eek my goodness there are definitely some

    classic drug store products out there!

    love this post, thanks for sharing.


  • Jess

    Primer helps, but also make-up setting spray! Nyx has one, fix-it I think it's called. Urban decay has a good one too. It's a lot easier than primer since you just spray it on!

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    I'm all about drugstore mascara. I hate spending tons of money on something I will throw away before I use all the product.

  • Harper H.

    Yes I second the makeup setting spray! I use the urban decay one and I LOVE IT but I've also heard good things about the nyx. It really helps and is such an easy step to add. :)

  • Amy Havins

    Love all of these suggestions! xx


  • charmystique

    I have really thick and long eyelashes which are stick straight. Most mascaras end up weighing my lashes down and can never hold the curl. I don't know if you guys have Heroine Make mascara in the US, but they hold the curl all day, out at sea kayaking/snorkeling (tested in Maldives), and definitely out dancing from dusk till dawn.

    If you can't find it the drugstore, there's always Amazon...

  • mjá

    +1 for setting spray, but you might also need to adjust your skincare routine a little since your skin sounds either like it's naturally oily or producing too much oil in backlash to a too-harsh routine. Also, there's definitely nothing wrong with a little primer-- it won't defeat the joy of BB cream! I use the Maybelline Baby Skin one and it's okay, but the ELF eye primer is one of the few products I buy over and over again. It's $1 and kind of reminds me of paint spackel, but it works great for oily eyelids. It only comes in a really pale beige, though, so you may need to put foundation or concealer on top to match it better to your skin tone.

    • Brennan

      one of my friends just recommended Elf products to me as well, so now I'm definitely in. Good note on skin care too. I'd say I'm definitely in a trying-to-figure-out-the-best-mix phase on that right now. Thanks!

  • Alyssa Gapske

    The only non-drugstore product I use is blush (Tarte and sometimes benetint). Otherwise, I'm all about the drugstore. It's not hard to find good products that work!

  • Paulina Villalpando

    I love the 24hr color stay by Maybelline lipsticks!

  • Brennan

    super helpful. I have never thought about it, but you're right, my eyeliner IS oily. It just slides right off. I've been thinking about getting Photo Ready-- thanks for the rec.

  • mafer_dm

    Since Maybelline's Falsies came out I have never used any other thing. And I pray every single day that it never gets discontinued.

  • bella19

    ITG did an article about this topic last fall. I used to use drugstore mascaras, but found them to deposit more product than I wanted. I switched to YSL Babydoll, which is perfect for me, and I think it has to do with how tight the wiper is. I know most of my friends like drugstore brands though, so to each their own!

  • nooneputsbabyinthecorner

    I love the Make Up For Ever HD Loose Powder to set my foundation. I also recently dsicovered the NYX matte setting spray, which is absolutely amazing and keeps my make-up looking fresh, despite my oily skin.

  • Emilie

    My favorite serie!!

  • Habibty

    Department store foundation (currently using Smashbox CC cream) is a must for my dark skin. Everything else is usually from the drugstore (ELF cream eyeliner, Revlon lipstick etc).

  • Eira

    Have you tried the Max Factor or Bourjois cream blushes? I really like both of them. The Bourjois one is more powdery, but the Max Factor one has a sheeny finish.
    I'm still struggling to find a decent powder blush at the drugstore though, I feel that they're all so glittery.

  • Dior at Dawn

    Makeup Forever makes a great setting spray too! I get mine at sephora...apply less foundation too, I find that helps keep my skin from feeling icky past noon

  • Jen Ruhman

    i have no problem with drug store makeup. i especially love it when I know a cheap brand has a dupe for a high end product.