21 Drugstore Beauty Savers
Easy Does It
Wash your face daily with a thorough yet gentle cleanser. "Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for normal to oily skin ($12) doesn't strip your skin of its natural oils," Carmindy says.
Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Sheerest Cream Blush ($9) will bring out your natural flush. Carmindy suggests picking one from the universally flattering coral pink family.
If you need to fill in brows, try N.Y.C. Browblender Brow & Liner pencils ($5). "They are thin, so you can use small strokes for a natural look," Carmindy notes.
As for tools, we like the Essence of Beauty Face Travel Kit ($10). It has all the brushes you'll need in portable sizes.
Give It a Curl
Curling your lashes makes them appear longer. Use the La Cross Eyelash Curler ($5) prior to applying your mascara.
Carmindy recommends putting a light coating of Vaseline ($3) or a cream with vitamin E around your eyes before bed to keep that delicate skin moisturized.
One step that many women skip is applying a primer. "It is essential to even out your skin tone and keep your makeup in place," Carmindy says. Her pick is Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Luminizing Face Primer ($10).
Can't Spot It
For hiding spots, try Revlon ColorStay Blemish Concealer ($10), which provides lasting coverage.
Smaller Is Better
When it comes to mascara, a bigger brush is not better. A small one, like Maybelline's Lash Discovery ($7.50), is easier to control. "The larger wands just end up making a mess and getting clumpy," Carmindy says.
Cover It Up
After using primer, you want to cover discoloration. For the undereye zone, try Sally Hansen Fast Fix Concealer ($9 each). The yellow shade diminishes redness, while the pink (shown) adds lightness to dark areas.
Tweezy Does It
To keep brows looking good, tweeze them after showering, when your pores are more open. To maintain their shape, Carmindy recommends La Cross TiniTweeze Tweezers ($5), which grab stray hairs with ease.
Bang for Your Buck
When choosing an eyeshadow, look for one with multiple shades in the same color family, like Rimmel Stir It Up cream shadow in Post Punk ($7.50). This way you can use the different tones to make your eyes pop. Carmindy likes how they blend in really well with your skin, while we love the rich color combinations.
Just a Little Dab
Control oil and shine with blotting papers like Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets ($5). "They are thicker than other brands and don't fall apart while you're using them," Carmindy says. The sheets pop up easily from the container and won't smudge your makeup.
A Strong Foundation
Foundation must glide onto skin smoothly. Carmindy recommends Sally Hansen Your Skin Makeup Foundation ($13), which is filled with antioxidants and comes in 12 shades. Pat it gently on your skin in a downward motion, and don't forget to blend it into your neck for a smooth look.
Line your eyes to really make them stand out. "Pencil liners offer a more natural approach to eye definition and are easier to apply than liquid versions," Carmindy notes. Styli-Style's waterproof pencils ($5 each), in shades such as Twilight, Jade, Brown, and Tanzanite, last for hours without smudging.
Bright and Bold
If you want to use some bolder colors, try L'Oreal HIP Pure Pigment Shadow Sticks ($10 each). "They are like big crayons," Carmindy says. "I would suggest only playing up the eyes and then keeping the rest of your face pretty neutral."
Be Sun Smart
"It is best to get a face lotion with a built-in sunscreen, like Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 45 ($13)," Carmindy notes. We like that this combination product saves you time in your morning routine.
Sparkle and Shine
For eyeshadow, try N.Y.C. Sparkle Eye Dust in Champagne (shown, $4) and Opal Sparkle. "You can use them under your brows as a highlighter or on the inside corner of your eyes to brighten your face," Carmindy suggests.
For a real glow, go with a bronzer. Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Sheerest Cream Bronzer ($12) goes on smoothly. But avoid those with shimmer -- they don't look natural.
For an alternative to lipstick, choose a rich lip gloss. For something with staying power, try one of Milani's 10 shades of Glitzy lip glosses ($5.50). "I think these products are truly better than the high-end versions," Carmindy says.
For natural-looking lips without the stickiness, try one of Maybelline's Shiny-licious lip glosses ($6 each).
When to Replace Makeup
Old makeup and grimy tools can harbor bacteria that can lead to infections and breakouts. Follow these suggestions for when to clean and when to replace.
Brushes: wash weekly
Concealer: one year
Eyeliner: two years, but sharpen pencils frequently
Eyeshadow: one year
Face Powder: one year
Foundation: one year
Lipstick: two years
Liquid Eyeliner: six months
Mascara: six months
Sponges: wash weekly, replace monthly
Even after you follow these rules, do any of your products smell or look funky? Toss 'em. Found something you haven't used in a year? Ditch it. Maybe it's time to treat yourself to a few of the new products and modern shades featured on these pages!
How to Save Your Makeup
To extend the life of your favorite products and keep your beauty budget in line, consider some tricks from Carmindy.
* If you have favorite lipsticks that are whittled down, scoop out what's left and put each shade in a little plastic pillbox. This creates a great palette of lip colors to mix and match.
* If some of your pressed eyeshadows are broken, turn them into loose shadows by storing them in film canisters.
* To reliquify dried-out mascara, run the sealed tube under hot water for five minutes. However, stick to the three-month replacement rule on mascara; swollen, infected eyes are not hot.
Originally published in the October 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.