How 3 Celebrity Makeup Artists Would Spend $20 on Beauty Products

Unsplash | Bernard Osei
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While it's fun to covet Cardi B's $295 makeup routine or the $401 worth of beauty products Nicki Minaj wore on her recent album cover, you probably have rent to pay and Uber rides to cancel. If you can't drop triple the price of your air-conditioning bill on makeup, you might rely on your trusty drugstore beauty aisle.

That said, the stacked shelves of your drugstore can be an intimidating place. Rather than wander the maze of $7 foundations and $4 lipsticks forever, you can opt for the following items celebrity makeup artists rely on when they're feeling thrifty.

Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

"I always travel with Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($5). These are my go-tos because they don't dry out skin like some of the others I've tried, and they remove all traces of makeup — even waterproof mascara. I'll spray a little bit of brush cleaner over these on set if I have to clean my tools in a pinch." — Neil Scibelli, makeup artist to Elle Macpherson and Kerry Washington

Q-Tips

Q-Tips

"I always have pointed Q-Tips ($3) in my kit, and I rarely finish an eye look without them. These are fantastic for cleaning up lines under the eye or to sharpen a cat eye." — Scibelli

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner

Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner

"This Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner ($6) is my go-to drugstore liquid liner. The felt-tip point allows you to create a line as thin or as thick as you want, and the formula is jet black. It also doesn't smudge." — Scibelli

Maybelline Fit Me

Maybelline Fit Me

"I would say that Maybelline Fit Me is comparable to any mid- to high-end foundation, and the coverage is incredible. The Matte + Poreless option is great for normal-to-oily skin types, as well as for anyone who works outdoors or under hot lighting. I've even used it for TV. The Dewy + Smooth ($4) is great for a more sheer, hydrated look." — Scibelli

Scibelli's total: $18

Burt's Bees Matte Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard

Burt's Bees Matte Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard

"I love a monochromatic look, so I use the Burt's Bees Matte Lip Crayon in Napa Vineyard ($6) on cheeks and lips. It can even triple as a soft wash of color on the eyelids. I apply it with my finger for a sheer finish, but if you prefer a deeper look, you can apply it directly, too." — Emily Cheng, makeup artist to Yara Shahidi

NYX HD Concealer

NYX HD Concealer

"A pigmented concealer like NYX HD Concealer ($6) is great for covering spots and undereye circles. You can sheer it out with a moisturizer to use as an all-over tint. I'll apply it before my moisturizer dries, and it mixes really well onto the skin." — Cheng

ColourPop Precision Brow Pencil
Courtesy of brand

ColourPop Precision Brow Pencil

"I use the ColourPop Precision Brow Pencil ($5) to define brows, and I think that instantly lifts your eyes and gives the entire face more structure." — Cheng

Cheng's total: $17

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk

"You can use just one product to create a full look: the Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk ($18). It's technically a blush, but you can use it on your lips, cheeks, and lids. No matter where you put it, I like that the texture doesn't feel sticky. You don't have to blend it super fast to avoid staining or worry about it being too bright on your cheeks. I think it makes you look like your natural self, but elevated." — Mia Yang, editorial makeup artist

Yang's total: $18