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Drugstore Products Hollywood Makeup Artists Swear By

By Elise Marquam-Jahns September 28, 2023 Beauty

While celebrity makeup artists with A-list clients are expected to have very expensive makeup brands in their kits, they will often share some of the drugstore products they use that perform just as well – if not better – than high priced versions of the same product.

So, I thought you might find it interesting to know which drugstore products are the “go-to” products celebrity makeup artists keep in their makeup kits. And although we know that just about any makeup product will work on 20- or 30-year-old skin, the questions is: will these same drugstore products work on our mature skin?

That’s exactly the question we’re going to answer today. I’ll demonstrate these products in the accompanying video and will also let you know my thoughts on how well they worked on my mature skin at the end of this article and video.


One of the drugstore makeup brands that really shines when it comes to eyebrows is NYX. A number of celebrity makeup artists swear that their Micro Brow pencil is an absolute dupe for the much higher priced ABH Brow Wiz pencil since you can create the tiniest brow strokes with this NYX pencil.

It also comes in 12 colors – including grey. This is a big deal because it’s really important to find a good match for our brow color and many drugstore eyebrow pencils don’t have a great variety of colors – and rarely come in grey.

Another brow product from NYX that’s often mentioned by celebrity makeup artists is their Lift and Snatch Brow Tint Pen. I have to say that I’ve tried most of the brow pens on the market – at all price points – and the NYX pen, in my opinion, outshines them all. The tip is just the right size to draw thin brow hairs, and it also comes in 10 colors – including a grey/black – so it’s pretty easy to find a match for our brow color.


For eyes, I’ll first use a celebrity makeup artist recommended Physicians Formula bronzer in the crease of my eyes. Celebrity makeup artists describe this bronzer formula as silky. It also smells like a wonderful day at the beach, so if you are not a fan of fragrance, this definitely won’t be the right product for you.

On my eyelids, I’m going to use another celebrity makeup artist recommended product: a one and done eyeshadow from Maybelline called their Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow in the shade “Front Runner.” What celebrity makeup artists love about it is not only the beautiful colors but also the fact that it lasts all day.


First up is L’Oreal’s 4 in 1 Tinted Balm from their Age Perfect line which was specifically designed for those of us over 50. It comes in seven colors and is described as a lightweight foundation with firming serum that has 4 unique benefits:

  • it firms over time,
  • it smooths lines,
  • it conceals imperfections,
  • and it evens out tone.

It’s designed to have the benefits of a skincare balm plus the coverage of a foundation. I’ll use the shade “Fair 20” which has a pink undertone. The lightest shade – Fair 10 – has a yellow undertone.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!


The two stand-out concealers for makeup artists in this category are Elf’s Flawless Brightening Concealer and Catrice’s True Skin Concealer. The Elf product has Vitamin C, which brightens the skin, and hyaluronic acid. It comes in 18 shades, and I have two of them – “Fair” which has a cool undertone and “Light” which has a neutral undertone.

One thing I love about the Elf website is that you can filter down the concealer and foundation shades by skin tone and skin undertone which really makes it so much easier to get the perfect match for your skin.

The Catrice concealer is waterproof, lightweight, has hyaluronic acid and is good for normal to dry skin. I’m going to use the lightest Elf shade, “Fair,” under my eyes, after applying a corrector, and the Catrice Concealer in “Cashmere” on other areas of my face.


My contour will be the Physicians Formula Bronzer that I used earlier as eyeshadow. Since it’s a powder product – I’m first going to apply my Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in “Creamy Natural” to the area of my face where I’ll be applying the Physicians Formula Bronzer. This will help the bronzer glide on more easily.


I have two blushes that are considered top notch by celebrity makeup artists: Flower Beauty’s Blush Bomb in “Bubbly” and Milani’s baked powder blush in “Dolce Pink,” which is a shimmer formula that I’ve never tried. I always recommend cream and liquid blushes for those of us with dry, mature skin, so it will be interesting to see how this Milani Baked Powder product works.

Since baked powder products do start out their life as cream products that are slowly poured onto terracotta tiles in Tuscany and baked until they’re dry, I do have high hopes that this product will look natural on the skin. I’ll apply the Flower Beauty Gel blush on one side and the Milani baked powder blush on the other side. By the way, the Milani blush and the Flower Beauty Blush Bomb both come in 7 other shades.


I have two drugstore highlighters that are top makeup artist picks. And I don’t think either of them will come as a surprise. One is a recent cult favorite, Elf’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter, and the other is a long-time oldie but goodie, L’Oreal’s Lumi Glotion.

I have Shade 2 in the Elf product and there are 7 other shades. In the L’Oreal Lumi Glotion I have the shade “Fair,” and it also comes in shades “Light,” “Medium” and “Deep.” Both of these products hydrate and luminize the skin for an all over natural looking glow. Both can be worn four different ways: alone, over or under makeup, mixed with foundation or as a highlighter over makeup.

Lip Gloss

The gloss I’m going to be wearing over my lipstick is also a long-time cult favorite from NYX. It’s their Butter Gloss, and I have the shade “Merengue.” Celebrity makeup artists love the fact that this gloss has great pigment, is hydrating, comes in 30 shades, and has high shine but doesn’t feel sticky.

My Thoughts on These Products

So how did these products work on my mature skin? The NYX Eyebrow Pencil worked beautifully. There’s definitely no need to purchase an expensive eyebrow pencil unless there’s one that’s just a personal favorite.

The Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Gel Eyeshadow was beautiful and very easy to apply. The one drawback for me is that it only comes in metallic colors. But I do love using it as a special accent color.

The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer richly deserves its long-time cult status and is definitely a winner.

Unfortunately, one of the two Elf Brightening Concealers was defective. However, the one that did work provided a nice brightening effect. But I’m pretty reticent to purchase this product again due to the applicator issue.

The product that surprised me the most, in a good way, was the L’Oreal 4-in-1 Age Perfect Tinted Face Balm. It felt beautifully lightweight on the skin and did a good job of evening out my skin tone even though the coverage was fairly light. I’ll definitely be reaching for this product more often.

I love the Catrice Foundation so had high hopes for the Catrice Concealer, and I wasn’t disappointed. It did cover nicely, but I do wish Catrice offered a broader shade range since I wasn’t able to find a perfect match for my skin tone.

Both the Elf Halo Glow Liquid Filter and the L’Oreal Lumi Glotion are excellent products, and I’d definitely recommend them. The L’Oreal Lumi Glotion provides a slightly softer glow than the Elf product, so which product you choose really boils down to personal taste.

The Flower Beauty Blush Bomb products are exceptionally good, and I rank them near the top of the list of my all-time favorite blushes. Although the Milani Baked Blush is a gorgeous color, I felt an immediate drying sensation on my skin when I applied it. It may work well if you have oily skin, but I’d definitely not recommend it for those of us who have dry skin.

Finally, the NYX Butter Gloss was beautiful. The applicator was substantial, the gloss felt great on the lips, and it had a lovely shine. And the shade range is exceptional with 30 colors.

For more makeup tutorials and guides, visit Elise’s Sixty and Me author page.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you tried any of these drugstore products? If so, how did you like them? Do you have any other drugstore products that you’d recommend?

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Maria Murad

I like Elise and her youtube channel, but I’d like to see other experts comment on makeup in this forum.


The ELF halo glow is an unbelievable dupe for the pricey Charlotte Tillsbury

Elise Marquam Jahns

Hi, Joyce–Thanks for mentioning this. I couldn’t agree more! Elf makes some excellent products and the Halo Glow is really outstanding.

The Author

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional makeup artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back. She is the founder of Boomer and Beyond Beauty and runs the “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” YouTube channel. Elise has authored the free guide The Top Four Research-Proven Makeup Techniques That Help Us Look Our Best Now.

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