Must-have items and smart strategies from top artists.

By Real Simple
Updated April 08, 2009
Gentl & Hyers

Makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen, New York City

Makeup artist Laura Geller, New York City

Make makeup stay in place: “After applying cosmetics, wet a powder puff with cold water, squeeze out the excess, and press it over your face. You’ll be smear-free under even the hottest circumstances.” Geller likes (2) Cover Girl Make-Up Masters Powder Puffs ($3 for three at drugstores). Geller also says, “To make your eyes look bigger try this trick: After applying mascara to lashes, take a little brush, dab it on the mascara wand, and make tiny dots along your upper lid at the base of each lash. The result looks as if you’ve filled in the lashes with individual falsies.”

Makeup artist Leslie Lopez, New York City

Makeup artist Polly Osmond, New York City

Makeup artist Brett Freedman, Los Angeles

  • Use makeup to enhance: “My mom always said, ‘Make sure you see the woman first, not her makeup.’ That means using sheer textures to highlight, not hide, what you have,” says Freedman, who loves (5) Benefit 10 Bronzing & Highlighting Face Powder Duo ($28, Also: “When summer comes and your winter foundation looks too light, you can warm it up by adding a touch of gel bronzer to it. This is way easier and cheaper than buying a brand-new foundation.” Product favorite: Bonne Bell Gel Bronze Golden Tan, $5,

Makeup artist for Revlon Gucci Westman, New York City

“Drugstore makeup can be just as high-quality as department-store colors. Look for matte formulas and vibrant colors, which you can use sparingly for a sheer effect.”

Manicurist Elisa Ferri, New York City

  • “The first time I went to Europe, I noticed that the shopgirls in Paris would wear their nails short and leave a thin strip without polish down the sides, along the cuticles. By doing that, you can give yourself a very quick manicure―three strokes and you’re done―without the problem of polish bleeding into your cuticles. Plus, it makes your nails look longer.”
  • Which beauty products are worth spending on and which aren't? See splurge or save? the smartest beauty buys.