Get Pretty at the Drugstore: Products Picked by the Pros

Most of us have at least a few beloved beauty standbys. But sometimes you just need to run into your local drugstore—where the options are dizzying—and grab shampoo or mascara. How do you know what’s worth grabbing? Turns out, even beauty professionals can be found lurking in the aisles at CVS and Duane Reade. We tracked down hometown makeup, skin and hair experts to get their top drugstore beauty finds.

Physician Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Extreme Shimmer Gel Cream Shadow & Liner Trio

“They give great color pay off and glide smoothly across [lids]. They’re also very easy to blend and smoke out for more drama.”—Keila Sone, Celebrity Hair and Makeup Artist in Manhattan’s East Village

What else you need to know: All the products from this brand are hypoallergenic, dermatologist approved and safe for sensitive eyes. The hybrid powder-cream formulation of these gorgeous eyeshadows lets you layer the look from a light veil of shimmer to a wow evening effect. $11.95,

Maybelline New York Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer


“I love this because it is so different from other products in the market. It has a unique saturated pigment with the ability to add volume and hold to the brows due to the amazing brush that makes application so easy.”—Maribeth Madron, Eyebrow Specialist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon in Manhattan

What else you need to know: Barely-there arches may look chic in your twenties, but down the road…not so much. Plus, regardless of your age, lush brows are in. (Thanks, Cara Delevingne.) This fiber-infused formula adds fullness to over-plucked arches. $9.99,

L’Oréal Paris EverPure Damage Protect Shampoo

“Anything sulfate-free has a tendency not to really clean my hair, which is so important for body and shine. This one not only cleans but is cost effective vs. salon products that cost $25 to $40.” —“NY Skin Goddess” Maryanna Nardone, an Aesthetician for 24 years on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

What else you need to know: This sulfate-free sudser is especially kind to color-treated hair. The gogi and acai berries strengthen the integrity of hair fiber and ensures your hue hangs in there longer. $6.99,

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water


“This is like a godsend! The light formula feels great on my skin, so gentle.”—Keila Sone, Celebrity Hair and Makeup Artist in Manhattan’s East Village

What else you need to know: Water-based cleansers, as opposed to the creamy ones we’re used to, are a thing in France. This no-rub, no-rinse cleansing water refreshes and purifies. If you want your mascara to swish away too, give the new bi-phase formula a splash. $8.99,

Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave in Conditioner

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“This lightweight formula infuses keratin into the hair for amazing hydration while protecting the hair from heat styling. You can add a quarter size amount evenly through hair, working from the ends up, and comb through from even distribution and blow dry smooth. A silkworm would be envious.”—Juan Carlos Maciques, Celebrity Stylist at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City

What else you need to know: For hot-tool devotees, this lotion-like leave-in can mean the difference between fabulous and frizz. It’s made with a special technology that preps hair for and protects it from heat styling. $3.99,

Milani Baked Blush

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“I like Milani’s baked blush for a highlighted glow. Their blush doubles up as an illuminator because of the sheen.”—Marni Burton, Celebrity Makeup Artist and KISS Ambassador based in Nassau County

What else you need to know: It’s really baked, which is what gives it that radiant, rich finish. It comes in 10 colors, most of which remind us of candy (in a good way). If you usually wear matte blush and want to ease into getting all glow-y, here’s a tip: Delizioso Pink (shown) is the least shiny of the bunch. $8.49,

L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara

“It is by far one of the best drugstore mascaras on the market for the longest, fullest, and darkest lashes with just one application.”—Sophia Cerchia, a Long Island Makeup Artist for 10 years, based in Massapequa

What else you need to know: If, as far as you’re concerned, mascara can never be too black, you might want to pick up one of these. It has two times more “intense pigments” than the brand’s regular black shade. It’s also ophthalmologist-approved for contact lens wearers. $10.59,

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer


“I love it. It’s easy to apply and the color looks really natural. And it’s way better than the sun for the skin!”—Joanna Vargas, Celebrity Facialist based in Manhattan and Founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection

What else you need to know: Sunless tanners have gotten a bad rap. But repeat after me: No. Orange. Streaks. This moisturizer works slowly, day after day, and comes in different shades, so your “sun-kissed” skin looks au naturel. It really keeps skin soft, too, so no need for a separate moisturizer. $8.99,

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil

“These are awesome as a primer for eyelids. They come in an array of gorgeous colors. No creasing on your lids, either.”—Sophia Cerchia, a Long Island Makeup Artist for 10 years, based in Massapequa

What else you need to know: It’s a liner that doubles as a shadow. How does it work well for both purposes? With its unusual blend of mineral oil and powder, that’s how. It doesn’t pull and the shades stay vivid longer than you may think. $4.50,

christina vercelletto

christina vercelletto

Christina Vercelletto is a lifelong south-shore Long Islander. She currently resides in Babylon with her husband, three children, and a morbidly obese calico. A media veteran, Christina has held editorial positions at Babytalk, Parenting, Scholastic Parent & Child, Woman's Day, and Davler Media. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Redbook, Rachael Ray, Good Housekeeping, FamilyFun, and The Huffington Post. She's been a frequent guest on Today, The View, and Good Morning America.