Do you love the next-level sheen that gloss gives makeup for the day? While it might seem like you would have to shell out an arm and a leg for department store brands that would give you a glow, you can actually create a glossy makeup look with drugstore brands that highlight just as well (if not better) than their pricier counterparts. All it takes is knowing which ones to buy, because there definitely are some lemons among the rows of products in drugstore aisles. Thankfully we have makeup artists and beauty lovers like Ida Ekman that are more than happy to point people in the right direction.
Ekman recently created a jaw dropping “plastic vampire” look on Instagram, rocking a next level gloss that actually wasn’t a gloss at all, but a clever optical illusion. But that level of creativity is nothing new when it comes to the artist. “You could spend a lot of time getting lost on Finnish makeup artist Ida Ekman’s Instagram. From Bowie-esque red stars around around her eyes to working with actual flowers, there’s no shortage of vibrant, creative beauty looks,” PopSugar reported.
For her vampire look specifically, you’ll immediately zero in on the wet effect, which she created by using white products to paint on a sheen. In her caption, she prefaced the instructions with a simple “stay weird” and then floored the Instagram world by sharing which products she used to create it: Two products that clock in under 10 dollars. “According to her Instagram, Ida used NYX Cosmetics White Liquid Liner ($7) and Suva Beauty Space Panda ($11),” PopSugar shared.
She used the white NYX liquid eyeliner around her eyes and lips to create the small points of shine that look like they’re reflecting light. Then she used broad strokes of the Space Panda white powder on her cheeks and forehead to create the gloss-effect on the wider planes of her face.
If you love the cleverness of optical illusion but want that kind of sheen for real, then there’s still a way to create that look while staying on a drugstore price.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, $3, Walgreens
According to Andrea Whittle, a makeup artist at KARMA Salon with 20 years experience, a go-to move for many makeup artists is Vaseline. “Not only is it safe to use on your lids, lips, and cheeks, but it also stays put for a long time,” she shares with Bustle. “A lot of the trainers I learned from when I worked for MAC would talk about their go-to backstage glosses at fashion week, and they weren’t always MAC products. A lot of the times it was Vaseline, believe it or not.” Just make sure to tap on the product rather than smear it so it stays thick and tacky.
2. Lip Gloss
Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Lip Gloss, $2, Walgreens
If you want something with a little more tack to it, then clear lip gloss would work great. “Just make sure not to put it on your eyelids or directly under your lower lash line,” Whittle warns, since it might not be safe. “If you are going to use lip gloss on your eyes, I recommend only dabbing it in the crease. The heat on your skin will help it spread out but not get into your eyes.” Great dirt-cheap glosses to try would be from Wild or E.L.F. “Their formulas are tacky which will aid in longevity, and they’re so easy on the wallet.”
3. Anti Frizz Serums
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum, $11, Walgreens
Another surprising alternative is anti-frizz products. “Dimethicone is the main ingredient in shine products, and have been used in a pinch when doing test shoots with photographers and models,” Whittle shares. “The consistency is thick and gooey, but extremely shiny so it stays put.” Take some of the shine serum in your bathroom and tap it onto your cheeks or brow bones. You’ll have instant shine.
Whether you want to use matte products to create an optical illusion or go with glossy alternatives, drugstores will deliver mega-watt shine either way.