Makeup artist Raoúl Alejandre is a strong believer in holistic beauty—that is, going beyond the fantasy and what you see on the surface to unlock something much deeper. “Like most of us, I want beauty to continue to broaden up,” he tells Vogue.“Not just by including visual representation of those often marginalized, people like myself, people that don’t fit the set of beauty norms we were once fed to believe in, but also incorporating values, important ones, like mindfulness.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #48 series on my blog.
For Alejandre, a California native who is currently based in Los Angeles, the question of when he got his “start” in makeup doesn’t quite apply. “I’ve practiced painting my whole life and makeup was just one of those other mediums I picked up as a kid because I wanted to express myself,” he says. “I would rummage through my mom’s stuff, and when I got to a certain age, I would sort of steal her old makeup and hide it in my sock drawer so that I could play with it on myself.”
Through his journey, the artist has developed a signature look that is fiercely elegant. His carefully painted eyes—a soft mashup of baby blue and moss green, a glossy, plum lid—and a pronounced lip, often nude or red, are undisputedly glamorous but don’t scream it. From actors like Alexa Demie and Ryan Destiny to musicians including Rosalía, SZA, and Lil Nas X, everyone Alejandre touches is left with a look of assured confidence that easily captures attention.
His inspirations come from legends in their respective fields (Salvador Dalí, Richard Avedon, Federico Fellini, and Siouxsie Sioux), life experiences like moving to New York City for a few years—“It’s where I broke all my rules and really got to know myself,” he says—and interior design.
“I could have a meeting with someone or be at dinner with a friend and I’ll look at the ambiance around us; I’ll look at the colors of the food in front of me, how they touch, the textures of the chair, the window treatments, and the lighting fixtures, because they all play such an important role in the final picture,” he explains.
It’s this attention to detail that has led to creative partnerships with MAC, Dior Beauty, and Revlon, along with a rolling list of celebrity clientele and publications. For Dazed, Alejandre created a series of makeup looks that were applied solely through Photoshop, proving once more that the digital space is the next frontier for beauty. “Growing up, I had one uncle that was super tech-savvy and he just threw me in at such a young age, teaching me how to create digital designs on Photoshop. On top of that, I was really into *The Sims*—I love how surreal they look, the language, the fashion, and all of the weird gestures that they make.”
As Alejandre continues to push the conventional limits of beauty and design, he’s mindful to release himself from the labels and expectations that can develop as an artist establishes themself in this industry.
“We grew up being conditioned to believe you have to be either this or that, you have to do this or that, but, no, I want to pick everything. I want to express myself and I want to use makeup as a medium to tap into every other medium. I don’t want to be limited in my lifetime. I want to feel free forever, honestly.”
To define and fill in your brows, you don’t have to splurge on a trip to the salon to get microblading, lamination, or brow-tinting. Hell, you don’t even need to reach for an expensive, high-end brow product if you don’t want to. Your local drugstore offers plenty of affordable brow-grooming options — no matter what state your brows may be in. It’s got everything, whether you need an amazing clear gel because you’re blessed with perfect arches or a pencil to will fill in even the thinnest, sparest brows.
Keep scrolling to discover 17 drugstore eyebrow products beauty experts always keep in their kits!
Maybelline New York Brow Fast Sculpt Brow Mascara
Filling in super-dark brows can get messy without the right products, and that’s why Allure beauty editor Devon Abelman sticks to Maybelline New York Brow Fast Sculpt Brow Mascara. Its deep and widely spaced bristles coat every single brow hair, and its hardening formula holds them in place all day.
If you like fluffy, pushed-up brows, look to Revolution Beauty’s Soap Styler, a sticky formula that’s perfect for achieving the soap brow trend. It looks white in its pan but glides on clear, so someone of any skin tone or hair color can use it.
The trio of shades in CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Powder Kit add extra depth and dimension, creating the illusion of fullness — and never the reality of smudginess, which is why it took home a 2018 Allure Best of Beauty Award for best brow powder.
L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara
The angled brush on the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara perfectly fluffs and arranges arches to give them perfect definition. The 2018 Best of Beauty winner for best clear brow gel holds hairs in place but also comes in three other shades (blonde, light brunette, dark brunette) to fill in any gaps.
For those who have natural brows that are hard shade to match, New York City-based makeup artist Stevie Huynh suggests the Nyx Eyebrow Cake Powder. “It comes with a wax that you could use before to intensify the powder and to groom the brow to shape,” he explains.
Thanks to fibers in the formula that cling to individual brow hairs, this Best of Beauty winner helps thicken and elongate your natural brow hairs. The Maybelline New York Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer is also a favorite of New York City-based makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci because its formula has a “slight reflective quality which mimics the natural highlights in our brows.”
If you want a sharper tail, she has a quick tip for you. “Dip into the applicator tip with an angled brush and paint the gel on for precision,” Ciucci recommends.
Allan Avendaño, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist, has several drugstore brow product picks, but he calls the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer his go-to. “It has a fine point that you can use to draw fine lines to mimic hair,” he says. “The end has a brush that you can use to blend those lines in and comb brows into place.”
“For those who are all about all-in-one products, I love the Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel,” Avendaño says. On one end, you’ll find a traditional brow pencil formula that fills in the gaps along your brows. Then, you can comb it before locking it into place with the brow gel on the other end.
Allure editorial director Sam Escobar likes to refer to the CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Fill + Shape + Define Powder Eyebrow Makeup as the ultimate lazy-day brow definer. The Best of Beauty Award winner is that easy to use. All you have to do is sweep the spongey applicator over your arches, and the powder fills in gaps while defining their shape.
New York City-based makeup artists Vincent Oquendo and Nina Park are fans of the Joah Brow Down To Me Precision Brow Pencil, a super fine-tipped pencil inspired by K-beauty. “The colors it comes in are spot-on,” Oquendo says. “I find it very hard to get a good ashy brow pencil with depth beyond the makeup counter, let alone the drugstore. So when I stumbled upon this pencil, I was like, ‘Sign me up.'”
Maybelline New York Brow Drama Sculpting Eyebrow Mascara
Los Angeles-based makeup artist Fiona Stiles prefers this brow mascara option from Maybelline because of its the curved spooley. “I find it gives more control than a mini, straight one,” she explains. Plus, the Brow Drama Sculpting Eyebrow Mascara’s formula isn’t too thick or too thin, Stiles adds, and the color selection covers all the bases.
Maybelline New York makes several brow products that professional makeup artists swear by, though. If you prefer a pencil, Carissa Ferreri, who works with Gina Rodriguez, recommends the Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil. “This mechanical pencil with its unique diamond shape allows for defined strokes of hair that look very natural,” she explains. “It’s perfect for subtly filling in or adding a bold, bushy brow. It’s also my favorite because it has a short round spooley brush on the other end, which is essential when shaping brows.”
L’Oréal Paris Havana x Camila Cabello Gotta Give Liquid Brow
The L’Oréal Paris Havana x Camila Cabello Gotta Give Liquid Brow could easily be mistaken for a liquid eyeliner in your makeup bag. It has a similar formula, but touts an angled applicator that helps you outline and fill in your brows. Avendaño says the unique way to fill in brows may be weird to use at first, but it’s easy to get the hang of. “I like to put the product on a brow comb or spooley brush to blend it and create a full brow,” he says. “It’s actually quite an easy way to do your brows.”
Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow
If you don’t need any added color and just want to tame your brow hairs, the Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow is a great option. “It’s invisible but helps keep the brows in place,”Quinn Murphy, a makeup artists who has worked with celebrities like Lily Aldridge, Dakota Fanning, and Isla Fisher, explains. You can seal in powders or pencil with it, too. “It’s a great grooming product or final touch to the brows,” he adds.
Robin Black, founder of Beauty Is Boring, is a self-professed brow product snob who generally gravitates towards higher-end picks. However, she finds the Nyx Micro Brow Pencil “surprisingly good.” Reason being? “The thin tip allows for precise application,” she explains. “And I love that it comes in eight shades, including deeper cool tones.”
Another one of Black’s drugstore exceptions to her high-brow product taste is the Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil. “[Revlon has] revamped this classic with an angled tip that makes filling in your brows easy and quick,” she explains. It comes in five shades, but Black wishes it came in a medium taupe and a cool dark brown. Let’s put that into the universe.
When Avendaño needs a basic tinted brow gel, he reaches for the Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Mascara. “Sometimes you don’t even need to fill in your brows with a pencil,” he says. “This tinted brow gel does all the work with a couple of simple swipes.” He loves how it comes in three shades, which he considers to be great universal hues that suit most brow colors.
Finding the perfect pink lipstick can be a balancing act. I’m not talking about your bright fuchsias or orchids or Barbie pinks — I mean those soft, subtle pinks that are almost nude but not quite. The kind of pink you wear when you want people to notice how put-together you look without thinking you spent a whole lot of effort or time. That pink.
With soft pinks especially, it’s important to take your specific skin tone into account, otherwise, you might end with a lip that’s way lighter or darker than you wanted. According to bi-coastal makeup artist Lavonne, the selection process thankfully doesn’t have to be too difficult. “When I look at depth and undertones for a soft-toned petal pink lipstick, I start by looking at the natural color of the lips,” she explains to Allure.
With that perfect shade in hand, application should be a breeze. “I will choose a concealer to neutralize any blue, yellow, green, or purple [undertones] in the lips. This way I have an even canvas to work with,” Lavone explains. “I choose a lip liner to complement the skin tone and then blend it into the lip before applying lipstick.”
To simplify your search for that petal-soft shade, ALLURE editors have broken down the best nude pink lipsticks based on your skin tone below.
Deep: Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick in Retro Rose
Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick is every bit as comfortable as it sounds, thanks to its frictionless formula that’s packed with reparative castor seed oil. Retro Rose, shown above, is a glossy and sheer muted rose tone that looks stunning on deep skin.
Deep: L’Orèal Paris Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain in I Rule
If you’re the type who likes super-matte lip that could last a zombie apocalypse, L’Orèal Paris Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain is exactly that. When applied on deep skin tones, its deep mauve shade I Rule transforms into the perfect soft pink that’s not too light or ashy.
Deep: Juvia’s Place The Nude Velvety Matte Lipstick in A Mauve Moment
If your skin tone looks best when paired with cooler tones, try Juvia’s Place The Nude Velvety Matte Lipstick in A Mauve Moment. With just a hint of a purple undertone, this velvety matte lipstick brings full-color payoff with just one swipe.
Deep: Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Miriam
Uoma Beauty’s Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Miriam might look brown at first glance, but when swiped across the lips, its true neutral pink hue comes to life. And if you’ve tried any of the brand’s other lipsticks, you’ll know this one comes with the same suede-like finish and comfort level.
Deep: Beauty Bakerie Cake Pop Lippie in Funnel Cake
With a comfortable formula that lasts way longer than you’d expect for a cream, Beauty Bakerie Cake Pop Lippie in Funnel Cake is a deep pink with strong peach undertones. And thanks to its smaller-than-average packaging, you can pop it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.
Medium: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Rebellious Rose
There’s a reason this shade of Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award. With sheer pigments in a classic muted pink shade, Rebellious Rose looks great on virtually everyone — but especially on medium skin tones with neutral or cool undertones.
You can never go wrong with one of MAC’s Matte Lipsticks, especially if it’s in the shade Kinda Sexy. This long-wear matte is equal parts pink, peach, and nude, making it ideal for warm, medium skin tones.
This medium-toned rose shade called Precious from Milani isn’t extremely light or dark, a perfect middle-ground for any medium skin tone. What’s more: Amore Matte Lip Creme glides on as a thin liquid and dries down to a matte finish, which means it’s practically weightless.
Medium: Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shine in Nude Venus
The slightly glossy and lightly pigmented Nude Venus shade of Pat McGrath’s Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shines couldn’t make a more perfect neutral pink for medium skin — take it from Cardi B, who wore it in her infamous “WAP” music video.
OK, so KKW Nude Crème Lipstick in 3.5 leans a little more into nude lipstick category than it does pink — still, with strong pink undertones and a super comfortable cream formula, we’d be downright silly not to give it an honorable mention.
Medium: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse in Seduction
A Best of Beauty-winning formula, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse matches even the most high-end lipsticks in terms of pigment, comfort, and overall quality. The shade Seduction might look like a warn nude at first glance, but its soft pink hue will be revealed the moment you swipe it onto your lips.
Light: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
If you ask around long-term beauty aficionados, you’ll find that few lipstick shades get as much talk as Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Matte Revolution Lipstick (a Reader’s Choice Award winner). And it’s no wonder, considering how pretty this muted light-pink with peach undertones looks on fair skin.
Bobbi Brown’s Crushed Lip Color in Babe has subtle blue undertones, which pair perfectly with skin tones that have cool or neutral undertones. Even better, this balm-like formula contains reparative vitamin E for added nourishment.
Light: Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick in Honeymoon
When Huda Beauty named this lipstick formula Power Bullet Matte, it really was not kidding because this formula is as matte as they come — thankfully without sacrificing any comfort. The shade Honeymoon, above, gets its slightly dusky quality from cool lavender undertones.
Revlon’s latest drop, the Skinlights collection, is all the talk-of-the-internet. The formula imitates a’la Amrezy x Anastasia Beverly Hills limited edition highlighter: extremely hard-pressed but highly pigmented. Needless to say, the beauty sphere of the internet went bonkers, and rightfully so, when this lineup was discovered.
Silky smooth, it becomes one with your skin, and spiked with the perfect amount of shimmer, this highlighter reflects light like no other using crystal-like pigments that give skin a multi-dimensional glow, so you always capture your best light.
Buy the Skinlights Prismatic Highlighter on Revlon.com
Infused with light-capturing, crystal-like pigments, this bronzer’s innovative technology creates the effect of glowing skin with depth and dimension. Whether you want to add a subtle touch of sun-kissed warmth or a bold bronze with believable radiance for a contoured look, our uniquely buildable formula can get you there.
Buy the Skinlights Prismatic Bronzer on Revlon.com
In beauty, there is no category more timeless—or quintessential—than lipstick. As an enduring symbol of power and femininity, the transformative swipe of classic lipstick is never to be underestimated. Over the decades, brands have met perennial demand with a dizzying menagerie of offerings, leaving no color, undertone, or finish unturned. But despite the scale of options, there are those strikingly universal shades that women keep coming back to. From true reds to nuanced nudes, here, 10 classic lipstick shades with that certain something loyal masses can’t get enough of.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice
In 1952, Revlon launched its Fire & Ice ad campaign, starring Vogue cover girl Dorian Leigh, and caused a stir with its kitschy quiz supplement designed to decide if one was, in fact, suited to this tried-and-true bold red.
Of all the products in your makeup bag, the one that allows you to show the most creativity is your eyeshadow. The colored powders in those little pans highlight the most expressive part of your face. The looks you dream up can be anything from subtle to glam, and eyeshadows come in every color to match any mood or outfit. However, palettes can get pretty pricey. That’s where drugstores come in.
Affordable brands like Maybelline, L’Oréal Paris, NYX, and more make shadows that stack up to the quality of high-end brands—and sometimes even out-perform them. Although drugstore eyeshadows used to be entry-level products beauty lovers first experimented with in middle school, they’re now staples in the makeup kits of professional artists and beauty influencers alike.
Patrick Ta, go-to makeup artist of Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, and Shay Mitchell, thinks that this palette is “the perfect drugstore eyeshadow option.” He loves the blendability of the shades and says you can create both natural and smokey eye looks with it. Plus, the metallic shades double as face highlighters so you can glow all over.
Celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney noted that she uses the Enigma palette on Ashley Graham because the plum tones in it are perfect for people with brown eyes. She also regularly travels with it because it’s so compact.
For a bronze smokey eye, Henney says that there is no palette better than this one. She loves that the metallic tones work to give the center of the eye a pop. She also regularly brings it when she is doing makeup for swimwear campaigns because it creates when she calls a “beach babe eye.”
You can’t really go wrong with a $5 eyeshadow palette, especially when the quality is as good as this one is. It comes in four different shade ranges so you can select the one that best fits your mood, or collect them all—for less than the price of one high-end palette. Makeup artist and YouTuber @RawBeautyKristi says that these palettes are a go-to of hers when she needs something both affordable and quality, and emphasizes that Wet N Wild is an “underrated drugstore brand.”
Glamsquad Artistic Director Kelli J. Bartlett is a huge fan of these single shadows because of the variety in textures. They come in metallic, pearl, and matte finishes that “are color-true and offer minimum fallout.”
Bartlett also reaches for this palette when she needs to create a neutral look. She loves that each of the shadows are highly pigmented and blendable, and it comes with 21 total hues in the palette. It’s versatile enough to create both natural and dramatic looks.
Celebrity makeup artist and #DewyDumpling Instagram phenomenon Nam Vo, who works with everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Kylie Jenner, uses this palette to create what she describes a “warm dumpling eye,” because the entire set is subtly metallic and warm-toned.
Vo is also partial to this metallic baby pink shadow single. She gently taps it into the center of the lid to give a glossy shock of glitter to any eye look, especially when she wants to give off a sweet, “innocent” vibe.
Beauty YouTuber and founder of Dominique Cosmetics, Christen Dominique, loves how the shadows in this palette are buildable in coverage and are universally flattering on a variety of skin tones. It also comes in sleek black packaging that will look great both in a makeup flatlay and sitting on your vanity countertop.
Beauty influencer Foinika Kay—also known as @ExteriorGlam—says this palette is one of the best ones that she owns. Though it falls on the pricier side of drugstore palettes, she loves how pigmented it is, and that the shades are so different that you can create a plethora of fun looks.
Kay also really loves this BH palette for its long-lasting power. It has a ton of neutral shades ranging from golds to pinks, and it even has a few purples thrown in, so you can go for a more neutral, soft-glam look.
Beauty influencer and musician Bri Hall swears by this palette, pun intended. The color diversity, as well as the mix of textures and finishes, makes it an easy go-to for the makeup lover on-the-go. She loves that it has a combination of warm and cool tones, and regularly reaches for this palette whenever she’s in a pinch.
My all-time favourite film is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. “Because nothing bad can ever happen at Tiffany’s…” right? I wholeheartedly agree!
The iconic lipstick that Audrey Hepburn (Holly) wears throughout the film has been on the minds of beauty lovers for decades! And luckily for us, it can still be found and purchased today.
The legendary shade comes from non-other but Revlon, the pioneer of makeup industry at the time. Their creme lipstick in the shade “Pink in the Afternoon” is the historic item being reapplied throughout the course of the film at least five times, enough for the audience to fall in love with it.
Have you wondered about her lipstick shade before? Are you inspired to run out and grab one for yourself? Do you want me to research into other famous lipstick shades? Let me know in the comments below!