The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

Pretty Cheap: Red Carpet Beauty for Bargainistas

pretty cheap by carissa beauty

Shoestring‘s own beauty bargainista, Denver-based makeup artist to the stars Carissa Passerella of, shares her favorite red carpet looks from this year’s Emmys — plus 5 Thrifty Things to get you that coveted celebrity look on the cheap.

1. Red Lips
Drew Barrymore, Chloe Sevigny, and Leighton Meester all worked a full red lip like nobody’s business at this year’s Emmys. Red lips might seem a bit intimidating, but they’re the no-makeup girl’s best friend when it comes to occasion looks, since you need to apply so little makeup elsewhere. For fair to medium skin tones, try a cherry red; olive skin looks best in brick reds; and deeper skin tones look best in wines and burgundies. Since a red lipstick needs to be precisely placed, go for a long-wearing formula to stop any potential bleeding like Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor in Ever Red-dy ($9.29,

2. Fresh, Glowing Skin
The days of super-matte skin are so over. (Like, 1996 over.) Nothing screams fresh and youthful like skin that looks healthy and glowing, best demonstrated on Padma Lakshmi and Lindsay Price. Stick with a foundation that not only covers imperfection but also adds radiance, like Aubrey Organics Silken Earth Translucent Base ($24,


3. Modern Smokey Eyes
Let the smokey eye evolution stop here, with its best version yet — where darkness enhances instead of overwhelms, a look any woman can master. Tina Fey and Jamie-Lynn Sigler had the right idea by keeping the darkness to the outer part of their upper eyelids for a smoldering look that’s more romantic than rock ‘n roll. L’Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner ($8.50, has the ease of application you would get from a liquid liner along with the control of a pencil — and in a lush, long-wearing, blendable formula to lock your look in place.

4. Pink Lips and Cheeks
If your eyes are Diana Ross, let your lips and cheeks be the Supremes by using a hint of feminine pink — just enough so you can still hear them singing the in background. Christina Applegate, Oliva Wilde, and Heidi Klum all understand that the way to top off a playful, evening eye is not to go overboard on the lips and cheeks, making pink the classic way to go. Something lightweight like Everyday Minerals in Walkee Talkee ($8, is best for the face, since the texture of the blush is just as important as the color. Choose a pink hue that’s just a hint deeper than your lips to avoid something too light and that makes you look washed out. L’Oreal Infallible Plumping Lipgloss in Plumped Rose, ($10, is a pretty standard pink that gives just enough color.

5. Highlighting the Inner Corners of Your Eyes
Well-placed shimmer is always a beautiful touch, and a flash of highlight in the inner corners of your eyes (a’la Mariska Hargitay and January Jones) is appropriate for any time of day on any woman. This one special area of the face begs for shimmer — since you can’t overdo it in such a small space — and it’s wrinkle-free so it won’t settle into creases. Dual-ended Shimmer Strips Custom Eyeliner, Eye Shadow & Highlighter from Physicians Formula ($10, gives the right amount of shimmer in an easy to control wand to fire up your eyes in a snap.

Got a pressing beauty question for Carissa? Leave her a comment below or email her at carissa @ carissabeauty dot com with Shoestring in the subject line.

Story Copyright 2009 Shoestring, LLC and Carissa Passerella

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