by Diana Nguyen | Wed., Sep. 23, 2015 5:13 PM
Forget Hollywood standards—you don't need to stock up on expensive, prestige products to get red carpet-worthy results. Believe it or not, but drugstore beauty items can garner equally stunning results.
Here's one small caveat: You might need a celeb makeup artist to help show you the way. Wait—you don't know one? We got you! E! Style Collective's Instagram-famous beauty pro, Karen Gonzalez, recreated Cara Delevingne's sultry metallic smoky eye using only a few affordable makeup items—proving it's not always about what you have but how you use it.
After prepping the skin, the makeup artist focused on mimicking those famous brows. Using CoverGirl Bombshell Pow-der Brow and Liner ($9.99), Karen defined the shape by applying product in small strokes to the arches first then slowly blending outward.
Enter: the smoky eye. It's not just any smoky eye; it features a metallic shimmer…you know, to catch the paparazzi flashes just right. With the Maybelline The Nudes Palette (9.99), she applied the lightest matte brown hue across the lids and up to the brow bone. Next, use a bronze metallic on the lids for that slight shimmer, then pat on a dark brown shade on the outer corners of the lash line and eye. Blend, baby, blend.
Karen then used L.A. Girl Glide Eye Liner Pencil in Frosted Taupe ($6) to the lower lash line, followed by another line of NYX Liquid Crystal Liner in Silver ($4.50)—because, well, you want that subtle sparkle. Next, apply two coats of mascara for good measure. "You don't need fake lashes because the smoky eye is dramatic enough," advised Karen.
To balance out (but not overwhelm!) the look, the makeup guru finished with a nude, glossy lip using CoverGirl Colorlicious Lip Gloss in Melted Toffee ($7.99).
There you have it—a full-blown, nighttime look for less than $40 bucks.