Best Beauty Buys
Best Powder: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
The loose, fine-milled, translucent formula is "the only powder I can use on every skin tone," says L.A. makeup artist Vanessa Scali, who works with America Ferrera and Christina Hendricks. Its microfine particles reflect light to minimize flaws.
Best Concealer: Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer
"It's a magic stick," says L.A. makeup artist Johny Saade. The thin concealer expertly covers pimples as well as dark circles since it's not too tacky or creamy. Each of the four universal shades has "a moussey, airy feel," says Miami makeup artist Marissa Nemes.
Best Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
We hesitate to call this a primer because it's so much more -- yes, it evens out skin tone, shushes yawning pores, and "creates the perfect canvas for foundation," says L.A. makeup artist Amy Chance. But the velvety formula is also teeming with antioxidants, so skin begins to look smoother all on its own.
Best Cream Blush: Stila Convertible Color Cream Blush
One of Hollywood makeup artist Elaine Offers's "go-to items," this compact blush "can be used on bare skin or over foundation, she says. The sheer formula "doesn't feel waxy and leaves a bit of a sheen," adds L.A. makeup pro Brett Freedman, who's used it on Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Best Eco-Friendly Makeup Brush Line: Eco-Tools
These durable, densely packed brushes, made of sustainable materials like bamboo, "come very close to most upscale lines," says L.A. makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic. The only difference: Eco is easier on the wallet. Another makeup pro, Kayleen McAdams of L.A., is particularly impressed by the eye shadow and bronzer brushes. "They're great for applying mineral makeup," she says.
$3-$10, at Target
Best Lip Gloss: Chanel Glossimer
Plenty of lip glosses offer juicy color and glassy sheen. This formula has both in spades, but it really shines when it comes to texture. "This gloss feels smooth, rich, and never sticky," says Vanessa Scali. The clever wand deposits just the right amount of pigment to lips -- which stays put.
Best Eyeliner Pencil: MAC Eye Kohl
Sharp enough to draw a defined line yet creamy enough to blend, this pencil liner won't smudge and "comes in every color imaginable," says Amy Chance.
Best Top Coat: Seche Vite Top Coat
No one-trick pony, this top coat is actually a "finisher, booster, and protector," says Choi. "It gives extra life to all nail polishes." The tough-as-nails formula is the only one of its kind to "dry from the bottom layer up," says Silver Springs, Md., manicurist Maisie Dunbar, so polish is less likely to smudge. And let's not forget the blindingly glassy shine.
Best Eco-Friendly Nail Polish : Zoya
N.Y.C. nail pro Ana Maria Gheorghiu used these gorgeous nontoxic polishes on a then-pregnant Natalie Portman. Free of the harsh stuff (toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP), Zoya formulas also have a longevity you don't often find in eco-friendly lines. Plus, "they come out with great colors every season," says N.Y.C. manicurist Tracylee. "It's fun in a bottle.
$8 each, zoya.com
Best Trendy Nail Polish Color: Essie Power Clutch
This steely gray has green undertones that make it as flattering as it is trendy, says N.Y.C. manicurist Aggie Zaro. Plus, it has a chameleon quality -- it seems to shift colors in different light.
$8, essie.com for stores