Get Gorgeous with Affordable Beauty Products

Makeup artist Sonia Kashuk explains why expensive makeup doesn't make you beautiful.
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Sonia Kashuk Real Beauty
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Sonia Kashuk

Editor's note: We are thrilled to introduce Sonia Kashuk as our new makeup expert! A 20-year beauty industry veteran, Kashuk has worked with some of the most prominent names and recognized faces in the beauty and fashion industry. However, women in the real world may know her best for her cosmetics collection, Sonia Kashuk Professional Makeup at Target, a prestige-quality makeup line featuring advanced formulas and elegant packaging at truly affordable prices. She will write a new column for and each month, but the archive of her content will always be available. We hope you enjoy her advice.

As a makeup artist, I've come face to face with some of the most genetically blessed women in the world. Amazing bone structure, flawless skin. But after they sit in my chair for an hour or so, they begin to reveal themselves as more than a face -- and I not only see what's on their eyes (shadow, liner, etc.), I can see what's in their eyes (hope, hurt, happiness). That is when I find women to be their most beautiful.

For years, women have been completely mystified by all the choices in makeup. My philosophy is that that makeup should be simple and fun. I also think that makeup empowers, inspires, and motivates women of all ages, and should therefore reflect, not mask, the woman who wears it.

Here, I offer the five beauty maxims that I live by:

  • Real beauty involves more than what comes out of a tube or a compact. It has physical, emotional, and intellectual components -- and every woman can attain it.
  • Great products do not have to cost a lot of money. Don't get caught up in marketing madness, and don't pay for pseudo science. There are plenty of effective and fun products available at perfectly reasonable prices.
  • You don't need a super-sized suitcase to do a daily face. One or two products in one or two places can create a perfectly polished look. Foundation, blush, and lip color are three examples of products that, when properly applied, give the face an instant pick-me-up.
  • Knowledge (about skincare and application techniques) is more valuable than keeping up with makeup trends. Proper care and feeding of the skin will give you a greater return on your investment than the newest shade of lipstick will. Great skincare, like great makeup, does not have to cost a lot -- you can find the same vitamins, ingredients, and scientific formulas as the pricey brands in a less expensive version.

    Learning how to properly use and take care of your makeup tools will ensure you get more mileage out of them, and will also improve how the makeup wears on you. With proper care, brushes will last for years. Knowing how to use each one will improve your overall look.

  • Real beauty is not a formula. It's open to interpretation. Makeup should not be prescribed -- only you can decide what looks right. Every woman arrives at her own look in her own way through trial and error. It's a never-ending -- and exciting -- experiment.

Sonia Kashuk's book, Real Beauty, is available at bookstores nationwide.


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