Spring is in the air. What better way to liven up your look than with new makeup in pink, deep plum and green– the hot new colors for the season.

Looking good needn’t cost a fortune. To prove it, I went shopping for makeup at an uptown drugstore with freelance makeup artist Danielle Hughes (insert). What many women don’t realize, she said, is that drugstore-brand cosmetics often are owned by the same companies that produce the more expensive makeup found in department stores, so they share similar technology.

We looked at foundation, eye shadow and lip gloss that would have cost twice as much at your local mall.

Afraid to experiment? Drugstore brands are a great way to explore freshening up your look without investing a lot of money in something you may not like. “Drugstore brands are good, if not better, than some department store brands,” Huges said. “It’s about finding what works for you and what gives you the desired result that you are looking for.”

Want flawless skin? I use True Match Liquid Foundation by L’Oreal. ($10.99, drugstores nationwide) It’s oil-free and has SPF 17 sunscreen to help protect your skin. Hughes likes it because it looks the most like skin. It’s a great formula whether your skin is oily, dry or combination. Quick Tip: After you’ve applied your foundation, remember to set your makeup with powder, Hughes said. The powder will prevent your makeup from transferring on to your clothes and other people. Try L’Oreal’s press powder; it works well with the liquid foundation. ($10.99, drugstores nationwide)

Want sexy eyes that pop? Don’t be afraid to try an eye shadow with color. Get more bang for your buck with L’Oreal’s High Intensity Pigments Duos in Brazen, a pretty pink or Charisma, a deep plum. ($7.99, drugstores nationwide) Quick Tip: Does your eye shadow crease on your eyelids? “That’s caused by oily skin,” Hughes says. “Use a cream eye shadow first then apply your colored eye shadow. The cream shadow will create a barrier to absorb the natural oils in your skin so that the oil won’t break down the colored eye shadow.” L’Oreal’s High Intensity Pigments Cream shadow in Secretive #807 ($11.99, drugstores nationwide) is a great neutral color for all complexions.

Want luscious lips? I’m a huge fan of lip-gloss. L’Oreal’s Color Juice will give your lips a glossy shine with a hint of color. Check out Berry Burst or Watermelon Crush. ($8.19, drugstores nationwide) Quick Tip: Lips should look natural and soft. Don’t use black lip liner to define your lips. Lip liner helps define the shape of your lips and prevents your lip color from bleeding. Revlon’s Color Stay Lip Liner in Chocolate ($7.99, drugstores nationwide) is a color that compliments most black women.

More Quick Tips
• To pull off a polished look, every woman should have a good facial cleanser, makeup remover and moisturizer to help protect the skin.

• Remember, makeup is designed to enhance your looks, not cover them. Hughes suggests practicing applying your makeup at night. You can get a feel for how it should look before you go out the next day.

• Don’t forget to blend, blend, blend. Whether it’s your foundation, eye shadow or lip color, it will make all the difference in the world after you’ve applied your makeup.

Have fun, and remember: Makeup isn’t permanent. If you don’t like it, wash it off and try something else. Happy Spring!

Lashawnda K. Becoats is a lifestyle consultant and owner of La Concierge in Charlotte, N.C. Email: la@concierge.la

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