Frugal Fashionista: Fresh-Faced

In this issue of the Frugal Fashionista, we’ve asked DC- and New York-based celebrity makeup artist Kathy Aragon to come up with a fresh-faced new look that would work for most Washington women. But instead of using her preferred high-end products, she was left with a budget of only $50.

Aragon, who co-owns the Lorton fashion-photography studio Fashion400 with her husband, Luis, says that her favored look for clients is “clean yet strong.” Her number-one priority in a makeup application is to make the skin appear to be glowing from within. “Once the canvas of the face is correct,” she says, “the rest is easy.”

Aragon has worked with CNN, HBO, the BBC, the NFL, Glamour, People, DC Modern Luxury, and the Washington Post as well as high-profile and celebrity clientele from Larry King to Kimberly Peirce, director of Boys Don’t Cry.

What she chose:

Eyes: Maybelline Defined Length or Defome Volume pack in Chocolate Mousse or Crown Jewels. Available at CVS; $14.99.

Foundation: L’Oréal TruMatch; color depends on skin tone. Available at Ulta stores; $9.29.

Blush/lip/eye: Jewel by Trucco/Shine Crème in Warm Iridescent Rose. Available at Hidden Oasis SpaSalon in Fairfax; $15.50.

Concealer: Revlon Beyond Natural concealer/highlighter duo in Light. Available at Ulta; $9.99.

Total: $49.77.

Why we love it:

Aragon turned to drugstore brands such as Maybelline and Revlon to create a natural-looking face, choosing multitasking products such as Jewel by Trucco to work for blush, lip, and eye color. The resulting palate is simple and natural, allowing the model’s natural skin to shine through.

It’s a perfect day look, particularly for those who travel frequently and want an easy skin routine that fits into a carryon. The shine adds pizazz, and Aragon thoughtfully included concealer for those of us with less-than-perfect skin.

What we would have done differently:

Very little, actually. Perhaps we would have skipped foundation and gone for a multitasking tinted moisturizer instead, as foundation often has a habit of cracking or creasing in inclement weather. If possible (and if budget permitted), we’d also add in an eyeliner or darker shadow to take this look from day to evening—an easy fix given an extra $10 or $15.

For more information about Aragon, visit or take a peek at the behind-the-scenes work she’s done on her blog,

Think you’re a budget-balancing babe (or boy)? Send a note to if you’d like to be featured in an upcoming installment.

More>> Shop Around Blog | Style | Find a Spa