Summer Blockbuster Beauty on a Budget

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Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun and the Paula’s Choice Research Team provide women with tips on how to get three of the hottest looks in this summer's films.

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More than ever, a lot of actresses are making their marks in summer’s blockbuster films – and looking great doing it.

We’re in the middle of a sizzling summer movie season; superheroes and villains are shaking things up on the silver screen. More than ever, a lot of actresses are making their marks in summer’s blockbuster films – and looking great doing it. Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun and the Paula’s Choice Research Team show how to get three of the hottest looks in summer films –without a blockbuster price. Ready for that close-up?

Look #1: Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby: Daisy is the classic flapper girl of the Roaring ‘20s. Her look is a reflection of the trends at the time, when matte makeup and a pale peaches and cream complexion were the norm.

To achieve a flawless canvas to work from, try a foundation like Revlon's Nearly Naked Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($9.99), which has a beautiful natural matte finish. Give skin a natural flush with a dusting of pale pink or peach powder blush: try NYX Cosmetics' Blush in Angel or Peach, a great option at just $5!

For eyes, smoky, sultry shades on lids were all the rage in the ‘20s, especially charcoal gray. Again, go matte here, as super-shiny wasn’t in fashion. NYX Cosmetics' Nude Matte Eyeshadows ($4.50 each) include some truly matte shades, including one in – you guessed it – gray. Give eyes added drama by lining them with an eye pencil like Avon's Always On Point Eyeliner in Black ($8).

While most flappers chose matte lip colors in raspberry, plum, or deep red shades, Mulligan’s Daisy takes a softer approach. Pick a light coral or pinky nude shade to get her on-screen look. You can find a variety of great options in every price range on our list of Best Lipsticks.

Look #2: Amy Adams as Lois Lane in Man of Steel: Determined, smart, and strong, Lois Lane is a hard-hitting journalist who won’t let anything get in the way of a good story. Adams’ version of this iconic working-class woman wears minimal makeup as she travels the world to uncover the mysterious Superman’s origins.

Like most women, Lois doesn’t have a lot of time to do her makeup, so choose on-the-go options to mimic her look. A tinted moisturizer like Paula’s Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint SPF 30 ($14.95) is a great multi-tasker that provides sheer coverage, broad-spectrum mineral sun protection, and anti-aging ingredients. For cheeks, we like e.l.f. Cosmetics' Studio Cream Blush ($6) in Flirt or Tease. It’s inexpensive, blends easily into skin, and doesn’t enhance large pores or look greasy.

Finish the Lois look with a swipe of natural-looking mascara like Voluminous Naturale Natural-Looking Volume & Definition Mascara by L'Oreal Paris ($7.29) and a sheer lip gloss, such as Paula's Choice Perfect Shine Hydrating Lip Gloss ($9.95) in Strawberry Soda or Pink Lemonade.

Look #3: Zoe Saldana as Lt. Nyota Uhura in Star Trek Into Darkness: Saldana’s makeup as Lt. Uhura is both hyper-modern and retro as a nod to Star Trek’s futuristic setting, and the character’s origins in the classic 1960s television series.

To get the look, start with a sheer, natural-looking foundation, like Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Glow Sheers SPF 30 ($10.99). Add a blush with very subtle shimmer to recreate Uhura’s “lit from within” complexion without looking too shiny. We love Palladio Beauty's Baked Blush ($7.00) in Wish. Uhura doesn’t wear much in terms of lipstick, just enough to enhance her natural lip color. A lip stain like L'Oreal's Color Caresse Wet Shine Stain ($9.99) in Rose On and On works perfectly, imparting a beautiful stain without drying out lips.

Ultimately, Uhura’s look is all about the eyes. The focus of her makeup is ‘60s-inspired cat eyes with lush lashes. Start out by using soft brown shadows on lids and in the creases. We’re fans of Wet 'n Wild's Color Icon Eyeshadow Singles, ($1.99) in Nutty and Brulee to enhance eyes and give them shape. Then choose a smudge-proof liquid eye liner like Milani's Infinite Liquid Eye Liner ($6.99) in Everlast to add a thick line along the upper lashes, being sure to wing it out as you come to the outer edge of the eye. To complete the look, use a volumizing mascara like Rimmel's The Max Volume Flash Mascara ($6.99), which won’t smear or flake.

Whether the makeup look being sought is based on the latest blockbuster’s beauty or cover of a fashion magazine, count on the Paula’s Choice Research Team’s expert reviews to find the best products at any price.

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Led by best-selling author and beauty expert Paula Begoun, the Paula’s Choice Research Team evaluates and reviews hundreds of skin-care and makeup products, in books such as Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me as well as online at Combining cosmetics industry knowledge and expertise, Paula and her team have developed the Paula’s Choice line of state-of-the-art formulations based on reliable, published skin-care research. Products include skin-care, makeup, body and hair-care products, beauty tools, and accessories. All products are fragrance-free, cruelty free, and environmentally friendly.

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