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Bethenny Frankel on her favorite drugstore products and breaking through the beauty 'B.S.'

The business mogul shares how she unexpectedly became a TikTok beauty influencer.
Courtesy Bethenny Frankel

While most people may know Bethenny Frankel best as one of the original stars of "The Real Housewives of New York," or for being the founder and CEO of the popular Skinnygirl beverage brand, more recently, she's taken on an unexpected role — as one of TIkTok's realest beauty influencers.

Earlier this year, she started posting her thoughts about popular beauty products and her go-to brands, all while delivering her signature no-holds-barred commentary and wit. And it surprised many of us — because many of the products that the powerhouse businesswoman was raving about could be found at your local drugstore.

"This whole thing is laughable, because I don't really wear makeup unless I'm going to something, and so I laugh all the time when I'm referred to or I jokingly refer to myself as a beauty influencer," Frankel says to Shop TODAY. "It just happened, I don't know why it happened. I was just sitting down and I saw this La Prairie foundation that I have — and I don't know where I got it, and why I got it and who gave it to me, but I would never spend over $100 for a foundation — so I don't know why, but I just said how much better is this or how much different is this than a drugstore foundation? And then the same thing went on with the CoverGirl powder versus Chanel powder."

And so she began posting regular reviews, determining whether expensive products were "glam or sham," "beauty or bust" and sharing her favorite affordable finds that are "at the level."

"I just was so marketed to," Frankel says. "I watched so many videos and and the 'glow' that was taking over people's lives that everybody else wanted, it made you think you had to go run to get whatever blush or product they were selling, because it would change your life. And I started buying things and I realized that it's really all B.S."

While Frankel says that she doesn't fully understand what she clicked into for people — "I can't explain it," she says — it's pretty clear to us: By being so refreshingly real and honest about what she thinks about products — both the high-end and more affordable ones — she's created a level of trust between herself and her viewers that you don't always find.

And when it comes to the products that are the real deal, Frankel says that you "you gotta really weed through to get to the great stuff." Thankfully, she's done quite a bit of that. So we asked the celeb to share some of her beauty favorites as a part of our Shopping Diaries series.

Shopping Diaries: Bethenny Frankel

Bliss Cloud 9 Body Lotion

"I do a whole thing on 'rich b---- creams' [on TikTok], because I really like them for your face, when something is not sticky and not too thick, but just feels really rich, like it's going to feed your skin," says Frankel, who partnered with Bliss to promote the Cloud 9 Lotion's launch.

"And so this is a rich b---- cream for your body. It doesn't mean you have to be rich it just means it feels rich."

Frankel adds that the lotion is "really rich and hydrating," and it also "keeps you smelling fresh," thanks to its lemon scent.

E.l.f. Flawless Face 6-Piece Brush Collection

"E.l.f. has really great brushes," Frankel says.

This set from the brand (which will make the perfect stocking stuffer) comes with six different brushes, including a concealer brush, blending brush, eye shadow brush and more.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup Foundation, SPF 20

"If it's like something that's tried and true, meaning foundations that have been around forever, or concealer or mascara, the really big drugstore brands do it better than anyone," Frankel says. "Because they are based off research and development teams, and if it's some new gimmick, they might not be the best. But Neutrogena is excellent at products that are touching your skin."

She previously revealed on TikTok that this SPF foundation from Neutrogena is as good as foundation from more expensive brands.

Covergirl Clean Fresh Skincare Priming Glow Facial Mist

"I like Covergirl for their Priming Mist," Frankel says. According to the brand, the mist is designed to be applied over or under makeup to provide up to eight hours of hydration.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser

Frankel says she likes Maybelline's lip products and the "sponge tip items," like this one that she's previously voiced her love for on TikTok. The bestselling product is designed to be a "do-it-all" beauty formula, so you can use it conceal dark circles, correct dark spots and wrinkles and even contour with a darker shade.