Barrymore is CoverGirl's newest model and spokeswoman, joining a stable of famous faces that includes her former idols and, more recently, Queen Latifah, Molly Sims and Rihanna.
Her selection by the Procter & Gamble Co. beauty brand was to be announced this week at a news conference in Los Angeles.
The 32-year-old "Charlie's Angels" actress is also a co-creator of the ads, and before any wardrobe or beauty decisions were made at Monday's print shoot, Barrymore said she was consulting on the concept, graphics, lighting and how the photo would be cropped.
"I leave the makeup and product up to them, that's their expertise," she told The Associated Press in a phone interview from the set. "What I want to do is honor the tradition of CoverGirl but hopefully bring myself and my personality into it, as well as some edgy fashion-forward thinking and positivity to it."
Look for her in a nude-colored dress, which, Barrymore explained, is a contrast to the bright colors often used in cosmetics ads.
"I like to be involved in every aspect. I'm a control freak but I keep those issues at bay when I work with other people," she said with a laugh.
It's Barrymore's strength that led the company to seek her out. "We partnered with Drew because she emulates the iconic image of CoverGirl with her fresh, natural beauty and energetic yet authentic spirit," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, vice president and general manager of CoverGirl Cosmetics North America.
Barrymore said she loved the chance to play with makeup and try modeling. "What girl doesn't fantasize about it?" she said. At the same time, she's more of a jeans and T-shirt girl; literally what she was wearing on this day along with Vans sneakers.
It is Barrymore's first foray into commercials.
She even surprised herself, but the thought of being a CoverGirl kept popping into her mind months after she was approached, Barrymore said. She took that at as a good sign.