10 Must-Have Makeup Tools
Wondering which makeup tools are truly essential? Here are the top 10 makeup helpers no beauty junkie should live without.
Brushes, sponges, and more… your makeup bag simply isn’t complete without a few key essentials. Here are the top 10 makeup tools to help you apply makeup like a pro.
Makeup expert Vincent Longo says he's never without a velour (and it must be velour) powder puff for applying loose or pressed powder. "I find that with the right powder puff the skin will look flawless almost without any foundation," he says. It's also great for toning down the color of your blush or eye makeup if you've accidentally applied too much or for cleaning up the area under your eyes, where excess shadow often lands and eyeliner smudges occur.
This is a great makeup tool for applying liquid foundation evenly and for smoothing creams into your skin. High-quality ones are dense but not stiff. When using with foundation, press and pat, rather than dragging the sponge across the face. If you have skin allergies, be sure to choose wedge sponges that are latex free.
To achieve a flawless complexion, concealer is a must. Whether you use a liquid-, cream-, or powder-based formula, the best way to apply this product is with a concealer brush. Its precise oval head makes covering up blemishes and other imperfections a cinch.
This short-bristled brush is ideal for blending eye makeup to achieve smoldering, smoky eyes. The tapered head and thickly packed bristles let you easily smudge eye shadow in the creases and soften lines along the lashes.
The easiest to use are flat-head, blunt-cut eyeliner brushes that let you "push" the makeup along your lash line to give you intense color at the base of the lashes. Brushes with an angled tip allow for a bit more definition. Eyeliner brushes can be used with liquid or powder eyeliner.
This makeup tool preps your lashes for mascara by giving you the perfect upward curl. To use, place the open curler on your lashes as close to the lash line as possible, and gently squeeze the handles together until they touch, then release. Silicone (rather than rubber) pads provide the best crimp-free curl.
Eyebrow Brush/Lash Comb
You'll get the most bang for your buck with a dual-sided brow brush and lash comb. The brush side shapes your brows (with or without eyebrow gel), and the comb side defines brow hairs and removes mascara clumps from your lashes.
Makeup artists consider this tool indispensable. The brush has a pointed head, tapered at the sides, allowing you to define your lips — and make your lip color look like it was professionally applied. Opt for a retractable lip brush, which will help keep your cosmetics bag clean and the brush head free from germs, hair, and lint.
For tiny makeup fixes, there's nothing better than good old cotton swabs. Just dip one end in a bit of toner or facial cream and wipe off an errant dot of mascara, or use dry to clean up a lip-liner goof.
Use these fluffy pads with your favorite facial cleanser for all-over makeup removal. For the delicate eye area, thick, quilted rounds are best since they're extra soft and won't fall apart. Cotton rounds can also be used to apply astringent or toner after washing your face — or with nail-polish remover to wipe away your manicure.