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The right tool for the job

Have you ever tried to force a screw into a wall with a hammer? Or maybe you tried to beat an egg using a spatula. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been in situations where we realized the job at hand would be exponentially easier if we were using the right tool. There are few things more irritating than using the wrong tool for the job, and makeup is no different.

Sure, your eyeshadow comes with a little foam-tipped toothpick  for application, but anyone who has picked that flimsy foam pillow out of their sink while trying to apply eye makeup (all of us?) knows that you need to have the right materials to make your beauty regimen effective (and not annoying).

Here are the items you need in your cosmetic tool belt.


•     Blending eyeshadow brush. Blending eyeshadow colors is just so much easier with a brush than with those foam-tip applicators. Those are good in a pinch, but when you are donning a smokey eye or simply want to look put-together at work, a blending brush is key for smoothing the transitions of color across your eyelid.

Takeaway tip: Pick one that has soft, long-ish fibers. A narrow one will be easier to control.

•     Flat liner brush. This bad boy is perfect for applying liquid eyeliner, as the name suggests, but it is also great for eyeshadow. Wanting to try out a bold color eyeliner but don’t want to commit to a whole tube of it? Mix a little bit of your favorite color eyeshadow with water and use this tool to apply it along your lash line. This is also the perfect tool for applying just enough shadow to your lower lash line.

Takeaway tip: This brush should look like a super-fine paintbrush, with a thin, pointy tip.



•     Foundation brush. Many of us use our fingers or a makeup sponge to apply foundation and primer, and really, it just comes down to personal preference. However, if your skin breaks out easily, it can help to use a tool that won’t transmit bacteria from your fingers to your face. Plus, buffing with this brush can give your skin a more airbrushed finish.

Takeaway tip: Look for a small, rounded head that is shaped like small spatula. Long handles help you control it.


•     Concealer brush. Most concealers come with a spongey wand, which is fine for applying the product to your zits, dark under-eye circles or whatever else you are trying to cover up. But blending is better (and easier) when you use a concealer brush rather than your fingers. Plus, it prevents you from dirtying up your skin with your fingertips.

Takeaway tip: Look for one with a thin tip that is angled and flat.


•     Powder brush. When you are applying powder, you are generally trying to cover as much ground as fast as possible. Using a large, fluffy and round powder brush (sometimes called a kabuki brush) will make the application of your shine-reducer even and quick.

Takeaway tip: Pick the biggest, fluffiest brush for powder. The length of the handle is up to you.

•     Blush brush. Using a large powder brush can make your blush go on too heavily, which is why it’s good to have one made specifically for blush. A blush brush is designed to pick up just enough pigment and blend it naturally. It is usually a fraction of the width of a powder brush, and is angled for easy blending and contouring with color.

Takeaway tip: Pick one that has soft bristles and an angle to it. You can use this one for highlighter and bronzer, too.

Having the right weapons in your makeup arsenal will make it easier than ever to beat your face to perfection. And don’t forget to clean your beauty tool set every few weeks!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing