New To Makeup Series: Basic Tools

When it comes to beauty tools, the number one rule is: "Quality, not quantity".  I do believe that you get what you paid for. So you're better off getting one or two good brushes, than a whole brush set that may not be good quality.  I feature MAC brushes here because I am most familiar with them - it is what I use daily.  I know that Sigma Makeup makes a whole series MAC 'dupes'.  I have not tried these brushes, and I have heard mixed reviews, so I am reluctant to recommend Sigma brushes to you.

To get you started, there are only a few tools that are key to getting the basic face.

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The most economical beauty tool is the humble Q-tip, which can be used to smudge eye liner, apply shadow, blend shadow, and remove any mistakes (such as blobs of mascara).  I always have q-tips on hand when I'm applying makeup, especially since I have deep set eyes and my mascara often transfers from my top lashes to my lid. 

A pencil sharpener will keep your eye liners and lip liners sharp and precise.  Invest in a good quality makeup pencil sharpner, as they are designed to waste as little product as possible while sharpening.  A cheap sharpener will chew through your pencils quickly, and you will be throwing your money out with the shavings.

Curling your lashes before you apply mascara will open up your eyes dramatically.  My favorite eyelash curler is the legendary one from Shu Uemura.  This curler is great because it magically grabs every lash at the same time - even those little ones at the inner corner.

As a mineral makeup wearer, I can not imagine my life without a good kabuki.  The MAC 182 is so far the best kabuki I have tried.  Check out my kabuki review.  The kabuki is also great at blending blush, especially when you've overdone it.

The best eye makeup brush I have ever met is the MAC 217.  This brush does it all.  It applies shadow well, and blends like a dream.  You can use it to apply your cream shadow, or better yet, use it to blend the edges of the shadow.  You can even use it to apply and blend your concealer.  This brush does it all.

Most makeup artists will tell you that your eyebrows frame your face. As such, it is important that they are well shaped, but not over plucked.  Check out my mini review of my favorite tweezers by Anastasia.  Stay tuned for some tips on shaping your brows in an upcoming post.

And of course, the most important makeup tool you already own are your hands.  Make sure your hands are clean before you start applying makeup.   Your hands are great for cream products, because their heat gently warms the product, allowing it to apply smoother and blend easier.  Use your hands to apply and blend foundation perfectly.  I also almost always apply cream shadow, cream blush and concealer with my fingers. 

These are the basic tools to get you started.  I will talk about other brushes I use often in the next installment of this series.

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