The Make-Up Tool Basics
“The only 3 brushes you really need in your tool kit.”
There’s this IKEA shelf in my apartment; it shall be, or become, the answer to the chaos residing in my broom closet. Since its delivery, it’s been leaning against my wall, still wrapped in its packaging. Every time I walk past it, I imagine myself one day putting it together, placing it in the closet and re-establishing order once and for all. Emphasis on ‘one day’, because I should probably first imagine myself running to the hardware store to pick up a tool kit before I get anywhere near the idea.
With makeup kits, it’s basically no different. You browse/click through magazines, before stumbling across the latest catwalk trend in the beauty section: ‘sexy sweaty.’ As the modern woman you are, you find it very inappropriate to label looks with ‘sexy sweaty’, but you must admit it looks great. It’s mystic and smoky, just like you’re feeling today, with the right amout of gloss – perfect for Friday night. Inspired, you get to work only to come out with a face that looks decidedly more ‘sweaty something’. You put it down to a lack of talent and wait for the ‘sexy sweaty’ instagram filter to arrive. But, as with my broom closet, it doesn’t have to be this hard. Often, all that’s missing is the right tools. Here are my favorite makeup brushes, which I reach for time and time again (albeit as a non-makeup artist), when I create makeup looks for Powder Paper, while running to the hardware store in my mind.
A blending brush is the magic wand you need to effortlessly create a couple of perfect smokey eyes. Use it to apply dark shades to the entire lid and blend into the crease back and forth like a windscreen wiper, until you see those hard edges transformed into a smokey eye. Basically, blending brushes help you apply eye shadow far more easily, and remove the risk of coming out with two thick bars across both lids.
What is a smart lip brush, you ask? A lip brush with a form so cleverly designed, it can also double as a concealer or eyeshadow brush, when you want to create even thinner lines. The travel lip brush (vegan) from HIRO Cosmetics is one such model. I often use it as an eyeliner brush to apply eyeshadow right on the lash line, to conceal pimples into Nirvana or to correctly navigate red lipstick around the lip line.
These days, oversized powder brushes belong in the archives. By instead choosing a medium sized brush, you can apply powder far more precisely and avoid the dreaded powder face we all had in high school, when we slapped on powder two shades too light right up to the hairline, using the puff that came in the compact. Even better is a blush brush (vegan) like this one from Nude by Nature. It can be used to apply not only blush, but also powder, bronzer and on particularly good days, even eye shadow over the entire lid.
At this point you could actually stop. No joke. With these three brushes and a little practice, anyone can learn to expertly and beautifully apply their makeup. For more advanced students however, here are a few more tools to help make things even easier and improve your overall look.
Several years ago the beauty industry laid an egg, now considered indispensable for any professional makeup kit worth its salt, with which even the most amateur amongst us can effortlessly and easily apply foundation. Simply wet your Beauty Blender (vegan) with water, become briefly sentimental as you contemplate “how quickly it has grown”, as it puffs to twice its original size and then wring out. Then just pick up a little foundation with the round side and distribute it in dabbing motions across the face. The result is a thin, even and barely there layer of foundation on the face, to be followed by a fleeting flirtation with the reflection before you. The pointed end can also be used to expertly blend under eye concealer.
I love the stippling brush. It makes applying creme blush oh so easy, blending it so perfectly with the skin “that you’d sooner believe in naturally apricot, coral, pink and red tinted melanin than suspect an applied substance.” Also works wonders in the application of creme bronzers, such as in this look.
Because brows are brushed more often than heads these days, this tool is a must for every collection. The Hybrid (vegan) from Kjaer Weis is a brow and eyeliner brush in one and is perfect for those moments when your lip brush is not quite as smart as you’d like it to be.
Now tell me what I forgot in this list or would you sign it as complete?
Photo: Powder Paper