While all these makeup tools are not necessary, they will bring greater ease to the makeup artistry task. The good news is that the prices for all these makeup tools are very reasonable. So buy a big, inexpensive cosmetic bag and fill’er up!
Squeaky Clean Fingers
Be sure to wash your fingers before putting them in your makeup and on your face. If you don’t, you are asking for breakouts, infections, or rashes! Some celebrity makeup artists swear by the method of applying concealer by dabbing it with the light touch of your weakest finger (the ring finger).
Go to an art store to save money, and buy two round fluffy brushes for blush and powder, and an assortment of small sizes and shapes for eyes and lips (look at the expensive professional types sold in the makeup tool area in the department store to be sure you are getting the right sizes and shapes). You can use a new toothbrush as an eyebrow brush. Natural-hair brushes are better than synthetic-hair brushes. They are stiffer, which makes for easier blending. Celebrity makeup artists use brushes very liberally as the popular mantra is “blend, blend, and blend some more”. Most recommend applying concealer with an “eye shadow sized” makeup brush. If you could care less about saving money and want to know which makeup brushes celebrity makeup artists themselves use, then purchase your brushes from makeup artist lines, like Stila, MAC, Lorac, etc...
Pure Powder Puffs
Buy a couple of big fluffy ones and several packages of the small size. Keep on hand when the ones that came with the powder get too dirty. Dirty puffs can cause acne.
Pass the Tweezers, Man
This way you will have no excuse to neglect your eyebrows. The consensus among celebrities and makeup artists seems to be in favor of the Tweezerman brand of tweezers. If you can’t handle the pain of tweezing apply an ice cube to the area.
Endless Eyelash Curler
This is another great makeup tool. It is easy to use and really opens the eyes and lengthens lashes. Replacement pads are sold for when the original gets too dirty. Celebrity makeup artists usually recommend pressing and holding the curler for 20 seconds on each set of lashes. Then you can choose to go natural or can apply two coats of your favorite mascara. Concentrate building the lashes at the corner of the eyes for a “cat-eyed look”, or the lashes on top of the eyes for a “doe-eyed look”.
Eyelash Comb/ Eyebrow Brush
These two makeup tools are usually sold as one. Use the eyelash comb if you decide to coat the front and back of your lashes (only coat the part of your back lashes that you are “building up”, for one of the two “eye looks” described above. Otherwise just coat the front lashes. The eyelash comb will get rid of the excess, clumpy, “built-up debris”. Most celebrity makeup artists groom the brows with an eyebrow brush. They may choose to set the eyebrows with an eye shadow in the same color, a translucent powder, or even with a bit of lip gloss to “set” eyebrow hairs in the right direction. Others choose to “fill in brows”, after brushing in the right direction, with the feathery strokes of an eyebrow pencil. A thin dusting of translucent powder is a good follow-up to this regimen. Be sure to brush off excess powder with a clean makeup brush.
Makeup Pencil Sharpener
This makeup tool is a must! If you have eye or lip pencils, you need one. The type with two different sized holes is most convenient!
Trim too-long eyebrow hairs with these. Just brush eyebrows into shape with an eyebrow brush and trim the hairs that extend past the shape you desire.
Sponges, Cotton balls, Q-tips and Tissues
These items are all cheap enough to stock up on and come in very handy. Sponges are useful for applying foundation and to apply powder lightly. Cotton balls come in handy when you lose your powder puff or for removing eye makeup. Q-tips are great for cleaning up smudged mascara without disturbing the rest of the makeup (just dip in eye makeup remover and mop up smudges). Tissues are great for blotting lipstick.
If you choose not to carry a compact with a mirror in it, then pack this essential in your bag for emergencies.
Cleaning your makeup tools
Brushes: Clean at least once a month. Using a light shampoo and warm water, stroke the bristles in one direction. Rinse well and lay flat to dry.
Powder Puffs, Tweezers, Eyelash Curlers Sharpeners, Scissors and Sponges: May all be cleaned with soap and water as often as needed. (Sponges and puffs can be used after washings until they are obviously too old to clean or are worn out). Do not keep to long or they may breed bacteria).
Cotton balls, Q-tips and tissues: Must be disposed of after use.