Gone are the days when all you needed was your two bare hands to apply a full face of makeup…….. I remember getting my first foundation brush and thinking, “wow, I’m so fancy” lol. Since then, the world of beauty tools has come such a long way. There are so many tools on the market these days, all claiming to help us apply our makeup better, that sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. I thought it would therefore be helpful to share with you the tools that I swear by and use on a daily basis.
Yes I did wash my brushes right before taking these pictures…..They are not always this clean unfortunately!
A foundation brush was the first beauty tool I ever owned. I have been through numerous different ones in the past years, but the one that I turn to most often is the Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush. This brush has been raved about on blogs and on YouTube, and I have to say it really lives up to the hype. It is a very dense brush that buffs foundation seamlessly into the skin.
In addition to my foundation brush, and maybe even more so, I absolutely love to use a beauty sponge to apply my foundation. I got my first beauty blender a few years ago and I have loved it ever since (just look at how washed out it is! – I really need to buy a new one). I find that the beauty blender gives a very polished look to your foundation, as well as more of a dewy finish (which I absolutely love). The original beauty blender is definitely a little bit pricey though, and many companies have produced dupes for it over the past few years. As much as I am a massive fan of the original Beauty Blender, Real Techniques have definitely given it a run for its money with their Miracle Complexion Sponge. Whilst this sponge is a completely different shape to the Beauty Blender, I find that it does just as good a job. Not to mention that it is a fraction of the price!
Some days I will first apply my foundation with my brush, before going over the top of it with my beauty sponge to blend everything nicely. Before I use a beauty sponge, I make sure to hold it under running water until completely saturated, and then squeeze out the excess. Your sponge should be nice and damp before you use it so that it doesn’t soak up all of your foundation……. You want to keep it for your face! I also like to use a beauty sponge to blend in my concealer.
When I am not using my beauty sponge to apply concealer, I like to use my Mac 188 Duo Fibre brush. This is a flat topped brush which is made of goat and synthetic fibres. It feels incredibly soft, and works so so well to blend in my concealer. I find that I have to be very careful when it comes to blending in concealer. If I use the wrong tool, I can end up just moving the product around my face. This brush does a really good job at keeping the concealer under my eyes where it belongs!
For powder, I really love the Real Techniques Bold Metals Arched Powder Brush. I like to use a really big brush for powder and, in addition to being nice and big, this brush is super soft…..not to mention the gorgeous heavy gold handle! Even though this brush is big, it also works well for powdering my under eye area, as it has a rounded tip which fits nicely under the eye.
For an overall bronze, I have been using the same brush for as long as I can remember! That’s the Real Techniques Powder Brush. This is such a great brush for giving an overall bronze to the skin because it is really big but deposits just the right amount of product. The brush is lovely and soft and, despite its reasonable price, it is really good quality. Every time I wash mine it comes out as good as new. Mine is so well loved that the name has worn off the handle lol.
For a more defined bronze (and for a light contour), I absolutely love my Benefit Hoola Bronzing and Contouring Brush. This brush is so incredibly soft, and seamlessly applies bronzer to the face. As with the Real Techniques brush, it deposits just the right amount of bronzer thanks to its perfect dome shaped bristles. This brush also works well as a blusher brush. Its bristles are a strange green colour but the pretty gold (bamboo effect) handle more than makes up for that.
For a deeper contour, I love to use the Tarte Swirl Power Contour & Bronzer Brush. This brush has dense synthetic bristles and a flat bamboo handle. It is perfect for carving out the hollows of your cheeks to give that chiselled effect, but is also great for blending out product to give a more natural contour. This brush is very similar to the highly sought after Nars Ita Brush, but is much cheaper!
My favourite brush for blush (what a tongue twister!) is the Real Techniques Bold Metals Tapered Blush Brush. I find this brush to be the perfect size for applying blush. As with the powder brush, it has really gorgeous soft bristles and has a lovely weighted handle. The handle on this is rose gold (BEAUTIFUL!). I also really love the original Real Techniques blush brush, but it is a bit bigger than this one, which is not always ideal for applying blush.
BECCA Champagne Collection Angled Highlighting Brush
For highlighter, I switch between two different brushes. The first one is the BECCA Champagne Collection Angled Highlighting Brush. This is an absolutely gorgeous brush. It has the perfect shape of bristles for applying highlighter to the top of my cheekbones. It is quite dense, so I really only use this one if I want to apply a lot of highlighter – for an evening look mostly. The bristles are SO soft and it has a stunning gold and silver handle.
For a more natural highlight, I always go for my Sephora Pro Fan Brush #65. I think that a fan brush is perfect for applying highlighter as it does not gather a lot of product at once. You can easily build up the amount of highlighter you want to use with a fan brush. It is also the perfect shape for applying highlighter as it covers the top of my cheekbones in one fine sweep.
The last few bits are not exactly tools, but they are things that definitely help with my makeup application on a daily basis.
The Shade Adjusting Drops from the Body Shop (I’m sure other brands do them too), are such a clever invention. They are basically bottled pigments which you can add to liquid foundation to make it darker or lighter. One drop of the lightening concentration can make your foundation ½ shade lighter and one drop of darkening concentration can make your foundation ½ shade darker. I don’t know about you, but quite often I will pick up a foundation in store, thinking that it is the right shade for me, only to get home and realise it is not perfect. The idea of the shade adjusting drops is that you can find your ‘perfect’ shade of foundation without having to buy more than one shade of your favourite foundation and mixing together. The drops are also really useful for anyone who likes to tan as it means you can add the darkening drops to your normal foundation shade to make a colour which matches you tanned skin. Here in Abu Dhabi, I often switch between being quite tanned to super pale, so instead of having to re-purchase an expensive foundation every time my skin changes colour, I like to use the shade adjusting drops instead.
I was a little bit sceptical when I first discovered these, but I must admit that they work quite well. They don’t interfere with the formulation of my foundation either which I was pleasantly surprised by. A little goes a long way with these, so they will last a really long time too.
I use setting sprays religiously once I have finished applying my makeup. They do such a good job at helping your makeup to look nicely blended, and I really do find that they help my makeup last longer into the day. I like to spritz my entire face as the very last step of my makeup routine, and sometimes I will reapply during the day as they can give worn makeup a fresh look. There are so many different setting sprays on the market these days but two of my favourites are the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist and the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray. Sephora, Mac and Urban Decay, to name but a few, also have great setting sprays too. Mac’s Prep and Prime Fix Plus was the first setting spray I ever tried and I have never looked back! I even apply them when I am not wearing makeup as a little refresh during the day 😊
I hope this post was useful to any of you who are wanting to try out some new makeup tools. Let me know what your favourite tools are too. I’d love to hear your recommendations, especially for eye brushes. I have quite a few different eye brushes but I honestly don’t love any of them enough to recommend them. I’d love to hear your favourites.
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