Tuesday, 29 October 2013

#theSOproject: 10 Beauty Tools

Of all of the makeup products that you purchase, makeup tools may be the most important. The best makeup artists always say that they can get by with some crappy products, provided that they have their favourite brushes. Therefore, I would definitely recommend investing in some decent brushes. The good news is that there are some great brushes on the market that won't cost you an arm and a leg. Of course, makeup tools encompass more than just brushes, so let's get into it a little more!


The main makeup tools that I use on a day to day basis are makeup brushes for my face and eyes, but when you're doing different types of makeup you may find yourself using sponges, spoolies, lash curlers and tweezers. Let's not forget the most important tool of all, though... your hands. It may seem obvious, but you can apply most products with your hands and it works really well. Your fingers can get into corners that may otherwise be tough to reach, plus they're warm which helps to product to blend seamlessly into your face.


I'd say that if you're first starting out with makeup then you might not even need brushes at all - your hands are incredible at applying most products. There are a couple that you may have trouble with, though. Particularly powder products. With this in mind I've come up with a list of versatile makeup tools that will help you to apply a full face of makeup:

  • Small Face Brush - If you buy one of these with synthetic hairs not only can you use it for powder blush and bronzer (very tricky to apply with your hands or a large brush), but it will be great for cream products like blush, or even foundation. The Mac 109 brush would be perfect for this.
  • Flat Shader Brush - This is brilliant for packing on eyeshadow colours, or even highlighter when you want a precise application. Remember; the denser the hairs on the brush, the more intense the application will be.
  • Tapered Blending Eye Brush - This is probably my favourite type of brush as it is incredibly versatile. You can use this to apply lid colour, get into the crease of the eye to create definition and blend it all out. My favourite one of these is the Mac 117.
  • Spoolie/Flat Angled Brush - Now, you may not necessarily be able to find the duel ended version of these like I have, but they will both allow you to touch up your brows making them look groomed and polished. Use the spoolie (or an old, clean mascara wand) to comb through your brows, and the liner brush with a matte brown eyeshadow to fill in any sparse areas. I got mine from Crown brushes and I use it whenever I do a full face of makeup.
  • Tweezers - Of course these are incredibly handy for when you have a few stragglers, but these are also perfect for applying false lashes. I say this as someone who still has trouble applying them, but some people just seem to have a knack for it. I got mine from Tweezerman and they hardly hurt at all when I'm plucking.
  • Eyelash Curlers - I put off buying some of these for so long, but now I use them daily. They really make you look a lot more bright-eyed. If you're looking for some top notch curlers then Shu Uemura is really the way to go. I haven't met anyone that hasn't liked them, and I'm dying to get my hands on some!

Read my blog post on my top five brushes here.


Of course there are millions of techniques to apply your makeup using your brushes, but I'm going to explain some of the basic, must-know ones in a nutshell. The most important thing to do, though, is experiment and find out what works best for you and your skin. Remember; if you're using cream products you need to make sure that your brush is made using synthetic hair or it could get ruined!

Use your flat shader brush to gently pat on your shadow over your lid (don't bend those bristles - it'll break your brush!). Next I would pat your tapered eye brush into a darker coloured shadow and apply it to the crease of your eye (the bit that goes inward at the eye socket). Use tiny circle motions so that as you add the colour you're blending it into the other one, too.

I've already taught you where to apply blush and bronzer respectively. For blush I quite literally stroke the product onto my face in a few strokes and make sure that it's well blended out. If it's a cream product I'm more likely to pat the product on and then blend it out in circular motions using my hands or a synthetic brush. For contouring with bronzer I use more of an intense, small, circular series of motions and then blend it out afterwards. My technique for all-over face bronzer is quite similar; I brush the product lightly all over my face using larger circular motions and a larger brush.

There are loads of techniques for applying foundation, and this is where you're really going to want to consider what skin type you have. If you have dry skin, then using a sponge rolled and patted across your face to apply your foundation will work the best. This will prevent bits of dry skin being knocked off by a buffing brush. If you have combination or oily skin then a brush may be better. I love the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to literally use circular motions to apply my foundation from the centre of my face outward. Stippling brushes are great for an airbrush finish, but whichever tool I use I always smooth over my face with my hands afterwards for a totally smooth finish.

There are a few powder face brushes that you may consider buying, but just remember that you can save yourself a lot of money by just using a cotton wool pad. Use a pat and roll motion on your T-zone to set your makeup, and then knock off any extra powder with a powder brush.

It's also important to make sure that you clean your brushes regularly to prevent spread of bacteria. Your brush is a breeding ground for bacteria which could cause spots. I've got a post planned very soon on how I clean my brushes, but you can simply use warm water and baby shampoo - just don't leave your brushes to dry on the radiator or the glue will melt!


I thought that this week, instead of going through all of the makeup tools that I had ever tried it would be much more beneficial to list a few brands that have impressed me with their beauty tools (mostly brushes) in the past. As always, if you have a question about a particular brush, or anything at all, then please don't hesitate to ask!

Crown Brushes
Real Techniques

Well, in case you hadn't realised already this post brings us to week 10 of #theSOproject, which means that this will be my final post of the series. I really hope that my posts have been helpful to you guys, and I plan on leaving the tab for all of my SO Project posts on the blog toolbar so that you guys have a quick way to find my guide to the basics of makeup easily. Once again, thank you to Stephanie for thinking up the series and letting so many of us be a part of it!

What's your favourite makeup brush?

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Beautyqueenuk said...

This is such a fab post, so informative x


BigMummah said...

Happy Birthday for today, 20 ..... Wow :)