Having the most expensive brands in your makeup kit won’t mean anything if you don’t have the right beauty tools to use them. And whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, you still need the same basics to achieve whatever makeup look you’re going for.
Apart from various brushes — the basics include a foundation brush, powder brush, blush brush, concealer brush, and an all-around eye brush — listed below are some of the staples that every makeup lover should have. All of these tools are available in nearly all drugstores and makeup stores, and most name brands like Korean skincare company Missha or Canada-founded MAC Cosmetics also have their own line of makeup accessories, making them even easier to find.
So it doesn’t matter if you’re budget-conscious or have some extra bucks to spare — you should get these tools in your makeup bag ASAP.
This small brightly colored sponge will give your makeup an airbrushed look without having to spend big bucks on the machine itself. And it doesn’t matter if your using powder, liquid, or cream formulas — just soak your beauty blender in warm water, squeeze off the excess, dip the beauty blender into the product, and tap and blend your way to that airbrush finish.
The shape of the sponge helps you apply your makeup evenly on every contour of your face, including the small corners around your eyes. You can also use the pointed end to work “spot treat” blemishes that need a little extra attention.
Don’t waste the volumizing or lengthening power of your mascara — curl your lashes first using an eyelash curler to get the best results. Not only that, curling your lashes also makes it easier to achieve an even application of mascara, down to the tiniest hairs.
Depending on the thickness and length of your lashes, you may have to hold the eyelash curler closed for 5 to 10 seconds. You should also start curling at the root, holding the curler longest at this area, and then work your way toward the middle and the tips, lessening the hold each time. This will result into a more defined, longer-lasting curl. Be careful not to pinch your lids! After curling your lashes, apply two coats of mascara and then declump, if necessary, using an old (but clean!) or a disposable mascara wand.
Your eyebrows can make or break your look, so a pair of tweezers can come in handy to pluck those wayward hairs in a pinch. But apart from grooming your brows, you can also use tweezers to apply false eyelashes more accurately and remove the occasional ingrown hair.
Tweezers with slanted tips are the most helpful in plucking your brows, since the edges allow you to isolate, lift, and individual hairs. This should be the mainstay in your makeup kit. Pointed tip tweezers are best used to remove ingrown hairs and splinters, and removing the extra-thin hairs that even your slanted-tip tweezers cannot handle.
Cleansing wipes come in handy not just for removing your makeup prior to washing your face with your trusted cleanser, but also for quickly wiping off a mistake — especially if you’re working with creams and liquids with heavy, oily consistency. You can also use these wipes to remove makeup residue from your hands. Most cleansing wipes are infused with vitamin E, tea extracts, aloe vera, chamomile, and other ingredients to make it even easier to remove makeup and soothe your skin at the same time.
Various Cotton Supplies
Different cotton products can be used both for makeup application and removal. Q-tips are valuable for correcting mistakes in the eye area, particularly eyeliner and mascara, as well as applying spot treatment creams or gels that you don’t want to put anywhere else on your face. If you don’t want to touch your face with your hands, cotton balls or pads can be used to apply moisturizer and sunscreen. You can also use cotton balls to apply any powder makeup (if, for any reason you don’t have your brushes with you).
If your under-eye makeup unexpectedly cakes or flakes in the middle of the day, you can moisten a Q-tip with a bit of eye cream and sweep it under your eyes to smoothen out your makeup. On the other hand, cotton balls or pads can also be used to remove stubborn eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara — just dampen a ball or pad with your preferred makeup remover and carefully wipe it away.
There are other gadgets and tools that you might want to buy in the future — like a spinning lipstick tower to organize your collection or a brush cleaning machine to clean all your brushes at the same time — but these must-have basics should be the first things you should invest on. Those fancy contraptions can come in much later.