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Make-up Tools Every Woman Should Own

Every woman wants to look naturally beautiful, but it takes a lot of work to do so, and the right tools for the job are a must!  With so many different brushes and tools on the market, what are the best and what are essential?

eyeshadow application with brush

30 Days of Beauty Day 19: Choosing the Right Makeup Brushes and Tools

Here is a look at the most vital make-up tools a woman should own:


Keeping a pair of tweezers handy is a must for all women. This is the only way to keep your eyebrows neat and your whole face stubble-free. Invest in good quality tweezers with a slant tip and keep in mind that many Tweezers will dull after about six months of weekly use. Be sure to buy a new pair twice a year or so.


Not every woman uses an eyelash curler. However, the women that do use it will swear by its powers to make eyes look bigger and lashes look longer. All women should at least give the eyelash curler a week-long trial run.

How to use an eyelash curler: 1. Start with clean and dry eyelashes. 2. Only curl your upper lashes. 3. Clamp the curler down on lashes near the root and hold for five seconds. 4. Next move to the tips of the lashes and clamp again. 5. Apply mascara

For extra curling, try using a blow dryer. Blow warm air on the eyelash curler for five seconds to heat it up slightly.  Be sure to check how hot the metal rim is before you touch it to your eyelid, then curl your lashes.


For every shade of eye shadow you wear, it is helpful to keep a corresponding brush. At the very least, use one brush for lighter shades and a different brush for dark shades and clean the brush often. The little foam applicators that come in most eye shadow containers usually are not particularly effective and can be tossed.  The best eye shadow brushes are no larger than the size of your pinky finger and have a slightly rounded end.


You can save an awful lot of lipstick by using a brush to apply it as opposed to smearing the tube directly onto your lips. The most chic and elegant way to apply lipstick is as follows:

1. Line lips with a lip liner that matches your lipstick color as close as possible. 2. Also fill in the lips with the liner color as a primer for the lipstick. 3. Using a small lip brush, dab the brush onto the lipstick tube and fill in the lips. 4. Carefully close lips around a tissue to absorb any excess. 5. Close lips around one finger and pull finger out slowly. This will keep lipstick from rubbing off on your teeth.

When it comes to using a lip brush,  Brooke Pakulski from Blushing Noir also has this tip:

A good makeup brush tip, if you don’t like using a lip brush, you can use a firm pencil brush (like the MAC 219) to apply and distribute lipstick or gloss. I do this because I can’t stand the streaks a lip brush causes and the time it takes to use it! This is especially a good tip if you have medium or full sized lips!


The kabuki brush is the very wide and fat brush that is seen in most professional make-up bags. The brush is an absolute must-have for women who use powder to absorb oily spots or who use mineral makeup. The ideal kabuki brush must be very soft and made of nylon fibers to best apply powder. It is best to clean the kabuki brush once a month with shampoo and warm water. Allow it to dry naturally.


This is a very slender flat brush that is intended for applying eyeliner. In the alternative you can try an angled liner brush.  Use it to press shadow against the lids to use as eyeliner. The best eyeliner press brush is flat and no longer than ¼ inch in length. As with the kabuki brush, an eyeliner press brush should be cleaned monthly with a bit of soap and warm water.


Sponges are perfect for the application of makeup and tinted foundation or primer.  One favorite in particular is the the Beauty Blender Sponge which is bigger and uniquely shaped. Madeleine Homes of Peace Love Lipgloss says this about it: “For make-up tools, I adore the Beauty Blender Sponge. When used damp any one can easily apply their foundation for a professional airbrushed look.”

If you prefer, you can also use a brush for foundation.  Emily Hudspeth of Emily Hudspeth-Bringing the Beauty to You gave us this tip:

There are a number of ways that you can apply foundation. You can use a brush, a sponge, beauty blender, or your fingers. As if those weren’t enough options, there are quiet a few foundation brushes that you can pick from.

My favorite brush to use is a stippling brush. In my personal makeup bag, I use the Sephora brand stippling brush, $35. I have the same brush in my professional kit. I also have the more economical option, from ELF $3.

There are a few reasons that I love this brush. You can see that it is multi-layered, the 2 different lengths of soft bristles pick up the perfect amount of foundation (so you waste less) and softly blends the product onto your skin for a soft, airbrushed look. I also love that you can use this brush with both liquid and powder foundations. You can use the same brush to apply your liquid foundation, then set with a loose powder.

Beauty Blogger Brush Tips

Aside from getting a basic kit of tools, you also must care for them.  Marcia Friedman from Beauty Info Zone gives these tips for brush cleaning:

Two tips to keep your brushes in excellent shape and save you money

1) Use a ScotchBrite microfiber cloth to wipe eye shadow and blush pigment off your brushes. While its not deep cleaning it gets the brushes clean and ready to reuse instantly.
2) To clean the brush you use with gel liners use an eye makeup remover pad like Almay’s Non-oily ones. Fold the pad in half and smooth it over the eyeliner brush. All the gel comes out and your brush never splays.

Stephanie Louise Telford from Stephanie Louise- All Things Beautiful also provided a couple of great tips:

While traveling, pick up a mini size of baby shampoo to clean brushes. It is clearly visible to the airport security & you won’t worry about your good stuff getting everywhere.

Instead of trying to take your favorite cleanser in a tiny bottle on the plane, buy some makeup wipes. These will remove makeup, clean skin, & allow you to “refresh” yourself while traveling as well. These are not subject to the liquid airline rules either. My favorite kind are baby wipes which are also very affordable! You can also wipe dirty makeup brushes on these after use in a pinch.

Want a few more brush buying and care suggestions? See our previous articles:

The Best Makeup Brushes

How to Clean Makeup Brushes (on Girl Gloss)

Need to buy some?

Shop for Makeup Brushes

Day 20, Tomorrow: Covering Up, All About Concealer

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