Applying blush using blush brush

9 Essential Makeup and Beauty Tools

Putting together a new makeup bag or beauty kit? 

Here are the nine essential tools that you should definitely include: 

Moisturizer and Primer

Okay, so a moisturizer and primer may not technically count as makeup tools, but they are both essential items to have when creating any sort of makeup look. 

Why is a moisturizer so important? 

Because it will hydrate your skin, while also helping to mattify it. By keeping your skin cells plumped up with moisture, your makeup will sit on your skin in a much better way, rather than caking into any fine lines. 

However, choose a moisturizer that your skin quickly absorbs, since you don’t want to be waiting around for too long before being able to apply your makeup. The Black Onyx Cream, for example, is really good for this.

If you regularly use makeup, then you probably already understand the importance of a primer. 

A primer is the best way to prep your skin before applying any makeup. It covers over minor imperfections while filling in any gaps, giving you a blank canvas to work from.

How does a primer differ from a moisturizer? 

You are probably wondering if it is actually necessary to use both products, and the answer is yes. 

While a moisturizer hydrates and softens the skin, a primer provides a base onto which your makeup will be able to grip. This will ensure that your makeup lasts for so much longer, while preventing any smudges or smears too. 

Don’t forget to check where on the face your primer can be applied…

If your primer is not gentle enough to be used around your eyes, then you may need an additional eye primer for when you want to use eye makeup. 

A Brow Kit

Your brows can really make or break your entire look, which is why a brow kit should always be included in a beauty kit. 

What should a good brow kit consist of? 

Everything you need to groom your brows to perfection, such as: 

  • Tweezers – use these to pluck away any stray hairs 
  • Brow waxes and shadows – these will enable you to fill in any gaps or sparser areas
  • A brush – a double-ended brush, with both an angled and rounded end, is ideal for both filling in the brows while also perfecting that arch. Spoolie brushes can also be useful for getting those brow hairs in the right place
  • A brow pencil – make sure that the shade of your pencil matches the color of your eyebrow hairs 
  • A highlighter – apply this to your brow bone to give your entire face a lift 
Simple brow kit

If you hate working on your brows freehand, you may also want to consider some eyebrow stencils. 

Never used eyebrow stencils before? 

Pick a shape that is as close to your natural brow shape as possible, before lining the stencil up in the optimum position. Then, use your shadows, waxes and brow pencils to fill in your brows. Of course, you will still need to touch your brows up afterwards freehand, but this is much easier when you have used a stencil to establish their main shape.

Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes are at the top of the list when it comes to must-have beauty tools. 

Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different makeup brushes out there, so how do you know which ones you need? 

It all depends on the products that you use, as well as the specific looks that you are trying to create. 

Nevertheless, here are some brushes that everybody should have in their makeup toolkit: 

  • A foundation brush – while foundation brushes come in both flat and fluffy styles, the flatter versions with tapered ends tend to be more effective. They enable you to have better control over application, not only in terms of how you apply the product but also when it comes to how much of the product your brush actually picks up 
  • A concealer brush – similar to a foundation brush, but smaller 
  • A powder brush – if you regularly use powdered makeup products, then a large and fluffy powder brush is what you need to subtly dust the powder onto your skin 
  • Shadow blending brushes – you may need two shadow blending brushes – a dome-shaped one to evenly buff your makeup and an angled one to contour and add depth
  • A pencil brush – if you focus on details with your makeup, a pointed pencil brush will give you the best accuracy

Brush Cleaners

Now that you’ve put all of your makeup brushes together, it is time to look for a way to clean them. 

Why do makeup brushes need to be cleaned? 

Because product residue builds up on them, meaning that each time you use your brush, you are applying this old product back on to your skin. This not only means bumpy and uneven application, but it also leaves your skin vulnerable to infections. 

What do you need in order to effectively clean your makeup brushes

Not much. Just a small amount of soap, or a brush cleanser, which usually comes in the form of a liquid or spray.

Using cleansing spray on makeup brush

If you really want to go all out, there are devices out there that will clean your brushes for you, but these are quite an investment! 

An Eyelash Curler

Beautifully curled lashes instantly lift the eyes and brighten up the face, even without any mascara. 

Unfortunately, not many people are blessed with lashes that naturally curl in just the right place, which is why an eyelash curler is such a useful tool.

Haven’t found an eyelash curler that you like? 

They may seem like simple tools, but you do actually need to put quite a bit of thought into choosing one. 

The curve is the most important part of the curler, but you need to choose this based on your eye size and shape. For example, people with smaller eyes and flatter eyelids would need a flatter curve, while those with large, round eyes would need a deeper curve. 

The length of your eyelashes makes a difference too…

If you have short lashes, you may need to go for a mini curler with a flat clamp in order to reach those tiny, inner hairs. 

If you really want to splurge, you could look into heated eyelash curlers…

These don’t use any force at all, making them much gentler on your lashes. They will also help to tame any stubborn lashes that never seem to sit in-line with the others, and can even be used after you have applied your mascara. In fact, the heat helps to give the mascara a more natural bend, with the mascara hardening again once the heat has been removed.

A Blending Sponge

Blending is key when it comes to any makeup look. While blending brushes are great for this, you may want to also consider adding a blending sponge into your makeup toolbox. 

Why do you need a blending sponge? 

Because they are far superior when it comes to blending. Brushes may be great for placing and applying products, but sponges blend them in so seamlessly, giving you such a flawless finish. 

They can also be used for just about every type of product, and glide easily over the skin. 

Holding a pink beauty/makeup blender

Keep in mind that your makeup sponge is a tool that you will need to regularly replace. 

How often will you need to replace a makeup sponge? 

This all depends on how often you use it, as well as how often, and how well, you clean it. On average, a makeup sponge will need replacing every three months. 

Q-Tips and Makeup Remover

No matter how much of a makeup pro you are, everybody makes mistakes! 

This is where Q-tips come in…

You will sometimes need to use them with makeup remover, but will often be able to use them as they are, completely dry. 

Q-tips can be used to fix just about every type of beauty blunder, including: 

  • Mascara smudges – twist a dry Q-tip over a damp smudge to lift it away. If the smudge is dry, dip the Q-tip in makeup remover first and then swipe the smudge away 
  • Feathered lipstick – use a dry Q-tip to twist away any feathered parts of your lipstick. You can then line your lips with a small amount of concealer to give them a bit more definition 
  • Wobbly liquid liner lines – simply dip a Q-tip into makeup remover and swipe your mistakes away 
  • Messy eyeshadow – clean up the mess by pressing a dry Q-tip into any eyeshadow fallout. Press quite firmly but do not rub, as you don’t want to make the problem worse 
  • Heavy brows – have you applied too much product onto your eyebrows? Dab your Q-tip over the top of your brows to smudge away any excess product, giving your brows a more natural look

Try to have both pointed and rounded Q-tips to hand, as this will give you much more flexibility when it comes to how you can use them. 

A Makeup Setting Spray

A makeup setting spray is designed to be spritzed onto the face after makeup has been applied, with its main role being to hold your makeup in place for longer. 

Do you really need a makeup setting spray? 

This depends on how long you want your makeup to last for…

If you are creating a look for just a few hours, then no, you don’t necessarily need a setting spray. However, the spray would still protect your makeup from smudging or flaking in those few hours. 

Woman applying setting spray on face in front of dressing table

However, if you want your makeup to last all day and night, then a setting spray is a must. 

Even so, make sure that you do not use a setting spray every day. 

Why? 

Because the way in which they lock your makeup in place can also mean that they clog up your pores. This can then be extremely bad for your skin, leading to inflammation, breakouts, and more. 

You should also pay attention to the ingredients in the setting spray you choose. Many of them are alcohol-based, which can irritate dry or sensitive skin. Don’t worry, there are gentler versions out there, you may just need to spend a little extra time searching for one that will work well with your skin. 

If you love using a setting spray but are worried about your skin, you may want to consider a finishing spray instead…

This is different from a setting spray in the sense that a finishing spray is designed to add moisture back into the skin, making it ideal for those with dry or sensitive skin types. They do also help to lock your makeup in place, but do not offer the same amount of longevity as a setting spray.

A Wet Brush

You now have all of the essential tools you need for your face, but what about your hair? 

It would be easy to put together an entire toolkit just for the hair, but, if you want to keep things simple, one must-have product would be a wet brush. 

What is a wet brush? 

It is a brush that has been designed for use on wet hair. 

Now, keep in mind, brushing wet hair is usually a big no-no. After all, this is when your hair is at its most fragile, meaning that you will only end up causing breakages. 

However, the bristles on a wet brush are thin and extremely pliable. Rather than fighting with your hair, they bend and adapt to it, while de-tangling it at the same time. 

Since a wet brush can be used on dry hair too, this is such a versatile tool that everybody needs in their beauty bag. 

Everybody has their own favorite go-to beauty tools, but there are some essentials out there that are pretty much universal. From a set of quality makeup brushes to create a flawless look, to primers and setting sprays that will keep your makeup looking fresh for hours, these nine tools deserve pride of place in your beauty kit.