Playing (with) Favorites Part 2: Beauty Tools

When I started writing about my BFFs (not sure what I mean? Check out part 1!) I quickly realized I would have to devote some time to tools. Beauty tools are a fascinating topic for me. I love hearing about new innovations and new techniques, because sometimes the way you apply can completely change a product. The right brush can change an eye shadow from ‘eh’ to eye-popping! As much focus as there is on products in the beauty field, I find what tools I am using can seriously make a huge difference, so I definitely have accumulated some serious BFF’s in beauty tools too. Lets take a look!

The group!
The group!

To start, lets talk about the  E.L.F. Flawless concealer brush – because this was one of the first items I thought of when I decided to write about favorites. When I first got it and tried it, I was so excited about it I immediately planned to get an additional one. Its just the right size and shape to get right into the under eye area and blend concealer or corrector all the way up to the lash line, and it is soft and dense enough to blend gently instead of wiping product away. I have definitely seen brushes like it in other collections, but I have a serious love for e.l.f. Brushes. Their brushes are soft and well made, I find they remain reliable through multiple washings. (Do you wash your brushes? Look for that post coming soon!) Lets get a closer look:

See how its fluffy but not too big? Perfect!
See how its fluffy but not too big? Perfect!

While I do love my e.l.f. brushes, they are not the only good yet inexpensive ones out there. My next BFF is also a brush, but this one is the Sonia Kashuk Small eye shadow brush (#106) I constantly reach for this brush when it’s time to apply shadow to my lids. (I went into more detail about using this brush here!) I like it because the shape is good for getting the inner corner, and sweeping the shadow up to the crease line, and it holds a good amount of product. Honestly I think with eye shadow brushes the shape of your eye and personal preference are really what make a brush good or bad for you, and this one fits my needs very well.

A great little brush!
A great little brush!

Next up, I must devote some time to one of the more well-known -and sometimes feared!- Beauty tools out there. The eyelash curler. I just have a regular Revlon curler from the drugstore, and I honestly reach for it every time I put on makeup. I have lashes that tend to point out straight, (maybe even slightly downward) which makes them not show up very much on their own. When I curl my lashes before applying mascara, I have a much easier time achieving a pretty fanned out effect (like those mascara ads are always promising). When I’m wearing hardly any makeup, odds are I have still used this tool, because eyelashes are the original eye definer! Making them stand up helps make your eyes stand out.

curler
Yes lash curlers can be scary, and yes I HAVE pinched myself using it before, but mastering this little tool well worth it!

Some people might think this next BFF should have been included in my products, not with tools. However, I think of setting spray as a tool to increasing staying power and perfect my final look, so I’m including it here. I love finishing my makeup with a quick spritz of setting spray. As someone with combo skin, I prefer to set most of my face with powder, so following that step up with a light misting of setting spray can help make the finish a little more natural. My BFF is the NYX dewy finish setting spray. It gives the skin just a little bit of that natural sheen that powder tends to takes away, but it also helps your makeup last longer. If lasting longer is the more important part for you, you might prefer something like the Loreal Infallible setting spray. I like this one too, but I just prefer the look I get with the NYX spray, so I consider this my backup option.

nyxspray
It smells nice too! 🙂

The final item I consider a top BFF tool is not only well known but has spawned MANY copycats of varying prices. The Beauty Blender. This is one of those famous tools that actually lives up to its hype, in my opinion. This tear drop shaped sponge makes blending into the various curves and planes of the face a breeze. Anyone who has ever had trouble getting a natural looking finish from liquid foundation would do well to try one of these!  It is important to use it dampened though. It’s recommended by the creator, and it not only makes the sponge softer, it helps prevent the sponge from soaking up your product instead of blending it onto your face.  You can use these for blending any liquid or cream products – foundation, concealer, corrector, even contour & highlights- and you can even use them to apply powder!

On the left it is dry, on the right I have wet it (and squeezed out the excess water)-ready to use!
On the left it is dry, on the right it is dampened (excess water squeezed out) and ready to use!

Once I took all of these out, I couldn’t resist putting them to work for my look today, which I posted on my instagram -(come follow me!)

I think its important that makeup be fun, and I think having BFFs or favorites or whatever you prefer to call them is a big part of that. Knowing that you will get the result you want definitely helps make applying makeup a more enjoyable experience.  I hope my list introduced you to a potential new BFF of your own, or maybe reminded you of an old favorite you haven’t reached for in a while.  Tell me about some of your favorites,  or please, ask me more about mine!

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