Guide to makeup tools

If you are a makeup beginner, it’s totally fine. You can stop right there—or, you can level up. With brushes designed to suit your needs, and more advanced  tools, you can get better results. So here is a guide to the best makeup tools.

Primer that really primes: More specifically, you need a primer that actually works.  One product that is enough to cover your entire face, eyelids included. Don’t let its pinky-white color and solid texture scare you off, it dries clear and feather-light. But the main reason you should start with it is because it makes all the following steps way easier. You’ll be able to apply, blend, and smooth like you know what you’re doing. Your foundation won’t sit chalkily in one place on your face, and your eyeshadow pigments will be easily distributed.

Color corrector: Color correctors are fun because you get to become the painter of your own face. Undereye circles? Bring out the yellows and oranges. Redness? Go with green. Looking a bit sallow and washed out? Go for purple. Apply them under concealer or foundation so you don’t walk around like a human topography map. You’ll want to be a bit more discerning when it comes to an undereye dark circle corrector—it needs to lay without pilling or creasing.

Multiple foundation shades:  Your face isn’t one color, so why should you stick to one foundation shade? Pick a lighter product to use as an undereye concealer, another one that is a smidge darker for the center part of your face—nose, lower forehead, and cheeks—and an even darker one for the perimeter of your face.

Tools: To really ascend to the next level of makeup, you’re going to need to upgrade your tools. Got a Beautyblender? Good for you. In that case you’ll only need a few eye tools to reach serious beauty levels. You don’t necessarily need a concealer brush—a few dabs from your finger will do, but when it comes to foundation, you’ll need to make sure yours is the right one. Liquid foundation? Use a brush called a foundation brush. It’s not a large brush, but its long synthetic fibers are good at moving foundation all around. Pressed powder foundations are better paired with a densely-packed, fluffy but not long-haired brush. And don’t forget a blush brush. A medium-size dome is all you need for powder blushes, and in the case of cream and liquid products, just use your hands.

When it comes to eyes, you’ll need at least three things. A small fluffy brush to deposit shadow all over, a longer-haired one to accentuate the crease, and a smudger so you can soften harsh eyeliner. Bonus points for a thin synthetic brush you can use to tap on glitter and shimmer as needed. And then you’re good to go.