Have you ever wondered which makeup brushes are worth your hard earned money? Maybe you’re wondering if there’s something better to use than the brush that came with your compact or a Q-Tip? No worries, I’m here to shed some light on the subject.
In all honesty, no, you don’t “need” to use makeup brushes. Unless you want your makeup to look good, and in that case you do! One of the biggest secrets of flawless makeup is blending, and using the right makeup brush will make such a huge difference in giving your makeup even application and seamless blending.
I’m not saying you have to run out right now and buy every makeup brush ever made, but here are a few that every girl should have:
You can blend foundation and concealer with your fingers or a sponge, but for smooth and even application you’ll need to use a brush. You can, in a pinch, use the brush that comes in the compact, but I think you’ll find the shape and size of the brush, as well as the quality of the bristles, to be a hindrance when trying to put your blush on evenly.
What you’re looking for is a brush with soft bristles, and preferably with a “dome” shape (having a bit of a curve in the bristles) like the Bare Escentuals Full Flawless Face Brush. An angled brush will also work well, as long as it’s not too skinny.
TipFor blending, the fatter a makeup brush is, the better. Why? Because you’ve got a larger surface area to blend your makeup on, and a wider brush distributes the product in a more even fashion. Of course, this applies only to powder blush, powder foundation or for a setting powder. If you use a cream blush, just use your fingers.
Ideally you would have two brushes for your eyes. A large one with looser bristles for blending, and another, slightly smaller version, with the bristles tighter together for applying color like the Sephora Retractable All Over Shadow Brush.
The shape of these aren’t as important as the texture of the bristles and how they pick up the eye shadow. The bristles should be soft and not shedding. If you can only get one brush, get the blending brush. You can always apply the contour color with a Q-Tip or the applicator in the compact, but you’ll find it more difficult to blend eye shadow without a brush.
The only other must-have brush I would recommend is either a flat or angled bush like the Makeup For Ever Eyebrow Brush. This brush will fill in nicely for anything that the blush and eyeshadow brushes above don’t cover. You can use this makeup brush for many different purposes such as applying brow color, eyeshadow contour, eyeshadow as eyeliner, or blending your eyeliner pencil for a softer look. Be sure to pick a brush that’s on the skinny side with stiff bristles that are tightly compacted together.
TipCheck out the drug store brands — I’ve seen some really nice quality brushes there. Of course, there are amazingly fabulous makeup brushes in the prestige lines, too. When looking for a brush you don’t need to spend a ton of money; you should be looking for quality. A good brush shouldn’t shed its bristles and should give a smooth, even application when used.
As a makeup artist, I’ve never met a brush I didn’t like, but you should do some shopping and see what you like, what fits your style, and most importantly what’s within your budget. Remember that a decent set of makeup brushes will, if taken care of properly, last you a very long time and will be an important tool in your makeup bag to achieve glamarific makeup! Happy painting!
I love the Fall. The changing of the leaves, the anticipation of the holiday season, the crispness in the air, and of course the new looks of the season. Finding comfort in old favorites along with the excitement of new looks creates a tapestry of new possibilities for all of us who love makeup. Here are a few of my favorite makeup trends for Fall 2010:
Strong, sensual lips are all the rage this Fall, and with good reason: They add mystery and drama to those who are bold enough to wear these striking hues.
Tip If you love the idea of a rich burgundy lip (which is my personal favorite) but don’t think you can pull it off (or it’s too scary), here’s how you an get the same feel without going all the way:
Voila! A softer version of a dramatic lip.
The vibrant colors of precious stones, like emerald and amethyst, may be a bit outside of your comfort zone, so if you’re feeling uncomfortable in going all the way, try adding a little purple or emerald green just on the lid, or as a powder eyeliner around the eyes. This way you can have the same effect without going too far out of your comfort zone.
I love the look of the smokey eye (another personal favorite) done with the softer tones of taupe and gray. It looks so pretty and romantic. I think you could wear this with a dark lip or a soft, nude lip.
In a twist of the taupe and purple trends in seasons past, this unique blend of colors provides you with an edgy, yet still relatively neutral, shade to your nail polish arsenal. Matching style with convenience, it makes for a great everyday color.
It’s back and better than ever! This old school classic is making its way into makeup bags in a big way this season because of its seamless application, longer wear, and the healthy, natural looking flush it gives to your cheeks.
The beauty about trends is that you can mix things up to match your personal style. Adapting to a new trend can be as simple as wearing your lipstick a shade darker,or doing a smokier eye. Above all else, I hope you have fun the new trends this Fall! After all, that’s what makeup is supposed to be: Fun. As always, I’d love to see your pics of what makeup trends you’ll be rockin’ this season!
First of all, let me say I’m a huge fan of tinted moisturizer because of the ease and convenience. It’s a 3-in-1 product! (Moisturizer, foundation, and most come with a sunscreen, too) This is a major plus for me because I’m not only a beauty blogger, but I also hold down a full time job and have 3 young boys, so I need as little hassle as possible. Another benefit of the tinted moisturizer is the natural feel they have (tinted moisturizers tend to not be too heavy or “cakey”), and they also give you a “no makeup” look.
Just about anyone can benefit from having a tinted moisturizer in their bag of beauty tricks, whether you use it every day or just for a weekend look. The only person I wouldn’t recommend a tinted moisturizer for is someone who needs to have a lot of coverage. (And I mean really needs it) If you need that kind of coverage, a tinted moisturizer most likely won’t be a good fit for you. But if you still really want to use it, you can add a concealer along with the tinted moisturizer in the areas that may need more coverage, like dark circles under the eye or blemishes. This way, you can have the best of both worlds.
Here’s what you need to look for in a good tinted moisturizer:
It should feel moisturizing, but not greasy on your skin.
It should blend seamlessly into your skin and not be streaky or blotchy.
The color should match your skin tone evenly, with a natural look to it.
For application, using your fingers is the best because it really helps the tinted moisturizer blend into your skin. You can use a foundation brush if you like, but just be sure you don’t leave brush marks on your face since the tinted moisturizers will be a creamier texture than your regular foundation. I don’t recommend using a sponge to apply your tinted moisturizer because most of the product will be sucked up into the sponge and not on your face, although using one to blend after application is fine.
Just about every makeup brand has a tinted moisturizer, and I encourage you to try as many as you can to find the one you like the best. Some of my personal faves include Laura Mercier, Elizabeth Arden, and Shiseido. All of these are really creamy and and feel great on your face. They also have a lovely, naturally dewy finish. Love it!
So off you go… and be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know what you’ve come up with.
Imagine this: It’s quarter to 5:00PM on a Friday night and you’re supposed to meet your significant other at a local bistro for an intimate dinner for two at 6:00PM. Sounds great so far, right? But what if you’re running late at work and don’t think you have enough time to do your regular glam routine for your night time activities. What to do?
First of all, don’t panic. Transforming your makeup from day to night isn’t as complicated as you might think. The whole idea behind the day to night transition is to make you feel a little sexier, a little more provocative, and a little more exciting than you do with your daytime look. You don’t need much time to get there.
Where to begin? Well let’s say, just as a starting point and for the purpose of this blog post, that you’ve worn neutral browns during the day (though this will work for any color palette). Here’s a road map for going from prim-n-proper at the office to little Ms. Hottie on the town.
Take a deep toned eyeshadow color like a deep brown, charcoal, or even a deep plum and apply it right over your existing shadow in a horizontal “V” shape. Be sure to focus the color darker on the outside and lighter on the inside. Blend with the light or mid-toned shadow you already have on.
Next, take either a deep brown, or preferably black eyeliner (in any form; pencil, gel, or liquid) and apply along the lid about 3/4 of the way to the top (and blend) and about 1/2 way underneath (and blend), as close to the lash line as possible. Again, the focus should be on the outer corner of the eye.
If you want, you can “smoke” the deep toned eye shadow on top of the liner on the outer corner for a dramatic, smoldering look. And to add a quick “wow”, I like to add a little light, shimmery shadow to the brow bone, inside the corners of the eye, and the top of the cheekbone. Add another coat or two of mascara and voila, your eyes are done!
Here we can keep things a little simple. Just add a little more blush, starting in a circular motion on the “apple”, or fleshy part of the cheek and follow up the cheek bone.
It’s personal preference, but to me, it’s all about the gloss. Lip gloss adds a bit of sparkle and sexiness to the lips, not to mention it helps make your lips appear fuller. If you’re not a gloss girl, then I would go with a lipstick that’s a shade darker than your normal lip color. You can also use a deeper colored lip liner for night and blend it with your regular color to create a deeper tone.
Tip Here’s my how-to for sexy lips that last all night. Take your lip liner in either a natural shade (i.e. a shade the same color as your lips) or a shade the same color as your lipstick and fill in your entire lip line. Apply your lipstick on top, then finish with either a clear gloss, or one in the same color as your lipstick. The trick is to fill in your entire lip with the liner first. It’ll last all night, I promise.
Now you’re ready for whatever the evening brings. Remember that pretty much anything goes for evening makeup; the more dramatic, the better! Now is the time to step out of the box, have fun, and glam it up!
No one wants to feel like they look old or dated. Today, we’ll go over a few tips on how not to let that happen to you.
First of all, less is more! This is especially true for foundation and eye makeup. If you’ve started to notice fine (or not so fine) lines on your face, you might want to start avoiding powder over your foundation or powder foundations in general. Powders tend to accentuate those pesky lines as well as settle into wrinkles and expression lines.
I’d recommend going with something like a tinted moisturizer, a cream/gel formula, or a lightweight liquid foundation, possibly with a little soft light particle that can reflect the light and soften fine lines. You also don’t want to go with a foundation that is heavy, as this will also settle into lines and wrinkles.
Make sure the color of your foundation is your actual natural skin tone! Nothing says “little old lady” to me like seeing a woman who is wearing a foundation that’s much darker than her natural skin tone. I can understand the concept of wanting to have color so you don’t feel pale and washed out, but you can address that issue with a bronzer or a fresh cheek color rather than wearing a shade that doesn’t match.
As far as concealers, stay away from a heavy, pancake or cream and go more for a liquid formula. If you feel you need more coverage, it’s always better to layer a lighter weight formula rather than going witha heavier one. The heavier one will come off as cakey and settle into lines and wrinkles making the more noticeable.
Now let’s talk about eye makeup. Many women feel that when they get to a certain age, they can no longer wear a shimmer or glitter on the eye. This can be true to a point, because shimmer can absolutely accentuate your skin looking crepey, as well as highlighting your fine lines and wrinkles. However, to really brighten and open up the eye, I love nothing better than a shimmer on the brow bone, or on the inner corner of the eye. Use your own discretion and see how you feel about it.
As we get older, I think less is better on the eyes. I’d recommend no more than two eye shadow colors for daytime, with minimal liner and mascara. You should define the brows, but everything starts to lighten up and so should your brow color. If you’re blonde, you’ll most likely stay in the save hue as always. Redheads may need to lighten their shade, possibly going more blonde. Brunettes will have to adjust the most, depending on how much lighter your hair gets. You want to stay true to your past color, without looking too harsh. A brow that is too dark can be a severe and overpowering. I’d also look into using a brow powder or gel rather than a pencil as a pencil can sometimes look harsh and artificial.
For your cheeks, the blush you choose should be soft and natural. (Nothing too dark) You should also try to keep the blush in tones that look natural for your skin color. Once you find that color, just pop a bit of it on the apples of your cheeks and blend.
Tip If you’re having one of those “blah” days, a bit of pink blush can help brighten your face and make you feel more vibrant.
The main thing with lips is going to be lipstick “bleeding”, or travelling into the fine lines and wrinkles of your mouth. There are several easy solutions such as a lip primer (a lightweight, colorless cream applied on and around your lips), lip liners, or sometimes using a concealer on and around your lips before applying lip color can help the color tay put. I don’t really recommend a matte lipstick in this case because it can look harsh. The best thing is to look for a nice, creamy, moist formula in a shade that will give you some color without being too strong.
That’s about it; keeping things simple, fresh, but most of all… keeping it you.