These are brilliant for building up coverage slowly in layers. For liquid and cream foundations, use a wedge to give you control and help spread it evenly. Avoid natural sponges -use even-textured synthetic ones (make sure they are latex-free), which are soft and malleable.
This is the time to go ‘Hollywood movie’. Invest in the biggest, softest, fluffiest version you can find. Shu Uemura, Ruby & Millie and MAC make wonderful powder brushes. The more generous the head, the more the powder will be diffused-big is definitely beautiful here. Great for applying bronzer, as it gives even coverage all over the face, this tool should not be substituted fora blusher brush, as for that you need a thinner, more angled head to get a clean result.
Definitely go synthetic here. Sable brushes tend to become blocked with cream, whereas a synthetic brush glides smoothly through the product, picking up just enough to distribute evenly. Generally, to help you make the right
choice between natural and synthetic brushes for particular tasks, always imagine the texture of the product they will be moving through.
For the really indulgent, three eyeshadow brushes will take you whereveryou want to go in style. A tiny brush allows you to go right up to the eyelash line for fine precision work (when you want to draw a single line, or accentuate the crease in your eyelid). A medium one will pick up a lot of colour and wash it over the lid in a couple of moves, and a big diffuser brush will let you really blend, blend, blend. Resist the temptation to dip this brush into vibrant shadows save it for applying the neutral base colours that are the staple undercoat for any look.
ANGLED EYEBROW BRUSH
This will be the hardest brush in your collection. Great for giving control to wild eyebrows, it adds a final touch of grooming to a finished look. Brushed upwards, brows look striking in photographs. Origins make a fabulous eyebrow brush, in a dark green lacquer.
That so many women apply lipstick without a lip brush is shocking – the results are so vastly improved when you use one. Ideally, invest in two lip brushes – the first to do the donkey work, and a second, small retractable one to keep in your handbag. Whether you choose a square-edged brush or
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
a tapered one is up to you: a square-edged one gives more control on line work, while a tapered one lets you get right into the corners. A natural bristle is better here, so ifyou are going to splash out on a sable brush, this is the time to do it.
Tweezerman and Ruby & Millie produce the best eyelash combs. They have a wonderful section for separating the lashes on one end and a brush to temper the lashes with (once the mascara has dried) on the other.
These make shaping the eyebrow far easier. Choose from a selection of shapes (pick one that follows your natural arch) and use it to perfect your own brow.
This tool is a girl’s best friend. Tweezerman or the local pharmacy will supply you – never be without it.
A professional make-up artist absolutely could not do without one. Even a non-make-up maven should use an eyelash curler – it adds life and body to lashes without mascara and is the one product we should never omit from our tool kit. While the heated variety work rather like an iron to keep the lashes pressed into shape for longer, standard curlers still give a perfectly satisfying result.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Ifyou prefer to just brush ’n’ go, your mainstay tools should be: a lip brush; a medium-sized eyeshadow brush; and a good medium-sized face brush.
Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a wonder agent. You can use it to gloss your eyelids, heal dry patches, mend cracked lips and heels and soften cuticles. Ifyou run out of hair gel, it can double as a styling product and, mixed with powder shadow, it makes cheek and eye products creamier and easier to apply.
OPTREX FRESH EYES IS A SISTER PRODUCT of the standard Optrex Eye Drops, justforcosmetic use.They feel refreshing, hydrating and cooling, and give your face a clearer, fresher overall look.
A MULTIPLE-PURPOSE STICK (like Frangois Nars’s Multiple). This is the staple product of modern make-up. Use on your eyes, cheeks, lips, brow bone and decolletage.
TWEEZERS – for emergency removals.
COTTON BUDS (Q-TIPS) are great for softening colour, blending and, if push comes to shove, even applying colour. A bud is also good for removing make-up, so minor mistakes do not become disasters. A much-underestimated tool.
A TRANSPARENT CONTAINER means you can stop frantically fumbling around forthat missing cotton bud (Q-Tip).
SHARP NAJL SCISSORS
These are good for trimming stray hairs, eyebrows, broken na s and many other tasks. Always keep a pair handy.
When applying lipsticks with your fingers, avoid the outer comers ofthe mouth so that you don’t end up smudging the effect. Use glossy products in natural colours only in the centre of the top and bottom lips.
Cream foundation is easier to apply with your fingers than powder – just remember to blend, blend, blend, especially around the jaw line, and use less than you think you will need.
Cream blushers and eyeshadows are easierto apply with the fingertips. Keep blusher to the apples ofthe cheeks, and do not take eyeshadow above the crease in the eyelid.
A good make-up remover is essential. Among the many cre=~s. ges. mousses and wash-off cleansers on the market s a formulation for every skin type. A new addition to the raage is moist wipes (ideal for travel), which will remove e.e-.- ng from the sheerest whisper of powder to the most st-.obor-‘ patch of foundation.
WASHING YOUR BRUSHES
Ruby Hammer, makeup artist, says: ‘Always keep your brushes clean. Spray them with a liquid cleanser, or diluted shampoo, and make sure that you really wash the hairs out and rinse thoroughly. With a tissue, gently squeeze out any excess water and lay the brushes flat, with the hairy ends hanging over the edge ofthe table. This enables the air to circulate right through them as they dry, so they won’t smell horrible when you’ve finished. It doesn’t matter whetheryour brushes are sable or synthetic – I always suggest that people buy the best they can afford. Often it’s best to use a mixture.
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