7 Under-Appreciated Makeup Tools and How to Use Them

makeup tools

Your bathroom vanity is overflowing with beauty products, but do you have the right makeup tools for the job?

We’re sharing the most underrated applicators of all time — and how to use them.

1. Contour Brushes

Contouring got a bit of a bad name in recent years when some people took it too far, but it’s still a wonderful makeup technique to use on a regular basis.

Contour brushes help you apply bronzer to better define the angles of your face (e.g., your cheekbones, your nose, and your jawline).

These brushes have firmer bristles and angled edges for more a precise application. This helps you blend your bronzer more effectively, so the angles look shaded (and not muddy).

Make sure to tap off any excess bronzer from the brush before beginning your application for a more subtle approach. And feel free to use your contour brush as a blush brush if needed.

2. Fan Brushes

Fan brushes are an absolute essential for anyone who loves a good glow.

These flared designs let you hit the high points of your face while evenly distributing illuminating powders wherever you like them.

In a lot of ways, fan brushes are like airbrushing tools for your complexion.

You can use them all over your face to blur your face makeup and soften its overall appearance, or you can use them to sweep highlighter on your cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow.

3. Spoolies

I used to wonder what on Earth spoolies were supposed to do for your eyebrows.

Tame them, shape them, help you find stray hairs to pluck? But these essential makeup tools are a must-have for defining your arches.

Spoolies blend your eyebrow makeup, helping you avoid any dark, harsh edges.

Just wiggle the spoolie throughout your brows to gradually soften any eyebrow pigment you’ve applied.

4. Silicone Blenders

You may have heard of silicone “sponges” and wondered how they differ from the face sponges we all know and love.

These little makeup tools may look like your average beauty blender, but they’re actually (surprisingly) quite different.

Sponges are porous, so they naturally absorb makeup during the application process. Silicone blenders, on the other hand, don’t absorb any product whatsoever.

That means you’ll have to use less foundation to avoid overloading your face — and it means you’ll waste less product as a result.

Margot Robbie’s makeup artist, Pati Dubroff, prefers silicone blenders for other reasons, too. These beauty tools don’t pull at the skin like other sponges, and they’re easier to clean for more sanitary everyday application.

6. Blending Brushes

Love the drama of a smoky eye? Of course you do — and blending brushes are the secret for mastering this sexy look.

When you’re creating a smoky eye, you’re working with a mix of dark eyeshadow colors that can look a little harsh.

Blending brushes are extra fluffy to help you soften creases and lids while still retaining the dimension and contrast you’re going for.

Just blend, blend, blend, and blend some more. You’ll be amazed at how much better your eye makeup looks as a result.

7. Eyeliner Brushes

One of the most underrated beauty tools, IMHO, is the eyeliner brush. So many ladies favor eyeliner pencils and liquid liners, but gel eyeliner is everything.

These thin, angled brushes have stiff bristles to create clean lines, which is perfect for applying eyeliner close to your lashes. (I think these brushes are extra helpful for those who struggle with creating an even line, because they basically stamp the liner on for you.)

Dip the brush into your gel eyeliner of choice, and then press the bristles onto your lash line. You can use these angled brushes to apply your eyebrow pigments, as well.

How many of these under-appreciated makeup tools do you use regularly? 

Lesley Sheridan is a high-maintenance fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer who thinks she’s low-maintenance. (Yes, she stole that line from When Harry Met Sally.) In addition to writing for The Local Lifestyle, her work regularly appears on Zenni Optical and Slickdeals. Make her day by sending her a tweet.

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