This beauty arsenal will help you apply makeup like a pro, even if you’re not.
Thanks to online shopping, buying the next new makeup tool recommended by top international pros like Pat McGrath, Jeffrey Star or Gucci Westman can be done in under 3 steps. But, what’s the point of worldwide web access if you don’t know which ones to buy, how to use them, and why? Or, if like me, you are averse to, and nervous about using makeup tools, because they seem ever so complicated, that you’d rather resort to using your fingers, cotton buds, and disposable sponge tip applicators ALL the time.
Thing is, you can have the best makeup money can buy, but if you don’t invest in the right application tools, and pick up simple techniques, you’ll remain a dud in applying makeup. Love or loath them, tools are necessary to for faster, easier, more precise and more professional colour application. It’s just more efficient, pigments are picked up and blended in a proficient manner, makeup lasts longer on your face, and the overall effect will also be stunning.
I like to think of makeup tools as the “adulting” part of makeup application. Colours and products are fun to play with, but the ability to wield the needful application tools skillfully is what separates the women from the girls.
Here’s how the ‘grown-ups’ do it, according to makeup artist Tinoq Russell Goh — he who has wielded his own instruments for brands like M.A.C, Lancôme, YSL and Shu Uemura, as well as for countless magazine covers and famous faces, since the ’90s. As an animal lover, Tinoq is partial to brushes made with synthetic hairs, though he insists that the handles must be wooden. Whatever lengths and types (natural or synthetic) you choose, he says, the number 1 thing is to make sure you’re comfortable using them.
For: Wow Brows
You don’t have to buy an extra brush or applicator, if the brow product you use comes with one.
“Yes, it’s common to use a brush or comb to neaten and keep brows in place, but I like using normal mascara, or a brow mascara, because these have brushes that are small and compact – perfect for taming and making up brows. They also come in many shades and easily keep eyebrows looking pristine.”
Try: Chanel Le Gel Sourcils Longwear Eyebrow Gel
Two brushes are always better than one, especially if you wear more than 1 colour on your eyes.
“To me, the more the merrier, as different brushes are created for different uses. Technically, 2 brushes are sufficient, because you can use a sponge applicator to apply colour, and then blend the colours with a brush.”
Try: Shu Uemura Brush 12 and 5F
The brush you use depends on the texture of the eyeliner product. Liquid eyeliners and gel eyeliners come with, or as part of the implement. But if you prefer liner in a pot or eye compact, Tinoq recommends one that works for both cream and powder eyeliner products.
Try: Shu Uemura 2R brush
Because adding foundation is simply easier than removing it, the idea is to start with a little and slowly build up the coverage. Get a tool that works for all foundation textures – cakes, cushions, and liquids.
“I highly recommend beautyblender.”
Try: beautyblender pro.on.the.go
Go pro or stay home. You may have great skin, but concealing the less-than-perfect parts of the complexion with a precision instrument is the secret to looking #nofilter #instagramready wow.
“A concealer brush is a must. It’s created for you to apply concealer onto creases and areas of the face that may be hard to reach, and that makes all the difference.”
Try: M.A.C 195 Concealer Brush
Loose Powder Prowess
Tinoq is partial to brushes for loose powder because “they’re the best to carry enough powder to set your foundation and to sweep and remove the excess thereafter.”
Try: M.A.C 150 Synthetic Large Powder Brush
With lip colour in such slim tubes and barrels these days, it’s easy to dispense with the lip brush. But a lip brush is more than just for precision application.
“I always use a lip brush. It achieves a beautiful lip shape and pout that direct application from a barrel simply can’t. A lip brush also lets you add different lip highlights to create new, interesting looks.”
Try: Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Brush
The real trick to perfecting blusher is in first forming the right base through contouring and shading, and then, after blusher, applying a highlighter on the face.
Here’s how Tinoq does it: “This is a technique that all makeup artists use: shade and contour first (use either a face powder brush or a blusher brush you like), apply blusher, then use a highlighter to give the face a brighter, light-catching, flattering finish. No brush for the blush for me, as I’m not a fan of matt finish blusher. I prefer a cream blusher with subtle highlights.”
Try: YSL Beaute Babydoll Kiss & Blush + your fingers
Tinoq says, “If you use your brushes daily, make sure you wipe them off with cotton pads soaked in makeup remover after every use. On a weekly basis, cleanse them with a gentle facial cleanser, rinse them thoroughly, and dry them off on a clean towel.”
Product images courtesy of respective brands, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.