Top 10 Essential Makeup Tools You Can’t Live Without

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essential makeup tools

Essential Makeup Tools We all Need

Tools of the trade – we all know how important they are whether you’re a contractor or a makeup artist. 

After years of experience as a makeup artist, I’ve experimented with a variety of tools I’ve found to be essential for proper the application of makeup and want to share them with you!

When I first became a makeup addict and artist, we were lucky to have decent brushes. Boy, have things changed. And lucky for us, there are many great tools on the market to assist us in the proper application of our makeup. After all, we spend a small fortune on makeup and it only makes sense to apply it using the most effective tools available. And the best part is these tools are timeless – you will able to use them for years to come. 

OK, so let’s get started! Let’s break it down by category: You can click on any category link below to jump to that particular section. 


1. Beautyblender: What did I ever do before this little bugger came to market? Used my hands or “powder puffs” as they were so called. Well, this tool has changed everything! OK, let me explain what magic it performs.

Bueatyblender Top 10 Essential Makeup Tools You Can't Live Without
 Beautyblender Top 10 Essential Makeup Tools You Can't Live Without

What it does:
The Beautyblender has a unique shape and is composed of an exclusive material that only Beautyblender uses. It also ensures impeccable, streak-free application with minimum product waste. You can use it with primers, foundations, powders, cream blushes, and any other complexion product.

Beautyblender features an open cell structure that fills with small amounts of water when wet.  When wet, the Beautyblender doubles in size and becomes even softer, returning to its original size when it air dries. And it’s made in the USA! 

How To Use: 
-Wet Beautyblender with water. 
-Squeeze out the excess liquid, using a towel if available. 
-Bounce primer, foundation, powder, cream blush, or any other complexion product across the face for flawless results.

2. real Techniques Core Collection SetIf you are used to applying foundation with a brush, then this brush collection might be the way for you to go. I use real Techniques brushes daily. I have their entire core collections. Depending on the foundation I’m using,

essential makeup tools

I often alternate using my Beautyblender and these brushes. I also have a load of high-end brushes but for the value and quality,  you can’t beat real Techniques! I recommend starting with the two foundation brushes below. 


4. MAC 195 Concealer Brush: When it comes to applying concealer, MAC makes the top of my favorites list. This concealer brush has an angled tip which is perfect for getting into the hard to reach places around and under your eyes. After applying my concealer with a brush, I do enjoy blending my concealer with my Beautyblender as well. 

This MAC 195 Concealer Brush is a flexible synthetic fiber flat brush with slightly pointed tip for precision application and blending of all concealer formulas and other emollient products. MAC sells it for $24.00 

5. Real Techniques Concealer Brush – is another concealer brush that does a great job and is far less expensive at $15.99. 

MAC 195 Concealer Brush. Top 10 Essential Makeup Tools You Can't Live Without


When it comes to applying eyeshadow, as you all can see from my post called – Reorganize and Store your Makeup with the Best Acrylic Cases – I do have loads of eyeshadow brushes to choose from, but there is one I can’t do without – and that’s my MAC 286 & my real Techniques Starter Set! With both, it’s all you need for perfect eyeshadow application. 

MAC 286 Duo Fibered Tapered Blending Brush - Top 10 Essential Makeup Tools You Can't Live Without

6. 286 Duo Fibered Tapered Blending Brush – With its soft dome shape, this two-toned, duo fiber brush of goat and synthetic fibers provides a sheer, more controlled application of M·A·C Mineralize Eye Shadow. It sells for $32.00. Remember, these brushes last for years and years so your investment is well worth the money! 

7. real Techniques Starter SetAnd for half the price, you can purchase the entire starter set from real Techniques for $14.89. 

Product Description: 

  • Eye definition goes high definition with our revised starter set.
  • Base shadow brush: applies a smooth, flawless foundation of color.
  • Deluxe crease brush: soft, oversized design for effortless contouring.
  • Accent brush: for precision detailing, highlighting, and smudging.
  • Fine liner brush: for precision application of liquid of cream eyeliner.
  • Brow brush: distinctive shape easily defines eyebrows.


Eyebrows add shape and provide you with a finished look. It’s one of the most important details when completing your overall makeup appearance. Out of the several I own, the Anastasia is my favorite. It’s tailored tip and gentle spooley brush, you are guaranteed the perfect brow! 

8. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12

Product Description: 

  • Portable size and shape for defining the eyebrows on the go.
  • Stiff bristles apply the perfect amount of Brow Powder Duo to the hair and skin for a natural finish.
  • Sable hair is easy to clean and durable.
  • The angle of the brush creates a precise application of brow color easy.
  • Attached spooley brush for blending and grooming the brows.


9. Real Techniques Retractable Lip Brush

 Many might think they don’t need a lip brush to apply lipstick because, hey, you just apply it to your lips and done right? Well, that’s not the whole story! Once your lipstick is applied, using a lip brush can actually help your lipstick to apply more evenly and even assist in its staying power. I always apply my lipstick, blot, reapply and use my lip brush to add the finishing touches. One of my favorite lip brushes is by real Techniques and other from MAC. Again, benchmarking the two, the Real Techniques brush is just as good and far less expensive at $4.99! 

Product Description:

  • Go mobile with Sam and Nic’s new retractable design
  • Ultra-firm, tapered tip that applies color smoothly
  • Expertly lines the contours of the lip for added definition
  • Apply your lipstick, lip gloss or stain with perfect precision even when you’re on the go
  • Nic’s Tip: Throw this sleek brush into your purse for quick touch-ups throughout the day


One of the most powerful tools in my brush arsenal is my face brushes – and of that, I have many. There is one brush, in particular, I cannot live without, and that ‘s my Real Techniques Powder Brush. After applying my foundation, I always use a finishing powder to finish and set my foundation. I have several face brushes but again, real Techniques made it to the top of my list! You can also use this brush for bronzer or highlighter application – just be sure to clean your brush after each product. 

10. real Techniques Powder Brush $7.59

Product Description:

  • Hand cut hair design allows for even and streak free application of makeup
  • Synthetic Taklon bristles are non-porous and do not trap or absorb product, bacteria and dead skin cells
  • Bristles are less prone to breakage or damage as well as keep clean and maintain
  • Uniquely shaped and color coded aluminum ferrule

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