THE BEST MAKEUP KITS

Home Makeup

Organize your makeup either in your bathroom drawer, on top of the counter, or in a box. Keep basics and items used only occasionally separate. At least twice a year make sure your colors and formulas are working. Basics include: Concealers and correctors

Foundation or tinted moisturizer Powder (two colors) Eye shadow (three to four basic colors) Eyeliner (powder and gel) Mascara Blush (powder or cream) Lipstick, gloss, lip pencil Everyday Bag Pack the following essentials in a small bag: One or two palettes that contain your foundation, concealer, blush, and lip color A compact of pressed powder with a mirror A basic eye palette—the smaller the better Mini mascara Lip gloss Mini brushes Small sample sizes of face cream Evening Bag Tiny purses don’t lend themselves to toting around lots of products, so you need to be selective. Pack the following items:

Lipstick or gloss Lip pencil A powder compact Customizable face palette (containing concealer, foundation, blush) Mini perfume Breath mints

In Your Desk Drawer

It’s worth investing in duplicates of your makeup to keep in your office to freshen up before a big meeting or for reapplying if you need to go straight out after work. These basics include the following items: Concealer

Foundation Pressed powder (with mirror) Blush Lip balm, lip color, and/or gloss Black eyeliner and white or silver eye shadow to create an evening eye Mini brushes Travel toothbrush and toothpaste set

Tip

Collect deluxe samples from makeup counters-they are perfect for travel.

In Your Gym Bag

After a workout, you will want to clean your face and start your makeup from scratch. So be sure to bring the following items to the gym: Face-cleansing cloths Moisturizer Customized face palette, or at least a tinted moisturizer, lip color or gloss, and mascara

For Travel :

Keep your travel kit packed at all times so you never have to worry about arriving somewhere only to realize you’ve left something important in your bathroom cabinet. Invest in several small plastic bottles, label them, and fill them with your essentials. Purchase mini brushes, mascara, and a small eye palette. Include the following items: Travel-size shampoo and conditioner Body and facial moisturizers Makeup palettes with all your basics Mini mascara Face powder, bronzer (great for the travel weary) Self-tanner Lipstick or gloss A brush roll of travel-size brushes Tweezers Hairbrush and hair spray Perfume in a mini or compact version Perfumed body creams are also great

ESSENTIAL TOOLS:

Brushes make all the difference in makeup application. Everyone from the most skilled makeup artist to the woman who wears only the basics can benefit from using the right tools. Consider investing in at least a few key brushes. High-quality blush, eye shadow, eyebrow, and eyeliner brushes are basic. Good brushes are not hard to find. Look at those made by makeup artists’ lines as well as less expensive versions available at beauty and art supply stores. To find out which brushes you need and which ones are good quality, familiarize yourself with a variety of styles, shapes, and bristle types.

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Assessing Brush Quality :

Before purchasing brushes, you have to know what you are looking for and which brushes are worthwhile investments. Assess the quality of a brush by testing the way the bristles feel against the skin and by running your fingers through the bristles to make sure that they don’t shed. It’s important to test how a brush feels when you hold it in your hand. It needs to feel comfortable and easy to maneuver.

Tips :

brush size:

The brushes that come with most makeup compacts are too small and narrow for proper blush application. Toss them and use a brush designed specifically for that purpose instead. Natural Bristles Natural bristles (such as squirrel, goat, pony, or sable) are very soft and offer a more blended, natural application. They’re best for working with powder-based products—blush, powder, and eye shadow.

Synthetic Bristles

Synthetic bristles are the best choice for brushes that will be used with creamy products, such as concealer, gel liners, and lip colors. They are generally stiffer than natural hair, so they give you greater control and a more precise application.

Tool Guide:

This alphabetized glossary describes the different types of brushes as well as other tools you might want to keep in your kit. It will help you decide what brushes work best for a specific need or technique.

BLUSH BRUSH

This needs to be wide enough to cover the apple of the cheek. The bristles should be soft, natural hair with beveled and curved edges.

BRONZER BRUSH

This is thicker and fuller than a blush brush and has a flat profile. It is designed for sweeping and pressing bronzer over cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin to provide natural-looking warmth to the skin.

BROW BRUSH

A brush with stiff, short bristles cut on an angle. Designed for applying shadow to the brows. Look for a synthetic/natural blend of bristles, as the 100 percent synthetic brushes are too stiff and don’t deposit color as effectively.

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BROW GROOMING BRUSH

This is for brushing brows into place. It has stiff bristles cut straight across, like a toothbrush.

CONCEALER BRUSH

This should have firm but soft bristles that aren’t too hard or scratchy, since the brush will be used on the delicate skin under the eyes. Look for a brush with glossy synthetic hairs, as these slip along the skin. The ends of the bristles should be tapered to help you place concealer in hard-to-reach spots, such as the inner corners of the eyes, and apply stick foundation to cover any redness around the nose.

EYE BLENDER BRUSH

A soft, fluffy, natural-hair brush with long bristles designed to blend eye shadow and eliminate lines of demarcation on the lids after applying multiple shades. It is also great for applying powder to set corrector, concealer, or foundation around the eyes or over blemish cover.

EYE CONTOUR BRUSH

A round, flat-head, natural-hair brush. Short, dense bristles apply a greater amount of shadow in the crease to contour the eye.

EYE SHADER BRUSH

A wide, flat-head brush that can gently sweep eye shadow color over the entire lid, from the lash line to the brow bone.

EYE SHADOW BRUSH

Wide enough to cover about half the eyelid. This brush has natural, soft, rounded bristles with beveled edges that deposit a sweep of shadow across the lower lid without leaving any harsh lines.

EYE SMUDGE BRUSH

A small-head brush with a slightly rounded point. This brush has soft, flexible bristles that help smudge liner to create a smoky look.

EYELASH COMB

This has straight, stiff (often plastic), fine teeth and is designed to separate lashes immediately after applying mascara (while the lashes are still wet). Mascara wands work just as well and are more convenient.

EYELASH CURLER

Look for a basic metal version with rubber pads. An eyelash curler shapes lashes into a natural-looking curl. Replace pads regularly. To avoid breakage, always curl the lashes before applying mascara.

EYELINER BRUSH (ANGLED)/ EYE DEFINER BRUSH

This small brush has very short, dense bristles cut on an angle. It is designed to use with shadow to strengthen thin brows or as an alternative to an eyeliner brush.

EYELINER BRUSH (FLAT)

With flat, dense, synthetic bristles that are slightly apply a precise line at the lash line.

EYELINER BRUSH (ULTRA FINE)

The bristles on this small brush are synthetic, dense, and curve to a point. Perfect for the precise application of liquid or gel eyeliner.

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FACE BLENDER BRUSH

A natural or synthetic brush used to deposit shimmer, bronzer, powder, or blush.

FACE BRUSH

A natural or synthetic fluffy, curved brush that can be used to apply bronzer, blush, or powder.

FOUNDATION BRUSH

Synthetic bristles in this full, flat-edged brush deposit just the right amount of foundation onto the skin.

LIP BRUSH

Firm, long bristles come to a slightly pointed tip. This brush allows for the precise placement of lip color. Bristles can be either synthetic or natural.

POWDER BRUSH

A natural-hair, large, fluffy brush with soft bristles that bevel to a slight point (for navigating around the nose and under the eyes). Designed for use with both loose and pressed powders.

Tip

Using Your Fingers:

Nothing beats the warmth of the fingers to blend makeup into the skin. Lipstick can be blotted onto the lips to create a stain effect. Face cream, balm, or oil rubbed between both palms and then gently pressed onto cheeks adds moisture and a youthful glow to the face. I use my hands to warm concealers, blend.

TOUCH UP BRUSH

Short, firm, natural-bristled brush used with foundation for spot touch-ups and for hard-to-reach areas around the nose and mouth. This brush can also be used to touch up concealer and apply eye shadow.

TWEEZERS

It’s well worth investing in a good pair. Look at the Tweezerman or Rubis brands. Tweezers that are angled at the tip are easier to control than those that come to a sharp point. Always cover tweezers’ tips with the included rubber cap when they are not in use.

SHOPPING FOR SUPPLIES

Whether you are starting your first professional makeup kit, replacing a few personal items, or looking for something new, shopping is a time to experiment, test cosmetics, and research trends. One of the best and easiest ways to stay current is to test the latest products on the cosmetics floor of any large department store. The makeup artist at the counter will show you new items and techniques. You can try the cosmetics and get information, all without any cost. Magazines and the Internet are great for research and information, but when you are ready for a purchase, it is important to touch and feel the products so you know the quality you are getting.

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