MAKEUP 101 | BEGINNER'S TOOLS

12:00 PM

foundation brushes

I feel like when I started playing around with makeup, the tools selection wasn't as wider as it is nowadays. Or maybe it just wasn't as accessible.
I remember staring at all these brushes and being so surprised by how expensive they seemed. Not only that but also how much I rather to just use my fingers for a more natural look.
It took me a while to understand that not all expensive makeup tools are of good quality and that I should just feel free to experiment and use whatever I felt like it was doing a good job, independently of what others may think or what it said on the brush/sponge's label. With that being said, it also took me some time to actually invest in the right tools for my makeup. Tools that I found necessary and actually made me like the finished result.

There are a lot of brushes and beauty sponges, and that can be quite intimidating when you're first adventuring in makeup and don't know exactly where to start. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed with so much choice (heck, I still do sometimes!), but I'm here to try to help you invest in your first tools, based on my experience and honest opinion.
real techniques makeup brushes

First things first - The basic choices.
Foundation:
  • Beauty sponge
  • Foundation brush
  • Silicone sponge
Eyes:
  • Lay-down brush
  • Blending brush
  • Crease brush
  • Angled brow brush
Face:
  • Blush brush
  • Powder brush
  • Contour brush


Long story short, if you're a makeup beginner and especially if you don't want to splurge on makeup brushes at first, I strongly recommend you to just get one beauty sponge (if you prefer cream/liquid products) or a foundation brush (if you prefer powder products) and a couple of eyeshadow brushes to play around with more advanced eye looks.
By beauty sponge, I don't necessarily mean the most expensive ones. I still find it crazy to give twenty-something euros for a freaking sponge to apply my makeup, especially when I need to change it every so often like a toothbrush (I'll get into that later). But if you feel like it is the best for you, by all means, go ahead!
The one I bought is from the drug store. It is not the best quality, simply because it is slightly harder than a beauty blender for example. But it does the job of giving my foundation a nice natural-looking finish and it is way less expensive. It has the flatter shape, which I normally use to apply the foundation on the wider parts of my face, and the pointy shape on the other end, which I like to use for more precise spots, like the corners of my nose and under the eyes.

Why using a beauty sponge?

A beauty sponge is very versatile. It is great for foundation application, as well as to blend concealer, or even if you want, to apply and blend cream blushes and bronzers. It is not recommended for powder, though, only liquid or cream products. I love it for a more natural-looking finish, even though you can still use it to build up coverage. Remember to always use it damp! This is very very important and is a step you should never, ever skip if you want to make a good use out of it.
If you prefer using powder foundations, you may find it best to use a brush for a more subtle-looking finish, or a press powder sponge for a more high coverage finish.
Real Techniques Core Collection
For the most part, the products you'll buy will come with brushes or sponges. Honestly speaking, though, I barely ever touch them. I find that even with high-quality products, the brushes can just suck a lot. I can't remember the last time that I actually used a brush or sponge that had come with the makeup. Though, I find it nice to keep them in their respective boxes for on the go retouches, for example.
Personally, I find it easier to play around with liquid and cream products, being them foundations, blush, contour or eyeshadows. Not only they seem more easy to blend, giving a more natural-looking finish, but they are also super easy to use with just your fingers.
As I said, if you're just a beginner and don't want to spend a lot of money at first, just get the beauty blender or foundation brush, invest in cream products until you feel comfortable, skip the rest of the face brushes for now and jump right into the eyeshadow brushes. Once you find yourself comfortable using brushes and/or feel the need to incorporate more tools into your beauty routine (or even if you just want to get them now for that matter) these are my recommendations.
Now, I honestly don't see the purpose of using real hair brushes, not only they're more expensive, use real animal hair, but they also soak up more product (meaning that you'll run out of product more frequently, thus even more expensive) but for the most part I find that synthetic brushes give a more subtle finish and are way easier to clean.
makeup brushes

There are two brush kits that I absolutely adore. You probably have heard beauty gurus raving about these a lot, and that's really just because they are so worth. These are the Real Techniques Core Collection (face) and Real Techniques Starter Kit (eyes).
I love what they did by creating these starter kits. They're super versatile and complete, especially if you're a beginner. Each kit brings its own purse, which is great if you travel a lot and want to avoid getting your brushes and the rest of your makeup bag dirty as well, but the great thing about them is the way that they were designed so you can keep your brushes displayed while having your makeup done.

Real Techniques core collection

Starting with the Real Techniques Core Collection. It comes with four brushes.
  • Buffing Brush
  • Contour Brush
  • Pointed Foundation Brush
  • Detailer Brush

Real Techniques face brushes

One thing that is important to learn is, to never restrain to the name of the brushes. For example, I find the pointed foundation brush way to small for the foundation, so I rather use it for my concealer instead. The contour brush I like to use for blush sometimes, the buffing I may use for primer and foundation or for setting powder. What I mean is, explore and see how you prefer using each brush.


Real Techniques Starter Kit

The Real Techniques Starter Kit comes with five brushes.
  • Deluxe Crease Brush
  • Base Shadow Brush
  • Brow Brush
  • Accent Brush
  • Fine Liner Brush
The same I said above happens here. I find the deluxe crease brush way too big for the size of my crease, so I much rather use the base shadow brush for the base then, after cleaning it with a tissue paper, use it on my crease and use the deluxe crease brush to blend everything together. I haven't used the fine liner brush yet and I really like to use the brow brush to fill in my brows with powder and wax.
So as you can see from all the brushes, only one I haven't use so far. They may seem a bit expensive at first, but I truly find them worth the money and are not as expensive as if you were to buy each brush separately. See it as an investment if you will. If you're interested in getting both kits, you can always search for promotions. I actually got mine with 50 percent off, so in the end, I only paid for one kit. Hooray!

Real Techniques eye kit

The most important thing when you're buying makeup brushes is to feel if the bristles are soft enough not to hurt your skin, especially when it comes to the eyes.
When you're on the hunt for new brushes do not be afraid to ask to test them in store first to see if you're pleased with them, because at the end of the day it will be an investment nonetheless and you will not want to throw them out after a couple of uses because you don't like them after all. I know I threw away a couple of cheaper ones that I later found out that I didn't really like. Which is a shame, because adding the value of these brushes I could have invested in some with better quality. But hey, that's why I'm here. Been there, done that, now I can offer you my recommendation based on previous experiences and failures. haha!
Last thing before I go. Remember to wash your brushes every so often. At least once a week if you wear makeup every day. Especially your beauty sponge! It is not only important to keep tools clean for a different look you'll be doing the next day, but as brushes and sponges soak up a lot of makeup, they are also great nests for bacteria - that you'll be putting on your face, and that's just the beginning of a problematic skin. For that same reason, don't wait for your beauty sponge to be flaking out to replace it. Instead try to replace it every few months, like your toothbrush.
I hope you find this interesting and helpful! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
What are your favorite makeup brushes? I would love to know!



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