A good workman never blames their tools…

Today I want to talk to you about brushes! I went for dinner with my bestie last night and we were talking about my blog. She was telling me what she found useful for her. We got talking about brushes and how she now wants a foundation brush from reading my blog! I’m sorry ladies I’m probably not helping your bank balances am I? Anyway I thought I would write about the best tools of the trade and where to buy them. To cut it short, I really rate body shop brushes, they all compliment eachother and are great quality, last pretty much forever and are easy to clean.

Of course you can use your fingers and the small spongy applicators that often come with make-up sets to apply your make-up. But I find them awkward to use and quite cumbersome. Having a decent set of brushes will last you a life-time and well worth the money.

Foundation Brush

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If you’re a regular to my blog then you’ll know that I champion foundation brushes. In short they make your foundation last longer, easier to apply and more evenly! For more information on foundation application have a read of my How to guide on applying streak free foundation.

 

Eyeshadow brushes

Smudger

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This is probably my most used brush, it’s a big round sponge, great for applying base layers of eyeshadow or if you’re just using one shade. It’s really easy to clean and using it damp is really effective for having stronger and darker and more vibrant eye shadow. You’ll find most eyeshadows are more effective applied with a damp / wet brush. Give it a try it may not work for all but I can tell you all body shop eye shadows can be used wet. One downside to this brush, as it’s not like the other brushes with bristles it doesn’t last so long and is likely to need replacing.

Slanted Brush

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This is great for doing more complicated make up looks. Dampen the brush and apply eye shadow to the brush and it creates a really strong colour. You can use this brush to create a smokey eyed look by building up your colour in the outer corners of your eyes. Then use the blender brush (below) to blend it in with the colour on the rest of your eye socket. Only downside of this brush is that the metal top part can come away from the plastic handle, however this is easily fixed with a bit of super glue!!

Blender Brush

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This brush does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s for blending. As mentioned above you can apply strong make-up using the above brushes and this brush will help to blend the colours together but also blending upwards towards your eyebrow to avoid that drag queen look!!

Lipstick and Concealer Brush

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Yes it might seem strange that I’m adding this brush under eye shadow brushes, but I find it great for applying wet eye shadow to create eyeliner. It’s particularly fab for vibrant colours like emerald greens and purples. As a lip and concealer brush it’s great too. Its narrow enough to be able to easily apply either product and will make your make-up last so much longer than if you were applying it directly.

Face and Body Brush

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I love this brush! It feels so lovely on your skin and applying blusher with it is so simple, a couple of wipes of this brush across your cheeks and you’re done. They add the body part because you can bronze your cleveage and arms with this too!

Blusher Brush 

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Whilst you can use the face and body brush for applying blusher, the blusher brush works much better for high lighting cheek bones and putting your blusher in the right place. (Just under your cheek bones in a smiley face shape up to your temple). Then just blend with the face and body brush.

Line Softner (no image available but has a spongy nib on the end of a normal brush handle)

If you’re not brilliant at applying eye liner then this tool is definitely for you. Apply any eye liner / pencil and use this to soften the line and smudge it in. It helps to stop your eye liner spreading down your face and it’s much easier to create a soft lane with this. Oh and it’s great for smokey eyes too!

Well that’s your kit, if you want my top 3 of these I’d go for the Face and Body brush, Smudger brush and foundation brush! It’s worth looking to see if body shop are offering any christmas brush gift sets this year – they often do. You can often buy 5 brushes for half the normal price around christmas time so worth a look.

Just a quick note about cleaning your brushes…

Obviously I use mine on other people so I very reguarly wash my brushes. I use either fairy liquid and hot water (should be quite hot to kill any germs) or handwash is fine too. You just will find that the water needs to be hot to effectively clean away any greasy make-up products like foundation and lippy!

If you have any questions drop me a line! xxx

 

 

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Conceal or reveal? How to apply concealer correctly…

So today I asked my followers for suggestions on what you want to know when it comes to make-up know how. The lovely Becky asked ‘How to apply concealer correctly?’ So here goes…

Concealer features in almost every woman’s make-up bag, no matter how much of a make-up addict you we all like to hide spots and dark circles, or at least when I meet brides to be they’re most keen on ensuring these things are well hidden.

So how do you chose the right concealer?

Firstly picking the right shade is essential. Try to chose one with a yellowy colour in it and ensure it’s a couple of shades lighter than your normal skin tone. If the colour is too dark it will actually accentuate spots rather than hide them.

What brands are best?

I use a number of different shades of concealer as not all my face is the same colour and it allows me to build up concealer in the right places with the right shades. Here are a few of the concealers I personally recommend.

Makeup Academy – Pro-Base Conceal and Brighten Kit

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This kit comes in 3 different shaes for all skin tones and both conceals spots and blemishes but can also be used to hide unwanted dark circles.

Benefit – Realness of Concealness kit

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This kit consists of 5 fab concealing products, Boing – which as Benefit call it ‘an industrial strength concealer’,which is good but I find a little dark for covering spots but good for under eyes, Lemonaid – apply with fingertips to eyelids to hide discolouration, Lip Plump – a primer for your lips, High Beam – ideal for highlighting cheek bones – I love it!! And finally Ooh La La Lift – this is an under eye deepuffer! Your hangover / lack of sleep dream kit!

Body Shop – Lightening Touch

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Lightening Touch is the Body Shop version of the YSL Touche eclat, and made for concealing the under eye area. When working for Body Shop I sold this stuff by the bucket load!!! The idea is you apply this after you’ve finished your make-up. It has light reflecting formula, so when applied it replects the light away from your dark circles whilst concealing as it goes. It also lasts ages providing you don’t over do it on the clicks. (as you turn the cyclinder it pushes the concealer up the tube).
When should I apply concealer, before or after foundation?

This is a very good question. If you’re looking to hide dark circles then apply concealer first (unless using Touche Eclat or Lightning Touch that is), then apply your foundation over the top. If you’re looking to hide blemishes or spots then apply you foundation first and concealer second. Otherwise the application of foundation will rub off the concealer.

So how is best to apply it??

For best results apply your concealer with a small headed brush, ideally one labelled lip or concealer brush as they’re an ideal size. You’ll get a more even finish and won’t get finger print marks when you apply it. Dab dots of concealer over the area you’re looking to cover and gentle blend in. If you’re covering a spot make sure you clean your brush before and after and definitely avoid covering it with your fingers as you can spread more germs and in turn make the spot worse.

However if you are using your fingers then again dot concealer over the area and dab into your skin with you middle or fourth finger. These fingers tend to have a more gentle touch then your index finger. Always tap or dab never rub. In order to conceal your make-up finish with a light layer of loose powder. Go easy on this as you don’t want to look too powdery!!

Covering dark circles

Make sure you use a brightening concealer for doing this, I use the Makeup Academy kit and then apply foundation and finish off with Lightning Touch. I find this is really effective and long lasting. Using this formula means I get a good coverage and definitely don’t get under eye creases.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful. If there’s anything else I can help with, please give me a shout!

Disclaimer:
The tips and techniques featured in this blog are taken from my own experiences, from using products on my own clients and myself. I do not claim that each product will be suitable for everyone and this must be taken into account when reading my blog. However I am very happy to speak to you on a one on one basis to advise the best products for you and your skin.