Last week I asked you about your favorite beauty tools and mentioned a couple of mine. Here are 10 of our favorites among favorites — the beauty tools we can’t live without.
1. Tweezerman Tweezers
An Allure Best of Beauty winner nine years running, the Tweezerman just might be the finest general purpose tweezer in the world! Whether you’re an eyebrow artist or the girl next door, the Slant Tweezer’s ($20) perfectly aligned, hand-filed tips will grab every hair, every time. Available in classic stainless steel finish, Signature Red, Neon Pink, Blooming Lilac and Khaki Gold.
TIP: Tweeze in the direction your hairs grow to keep from breaking strands. Tweezing is also easier after a hot shower, or you can use a warm washcloth to open pores. To close pores when you’re finished (and reduce redness and irritation), rinse with cold water.
2. MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush
I like everything about the MAC 239 ($24.50). It’s soft and dense (just like Tabs!), and shades and blends eyeshadows like a dream. The head is tapered and rounded, with smooth, firm fibers that deposit lots of color. It’s one of the beauty tools I’m not sure I could (or would rather not) live without.
TIP: You can use it to apply powders AND creams, and when you’re done using it, if you don’t have time for a thorough brush cleaning with brush cleaner or a gentle shampoo, you can wipe the bristles down with a Wet Ones Wipe.
3. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($19) is practically iconic! — a legendary beauty tool, perfectly balanced and precise like a ninja’s sword. The shape of the curling surface, frame length, ergonomic handles and hinge help it to deliver the right amount of pressure to delicate eyelashes. Amazingly enough, it also suits just about every eye shape out there.
TIP: Curl before applying your mascara to reduce the risk of pulling out or breaking your lashes, and here’s a tip to get a natural lash curl.
4. MAC 217 Blending Brush
An everyday brush for shading and/or blending color or cream products. With fine, densely packed fibers and an oval head, the MAC 217 ($22.50) will take your makeup game to the next level.
TIP: A super versatile brush you can even use as a crease brush or to apply/blend cream or liquid products (like concealer).
5. Clarisonic Skincare Brush
Heavy duty hardware like the Clarisonic ($195), a gentle, sonic micro-massager (ala the Sonicare Toothbrush), removes makeup better than anything I’ve ever used before. Gentle enough to use twice/day, it also helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches, blemishes and the appearance of visible pores, fine lines and wrinkles.
TIP: If you’re gonna pick one up, shop at a store with a good return policy (like Sephora) because it may take a couple weeks to see results (and they’re HELLA expensive). You want the option of being able to take it back if you need to.
6. CHI Flat Iron
The lightweight CHI Ceramic Hairstyling Iron ($70) with 1″ heating plates gets hot in a flash! — so it’ll be ready when you are to create silky, shiny hair. With its versatile heat settings, you’ll be curling, flipping AND straightening in no time.
TIP: As with any hot hair straightener, overuse can lead to split ends. Straight up (ha!), this iron gets HAWT, so use a heat protector with it, and be extra careful where you set it down.
7. T3 PRO Wet-Or-Dry Iron
So your hair’s still wet? No problem. The T3 PRO flat iron ($119) with 1-5/8″ plates steam dries wet hair just as well as it straightens dry hair. Tourmaline-infused ceramic plates reduce heat damage, too, leaving hair soft, conditioned and healthy.
TIP: Since the plates are wider on the T3 PRO Wet-Or-Dry than the plates on the CHI Flat Iron, curling with it may be a bit tougher. Also, this model cranks up to 410 degrees (F), so be sure you use a heat protecting spray, especially if you already have dry hair.
8. T3 Bespoke Labs Evolution / Featherweight Hair Dryers
I have the mighty Featherweight ($200), oxymoron of epic hair-drying proportions, and it’s plenty good enough for me, but if you crave more than 1,800 watts, there’s always the 2,000-watt Evolution ($300)!
Despite the high cost of these dryers, if you have long hair, I think they pay for themselves in time saved.
TIP: These bad boys crank out some SERIOUS heat, so I apply a heat protecting product to damp hair before drying. One more thing — these models draw so much juice that they can trip circuits in apartments and houses with old wiring. You might want to find out where your circuit breakers are before you turn them on (LOL! Learned this one the hard way).
9. GHD IV Styler
The award-winning GHD IV Styler sho’ ain’t cheap ($240), but it will get the job done. With ceramic plates that heat to their maximum temperature in seconds, it locks in moisture, natural oils, and hair color for total hair protection. Along with straightening, use it to create curls, twists, flicks and waves.
TIP: A spray like Straight Sexy Hair Smooth & Protect will extend the life of your straightened style, especially in humid weather.
10. Q-tips Cotton Swabs
The ultimate beauty tool! What would I do without Q-tips? They’ve been making my life easier for years. I use them for tricky areas in place of makeup brushes a lot of the time. They’re also ideal for applying eyeshadow when you forget your brushes at home, for covering up dark circles with concealer and for quick mascara touchups on the go.
TIP: Doused with an eye makeup remover like Lancome’s Bi-Facil, you can also use one to clean up the edges of your makeup along your lower lash line. Just don’t poke your eye out!
I hope you found this roundup as useful as it was fun to do. Tabs helped with the artwork at the top, but now he won’t return my MAC 239. He says he needs it for his smokey eyes.
What’s new with you? Do you have plans tonight? I’m getting ready to eat a take-out burrito and have a glass of wine. Classy.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. If you’re new here, thank you for visiting. Makeup and Beauty Blog is a makeup blog with daily product reviews, beauty tips, giveaways and the random shenanigans of a crazy cat lady/makeup enthusiast named Karen (that’s me!).