Elevate Your Makeup Bag to Professional Status

Our community of Birchbloggers is a vibrant bunch of beauty-loving ladies from all corners of the blogosphere. Stay tuned, as we’ll be featuring one Birchblogger each month to share her story on the Birchbox Magazine. This week, the blogger and makeup artist behind Lily Sage Beauty gives us her tips for upgrading your beauty kit.

As a makeup artist, there are certain products that I always pack in my kit. From a failsafe set of brushes to a complexion-perfecting primer, these must-haves not only benefit all ages and skin tones, they will also leave you looking like you just walked off a photo shoot. Here's what you need to beef up your beauty arsenal:

Quality Makeup Brushes

Brushes are key to creating a flawless professional makeup application. Not only are they more hygienic than your fingers, but they also allow you to control and blend your shadows with professional grade accuracy. Since a well cared for collection can last you years, I recommend washing your brushes weekly with a gentle brush shampoo to keep them clean and prevent any buildup of bacteria or dirt. My go-to sets: Real Techniques by Samantha and Nic Chapman of PixiWoo and Laura Mercier’s collection.

Color-Correcting Primer

In addition to making your makeup last longer, color-correcting primers neutralize unflattering surface tones and create a smoother, more even complexion. Whenever I’m working with a client, I always turn to Smashbox’s Color Correcting Primers. For example, a green primer will minimize surface redness and a lavender primer will correct any dull or sallow tones in the skin. The more perfect the canvas, the more beautiful the final picture.

Contour Powder

Thanks to the Kardashians, a highlighted and sculpted face is now synonymous with a glamorous look. Unlike bronzers, which have a lot of shimmer designed to give the face a glow, contour powders are matte and come in cool tones necessary to create shadows and shape. The Step-by-Step Contour Kit from Smashbox gives easy instructions on how to define and shape the face, and the Makeup Forever Sculpting Kit comes in four shades so every skin tone can have the perfect cheekbones.

Pro tip: clean out your kit every three to four months to keep track of what you need to replenish, what products you really love, and when it’s time to try something new!

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