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Beauty Tool 411: A Makeup Artist’s Cheat Sheet

Don’t know your fan brush from your eye shadow blender? Worry not. Makeup artist Lindsey Jones walks us through some of the most common tools of the beauty kingdom—plus how to use them like a pro.

Eyeshadow Brush

Use to apply color all over the lid or just below the brow bone. Jones says, “Look for a full brush with close-set bristles.”

Eyeshadow Blending Brush

Dome-shaped bristles are ideal for blending color into the crease and defining the outer “v” of eyes. Choose a fine-tipped brush like Beauty is Life’s Special to nimbly work color in your crease.

Foundation Brush

Jones says, “This is key for getting full, concentrated coverage.” Swirl product in circles to avoid streaks. Our pick: Smashbox’s Studio Skin Foundation Brush #13.

Kabuki Brush

This stout and fluffy multipurpose tool is great for applying blush, bronzer, shimmer, or powder. It’s often used with mineral foundations like Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation with SPF 15.

Blush Brush

Repeat after us: this is not the same as a powder brush. Jones says, “Use it to swipe blush on an angle from apples of the cheeks up toward the hairline.” Our go-to: stila’s #1 blush brush, which comes with an extra long handle.

Fan Brush

Designed to distribute just a teeny tiny bit of powder over cheeks, or a light dusting all over your face. “Think highlighter or setting powder,” says Jones.

Eyelash Curler

“Look for a wide, flat “bite” so you can get it close to the baseline of lashes and grab a big group of lashes,” says Jones. We love this curler from Tweezerman, since it has an easy to use extra-wide opening. Crimp three times: roots, mid-eyelash, and tips.

Makeup Sponge

A sponge lets you stipple on foundation to cover lines and blemishes. Jones says, “It gives you that flawless, perfected look.” We’re fans of beautyblender®’s egg-shaped applicators, which fit the natural curves of our faces.

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