Considering the amount of time I spend talking about products you would think I would spend an equal amount of time talking about the tools I used to apply them. But other than profess my love for the beauty blender, I haven’t spent much time talking tools. So I wanted to spend a little time talking about some drugstore or affordable beauty tools to create a full face.
The Makeup Sponge
If I had to pick one tool to keep, just one, I would pick a beauty blender. And before some of you come at me saying that a beauty blender is not drugstore/affordable I’ll say that I have to disagree. I use a beauty blender to apply foundation, concealer, powder, contour, bronzer, blush and highlight. You can read about that here. Some people use a different brush for each one of those steps. That’s 7 brushes! So at $20, the beauty blender is much more affordable than all those other brushes.
I’ll wash my beauty blender every time I use it so that it’s clean and damp. And basically I use a bouncing/padding motion to apply all the above items. Nothing gives me a more blended, natural and airbrushed finish than a beauty blender. I have yet to find a brush that even compares. And by pushing all the products into the skin you really get a more flawless, skin-like look.
But, if you still aren’t convinced enough to spend $20 on a sponge, the best alternative to the beauty blender is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I use it the same way I use the beauty blender and it is just as good. The flat side is actually really convenient for pressing powder into the skin. You can get these at Ulta, Kohl’s and some drugstores for about $6.
On those few occasions that I don’t use a beauty blender, I use the following face brushes:
- Up & Up Complexion Brush – This is great for applying liquid foundation. It is soft and the bristles are very densely packed so it helps blend your foundation without absorbing a lot of the product. I prefer to spray it with a little Mac Fix + or any facial spray so that it’s a little damp and then use it in small circular buffing motions. I attempt to follow this method by Wayne Goss. Also, this brush is $5.99 at Target 🙂Image Via
- Real Techniques Blush Brush – If any of you follow me on Instagram you know I love this brush. So much that I have two of them. Although this is marketed as a blush brush, I can use it for powder, blush and bronzer. It’s a very fluffy, soft slightly tapered brush which makes it extremely versatile. Since I tend to use it for blush and bronzer I ended up buying a second one. When I use it for bronzer, I tend to pick up the powder with the tapered tip so the application is more controlled. When I use it for blush or powder, I tend to use the sides since they are wider. You can get this for $5.99 at Target (if you can get your hands on it there) or $8.99 at Ulta or Walgreens.
- Real Techniques Contour Brush – Unfortunately this brush comes in a set so you can’t buy it individually. But the set runs around $17.99 and comes with four brushes. I use this for contour since it’s almost like a small version of the blush brush. The size is perfect for the hollows of your cheeks, or even to do a slight nose contour. Alternatively, you could use it to blend your under-eye concealer and to apply powder.
- Real Techniques Setting Brush – Yes, I am obsessed with Real Techniques. But with good reason, their brushes are great quality and extremely affordable. I prefer them over any high end brush. This little gem is great for the under eye area. I use it to blend under-eye concealer and apply powder. It’s $7.99. What else can I say?
This could be a post in itself, and I could go through at least 15 different brushes. But keeping a simple, everyday look in mind I am going to narrow it down to 2 brushes and give you 2 alternatives for each type.
- The Crease Brush – I usually use a crease brush to apply a transition color, crease shade or even just to give my eye a little definition using bronzer. My go to crease brush is the Morphe M332 Fluffy Crease Brush. This brush is so soft and does not shed. I have washed it at least 20 times and it’s just as good as new. It picks up just the right amount of color and is great for blending. It’s also $4.99! An alternative or supplement to this brush is the Elf Crease Brush. This one is like the baby M332. The shape is the same as the Morphe M332 (dome shaped) but it’s a lot smaller. This would work better for those with smaller lids, or when you want to be more precise with your application. I prefer to use this one with the darker shades to prevent the dark colors from going everywhere. Image Via
- The Shadow Brush – Don’t know why this type of brush is called a shadow brush since most eye brushes are in fact made for shadow… But regardless, this is the type of brush you would use to apply product to your lid. It’s the most basic type of eye brush. They usually have flat sides and a round edge. My favorite, or at least most used one is the Morphe G14 brush. This one is the perfect size for my lid and picks up the right amount of product. I usually pat eye shadow to my lid (I do not blend) and I like that this brush has a light color to the bristles so I can see how much product I picked up. This brush is $6.99 at Morphe.com. A nice alternative to this brush is the Wet N Wild Large Eye Shadow brush. This one is similar but the bristles are a little more densely packed and it’s a flatter brush. But, it’s 0.99 friends. Yes… less than a $1.
There you have it, my favorite affordable brushes. Email or comment below some of your favorites.