This post is the first in a five part series I’m creating for my bridesmaids. The first four parts are detailing tools and different makeup that I already have in my arsenal. I will describe the uses for all sorts of different tools and the cost of items and where they can be bought. The last part will go into makeup looks that would be appropriate for my wedding specifically. Keep in mind, a lot of clickable links in here to buy stuff!
First and foremost, I think it is important to know the tools that are available to use. I have this makeup brush that I got for Christmas from BH Cosmetics. They’re known for having inexpensive makeup, but I know quality is hit or miss with some people. The brushes are quite soft, but they are not as dense as the $20 per brush quality of brushes. These get the job done quite well. This the 12 piece Berry Brush Set from BH Cosmetics which is currently $10 right now, but regularly $25. That is really an unbeatable price for brushes that are not awful.
You can buy this set here for $10 right now. It comes with this convenient little case and has cute purple ends on each of the brushes. Now for a breakdown of each brush and what it can be used for.
This is the dual brow and lash brush that comes in the set. This brush has a few uses. I’ll be honest and let you know that I don’t use this brush at all, but I do know some people who do use it. The comb side is generally used to remove the clumps from your mascara, but can also be used to give your eyebrows a nice combed look. The brush side is used on the eyebrows to groom them but also can be used to blend in eyebrow color.
This brush probably has the cutest name of all. This is the Spoolie brush. Again, this is a brush that I do not really use. You can use this brush to groom your brow and get the hairs into place before filling in your eyebrows (we’ll get to that later). Then it can be used to soften the marks from whatever you use on your eyebrows, but in particular, pencils leave behind harsher lines that can be softened with the Spoolie.
Now this is a brush that I am just learning the joys of its use. This is a Skinny Eyeliner Brush. I previously would use whatever brush came with my gel eyeliner (another topic for a later post), but I love this brush. It helps with thin and precise lines with eyeliner, especially because I always have winged eyeliner. This is winged eyeliner’s dream brush.
This is the Fine Eyeliner Brush. I prefer this type of eyeliner brush over the Skinny Eyeliner Brush. It still creates a fine line with your eyeliner and I feel like you have better control with this type of eyeliner brush. This is best used with a gel eyeliner.
This is the Angled Eyeliner Brush. This is a stiffer brush with a flat top that is slightly angled. This can also be used to apply eyeliner, but I never use it for that purpose. This brush is much more useful to me with filling in my eyebrows with a powder. I will occasionally use this brush to apply eyeshadow on my lower lash line as well.
This is the Flat Eyeliner Brush. I know there are a lot of eyeliner brushes. Some of them are very useful to some people. Like I mentioned, I don’t use all of the brushes, and this is one that I do not really use. This essentially has the same purpose of the other eyeliner brushes, but it is not one that I get much use out of because the other ones fill that purpose for me.
This is a Fan Brush. I will admit right now that the only use this brush gets from me is to brush out any fallout that I get from eyeshadow. However, I do think a lot of women use this brush for that purpose. I appreciate that use. However, it can also be used for highlighting and contouring, especially on the cheeks. Again, more on that later…
This is a smudge brush. It does exactly what it sounds like it does. It smudges eyeliner and eyeshadow and smokes it out, basically. I would use this more to smudge lower, and maybe upper, eyeliner to create more of a smokey look. It can also be used for blending to create that smokey eye. I don’t use this brush much because I prefer crisp lines over smokey lines, but I would use this on eyeliner on my bottom lashes. However, I usually use eyeshadow instead of eyeliner on my lower lash line. More on that later.
This is a Small Eyeshadow Brush. This is pretty self explanatory, actually. It is a rounded flat brush that can be used to apply eyeshadow. This is not my preferred size of eyeshadow brush, but I do use this style of brush to apply eyeshadow on my lower lashes because of its size. I know some would use it for application on the entire lid too. I don’t suggest it for that use from my personal experience and preference. This smaller brush would be good for more precise work, like applying shadow in your crease too.
This is simply an Eyeshadow Brush. This is my favorite brush for any eyeliner application and I will use it on my entire lid for every color of eyeshadow. It’s rounded and flat, but larger than the other eyeshadow brush. This would be great for all over application on the entire lid and any sort of smokey looks as well. This is basically my holy grail style of brush here. I don’t even care what brand.
This is a Blush Brush, which again is self explanatory. It is a medium sized fluffy brush that can be used to apply powder blushes. I don’t recommend this type of brush for cream blushes. I prefer something a bit more dense and angled for applying my blush, but this also does the trick quite well.
This is a Powder Brush, which is a larger version of the Blush Brush. This should generally be very fluffy and large and is used to apply powder over the entire face. This is a staple for all brush collections. If you use the powder puff that comes with most pressed powders, stop now. Throw it out. I consider them essentially useless unless they have fluffy fibers, which most do not. When you use a powder puff with a pressed powder, you’re going to get a very dense and heavy application of powder and your makeup is going to look caked on. You do not want this. Not mention cakey makeup is quite uncomfortable.
This is a Kabuki Brush. I never used this brush anymore. The sole purpose of this brush to apply mineral powder to the face in a buffing motion so that the powder can be buffed into your face. I don’t use mineral powder (a loose powder) so I no longer get use out of this brush. You can buy an inexpensive Kabuki brush on BH Cosmetics for $5 here if you do prefer mineral powder.
This is an eyelash curler. I no longer use this either. My eyelashes naturally curl but for those of you that may have eyelashes that are straight or have no curl, then this would be good for you. I would say going cheap is okay with an eyelash curler, but I would be lying. If you don’t buy a good quality eyelash curler, you risk pulling all of your eyelashes out. I would pay a little more upfront to not risk that. You can buy a Tweezerman brand (good brand) eyelash curler for $13.50 at Ulta here.
Next, we are going to go into face makeup. For a formal occasion, face makeup is going to be a necessity. It creates a nice base for the rest of your makeup while also smoothing everything out and blurring out the little imperfections that we all have if we are over the age of ten. I don’t always wear a full face of makeup, but for any formal or professional events, I will make sure to wear my entire face of makeup.
I did not include pictures for this, but before you start makeup, you are going to want to have a clean surface to work with. Wash your face with your preferred cleanser, although I would recommend a cream cleanser Then always always always use a moisturizer. Whether you have dry, normal, oily, or combination skin, moisturizer replenishes all of the moisture you just sucked out from washing. If you don’t use a moisturizer, you’re likely to have more oily skin because your face is making more oil to compensate for the moisture that was removed from washing. Moisturizers are really specific to your skin type, so I cannot make recommendations here. I would avoid one that is used to treat acne, such as ones that have Benzoyl Peroxide in it, because that’ll still dry your face out. I cannot stress the importance of moisturizer enough.
For starters, everyone should use a face primer. I think primers are basically a necessity because of how useful they are. No matter what your skin type is like, a primer is going to give you a smoother finish and also make your makeup last longer. This is the Loreal Magic Perfecting Base. It is the first primer that I ever used. I do not use it very much anymore. A little goes a very long way with primer. You’ll apply it to your entire face. It starts off creamy but you’ll notice it gets a very smooth and velvety feeling as you apply it to your skin. You can buy this primer in any drugstore between $10 to 15, but Ulta also carries it online for $13 here.
I explained face primers, well this is what I use now. You can see that this is a well loved product. This is Benefit’s Porefessional, which is used to minimize the appearance of pores. I have quite large pores (thank you genetics) so I bought this to help. It is a nude colored product that blends into my skin and has the same velvety feel to it. Benefit is a higher end brand, so you won’t find it in a drugstore. You can find it at Ulta here for $31 or at Sephora here for $31. Some dupes can be found for some higher end products that work exactly the same but for a cheaper price. This is not a product you should try to save on. Just splurge and it’ll be worth it. Believe me, I have tried to save. Another product I have heard good reviews on is the Smashbox line of primers, which I will be trying next. Those can also be found at Ulta or Sephora and will typically run you over $30 for a single tube.
Once you apply your primer, which is always the first step of makeup, then you should apply a colored concealer for whatever purpose you need. I have a lot of redness, which is why I use a green concealer to cove red blemishes. Think of the color chart (see here). Green cancels out red. There are also yellow and purple concealers as well. I do not always use this but if I have a very red acne mark, then I will use this under my foundation. This is just a cheap Maybelline Green Concealer which has been used an abused and can be bought at any drugstore, but you can also get it at Ulta for $6 here. There are also higher end colored concealers.
Some of you may have heard of a BB cream. I use the Rimmel London Matte BB Cream. I pretty much love most of Rimmel’s products. A BB cream is basically a glorified tinted moisturizer. I like to use BB Creams when it is hot because they are lighter coverage and will look less cakey. This is probably what I will use for the wedding because the wedding will be in June. Now, again you need to find a product type that works for you skin. If you have oily skin like I do, then I suggest something that has a matte finish. It’ll be heavier coverage but will keep you less oily through the day. If you have normal skin, then just a normal finish will work for you. You don’t need anything special. If you have dry skin, you’re going to want to something that has a dewy finish because it won’t cling to your dry spots. If you have questions, let me know and I can help with this. You can find the Matte BB Cream for $7 at Ulta here. For those of you with normal skin, the regular Rimmel BB Cream also for $7 at Ulta here would work great. For those with dry skin, I would use the same regular Rimmel BB Cream but wear a luminescent primer that will create a glow under your skin like the Loreal Lumi line found here at Ulta for $13.
This is my holy grail foundation here! Use a foundation during the colder months for heavier coverage that won’t look cakey. This will look cakey in the summer because it is very heavy. This foundation is a mousse and is very, very thick because I need that kind of coverage with oily skin. Follow the same rules for your skin type as I mentioned for the BB Cream. For oily skin, this matte foundation is perfect and can be bought at any drugstore or at Ulta for $5 here. For normal skin, I would use a regular, but long lasting, foundation for the wedding. Rimmel has long lasting foundation that I really like that I used before I switched the Stay Matte and can be found at any drugstore or at Ulta for $8 here. Loreal’s Lumi line is going to work well for you gals with dry skin as it gives that glowy and dewy finish. You can find it at any drugstore or Ulta for $13 here. Let me put this disclaimer here since it just popped into my head. I know some of these costs seem high. I remember when I thought $10 for a foundation was expensive. Let me just say that you get what you pay for. If you buy a $3 foundation, you’re likely to get exactly what you paid for, and it’s not going to be the greatest. Covergirl works well for some people, but I am not one of those people. I don’t own but a few Covergirl products because of that.
For application of the foundation or BB cream, you can use a number of things. Many people love the Beauty Blender that can be bought at Sephora for $20 here. I haven’t used it but I have heard it is the best sponge. I can tell you that the wedges you can buy at the drugstore aren’t the greatest and suck up A LOT of your product. But if you need to, then it would be okay. You can also use a flat foundation brush too like this but I am not a fan of this method personally. I actually just use my fingers to apply my face makeup, but I would like to try a Beauty Blender one day. Also, the dupes I have tried for the beauty blender are not that great, so I’d recommend just paying the $20 to be honest. If you’re going to use your fingers, then make sure your hands are clean.
After you apply your foundation or BB cream, you’re going to use your flesh toned concealer. Yes, this is applied after your foundation. When you put on a foundation on top of your concealer, it basically wipes off the concealer. Apply it to blemishes, basically. I apply to acne marks, scars, and around my entire eyes. You can use your fingers or a concealer brush like this. I just use my fingers to apply it. Dab it on, don’t rub it in. That’s makes it null and void basically. I used to use this Covergirl Concealer stick that can be bought at any drugstore or at Ulta for $8 here.
I now use this Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer, because it is very longlasting and dries to matte finish as opposed to the Covergirl concealer. I’ll be honest that I only use this because it was gifted to me by my good friend Jessica. It is a liquid as opposed to the stick but it would be applied the same exact way. This concealer has a foundation too which I have heard great things about but it costs $35. This concealer can be bought at Sephora here for $25.
Let me start off by saying that NYX has many many many great dupes for the more expensive higher end brands but at half the cost. They have the most dupes I have found. NYX is basically my holy grail brand because everything I have bought from them is phenomenal. So let’s move into blush. I’m going to showing two different types of blush, but know that there are more. First is a good ol’ powder blush, which is my preferred type. They usually suggest this for oily and normal skin. Powder blush looks ashy on dry skin. Pick colors that work best for you. Most apply this to the apples of their cheeks but I actually prefer to put it on my cheekbone. You can find NYX blushes at many drugstores and at Ulta for about $7 here. Let me just say that I don’t think you can really mess up most powder blushes, so most drugstore brands work. Beware though because some may be more dry and have bad color payoff. NYX is generally great and trustworthy. You apply this with a blush brush under your powder, because it makes it look less harsh.
The next type of blush is a cream blush. I like this Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush as a cream blush. This is best for dry skin. You can apply with your fingers like I do, or you can use a stippling brush like this. Again, this goes on under your powder. You can buy this blush in most drugstores and at Ulta here for $8.
This is a luminizing powder. It can be used for highlighting. I can’t really detail contouring and highlighting very well, because I am still learning myself. Google is a very useful source when learning highlighting and contouring. I use this to highlight certain areas of my face though. I got this Too Faced Candlelight luminating powder at Sephora for $30 here.
Here is the inexpensive highlighting and contouring kit I got from BH Cosmetics for $14 here. This is what I’m using the learn. The light shades are used to highlight areas and the darker shades are used for contours. This is used to sculpt your face basically. Then there are two blush shades. Definitely consult Google and Youtube for this.
Last but not least you put a pressed powder over everything you have done here. This will give you a smooth finish and help to set everything. I use this Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder but most pressed powders works fine. Just be sure to use a big fluffy brush. You can also use a loose powder or mineral powder. You can get this pressed powder for $5 at Ulta here or any drugstore.
Let me mention that most of these products don’t have to be bought online and can be bought in person, except for BH Cosmetics. They are sold solely online. Everything else can be purchased in person. Also if you want to check anything out in person, you can look at what I have, or you can look at the testers in any of the stores for the higher end brands.
That is all for this part, guys. Thanks for sitting through it all because I know it was lengthy. But I put a lot of time and energy into it. As a disclaimer, these are all bought with my own money and I have used them and trust these products.