So djinnandtonic wanted me to suggest different makeup brushes to use and rank them in order or importance. I thought this was a great idea for a post, so thank you djinnandtonic for suggesting it! I’m going to focus on one type of brush for each post, with the first being foundation brushes. I’m only going to recommend brushes I’ve own or have used, so note that there are definitely other great options out that I may not touch on.
I think foundation brushes are definitely important to have. When starting your makeup brush collection, I think it’s important to get brushes that can serve double or even triple duty.
The foundation brush you need depends on the type of foundation you’re using. So, I’ll talk about about one for a foundation brush you’d use for mineral or powder foundations and another for liquid foundation. Cream foundations, I think, actually look better when applied with some type of sponge, so I’ll talk about that as well.
- Flat Top Buffing Brush: I think this brush is awesome for applying liquid foundations. It really allows you to buff (hence the name) the foundation into your skin, this makes the foundation look like it’s your actual skin and not a layer sitting on top of your face. These type of brushes are also great for contouring. I talk about flat top brushes for contouring in another post I did, and you can check it out here.
Here are some different flat top buffing brushes worth checking out:
Real Techniques Buffing Brush:
Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Sculpting Brush:
e.l.f. Studio Flat Top Brush:
Sedona Lace Flat Top Buffer Brush:
- Kabuki Brush: If you’re a fan of mineral foundation, then you’ll definitely want to have a kabuki brush. It’s great for buffing the mineral foundation into your skin…same principle as the flat top buffing brush, but I think kabuki brushes are more suitable for mineral foundations. You can also use kabuki brushes apply a setting powder over your liquid or cream foundations.
Here are a few different kabuki brushes:
Bare Escentuals Kabuki Brush:
- Beauty Sponge: As I mentioned above, when applying cream foundations, I think sponges actually work better than brushes. However flat top buffing brushes to apply cream foundation as well. When using a sponge to apply your cream foundation, you’ll want to make sure that it is damp so that it won’t eat up too much product. Then use the sponge to push the foundation into your skin. You can also roll the sponge along the edges to make sure everything is nice and blended. Using a sponge gives a really nice flawless finish.
Beauty Blender: There are some different dupes for the Beauty Blender, but if you’re looking for the original…then this is the one your want.
Sonia Kashuk Makeup Sponge:
Sepohra Makeup Sponge:
That’s it for foundation brushes, stay tuned for a post on eye shadow brushes in the next few days!
I tried the Maybelline gel eyeliner you recommended on one of your previous posts, and it is AMAZING! Are there any other brands that make gel eyeliner? I'm looking for a larger color variety. Thanks!
I really do love that gel eyeliner by Maybelline Eye Studio!! Glad you liked it as well :]
Physician’s Formula has gel eyeliners in a few different colors. I’ve tried them, they’re pretty awesome as well!
You can also try cream shadows as liners, they come in a variety of colors. Try Maybelline’s 24 Hour Cream Shadows or Smashbox’s 15 Hour Wear Cream Shadows. With cream shadows make sure you set them with a shadow so they’ll stay put.
Hey! I asked you the other day about concealing under eye circles, Thank you so much for your reply it was really helpful! although the products you suggested aren't available in Australia :( Not to worry because now I have an idea of how to actually compact these circles :D I have another question if thats okay.. I have had a really hard time trying to figure out what undertones I have. I've looked at my veins and to me they seem to be both colours. But I'm quite pale and i go red really easily
I was hoping at least some of those products would have been available near you, but hopefully you’ll be able to find similar products that can achieve the same effect :]
Now on to your new question…
A lot of people assume because their skin is pale or they have redness to the skin your undertones are going to be cool. That’s not always the case. If I had to guess based on your statement about seeing both colors when you looked at your veins I’d say you might have neutral undertones.
Determining your skin tone can be a bit tricky. But here are a few different tests you can do:
- Vein Test: You’ve already done this, but I’ll go ahead and explain it in case others read this. You’ll look at the inside of your wrist under natural light. If your veins appear blue then you most likely have cool undertones. If your veins appear green, then your undertones are most likely warm. If you think you see a mixture of both, or it’s difficult to tell, you could potentially have neutral undertones.
- Jewelry Test: If you prefer yourself in gold jewelry then your undertones are more warm. If you prefer yourself in silver jewelry, then your undertones are more cool.
- White T-Shirt Test: wash your face and remove all makeup. Pull your hair back into a pony tail or away from your face. While wearing a white t-shirt look in the mirror. If you face appear more yellow/gold/apricot next to the white, then your undertones are warm. If your skin appears more pink/rose/blush then your undertones are cool.
After doing those tests if you don’t really feel your skin is leaning one way or the other, then your undertones are probably more neutral.
I’ll be honest, I don’t use a lot of liquid liner, I find it hard to control. I’m much more of a gel liner girl and probably always will be.
But, since this liner is only a buck, I just had to try it out.
So here’s what I got:
It’s probably hard to tell, but the applicator is a brush and not felt tipped.
So here’s what e.l.f. claims their liner will do for you:
“No more tugging or pulling on your eyelids with this easy glide Liquid Eyeliner. The smudge-proof liner is rich in color, creating a long lasting defined look. The fine tip brush creates easy and precise definition for natural or dramatic eye effects.”
Easy glide? Duh…it’s a liquid.
I think this kinda funny when a liquid eyeliner claims to be “easy glide”. It’s a liquid so of course it’s going to glide on easily. That being said, you definitely won’t have to pull or tug at your eyes (which you shouldn’t do anyway) when applying this.
As I mention above, the application is a brush and not felt tipped which I think makes application harder, because a brush is pretty flimsy and you don’t have nearly as much control as you would with a felt tipped applicator.
A precise line is in your future.
I was impressed with how precise you can get with this liner. The brush comes to a very fine point allowing you to get right into the tear duct and so close to your lash line.
Since the brush is so fine, if you mess up a bit, it’s not like you’ve smudged a huge bump, because the brush just isn’t that big.
Don’t expect super longevity.
What I mean by that is, this liner does fade. I wore it alone and set with an eye shadow. The eye shadow allowed it to hang on for a bit longer, but not much.
It also tended to smudge on me a bit. I swear I wouldn’t touch my eyes at all and somehow I found myself having to touch it up.
I wasn’t expecting the world to change when I bought this eyeliner. After all, it was only a buck.
It’s a decent eyeliner. I did have to touch it up. But I did like how precise of a line you can achieve.
This definitely didn’t convert me to a liquid eyeliner girl. I’ll stick with my gels.
So I know as far as drugstore foundations go, a TON of people already are quite familiar with this foundation, however, up until last week, I’d never tried it.
I’m sure there are plenty of reviews already out there, but I still wanna put my two cents in :]
Here the ColorStay I purchased:
Forumla: Normal / Dry Skin
Here’s what this foundation claims to do straight from Revlon’s website:
“Want makeup that is flawless and weightless for 16 perfect hours? Revlon has the solution - ColorStay™ Makeup with SoftFlex™.
Specially formulated for normal or dry skin, this oil-free, moisture-balanced formula gives you flawless looking skin.
Makeup looks fresh and feels great for up to 24 hours thanks to the lightweight, comfortable feel from the SoftFlex ColorStay™ Formula.
Medium to full coverage, with SPF 15 protection.”
Does ColorStay really have the staying power?
Yes and no. I wore this once without any primer or setting power, and it definitely did not last the 16 hours that it claims. So, if you tend to wear your foundation without those two things, I highly doubt you’ll really get that long of wear out of it.
However, when I did apply a primer and then set the foundation with a setting powder, it did last quite a long time. It definitely got me through a full work day no problem. I still think 16 hours is a bit of stretch, but who really wears their makeup for that long?
Not so sure about the special formulation for normal / dry skin.
I have pretty normal skin. I don’t get too oily and my skin isn’t too dry. But I try to stay away from foundations with formulas for oily skin so that my skin stays nice and hydrated. That’s why I chose the ColorStay formula for normal / dry skin.
I didn’t find this foundation hydrating at all. It didn’t leave my skin flaky or feeling super dry, but my face felt a little tight, so I could tell that it was drying out. I found myself having to apply more moisturizer than normal to keep from experiencing the tightness.
However, that being said, I never had to reapply powder or blot my face because this foundation dries to a VERY matte finish and I never experienced shine. When I first applied it, the finish seemed dewy, but after you give it time to set, it’s very, very, matte.
The coverage was all I wanted and more.
I love, love, love, this foundation’s coverage. I’d say it’s a solid medium coverage foundation, but definitely buildable to full. I do love that it’s has good coverage without feeling super heavy on the face.
I also think it could be sheered out a bit if you wanted to use it for lighter coverage as well by mixing in a little moisturizer.
I’m happy with this foundation. Is it the best foundation I’ve ever used? No. But, for it’s price, it’s definitely up there in the realm of higher-end foundations that I’ve used.
I love the coverage, it’s staying power works as long as you use a primer and set it in some way. The formula wasn’t perfect for my skin, for whatever reason, but that’s not saying it couldn’t work for you.
- Has a decent shade range for drugstore foundations
- Coverage is great without feeling heavy
- Gives a nice finish
- Has SPF
- Doesn’t come with a pump, so you can get way more product that you really need.
- Formula might leave your skin feeling a bit dry
Rating: 4 / 5
If you haven’t tried it out, I think it’s definitely worth a go.
Hey, I think your blog is absolutely wonderful and your answers are always super detailed and helpful. An issue that I constantly have is that my eyeliner (lower part of my lid) always bleeds. I have fairly oily skin and I don't know if that's the cause. I've tried using concealer but it still happens. Any ideas? Please and thank you :)
So happy to hear you’re finding my posts helpful :]
Now onto your question…
I assume by “lower par of my lid” you mean your lower lash line or water line, I hope I’m right :] (If not let me know and I might change my answer, haha)
First, I’d ask you what type of eyeliner are you using?
Applying products to your lower lash area, especially if you line your water line can make your eyes water or tear causing your eyeliner to run or bleed. If your liner has a tendency to run on you, I’d first look for a formula that is water proof so that it won’t be effected by any tearing. For your lower lash line, I’d prime that area as well, instead of using a concealer, try using an eyelid primer.
For your water line I’d stick with a waterproof pencil with a creamy formula so it glides on easily. For your lower lash line, try a gel liner, they work great for smudging under your lower lashes to give some definition, and since they dry to a pretty matte finish, they tend to stay put.
Another tip that I think always helps is setting your eyeliner with a shadow. That’s going to help prevent any of the color from moving around, and it’ll make your liner last longer too.
We all want to get the most from our makeup, and in order to do that, you need to have a full understanding of your skin. Depending on your skin type, you’re going to want to chose different products that are going to help combat some of the issues that your skin might have.
If you don’t know your skin type, take a minute and introduce yourself to your skin. Touch it, get to know it. Your skin is like a brooding teenager…it just wants to be understood :]
Let’s just dive right in…
Determining Your Skin Type
There are 4 main skin types; Combination, Oily, Normal, and Dry.
- Oily: When your skin is oily, it will often look and feel moist. You have large, open pore when your skin is oily. You may be more prone to breakouts all throughout your face as your pore tend to get more clogged when you have oily skin. Your skin will tend to build up oil throughout the day and may be very shiny by mid-day.
- Dry: One key way to tell your face is dry, is how it responds after you wash your face. If you skin tends to feel tight, then your skin is most likely dry. Your skin may also get red or irritated when subjected to harsh weather conditions.
- Combination: Combination skin is very common. You can think of it as a hybrid of oily and dry skin types. When you have combination skin you tend to get oily only in certain spots, typically your T-Zone (forehead, down your nose, and chin) and you’ll stay dry around your temples, under your eyes, and cheeks. Since your t-zone is oily, you may also tend to break out there as well. You can also have combination skin when your skin types changes during certain types of the year. So for instance if you skin is dryer in the winter than it is in the summer you may have combination skin.
- Normal: There is always one of us that will luck out and have normal skin. Normal skin tends to have an even complexion and will find that it’s balanced, so it’s not too oily or too dry. You won’t notice a change in your skin throughout the day like the other skin types. You also won’t have much of a reaction to your skin when trying new facial products.
Now, if you don’t have normal skin, don’t fret. All skin types can be worked with, it’s just about understanding what your skin naturally wants to do and trying your best to work with it, not against it.
Here are 5 quick steps you can do to determine your skin type:
1. Wash your face and gently pat it dry. Allow your skin to sit for 30 minutes before moving on to step 2.
2. Grab a Kleenex or tissue and cover as much of your face with the tissue as you can and gently press it into your skin from top to bottom.
3. Remove the Kleenex or tissue from your face without rubbing it into your face. You’ll want to peel it away from your face.
4. Examine the tissue. You might need to hold it up to a light.
5. If the tissue is oily in several spots then your skin is oily. If the tissue is oily in a few spots, especially around your forehead and nose, then you have combination skin. If the tissue has little to no oil on it, then your skin is either dry or normal. The way to tell is dry is to feel your skin after you’ve applied the tissue to it. If you notice flaky areas, then your skin is dry. Normal skin will leave little to no oil on the tissue and your skin will still feel supple.
In addition to knowing your skin type, there are two main problems that your skin might also deal with: Sensitivity and Acne-Prone.
- Sensitive: A lot of times, when your skin type is sensitive, lotions, sunblock, and other face product tend to irritate your skin, so you need to be very careful when applying things to your face.
- Acne-Prone: Don’t think acne is just something teenagers have to deal with. Pimples and breakouts are something we may have to deal with later in life, and if you have oily skin you’re especially susceptible to this. So if you think your skin is acne-prone, make sure you have good skin care regiment in place that involves acne treatment.
Hey! I absolutely LOVE your blog, by far my favourite!! I love the way you write, you go to so much detail without making it boring! :) So thank you! I was wondering if you could recommend an under eye concealer? I have tried SO many and nothing I've used works. I'm pretty pale and have really bad under eye circles I've also tried salmon/ yellow colours to get rid of them and nothing has worked :( I Iive in Australia so I'm kind of limited in brands :( Thank you! Xx
Thanks for the compliments, that’s very sweet!! :]
You mention that you have dark under eye circles, and using salmon/peach toned concealers to color correct is definitely what you want to be doing to help combat those dark circles.
The reason you use a salmon/peach toned concealer is because dark circles are normally blueish in color, and a peachy toned concealer is going to help cancel out the blue, making your dark circles appear less prominent.
You also mentioned that you were in Australia, so I hope that the products I recommend can be found there.
I’d recommend starting out with a peachy primer under your eye to help knock out the blue discoloration a bit. This will help brighten up the under eye area before you even apply your concealer, and it’s also going to help fill in any fine lines and make your concealer last a lot longer. Here are two I recommend:
L’Oreal Paris Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Primer
Makeup Forever HD Microperfecting Primer
Next, since you mention you have a pretty pale complexion, I’d recommend getting a concealer palette so that you can make a shade that will match your skin as needed. With concealer palettes a lot of times they’ll include colors like green, purple, pink, peach, and yellow so that you can color correct. So if you need to add a bit more peach to your concealer you can do so. Check these out:
Makeup Forever 5 Camouflage Creme Palette
Coastal Scents Eclipse Palette
So, again, I tried to check and see if these products were offered in Australia, and I couldn’t really get to a definite answer. So I hope you’re able to find what you need!
I can't get the wings of my eyeliner even ! Is it because of my hooded lids ?
Lining hooded lids can be tricky…but it’s totally doable!
First thing I’d recommend, and this would be for anyone, but especially those of you with hooded lids…make sure you look straight forward and try to line your lash line with your eye open as much as possible.
When you have a hooded lid, you need to look and see what is actually visible when your eye is totally relaxed.
Place your liner on your eye from the inner corner to your outer corner. Then looking straight forward place a dot where you’d like your wing to be. This will be a guide for you so that you can connect the dots. Make sure the dot is in a place that is visible when your eye is totally relaxed so that it won’t get covered up by the hood. Then make your wing.
By doing your liner with your eyes open and creating that dot as a guide, you’re going to be able to see if your wings are even.
I was able to find this video of a tutorial for applying winged liner for hooded lids. I thought it was pretty good, and she has a pretty hooded lid.