Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Save or Splurge : Tools of the Trade

Hello beauties!

We're ending off the Save or Splurge series today. You can check out the other instalments here :
Face, Eyes 1, Eyes 2, Lips and Cheeks.

Today is all about the tools you'll need, both as a makeup artist and for personal use. This is a topic that tends to get a lot of people down, because they don't know what exactly they'll need to apply their makeup. So let's get right to it.

What tools do you need in your makeup kit?

* Makeup Brushes

I'm not going into too much details where makeup brushes are concerned, because I've blogged about it before, and Liani blogged about it just the other day. (Read my posts (and see my video) about brushes here and brush cleaning here. Liani's makeup brush post here, and her brush cleaning post here.) Those posts between the two of us, and the thousands of posts on the subject all over the interwebs, should have you covered.

?? Why do you need makeup brushes ??

+ Look, makeup artistry is a form of art, and any painter will tell you that you'll need brushes to paint. These are THE tools of the trade. But other than that fact :
+ Perfect blending.
+ Soft on the skin, and application can actually be done without dragging the product over the skin (like in the case of those makeup applicator thingies you get with your eyeshadow).

Save or splurge verdict?

You want quality brushes, my friends. They are softer, last longer and have less hairs that randomly fall out. Keep in mind that this is an investment, and will probably last you a lifetime (if you take care of them). So if you pay a small fortune for your brushes, take the time to take care of them. You don't leave your friggen' thousand Dollar Jimmy Choo's out in the rain, do you? No. You probably feel about them like Gollum feels about the Precious, and you take care of them that way. See your makeup brushes in the same light.

My brushes are mostly animal hair, because they were bought before I went cruelty free, but there are some pretty amazing brushes out there that are synthetic (and therefore not cruel to our fluffy friends). Play around and find quality brushes you like.

Having said that, there are certain cheap-ass brushes I ADORE. The angled gel liner brushes from Essence are the BOMB, and cost basically nothing (they're under R25!!). I own about ten of them. I also love pencil / shading brushes. The Inglot pencil brush is my favourite, and I've tried quite a few brands when it comes to this one.

If you want to buy makeup brushes for your professional kit, remember that you're going to need more than one of certain brushes. Invest in a few different eyeshadow brushes, blending brushes, angled liners and lip brushes. Why? Well, the probability of you having to makeup more than one person at a time is really big, and you don't have time to clean your brushes between faces on the run. Most clients will have a fit if you use the same brushes on them as you just used on someone else. It's gross, really.

I use :

Apart from the things I mentioned above, there's these two babies.

The beauty blender is probably the very best invention of the era. Mine is a knock off by UBU, but it works just the same as the real thing. I apply my foundation with it every day of my life, because I love it.

Gone are the days of streaked, uneven foundation! It gives a perfect, almost airbrushed finish every time. And it has a tapered point on the one end, which is fabulous for applying foundation and concealer in those hard to reach places. Like around the nose.

My kabuki was originally used for applying the foundation, before I bought the blender. It still offers a pretty good foundation finish, but I prefer it by far for applying powder after the foundation. I find that it handles the powder well, and because it's so light, it doesn't drag over the skin.

* Makeup sponges

I'm handling this one almost as a continuation of the previous topic, because to me, it is.

I own a variety of brushes for applying foundation, and I do use them on clients. But as I said, there are those times when you need to make up more than one person, and for those times, I prefer the sponges. Then the foundation brush works well on the bride, but the bridesmaids get sponges. :P

They're as cheap as dirt and you can toss them when you're done with them, which means hauling less junk when you travel.

Save or splurge verdict?

I really like Dischem and Clicks' home brands. Both are around R35 for 16 or so sponges.

 * Eyebrow shavers

Ever seen this nifty gadget? I didn't know of its existence until my makeup course, and now I can't go without it.

?? What does an eyebrow shaver do ??

+ Would you believe me if I said it does just what the name implies? :)
+ You can shave off the excess hairs around the eyebrows instead of tweezing them.
+ Because of the protective edge on the blade, you can't cut yourself with it, so it's pretty safe (I still wouldn't hand one to a kid, however).
+ I like to use this on clients because you can trim their eyebrows without the redness / swelling tweezing can sometimes leave.

Save or splurge verdict?

I picked up mine for around R15. It works. :)

 * Tweezers

In spite of the eyebrow shaver, this is a must have in your bathroom cabinet as well as your professional makeup kit.

You all know what tweezers do, so I'm not going into too much detail on that. But you'll need your tweezers for more than just stray hairs.

Ever heard of false lashes? Yup. If you're a makeup artist, you're going to have to apply them at some point in your career, and tweezers make the job that much simpler. Especially individual lashes are almost impossible to apply without your pinchy friend here.

Save or splurge?
It's a draw.

There are those who swear by Tweezerman tweezers. There are also those who swear that the cheaper ones work just as well. I don't really fall into either of these groups. My tweezers aren't on the very inexpensive side, but they aren't on the expensive side either. They're kind of in the mid range, and they work. So you need to figure this one out for yourself.

* Cotton Buds

My friends, this is probably the single most important tool in my makeup kit. Cotton buds can be used to correct any, and I mean ANY, mistake you make.

When dipped in makeup remover, they can fix crooked eyeliner. When you smear your lipstick, a cotton bud and a little concealer can magically take the smudge away. Mascara splatter? Just fix it with a cotton bud. Too much eyelash glue on the falsies? Cotton bud.

Always carry these in your kit, because you're going to need them at some point.

Save or splurge?

'Nuff said.

* Small scissors.

?? Why in the world would you need scissors in your makeup kit ??

+ You'd be shocked for what I've needed my scissors before. Once, I needed to help sew the bride's dress together, because the zipper stripped, and my scissors was needed to cut the thread. I've even had to trim some stray hairs that poked out of an updo for a client before an event!
+ But for the most part, you'll need the scissors to trim the false lashes down to size.

Save or splurge verdict?

I would recommend getting a smaller scissors, however, because the brunt of the space in your kit will probably be dedicated to makeup. I use a baby nail scissors. They're sharp, light and tiny, so they're ideal for my kit.

And that's that! Save or Splurge is done! Next week, I'm doing a Wednesday Review for you, but after that I've got some other Basics of Beauty posts planned. So watch this space for that.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


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