Five of the best tools in beauty

Make up products get all the hype. So pigmented, so buttery, beautiful texture... but what about the tools we use to apply them with? Or the brush we use on our hair? Lots of incredible beauty tools go unrecognised, so here's some of my unsung heroes... 

I'm about to rave about a hair brush. It seems bizarre to me to get so excited about a bloody brush, yet here I am! I was previously a devotee of Philip Kingsley's very expensive brushes but this brush - which, by the way, is made from sustainable and biodegradable materials and is packaged entirely without plastic - is less than £10. And it's brilliant! It's so soft on the hair and scalp and detangles literally painlessly. The only way I can give you an accurate picture is with an anecdote: I have very, very thick hair. One night I washed my hair in the shower, but before I could condition it, we had a power cut which turned off the electric shower. I had wet, very knotty hair and was dreading even trying to tackle it with a hair brush. But this brush took out all the knots, made it completely smooth and tangle free with minimal effort and with no pain or tension whatsoever. I have never, never known a brush like that. No tangle teezer, no brush from a luxury brand - seriously, this is amazing. 
Named the "yoga brush" because of its flexibility, this bendy brush is a little gem. (But is very hard to photograph so don't judge me please!) Ostensibly it's a lip brush - with a flat brush and a narrowed, pointed brush and a bendy 'stem' - for precise and controlled application of product. I think this is very useful! I actually mostly use it as an eye brush, but sometimes I use one end as a lip brush (a lip brush isn't a must-have for me, but it's nice to have) and the other end for eyeliner. When I'm only using it on my eyes, it's really helpful to have one end for gel, and the other side for powder. (Using powder eyeshadow as an eyeliner is a total game changer, by the way.) The thin brushes are excellent for accurately lining your eyes, and the flexible centre means I can change the physical shape of the brush for a better grip, and adjust the angle for easier application. Being two-in-one means there isn't a build up of product and no chance of accidentally applying gel liner where I don't want it. 
This is my favourite foundation brush of all time! You did read that correctly: foundation brush, despite this 'officially' being a powder brush. But really, it's the best brush I've ever laid my hands on and is seriously the best way to apply liquid or cream foundation. It's a small, fat dome shape and the bristles aren't sparse like a stippling brush but they're not totally dense and stiff like you'd expect to see on a kabuki brush. The small, almost pinched shape makes is perfect for getting an even and smooth coverage. I think because the top of the brush is quite flat, it's easy to concentrate product in a certain area. This brush doesn't grab onto product, so it's perfect for blending it around the face as well. (Because liquids and creams just don't want to cling to this brush, I've found it really easy to keep clean also.) Don't be put off if you're not a fan of applying foundation with a brush (I still love the lluillui sponge for concealer) because the bristles are just so that it's easy to buff away any brush strokes. It may not technically be a foundation brush so perhaps it's a little unconventional to use it like one, but trust me: this is amazing. 
This is an interesting little beauty sponge because unlike others you may have tried, this is dual textured. The narrower end of the sponge is slightly rougher (as in, only in comparison to the other end) and stiffer. Because it's firmer and has less bounce - which sounds like a bad thing, but stay with me here - it stays very sturdy and you can apply product 'flatly', so it makes it very easy to apply product to the under eye area and difficult areas like around the nose. How many times have you struggled to blend a stubborn bit of liquid concealer in a little crevice of your face that a classic soft, bouncy blender is just too fat and fluffy to really get in there and get the job done? This pointed, stiffer side also won't soak up as much excess product as the fatter end of the sponge, so is good for achieving a full coverage with liquids and applying powders and creams. The bottom half of the sponge is more like what you'd expect from a beauty sponge. It's chubby, spongey and more absorptive so will be able to achieve a more skin-like finish with foundation. It's able to take up excess product to avoid a base that's too heavy or cake-y, just like your classic blending sponge. It's a really handy sponge, I think you'll be surprised just how useful the dual texture is. It's a really clever idea! 
UV Index 
I know I bang on about it all the time, but wear SPF. It's really important. I wear it most days but I use a UV Index app (Accuweather or UVLens) to give an indication of how much I should be using and how frequently I should be re-applying it. I always use an SPF 50 but you have to apply it very heavy handedly to actually get that protection factor. If I applied it like I would any moisturiser, I'd probably only really be getting SPF 25 or 30, which is obviously fine on days with a low UV index and when I'm not going to be spending a lot of time exposed to the sun, including through windows. Similarly if the UV index is lower throughout the day then I don't have to re-apply so heavy handed, or at all. It's a good technique to get in the habit of being mindful of UV rays, as well as to use sort of like a measure to gauge how much of my sunscreen I should be using, so I really get the most out of them. 

What are your favourite beauty tools? 

 You can also find me on Bloglovin' Twitter Facebook & Instagram 

Disclaimer: links may be affiliate links and PR samples will be marked with *. Items marked with ^ are products I have received previously in PR, but this particular product was purchased by myself.   

No comments