Since it’s been almost two years since I did a video focusing on my most important and highly recommended beauty tools, I thought it was high time to do an updated version featuring my current favorites. These are tools that I use on a regular basis, absolutely won’t be without and truly recommend.
Let’s get the ball rolling today with a product I use multiple times a day and which I literally could not function without: a magnifying mirror. There are so many wonderful varieties of these mirrors on the market – some are handheld, some can be placed on the vanity, some have built-in lighting and some can be attached to the wall.
I have one that’s mounted on the wall of our main bathroom which has a times-seven magnification. It’s at the perfect height so I can easily look directly into it. Now I know it can be painful to look into a mirror with greater magnification, but it’s truly amazing how much we can miss without a magnifying mirror.
Has anyone else ever been shocked to realize that a dark hair has been growing from the chin which we somehow failed to notice? Enough said!
Did you ever realize that as women grow older, we also grow more facial hair? Yep, it’s not your imagination. As we get older, we lose estrogen which means that testosterone is unopposed. This causes us to grow more facial hair where men grow hair – and, unfortunately, to grow less hair on our head and our eyebrows!
Increased facial hair can make a smooth, even application of foundation more difficult since foundation can pill or flake due to the facial hair. So it can be very helpful to shave that peach fuzz off our faces. In addition to helping foundation and other makeup products adhere better and look better on our face, shaving can also help exfoliate the top layer of skin, promote better circulation and improve the ability of products like serums and moisturizers to better penetrate into the skin.
I love to use this travel-friendly, easy-to-use Flawless Finish razor from Finishing Touch to shave off that peach fuzz. It has a floating head which glides over the contours of the face; it’s safe, quick and easy to use – and creates no redness or irritation. It also has a built in LED light. It comes with a small brush, so you can easily clean the shaver after each use. And contrary to popular belief, our facial hair will not grow back coarser or darker.
Now I know an eyelash curler can be a bit intimidating to use… and you definitely have to be careful not to pinch the delicate eyelid, but lashes can look so much longer and thicker when we use one. I personally like to use an eyelash curler with a handle that is easier to grip.
The one I like happens to be a Revlon curler, but Tarte and Dior make eyelash curlers with nicely padded handles as well. And it’s also important to remember to regularly use 70% isopropyl alcohol to sanitize your curler. After all, we don’t want to take chances with any tool that goes near our eyes!
I personally love the Real Techniques sponge that’s angled because it can easily get into the nooks and crannies of my face. But there are many other great sponges out on the market. Elf makes a really good one and then there’s the state of the art – and pretty expensive – original Beauty Blender sponge.
Why is a makeup sponge important? Basically, you can use a damp makeup sponge to apply just about every makeup product except brow powder, eyeliner and mascara! In fact, one of these days I might do a video where I apply almost all my makeup with a sponge.
In addition to applying makeup, a sponge works wonderfully to blot off excess makeup product and to go over all of our makeup at the end of our makeup routines. Tapping over all of our makeup at the end of our makeup routine helps all of the products meld into the skin and look flawless.
Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!
I have four brushes I’d like to introduce to you.
A buffing brush can make a big difference in how our foundation looks. It helps to gently push the makeup into the skin so it looks beautifully blended and seamless. I love the Dual Contour Blender Brush #201 from makeup artist Eve Pearl for three reasons: first, it’s very soft; second, it’s dense, which really helps work the makeup into the skin; and third, it’s angled so it’s very easy to cover all the different areas of the face.
Another brush from Eve Pearl that I like is the Dual Crease Blender Brush number 205. I like to use this brush for three different things. The smaller side can be used to apply eyeshadow into the crease and the angled larger side can be used to blend in the eyeshadow.
The larger angled side is also great for blending contour onto the sides of the nose because of the perfect shape and angle of the bristles. And by the way, you can find Eve Pearl’s brushes on her website and on QVC (which often offer package deals).
This next brush is the Real Techniques’ Makeup Setting Brush and it’s a fantastic tool for applying highlighter or setting powder. It’s the perfect size and firmness for either powder or cream highlighter and it only costs $7.99, so it’s a great bargain.
The last brush is one that I’ve just recently fallen in love with. It’s the Sigma brush No. 30. It’s a pencil brush that works well for detailed placement of eye products. What sets it apart is that it’s quite firm so it works beautifully to place eye shadow on the inner corner of the eye and apply color to the lash lines. I think it works especially well for the lower lash line.
Another great brush from Sigma is their E25 brush. It’s perfect for applying and blending colors into the crease.
The Sigma Switch is a tool that removes makeup product from a brush so the brush can be immediately reused. This is really an ingenious, double-sided mat with soft silicone textures designed to gently pull liquid foundation, cream makeup or powder pigments from our makeup brushes without using water or brush cleaning products.
It makes it possible to quickly switch colors without changing makeup brushes, save money on brushes, and save cleaning time. I personally don’t know anyone who enjoys spending a lot of time cleaning makeup brushes, so that is a great tool indeed.
To use it, all you need to do is to move the brush bristles through the textures which removes the color on the brush. Use circular motions for cream or liquid formulas and a back and forth motions for pressed powder products. Be aware, though, that there may still be color stains on the brush – but no actual makeup product residue.
And, since we were just talking about brush cleaning, it’s probably appropriate to conclude our makeup tool rundown with a great product to clean brushes from Cinema Secrets. It’s their brush cleaning soap and mat. I especially love it because it’s compact and handy.
This product is vegan and cruelty free and really reduces the time it takes to clean brushes since we have everything we need in one convenient tin. It very gently and thoroughly cleanses both synthetic and natural hair brushes. Just get the brush wet, dip it into the soap and then scrub it over the rubber pad and rinse.
That is the last of our beauty tools, but I also want to address a question that I imagine some of you might be wondering about. And that is, why doesn’t Elise ever talk about some of the wonderful microcurrent technology products that can really improve the look of our skin and facial structure?
Quite honestly, I would love to use and recommend some of these tools because I do know they can definitely make a difference. But I’m simply unable to use these microcurrent products because it’s recommended that microcurrent technology products not be used by anyone who has issues with atrial fibrillation.
So, regretfully, I’m unable to test these microcurrent products out for you and give you an honest appraisal of how they work. But it’s certainly been fun sharing with you these other products today which can really help our makeup look – and application – so much better.
What are your favorite beauty tools? What tools might help you that you’d consider purchasing? What beauty tool is a “must have” for you?