Eye Makeup Brushes – What I Use and Why

I created a makeup video to briefly go over the makeup brushes I use most of the time when applying eye makeup.  I have used various brushes but these are definitely my go to brushes.  Before going into any detailed videos on eye makeup application, I wanted to first go over the tools because without the right brushes, it is hard to really apply the techniques.

In this video, I talk about these eye makeup brushes:

  • Makeup Designory #300 brush – I use this for applying eye shadow primer/base (cream based product).
  • MAC #239 brush – This brush is specifically used for applying eye shadow (powder) onto the lids.
  • MAC #224 – This brush is great for applying eye shadow highlighter under the brows.  It is also a great multi-purpose brush and can be used for applying under eye concealer.
  • MAC #217 – This is an absolute necessity when it comes to eye shadow blending into the crease.  It is fluffy but also tight to really get into the crease area.  I own at least 10 of these brushes!  I recommend having at least two of these, one used in the entire crease and one to blend at the outer corners of the crease.
  • Sephora #207 – This is a double ended brush serving different purposes.  The angled side I like to use for filling in the brows (powder product) while the smudge side I like to use for applying eye shadow as bottom liner or for smudging the bottom liner for a more smokey effect.
  • MAC #266 – This angled brush is best for applying a gel or liquid liner and is especially great for creating a winged eye liner.

Overall, as long as you can find brushes that are similar to the ones I mentioned in terms of the shape and size, then they should be sufficient.  The only one I strongly recommend you get specifically is the MAC #217 brush, I find this to truly be the best eye shadow crease blending brush.

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Meli Makeup Artist – I Have a YouTube Channel Now

So it’s official, I created a makeup YouTube channel!  This project has been an ongoing one listed on my summer to do list and summer might be coming to an end but at least I finally can check this off the list!

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKvPG7wazLrCG1vxhG8APig
Short link:  https://bit.ly/2oynAqh

Last night I uploaded two videos so far.  The one I posted on this blog is just a quick introduction video.  The purpose of my channel is to teach people the basics about makeup application, techniques, products I use, and also address any questions that people ask me about makeup.  Over time, I have met people who are quite intimidated by makeup (hence they hire me the professional) and that is why I want to be able to teach people about makeup, especially the people who never wear makeup.  The best thing is, it is never too late to learn and pick up a trick or two!

This will mainly serve as a hobby as does this blog, both creative outlets in which I can share my passion and profession with my friends, family, clients, and anyone who is interested to learn more!  Thanks for tuning in and thank you for connecting! 🙂  Also, please do not hesitate to send me makeup questions at any time (that’s what I am here for)!

Filling in Eyebrows – Why I Recommend Powder

Anastasia Beverly Ebony brow duo.jpg
When it comes to eyebrows, it is an essential part of the makeup application to define them as it is said that the eyebrows frame the face–this is a very true fact.  By define, I mean fill them in or enhance their shape (usually by creating a slight arch).  People with naturally full eyebrows might not need to fill them in at all and would look into waxing and plucking them to define and shape them as opposed to filling them in with an eyebrow product.

There are many options when filling in the eyebrows including pencils which I would say is probably the most popular choice along with powders and gels.  As a professional makeup artist, I have always preferred to fill in eyebrows with a good angled brush and powder rather than a pencil or gel.

For starters, I think it is a much easier application to apply with a brush and powder as there is more control compared to using a pencil.  With a pencil, it can often make the brows have that drawn on appearance which can look too harsh and much less natural.

A great benefit to using a brow powder is that you can even use an eye shadow!  Most of the time, I use a matte eyeshadow from a MAC palette (colors such as Brun, Cork, and Expresso) to fill in my client’s brows.  It is nice to have a product that can be multi-purpose and in this case, an eye shadow and an eyebrow filler.

Brow powders also last MUCH longer than any other eyebrow product.  My last eyebrow powder lasted me over three years and this is when I essentially used it everyday.  A brow pencil is going to have about the same longevity of an eyeliner pencil.  If you are using it everyday, chances are you will go through it in about 3-6 months or potentially less time depending on how much you use each day.  A gel in a pot might last longer than a pencil but it still will not last for nearly as long as a brow powder would.  Also keep in mind if the gel and/or brow tint comes in mascara tube, this will also run out very quickly.

With an eyebrow powder, you also have a couple of ways of applying it to give you a different effect.  You can apply the product dry which will appear more natural or you can even slightly wet the angled brush and dip it into the brow powder. This method upon application to the eyebrows will appear slightly more defined and also provide a darker pigment.

Anastasia Beverly Ebony brow duo

Anastasia Beverly Brow Powder Duo – “Ebony”

Personally, I use the Anastasia Beverly Brow Duo in the combo “Ebony.”  I like that there are two shades so I can mix them.  To apply this product, I use the MAC #266 brush and apply it dry instead of wetting the brush for a softer appearance.

Anastasia Beverly offers a wide range of duos to choose from based on your hair color.  I highly recommend this product although as I mentioned previously, a good matte eye shadow will also work.

Building Your Makeup Wardrobe – What Every Woman Should Own

For starters, happy 2017!  With the beginning of the new year, aside from setting new years resolutions (although I like to do this year round, not just in the beginning of January), I take the time to reorganize everything including my makeup collection.  I find organizing makeup is like organizing your closet.  It is a matter of going through what you currently own, tossing out what you no longer use, and making room for what is needed.

This has lead me to writing this post to discuss what I believe every woman should own in her makeup wardrobe.  Do you have the makeup products that ‘make up’ a complete makeup wardrobe?

Here is a list of the makeup necessities that I think everyone should own in their overall makeup collection:

FACE:

–  Skincare (an everyday moisturizer [ideally with SPF] and I do recommend a serum as this will deliver the most skincare benefits)
–  Primer (I cannot emphasize this enough and this should go without saying, just saying)
–  Foundation (One or two different ones.  I think that depending on the time of year, skin tone can change, so it is good to have two shades along with having different mediums, such as one liquid and one cream foundation)
–  Concealer (I own two, one that is strictly for under eye and one that has extra coverage to cover those occasional blemishes)
–  Powder (for setting the entire foundation)
–  Blush (Start off with at least one but I would say a minimum of three.  I think having different shades of blush makes playing up your makeup more fun)
–  Highlighters (I have various ones, I recommend owning both a liquid/cream type and a powder)
–  Bronzer / Contouring powder (I think only one is truly needed to do the job)
* Setting spray (I starred this as I think this can be optional)

EYES:

–  Eyeshadow Primer (Again, this is just as important as face primer.  All you need is one good one for everyday)
–  Eyeshadows  (I would say a minimum of five colors.  To create the most basic everyday eyeshadow application, you would need 3-4 eyeshadows.  [A lid color, highlight, crease, and the extra would be an outer crease color for extra depth/contour].  Over time, I think it is good to build this up to at least 10 shades.  The best way to do this is to invest in a good eye shadow palette which provides an assortment of colors to play with)
–  Eyeliner – top liner (I put these in separate categories as I truly believe the top liner needs to be a liquid or gel formula.  I would say at least one black and one of your choice such as brown, purple, blue, etc.  Having various eyeliners can really change up the look)
–  Eyeliner – bottom liner  (For the bottom liner, I recommend pencil only.  Liquid can be used but I think it can look too harsh.  Again, as mentioned above, at least one black and then another color of your choice)
–  Eyebrow powder/pencil (For myself, I strictly use powder for filling in my brows and have been doing this ever since I became a makeup artist.  If you prefer pencil, then get an eyebrow pencil.  Either way, I think almost everyone can benefit from a brow product of some sort for filling in any sparse areas and defining their shape)
–  Mascara (I think having one great mascara is all that is needed although I do also think it is nice to own two different ones, including a mascara primer for building the lashes prior to mascara)
*  False eyelashes (This is optional as many people do not wear false eyelashes too often but I think it is always good to have a couple pairs for special occasions. If you are uncomfortable applying them yourself, bring them to your makeup artist or practice applying them yourself.  As a professional makeup artist, you better bet I keep a good stash of false eyelashes in my makeup vanity!)   

LIPS:

–  Lipsticks (Ideally, everyone should have a minimum of 5-10 different shades in their collection.  Lipsticks are makeup accessories, so depending on the look, it is nice to have shades ranging from natural and everyday to more statement colors such as reds for going out)
 Lip glosses (Depending on the type of person you are, this number can range.  For me personally, I own a ton of lip glosses but I really only gravitate toward the same three.  Mainly because I do not like wearing lipgloss too much to begin with)
–  Lip liner (I do not think lip liner is an absolute makeup necessity but it is good to own at least one for the days you want to play up the lips.  I also believe one good lip liner can go with most lipsticks.  If you have a real variety of lipsticks in your collection, then more lip liners are needed for matching purposes)
–  Lip conditioner ([such as lip balm or Chapstick].  I personally keep this by my nightstand)

important-makeup-brushesLast but surely NOT least, let’s NOT forget about the tools needed!  By tools, I am talking makeup brushes!  As a makeup artist, I have always said, having all the makeup in the world means nothing if you do not have the proper brushes to apply the makeup.  Makeup brushes may seem expensive, but there is no greater investment.

Here is a general list of what will be needed along with my personal recommendations and favorites.  I am trying to keep this fairly basic although it is always good to build up your brush collection over time.  Depending on your makeup collection, owning multiples of certain brushes may be required.

FACE BRUSHES
:

–  Foundation brush (I like the MAC #190, this is always a classic for applying liquid foundations although there are many brushes out there that are essentially the same thing)
–  Powder brush (for applying all over powder, I use the Chanel “touch up” buffer brush)
–  Blush brush (I recommend MAC #129, this has always been my go to blush brush for many years, although I recognize there are many blush brushes out there that are almost the same)
–  Contour brush  (Personally, I like a tapered one so I use the MAC #138)
–  Highlighter brush (For powder highlighting application only [creams/liquid highlighters, I do use my finger tips instead of a brush], I use the MAC #165 which is tapered also and is pretty much the baby version of the MAC #138)
*  All over buffer brush (This is optional but I do use this to go over and smooth out the contouring and blush application.  The MAC #150 or any brush that is fluffy will work)

EYE BRUSHES:

–  Eyeshadow primer brush (If you are using a cream based eyeshadow primer, which is what I use and recommend [vs. one that is liquid and comes in a tube with an applicator], then a brush is needed.  I have been using a brush by Crown brushes which is comparable to the MAC #242).
–  Lid eye shadow brush (For applying shadow on the eyelids only, I use the MAC #239.  This has always been my favorite)
–  Highlighter eye shadow brush  (Believe it or not, for this, I use an Estee Lauder brush that came in a gift set that was given to me when I was 16 years old!  It is my oldest brush that I use to this day.  It does not have a number so I cannot say what it is but I can make a recommendation and suggest getting the MAC #224 for highlighting under the brows)
–  Crease Blending eye shadow brush (As I am sure I have said this before, I cannot blend eyeshadows without the MAC #217 brush.  In my personal collection, I own five of these brushes!  In my professional makeup brush belt, I also own five!  This is mandatory to own, at least one but I own many because my crease color can vary and this prevents me from having to clean the brush in between every single usage)
Angled brush – One for brows (if you are using a powder) and one for eyeliner (only if you are using a gel eye liner)  If you do not use either product, you can forgo this completely.  If you use both, you will need two separate ones and I would recommend the MAC #266 for eyeliner and the MAC #208 for the brows.

LIP BRUSHES:
[Personally, I do not own any lip brushes in my collection other than in my professional makeup brush belt]

Keep in mind that this is a general makeup guide and will vary depending on your lifestyle and what you feel most comfortable wearing.  Overall, if you follow this, you will have a complete makeup wardrobe!