All makeup-wearing humans have at least a few thinks in their cosmetic artillery that aren’t products meant to be worn on your face. Of course, some of them are no-brainers, but I don’t think any self-respecting beauty maven is doing their makeup collection justice without at few of these to make it even better! If any of these ideas are new to you or if you have any ideas of your own, PLEASE tell me in the comments… I love learning about new innovative ways to make life easier (and to make my makeup routine not take a gazillion hours).
1. The Original beautyblender – $20, amazon.com
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years or haven’t read anything about current beauty trends, you’ve probably heard of this gem of a beauty tool. Honestly, I don’t even know what I was applying makeup with before I discovered the airbrush magic that is the beauty sponge (it was probably my fingers tbh), but this teeny little sponge is pretty close to life-changing for me. It gives my foundation a finish that is near flawless and is also versatile for primers, concealer, setting powder, etc. Personally, I think the OG beautyblender has a density that’s better than the others on the market. It’s super light without sacrificing its water-absorption powers and the narrow end is perfectly designed for blending out the under-eye area. If you want to save a couple bucks, the others work really well, but if you want the real deal, this little guy is your best bet. Just make sure you keep it out of reach of pesky kitties who think they’re toys. 🙂
2. Egg Cup – $1.99, bedbathandbeyond.com
For a long time, I was perplexed by finding a way to store my beauty blender while it wasn’t in use. One of the first beauty sponges I got from Sephora actually came with a plastic holder that had suction cuppies so it could stick to my mirror, but this was not the case with my pink sponge BFF above. I know a lot of people simply use the plastic jar it comes packaged in, but the design snob in me just couldn’t bear having something so not-chic sitting on my desk. Eventually I discovered this white ceramic beauty and fell in love with how it solved my problem in a design-friendly (and inexpensive!) way. Buyer beware – since these are technically a kitchen product, most places sell them in sets of 2-8, but Bed Bath & Beyond and The World Market both sell these individually for just a couple bucks!
3. Sephora Collection Solid Brush Cleaner – $14, sephora.com
Another (albeit minor) problem created by beauty junkie-dom is the question of how to clean your brushes and beauty sponges so they maintain their efficacy and sustain their worth. Some people have advised just using household products like dish soap or baby shampoo, but I prefer a solid soap and I can almost guarantee that a bar of Dove is going to be too drying for some of the brushes in my collection (which is why we don’t wash our hair with bar soap… makes sense?). I started off with a sample of the beautyblender solid cleanser, which worked well, but it always had a very soap-y smell. Not only is this one a few dollars cheaper, but it also smells nice, actually conditions my brushes/sponges, and I think it has more product, too. What’s there to complain about?
4. Vera Bradley Travel Cosmetic Set – $58, verabradley.com
For the longest time, I’ve struggled not only with finding the best makeup for my skin tone/skin concerns/eye color/face shape, but also the best way to transport all of my beloved beauty products. I have a vintage train case that is SO GOOD for long trips or occasions that require a wider range of products, but for shorter weekend trips (or just going to get ready at a friend’s house) this bag is perfection. The interior compartments (which are all removable) keep all of my compacts and bottles and tubes and brushes neatly organized and contained for any kind of journey. The exterior case reserves a little extra room for palettes or extra brushes, since the brush wrap doesn’t have as many loopy straps as a girl really needs for her blending efforts. Plus, each set comes in a fun pattern motif that is SO much better than my previous mismatched bag system!
5. InterDesign Clear Acrylic Organizing Trays, $9.46-15.73, amazon.com
When I recently refurbished an old desk into a glam makeup vanity (leave a comment if you want to learn more about that experience), I initially struggled to decide how I wanted to organize the drawers with all of my makeup goodies. In my last vanity, I had some plastic baskets from the dollar store that I spray painted gold and they worked well, but for this Big Girl Vanity I knew I would need some Big Girl Organization. After a quick search on Amazon, I discovered these beauties that are marvelously functional and beautiful! They come in a range of shapes and sizes and the best part is they’re stackable so you can keep your primers and foundations and concealers and liquid/cream highlighters in the same vicinity without sacrificing space or sanity. Target also carries these baddies in their storage/organization department (usually they’re closer to the bathroom organization section) if you want to touch and feel them in person, but if you want to make sure you have exactly what you want when you want it, Amazon is probably your best bet.
6. Tweezerman Studio Collection Ultra Precision Tweezers – $26.24, amazon.com
IDK when brows became the bread and butter of the beauty industry, but it’s certainly the case. There’s even a wavy brow trend that’s gaining momentum? Not sure how I feel about that one, but I can definitely appreciate a good brow every now and then. I keep my brows poppin’ and tame with this unassuming workhorse. I know a lot of people don’t see the difference between a few pairs of tweezers… As long as it plucks the hair out of your face it doesn’t really matter, does it? I thought the same way until I tried these. All tweezerman tweezers are fab, but these really get in there and pluck the specific hair you’re trying to get without creating bald spots. (We’ve all been there.) Even better – you can send them in and Tweezerman will sharpen these (or any Tweezerman tweezers) for free! #nodulltweezers2K17
7. Japonesque False Lash Placement Tool – $12, amazon.com
Now I know a lot of people couldn’t care less about false lashes – they’re not exactly a cosmetic staple unless you’re really into makeup or having long lashes – but if you’re one of the few who love having long, lush, and dramatic (and fake) lashes, stop what everything else you’re doing and listen to me. You need this tool in your life. How do you apply your lashes currently? With your fingers? Tweezers? How many times have you ripped a lash because tweezers are too rough or made a mess on your eyelid because you couldn’t place your lashes just perfectly so you had to move them around? With this super simple tool, you can put your glue on your lashes and your lashes on your lash line with simplicity and ease. All hail the false lash.
8. InterDesign Lazy Susan Turntable Organizer – $8.91, amazon.com
Another perplexing problem with beauty storage and organization comes in the form of brushes. Most pen/pencil holders aren’t big enough to hold all of my favorite brushes and honestly, they’re not super functional either. If they’re cute, they’re probably too small or difficult to access. If they’re big enough and easy to access, they’re probably that super-serious-office-looking mesh metal. Not exactly fun or inspiring. An easy and simple solution? This inexpensive lazy Susan tray with a few mugs or cups or mason jars to organize your brushes. (The ones on mine are the super cute ones that are hand-wash only so they never get used… Until now!) You can even fit a few bottles of setting spray, the egg cup I mentioned above, or other tools on it as well. The best part is that it spins, so you can see all of your brushes and pick the perfect one for the look you’re trying to create!
9. Clarisonic Mia1 Facial Cleansing Brush System – $129, amazon.com
The most important part of any good makeup look is a good foundation. I don’t mean a foundation like my current fave from Make Up For Ever – I mean a foundation in the most basic sense of the word. Good skin is the key to any confidence-boosting makeup look. You can buy the most expensive makeup on the market, but if you’re not doing anything to cleanse and moisturize on the reg, it won’t make that much of a difference. I don’t mean to set an unrealistic standard – I definitely have my fair share of battles with zits and oiliness – but I do what I can to create a balance. My Clarisonic Mia1 is the #1 tool-of-choice in my arsenal for washing my face and let me tell you this guy puts in WORK. I can definitely tell a difference between when I use this and when I just use my hands to wash my face. It really gets in there and cleans deep, even when I use Clarisonic’s more gentle brush heads. It’s by no means a cheap tool for an activity as simple as washing your face, but believe me when I say it’s an investment that justifies itself tenfold!
10. Conair Double-Sided Touch-Controlled Lighted Mirror – $41.24, amazon.com
In my opinion, good makeup mirrors are hard to come by. Sure you can buy one for a few bucks at Walmart, but the really good ones are like finding a needle in a haystack. For me, this one is awesome! I love that it’s two-sided so I can get close up to do my eyeliner but back off for my bronzer/highlight. The light is adjustable between 3 levels of light/darkness and the matte black finish would look good with any kind of décor I think. I don’t love the touch response feature (I bump the base a lot and all of a sudden I’m trying to put on lipliner in the dark) but it’s pretty nifty and convenient when my hands are busy holding/doing something else.
Do you have any staples in your makeup collection that aren’t specifically makeup? Are any of them on this list? Leave a comment and let me know!
Note: I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from some of the links in this post. I understand that might make some people uncomfy, but just know all of my opinions always have been and always will be my very own. Like the fact that I think mustard is a government conspiracy to thwart the condiment industry and I AM NOT AMUSED.