Most women spend a lot of time and money picking out the perfect lotions, potions and makeup for their skin. But without the proper application, even the highest-quality products won’t do much for your appearance. That’s why it’s important to have the right tools. The correct sponge, for instance, can turn streaky foundation into an even, natural glow, while facial tissues can help lipstick stay put.

As a makeup artist, I handle hundreds of beauty items on a regular basis. Here are the six I swear by, plus simple tips for makeup application.

1. Spoolie brush. The quickest way to look put-together is by grooming your brows. A spoolie brush, which resembles an overgrown mascara wand, can put those hairs in their place. Sweep it upwards and outwards; then trim any errant brows with a pair of small scissors. Finish the look by filling in any gaps or sparse areas with an angled brush dipped in brow shadow.

2. Latex-free sponges. There are many ways of applying foundation: I like using a synthetic brush on my client’s faces. But, no matter what method you prefer, it’s smart to follow up with a sponge. Holding the skinny side of the wedge, tap the flat, square side in circles over the entire face. This dabbing motion blends the product while pushing it into the skin. It also absorbs any extra foundation, which prevents a streaky or caked-on look. It’s my secret for an even complexion.

3. Facial tissues: This simple product is a makeup multitasker. I use it as a blotting paper to soak up excess product and oil, and also to set lipstick. Dipped in a makeup remover, a facial tissue also works to erase errant makeup for quick touch-ups.

I also like to wash my brushes and lay them flat to dry overnight on several facial tissues. Dirty brushes spread bacteria, and product buildup can break the bristles. If you’re too busy to shampoo your brushes, spritz a tissue with a brush-specific cleaner and wipe each one thoroughly.

4. Eyelash curler: Curled lashes make eyes pop in seconds. But most women use curlers incorrectly: You’re supposed to slide the clamp gently up and out, not just bite down on your lashes with it. That’s why I recommend a heated eyelash curler for beginners. This device is like a small curling iron for your lashes, although it doesn’t get nearly as hot. Many also feature a comb to help separate and brush through the lashes.

To use it, apply a coat of mascara. Then rock the wand at the root of your lashes. Slowly rotate your wrist upwards, sweeping the wand out toward the ends of your lashes. If needed, finish with another coat of mascara.

5. Fan brush. I love shadows with some shimmer, but they often fall from the eyelids onto your cheek. To sweep away any errant shine, I use a small fan-shape brush.

My method: First, I swipe a stripe of loose facial powder beneath each to catch any fallen product. After applying the eye makeup, I use the fan brush to sweep away the powder.

Jackie Schneider is a licensed cosmetologist, hairstylist and makeup artist. She is the founder of Jackie Schneider Beauty, an on-site beauty
service in New York City. Visit her at

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TAMMY GIBSON, founder of A Mom in Red High Heels, is a God-loving, coffee-drinking, heel-wearing, wife and mom offering up her best tips to help women look and feel fabulous so they can achieve their biggest dreams.


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  2. I think spoole brushes are great for eyebrow grooming, but I also feel that eyebrow gel with the right brush, blended into the brows, help enhance a face. Even if you wear no makeup, just doing your brows can make so much of an improved difference. I love Glam Girl Naturals Cosmetics Brow Define Creme- its so easy to put on, and after a minute your brows are transformed- and its a nice, natural looking difference. No dramatics here!