ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Must-Have Makeup Tools and Accessories

Updated on April 8, 2018
Jayne Lancer profile image

A beauty consultant by profession, Jayne has been advising on correct skin and hair care, makeup, and other cosmetics for over 20 years.

A rundown of must-have tools and accessories essential for perfect makeup application, including information on how to use and clean them.


You won’t be able to put makeup on properly if you lack the basic tools, nor if the ones you have are of poor quality, no matter how skilled you are or how good your makeup is.

You need tools that allow you to control how much makeup you apply and what kind of finish it leaves.

Foundation Sponge

Why Use a Sponge?

Whether a sponge is necessary when applying cream or liquid foundation depends on the finish you want.

If you apply with your fingers, you'll find that it stays matte for longer, which enables you to use less powder.

If, however, you want a super sheer finish, you need to apply with a damp sponge.

What Is a Good Sponge?

For a perfectly even finish, a foundation sponge must have a smooth, skin-like surface. A porous or worn sponge will leave you with an uneven or speckled complexion.

What Is the Best Sponge Shape?

Foundation sponges come in several shapes and sizes, including round, oval, square, and oblong. The most convenient is the wedge-shape. It allows you to reach tricky areas like the inner eye corner, and is small enough not to obscure your view in order that you can see exactly what you’re doing.

The wedge-shaped foundation sponge is also the best tool with which to blend cream blush, cream or liquid highlighter, and concealer products applied over large areas.

How Long Can a Makeup Sponge Be Kept?

Inexpensive sponges should be discarded after a single use.

High quality or "new generation" sponges should be washed once or twice a week with baby shampoo and thrown away the moment they start to show signs of wear.

Whether a sponge is necessary when applying cream or liquid foundation depends on the finish you want.
Whether a sponge is necessary when applying cream or liquid foundation depends on the finish you want. | Source

Powder Puff

The Fleecy Powder Puff

Although the fleecy powder puff is better for setting foundation than a brush, it's not so easy to control how much product you apply.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to use a puff at your vanity table, but to carry a retractable powder brush in your purse for touch-ups while you’re out.

To use a fleecy puff, wrap it around your middle and ring fingers, press it into the powder and then onto the back of your hand to remove excess.Then roll the puff over your face, working from forehead to chin. You’ll need to reload after about every three or four strokes.

Compact Powder Puff

The sort of powder puff that comes with pressed powder is convenient for your purse, but shouldn't be swiped or wiped over the face. Instead, gently press it onto areas where you’ve accumulated shine.

A fleecy puff or a brush can also be used for pressed powder.

Cotton Pads

Lint free cotton pads are ideal for applying loose powder, especially if your skin is oily or acne prone, or if you suffer from enlarged pores. Because they are disposable, they are more hygienic than a brush or powder puff, and actually leave a better finish on problem skin.

To use, dab the powder over your face from forehead to chin working it into your foundation until it becomes invisible.

Because cotton pads are quick to shed fibers, you’ll need to use several for one full-face application,

Lint free cotton pads are ideal for applying powder, especially if your skin is oily or acne prone, or if you suffer from enlarged pores.
Lint free cotton pads are ideal for applying powder, especially if your skin is oily or acne prone, or if you suffer from enlarged pores. | Source

Eye Shadow Applicators

Eye shadow applicators are a must, especially for smudging and blending.

They come in various shapes and sizes depending on the eye area to be worked on and the desired effect.

Important is that the applicator allows you to apply even pressure for a perfect finish. Therefore, before buying, squeeze the foam part to make sure it’s held on by a flat, spade-like structure rather than just a rod or pin.

Because the eyes are particularly prone to infection, keep applicators clean by washing them once a week with baby shampoo.

Eyelash Curler

Curling the lashes is intended to "open" the eye and accentuate lash length.

Make sure you buy a high quality eyelash curler; it may pinch the lid if it’s of poor quality, which is painful. And always curl before applying mascara to prevent lash breakage and kinks.

To use an eyelash curler, place it as close to the eyelid as possible, squeeze, count to ten, and release. This gives a direct upward curl. If you'd prefer a softer, more gradual curl, progress to the ends of the lashes with quick pinches.

Keep your curler clean by wiping it with rubbing alcohol once or twice a week.

Curling the lashes is intended to open the eye and accentuate lash length.
Curling the lashes is intended to open the eye and accentuate lash length. | Source

Eyelash Comb

Eyelash combs are shaped to a curve to fit the contour of the lash line. Their purpose is to separate lashes and remove clumps after applying mascara. Because mascara tends to stick to the comb, you’ll have to wash it after each use, otherwise it won’t work properly the next time you need it.

Instead of a comb, many makeup artists use a sewing needle to separate lashes. It’s more time consuming, but results are always perfect.

Eyebrow Comb/Brush

There are numerous ways of styling eyebrows, but whatever your choice (assuming you have more than a pencil line) you should always comb or brush upwardly. This also makes pencil strokes appear more natural after filling in gaps etc.

Eyebrow combs and brushes usually come conveniently combined as one tool.


Tweezers are not only for plucking brows, they are also essential for handling and applying false eyelashes.

Whether a full set or individual lashes, it's easier to pick them up with tweezers. When attaching to the lash line, press gently into place using the "wrong end" of the tweezers.

Tweezers are essential for handling and applying false eyelashes.
Tweezers are essential for handling and applying false eyelashes. | Source

Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs or Q-tips are useful for cleaning up smudges and mishaps, especially around the eyes and mouth. Just moisten the swab with a little eye makeup remover.

Makeup Brushes

Of course, makeup brushes are of the most essential makeup tools, and no makeup kit would be complete without them. For a detailed explanation of the most invaluable, take a look at the article Which Makeup Brushes Do You Need?

© 2016 Jayne Lancer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)