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Cosmetics and Beauty Tools Buying Guide

The first thing every girl learns about make-up, shortly after smearing most of her mother's beauty supplies across her face, is that cosmetics  are an enhancer, meant to bring out your natural beauty. A little liner here, a bit of pink there, and you look...like yourself. But better. With the right tools  you can make your best features pop while down playing the stuff that doesn't work for you. Or you can just look slightly less tired . Let your inner girly girl  shine with these guides to cosmetics.

Guides for Your Eyes

This tricky area requires care and precision, even when you're just doing basic work. Otherwise you'll end up looking sloppy and perhaps even a little droopy. Some basic tips for dealing with eye make-up are as follows.

  • Work with a steady hand. Your elbow should be propped up on a flat surface while you apply liner, shadow, or mascara. This will give you better control and make detailing and contouring a little easier.
  • Keep some eye make-up remover  and a cotton bud  handy in case you make mistakes. You can dab away wavy lines with out having to start over.
  • Let the liner sit for a few minutes before playing with eyeshadow, and don't rub your eyes excessively or flutter your lashes  after mascara until you're certain every
  • thing is dry.
Make Those Eyes Sparkle!

Mascara

How to Create Smoky Eyes

Eye Shadows

Eyeliners

Eyebrow Grooming 101

For Your Lips

For some women this is as basic as it gets. A little lip colour  and they're off without so much as a hint of blush in their purse , much less a make-up bag . Lipstick is an essential even if you're going for a completely natural look, so be sure to learn and stock up on what you need to achieve that perfect pout.

Pucker Up!

How to Wear Red Lipstick

Lipsticks

Lip Plumpers

Lip Liners

 Remember, you can't just slap an old shade on. Consider your skin tone, your outfit, the social occasion (if any), the season, and even your hair style before putting on lip colour. 

  • Make-up has a way of changing the focal point of your face. If you're aiming for a spotlight on your lips, skip heavier or more dramatic colours elsewhere.
  • Lip plumpers  aren't as effective as taking the time to line and colour your lips carefully.
  • Lip liner  also works to keep lipstick from fading or smearing too fast--it's a must for those with less-defined lip lines.

For Your Cheeks

Blush  is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cheeks, with all the fun things you can do to bring out your natural bone structure. Highlighting  and contouring your face  requires the right brushes, so choose wisely.

Aw, Don't Blush

Illuminating Cheek Makeup

Blush

Bronzers

  • Once again: consider your skin tone before buying. A pale bronzer  on darker skin will not have the desired effect.
  • Avoid cheap drug store products: they come with harsher brushes and they tend clog pores. It's worth it to pay for quality.
  • Another side effect of cheap blushers? Cosmetic compacts  tend to open easily, polluting your make-up bag  or purse  with pink nonsense.

For Your Face

Putting your best face forward can take a lot of work when your skin is dry , uneven, or even just tired. A smooth, clear complexion is expected in a way that red lips or dramatic eyes are not, so don't shy away from the occasional base coat to minimize problem areas or redness.

  • Green is the best at neutralizing redness, so look for a pale green concealer  when browsing.
  • Try to get liquid foundations and concealers close to your body temperature before wearing; this will prevent cracking later. You can pour some into the palm of your hand to warm it up.
  • Moisturise dry skin before putting on foundation, and blot oily skin  before putting on make-up.
  • Mineral powders  are effective on problem skin, as they can soothe without causing damage or sensitivity.
  • Foundation primer  can provide a smooth surface and help make-up last longer. You can also use some tinted primers  in lieu of foundation itself.
Powder Perfect

Foundation

Concealers

Face Powders

Facial Toners

Acne Treatments

For Your Nails

A polished, mature look requires neat nails  as much as a funky , stylish one does. Start with healthy, moisturised hands and nails, and then prevent staining by applying a base coat  before adding on a darker colour. And take some time every now and then to get a manicure , whether you're having it done professionally or doing it yourself.

Shiny Nails are Minutes Away!

Nail Polish

Nail and Cuticle Products

Manicure and Pedicure Tools

Tools and Accessories

At long last we come to beauty tools . While some women are capable of creating an effortless look with only a facial tissue and the tips of their fingers, the rest of us need a bit more help, especially if we're creating something more complicated. You need high quality tools to work with, and a suitable place to store it all; a loose lipstick tube is dangerous, garment-ruining thing, after all.  You may end up choosing a make-up bag  or a cosmetic case , or maybe you'll figure out a storage solution for inside your handbag --there are a number of different options.

Everything You'll Need for Your Cosmetics

Makeup Tools

Makeup Mirrors

Makeup Brushes

Makeup Bag Must-Haves

Makeup Books

Beauty Books and Essentials

No one can do it all on her own. Unless you took notes  during a recent makeover , you're going to need some help, especially if you want to try something new. We also have a few guides to help you choose the highest quality cosmetics  to pack into your purse .

Make-Up Removers

Make-Up Tips by Age

Beauty Award Winners

Back-to-School Make-Up and Autumn Make-Up Guide

Make-Up for Women of Colour