Makeup bag must-haves

The nine tools you should own, plus tips from the pros on how to use them properly

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1. Shu Uemura eyelash curler, $22.

“Never curl your eyelashes after you’ve applied mascara. They’re brittle and will break. For hard-to-curl lashes, heat the eyelash curler slightly with a hair dryer or warm water.”
– Laura Szucs, makeup artist, Judy Inc., Toronto

2. M.A.C latex wedge sponge, $5 (8 pack).

“Blend! Blend! Blend! You want sheer, fluid makeup, not hard lines.”
– Chase Aston, The Body Shop

3. Quo concealer brush, $14.

“Apply concealer after foundation. Use a shade one-half or one shade lighter than your foundation. Pat the concealer onto your blemish, smoothing to sheer coverage, then dust it with a loose powder to set.”
– Chase Aston, The Body Shop

4. Revlon Expert Shapers For Normal Nails, $4.

“Look for files with ultra-fine grits. They won’t damage natural nails like files that may be more aggressive and abrasive, and will help prevent nail tips from splitting.”
– Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice-president, artistic director, OPI, L.A.

5. Tweezerman zebra-print tweezers, $30.

“Tweeze brows after a shower. Heat will help open pores; or dampen with a warm cloth. And tweeze in the direction of hair growth, one hair at a time. Follow with a cooling gel with aloe and vitamin E to soothe skin and diminish redness.”
– Angela Cavanagh, aesthetician at the Holt Renfrew Spa in Toronto

6. Q-Tips, $5 (package of 400).

“They’re my secret weapon. I use Q-Tips to smudge eye colour and eye definer around the eyes.”
– Chase Aston, The Body Shop

7. M.A.C blush brush 129, $41.

“Using one side of your brush, dip into blush and apply to the cheek area. Use the side with no colour to blend. Start with a small amount of colour and build. It’s easier to add than to remove. Go over your blush with a small amount of face powder. This helps give the illusion that the colour is coming from within.”
– Melissa Gibson, senior M.A.C makeup artist

8. Pout synthetic foundation brush, at Holt Renfrew, $56.

“Use a synthetic brush for applying liquid or cream because it gives a smooth finish – really no streaks – with minimal effort. And you don’t apply foundation everywhere, just where you need it to cover blemishes or even out skin tone.”
– Beau Nelson, makeup artist with Plutino Group; owner, Beauté Cosmetics

9. M.A.C goat-hair brush, $55.

“For powders, opt for a brush with natural bristles; they’re more supple. The powder will go on softly and they prevent you from applying too much product.”
– Eddie Maleterre, L’Oréal Paris