Tools Of The Trade

Raychel Wade
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Raychel Wade is a professional makeup artist and official La Prairie Colour Ambassador. She was voted ‘Best Makeup Consultant’ in New York Magazine‘s “Best of New York” and her practical makeup tips have been featured on the pages of Allure, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple, Lucky, Self, Fitness, Brides and New York Magazine‘s annual Family and Wedding guides.

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If you’ve been to a makeup counter recently then you know that the number of brushes available for purchase is larger than ever. There are angled, real, synthetic, retractable, fluffy, tapered, fine, pointy, hand-made, short, long…the list goes on and on, and each one is technically designed to serve a specific purpose for a specific part of your face. It is overwhelming to say the least, and often you are made to feel that if you don’t invest your hard earned money into the right set, your makeup application is destined to fail. You end up with a collection that collects dust, scratching your head and wondering, ‘now what was that one for again?’.

As a professional makeup artist, I too am guilty of this and have tons of supposed must-have brushes jam-packed into my brush roll. I carry them in my kit everywhere ‘just in case,’ and yet (!) I find myself reaching for the same ones no matter what look I am trying to achieve. So here is the skinny on the REAL must-have brushes so that your application is easy and streamlined.

For eyes, you really only need three brushes, and I (as well as many of my makeup artist friends) simply could not live without our MAC #217, #239 and #266. At first glance, you might wonder why these are so special. The #239 is ideal for applying color onto your lid and can be used for both powder and cream products. Follow by using the #217 to blend your shadows, and line your eyes with the #266. With these three brushes, you can achieve anything from a daytime look for the office to a sexy smoky eye.

When it comes to your face, there are also three brushes that go into my ‘hall of fame’ category. If you are going to apply your foundation with a brush, I always go back to my Giorgio Armani Blender Brush for a streak-free and seamless application. I swirl bronzer onto the face with Laura Mercier‘s Bronzer Brush, and dab blush on with Nars Yachiyo, which has a finely tapered shape that can do it all: blend, define and highlight.

As for what it comes to what your carry around in your purse, keep it simple. I’m mad for the brush that comes with La Prairie‘s Cellular Treatment Illuminating Face Powder. It’s the only brush I keep in my purse and I use it to blend and touch up throughout the day. For on-the-go touch-ups, I use my fingers or Q-Tips.

So remember, when it comes to your makeup tools–streamline and simplify. As with most things in life, less is more, and focus on quality vs. quantity.

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