Game-changing beauty tools you NEED in your make-up bag

A good kit of basics can make or break a beauty regime – and I’m not even talking about the actual cosmetics.

There’s nothing more critical than your actual beauty tools – when you run out of your €40 foundation, you’ll be so glad of that buffing brush you invested in to make the cheap stuff look just as good!

I have what could be described as a fetish for make-up brushes; I’ll never stop trying new ones and I collect them like prized pieces of art. There are some absolute classics that can’t be beaten; for eyeshadow, I’d count the MAC 217 and 286 as invaluable for blending. Nothing compares.

For liquid foundation, I’ll always adore buffing brushes like the Blank Canvas F20, but I’ve just discovered something that is quite possibly even better. The BeautyBlender is an absolutely incredible dome-shaped sponge for making foundation look convincingly natural – it’s not quite as quick and easy as a regular brush, but worth the effort whenever you have a few extra minutes.

Before you do anything with your brows, brush ‘em up and out using a spoolie – you’ll instantly look groomed and more alert. You can buy these in bulk from beauty supply stores or Ebay – or even rob a few from your local make-up counter, but don’t tell them you heard it from me!

A good, sharp, synthetic slanted brush will be your best friend for applying brow powders and pomades – Ecotools do an excellent one and it’s super-affordable.

Cheese is to wine as what brows are to Tweezerman tweezers. You can’t have one and not have the other – if you possess eyebrows, you need these tweezers because they are simply the best. They come in two different sizes and I’d recommend just picking up the mini size, because it’s just as good as the regular size, but a couple of euro cheaper.

For skincare, you don’t exactly need an elaborate toolkit. However, I’m all about the best basics – and it doesn’t get much better that a good, fluffy, clean flannel. Buy a bunch from Dunnes or Penneys, use a clean one every day, and thank me later.

Muslin cloths are also lovely for some light exfoliation (harsh apricot kernel scrubs are so 2008). If you fancy a deeper clean, try working the Clarisonic into your routine a couple of nights a week. It has a cult following for a reason; nothing beats a good sonic cleanse and, unlike your favourite lotions and potions, this will never run out!   

 Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis.