Staff Picks: Our fave makeup tools

We might change up the products we use often but we stay loyal to makeup tools that work for us. Our application is only as good as our tools can perform, after all. They don’t even have to be the most expensive ones in our kits. It all boils down to personal preference but one thing’s for sure - our picks have been key to stepping up our makeup game!

Liz: The Shu Uemura eyelash curler is a staple for me; I have two! One for my makeup table and another for my kikay kit. It's really cheap in Japan but since I don't need back ups of the actual curler, I just buy Shiseido replacement pads. They're  about a hundred bucks for a pack of two there so I hoard.

I have many favorite brushes but I want to talk about the Soffia Opulence All Over Face Brush. This is the priciest single brush I have but it's ridiculously soft, buffs foundation and loose powder well, and has kept its shape after almost three years of use. The gold color of the ferrule has faded and the handle looks beat up, but the hair is as soft and well-shaped as the day I got it.  

Den: There are two brushes I can't live without: a cheapo Marionnaud No. 38 dual-ended brush for fixing my brows, and a SOFFIA Opulence Perfect Skin Angled Foundation Brush. I'm currently sticking to powder products for my brows so the angled end of the Marionnaud makes application quick and easy. Then I just use the spoolie end to brush it out for a more natural effect! The SOFFIA brush does a lovely job of blending out my face base because I cannot stand streaky foundation application. The densely-packed bristles feel very lush and soft, so I can buff and buff and buff without irritating my skin.

Crystal: I hate to admit it but my skin has not been at its best lately. So I've been ignoring my sponges and using this unbranded paddle brush that's a dupe for Artis. The bristles are so densely packed that it gives the full coverage finish that I need right now.

Gett: I've always had a high regard for Japanese eye makeup products. I used to use a Koji Eyelash Curler that I was pretty happy with but last year, I was able to get my hands on a Shiseido Eyelash Curler (the ¥800 one). Not to be dramatic or anything but it really changed how I see eyelash curlers! It gives my lashes the perfect curl and somehow coaxes it to stay in place. The shape fits my hooded eyes well, too. It's effortless to use because you don't need to pinch hard to get a good curl.

Katsy: My favorite makeup tools are brought about by efficiency and sentimentality. The Body Shop Foundation Brush is my first "legit" brush purchase. While it works well as a foundation brush, I got it to apply TBS Lip and Cheek Stain. The dual-ended brow brush is part of a travel Laura Mercier set and it does the job perfectly. The MAC stippling brush is a great all-rounder while the Zoeva Concealer Buffer brush changed the way I applied concealer forever. The Shu Uemura S-curler and Shiseido Eyelash curlers - best lash curlers IMHO.

Charlie: I wanted the MAC 266 the first time I saw it online because I'm a sucker for small angled brushes. My heart stopped when I saw the price tag though (it's around $20 in Bloomingdale's) but this brush performs so well that I couldn't regret the purchase. I use it mostly for my gel liners to get thin, sharp lines across my lids but it also works well for the brows.

Claire: I always end up applying my makeup on the go so my best friend has been the rubicell sponge, aka the dense sponge that comes with cushion compacts. It blends pretty much all of my face makeup to perfection! It works well with liquid, cream, and even powder. I just use an elastic band to keep it folded while in transit. The only downside is that I need to wash it often since I use it with different products. They’re also really easy to replace—most Korean makeup brands stock them at affordable prices!

Marielle: My fave "toy" at the moment is the MAC 217 brush. I thought long and hard before taking the plunge, asked for the opinions of several beauty gurus, and read a bunch of reviews. But it was when I finally saw it in action that I became absolutely sure that I wanted it. The eyeshadow blending is amazing, giving my gradient shadow game a major boost!

Tellie: It's not something I use every day but my favorite makeup tool is this Sephora 5-piece travel brush set. I customized the choices for my "stay-at-home" tools so the ones I end up getting are bulky, long, and of different sizes. I like that this kit folds up really thinly, so I can save more space for the five billion pieces of makeup I can't ever seem to pare down.

Stacie: I don't know what these brushes are called but they're slightly larger than a brush blush, denser than a powder brush but aren’t dense enough to use as a buffing brush. Elf calls it a complexion brush but really, these are multi-purpose brushes I use for powder, blush, contour, and highlight!

Kim: The original Beauty Blender is hands down still my favorite makeup tool to date. I've tested it out against several blending sponge dupes and nothing performed as well as the real OG. Sure, it's pricey at around P1,000 but you'll never have to deal with cake face ever again! I can never achieve the same airbrushed finish with any other tool and that's something worth investing on IMO.

Bonus tip: If you see a Sephora Favorites box you like that includes the Beauty Blender, go get it!

So there you have it, folks: our weapons of mass beautification (lol what). What are your favorite makeup tools? Did you find some of your picks on our list?