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10 Must-have make-up tools

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Beauty essentials

Even if you buy the most expensive cosmetics, you still need the right tools to have picture-perfect make-up. We have put together a list of must-have make-up tools that every woman should own.

1Good Karma Multi-Tasker BrushMulti-tasking brush

If you have a limited number of high-quality make-up brushes, one should be a multi-tasking brush that can be used for concealer, lip color, eye liner and more. The Good Karma Multi-Tasker Brush from Urban Decay is a fabulous choice. The small brush has a flat, rounded tip that can do everything. This vegan brush is priced at $24.00 at UrbanDecay.com.

2Finishing brush

If you want to splurge on just one make-up brush, make it a finishing brush that can apply foundation, blush or powder. Our favorite is the Hourglass Finishing Brush, created from high-quality, PETA-friendly synthetic fibers. This large Kabuki brush features super-soft Takelon bristles that maximize product application and leave your skin looking absolutely flawless. The bristles in this brush never come out, it doesn't harbor bacteria and it's very easy to clean. Priced at $65.00, this Hourglass brush is available at Sephora.com.

You don't need to buy expensive cleansers to wash your make-up brushes. Just use baby shampoo. Apply a small amount of shampoo to wet bristles and work into a lather. Rinse the brush thoroughly under warm water until all the color leaves the brush. Allow your make-up brushes to air dry overnight.

3Eyelash curler

Shu Uemura eyelash curler

For big, beautiful lashes, an eyelash curler is a must. Don't buy a cheap one for a couple bucks -- the pad won't last very long. Instead, try the Shu Uemura eyelash curler for optimum curl and just the right amount of pressure for perfectly curled lashes. You can order this ergonomically-designed tool online at shuuemura-usa.com for $19.00.

4Wedge sponges

Don't apply your liquid foundation with your fingertips. Instead, use a smooth, wedge make-up sponge. Large wedges can be used all over the face, while smaller wedges are great for blending in smaller areas around the nose and mouth. Don't buy sponges with large pores -- they'll soak up too much of your foundation and won't distribute your make-up smoothly.

5Cotton swabs

Q-tips or other cotton swabs are multi-purpose beauty tools that no woman should be without. You can use cotton swabs to clean up nail polish mistakes and mascara smudges, as well as to apply eyeshadow, eyeliner, concealer and other cosmetics. They are perfect for traveling when you don't won't to bring all your make-up brushes. At only a couple bucks for 500 swabs, cotton swabs are a big beauty bargain.

6Slant TweezerTweezers

Make sure your brows are neat and clean before applying your eye make-up. Tweezers can also pluck away stray hairs on the chin, above your lip or anywhere else on your face. The award-winning Slant Tweezer from Tweezerman allows for true precision. These stainless steel tweezers are available online and at many department stores for $20 a pair.

7Brow comb

Before grabbing your tweezers, you should use an eyebrow comb to style your brows and see exactly what needs to be tweezed. You can also use your brow comb to brush away excess eyebrow powder. We love the ULTA Folding Brow and Lash Comb, only $6.00 at ULTA.com. This comb does double-duty with the lash side delivering clump-free definition to your eyelashes.

8EyeShadow applicators

If you don't like to apply your eyeshadow with a brush, you can stick with sponge-tip eyeshadow applicators. You don't need to use the small, generic variety. Instead, invest in a larger, professional grade applicator. The long handle Sponge Tip Eyeshadow Applicator from Afterglow Cosmetics comes with three replacement tips and is priced at $21.00.

9Paula Dorf Brow Stencil KitEyebrow stencils

Eyebrow stencil kits help you get perfect brows every time. These kits come with a set of stencils in different shapes, along with the other tools you need to get perfect brows. Simply apply the stencil to your brow and then fill in with brow powder. Carefully remove the stencil and then tweeze away the hair outside the sketched area. The highly-recommended Paula Dorf Brow Stencil Kit is easy-to-use and priced at $25.00.

10Your fingers

Sometimes the best make-up tools are the ones you were born with -- your fingers. When applying make-up, your hands should be clean and dry. The pinky finger is great for applying eyeshadow, lip gloss, eye cream and just about anything else.

More make-up tips

Best make-up for your face
Make-up tips for busy moms
21 Beauty short-cuts

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