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Just as with art, construction, or crafting, having the right beauty tools on hand can be the difference between an okay look & a spectacular look. Both women and men invest a lot of money in their appearance. If you have the clothes, accessories, make-up and hair products, why skimp on the tools that will make using those elements easier and more effective?

You can get away with an amateur make-up application, but for a really professional-looking job, you need the right beauty tools. So, toss away your Q-Tips and those little freebie brushes and sponges that sometimes come with your make-up. It's time to build a small collection of essential beauty tools that will enhance your look and give you a greater payoff for the money you've already invested in make-up and other beauty products. For a couple hundred dollars, you can have the kind of tools any professional would be proud to use.

Brushes- Brushes are among the key tools used by make-up application professionals. They are not, however, a one-size-fits-all solution to your make-up needs. There are different brushes for different jobs, and you will get the best results if you choose the correct brush for what you are trying to do. Some of the must-have brushes include:

"Foundation brush"use it to achieve a superior natural finish when applying either cream or liquid foundation. Experts suggest putting a small spot of foundation on the back of your hand and then dipping the foundation brush into that before applying the foundation with downward strokes spreading out near the jaw and hairline. Synthetic-bristled brushes use less product that natural-bristled ones, which are more absorbent.

"Concealer brush"concealer is meant be used in small amounts to cover blemishes and other imperfections. A small-tipped brush is perfect for applying just the right amount of concealer to camouflage blemishes without a caked-looking build up. If you need concealer under your eyes, as opposed to using it to hide a pimple, consider a small-tipped brush with a wider base you can use for precision application and easy blending.

"Blush brush"also called a powder brush, a blush brush should be large, with a dome-shaped head. You can use the same brush to apply blush of bronzer and to top it with a light-as-air coat of translucent face powder for a sheer effect. Sable hair brushes are the choice of experts when it comes to blush application.

"Eye shadow brush"cream or shadow eye shadows should be applied with a sable brush. Selecting a dense, angled brush will give you more vivid color while an all purpose brush (a steal for under $ten in most drug stores), results in a softer look.

"Eyeliner brush"supremely fine bristles make these brushes the best for defining the top and bottom of your eyelids with all kinds of eyeliners. Sable brushes are best for powdered liners while synthetics work best for liquids.

"Lip brush"stiff synthetic lip brushes give you the control necessary to define your lips. They also work well to give a smooth finish to dark colors or to add gloss for extra shine.

Miscellaneous- There are more kinds of beauty tools reachable than most of us can imagine. Thankfully, we don't need most of them. Aside from the brushes mentioned above, here are some of the essentials you should add to your make-up kit if you don't already have them.

"Tweezers"great for ridding yourself of any pesky stray facial hairs. A basic pair will do fine.

"Lash curlers"with a few exceptions, most of us don't have lovely, curly lashes. This inexpensive tool will help you open wider for more dazzling eyes. Using a bit of heat can improve the curl you achieve with even a simple lash curler.

"Cleaner"make-up brushes and tools can carry bacteria and should be cleaned regularly. Brush cleaners are available if you have a lot of brushes, but you can give your tools a weekly shampooing just as easily. Before drying on a folded towel, use your fingers to re-shape your wet brushes. Aside from removing unwanted bacteria, cleaning your tolls will also help preserve them for years of use to come.