There were several items that saved me over the last couple of weeks. The area around and under my nose never got crusty and flaky (yeah, lovely mental image) thanks to religious use of my beloved Secret de Vie and my old staple, Mario Badescu's seaweed night cream. I applied SdV about three times a day and the Mario several times in between.
I also learned why sometimes you need to use both an eye primer (my faithful Urban Decay Potion) and a product like Benefit's Lemon Aid. They teamed beautifully and helped not only keep my eye makeup in place, but also to not look scary.
Makeup might not fight germs, but it sure does help you look and feel better. Especially if you need to make an appearance somewhere (said germ need to be spread, after all). I was never this grateful for concealer and foundation. Or for having some really good makeup brushes.
Let's face it: One of the things that's easy to skimp on is makeup tools. Unlike a good foundation or eyeliner, it's not really visible. It's very easy to tell ourselves that we can use the applicators that came with the palette, our fingers or those flimsy brushes from the last GWP event at Estee Lauder counter in Macy's. And it works. Colors are put on, blended and our face is all made up.
But there's a difference, and it becomes extra-apparent when a flawless application is needed. Sure, your eye shadow would still be in place if you use those little sponge applicators. But it looks better and goes on more easily if you use the correct makeup tools.
I don't think that every brush in one's collection needs to be top-of-the-line. You can probably find several really good ones for a very reasonable price at your local drugstore. I have several regular and travel-size Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target. They're good for mixing colors, highlighting the brow bone or applying dark lipstick (I don't see the point of buying expensive lip brushes, because they don't clean up very well and I have to replace them quite often). But there are several items that to me are worth a little splurging. I'm not even talking about the super expensive brushes. My list of must-haves is all from Sephora, though you can always aim higher:
Point Concealer brush- You simply can't do this with your finger. Sometimes you need to work a teeny tiny amount into a specific point to get it really covered. This brush does it beautifully.
Bronzer brush- A soft, wide and short-bristled brush that distributes bronzer and translucent powder like nothing else. The end result is even and streak-free, because you only need 3-4 very light strokes to cover your face.
Slanted eyeshadow brush- I have become emotionally attached to this one. It makes applying a contour color to the crease and lid very easy and fool-proof. It's exactly the right width, so one sweep is enough. There's a world of difference between the look you get from those little sponges and what a good brush like this can do. The eyeshadow isn't painted on. Instead, it's a wash of color.
Dome smudge brush- I used to blend eyeshadows together with my finger. I no longer do that. This brush does a great job blending and smudging, it's easy and the results are always perfect. Unlike when my pinky was involved.