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Beauty tools for the makeup challenged
Christian Dior Backstage Makeup Oil Blotting Paper

Christian Dior Backstage Makeup Oil Blotting Paper

You just can’t mess up with these editor-approved picks

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($18,

Makeup artists worship this for a reason: It makes your lashes look really, really long (we won’t bore you with the techy stuff—like the durable hinge and optimal clamp length and curvation…blah, blah, blah). Just rest an elbow on a solid surface—it helps avoid that I’m-pulling-out-my-lashes feeling. Then position the curler at the base of your lashes, press handles together, hold for a few seconds and release.

Sonia Kashuk Foundation Sponge ($6, for store locations)

Better than the usual triangle kind, thanks to rounded edges that better navigate creases. Run it under water, squeeze it out and then dab it in foundation or dip it into the compact for a more sheer application.

Clarins Eye Contour Brush ($24,

This fine-tipped brush is perfect for blending eye shadow in the crease and outer corners of your eyes, or for smudging it at your lashline for that smoky look. Not into eye makeup? Use it as a spot-on concealer brush.

Christian Dior Backstage Makeup Oil Blotting Paper ($21, for store locations)

Don’t let all that morning makeup effort run down your face because of excess oil. Just dab one onto skin wherever it’s shiny and let it soak everything up. Bonus: You can use the silver clutch as a chic business card holder.

Nars Kabuki Botan Brush ($75,

An all-purpose makeup tool! It’s large enough to swoosh mineral makeup, blush, powder, highlighter or bronzer all over, yet the goat-hair bristles are just stiff enough to define cheekbones with blush. If you’re dashing out the door, it’s the only brush you really need to grab.

Casaro Application/Manicure Stick, 50 Count ($2.50, for store locations

Perfect for cleaning up nail polish, mascara and smeared or misplaced eyeliner—a beauty klutz’s best friend.

Sally Hansen La Cross 2-in-1 Tweezers ($6, at drugstores)

Plucking’s not a whole lot of fun, but these make it quicker and easier. Use the slanted tip to clean up the entire brow area and the pointy tip to get to any stubborn hairs.

Prescriptives Bronzer Brush ($32,

A little more advanced than your average brush, this one combines natural fibers at the base that pick up bronzer with more sparse synthetic fibers on top that help disperse the color evenly and lightly—so you don’t get that I’ve-put-bronzer-on-in-the-dark look.