19 Essential Makeup Tools and Innovative Gadgets for Your Beauty Arsenal

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From sponges to blackhead vacuums, the market is full of gadgets to help you maximize your beauty routine. Finding a tool that simplifies literally any aspect of our makeup routine (or just makes it more fun) is our favorite hobby outside of the office⁠—that's why we've rounded up the most essential beauty tools that every makeup lover should own.

Finding the best tools for you depends on your skin type and specific needs. But all-in-all, you'll want to look for high-quality products that are vetted and recommended by experts. (It doesn't hurt if the product has a bunch of positive reviews.) It's also wise to check for details that are important to you, such as eco-friendliness or portability. Read on for our top picks.

Our Top Picks
This daily care steamer and humidifier in one is great for helping to open your pores and may improve product penetration.
This makeup remover cloth is machine-washable, allowing you to reuse it over and over again.
This water-activated sponge helps you blend foundation, liquid highlighters, cream blushes, and so much more.
This pick can help improve texture, tone, and radiance of the skin after just one use.
This rotating makeup organizer helps keep all of your makeup, skincare, and fragrances neatly organized for easy access.
This duo is designed to help soothe tired and puffy skin, promote circulation, improve lymphatic flow drainage, and more.
These brushes are cruelty-free and made from recycled aluminum and plastic (with 20% cotton and 80% bamboo fibers).
The lighted perimeter on this mirror lets you see every detail when applying makeup in the morning or evening.
Best for At-Home Facials:
Eunon Blackhead Remover Vacuum at Amazon
This device allegedly "vacuums" grime from your pores and plenty of skincare addicts swear by it.
Best for Avoiding Smudges:
Hotop Mascara Shield Applicator at Amazon
This mascara "shield" helps you apply mascara to the tops and bottom of eyelashes without the dreaded smudges.

Best Overall: Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

NanoSteamer

This daily care steamer and humidifier in one is perfect for helping to open your pores and may improve product penetration. The better your skincare is absorbed, the better canvas you have for makeup application.

What Our Testers Say

"Despite its gentler steam stream, it still helped to decongest my skin and gave me a healthy glow." — Jenna Igneri, Product Tester

Best Reusable: Face Halo The Modern Makeup Remover

Face Halo The Modern Makeup Remover

This product is essentially a velvety washcloth that removes every trace of product when you wet it⁠—no cleanser required. Pretty genius, right? All you do is wet the pad with water, then lightly buff over your face in a circular motion to remove makeup on the face, lips, and even eyes. Each Halo is reusable⁠—just throw it in the washing machine.

Best for Blending: Beautyblender The Original Makeup Sponge

beautyblender

Don't let any other lookalike sponge fool you; the Beauty Blender makeup blending sponge reigns supreme. This water-activated sponge helps you blend foundation, liquid highlighters, cream blushes, and so much more. And since it's reusable, you'll definitely get your money's worth. Formulated to absorb minimal product to help your makeup stay on your face and not get absorbed (i.e. wasted) by the sponge. Extend the life of your blender by cleaning it regularly with Beauty Blender Liquid Cleanser.

Best Dermaplaning: DERMAFLASH Luxe Device Sonic Dermaplaning Tool

DERMAFLASH Luxe Device Sonic Dermaplaning Tool

This at-home dermaplaning tool helps create a smooth canvas for makeup by removing the oldest layer of dead skin cells, along with peach fuzz and surface debris that has built up on your skin over time. According to Dermaflash, a clinical study found that the texture, tone, and radiance of skin were instantly improved after just one use of the device, helping skincare to absorb more efficiently and allowing for flawless makeup application. Dermaplaning may help products to moisturize better as they can penetrate the skin more effectively.

Best Organizer: Boxalls Rotating Makeup Organizer

Rotating Makeup Organizer

This rotating makeup organizer helps keep all of your makeup, skincare, and fragrances neatly organized for easy access. You can store everything from makeup brushes to skincare in this easy-to-spin holder, featuring clear, adjustable trays for optimal customization and visibility.

Best Jade Roller: ETHONS Jade Facial Roller and 2-in-1 For Face Massager

ETHONS Jade Roller & Gua Sha

This jade facial roller and gua sha stone are formulated to help soothe tired and puffy skin, promote circulation, improve lymphatic flow drainage, and may help skincare absorb more efficiently with daily use. Massage over skin in the morning to help wake it up, and use at night for a calming, relaxing experience. Keep it in the refrigerator to allow the stone to fully cool before rolling on the face for the maximum depuffing effect.

Use a jade roller and/or gua sha tool before makeup application for a more sculpted look.

Best Eco-Friendly: EcoTools Makeup Brush Set

Ecotools brush set

This easy-to-use makeup brush set comes with everything you need for a starter set of makeup brushes, perfect for daily use and travel. With an angled foundation brush, concealer brush, eyeshadow brush, angled liner, and blush brush, you have all the bases covered. To boot, everything is cruelty-free and made from recycled aluminum and plastic (with 20 percent cotton and 80 percent bamboo fibers).

Best Mirror: Riki Loves Riki Skinny Mirror

Riki Loves Riki Skinny Mirror

Say goodbye to bad lighting and leaning over your sink to look into your bathroom mirror—you'll never be the same after using this light-up glam stand from Glamcor. A lighted perimeter lets you see every detail when applying makeup in the morning or evening for a perfect finish and features dimmer settings, a rechargeable battery, and a selfie timer function.

Best for At-Home Facials: Eunon Blackhead Remover Vacuum

Eunon Blackhead Remover

If you're a makeup lover, you've probably woken up to your fair share of blackheads and clogged pores. This device allegedly "vacuums" grime from your pores and plenty of skincare addicts swear by it. First, steam the face to open your pores, and then gently glide the device over your skin to help rid it of all dirt and clogged pores (focusing on areas where you're prone to blackheads).

Best for Avoiding Smudges: Hotop Mascara Shield Applicator

Hotop Mascara Shield Applicator

Ever applied mascara only to tap your lids or brows with the wand accidentally? This mascara "shield" helps you apply mascara to the tops and bottom of eyelashes without the dreaded smudges. Place on the eye, apply mascara liberally, and don't worry about anything else, k?

Best Face Mask Brush: Cuttte Face Mask Brushes

Cuttte 4pcs Silicone Face Mask Brushes

The next time you reach for your favorite face mask to prep for makeup application, use one of these brushes versus dipping your fingers in the jar—which can contaminate the product with bacteria from your hands. When you use a synthetic face brush to apply your mask, you may end up using less product and get a more even application (plus cleaner lines for better selfies).

Best Eyelash Curler: Chella Heated Eyelash Curler

Chella Eyelash Curler

Are you tired of clamping down traditional metal eyelash curlers? Just like a hot tool works better on your hair when it's... hot, this heated lash curler gently warms lashes to deliver a long-lasting curl: no crimping, no pinching, no clamping.

What Our Testers Say

"The Chella Heated Eyelash Curler immediately lifted my lashes and resulted in a more eye-opening look." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester

Use a heated eyelash curler before mascara application for the best result.

Best Makeup Fridge: Cooluli Electric Cooler and Warmer

Cooluli Mini Fridge

The novelty deemed the "skincare fridge" has become all the rage, and the obsession is nowhere near over. Want to boost the calming, de-puffing powers of your face rollers, eye creams, gel patches, and primers? Store your products in this mini fridge to enhance the cooling effect of your favorite products.

Best for DIY Palettes: Davi Atelier Japonesque 35-Well Pro Palette

Japonesque

If you're anything like the Byrdie editors, then you have an impressive lipstick collection that's in desperate need of consolidation. This palette contains 24 wells for you to deposit your lip colors into⁠—putting all your lip products in one place, so you have all the options and all the drawer space.

Best Brush Set: Qivange Eye Makeup Brushes Set Eye Makeup Brushes Set

Qivange Eye Makeup Brushes Set

Brushes are definitely the most basic, versatile product to keep in your beauty arsenal. And while there are essentials for the face, the eyes are often (mistakenly) overlooked. If you're just smudging eyeshadow on with your fingertips and hoping for the best, let this brush set made specifically for the eyes elevate your look.

Best Makeup Shield: Michelle Villanueva Shadow Shields

Eyeshadow shields

Love eyeshadow but hate cleaning up the fallout from a smoky eye? These eyeshadow shields can be applied directly underneath eyes to catch any eyeshadow, glitter, or other kinds of products that fall onto the skin, meaning minimal cleanup and a smooth base for your face makeup.

Best Lip Hydrator: Patchology Flashpatch Hydrating Lip Gels

Patchology Flashpatch Hydrating Lip Gels

Are you experiencing dry, cracked lips? Use them often (and correctly), and these lip gels can be one of the most essential tools at your disposal. Wear before applying a drying matte to infuse moisture into lips, while peptides and green tea extract may help soothe and restore elasticity.

What to Look For in Makeup and Skin Gadgets

High Quality Materials

Buying cheap products might be tempting but if you want them to last, be sure to check for high-quality materials. Lower quality products may not even work, in some cases, and can leave you feeling disappointed.

Positive Reviews

Reviews can tell you a lot about a product. Check for recurring themes, both positive and negative, while you scour reviews. If you keep seeing specific issues pop up or are pleased to see similar positive outcomes from real people, these reviews can help inform you.

Expert Recommendations

While reviews can go a long way toward helping you make the best choice, checking for expert opinions is a good idea when it comes to skincare products. Some tools and products can do more harm than good if they damage the skin. A dermatologist or other skincare expert can provide insight into the latest gadget trends to help advise you on whether a particular item is ideal for your skin type or if it is all hype.

FAQ
  • What Tools Do You Need for Makeup?

    Although you can use your fingers for quite a few steps in your makeup routine, having a few basic tools is best. A brush set, some makeup sponges, and cotton rounds for removal are just a few of the essentials.

  • What Are Some Makeup Accessories?

    A collection of makeup accessories can make application more efficient and fun. Some ideal accessories include a magnifying mirror and light, an organization stand, brush holders and cleaners, makeup bags, heated curlers, and facial steamers, among others.

  • What Skincare Tools Can Enhance My Makeup Routine?

    Creating a smooth canvas for makeup is just as essential as the makeup application itself. Your options for skincare gadgets are endless: Facial rollers can help de-puff and define the contours of your face, while facial steamers can help add moisture and unclog pores. Make sure to choose your products with your skin type and specific needs in mind.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Is Steaming Your Face Good For Your Skin?. June 15, 2021.

  2. Townsend R. The use of advance dermaplaning in clinical skin care and treatment. undefined. Published online 2017.

  3. Chen T, Liu N, Liu J, et al. Gua Sha, a press-stroke treatment of the skin, boosts the immune response to intradermal vaccinationPeerJ. 2016;4:e2451. doi:10.7717/peerj.2451

  4. University of Utah Health. Vacuum Your Pores?. June 26, 2017.

  5. Ganceviciene R, Liakou AI, Theodoridis A, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Skin anti-aging strategiesDermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):308-319. doi:10.4161/derm.22804

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