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Mar 27, 2015

Tips & Tricks: All About Eye Shadow Brushes

I saved the best for last in this All About Makeup Brushes Series. It's finally time to talk about eye shadow brushes! These types of makeup brushes make up the bulk of my brush collection; I swear you can never have enough.

Eye shadow brushes come in a mind boggling array of shapes, densities, stiffness, colors, lengths, and so on, but you don't have to get overwhelmed. Once you have the knowledge of what brushes work best for certain things, you have all the power to Makeup like a pro. Let's get started...

Natural Vs. Synthetic
Honestly, you need to know what synthetic bristles do vs. natural when it comes to your eye shadow brushes. They each have different ways they pick up product and apply it the skin.

Natural Bristles - These types of brushes will be your most used and are most common in stores. Natural bristle brushes are used for applying powder eyeshadows. Natural brushes won't hold onto product when applying to your skin and they are your perfect blending brushes.

Synthetic Bristles - These types of brushes are used to apply your liquid and cream shadows and liners. They are also used for applying glitter and eyebrow pomades. Most of the time you will see these brushes in 2 shapes: flat shader and angled liner brushes. They also come in every shape imaginable; these are just the most popular. You want to use synthetic bristles with your liquid and cream shadows instead of natural because the natural bristles will soak up the product and not distribute it on your skin.

You can look at a thousand eye shadow brushes and they will all have a different shape and purpose listed on them. In my opinion there are four basic shapes to know: angled, domed, tapered, and flat. Every brush is based on one or a combination of these shapes and I have thoroughly tested this theory.

Angled - I love angled eyeshadow brushes. They come in every size and thickness available. These types of brushes are mainly used for eyeliner, eyebrows, and as a crease brush. The angled tip gives you a lot of control when applying gel/liquid liners and eyebrow pomades. Thicker more dense versions are very nice for blending in the crease because the angle creates a flawless gradient effect. I have one I use for my crease blending and it has made creating that perfect smokey eye a dream.

Domed - These are your basic eyeshadow brushes. They too come in every size and thickness available and have a nice domed shape to the end. These types of brushes are universal, meaning they can be used for everything when applying eyeshadow. If you only have two makeup brushes in your collection, you want a large domed brush and a small one and you can do pretty much any makeup look.

Tapered - These brushes are used mainly for applying product in a very precise location or they are used for blending. The tip of this brush comes to a point (like a pencil) and is great for applying highlight to the inner corners or to blend in your crease without blowing it out too much.

Flat- Flat brushes are just that. They have a flat, blunt tip. These brushes are usually used to smudge eyeshadow along the upper and lower lash lines and to highlight the brow. 'Flat' in makeup brush terms can also refer to the shape of the entire brush instead of just the tip. For example - a flat shader brush is thin but has a domed tip. Flat tip brushes are also great for pushing shadow right up against eyebrow to really carve it out and make them more defined.

No one ever told me this, and I should have known but I didn't get it until I watched countless hours of makeup tutorials - Smaller brushes give you a more precise application and larger brushes blend. When it comes to sizes of eyeshadow brushes, that's all you need to know.

With all the new knowledge you have about eye shadow brushes, try going through your collection and see what different ways you can use your brushes to apply your eye shadow. It's fun to play with makeup. Check out the rest of the All About Makeup Brushes Series:

All About Foundation Brushes

All About Blush & Powder Brushes
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Mar 23, 2015

Generate Tax Reports in Your UnitWise Account

Tax Season is here and UnitWise has some great features to make your tax preparations super easy. Getting together everything you need for your taxes can be a bit stressful and tedious, but with UnitWise the only you have to do is click on a few buttons and then all your reports are done.

Year End/Tax Reports in UnitWise
You can access all the accounting information you need by clicking on Home >> Reports. There will be a full list of different reports you can run including Customers, Accounts, Products and more.

For tax reports, select the report tab titled, Year End-Tax. This section contains very important tax reports including Profit & Loss, Non-Recovered Sales Tax, and many more. Each report can be customized by date so you can run a report for one week, or an entire month. Here is a great video that demonstrates our Year/End Tax Report feature:

Extend Your Tax Deadline
When that April 15th tax deadline does not give you enough time to prepare your tax return, you can extend your deadline. UnitWise has teamed up with the to make e-filing IRS From 4868 for a personal tax extension quick and easy. Contact the ExpressExtension Support Team for more information via phone: 803-514-5155 or email: 

Questions About UnitWise Reports?
The UnitWise Heroes are always standing by to assist you with any questions you may have about your UnitWise account. Contact a hero today and get your reports ready for tax filing via phone: 704-234-6006 or email:
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Mar 20, 2015

Tips & Tricks: All About Blush & Powder Brushes

I'm back with the second part of the All About Makeup Brushes series and this week it's all about blush and powder brushes. Let me first say, "My name is Misty and I am addicted to blush brushes." I'm on a never ending quest to find the perfect blush brush, so hopefully these tips and tricks from the UnitWise Heroes can help me and you both out.

Blush Brushes
You can learn the difference between synthetic and natural bristles in the previous blog from this series - All About Foundation Brushes

When it comes to blush brushes (try to say that 10x fast) it's all about the shape, honey. There is dome, angled, flat, stippling/duo fiber (which really isn't a shape, but I'm going to throw it in there - it's never fun to be left out), tapered, and there is probably another one or two that aren't coming to mind. I know for a fact that I own every version I just listed - seriously it's an addiction - each one will give me a different effect. My favorite shape is angled, and I actually have the Mary Kay angled blush brush that is my ride or die brush. An angled brush fits the contours of my cheeks and helps me precisely apply blush. 

If you tend to be heavy handed with makeup application, a stippling/duo fiber brush will be your best friends. It doesn't pick up as much product as an angled or dome brush would. 

Flat and dome brushes, like the MK Cheek Brush, are really amazing for multi-purpose use. You can use them on your cheeks, to contour, to highlight and even to apply your finishing powder if you just want one brush that does it all. These types of brushes are perfect for beginners too. 

A tapered brush is really great for a smaller cheek area or to precisely add your highlighter. It could be used for contouring but it would a little more difficult to blend out product with this type of brush. 

Powder Brushes
I lump blending brushes in with powder brushes just to give you a heads up. Every brush collection should have a designated powder brush. This is a brush that is big, fluffy and super soft, like the MK Powder Brush. This type of brush is used to apply your finishing powder to set your makeup. You really don't want to use your powder brush for anything else like contouring or blush because you don't want that product to build up on your brush and mess up your makeup. 

If you do want something for blending your contour and blush, then a dome brush, similar to a dome cheek brush, is exactly what you've been looking for. Dome brushes tend to be more dense and make blending super easy. Like a finishing brush, you don't really want to use your blending brush for a lot of other things. If you get too much product build up in your blending brush, then it doesn't really blend out what is on your face, instead will just deposit more product and turn into a big mess. You don't want to be a total Monet right - #Clueless reference. 

These types of brushes don't seem important at first, but they are usually your all-in-one brushes. Blush brushes can have many jobs depending on their shape. For your finishing brushes, these guys really shouldn't be used for other things than their designated job. Too much product build up in your finishing brushes will just make things messy. Remember to clean your brushes about once a week. For the next blog in this series, we're tackling eye and eyebrow brushes - oh, yes it's about to go down.

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Mar 13, 2015

Tips & Tricks: All About Foundation Brushes

When it comes to makeup brushes, it is very easy to get overwhelmed. There is a brush for everything. So instead of cramming a ton of information about makeup brushes all in one blog, the UnitWise Heroes thought - why not make is series? First in the All About Makeup Brushes series is foundation brushes. There are a lot of gimmicky brushes out there that are extremely expensive and don't live up to all the hype. I'm going to go over the best brush types for the application you desire.

Natural vs. Synthetic Bristles
Before we get into brush designs, let's start with the basics. 
  • Natural brushes are made up of animal hair. They are very durable and get better the more you use them (as long as they are cared for properly). Natural brushes are meant to be used with powder products and not creme or wet products. You don't use this type of brush with creme products because the natural bristles will soak up the product and not transfer it on your skin. The texture of natural brushes creates a better application for all your powder products.
  • Synthetic brushes consist of manmade bristles; mostly nylon, but sometimes other synthetic fibers are used. Since synthetic bristles don't have a cuticle, like natural bristles, they don't soak up creme products. Synthetic brushes are perfect for applying creme foundation, blushes, bronzers, and shadows. Synthetic bristles like to stick together instead of spread apart like natural bristles, so they are perfect for a precise application.

Kabuki vs. Flat Foundation Brushes
  • The kabuki brush (or flat top brush like Mary Kay's Mineral Foundation Brush) is very popular for applying foundation. Its dense bristles are able to push the foundation into the skin, camouflaging deep pores and fine lines. You want to use this brush in circular motions across the skin to create an airbrushed effect. Depending on the bristles (natural or synthetic), kabuki brushes can be used with any type of foundation.
  • A flat foundation brush, like Mary Kay's Liquid Foundation Brush, are great for liquid applications. Unlike the kabuki brush that can be used for creme, liquid, and powder foundations; flat foundations brushes really only work with liquid products. The bristles work with the contours of the face to provide a precise and smooth application. Most flat foundation brushes are made from synthetic bristles, so they won't spread out when wet. 
Washing Your Foundation Brushes
For everyday cleaning, a spray brush cleaner will help you keep products from building up on your brushes until you wash them. A lot of experts recommend you to wash your brushes once a week with baby shampoo, or my favorite - olive oil and dish soap. The olive oil conditions your bristles and keeps your brushes super soft. The dish soap breaks down any product build up.

When washing your brushes, you always want to hold your brushes at a downward angle so the water isn't going into the area where the bristles meet the handle. I know there is a word for that part of the brush, I just can't remember. Water can deactivate the glue that holds the bristles to the brush and it will start to shed. When drying your brushes, you want the brush head pointed in a downward angle too. I just roll up a towel and place it on the edge of my sink and lay my brushes on it with the brush head pointed toward the sink. 

I'm really excited for this series and next week we will be covering cheek and finishing brushes. I'm saving eye brushes for last because there is a lot to cover there. Have a great weekend and come back next week for the next installment of the All About Makeup Brushes series!

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Mar 6, 2015

Tips & Tricks: Hello Spring Makeup Look

Winter was full of neutrals and dark colors for makeup that was fun and all, but now it's time to bring the color back with Spring! The UnitWise Heroes are so excited for Spring they wanted to celebrate with bringing back the Tips & Tricks Makeup Tutorial with a beautiful Spring inspired makeup look. My heart was set a flutter when I was searching for the right pop of color shade and looking for the perfect blush. So grab your brushes and let's have some fun!

Prepping for this look was super simple; a moisturizer and some eye primer where all that was needed.

I started with the eyes before the face because I didn't want to ruin her foundation with fall out. I am using some bold colors so I just didn't want to risk it. After I primed her eyelids, I went in with a transition color all over her eye lid. Then I picked up a grey color and swept it in the crease; being sure to blend it well. Next, I used a burgundy shade in the crease to create some depth. 

Once the crease colors were blended out well, I used a shimmery pink shade on her eye lid to create a nice gradient effect. I did take a shimmery nude shade in her inner corner to really brighten it up. Then I used a deep purple shadow to line the outer V. 

To really give this look a nice bright pop of spring color I used a beautiful green shadow and a flat shader brush to line her bottom lash line. As I got closer to the inner corner, I extended the line slightly downward and into a point. It was just something different I wanted to try and it came out really nice. 

The final step to finish the eyes was a few coats of mascara and some really fluffy lashes.

For the face, I wanted it to be very luminous. I used a dewy finish foundation first, then went in with concealer for a very bright under eye. Then a little contouring, a dash of coral blush, and a highlighter was applied to warm up her face. 

For the lips, I wanted to keep it simple. The eyes were the star of the show for this look so I didn't want to go too crazy on lip color. I used a baby doll pink lipstick with a peachy nude gloss on top. It is a beautiful lip combination and complements the eyes perfectly. 

The final step was to give Brittany the mirror and let her see.

I loved creating this look and getting to play with bright fun colors for Spring. Let us know if you have any looks you want the Heroes to create for our next Tips & Tricks on the UnitWise Facebook and Twitter

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