Beauty and the Beginners – QVS Essentials

Craig Lomas
Latest posts by Craig Lomas (see all)

Flicking through pages and pages of magazines these days, it’s nigh on impossible to avoid countless beauty advertisements and seductive looking models, all with their pristine make up and flawless complexions. Now, as a total novice to make up years ago, it was hard for me to know what I needed, and what was required to build the foundations of my kit. If, like me, the thought of make-up shopping is like a trip to Wonka’s chocolate factory, then you need my full comprehensive guide, to buying the beginners essentials. Starting out a kit for personal or business uses can be costly and with so many amazing products out there, it’s hard to know whether you’re really getting value for money.

A recent shopping trip led me to come across a brand of affordable products respectively known as QVS (Quality, Value, Style). It’s always my intention to avoid the beauty aisle as a form of self-restraint, but guaranteed more often than not, it will have me filling my basket quicker than you can say ‘would you like any cashback?’. On this occasion it proved to be quite a find and gave me the idea to give you the reader a chance to see how you can build up a kit without breaking the bank.

So keen are QVS to providing great products, their whole ethos is to create cleverly crafted, must-have cosmetic accessories, designed for grooming, from head to toe. It’s fair to say that their range is vast, covering a good bay of space at my local ASDA store. The beauty is that you can also shop online, which is sometimes an easier alternative, as I don’t see many items sticking around long enough in store. From tweezers to make up brushes, and even cosmetic bags, this really is a brand I would highly recommend, you start to build from.

They also form the desirable UBU range comprising of make-up brushes and applicator sponges. With the sleek black packaging and bold coloured bristles, it’s easy to see how you can be visually drawn to these. As with the mentioned items above, these can also be found on the ASDA direct website alongside Amazon. I recently purchased the UBU Smokey Eye Brush Set (£6.00), purely because the packaging was so informative and the products stood out from the rest. Complete step by step instructions made creating a classic smokey eye a walk in the park.

So let’s get down to business, here are the top 5 essentials that you need from QVS as a starter. I’m confident the more you use them, the more likely you are to build up to a full product range:

1. The Make-up Sponges (£3.98):

qvs make up

The pack I favour is the one comprising of 20 sponges. Completely disposable and multi-functional, this handy resealable bag is ideal when laying down the foundations of your make-up. A good base can be achieved beautifully with the sponges, but I would favour the usage of cream products with these, with regards to foundation. A great use for these is to apply your base products, such as primers and my personal favourite, MAC oil control. I don’t always want to use a brush to apply these, as I believe most of the product clogs into the bristles and I suffer the lack of coverage I require. The sponges eliminate this by allowing the product to sit on the surface and allow you to blend beautifully. Another great use for these would be to set areas of unwanted shine by layering over powder (I would recommend MAC Prep &Prime) to add a mattifying effect to problem areas such as the T-zone.

2. Tweezers (£2.48):

qvs make up

Without a shadow of a doubt, brows are the focal point of the face and a good shape can really enhance your features. A bad brow is my ultimate pet hate and with the QVS square tip tweezer, you are well on your way to amazing brows. These are an ultimate must have tool in any make-up bag, not only for brows but pulling out the odd hair and applying false lashes, if like me you don’t have the steadiest of hands.

3. Eyelash Curler (£4.08):

qvs make up

The key to getting alluring eyes that catch attention is making sure your eyelashes are well groomed. Curled lashes really open up the eyes and if you’re anything like me it can sometimes be a hardship to use them. However, with these being so well designed, they are simply a dream to use with the ergonomic friendly handles. With its spring loaded action you can get a very precise grip and just the right amount of pressure. I have used countless curlers in my time, but these are hands down the most efficient. The trick to any good lash curl is to clamp the lashes for 20 seconds and release. Repeat once more and add a layer of mascara if need be. Once you have added the mascara, refrain from using the curlers again as you could damage the micro fine lashes and leave your curlers heavily coated in unnecessary product. These also come complete with 2 additional spare silicon pads.

4. Pro Size Cosmetic Tool Kit (£13.98):

qvs make up

This kit itself contains every brush you could possibly need for your everyday make-up needs. The powder brush is very soft handling and constructed from natural bristles. This is great for setting foundation with a powder, as previously mentioned for the troublesome T-zone. The other use which it’s suggested for is bronzer application. However, I don’t feel it is tapered enough and it’s very flat, so for me I wouldn’t use it for this purpose alone. The foundation brush with synthetic bristles and ultra-wide base make this ideal for applying liquid foundation. The tip is very rounded, which allows you to really hone in on delicate areas such as the under eyes and lid. The eye shadow brush is a lot smaller than any brush of this sort I have used before. It allows you to work small areas and build up coverage without picking up too much product. This is also a great tool for applying concealer to the under eye and also small blemishes. I have also used this to run colour along the lower lash line, which is often tricky given the wrong tool. One of the hardest steps to eye make-up for me is the liner. The liner brush in this set is extremely soft and allows the product to glide across the lid. With immensely flat and dense bristles, it’s ideal for plotting out colour onto the eye, before going over with a liner such as MAC black track. The last brush is the lip brush and I often find that these are the most multi-functional brushes going. I would not only use this for applying liner to the lips, but concealing small pimples, running liner around the eyes and getting precision detailing, such as highlighting the inner corner of the eye.

5. Essential Cosmetic Tool Kit (£5.98):

qvs make up

Last, but by no means least, is this handy handbag sized assortment of kit essentials. It can sometimes be a chore to haul around a counter of make-up and brushes to boot, so this is more than adequate as a replacement. The kit comes complete with the same lip, blusher and eye shadow brush as above, but in a more compact format. The addition of the eye shadow applicator, can create an intense hit of colour when used damp, to really pigment the colours you are applying. The eyebrow and lash groomer is great for adding the finishing touches to your look. Combing the lashes after mascara application will eradicate clumping and leave you with telescopic, fanned out lashes. The eyebrow comb will gently tease the hairs into the direction you require them and I would highly recommend setting them with MAC eyebrow gel. The kit also includes a make-up sponge for laying on your foundation and blotting over areas you wish to mattify.

Overall, a fantastic array of products that any beginner can really put to work to getting the looks they require. The value alone is most appealing, but they also have a tremendous quality and lasting power.

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About Craig Lomas

Well where do I start? At the very beginning, like Julie Andrews taught me.I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design in 2009 and have since set up my own bespoke clothing label.Currently working full time as a costume designer.My main passion is buying things I don't need... I WANT!