What are some “hidden gems” in your collection?

I’m going to go with products I feel like I never hear anyone else rave about but I love… Marc Jacobs Air Blush, Surratt Artistique Blush, Smith 214 Spoolie Brush, Sydney Grace Cream Eyeshadows, and Sydney Grace Eyeshadows.

— Christine
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Missha M Perfect Cover BB cream, Maybelline Better Skin Concealer (I don’t even know if they make this anymore, but it’s my favorite concealer of all time), Tarte CC Corrector, the Lorac Pro 4 palette, Ulta Cream Blush… I use a lot of make up that isn’t very hyped, lol

I loooove my Kat Von D Alchemist palette- i’ve hit pan on 3 of the 4 pans and have bought a backup because it’s being phased out. Actually, I love her Pastel Goth palette, too, and that was also widely ignored. I find all the colors more wearable than a typical brights palette, and the formula is fantastic.

My HG brow product is another hidden gem- Maybelline’s Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer. The gel base is a little more liquid than others, so there’s no clumping. The paddle wand is bigger than most brow products’ spoolies, too, and it just fits my brows perfectly.

I also really like Elisha Coy’s Moist Up Super Hyalurone moisturizer for being a gel formula that doesn’t contain dimethicone. I love the bouncy and slightly reflective quality it gives my skin.

Colourpop Precision Brow Colour (gel pot)—I bought this to bring a Colourpop order to $30 to avoid shipping charges. It is now one of my holy grail products. About halfway through the pot, it started to dry out a bit, so I added a tiny drop of Inglot Duraline, and it’s perfect again.

Also: NYX Proof It Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer (not sure if this is “hidden” anymore), Red Apple Lipstick, e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush, Sigma E25 Blending Brush, MAC Mixing Medium (great for keeping shimmer shades in place on my lids), and the #1 fuchsia lipstick in my collection: Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lipstick in the shade Boudoir.

One final gem: Estée Lauder Golden Alligator Slim Compact. I received this as a gift some time ago. It’s a tiny setting powder in a glamorous gold compact inside a black velvet pouch. Perfect for dressy occasions when I’m using a very small clutch bag.

I actually keep the powder compacts when I finish them, replacing the `old-old` one when I finish the `old` one, since I find that they make great compact mirrors (one less product to buy 😀 ). I like the Estee Lauder powder ones, because they have the separate compartment for the sponge; I never use that sponge to apply the powder, but it’s great for blotting the face mid day.

The compact I mentioned is tiny, about 2 inches in diameter with a 1-inch puff. The powder is refillable, which is nice. It’s obviously not meant for everyday use, but it was a really great gift! 🙂

Colour Pop blush in Currently. It is all purpose for me, I use it on my cheeks, in my crease, and it looks great. I also think that the CYO blushes have a phenomenal texture for the price tag. I am always blown away by the them.

Besame Snow White Storybook palette. Sigma Creme de Couture palette. Too Faced Tutti Frutti Fruit Cocktail Blush Duos. Marc Jacobs O!Mega Highlighter in Worth The Wait.

They’re all dreamy.

They’re all bargains:
1. $4 6oz Equate pure vegetable based glycerin US at Walmart (add a drop to any lotion, face or body, for extra moisture)
2. $8 Just for Men Mustache and Beard at Walmart (perfect to dye brows, many colors to choose from, long lasting, also sold at CVS, etc.)
3. $4 bar of SheaMoisture African Black Soap at Walmart (cleans $$$expensive natural hair brushes, lasts forever, also sold at Target)
4. $20 The Body Shop Shade Adjuster Drops (lighten, darken a foundation, love this stuff)

Thanks for talking about brow dye! I’m just now starting to get face-framing greys and wondering if I should hold off or just go for it.

Go for it. You can use as little as you need in a single application. A spoolie comes in handy for a more strategic application. The kit provides a brush.

I’m into the glycerin tip, thank you for sharing! I bought some dry paper sheet masks from Daiso a while back and I’ve been meaning to pick up some glycerin to mix into home blend masks

Do people talk about powder foundation? Powder foundations seem to work better with my skin type. I really like Mac Studio Fix Powder+ foundation. I also like BareMinerals barePRO Performance Wear Powder foundation, except they changed all the shades and discontinued the one I have.

Ooo I definitely found a holy grail in NYX’s Stay Matte But Not Flat powder foundation! I go through them regularly, great for a fuss-free base and touch-ups. I do like my liquid foundations better for coverage, but the finish in SMBNF is so flawless that I keep it around even though I reach for it less these days.

I’m odd, but I like powder foundations for setting make-up better than pressed powder… or at least I can’t see the difference. I like Mac Studio Fix Powder+ and the other variants Estee Lauder offers. Unfortunately, anything I tried from BareMinerals didn’t worked for me.

I do! My go to is it Cosmetics 50+ CC and they discontinued it!😠I had a spare on hand, just broke it out because I’m not sure how long the sunscreen is good for. It manages to keep me pretty light in south Texas sun, tho. I started using a new cream to powder they just came out with on the dry parts of my face. I need matte on my nose and forehead though. I like Laura Geller’s baked foundation, also powder, but it doesn’t have SPF. I’m all about 1 and done if possible.

Surratt blushes are definitely a gem. I have several shades! I also love my Shu Uemura hard pencil for the eyebrows. I have thick brows and just need a bit of evening out in some areas. Nothing looks more natural than the Shu formula, but it’s definitely the soft defined Japanese brow style as opposed to the sculpted and fibery/hairy brow look that’s popular here. Since I have hair brows naturally, it works perfectly for me.

The only ones I seldom see liked/mentioned are the Isehan Heroine Make Mascara and the Lottie London blushes and Holographic Haul HL palette…the latter on the cool side and borderline unusual colors.

The Heroine Make mascara is SO GOOD! I use their Long & Curl mascara and their liquid eyeliner–I’ve been repurchasing them like clockwork for a few years now.

Yup. Bottom lashes, regardless of what (color) is on top. Plus, going to the Asian marketplace for it can be an adventure. I must check out what other products they have on Amazon. Yes, I feel Amazon coming on, with AB in mind.

L.A. Girl Pro Mixing Pigment; I have Blue & White, and they work beautifully to adjust the shade/tone of any foundation, without altering the formula

Wet & Wild Makeup Remover Micellar Cleansing Water; a bi-phasal formula similar to Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover, but a fraction of the cost, works even better, and doesn’t irritate my skin.

BeBella Pro Eyeshadow Palettes; noone talks about this brand, but the palettes I have definitely rival all the HE products I own.

JCat Beauty highlighters; again, these aren’t talked about much, but they are amazing.

No 7 foundation, in general. Also, the Lift & Luminate Eye Cream is incredible.

Real Techniques Brush Crush Foundation Brush; I literally just picked this up, but I’m really enjoying it. Also, EcoTools face brushes are completely off everyone’s radar, but they’re pretty much the only ones I’ve reached for consistently for the past year or so; given the amount of brushes I own, that’s saying alot.

Some nice picks, most of which I have not tried, but I ditto the No 7 foundation and EcoTools face brushes! I wish I could find a lighter shade offering in the No 7 foundation formulas, but I have shade adjusting drops for the too dark one I own that otherwise is the right tone. Have not looked at the LA Girl pigments, but they sound interesting.

I’ve got quite a few:
– Kjaer Weis Cream Blush
– Kett Cosmetics Fixx Crème Makeup
– Sephora Pro Featherweight #90
– Origins Blooming Sheer Lip Balm
– Catrice lip products in general
– Bepanthol hydrating cream (belgian formula)
– Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads

Sephora brushes (from the `regular` or PRO lines) are definitely hidden gems!
I bought the angled brush one (#50) 4-5 years ago and it lasts as well as MAC brushes (and I use mine regularly, washing them at least once a week). Well… what I like the most is that is the perfect size for my face, for both contour and blush.

My IsaDora Matte Chocolates palette might be the only one, those are great transition and blending shades for my skintone and blend better than the mattes in Naked 1 to ny recollection!

You mean when I actually remember that I have them, right? 😂
Hmm… first few things that popped into my head are: UD Naked 2 palette, Urban Spectrum palette and Catfight Lipstick, Lorac Unzipped palette, Nars Calisto and Pasiphae Duel Intensity eyeshadows, Fetishised Blush and Sheena Audacious Lipstick, MAC Kid, Folie, Patina, and Handwritten e/s’s, Marque Ultimate Lipstick, Mixed Media, La Vie En Rouge and Cosmo lipsticks, and Nyx Rootbeer and Beanie e/s singles from the pillbox shape days. Same as you, I don’t hear much, if any, clamor for these personal gems! Sadly, some of the above are either DC’d or LE, so whatever I have left is what I have left.
Just realized how many taupey eyeshadows I put on here! I suppose this is why I’d have to call them “hidden” gems, because I usually wear warm tones, purples and plums, not so many taupes! Ah, but when I do…they look magnificent.

Taupe eyeshadow never gets boring for me either. I try to stop but every few months a new pinky-brown or pale taupe eyeshadow materializes in my collection.

How is the performance of your MAC Mixed Media lipstick? I got mine during National Lipstick Day 2018 (I believe it was LE), and it applies super unevenly (plus it’s drying). 😕

Hi Yen.Lin, I use my Mixed Media over MAC Prep & Prime Lips and also line my lips with a Nyx Slim Lip Pencil in Cola first to insure an even application and not having a crooked outer lip line. I knew it was MAC’s Retro Matte formula going in. That it is a super dry matte formula, and would require prep work like exfoliating scrub and balm beforehand, plus those tweaks I mentioned. I still love it, though. It managed to hang on to my lips for around 7 hours through a long bus ride, an Evanescence/ Lindsey Stirling concert and eating a meal afterwards at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers!

I bought a back up of Folie and Mystery when MAC discontinued. I think Kid too lol. I don’t know if it is so hidden but MAC Wedge it truly miraculous. I put that in the crease and instantly my makeup looks like it was done by a professional. True miracle worker and such a staple of my collection!

I was able to get backups of Kid and Folie, but missed out on Mystery, Erica. I recently fell in love with Cork when I discovered it usage wise in Natural Vice. I’ve always heard that Wedge and Cork are perfect staples. It’s really true!

My hidden gem is seriously hidden, bc it had a limited collab life of about 5 minutes. It’s the Maybelline for Puma highlighter in Knockout. There is something so special about this, I can’t explain it. It’s nothing like Maybelline’s other Master Chrome highlighters which can come off texture-y and garish….it’s a combo of metal AND duochrome shift that’s really striking. Its pinky/light-goldiness plays really well on my light olive tone, and it’s perfection over my medium depth pink blushes or my purple-y ones á la Nars Sin and UD Rapture. And respectfully, the dupes listed for it don’t do it justice either….it’s just THAT unique. I can’t believe it was a ds buy, it’s better than my mid-range Mac/Becca/Amerzy, and my higher end TF$.

A few off the top of my head: Volition Strawberry-C Serum, the Hasina 2 Palette from Blush Tribe, the MeeshaLou Witchcraft Palette, Ace Beaute Paradise Fallen Palette, theBalm Meet (Matte)Trimony Palette, Tony Moly Cats Wink Pact (fantastic, finely milled pressed face powder), Beauty Bar Baby Highlighters, Looxi Beauty Highlighters and Aurora Shadows, the Besame Snow White Collection.

In general, so many good indie brands: Apocalyptic Beauty, Notoriously Morbid, Igneous Cosmetics (etsy), My Pretty Zombie, Geek Chic, Lethal Cosmetics, LunatiCK Labs, Darling Girl Cosmetics, Impulse Cosmetics, Glam Goth Beauty, Sydney Grace, the Lip Bar, Espionage Cosmetics, Black Moon Cosmetics, Looxi Beauty, Besame, Nomad Cosmetics, ILNP Boutique Nail Lacquer, Geek Fire Labs (fragrances), Hexennacht (fragrances), Dreaming Tea Soapworks (soaps, lotions, fragrace products), Little & Grim (soaps and fragrance products), Fortune Cookie Soap (bath & body products). I know I’m forgetting some! But seriously, people should check these out, especially if they’re looking for something more unique.

I love Black Moon! I have several of their liquid lipsticks and highlighters. If you like Etsy for makeup, Vanessa’s Vanity and Touch of Glam Beauty are great sellers.

Maybelline Better Skin Pressed Powder in light

Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara in Jet Black

Milk Kush Fiber Brow Gel

Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel

Origins Pinch Your Cheeks Blush in Rose Dust

The Face Shop Matte Up Tint in Bitter Orange

C.Y.O. Lifewear foundation, which will be discontinued in January. It stays on all day without breaking apart or caking and doesn’t sink into lines or pores. At $7 a bottle, I will abandon my current no-backup policy.

If you are into heavy duty primers, Catrice 1Minute Face Perfector, applied sparingly, works really well.

Agreed on this! This mascara is amazing. While crying at a wedding, friends just kept glancing at me, ready to sneak a photo of me with mascara meltdown (BC they saw me apply several coats and wondered why I bothered when I would cry anyway). Close but no cigar! I’m not a pretty crier but I can get away without panda eyes!

I really love the KKW highlighter palette, I did get it on sale ( $18 last weekend, I’m going to start stocking up every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend) . My RMS eyeshadow, I received in her savannah sunset collection, I use as blush is amazing. Also I just started making my own setting spray ( it’s so expensive) , I really love. I started making it because I wanted to spray my brushes to use with highlighters. I had no idea how expensive they are. I’m super happy wet and wild sells rose water, it makes it smell amazing. The Jefree Star x Morphe brush collection, I’m really enjoying that. Not so much the larger brushes, but the smaller ones are awesome. Looking forward to trying with new mini Pat McGrath mini subversion eyeshadow palette. I’m happy she made something in my price range with eyeshadow. It’s my first attempt in years with eyeshadow and your reviews are amazing so I can’t wait!! I really love your reviews and unless I really think a product will sell out , I absolutely read your review and take it into account before I make a purchase. So thank you ❤️

My choices would be:
Lorac Pro Metal palette – I have hit pan on 3 beloved shades
EA blush in Sweet Peach – a peach shade without the orange undertones and it lasts all day
Colour Pop Foolish lipstick
Clarins Joli Rouge lipstick in Spicy Cinnamon
Innoxa’s Navy blue mascara
L’Oreal’s True Match foundation – at last a DS foundation with pink undertones in porcelain shades
City Color singles in All Eyes on Me, Sandstorm and Cleo.

These are all things I feel like I never shut up about but nobody else seems to use:
Paula’s Choice Hydralight Cleanser
Paula’s Choice Hydrating Treatment Mask (so unique and helpful for acne prone combo/dry skin!)
The Ordinary Matryxl
Good Molecules Niacinamide
Holy Snails First Snow Essence
Becca Pearl Liquid highlighter
McGrath Major Red lip pencil
NARS Funny Face lipstick, original version 😥
Still Micro Tip eyeliner
MUFE Full Cover concealer
Sydney Grace eyeshadows (literally among the best eyeshadows I’ve ever used for $5 each???)

I had to think for a minute and came up with my Lime Crime Venus palettes, actually all of the Lime Crime eye palettes I have. The neon one that I think is an anniversary palette has some really unique colors, matte orange glitter and matte green glitter! I love sparkles and duochromes and mult chromes. Lime Crime has some excellent of the first two. Multi Chromes, I think is a Fyrinnae and now Sydney Grace niche. I love those, too and don’t wear them enough. I have some really amazing palettes that I got on Amazon. One in particular is called Cageling. Even the packaging on that one is spectacular (bird themed). The quality of the matte glitters in this palette blew me away. I think the palette that I’ve found myself grabbing all summer is the Melt Impulsive palette. Dang, I had to look it up on Sephora’s site for the name and ended up adding the Shape Shift stack to my Love’s list! Lol! 😂

I love the Lime Crime Venus palettes. I have 1 and 2 and love them dearly. I’m saving my points at Ulta to buy the Venus XL 2. Swatched it and I swoon

BH Cosmetics Hanging in Hawaii, Love in London (e/s) and Glowing in Greece (cheek) palettes

Designer Brands Absolute Lash, Luminous foundation and Nude loose powder

Revolution Pro Supreme lipsticks (the creme ones at least)

Makeup Revolution liquid highlighters and X Soph highlighter palette

Nanshy R01 buffed base round foundation brush

Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm and Ultra Hydrating Oil

Holika Holika foaming cleansers

Jordana 24 Hr Made To Last eyeliner pencil in Black Point

Colourpop lippie balms (the scrubs are to die for too!)

And I really like the Revolution Skincare face masks as well!

I’m not sure how hidden they are, but I almost never hear people talk about these when discussing favorite versions of these products:

Glossier Mascara – stays put and does not irritate my eyes. One of only two mascaras I will use now.

Clinique Lash Power Longwearing Mascara – again doesn’t irritate my eyes and truly stays put without being a hassle to take off.

Aquaphor – just has so many uses and nothing gets my lips back in shape like it

Lush Feeling Younger Skin Tint – the. perfect. illuminator. Use it as a highlighter proper or mix it into your other liquid or cream products – gives the perfect pearlescent glow without a hint of glitter or shimmer.

Too Faced Diamond Light Highlighter – I love love love this highlighter – buildable, not glittery, lasts forever. Gives me that same multidimensional pearlescent look as the Feeling Younger but in a solid product. I feel like the non-shimmer/non-glitter highlighters just don’t get as much love and brands like Becca, ColourPop, Hourglass, Fenty, and Ofra get most of the highlighter love.

I love Surratt blushes and also love Surratt liquid eyeliners– in addition to black, they come in Brown, Indigo, and Violet — and they give the smoothest line and don’t budge. In general I collect eyeliners in varied colors from all brands. I also have a few Cle de Peau palette refills– and their formula is gorgeous– silky and blend able. My favorite has varying shades of gold with a burgundy. And speaking of gold eye shadows, I adore the Chanel quad Codes Elegantes and I also love the Viseart Coy palette– you can just do that quick final dab of sparkle on any look. Another fave for fall is the Ace Beaute- Classic Paradise palette. Also I just got the Viseart structure brow palette– and am really loving it. Most people would not need to have different brow options, but with thinner brows and cool neutral coloring, I am finding that depending on the look, I can use each of the waxes and quite a few of the fill in powders to create varied looks and am really enjoying it. The product also wears well and the colors are cool, which is great.

Sephora Pro Brushes. Jordana Easyliner Lip Liners, Esum Brushes, Smashbox 24 hour primer, Peach & Lily Good Pore Acid Toner, Milk Makeup eye liners, Fenty Gloss Bomb, Artist Couture La Peach highlighter, Laura Mercier Loose Glow Setting Powder, Bare Minerals Finishing Powder brush, Fenty Matte Matchstix, Pat McGrath mascara, ABH Dip Brow Gel, Natasha Denona’s creme powder matte shadows

Ditto on the Surratt Artisique Blush. I also like a number of Marc Jacobs’ products: his lip glosses (ohhh yes! Took over for me from YSL’s glosses which I never heard much about either) and his concealer (really an all-purpose mini stick that need to be larger), the Balm (I think they make a number of real good products and they’re pretty stable in quality, but a tad expensive for the quantity). Also agree with Sydney Grace eyeshadows and I’d ad a few indie products (like those on Etsy).

The Sephora Colourful shadow and liners are excellent…I specifically like to use Marine (a deep blue all over the lid) and then in the center a touch of Turquoise. They are waterproof too.

Loreal matte Colour Riche in color 308 Matte-ison, 306 Acro-matte

Light brown hair, blue-green eyes, light-medium skin, very oily
I second Maybelline Fibre Volumizing Gel for my eyebrows- HG. I also really like Maybelline Total Temptation eyebrow pencil, I like the diamond shape of the pencil- another HG. But the best, best kept secret is the Body Shop Seaweed line Oil-Control Gel Cream moisturizer. My skin, even at 47, is SO, SO, SO oily, like makeup lasts about 1 hour until oil starts breaking through. But this moisturizer plus the Stay Matte but Not Flat powder are two HG products for my base. I’m shine-free around 6-8 hours!

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