What beauty product was / is the hardest to find a holy grail of?

Mascara. I feel like I rotate so many and have a lot of favorites but there’s not just THE ONE that stands out prominently in the sea of mascaras available.

— Christine
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For me, concealer. It’s really hard to find something that is a little more hydrating and looks like skin, but also sets and has decent coverage to cover up my under eye circles that won’t quit, AND also looks good when I use it on different areas of my face as well. Tall order, I know. I got SO close with the Maybelline Better Skin Concealer, but I’m pretty sure it’s discontinued, so back to the drawing board.

Same for me Celesta! I am 47, so I need a creamy concealer that stays put and doesn’t crease. I feel like I have tried hundreds, and I am never satisfied with the performance. I am open to suggestions…..

Concealer would be second on my list… but mostly because I hate doe foot applicators on concealers and I wish someone made a concealer with the same formula as Too Faced Born This. Way or Becca Perfecting but in a squeeze tube or with a pump.

Yup, me too. Even when I have found what seems like the greatest foundation, I STILL look for something better. I am never satisfied.

I don’t really believe in the concept of a holy grail product. I think it just puts you in this endless trap of mindless consumption to always find something better. Are there a lot of terrible products out there, sure. And I definitely have a lot of tried and true products that never fail me but I would never consider my loves as the one and only holy grail. I like trying new makeup to an extent. And to another, I’m not interested in going farther than what I’ve tried. But makeup would be pretty boring if I just had that one great product bc truth is, there are many great products. So I don’t know what product is difficult to find a holy grail bc I’m not looking really. With certain things, I’m just trying to use up what I have before I buy anything new like with powder, foundation, concealer, eyeliner and mascara. With others, like eyeshadow and blush, I’ll never use up what I have so I don’t try, I just rotate and I try not to get suckered by the next hyped up palette bc I don’t need anymore. Natasha Denona is making that hard😉

In defense of the holy grail product, I have two HGs that I swear by: 1) Estée Lauder Double Wear Makeup and 2) NYX Proof It Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer. They are my HG products because they are absolutely perfect for me. I’m thoroughly satisfied with both of them and not looking any further. They both do everything I want in those types of products.

Now, that’s just primer and foundation. I couldn’t imagine having a holy grail color product! That would seem boring to me. Blush, eyeshadow, lipstick…I love experimenting with new shades, and my favorites keep changing. Those products are what makes makeup so much fun for me.

I think for a lot of people, there are certain aspects of products that really bum them out. I finally just found a mascara that doesn’t flake off on my under eye, and although I don’t label products as HG, I do frequently search for ones that do what I need them to do. So that includes finding a foundation that doesn’t cling to peach fuzz and skin flakes (I do exfoliate, some foundations are just really good at finding the two flake patches on my face), or lipsticks that don’t bleed into my lip creases, or whatever. It’s not really a matter of “this product is pretty good, but I need to find one that is better”, but more “jeez, I have to do backflips to make this product work, and I do not want to”.

So true about mascara, also because the price range is absurd – $5-$40 for basically the same thing. They claim volume and lengthening and separation but each has its strength. Plus the issue of whether the minis are actually better than trade size.
Mascara is up there for sure. For me, though, foundation has always been the toughest thing. When I had a lighter complexion it was almost impossible to find one that suited me. With time and a darker complexion and better shade ranges I’ve found a few that work but still not quite right. I can makes anything work but it’s always a little bit of a chore.

Also, minis or travel sizes of mascara are most times cost efficient. I always throw away mascara after 3 months; yes, some minis dry in 1 month, but most last me at least 2 months. If you’re getting the mini for free or even half price, it’s still somewhat worth it if the wand is the same.

I agree on mini sizes in general, some products take forever to finish and should be offered in smaller sizes. Let us decide which is the better value for our individual makeup style.

Lipstick. I envy all you ladies who have and wear dozens of shades. I’m very discriminating about my lipstick, probably too much so. I have one HG, and maybe 5 shades total (+ 3 glosses). I mix them to double the options and I have one of those Japonesque empty lipstick palettes. When my HG is eventually discontinued, I’m going to have a very sad, bad day!

I know the feeling. There was a time when I had a holy grail nude lipstick (Laura Mercier Discretion). I went through several of them, then one day I went to buy a new tube and it was gone! Discontinued! It was devastating. I took my nearly empty tube with me to every makeup counter I could find to try to find a dupe, but I never found the exact shade again.
Now, years later, I have several nudes that I absolutely love, and LM Discretion is just a distant memory. But I still have that last tube of Discretion with a little left in the bottom—not enough (and probably too icky) to wear, but I kept it just so I remember the shade.

Mascara. Sometimes I try one that I think I’ll love (Milk Kush), but wind up hating it. Sometimes I buy one blindly (Rimmel Retro Glam) and wind up loving it…sometimes. And sometimes I just stop liking a mascara that has been a favorite for awhile (Tarte Lights Camera Lashes). I recently finished a sample tube of Lancome Definicils, which I thought could be my HG mascara, so I bought a full-size tube, but I haven’t opened it yet. I’m kind of hoping it will be ok, but not HG because I don’t like spending that much on mascara. Just read all that back and it sounds kind of rambling, but I’ll just leave it that way. Lol

Probably concealer now. I do still like Maybelline Fit Me concealer, but I feel like I now need something more hydrating and less likely to appear dry or give me slight crepey-ness. So my new search is on for a more mature skin friendly concealer.

If you can get a sample of the Armani Power Fabric Stretch Concealer I highly recommend it! When I stop smiling my undereyes stop smiling, too! If you know what I mean…

Jill, that’s one of a handful that I have been thinking about getting a sample of. I’ve heard nothing but praise for it. And the eyes quitting smiling when the rest of my face has, oh yeah, that’s a real thing!

Daily SPF. Nothing I had tried was even close to HG status until Murad’s City Skin Age Defense. Their bestselling SPF, yet they have discontinued it!💔

That is my favorite physical sunblock of all time. I had no idea it was being discontinued- how did you find out? (BTW a quick search shows that Macy’s still has some in-stock online.)

I’ve contacted Murad thru a few different courses & had multiple chats with reps, hoping for a different answer/hope. They say it’s discontinued and the only explanation being, “Decisions to discontinue or introduce a product and/or size are made in response to consumer preferences and purchasing patterns throughout the country.”

Thanks. I saw it on Macy’s too, but If you look near the shipping info it says, “usually ships within 35 business days.”

IMO, It’s not only heartbreaking, but also a bit sketchy! It’s not listed as discontinued on any sites, like Sephora or even Murad’s, they all have it listed still as out of stock, this has been the case since around November. Also, as recently as September it was featured on their FB page and touted as their “best-selling SPF.” I asked why they would discontinue a best-selling product, and the only offered explanation was that same “purchasing patterns” spiel, which doesn’t seem to apply in this best-sellers case.

Obviously, It’s been really hard for me to accept. It’s such a good SPF for my skin, and works so well with everything else in my routine. Hopefully it comes back.

Thanks so much for your detailed response. I’m utterly heart broken. It’s still available in-store at a few Ulta’s within an hour drive from me, so I know what I will be doing this upcoming weekend!

I live in fear that my HG facial SPF will be discontinued or reformulated so I agree with this, too. It’s too hard and expensive to find a decent SPF, samples are almost non-existent. You have to shell out A LOT of money to decide within minutes upon first application whether the rest of that tube is useless or not. There needs to be samples!!

My SPF used to be carried by an online retailer who sold all K-Beauty products. Then somewhere along the way they discontinues all the lines they carried and focused on developing their own brand. I panicked. Luckily I’m able to order it directly from Korea so I place an order for a few bottles roughly twice a year but I live in fear that it will be discontinued.

A tinted moisturizer/BB cream. I just wanted something that would even out my complexion a bit and maybe have a bit of SPF, for days when I wanted to look cute in a selfie or on a conference call, without putting on a full-fledged foundation. But silly me, I had to be born with pale skin and pink undertones. Everything I tried was too dark and/or too yellow! Took 2 or 3 tries at Sephora with different associates helping me before I found one that was kind of OK… but it was heavily scented! I had to stop using it a year ago when I developed several red “sensitized” patches on my face that still haven’t fully cleared up. I’m not saying the scented product was to blame, but it was recommended that I not use scented products to avoid further irritating it.

I also feel like it’s hard to find THE mascara. I feel like there’s two kinds of mascaras: ones that suck and ones that are fine. I’ve never been WOWed by a mascara, so I’m leaning towards just using DS brands from now on.

You should try the Missha M Perfect Cover BB cream! It sounds like Shade 13 would be great for you! It is seriously lovely; perfect coverage (hence the name, lol) and SPF 42. I’ve been using it for a couple years and it’s the only base product I’ve ever completely used up and repurchased. You can find it on Amazon and it’s only $10-14, too.

You should try the Missha M Perfect Cover BB cream! It sounds like Shade 13 would be great for you! It is seriously lovely; perfect coverage (hence the name, lol) and SPF 42. I’ve been using it for a couple years and it’s the only base product I’ve ever completely used up and repurchased. You can find it on Amazon and it’s only $10ish

Foundation, for sure. It seems like whenever I find a holy grail, it gets discontinued. For example, it was Estee Lauder double wear light, then Estee Lauder double wear nude cushion stick. They’re so expensive; I hate to drop a huge amount of money before I know it will work for me. It also seems like it takes a whole day of wear to decide on a shade because of oxidation.

I feel the same, I can state clear favorites for all my other make-up items, but I can barely remember a mascara that was ‘wow!’ I had duds, I had many good ones, but nothing stood out. I’m basically living on minis from Sephora perk points for almost 2 years and couldn’t care less about any, although I liked 80% of them in the end.

Probably primer, maybe foundation. While I have favorite point/color products, I don’t think of anything as a HG because I like to mix it up. More like I have “tiers.” Some are up on Mount Olympus and some are mortals. A few have been Medusa lol.

Concealer f’sure. Recently got the benefit boiing creaseless, and just spell Gobi Desert. And I’m oily. What I’ve learned so far: I have no clue how to prep/use a beauty blender, lol. I ‘pounced’ all product off! To use the product, I needed 2 eye creams. Oy, vey. It’s going to take a lot of Tim Gunning and finessing to get it to work, but the color is ok, and it looked ok after work today. Foundation: If KGD aqua is d/c’d, I’m a goner. It took 2 entire years to find one that was not too yellow, too rich, and had no chem sunscreens or other problematic ingredients. 2BF years. Thank god I have not needed to get it since the reformulation.

Mascara followed by undereye concealer. I have oily lids and often work super long, slightly sweaty shifts in a restaurant, so my mascara needs to be incredibly flake and smudge resistant. Tubing mascaras are my go-to for work days but my eyelashes are also very fine and a bit sparse so they don’t thicken as much as I’d like. Hourglass Caution is great but a pain to remove. The search continues.

Contour was up there until recently but the industry has basically solved that one (for my light skin and preference for cool taupe colors at least) in the last four or so years. Between Kevyn Aucoin Medium, Fenty Amber, and the bajillion indie brands I’m totally covered now.

Look into the Isehan that Rachel mentions below. They have a tubing formula, but it’s hard to differentiate the formulas with all the cartoon-like romance novel women pictured on the packages…I got the wrong one once, but it was still pretty great. Japanese formulas tend to be quite good. Asian marketplace or Amazon.

When I was searching for a mascara to give my daughter in law for Christmas, the MUA at Priceline (who also happened to be a student I taught back in the day) suggested the Rimmel Wonder Luxe Volume Mascara as the brush evenly separated the lashes and didn’t clump. Anika loves it.

For me, the hardest Holy Grail product to get hold of is red lipstick, because so many turn pink on me.

Foundation is my hardest to find. No matter how many variations or shades they make, most either look too pink, too yellow, or even too orange (oxidation) on me. There is a reason I have stayed with Chanel’s VA B10 for almost a decade.

Yes, I have tried others, but no others compare.

I also have a hard time with mascara, I need tubing mascara, although the Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Long & Curl Mascara EX – Black also has a place in my make-up case.

My HG mascara was Covergirl Marathon, nothing else has come close. It was tenacious, didnt clump, smear or smudge & it held a curl. Lancôme Definicil w/p is ok but too expensive to just be okay. As I’m now 60 and need a creamy concealer for very dark circles well, most mascara smudges on creamy concealer even when lightly set with powder. Sigh….

Oh my gosh, I forgot about that mascara! I used to use it back when I first got into wearing mascara in the early 80s. I think it came in a navy tube back then? Wow, now I want to try it again just to see how it performs.

Finding the right foundation has been rough; I need coverage and moisture and longevity. Which brings me to my current favorite foundation of Armani Crema Nuda in shade 4.
Finding the right eyeshadow is running in tight second place. My eyeshadow has to last, look natural, be easy to apply, and go from beach to boardroom. Armani eye tint in 9 (cold copper) is my current favorite.
In third place, finding the perfect nude pink lipstick. Finally, I found Givenchy Le Rouge in 110 Rose Diaphane. It stays true to color on the lips, feel weightless and lasts for several hours.
Lastly, I have yet to find the perfect concealer for nasty bad undereye bags and the shadows created by them. I like Tarte Shape Tape but I don’t think it’s my HG. All you concealer experts, please advise.

Armani Cold Copper is definitely an HG shadow for me, too. If you ever need a nude-ish pink non-sparkly but not quite matte cream shadow that’s just as easy to apply I highly recommend ColourPop Wattles, they sell it at Ulta now. Cold Copper and Wattles are my two HG shadows for work and everyday.

Honestly I thought I would never have this problem. I am having a problem finding a HG Primer. This one makes my foundation pill, or my foundation disappears in certain spots on my face from another one, or another, my makeup slides off my face, or another one, makes my eye makeup pool under my eyes. If I go without, my makeup fades from my face half way through the day, even, if I use a setting spray. But I am persistent and I will find my HG primer.

It’s very hard, but you’ll find yours! I found one finally that checks every box for my particular skin type, and I’ll be devastated the day I wake up to find it discontinued. But boy, did it take a long time to get there.

For me it is concealer. I have tried so many and while some work better than others, none is my holy grail and the search continues. What I need is :
moisturizing/hydrating
doesn’t settle into wrinkles
right undertone
good pigmentation
wears well

Not looking for a holy grail, but simply trying to find a mascara that actually thickens and lengthens my poor eyelashes but doesn’t smudge under my eyes 🙁

Both mascara and foundation. I hesitate to say I can even find a holy grail for either. When I find something I love to bits, formulations change and something better always seems to come out. It’s wonderful, because I do love to see how makeup evolves and changes to wear better and better but then I come to find my former HG was never an HG in the first place. I remember when I called GA’s Luminous Silk my HG and now, I haven’t purchased a bottle in at least 2 years. The Milk Kush mascara was an HG too, but of course I tried something different and of course, I like it better. And as long as I accept those two items will never have a particular one that stands out as a holy grail to me, then I’m fine. And then…I guess makeup will remain exciting for me, huh? I always have something new to try.

It took me 3 tries to find a green mascara that didn’t stick to my lashes so much that I had to scrub hard and lose a lash during removal. The one that ended up working and cleaning easily was Sephora Volume On! in Green On!

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