What product turned out to be an unexpected workhorse for you?

Fenty Beauty Afternoon Snack/Mo’ Hunny duo! I ended up using that quite frequently — it has just the right depth of color, finish, and undertone to give me some oomph to my cheeks without adding a lot of contrasting color. It wasn’t the type of color that I thought I’d reach for often but go figure, it really is lovely on me!

— Christine


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Emma Avatar

I bought one of those contour/ highlighting duos purely for the nice, cool toned contour but I find that I also love it on my eyes when I want a minimal ‘is she wearing eyeshadow’ look and the matt powder highlighting shade is perfect for setting my eye primer so win win!

Did I mention it also comes with a mirror? 🙂

kjh Avatar

Fenty Purrrl HL. Don’t like HL much and seldom do ok with cream products. Almost strictly a powder person. Comes out moist looking more than colored/warm/cool. Requires very little blending, has almost no effect on the blush underneath. Major surprise.

moimoi Avatar

The Colourpop Grandeur palette. I got it on sale for $11 because I liked the packaging and I switched out a couple shades (Need and Dusk) with light neutrals from the Kathleen Lights Dream Street palette. In this form, it has everything I need for a natural, put-together glam look and the size is perfect for travel.

Ana Maria Avatar

I sometimes think my makeup collection is comprised almost entirely from workhorses. 😅

I really want to add some brushes as honorable mentions. MAC 233 split fiber brush is a workhorse for eye makeup. 217 (old version) is still my favorite, and I never expected to like 233 so much, but it is amazing for both blending and packing, and because of the two types of fibers it works with multiple formulas. I would also mention Real Techniques Small Setting Brush, which I purchased for highlighting, but it’s that brush I can do my entire face with it.

The most recent unexpected workhorse in my routine is MAC Veluxe eyebrow pencil. As a lover of tear drop pencils I never expected to like a classic pencil. But now it’s the only thing I use… and compared to retractable eyebrow pencils it lasts me a long time.
Of course, I get a lot of use of my MAC Sculpt Shaping Powder (a contour shade that I can use as all over blush and transition shade for the eyes) and the Prolongwear Concealer (which when I travel becomes my foundation as well).

Brian Avatar

Becca Dewing Skin Tint. I really like these types of products, I like to try new ones even though I know having multiple of the same thing is ridiculous and unnecessary but…here we are. I didn’t expect to like it more than my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter but I do. I also didn’t expect it to replace my MAC Face and Body, but it has. I also find I don’t need any extra skin prep or primer when I use it AND I use it in my eye area and it gives the exact same effect as the Becca Under Eye Brightener. So it has become an entirely one and done product for my entire face. And not to be too dramatic but if Smashbox doesnt also pick it up to produce like they have the under eye brightener I’m going to be despondent.

Nancy T Avatar

When I first bought it, I thought it was the most boring looking eyeshadow I had ever seen. It said that it had a “satin” finish, yet it goes on totally matte, but not a flat, lifeless matte. I’m on my 4th or 5th pan of it (I’ve lost count!). It hides any redness from plucking my brows too vigorously. Plain, simple MAC Orb Pro Pan singles. Never expected this one to be all that!

Nina Avatar

Laura Mercier Candleglow #1 pressed powder. So finally milled. No glitter but diffusing. It’s just a joy and game changer to how everything I put on looks phenomenal. Bronzer and blush just seamlessly melt into a nice healthy and natural look. Love it. My skin and mineral makeup are made for each other ♥️

Genevieve Avatar

Maybelline’s Spice for Me lipstick – it works with both my summer and winter wardrobes and always looks good on me.
Honourable mention goes to L’Oreal’s True Match foundation – I have gone through numerous bottles of this foundation in porcelain rose and it ls a dream to apply and lasts all day. Plus, it is often on sale too.
As for eyeshadow palettes – that is much harder to pick, but when in doubt I use either ND’s Glam or the On the Horizons Light palette.

Audrey Avatar

Charlotte Tilbury eye pencil in barbarella brown- I line undereye with it daily, it’s a perfect smudgy bronzey brown that complements my hazel eyes and looks good with any eyeshadows. Before that I went thru several Mac teddy pencils but this is even better.

Seraphine Avatar

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. Since I started having severe vision trouble in one eye, I haven’t been able to do full eye makeup because if I close the good eye I can’t see to do the bad eye. But I can do an easy one-and-done look with the Caviar Sticks by swiping into my crease and blending without having to close my eye at all. I also use them to line under my bottom lash line. And they stay put all day. They’re the only eyeshadow I use now.

Z Avatar

Melt’s stack format eyeshadows in Assimilate, Rott, and Dark Matter. I stick the three of them together and use them Every. Single. Day. Despite their daily use for about the last five years, I have only hit pan in Assimilate (brow color, eye contour, and occasional face contour – when it goes I’ll panic a little). So they’re easy, useful, and remind me that it would take decades to really put a dent in all those eyeshadow palettes in my collection.

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