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Taylor Avatar

Tarte Shape Tape – it has the best coverage of any concealer that I have found. It does have a slight “bug spray” smell to me, but it’s not unbearable and goes away after applying on the face. I’ve found it gives the best coverage when you let it sit on the skin for a minute or two before blending it out (I use a Real Techniques sponge or a Sigma P86 pointed kabuki brush for this). I have been through SO many concealers and correctors to cover my horrible purple undereyes and this is the best. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer would be a close second.

Valerie S. Avatar

Ooh mine would definitely have to be the Hard Candy coconut water primer stick and the Hard Candy primer spray. SO good for my combo skin.

Pearl Avatar

I have 2:

Shiseido Future X Loose Radiance Powder – this is right up there with Guerlain Meteorites Perles for finishing. I love the blurred, blended effect it gives. And like Guerlain, it smells lovely and gives a beautiful glow. Guerlain doesn’t really do anything (I don’t notice anyway) for longevity and I rely on setting spray (I should mention here that my newly found setting spray – Bridal Satin by Skindinavia – is HG also) and the perles together to help with longevity. I think the Shiseido actually helps with longevity and would use it alone without setting spray but I have to use it with setting spray also because I think it can look too powdered and dry if I don’t.

NYX Sand Beige lipliner – a thin line, smudged around the edges of my lips and for whatever reason, it makes my lips look fuller.

ShirlJ Avatar

I had an *angels singing* moment when I discovered the Surratt Artistique blushes.

Also, Shiseido Cleansing OIls, Bite Beauty lipsticks and Eucerin Dermatoclean toner. I’m a “good basics” kinda person. In clothing as well as in cosmetics, I like the classics, but I’ll dabble in the trends. I’ll try a bargain brand for a trendy item, like metallic liquid lipstick, but the basics are worth the splurge. After all, a really good blush or lipstick will still only be pennies a day if you actually use it. It’s only a waste if you don’t use it, no matter what the cost.

Karen Johnston Avatar

I have been so curious about the Surratt blushes but have been hesitant because they are not carried by any Sephora near me. Can I ask what shades are your favorites and what is your skin tone? I have light medium skin, leaning cool, but overall neutral, if that helps.
Thank you!

Pteetsa Avatar

I just used up a sample of Bobbi Brown eye makeup remover, and I loved it so much that I need to go buy a full size now. I have very sensitive eyes and skin, so most eye makeup removers burn my eyes, or I have to rub too much and that irritates my skin. I soak a pad with this stuff, and hold it over my eyes and most of the makeup comes right off with hardly, if any, burning! I don’t know if it’s holy grail, but I am very impressed so far.

Priscila Avatar

Honestly, the Beauty Blender or the Real Techniques sponge dupe. The makeup application looks so soft and beautiful with it. I was so skeptical since I had always used a brush, but I find myself reaching for my BB all the time now. I just hate cleaning it everyday, so I clean about twice a week.

Natalia Avatar

I will jinx it for sure, but at the moment I believe I will never be without my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, ever. I actually get backups as soon as there is a good sale in the store I get it from. NARS Sheer Glow is also waay up there, but I’m contemplating to give Lancรดme foundations a thorough try.

For color cosmetics it’s just too much fun trying new colors, textures, formulas that I feel like sticking with smth for too long is limiting yourself.

Kate Avatar

Pixi eyeliners! I bought one just to see what it was like and have gone back for two more in the last couple of weeks. They’re ridiculously creamy going on, but then they set and don’t budge. One of the only formulas that lasts on my water lines. It’s only the fact that I have dupes for the remaining shades that stops me from buying them all.

Anne Avatar

I haven’t been trying too many new products out recently, and those I have are recent enough that they can’t get in to holy grail status just yet, but I have SEVERAL skincare ones: First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream, Face Cleanser, Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, Facial Radiance Polish, and Detox Eye Roller (the brand just REALLY seems to work for my skin type). The other holy grail skincare items I have are the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (and it takes eons to go through a bottle), and the Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum (I use the last two as a combo at night), as well as the Farmacy Honey Potion Mask for hydration and the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask for a proper exfoliating clear-out. I have a feeling some other Farmacy products are going to become holy grails for me, as everything I’ve tried I’m loving more each day.

Makeup-wise I don’t have too many and a lot are oldies-but-goodies like NARS Sheer Glow foundation, Hourglass Mood Exposure and Incandescent Electra blushes, Tarte Exposed blush, Kevyn Aucoin Contour Powder, the Lancome Juicy Shakers for a bit of a tint without drying my lips out (I have three of them, Mangoes Wild being my favorite) and more recently the Hourglass Girl Lip Stylos in Liberator and Activist which I’ve been wearing constantly.

Mariella Avatar

Yes, Linda, it’s the “new” Prep+Prime eye. MAC had one years ago that was so surprisingly BAD, particularly when you think how well Painterly or other Paint Pots worked as bases/primers. But this new one (I think it came out in 2015 or 16) is so excellent on so many levels.

Maggie Avatar

I’m with you on Mac shadow primer. It’s the only effective one without cyclopentasiloxane or similar volatile silicones that can irritate eye lids. I’m allergic to all the other good ones bc all the others have this ingredient.

Adele Avatar

I used UD and Nars for years, but I agree – the MAC surpasses them both. It’s absolutely amazing. I just bought it a month ago and my other primers haven’t been used since.

Pearl Avatar

Yep – I used to go between NARS and UD too but since I’ve found and been using the MAC, I haven’t used any other. It’s one of those products that now that I’ve found my HG, I don’t need to experiment or continue looking further.

Mariella Avatar

Pearl, I think what you said sums it up perfectly. All those other primers from Nars, UD, Lorac, etc, are really excellent products but the MAC one really surpasses them all to the point where I also think I won’t be experimenting with others in future (unless MAC comes out with a shimmery one like UD Sin primer). I’m surprised by how satisfied I am with it.

Alicia Avatar

Not sure if it’s Holy Grail status yet, but I love using Bite Agave lip mask layered with First Aid Beauty lip balm at night. So far, I’m really liking the results.

Skincare-wise, I’m a Deciem junkie lately (an umbrella brand with several lines, including Hylamide, The Ordinary, NIOD, etc.). I love the Hylamide High Efficiency Cleanser for removing makeup effortlessly and without stripping moisture from the skin. I also like the Hylamide HA Blur primer for minimizing the appearance of pores…strangely, I actually like the results applied over makeup for the pores around my nose. For minimizing pores right off the bat, I love the NIOD Sanskrit Sarponis cleanser. I have stocked up on so many skincare goodies from The Ordinary line as well…I love the 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Oil, and it’s even helped make my concealer go on flawlessly. Anyway, I am addicted to Deciem products at the moment!

In regards to makeup…I am really enjoying the Urban Decay Naked Skin setting powder, which I bought based on your fantastic review. Seriously, I feel like it’s impossible to get “powder face” with this stuff! It’s great for setting foundation and buffing everything together. Time will tell if it’s Holy Gail status, but so far, I’m impressed.

One Holy Grail item of mine for YEARS has been the UD All Nighter setting spray. IT WORKS.

Oh, and I have to say, Makeup Geek eyeshadows have been time and time again getting my attention…while I am absolutely smitten with Urban Decay and Kat von D eyeshadows, I just LOVE my Makeup Geek ones so much, and they are so inexpensive in comparison…the foiled shadows are SO CREAMY, they spread on like butter, and the mattes I have blend so nicely.

I thought Lancome Hypnose Drama was my go-to mascara these days, but this recent tube of mine is so far making me second-guess its status. DiorShow was once my HG mascara, but the chemically smell and the tendency to dry up in the tube quickly made me look for others. I feel like I’ll never just settle on one mascara….I’ll always be on the hunt!

Domine Avatar

The Garnier Micellar water mixed with the oil, not sure of the exact name, but its the PERFECT cleanser for my dry skin, also doubles as an eye maker remover. I have re-purchased multiple times I love it.

Also The Ordinary Skincare, the serums work so well with my skin & a can see a very visible in the texture since I’ve started using them (Hyaluronic Acid / 2% Retinoid / Natural Moisturising Factors)

Joyce Avatar

I definitely second the Clinique cleansing balm! I cannot believe I used to run my eyes with subpar liquid removers from the drugstore. The balm allows for massaging and gentle removing with a warm dampened washcloth!

Flaky Avatar

I’m with you on the Clinique Cleansing Balm. I can’t be without it. It really gets every last trace of mascara – even waterproof.

Emily Avatar

I think it might be Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. Not necessarily for what it does to my skin, but for how it makes me feel. No matter what kind of day I have had, two pumps of this oil massaged onto my skin at the end of the day makes me feel better. The scent and the texture are like nectar of the gods to me.

Sarah Avatar

Cosmetics speaking, the last HG I found was Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation. Expensive, but it literally provides everything I want and need in a foundation so I’m hooked. Skin care is La Mer. It’s effectively replaced all my other creams and serums. Again, it’s expensive but a little goes a long way and with it replacing my day cream, night cream, and serum routines it saves me money in the end.

Wednesday Avatar

Aforementioned NARS soft matte complete concealer.
Have to give mention to MUG highlighter in Luster which I finally purchased. I thought it would run too warm and dark for my skin in pan, like it might read as a shimmery bronzer as opposed to a highlighter, but in reality, translates lighter and lends a beautiful glow. This one is an easy go to for natural looks; just perfection.

Anne Avatar

It’s been awhile ago, but my last HG find was a game changer for me. My skin had been getting drier and drier with age. My face required exfoliation at least 3-4 times a week, which is way too much for my moderately sensitive skin. (I use Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel and it’s actually quite gentle.) But, if I didn’t exfoliate, my base products wouldn’t work properly. It got so bad that any buffing, rubbing, etc., caused my skin to self-exfoliate. Ugh. It was driving me insane. I happened into CVS and stumbled upon their label brand of ‘Pure Glycerin’ (like it was calling my name or something — totally weird experience). It’s all natural, clear in color, and $6 for 6 oz. I plant a tiny drop of it on my forehead, cheeks and chin, along with a dab of moisturizer. Incredible! My skin loves this stuff. I no longer have any (and I mean no, nada, zero) flaking anymore. No exaggeration! I exfoliate no more than once a week, maybe every 10 days. I’m mixing this stuff with body lotion, and I find it particularly good on my feet and elbows. I cannot recommend it more highly. On a 5 star scale, it’s a ten. It’s that good. If you try it, just remember that a tiny bit goes a long way, and be sure and let it dry before hitting the pillow. It has never broken me out or caused any skin issues, but I know everyone is different.

P.S. I’m sure it would work well with a too-matte foundation. Or mixed with a sunburn product. I kinda think of it like aspirin for a headache. When you need it, you need it.

Lorie Avatar

OMG thank you so much for telling us about “Pure Glycerin.” I too am having issues with dry skin especially since I turned 40. I drink a gallon of water a day and it’s still not helping with the dry skin on my face. Ahhhh.. I must try. Thank you again.

Carolann Avatar

This isn’t a new product (well, it’s new to me), but I love Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac Clearing Lotion. I’ve always struggled with finding daily acne products beyond cleansers and spot-treatments. This is a nice medium that I use daily whether I have a breakout or not.

Linda Avatar

#1 without question is from the skincare world. Biologique Recherche P50 1970 toner. That product has had cult status for decades for a reason.

Late to the party on this, and I am a bit of a broken record, but the Chanel quad Empreinte du Desert. In my 50+ years, I have never had a combo of shadows that suited me more, or look as good. ๐Ÿ™‚

LindaP Avatar

Hi AB — BR is not a department store brand. I get it through Rescue Spa in Philly. Great service. Dependable. Trustworthy. You can write to them, and Kim or Michael will send you a questionnaire and respond. Been great for me. Caroline Hirons has written a lot about P50 — it’s where I first learned about it a while ago. She’s helpful.

FYI — The scent in the P50 is something to get used to for sure. None of this line is perfumed for pleasure. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve learned to really like the tart, cleanliness of the scent, but it’s an acquired taste for some. The other product that I LOVE is the Masque Vivant. Yeasty, chocolate-y scent, again unusual, but wonderful for your skin, IMO.

Adele Avatar

Have to second both P50 (though I use P50V, non-1970 version) AND Masque Vivant! LOVE them both.

The smells are – well. Eventually you get used to the P50 scent.

Shana Avatar

Sun designer palette #2.(LE)
It has blusher, highlighter, and bronzer.
I like it’s formula more than any other brand ! It’s really a great palette, they should make it permanent.

AB Avatar

Laura Mercier radiance foundation primer. Other strong favorites of late: Lorac eyeliner in Bronze (just the right color for my blue eyes; lasts all day; just the right degree of shimmer for my taste); the Hourglass lip stylos formula.

Glenda Avatar

I have a few:
Members Mark (Sam’s brand) and Kirkland (Costco brand) make up remover wipes. Excellent for removing makeup! Cost less and you get more! Coupled with coconut oil to remove make-up heaven.
Full coverage foundation: Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hr (no it doesn’t last that long) Full Coverage foundation – for me it’s fabulous. Looks flawless on less than flawless skin and stays put.
Hard Candy Hydrating Primer Spray – $8 bucks and acts like a much more expensive item! Love it.
Make-Up Revolution – am loving their palettes – cheap but very soft and pigmented.

Talya Avatar

Benefit’s They’re Real mascara specifically for bottom lashes! I wear contacts and I have watery/sensitive eyes even without them, so mascara & eyeliner inevitably smudges me — particularly on my bottom lashes. The problem is that because of my eyes’ sensitivity, I absolutely can’t wear waterproof mascara; the removal is just far too much and I end up looking like I’ve been drinking (think super bloodshot eyes)! I’ve come up with a solution in the form of wearing water-resistant mascara on my bottom lashes and normal mascara up top. In the past, I thought They’re Real was overhyped because I had to spend so long trying to remove it, but now that I just use it on my bottom lashes it’s a godsend. Also, the ABH #14 brush for dipbrow (which I’ve returned to after a hiatus) — it’s more precise than the #12, and it makes getting the “feathery” look that I like so much easier.

Lea Avatar

This is a hard one strangely enough. I settled on my HG skincare items years ago and rarely branch out into too many new things, but it happens. The last HG items I’ve found have been the La Mer and Cle de Peau face oils. I’ve used oils for years, but these have improved on quality without being overpowering on scent. On the color cosmetic side the By Terry Ombrรฉ Blackstar shadow sticks and Rouge Click Stick lipsticks spring to mind, as well as the CdP radiant liquid lipsticks.

Adele Avatar

The Ombre Blackstars are amazing! I try other crayons to see if there are any less expensive alternatives, but I end up going back to the By Terrys – the shimmers are fantastic, and they last better than anything else I’ve tried. I can wear them without primer!

Flaky Avatar

Wet n Wild mega last liquid eyeliner.

I can’t believe I *just* tried this for the first time about a month ago. I have watery eyes & this really stays on for me. I’m kicking myself for not trying this years ago. I’m loving the brown with all the peach and pink looks I’ve been wearing lately.

Donya Avatar

Nancy, I had a MUA apply this on me at Nordstrom in August – I am in Scottsdale as well. I have never had anything hold so well in our heat. For me, though, I am very sensitive to scent and it has a chemically reproduced rose scent that gives me a headache within an hour. I was so sad. I left it on all day and was running around the mall and Old Town. Never streaked or smeared. She didn’t even bake or “truly” set it. It is pretty awesome

Nancy T Avatar

It definitely sounds like something for me to at minimum, give a good several days trial run of, Rachel! Especially considering that it lasted all day on Donya in August during Monsoon season. I will be mindful of any scent, though this is the first of heard of this formula having one, though. Scent doesn’t usually bother me, thank goodness.

Shannon. N Avatar

I have Oily, dehydrated, acne prone skin!

For me, it’s NEVER dried me out!! I used to use it twice a day, for the first two months. then I went to once a day, and only swipe it over my face at night now!!

Also!! always remember, when using a BHA wear sunblock!! It’s very counterproductive according to my dermatologist, so use a bha and not use sunblock!!


Monica Avatar

CLINIQUE Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula – I haven’t even looked at another mascara since I bought this one last month. I love that it stays put all day, and unlike the other “tubing” mascara I was using from Blinc, this gives my lashes a feathery-falsey-yet natural look. My co-worker even thought I had lash extensions!

Donna E. Avatar

What came to me as a surprise is the J. One Jelly Pack Primer. It has as thick tacky texture and you pat it on all over your face. The tackiness will go away once it sets. Keeps makeup fresh and smooth all day long.

bibi Avatar

It Cosmetic’s Bye Bye concealer for my undereye circles/shadows/tear troughs- Yes, I know I’m late to find out about It Cosmetcs but their Gunthy Renker campaign was so cheezball I thought it was all hype.

Essence & Catrice highlighters- OK, so I am a makeup snob. I don’t live in the US anymore so I really don’t have the time nor opportunity to piffle about with drugstore cheapies. CdP, Chanel, EL, MAC were ‘sure bets’ so that is what I stuck with. But the highlighters from Catrice (Champagne Campaign) and Essence (Pure Nude Be My Highlight) are every bit as subtle & finely milled as my CdP highlighters!

I’m going to have to try that Clarins lip balm as I have chronic dry lips & haven’t found a HG lip balm yet.

Flicka Avatar

Tarte BB Tinted Primer, Tarte Dollface Blush, Becca Eyebrigtener. As for skincare, I am using a homemade Vitamin C Serum that I get from my friend, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Antiwrinkle cream, and I love Tarte’s Sunguard in the morning. For cleansing I love Boscia’s Black Thermal Cleanser.

Serra Avatar

I just discovered the Soft Matte Complete Concealer by Nars. I have really oily skin and I suffer from eczema, and it covers all my redness AND stays put throughout the day.

Cathy Avatar

Clarins Instant Concealer (the one in the tube). This is hands-down the best concealer I’ve ever tried! Also, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum (I am officially *done* with expensive serums now!), and La Mer’s powder brush. I’m glad to see Clarins lip balm on your list, Christine, as I just ordered it ๐Ÿ™‚

Terry Avatar

garnier micellular water, bite lip liner #14 perfect with my fav lipstick, MAC syrup LOVE the combo, mac eye primer and not so new MAC fix plus and RCMA powder Also paula choice for skincare

Carolyn Avatar

Surprised that this works better on me than Bite Beauty and Jack Black’s lip balms…”EOS Organic Smooth Stick” lip balm (the tube is way more more moisturizing than the spheres) and I personally love the Vanilla Bean flavor!

Gabriella Avatar

NYX Lipliner in Ever: absolutely DIVINE. such a hard shade to describe- it’s like a rosy brick shade with a healthy neutral does that makes it a wearable everyday shade for me, offering the contrast I need with dark hair and eyes, or applied a little more heavily, a great dip-into-the-water red. I highly recommend this to everybody. so inexpensive but so so good! I’m already on my third pencil!!

Laura Avatar

I think my new holy grail primer is Kat Von D’s Lock It Tattoo Primer. It makes my foundation sit on my skin and stay so much better than any other primers I’ve tried. I haven’t noticed much difference when using other primers but I definitely did using KVD. I only had a sample of it so I’ll have to take the jump and purchase the full size to see if it is HG status. Other HG for me are It’s Skin Clear Skin Peeling Toner, which is a mild daily chemical exfoliant and the Hada Labo Koi Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid skincare line (it’s the gold line consisting of a moisture toner, all in one gel/serum and emulsion/lotion).

Brenda Avatar

For makeup: IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC Cream, NARS Unfiltered II & Colourpop pressed eye shadows. I cannot live without any of them and just tonight made a list of the Colourpop shadows I own and the ones I will be picking up. โค๏ธ

Skincare: Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Transformation Gel & Sheer Transformation Perfecting moisturizer. Even my hubby uses and loves the moisturizer.

Kim Avatar

Clinique pretty easy liquid eyeliner, it has comepletly replace my KVD trooper. It doesn’t travel in my old lady eye lines, and has a pretty matte velvet look to it.

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