Holy Grail Products: An Update

Do you have a holy grail makeup or skin care product that you'd never give up?  How about one in each category?  Because that's my goal.  I hate wasting money, so one of my goals on my 101 in 1001 list was to find my 'holy grail' status products in each makeup category as well as for skin care and hair care.  Personally, when I find something I really enjoy, I stick with it and don't feel the need to buy more things to try, thus saving me money.  Eyebrow pomade, for example.  I found one I love and now I never look at eyebrow products when I'm in a store.  Foundation, however, is something I keep trying and buying in the hopes that something better is out there.  It's been quite a process trying to figure it out and I'm still working on it.  But I thought it was about time for an update, and see if you have any recommendations for me in the remaining categories!


In addition to being the perfect product for me, everything has to be cruelty free.  Here's what's in my collection that's achieved this holy grail status:

Makeup


Primer: Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer.  I need a pore smoothing/filling primer and this is the best I've found.  Makeup glides on so smoothly over it.
Tinted Moisturizer: I love the Laura Mercier one pictured but I don't know that it's particularly better than anything else, because I haven't tried too many.  This is one I plan on checking out options next time I'm in need.  I wearing lighter coverage like tinted moisturizers or BB creams, however they want to label it, during most work days.  What do you recommend I try?
Foundation: I struggle here, guys.  The one that works the best for me is the Clinique redness one pictured, but Clinique is definitely not cruelty free so I have maybe 3 more uses out of that bad boy before it's over and then I have no idea what to do.  What's your favorite foundation?
Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape.  They don't have a ton of shades, but if they have yours, get it.  It's a newer product and it's definitely the best under eye concealer.  The Kat Von D concealer creme is a close second, which is what I'm working through right now (so that's what's pictured over the shape tape.)
Setting Powder: NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder.  Since my skin is generally dry, I just use powder on my t-zone, and to set under eye concealer.  This one stays, doesn't crease, and doesn't feel like it dries out my sensitive skin. I've heard good things about the Kat Von D one as well, so if I ever run out of the NARS one I may try it, but have you ever run out of a setting powder?  It'll take me years.
Highlighter: theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer.  I really like the color and the staying power of this product, plus one container of it lasts forever.  I grab it off Hautelook when it's on sale, and theBalm comes to Hautelook multiple times per year.  I do wish I could find a liquid one I like, but no luck yet.
Bronzer: What I'm currently working through is the Benefit boxed blush in Dallas, which pulls bronzer over blush on me since I'm pretty fair (and since I don't use blush).  However, Benefit is not cruelty free so I'll eventually need a replacement.  I have a ton to go, but I don't know what to try when it's finally gone.  Probably the staples everyone swears by like NARS Laguna or TooFaced Chocolate Soleil.
Eyebrow Product: Tarte Amazonian Clay Eyebrow Mousse.  I hate pencils, of any kind.  The pomade stuff is the way to go, plus then I don't need a setting gel.  The whole process it much quicker with this Tarte stuff, plus I get compliments on having nice eyebrows fairly often, so I highly recommend it.  Plus it's not too warm toned for my fair skin, so, win.
Eye Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion.  I have tried drugstore options that I like as well, but this performs well and doesn't leave that too sticky feeling that I hate.  It's always on sale somewhere so it ends up being drugstore price anyway.
Eyeshadow: Too Faced.  I'm currently using the Natural Eyes palette and should I finish that one and need something new, I'll continue to buy the Too Faced palettes that size (9 shades.)  The size is perfect and the shadows always work well.  They feel buttery and pigmented and I don't get fall out.  I've heard that isn't the case on some of their 'specialty' palettes like Vegas Nay one, but for the ones that stay in their permanent collection I've had great success with.
Eyeliner: I'll switch between any liquid by NYX, Milani, or Wet n Wild.  I prefer black liquid liner over anything else.  I find pencil really hard to work with, apparently I'm in the minority with that.  I do think tight lining is easier with gel and a brush, but I can make it work with liquid so I just stick to that.  I will use a light color pencil on the water line and inner corner for brightening, and I have the Urban Decay one for that.  There are mid to high end liquid eyeliners that are great, but they wear out way too quickly for the price (looking at you Kat Von D tattoo liner) so I stick to drugstore for eyeliner.
Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex.  Another pricey product but it performs so well for me that I just suck it up and buy it.
Lipstick: I cannot be controlled in the lipstick area.  It's a problem.  But my collection is way way way down.  Seriously, it used to be this.  But from now on I've vowed to stick to NARS Satin Pencils (Bansar is a fall MUST), TooFaced Melteds, and NARS Audacious.



I realize it's all mid-level makeup.  I was going to say high end but I feel like high end is more like YSL, Chanel, Dior, that sort of stuff.  So this is Sephora level as opposed to drug store or department store.  Which makes sense, because I have a Sephora employee friend who hooks me up when they get gratis (which is very cool of her.)  But I would still buy these things with my own money, because they perform exactly how I expect.

Skin Care


Makeup Remover: Coconut Oil.  It works great and hydrates my skin.  I've also used olive oil and since coconut oil doesn't break me out like it does to some, I don't care which I use - whatever I find at the store at the time and is cheaper.
Toner: I don't currently use any and I'm always torn on whether I'd even need it.  I may try one from Lush, just to see if there's a difference.
Morning Face Wash: Angels on Bare Skin from Lush.  I use this in the shower because it's messy, but it works so well.  You'd think that since it stays gritty that it would irritate my rosacea, but you can hardly see any redness at all when I get out of the shower.  Must be the lavender, it's soothing.
Evening Face Wash: I don't always use an evening face wash.  I find that my skin does well when I just remove the makeup with coconut oil/olive oil and wipe that off with a wet cloth and follow it up with moisturizer.  If my skin is feeling particularly greasy even after removing the coconut oil, I'll sometimes wash with Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk.
Morning Moisturizer: Argan Oil.  Using 100% pure argan oil is very simple - just warm up two drops in your palms and gently rub it on.  I mentioned in my Three on Thursday post how much I love it.  I ordered my current bottle off Amazon and I've also used one I found at Whole Foods.  A 4 ounce bottle will be about $15, which is very cheap considering (a) how little you use at a time and (b) what other face moisturizers for sensitive skin can cost.
Evening Moisturizer: Most of the time I continue with the argan oil but there are occasions where my rosacea is really bothering me and my cheeks feel extra tight and itchy.  I'll use a moisturizer from Lush, either Celestial or Skin's Shangri La, I switch back and forth between and don't have a preference.

Hair Care


Shampoo: Honey I Washed My Hair.  I really love the shampoo bars by Lush because they're so much less wasteful than plastic shampoo bottles and they last much longer than bottled shampoo.  This one is my favorite, it leaves my hair incredibly soft and smooth.  My hair will stop reacting to shampoos after awhile though, so then I'll switch it up to Jason and the Argan Oil.  But the Lush bars are a must have.
Conditioner: I'm working through the one pictured by Moroccan Oil, and it works great, but for the price my holy grail is the Shea Moisture Masque.  I only wash my hair maybe twice a week (though I've been able to get away with once per week many a time), and it's long, thick, and color treated, so I'm able to use a deep conditioner every time I wash.  I like the manuka honey one, but they also have a great 10-in-1 renewal system that works well too.  I'd try any of them though, it's a really good brand that's easy to find at Target.  Even my grocery store has it.
Detangler/Heat Protectant: It's a 10 Leave-In.  (It's also cheaper on Amazon than almost anywhere else, FYI.  About on par with Nordstrom Rack.)
Shine/Frizz Control: Moroccan Oil Glimmer Shine.  I'm always highly annoyed at how much this product costs, but I keep buying it because it works so well with my hair.  It's not like I need much, and I save money on other products, or lack thereof really, so it evens out or something.  My mom uses this too, which generally means it's a good product because she knows what's up.  It doesn't weigh my hair down or make it greasy (my mom and I both have thick hair, drier side and damaged from coloring, for the record - this may be too much for fine hair), but it tames all the frizz and makes my hair sort of glittery.  It's not the kind of shine where it just looks like I didn't wash my hair, it just looks healthy.
Dry Shampoo: I tried out this Not Your Mother's one but the holy grail will always be Batiste. It's the best of anything I've tried, particularly for the price.  I'm trying to get away from dry shampoo altogether, but I'll continue to use this until I can cut it out for good.  (Hair washing twice a week = no dry shampoo but sometimes I'm damn lazy.)

Hopefully none of my favorites are discontinued any time soon, or I'll be up a creek again! Do we have any of the same favorites?  Do you have anything to recommend that I need to try?  Please help me out in the categories where I'm still hunting, I would greatly appreciate it.

P.S. If it's not listed it's because I don't use it!  Like blush or hairspray - non-existent in my routine.


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