Make up holy grails

When it comes to make up, I have plenty to keep me occupied. In fact, I have more than is healthy for one person. Even though I have much make up, there are quite a few items that I cannot imagine never having in my stash: my make up holy grails. I have selected 10 make up products that I think are the best of the best and each covers one part of my make up routine. Notice how this post features no foundation. I am still undecided on my favorite. But if any of the products below were lost, broken, stolen or I’d run out, I’d immediately repurchase without a second thought.

NARS Orgasm blush

The inappropriately named blush is a favorite for many make up lovers out there. I have to admit that I bought this because of the hype surrounding it. Would this really be the IT blush for me too? And I can tell you it is. If I’m stuck on what type of blush to wear, and I pick Orgasm, I know it’s always a good choice. This blush goes with every look and is always right. It applies beautifully: it’s never too much or too little and it gives of a very flattering glow. For a while this was my go to every day blush as well and even though I used it on a daily basis for months, there isn’t as much as a dent in the product. I dread the day this product runs out, but luckily it’s not that difficult to get hold of a new one anymore.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

I used to use Urban Decay Primer Potion for my eyeshadow base for a while. I think I went through 2 or 3 tubes of that. But then UD changed its packaging right around the time I was in for a new eyeshadow base and instead of simply changing packaging I decided to change products. I thought: it’s now in similar packaging anyway, I might as well try this one. And I haven’t looked back since. I still have a few UD minis that I use for travelling, but the Too Faced one beats it by a mile. It stays on all day and I like the look and feel of it on my eyelids. It feels smoother and is less shiny than the UD one. My lids are quite oily and with this my eyeshadow NEVER budges, whereas with UD it sometimes did if I wasn’t careful about spreading it out into a thin enough layer. This, without fail, works and it’s lasted me a long time. I’ve been thinking it’s almost out for almost 2 years (!) and it’s still going strong.

Maybelline Falsies Flared mascara

My favorite mascara is a toss between this one and the L’Oreal Butterfly mascara. The latter of which I still have to write a review of. This mascara does everything I need it to: it gives a bit of length, but lots of volume. I love how the brush works right along with the formula. I use the dipped side first and apply one coat. Then I turn the brush around and use the curved side to add some well needed volume in a second, third and sometimes even fourth coat. And here I was, thinking that natural bristles brushes on a mascara weren’t for me. Boy, how wrong I was…

Collection concealer

By the extent of wear on this packaging you may already deduce that I love this concealer. This is a much used and well-loved concealer. And it costs next to nothing. This concealer is a drugstore favorite for many and only available in the UK. It’s a liquid concealer which has great coverage. I have this in the lightest shade available and love using it underneath my eyes when my skin is at its palest. It’s not too liquidy, and a little on the thick side. When I first felt it, I thought that would never work, but even after a long day at work, this baby is still in place. It hardly gets into the fine lines around my eyes and covers my dark circles wonderfully.

MAC Transparent finishing powder

A good finishing powder is a must. Without it my face make up lasts about 5 seconds. I used to use a MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural at first, but found it looked really cakey on when I changed work spaces. Apparently, the powder did not fare well in air-conditioned environments. So I went back to MAC and the MUA recommended this powder. It’s a pressed transparent powder from their Prep + Prime collection. In the pan it is white, but on the face it leaves a perfect veil. It makes my skin look like porcelain: velvety smooth without being overly matte. And that is exactly the finish I like. Oh and it works great combined with air conditioning!

Estee Lauder eye pencil in Coffee

Before I discovered the Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on eyeliner pencils, I was stuck in a rut when it came to eye pencils. None of the ones I had performed well enough on my water line. I had to press hard to get a minimal amount of color pay off. What I needed was a creamy pencil that would slide on easily and be suitable for tightlining both waterlines. I have a few of the UD pencils, but I found the color selection to be too shimmery and they also slide off my waterline a bit. What I wanted was a non-shimmery, water resistent brown eyeshadow pencil. And I found the perfect one in the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In Place Eye Pencil in Coffee. This thing just won’t budge, but is creamy enough to slide on like a dream. It’s hands down my most used eye pencil.

Make Up Designory eyeshadow palette

Surprised? For eyeshadow I did not go for MAC or Urban Decay eyeshadows: two of my favorite brands when it comes to eyeshadows (but that is a completely different post). Instead I went with the first fully matte eyeshadow palette I ever purchased. A couple of years ago, I first heard of the lesser known make up brand Make Up Designory. I spotted a Valentine’s Day special offer on their website: a matte eyeshadow palette with 4 complementary shades and a bright red lipstick inside a make up bag. The price was quite outrageous, not because the products were expensive, but because the shipping & handling was out of this world. But I decided to do it anyway and I haven’t looked back since. The make up bag is the only one I really use and the eyeshadows in honeysuckle, apricot, taupe and espresso are my go to matte shadows for a vampy eye look. These shades are so pigmented and buttery soft and deserve more credit in the beauty world. Don’t believe me? I swatched and included them in my make up favorites almost 2 years ago.

Catrice eyebrow powder

Finding a good eyebrow color is a feat. I used to use MAC Omega eyeshadow for a while and quite liked it. Then last year I bought an Anastasia eyebrow powder as that seemed to be a better shade. Until I started reading reviews of this drugstore gem. Not only is this powder more pigmented and easier to work with than the more expensive items I’ve used in the past, it’s also super cheap. For a measly 4 euros, you will receive a full on eyebrow kit. The only thing you still may want to add is a clear brow gel, but other then that you’re good to go with just this handy little kit.

MAC Rubenesque paint pot

Paint pots and other cream shadows are my life savers whenever I need to be out the door quickly. They also make perfect travel companions in my opinion. My favorite is MAC’s Rubenesque. This peachy pearly color is easy to use and a great every day go to color. Combined with the Estee Lauder pencil above for some added definition, I can make a complete, yet simple, eye look in a jiffy. And the best part about it is that you don’t even need a brush to apply it. I just dip my finger into it and put in on my lid. Eye look done!

Red lipstick

This isn’t a very specific entry, but still it had to be mentioned. I love a good red lip and I have many red lipsticks to choose from. From drugstore, to high end, I have quite a few to choose from to suit any mood or make up look. Quite possibly my three favorite red lipsticks are the ones in the picture which are Rimmel 111 Kiss of Life, MAC Russian Red and Topshop Rio Rio.

What are your make up holy grails?

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