Now, I’m a girl who does not like to throw the term “Holy Grail” around lightly when referencing my beauty choices. This is mainly due to my annoyingly sensitive skin, where if I stray off my usual path it will more often than not result with me waking up the next day with flakey dry skin or, in some really maddening cases, extremely painful jaw line acne (a particularly bad problem if, like me, you are the #1 fan of Dr. Pimple Popper and love to pick your skin to filth). So when I find something that works for me, I (aggressively) recommend it to anyone who is around to listen.
Now, I feel the need to have a disclaimer: Just because something works for me, does not mean you’ll have the same opinion. This is mainly due to the fact that we are all *special snowflakes* with our own unique skin types and general preferences. However if you suffer from:
- Dry Skin
- Hormonal Acne
- All around sensitive skin
or if you like products that are:
- Brightly colored
- All around fun
then you may just find some products in here that you’ll love just as much as I do!
1. Jeffree Star Cosmetics “Blood Sugar” Palette
My baby, my everything, my Blood Sugar palette. Never before have I had such an intense “love at first sight” reaction with a makeup product as I did when I first saw photos of this palette back when it was first announced in January. My heart broke when it sold out in 30-seconds, but you know I immediately signed up for that waiting list. Although extremely painful, the wait was more than worth it.
It’s pigmented, blends like a dream, and there are more than a few shades in here I will be sad to pan. This palette caused me to get a little more adventurous in my eyeshadow preferences, and before owning this product I never would have let anything hot pink go near my lids. Not only is it great for some more eye-catching looks, it is also possible to make a ton of everyday berry-toned lids that would rival those of the iconic Modern Renaissance palette.
And even though the packaging may be a little bit bulky, it is both a blessing and a curse. Yes I did have to play some real life Tetris in order get it to fit into my makeup bag, but the bulky packaging makes me feel like it is more protected than the other palettes I own.
And…I mean…it’s cool looking.
2. The Balm Cosmetics “Mary Lou Manizer” Highlighter
I was completely unaware of The Balm until I attended Gen Beauty in NYC during the Fall of last year. The two friends I was with were much more in the know than I was and were adamant about how awesome this product is. They were not wrong.
It is the perfect champagne highlight with the ability to create both a healthy glow or cheekbones that will blind all those who dare to gaze in your direction. It also works beautifully as an eyeshadow and, when combined with a bronzer in your crease, makes it easier to convince yourself to take your whole makeup collection with you when you’re traveling.
I also love the packaging of this product. The Balm’s pin-up aesthetic is super pleasing to the eye while also being pretty humorous. Who wouldn’t want to be charged with the crime of being “too pretty” and “too popular”?
3. NYX BB Cream in “Nude”
My history with drug store foundations/BB creams has not been the best. When I was in high school I realized that the drug store foundation I had been using was only making my ferocious teenage acne worse, and from then on I harshly decided that I was never going to use a cheap foundation again. But now I’m 26 and have to try to curb my spending habits in any way I can, so I took a big leap of fate and tried out NYX’s BB cream.
When I first started using this product I had some trouble with it: I would use waaaaay too much and it just would not stay on my face. It also isn’t exactly the most hydrating BB cream formula, but I was not seeing any new breakouts, so I decided to push forward to try to make it work.
I’m so glad I did. A tiny bit of this product goes an extremely long way so it will last me forever. To combat its slightly matte nature, all you have to do is mix it into your moisturizer, creating that dewy finish that is common with most BB creams.
Now I’m singing a different tune…never again will I pay $40 dollars for a BB cream. My faith in the drugstore beauty aisle has been restored.
4. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in “Light Neutral”
I’m pretty sure this one doesn’t need much explaining seeing as Tarte’s Shape Tape has an intense cult following, so I’m going to keep this one brief. Shape Tape is the concealer that will cover up last nights mistakes while convincing everyone that you got a full 12 hours of sleep. Once you find your perfect shade, dark under-eyes and angry acne scars become a worry of the past. To put it shortly, it’s photoshop in a bottle.
A word of advice: Be careful not to get too heavy handed when using this product! Since a tiny bit goes an extremely long way, it is really easy to end up in the cake-face zone. Just trust that in the realm of concealers, Shape Tape *isn’t like the other girls*
5. Milk Makeup Luminous Blur Stick
Like my experience with the NYX BB cream, the start of my relationship with Milk’s blur stick was not exactly harmonious. Before purchasing the luminous version, I had owned their original Blur Stick formula, and I decided that it did absolutely nothing. If anything, I felt like my base makeup was coming off any time I used it. In a fit of rage and de-cluttering, I threw it right into the trash.
With that kind of first experience you would think I would never trust another Blur Stick again, but, as I’ve stated a million times, I’m the biggest sucker for cool-girl marketing tactics. Add that to the promise of some extra glow with the memory of how much I loved the tangerine scent of my original Blur Stick, I begrudgingly handed over my cash…and almost immediately regretted it. I was experiencing the same issue I had with my original Blur Stick, and I let my new luminous formula gather dust.
It was only recently that I picked it up again, and I now take back every bad thing I ever said about this product. All you need are a few swipes to your T-zone, and you are good to go. On good skin days, just using this to top off my BB cream is enough to give me the “no makeup” look of my dreams. The key is to blend it out with your fingers once applying, without doing so this product is just gonna sit on top of your skin.
This is the thing with brands that break the mold: they are new and may take some time to fully understand. But once you do, you’ll never want to go back.
What are some of your Holy Grail products? Even though I can be picky, I’m always on the lookout for something new…