Favorite Things
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Softly Sometimes & the Holy Grail: My HG Products

Liz of Project Vanity posted her Holy Grail products yesterday and I thought I’d do the same!

If you didn’t already know, Holy Grail or HG products are essentially a person’s “Best of the Best.” You may loooooove eleventy billion products, but you probably have a favorite favorite, if you know what I mean.

Here are my own! I’ll follow her format and add a couple of my own. 🙂

For reference, I think I am a warmer neutral, around light-medium. I’ve never been shade matched at anywhere, but I’ve inputted (weird word) my foundation shades on Findation, and here are supposedly my shades all across the board.

It says that I am an NC37, an NW30, and an NC40. So you can imagine my confusion.

I am not very oily, but I do oil up occasionally, and I do have a lot of dry flakes. So I don’t know what skin type that is. Very helpful, aren’t I? Also, I live in a very humid area.

Anyway, let’s get started!


Primer: I don’t find them to be necessary but my favorite one so far is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. It is lightweight, has SPF and several other skin care benefits. It helps my liquid and loose powder foundation go on more smoothly.

Tinted Moisturizer: My favorite has been NARS Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer. I tried a couple of others but they were too greasy. This one is juuuust right.

BB Cream: I don’t generally like BB Creams as they are often too white for me, but my favorite so far is the Snoe Beauty Let it B with WasaB BB Cream. The finish and shade are great for me.

Liquid Foundation: My favorite liquid foundations are Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup and L’Oreal Lucent Magique Liquid Foundation.

Both are not cruelty-free however, so once I use them up, I’ll be on the hunt for a new HG!

Illuminator: My current favorite is too cool for school Dinoplatz Pearl Bay Invasion in #1 Mother of Pearl. I’ve spoken a lot about that quite recently. Because it’s the bomb.

I also enjoy the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, which is awesome for my skin tone.

Powder Foundation: The bareMinerals Original Foundation is still my favorite powder foundation. Coverage is great and buildable, and the finish is very natural.

Concealer: I don’t usually conceal (too much trouble + am no good at it), but the K-Palette Cover Control 0 Kuma Concealer in 02 Yellow Beige is my go-to.

Setting Powder: The bareMinerals Mineral Veil is the best setting powder, however, one of my picks for “finishing powder” does the job quite well, too.

Finishing Powder: The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light is not technically a setting powder, but it sets and finishes quite well.

Prior to that, I used to use the Guerlain Météorites in Perles d’Azur all the time.

Retouch Powder: Don’t really retouch, as my oils are controlled by the Ambient Lighting Powders, but I carry around oil control sheets just in case.


Blush: For a neutral blush, I like Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed.

NARS Powder Blush in Sin was my first legit “blush crush,” and I still love it to this day.

And because I am a cheater, Illamasqua Blusher Duo in Lover/Hussy is part of my HG for a fun, bright blush (or two)!

Tints & Cream Blushes: I don’t have a lot of non-powder blushes (who knows why) but I love the BECCA Beach Tints (I have Raspberry & Guava), because they are lightweight and not too heavy on the pigment. This results in a beautiful, natural flush.

I also love the Canmake Cheek Cream in CL 01, because it’s so pretty and easy to use.

Highlighter: My favorite highlighter of all time is Benefit Watt’s Up.

But my cruelty-free option is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light, which is not technically a highlighter, but it GREAT at it.

Bronzer: For all-over bronzer, I like bareMinerals All Over Face Color in Warmth the most.

Contour: I don’t like shimmer in my contour, so I use a matte bronzer, Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte & Waterproof Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess, for that.


Eye Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion is my favorite so far. I also like using MAC Paint Pots.

Liquid Eyeliner: K-Palette makes the BEST one. A great drugstore alternative are the liquid eyeliners by essence.

Pencil Eyeliner/kohls: My favorite eye pencils so far are the MAC eye kohls. The only pencil that doesn’t irritate my upper waterline (for tightlining) is the Eye of Horus Pencil.

Gel Eyeliner: My favorite gel eyeliner so far is the KATE Gel Eyeliner.

Mascara: I haven’t found an HG yet.

Eyeshadow: My HG palettes are Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes and NARS And God Created the Woman

My HG singles are shu uemura in ME medium brown 885, Addiction by Ayako in Midnight Drive and Fudge, and MAC Sketch and Sable.

Eyebrows: I’m not particular, but I use a powder duo called The Body Shop Brow & Liner Kit in 02 then set with whatever clear brow mascara. I prefer powders and pencils to liquid pens.


Lip Balm: Snoe Beauty Beso Balm is my cruelty-free, A+ remedy. There are a lot of good ones, but this one has worked the best for me. Also, the Carmex that comes in the pot.

Lipstick: Great everyday, fuss-free shades are:
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Montego Bay

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Distinguée

Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in Avarice

MAC Matte Lipstick in Mehr

For a bright pop of color, I like Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Favorite and MAC x Archie’s Girls in Betty Bright.

For a deep, dark red, I like Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in Orgueil.

Lip gloss: The best I’ve ever tried is Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss in Bondi Beach.

I think that may be it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments below. 🙂 Have you done a similar post? I’d love to read all about your HG products!


  1. Awesome list! I’m a little sad to learn that L’Oreal and Benefit are not cruelty-free. 😦 Is Maybelline cruelty-free? I like their Hypercurl mascara.

    • No they aren’t. 😦 Most of the drugstore brands we have here are not CF. Off the top of my head, essence, WnW, Etude House (but only just recently), and Flormar are CF. Not sure if there are any more.

  2. Looove this! I have sudden cravings. I have never heard to Too Cool For School but I’m so curious. That luminizer looks incredible on you! The NARS TM is one of my favorite products if all time, it’s amazing. I recently picked up LMDB lip creme and it’s easily the best gloss formula of all time, so I’m very curious to try the sheer brilliance as well. Sme of my other faves are, Fresh Umbrian Clay foundation (being discontinued) 😦 Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and Loreal Voluminous Waterproof, definite HG.

    • It’s Korean! 🙂 Be happy to send over some things, in case the cravings reach scary levels. Thanks so much. 🙂

      I don’t really consider the lip cremes as glosses, but they are definitely up there for me, too. 🙂 I’m so happy you are loving yours.

      I wanna try that LM setting powder soon. Doubtful I’d get to with all the products I want to use up, though! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Are you gonna have a giveaway of all these? Haha. Just kidding! Drooling over everything. I love your collection!!!

    • I asked a friend from Canada to pick it up for me! 🙂 It’s apparently notoriously hard to get from non-US or Canada stores?

    • Thanks! I think I’ve written about the powders already, but I’ve never written reviews on my primer and lipstick yet.

  4. I hope this doesn’t sound too stupid, but I didn’t know there was a difference between an illuminator and a highlighter. :O

    I’m going to have to check out the essence liners now, I’ve been interested in the kpallete one but can’t justify the price when I’m perfectly happy with my cheap etude house one.

    I LOVE the deep red on you!

    • Well, illuminators are usually liquid or cream products (from my experience anyway), so I tend to use these mixed with my bases. You can use them as you would a highlight, too, of course, but that’s just my main distinction 🙂

      Ahhh I love the K-Palette one, though. I used to be impossible with liquid liners, but now I can do them pretty well. 🙂 I bought mine in December and it’s still going strong until now!

      Thank you so much.

  5. Gracie says

    Have you tried the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer? I know what you mean about greasy, but I find that setting it with LM translucent loose powder makes for a gorgeous natural finish. I’m wondering if the NARS one doesn’t even need that step? :p As for HG liquid foundation, it would have to be Koh Gen Do ^^ Finish is flawless and featherlight!

    • Not yet, I was wanting to but I heard it was thicker than the NARS one or something, so I thought I’d stick with NARS. At least for the meantime. I am very interested in that loose powder, though. Haha maybe in the future.

      I still set NARS with loose or finishing powder. I think with our humidity, most liquid products need to be set by default.


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