Reader question: Holy Grail Hit List

In your previous posts, you have discussed about your top picks regarding BB creams, foundations, etc. I have tried some of them, and I'm planning on trying others as well. Raves are something when it comes to beauty bloggers and YouTube gurus, but having something as their HG is another. I must admit, there's something about HG status that thrills us readers and viewers and makes us want to buy a particular product.

Being an avid reader of your blog, I can easily state some of your HG's. But can I make a request from you to list down your ultimate HG products? I just want to read about them in a single post and I think I will eventually buy them for myself. I trust your judgement a lot, I guess you could tell. :) Thank you so much! - Marie

Hi Marie! Thank you, this has got to be my favorite question so far. That's true, I write about all the things I love here, but then some are extra special than others. Of course, it depends on my specific set of preferences so I can't guarantee that everything here will be as ideal for you as they are for me. Still, you might just hit the jackpot! It's so difficult to find something that works. I hope you find them at Project Vanity.

But wait, what constitutes a Holy Grail product for me? It's really the best possible mix of value (cost-per-wear), convenience, and efficacy. Here's my list, in different categories! 

Face Bases

Primer. I'm a big believer in using only things I need, and I don't feel primer is one of them. I have oily combination skin. I do oil up, but it's manageable! I prefer to use a good foundation and blotting powder/paper to keep the oil at a reasonable level. The truth is that no product can make you stop oiling up, it can only absorb the oil for as long as it is able to.

BB Cream. My ideal BB cream is the Fairydrops Candy Bar BB Cream. This looks like skin, is extremely photogenic, and lasts pretty well. Great for the day, great for night events. I don't mind using an SPF product underneath.

Liquid Foundation. I love light textures and natural coverage, so I'm going with the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup. It doesn't have a lasting power I can swear by, but it does make my skin look bright in the dullest of days. Second place would be the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation.

Powder Foundation. The Lancome Maqui Blanc Miracle Foundation has mid to heavy coverage, smoothing finish, SPF, and good staying power. I would prefer to use a liquid base since the finish is finer, but the Maqui Blanc is also nice to use by itself.

Concealer. I prefer to use two sets of concealers, one for under eyes and one for blemishes. These concealers have very different textures and coverage suitable for the imperfection at hand. I love the MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer for blemishes and the Clinique Airbrush Concealer for eye bags.

Setting Powder. Setting powder ensures that your makeup stays in place for as long as possible. The best is the Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder! It's always out of stock though so get one if you see a store with stocks.

Finishing Powder. A finishing powder can make your complexion finer, brighter, just generally better in a can't-put-my-finger-on-it manner. Only the  Guerlain Meteorites Perles in Teint Dore 03 can do that for me!

Retouch Powder. This powder, usually in a compact, is a convenient way to remove any shine that comes out during the day. It's also a great way to re-apply SPF on top of makeup! That's why I love the Etude House Precious Mineral Sun BB Pact, it has SPF50.

Face Color

Blush. Wow, this is a tough one! I love a lot of blushes, but if I can only use one for the rest of my life, it would be Benefit Hervana Blush. It melts on my skin and doesn't look obvious (some would complain about the lack of pigmentation), but I love that it delivers just the right amount of pink. It's versatile too, so it goes with a lot of looks.

Highlighter. It's gotta be the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Lilac Rose. It's so pretty, and can be used as a finishing powder and blush, too.

Bronzer or contour. I love the MAC blush in Harmony. It's not too orange or too tan, and doesn't look like a weird streak even if I layer it on.

Eye Makeup

Primer. I was a huge fan of the Urban Decay Primer Potion but I've found a cheaper, locally available alternative that works just as well - that's the ArtDeco Eyeshadow Base! It's half the price of UDPP but it keeps my eyeshadow in place all day.

Eyeliner. The best eyeliner I've had the pleasure of trying is the K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner. It's precise, it's easy to use, and lasts until I remove it. :) Awesome, awesome stuff.

Mascara. I love big, long-wearing lashes but hate removing them. The perfect middleground would be the Fairydrops Platinum Mascara. I get lifted, volumized, and lengthened lashes all day but they are easily soaked off with even just water. (Although I do use a water-based makeup remover).

Eyeshadow. Another difficult category, whew. I would go with Bobbi Brown eyeshadows. They are wearable, and the shades and finishes are utterly lovely. If you love neutral eye makeup, no one does them better than Bobbi Brown.

Eyebrows. You should know this one haha. It's the Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil in 09 Walnut Brown. It's such an expensive eyebrow pencil but I've had for like two years now and I am nowhere near to finishing it. Sulit!


Lip balm. Hands down the best is Lucas Papaw Ointment. It doesn't just moisturize lips, it heals them! It also has lots of other uses all over the body.

Lipstick. Uhm, can I not answer this? Haha! Before I had a clear choice on what lipsticks I like to use, but now I use whatever is new and is up for swatching. But okay. There is one lipstick that is always, always in my bag, and that's the NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Lodhi. Such a pretty coral shade.

Sooo that's my Holy Grail Hit List! Share yours too, okay? Would love to know what you love to use. ^_^