Staff Picks: Holy Grail brands we can use for the rest of our lives
At Project Vanity, it's our job to hoard makeup and skincare. We constantly try different products from a variety of brands and risk breakouts, allergies, and even burning (true story) so we can write about them and help you find the best of the best. But we gotta admit: we have our biases. There are brands we always look forward to trying (and keeping) because we know the quality is ALWAYS going to be ace. We're taking it a step further by asking each other: What is the one beauty brand we can stay faithful to for the rest of your life?
Liz: Everybody probably knows by now that Shiseido is my HG brand. If I can use only one brand forever, it will have to be Shiseido! But there's another close to my heart that rarely fails me, and that's Estee Lauder. Estee skincare is cutting edge, and have you seen their makeup line lately? Everything is so trendy yet so well-formulated! You have to visit them once you're ready to spend on the good stuff.
Den: This is a really difficult question because I like different brands for different things! If I really had to choose though, I'm most inclined to go with an Asian brand that offers both great makeup and skin care, like Shiseido. It's not a "sexy" brand, but I really like the Japanese philosophy of sticking to tried-and-tested formulas and taking innovation slowly but surely, rather than coming out with meh products on the regular.
Marielle: Hands down, Bobbi Brown. I've always loved the curating of their makeup colors as I find them elegant and ideal for a signature look. Bonus points for Bobbi: It was also a big deal to have finally found my perfect foundation color with this brand after years of searching!
VB: But..but..but..variety is the spice of life! I really have no idea--though the lipstick junkie in me is shouting for a specific makeup brand. However, I am partial to choosing a Japanese brand for the following reasons: best foundation shade match, espouses the importance of skin care, with a wide range of high-functioning products. All of this I personally can find with Kanebo (and even their more youth-oriented brand, Kate Tokyo). I'd probably pick up anything from any of the Kanebo cosmetic brands.
Rae: The most difficult question for a beauty product enthusiast! But I've been asked this a few times and I always answer NARS. When I rank the beauty products I care deeply about, it's three things: foundation, lipstick, and sunblock. If I'd be forced to create a capsule makeup and skin care collection, I'll get them all from NARS. I can only choose a brand that carries a foundation shade that matches me exactly and NARS has it -- Stromboli! I also can live off of their pure matte lipsticks and velvet matte pencils. I haven't tried much of NARS' skin care but I have their primer that I love and it has high enough SPF.
Kim: Oh God. This is the hardest staff picks question to date! If I'm stuck with one brand for the rest of my life, I'd definitely want it to be a luxury brand that has equal skincare and makeup. With that in mind, I'm going with Charlotte Tilbury. I adore her work as a makeup artist, and I've seen countless rave reviews of her products. I cannot wait to be stinking rich to be able to afford everything she comes out with!
Estée Lauder and Clinique are tied at a close second. But if La Mer had more makeup products, it probably would have been first.
Angela: I've only tried a few brands in my life but still, it's hard to choose only one. But what first came to my mind was Estée Lauder. From packaging to performance, Estée Lauder impresses me the most. From how it started to how it's innovating now, it simply is dedicated to beauty. Every product is a treasure. I especially love the perfumes, lipsticks, and skincare lines! I wouldn't mind using them until the day I die because I love every product the brand has!
Stacie: If I have to choose only one brand for the rest of my life, I’ll choose Amore Pacific! It's the umbrella company of Aritaum, Etude House, Innisfree, IOPE, Laneige, and more. They carry all my favorite Korean brands, from high-end to roadshop or drugstore K-Beauty. These brands also target different age groups so I can easily switch when my skin condition changes with age! I know I'm totally cheating here, so if it really just has to be a single brand, I’ll choose Innisfree as my ultimate brand pick.
Katsy: OMG, this is hard! But I only hesitated because I don't know if I can live without my Armani lipstick. But for THE one brand to use for the rest of my life - definitely Chanel!
If you could only use one brand for the rest of your life, what would you pick? Did you find this question difficult to answer, or were you able to decide in a heartbeat? We want to know!