Jessica loves all things creative in the world of entertainment, crafting, and cosmetics.
Fave. Go-to. Holy Grail (HG). Whatever you choose to call your favorite products, they all have one thing in common; we always have to have them on hand. When we find a product that we can't live without, we will buy it in different shades, have back-ups in various locations, and have a drawer full so that we never run out. These products seem to steal our hearts better than any human in the world can and we reward it with such loyalty, as it has never let us down.
There are some widely known so-called "cult" products that are written about in beauty blogs time and time again (*cough* Nars Orgasm Blush). But some products are not talked about much. They are just our own personal favorites and they feel like our own little secret treasure. I want to share five of my HG products with you. They are all so affordable and worth a try. Maybe you will love one or all of them as much as i do.
Wet N' Wild Megalast Lip Color
This affordable mega last lip color is absolutely amazing! I have been using it religiously for about six years, and it is my number one go-to lip product for any look I want to create on or off the stage. It glides on really smooth and, most days, I find that it lasts through two shows an evening without needing to be re-applied. I have also grabbed a bite to eat and drink while wearing it and have not needed to re-apply afterwards, that's pretty amazing. Yet, it comes off easily when i want it to, unlike other long-lasting lip products.
I love the bright reds, light pinks, and dark berry shades, but they also have nudes, corals, bright pinks, and spicy cinnamon shades. Every once in a while, I find i can stock up on these at any local drugstore for as little as 99 cents a piece! But I am more than happy to shell out a couple of extra bucks on this little gem when I need it.
Honestly though, because I don't have to apply it all the time, a tube lasts a really long time. It is a smooth, semi-matte and very pigmented lipstick for the money. Sometimes in a pinch, I have been able to line my lips with it as well. I will not lie, the packaging is not at all fancy and, I have cracked the clear caps from time to time, but this product delivers. It is a definite upgrade from Wet n' Wild's other lip products (I have a graveyard of their "cheaper" lipsticks). Sometimes, I will line my lips with a dark shade and then fill it in with a lighter shade for an ombre effect. You can even get crazy (as I sometimes do) and top this with cosmetic glitter.
L'oreal Paris Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner
After years of scouring the drugstores and using practically every eyeliner ever made and after eventually moving on to higher-end brands, I have yet to find one that goes on this smooth.
This product truly makes my life easier since eyeliner can be a little bit of a pain to deal with. I am dreading the day that I can't find this anymore, as it always seems our favorite products eventually get discontinued (why is that?). Unfortunately for me, I think it may be soon because I can only find this online and have not been able to find it in stores for a while. Luckily, when I find it I buy several at a time so if it does go away I'll have time to find a replacement (if one exists).
L'Oreal makes this in a few shades, and although black is my go-to shade, I have used the cobalt blue and the silver. The silver is super metallic and gorgeous as an accent applied to the inner corners of your eyes. Also, gone are the days of melting the tip of the eye pencil with a lighter, so it glides better. Remember doing that ladies?
If you want a product that not only does not break the bank but feels high end, this is for you! It is not waterproof, but that is not a problem for me. As a magician's assistant, my makeup goes through a lot during a single show, and this stays put for me, often through two shows. This can be used for sharp lines and wings for drama or blurred for a smokier, softer look. Since it applies so effortlessly, it can easily be used to make a very thin line along the lashes for a more natural look as well.
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
I love this amazing eye crayon so much; I always have three or four waiting in a drawer at all times. For some reason, finding a white, matte eyeshadow or eyeliner is a really hard thing to accomplish. So needless to say, when I found one that was not only matte but giant, I found myself a new addiction.
The color I am talking about is called Milk. I use it on my eyes and sometimes on my face. I apply it to the corners my inner eyes to make me look more awake and also under my brow bone to highlight that area and make it pop. In a pinch, I have used it to contour my face, because it blends so nicely.
What I do is lightly apply streaks to areas I want to highlight, blend, and top lightly with bronzer. I have not used the other colors yet that are available, but I need to one of these days. I would imagine that there is a pink or red shade that could be a multi-task for eyes, lips, and cheeks. I also would be interested in trying a darker shade for a smoky eye considering how nicely they blend. They can also double as eyeliner and eye-shadow too.
NYX makes some amazing products. I love their matte bronzer and glitter as well. If I am being honest, I get a little overwhelmed when looking at their display in the store because they do have so many amazing products (so much to try, so little time). This is definitely a staple for me for sure. If you haven't tried it, you must!
Benefit Cosmetics All Purpose Pencil Sharpener
This sharpener is amazing! I bought this on a whim while browsing at Ulta one day. Being a high-end brand, it was a little bit more of a splurge for me, but it is the only sharpener I have bought and used that has been worth the plastic it is made of.
I purchased this after being fed up with other sharpeners destroying my favorite pencils. I had a decent sharpener for a couple of years until, sadly, it cracked and it would not sharpen anymore despite my desperate attempts to fix it. So I replaced it with something I thought was comparable, but it simply would not sharpen a pencil. I now have been using this one for the last couple of years, and I feel it is made to last.
It is just a few extra dollars, but it has been money very well spent. You can also sharpen any size pencil! I had other sharpeners that could not sharpen my beloved NYX pencils because they were too big. It also comes with a little toothpick-like tool to help keep it clean and an attachment (that I have not used yet), but I believe it allows you to sharpen smaller pencils.
This a one-time investment that is worth it and you will actually save money in the long run not having to buy another cheap one ever again. Plus, it's pink! What more could one ask for? Makeup artists always say our makeup is only as good as the tools we apply it. So I say our makeup pencils are only as good as the sharpeners we sharpen them with. What other way can you get a thin line of eyeliner if your pencil is not sharp? This will do that.
Ardell Strip Eyelashes Wispies 113
Ardell is probably one of, if not, the most popular brand of false lashes around today. In show-business, you cannot get away from having to wear them no matter how long your natural lashes are. The undeniable drama they add to your eyes and whole face is beyond anything mascara can accomplish.
Over the years, I have tried various brands and dozens of styles of strip lashes and have always had one or two that I favored. I now have one hands-down favorite. On the recommendation of my lovely friend and fellow cast-mate, I bought and started wearing the style Wispies 113 and I have been a die hard fan of them ever since.
Last year, I tried wearing an old favorite style when my local CVS ran out of these and I could not wait to toss them in the trash and get back to these. They are the perfect mix of natural and dramatic, and not too short, but not too long either. With Ardell lashes, you always get the most comfortable lashes that exist in my opinion (as comfortable as fake eyelashes can be, that is).
As someone who has the sparsest, shortest, saddest (say that three times fast) eyelashes ever, I get to live a fairy-tale every time I put these on. I also find that they last a long time, which is a testament to the quality that Ardell delivers no matter which style you choose.
I am sure there are a lot of products out there that are amazing, such as mink lashes and high-end brands. I guess if you are paying $25 or more a pair they better be high-quality. But why shell out that much dough when, for a few dollars, you can get a great product like this?
What Are Your Holy Grails?
Those are some things can't live without, and I would love to hear if you have tried, use, or have a similar product that you use (just in case any of these go away!). I would love to read your comments. Thank you for reading!
© 2019 Jess B