Holy Grail Products: Makeup

Here’s all the stuff I put on my face when I “put on my face”, in order of application.

Primer spray

Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray

I’ve never used a primer spray before; in fact, I don’t know of another one besides this UD product, though I’m sure they exist. I got a trial size of this in the “Start Getting Naked” kit, and I love it. It cuts down a ton on my oiliness, and I think my makeup looks better and stays better when I use it. Some of the reviews mention tightness or redness, but I find those effects to be negligible and short-lived. I use this spray regardless of which BB/CC/foundation combo I’m using.

Shadow/liner primer

LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer and NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

These two are duking it out for top spot. I’m having a hard time determining whether one or the other has more staying/non-smudging power. In the “cons” column, the LORAC primer is tinted pink, and if I don’t stay on top of plucking my eyebrows, the strays really show against it. I think the tube will last longer than the NARS tube, though.

Additional contenders: Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance (kind of meh), Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray (pretty good), and of course, Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion (good, but I prefer the consistency of both the NARS and LORAC, and think their staying power and payoff are as good or better).


Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow and Beauty & The Box Amazonian Clay Eyeshadow Quad

I have an eyeshadow palette addiction big enough for its own post, so most of my eyeshadow is in palette form. I have UD’s Naked, Naked 2, Naked 3 (!!!), Naked Basics, some additional palettes, and some of their Stardust shadows, plus some Tarte palettes and theBalm’s Nude ‘Tude. I also like these cream shadows from Tarte, though (I have them in pink, plum, and green), and I have a quad that’s very similar to the one above.

Additional contenders: I’m open to using just about any shadow, although I’ve found that Too Faced shadows don’t tend to work very well for me.


Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Liner/Shadow

I have tried SO. MANY. EYELINERS!!! in my quest for the one true HG. I line my upper and lower lashlines and waterlines, and nothing I have tried stays like this – not even the Aqualillies for Tarte liner. Some reviewers have said it dries out quickly in the jar, but I haven’t found this to be true. I have this product in black, brown, plum, and green. This stuff is just the BEST, Jerry. THE BEST.

Additional contenders: Mac’s Powerpoint, Tarte’s SmolderEYES, UD’s 24/7 liners, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes, Aqualillies for Tarte, liners by Buxom and Sephora and Revlon and Cover Girl and SO MANY MORE. I wish eyeliners could be passed along after they’ve been used because I have a ridiculous stash and I know they’d work for so many other people. Bleh.

BB/CC cream

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm and Smashbox Camera Ready Color Correcting Cream

So. Yes. These are both pretty expensive. I’ve tried a fair number of primers and BB creams, including Smashbox’s Photo Finish (silicone-based primers don’t work with my oily skin), Benefit’s That Gal and The Porefessional, Garnier’s BB cream, Julep’s “DD” cream, and tinted moisturizers/primers by Benefit and Laura Mercier. The Porefessional would probably be the closest runner-up, but it doesn’t do anything to combat oil.

The UD BB only comes in one color, and I’ve been wearing it lately because it’s lighter than Smashbox’s CC cream in Light. It has color to it, but I wouldn’t wear it without foundation, because I don’t like the way it looks alone. However, it goes on nicely and is more liquid than the Smashbox. Ooh, and it smells like Thin Mint cookies! I don’t wear the Smashbox alone, either, even though it looks better than the UD BB does, because it will pill up on my face. That, my friends, is a deeply unpleasant experience in the middle of the morning in, say, one’s office. When I do wear it, I give it a short amount of time to set, and then apply my foundation. Both products do an excellent job of controlling oil (hallelujah!), providing SPF, and helping my foundation stay put and look better, longer.

If you are incredibly fair, you might be freaked out by the color of the UD BB. I have a suspicion, though, that if you use their Naked Skin foundation, you won’t see the color of the BB underneath.


Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer and Benefit Fake Up

I’ve mentioned the extreme dryness of my undereye area; lucky me, I also have wicked dark circles, of the hereditary sort that can’t really be helped. Both of these concealers have excellent coverage and blend well with my beloved MB Dermonectin eye cream. I’ve been reaching for Fake Up lately because it’s even easier to swipe it on than to pat on the Tarte concealer with my finger. Look, this is a lot of steps and I get tired sometimes, ok?


Urban Decay Naked Weightless Ultra Definition and Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Coverage

These are also expensive, but the MUFE foundation bottle lasts a fairly long time; maybe three to four months or so, and I expect the same from the UD. I think I’ve seen both of these classed as “moderate” coverage, and with a layer of BB/CC cream under them, it’s pretty legit. I have a fair amount of stuff I want covered, and it is, with both of these. They’re both more dewy than matte, which I also prefer. I appreciate MUFE’s range of colors, with consideration to undertones (which makes all the difference in the world!), and UD offers almost as many (25 to 18, respectively).


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil and Brow Duo Powder

My eyebrows need work, and after years of trial and error, this is my HG solution. I use Brow Wiz in Brunette to outline my brows, and then fill/blend with Brow Duo in Medium Brown, using an angled brush. I used an Anastasia stencil for a while until I got lazy, but I’m going to bust it out again, I think.

Runners-up: Tarte Brow Mousse (I couldn’t land on the right color), Urban Decay’s Brow Box, Benefit’s Brow Zings. I hate to blaspheme, but Benefit’s Gimme Brow did nothing for me. I think if my brows sucked less, or if my application skills did, or both, some of these other products would have worked just fine. In fact, I wore UD’s Brow Box for quite a while.


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush and NARS Blush

If you are only going to buy/use one blush, I’d recommend NARS in Orgasm. It’s gorgeous on pretty much everyone and is versatile in terms of coordinating eye makeup and lips. I’d had my compact for a couple years, and it was getting pretty old and busted around the same time I got some of the Tarte blushes in kits and samples; otherwise I’m not sure I’d have given anything else a shot. Surprise, I like the Tarte blushes, too! Nice color payoff, flattering colors, good staying power.

Lip Liner

Tarte Amazonian Clay Universal Lip Liner

(URL is wrong but works)

Apparently lip liner is my makeup Achilles heel, because I just cannot care much about it, even though I need it. I’ve made a decent compromise with this liner, I think. It’s supposed to match your natural lip color, so you can define your lips and keep your lipstick or gloss in place without needing to buy a liner to match every shade you own. I don’t know why lip liners don’t appeal to me like lipstick and eyeshadow do.


Urban Decay Revolution and Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick

I have two full-size of each of these, and a couple of the UD in mini form (so cute!). They both feel great on, last pretty well (for a lipstick), and have a variety of pretty shades. I’d like to try the Tarte Glamazon Pure Performance 12-Hour Lipstick (these product names, good gawd!), but long-wearing lipsticks tend to suck all the moisture out of my lips and then can only be removed in conjunction with the top layer of my skin. We’ll see; I have that whole Give Me More Lip collection to try out before I shell out any cash on lip stuff.

Setting spray

Ben Nye Final Seal

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 11.29.55 PM

I read somewhere that this is the setting spray commonly used by the actresses who play the Disney princesses in the parks, and I figured it was worth a shot when I was regularly sweating my makeup off this past summer. It’s awesome, and has replaced Urban Decay’s All Nighter in my lineup. I definitely notice if I forget to put this on, and the biggest proof of all has been in how much less makeup transfers to my phone (yuuuuuck). UD’s All Nighter is good for oil control and a little bit of sweat/waterproofing, but in my experience it just can’t stand up to 100+ degree heat, and is only so-so at preventing transfer.

Oh, and a shout-out to the Lay-n-Go cosmetic bag, which is where I keep most of this madness. Gone are the days of pawing through my makeup bag in frustration! I LOVE this thing – it has absolutely been worth the investment. Oh, and my mom friends say they’re also great for LEGOS and Polly Pockets and whatnot.

I actually did a second post in a series, WHOO! 2013 hasn’t been a complete blogging failure, after all.

2 comments to Holy Grail Products: Makeup

  • Laura Diniwilk
    12/30/2013 at 9:53 am | Reply

    Yay, this was a fun post to read. It’s funny to see how many holy grail samesies we have. I tried a sample of the naked skin foundation and I don’t think I love it though, which is INCREDIBLY disappointing, since I had pre-determined that it was going to be the best product ever. This probably won’t stop me from buying some after I go through all of my other foundations though.

  • Lesley Hinton
    01/03/2014 at 2:13 pm | Reply

    UD Half Baked is lighter than both the 3rd shade in The Gilded Age trio and the 3rd shade in the I’m Getting Sunburned trio , but I think both of the WnW shades are in the same general ballpark as Half Baked (super shimmery bronzes).

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