I’m by no means a beauty guru or an expert about anything makeup/haircare/skincare related, but I’ve tried a lot of products and do have some favorites that I come back to time and again. I thought it would be fun to share my holy grail beauty products — basically the ones I use faithfully and continue to buy over and over.
I gathered up most of them and spread them out for the photo above, but since then I’ve remembered a few more that I want to share so I’ll add those in here as well.
My Holy Grail Beauty Products
Lets start with haircare products.
My Holy Grail Haircare Products
Aquis Hair Towel // I bought this towel after reading about it on another blog. I struggle with delicate and thinning hair, and I’m doing everything in my power to care for it properly to minimize hair loss and damage. Supposedly this microfiber towel dries your hair more quickly, thoroughly, and gently than typical cotton terry towels. I like it a lot, and it’s also easy to tie up in a turban while I put on my makeup.
T3 Hair Dryer // I’ve been using a salon quality hair dryer for years because they dry your hair faster and minimize damage, but mine was getting old so I decided to purchase this T3 hair dryer when it went on sale. I already had the curling wands (love those too!) and I admit, I got it in part because it’s so pretty and matches my other hair tools.
Amazon reviews are mixed, but I like it a lot, and it does seem to dry my hair more quickly than conventional dryers, and makes it soft and shiny. I usually take it with me when I travel (actually broke down and bought the travel size last summer, in fact) but over Christmas I was trying to pack light and I didn’t bring it to Virginia with me and used my mom’s instead. It took FOREVER for my hair to dry with hers and now I will be sure to bring mine with me wherever I go.
T3 products do go on sale from time to time, and I recommend taking advantage of that because they are definitely pricey.
Monat Black Shampoo + Conditioner // This is actually a newer product to me, but I’m sharing because right now it seems to be helping with my thinning hair, and I know a lot of women have this issue. I’ve tried other products from the Monat line that didn’t seem to help, but when I switched to this around the holidays, I noticed a significant decrease in the hair loss I’d been experiencing for the past year or so. I am praying it continues to help because there are few things as demoralizing to a woman as thinning hair, especially in my industry.
While it does contain a conditioner, it doesn’t leaven your hair feeling like you conditioned it, so I use the IRT conditioner as well. I’m actually working on a post about my entire haircare routine because I’ve had some questions about that.
I’m not a Monat distributor, but I did sign up for the VIP membership to save 15% on my purchases and to get free shipping on all $84 Flexship orders. (There is a one-time fee of 19.99 for joining as a VIP customer.) You can use my ID (355851) to sign up for the VIP membership, if you’d like.
Bio Ionic Conditioning Brush XL // My hairdresser recommended this brush many years ago, and I’ve since replaced it once or twice. It is the one I use to blow out my hair when I wear it straight. I have the XL size.
Goody Claw Clips // Yes, these are basic claw clips, but when these are missing, I can’t blow dry my hair. I have to pin it up in sections to really get it blown out the way I like it, or when I curl it, and I go berserk when I can’t find one of these clips. (I have two daughters with long hair, so they tend to walk away.)
Slip Silk Pillowcase // This isn’t in the picture, but I love my silk pillowcase. It’s supposed to protect and hydrate your skin, reduce split ends, and ensure a longer-lasting blow out. Plus it just feels fancy.
My Holy Grail Makeup Products
Anatasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil // I love and adore this eyebrow pencil. My brows are quite sparse and I don’t go anywhere without filling them in. This ultra slim retractable pencil creates precise, hair-like strokes that look very natural. Word of warning, though: it runs out suddenly and with no warning, so I buy these two at a time and make sure to always have a backup at the ready.
Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Mascara // I’ve been using Lancôme mascara since I was 16, and no matter how many brands I try, I always come back to this one. I apply 2 or 3 light coats — the key is to use light coats and let it dry between each one.
I also use Rodan + Fields Lash Boost, mainly because my eyelashes started thinning, not because I needed the length, although that’s a nice benefit!
I’ve recently started using a new eye shadow primer, Dior Backstage Eye Prime Longwear Eye Primer, and I love how easy it is to apply, plus it helps my eye shadow last longer and not crease.
Nars Orgasm Blush // Hate the name, love the blush. It’s so pretty on. I’ve tried others, and I always go back to this one.
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores // This stuff is magic. I apply this as the very last step of my makeup routine because it helps set everything and makes my face look practically airbrushed.
I have a lot of other favorite makeup products, but I tried to pick the best of the best for this post. A few months back, I shared my current makeup routine, if you’re interested. I keep it under the Beauty tab in the menu bar at the top of my website for your easy reference.
Joan Rivers Great Hair Day Fill-In Powder with Brush // Someone recommended this to me a few years back, and I ordered it right away. I’m not sure if this is considered makeup or haircare, but we have it pictured with the makeup section, and that is usually when I apply it. This is a transfer-proof fill-in powder for thinning hair that matches your color to give the appearance of a fuller head of hair.
It’s intended for ladies who have thinning in the scalp area, whereas my thinning is more on the ends, where it just doesn’t grow back fast enough to keep up with the daily hair loss, but I do have some thin areas around my temples that show especially when I pull my hair back or tuck it behind my ear, so I’ve started applying this almost daily to those areas.
It fills in nicely and looks fuller and thicker. Best of all, the powder truly does not come off on your hands, your bedsheets, or anything. I can even apply it before I dry my hair, and it doesn’t get messed up. It washes out with shampoo.
Holy Grail Body Care Products
Rodan + Fields Daily Body Moisturizer // I’ve shared about this before, but it bears mentioning again. This body moisturizer is the only thing I’ve found that truly eliminates my itchy winter dry skin, but I have to use it almost daily to keep up. It absorbs quickly and isn’t sticky, so I can pull on my clothes after just a few minutes.
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil // This is another product I’ve shared before, but I love it and buy more every time it runs out. It smells wonderful and makes my skin feel soft, plus I use it to shave my legs so it’s basically a 2-in-1.
CND Solar Oil // This cuticle oil saves my nails in the wintertime. If I use it faithfully, once or twice a day (preferably at night before bed so it has lots of time to soak in), my nails stay strong and healthy. If I start skipping too many days, they start getting brittle and breaking. I keep Shellac polish on my nails pretty much all the time, so using this oil is key to being able to do that.
Primally Pure Deodorant // I realize I’m terribly inconsistent when it comes to using natural products vs their chemical-based counterparts. Sure, I’d love to go all natural, but it’s a process, and I’m not there yet. For some reason, deodorant is one of those things that particularly worries me so I sought out a natural deodorant alternative. I’m quite happy with the Primally Pure deodorants, but you do have to give yourself time to get used to it because it seems to work better as time goes on. You also have to get used to not always feeling dry, but it eliminates body odor, the scents are pleasant, and it makes me feel like I’m doing one small thing to eliminate daily toxins in my life.
Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel // This is the only self tanner I’ll use anymore. I’ve tried quite a few, but this is by far the best I’ve found. I don’t mind the scent, but it definitely has one. If you struggle with the application, see my tutorial on how to apply self tanner like a pro.
Holy Grail Skincare Products
Okay, guys. Home stretch! WE CAN DO THIS!!!
(Honestly, I had no idea how long this post was going to become.)
Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths // I reviewed these last summer, and I’m still using them. They’re particularly nice for travel, or just whenever you want a quick and easy and thorough makeup removal job.
Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads // This is another product I’ve used for years. I used to buy the pricey Lancôme eye makeup remover, which is wonderful, but these are much cheaper, work just as well, and don’t require me to stock additional cotton pads.
Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm // Lastly, but certainly not least, my favorite facial cleanser for a really spa-tastic makeup removal experience. I just love the smell of this product. I use this on the nights I want to pamper myself and don’t mind taking a bit longer with my nighttime routine.
I didn’t list any facial moisturizers or eye creams because I’ve tried out quite a few recently and they’re all good. I’m currently testing out some more Olay products, so at the moment I don’t have a consistent skincare regimen. I’ve been mixing and matching different products, which is probably not best practice, but I do find it interesting to change it up every now and again and try something new.
You can always peruse my Beauty Archives if you’re curious about other products I’ve tried and recommend. It’s linked on the menu bar at the top of my site.
I’d love to hear from you, if you have any tried and true beauty products you love or think I should try!
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photo credit: Alison Cornell