As much as I love to sample new products, I have a handful of go-to products that I can count on to be effective. Check out my list of favorite “holy grail” products, organized by Cosmetics (Eyes, Face, Lips), Skincare (Cleansers and Peels, Face Treatments, Body Treatments), Hair, Nails, Brushes & Tools, Subscription Boxes, Other Beauty, and even a handful of Non-Beauty Miscellaneous Favorites:
Eyes (Brows, Mascara, Liner, Shadow, & Primer)
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pencil in Medium Brown ($23)
- Guerlain Maxilash Volumizing and Curling Mascara ($32)
- It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($24)
- It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara ($24)
- Lancôme CILS BOOSTER XL Mascara Primer ($26)
- Lancôme Eyeshadow Palettes ($50+)
- Lime Crime Venus III Eyeshadow Palette ($38)
- TheBalm Mad Lash Black Mascara ($18)
- Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer in Minor Sin ($20)
Face (Blush, Bronzer, Foundation, Powder, & Primer)
- CARGO Cosmetics SWIMMABLES Water Resistant Blush in Bali ($26)
- Estée Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer ($36)
- Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer in Porcelaine I ($31)
- NARS Orgasm Blush / Laguna Bronzer duo ($42)
- Shiseido Refining Makeup Primer SPF 21 ($30)
- Shiseido Glow Enhancing Primer SPF 15 ($30)
- YADAH Silky Fit Concealer BB Power Brightening
Lips (Gloss, Liner, Lipstick, Pencil, & Primer)
- Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($17)
- Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Berry ($24)
- Jonteblu Lip Liner Pencil in Beige ($5)
- LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss in Goddess ($17)
- MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Color Stick in Full Red ($18) – multi-tasker for eyes, lips, brows + more
- Mirenesse Mattfinity Matte Lip Rouge Mousse in PARIS ($13) – finally a matte lip product that is not drying!!
- NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Baroque ($26)
- Too Faced Lip Insurance Smoothing Anti-Feathering Lip Primer ($20)
Skincare & Sun Protection
Cleansers & Peels
- AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Enzyme Peel ($60)
- Baby Foot Deep Exfoliation for Feet
- Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castille Soap
- Lancôme Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover ($54)
- PanOxyl Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Creamy Wash ($13)
- Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Cleanser – 2-in-1 Cleanser and Mask ($40)
- TATCHA Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder ($65)
Moisturizers, Treatments, Masks, & Sunscreen (Face)
- AMBI Fade Cream ($7)
- Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream ($99)
- Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist ($43)
- Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 ($24)
- GlamGlow GRAVITYMUD™ FIRMING TREATMENT peel off mask ($69) great scent and metallic silver color – I was told I looked like a robot 🙂
- LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry ($20) Winner – 2018 Glamour Beauty Awards
- LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask ($25) Winner – 2017 Allure Best of Beauty Award
- MALIN + GOETZ Mojito Lip Balm ($14)
- Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector SPF 42 ($35)
- Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 ($35)
- Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream For Face, Broad Spectrum SPF 38 ($34)
- SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($99)
Lotions, Treatments, & Sunscreen (Body)
- Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment ($7)
- Caswell Massey Almond & Aloe Hand Lotion
- Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 50 ($64)
- Kiehl’s Creme de Corps ($30)
- Bain de Terre All Day Straight Straightening Balm
- Davines Love Shampoo ($26)
- Paul Mitchell Hot Off the Press Thermal Styler ($18)
- Silk Therapy Hair & Skin Treatment Serum
- TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier ($17)
- Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment ($7)
- Color Club Holographic Nail Polish
- Flowery Nail White Pencil
- Stickey Base Coat ($9)
- Super Shiney Top Coat ($9)
Brushes & Tools
- Brush – Japonesque Professional Eye Detailer ($19)
- Brush – Japonesque Retractable Lip Brush ($15)
- Brush – Studio Gear Crease #35
- Brush – Sephora Pro Angled Blush Brush #49 ($32)
- Brush – Sephora Pro Airbrush Blush Brush #54 ($32)
- Clarisonic 4-speed Face and Body Cleansing Brush ($299)
- Curling Iron BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Spring
- Every Drop Lip Spatula
- Hair Dryer Turbo Power Forte Professional
- Hair Dryer Remington T-Studio with Diffuser ($40)
- Magnifying Mirror – Double Sided (10x/1x) Lighted
- Magnifying Mirror – Double Sided (12x/1x) LED Lighted Folding Travel
- Paragon Facial Steamer / Vaporizer with Aroma Therapy
- Quasar MD Plus
- Shiseido Facial Cotton ($10)
Other Beauty Routine
- CREED Millésime Imperial Fragrance ($395)
- Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects ($54)
- Sprite Shower Filter for chlorine, dirt, & odors ($20)
- Skintimate Skin Therapy Shave Gel ($4)
- Venus Women’s Razor ($10)
- Slanted, Easy Grip Tweezers
- Silk Pillowcases
Ah – my favorites!! These are some of the best beauty investments that you can make! These allow you to try unique products (lip powders??), trendy shades, and hot new brands at a fraction of the regular retail price. Allure sends the most full size and premium brand name products. Birchbox and ipsy send products for you to try from both recognized and up-and-coming brands that are tailored to your own preferences. And finally the PopSugar Must Have box is one of the most fun surprise treats each quarter – it’s filled with home, fashion, entertaining, and usually a beauty product or 2!
- PopSugar Must Have Gifts & Surprises (annual / 4 quarterly boxes $270 or quarterly $75)
- Allure Beauty Box Makeup & Skincare (annual / 12 months $150 or monthly $15)
- Birchbox Makeup & Skincare (annual / 12 months $110 or monthly $10)
- ipsy Makeup & Skincare (annual / 12 months $110 or monthly $10)
Other Miscellaneous Favorites
- bubly sparkling water
- DropStop Car Seat Gap Filler
- Herman Miller Aeron Desk Chair w/ Lumbar Support, Adjustable Tilt, & Adjustable Arms ($908)
- Pilot Precise Liquid Ink Rollerball Fine Point .7mm v7 blue pens ($20 / dozen)
- Philips Hue App Controlled Multi-Colored Light LED Bulbs
- Revolution Tea Dragon Eye Oolong
- ShhhMouse Wireless Silent Mouse
- Sonos Wireless Speaker Music Streaming System ($199 and up)
- Wireless Comfort Keyboard and Mouse
- Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch
What products are currently on your “must have” list?
Thank you for sharing this list with me. As someone who is new to makeup and with so much information out there. It is nice to find a list which I can use as a foundation as I continue to advance my make up skills. are there any tutorials that I could watch that would help me with my technique?
Hi Brittany, there are no tutorials on MakeupBonuses.com, but you’ll find lots of tutorials on youtube, and also on store / brand websites. I’m not sure what type of tutorial you are looking for (overall application, specific looks, etc), but do a search on youtube for the things you specifically want help with and you should find lots to choose from!
Hello, my wife loves the wide range of make up you have and she loves the Lencome range which i will buy for her, which will be her belated birthday gift and there is something she wants for her eyebrows which is an eyebrow stencil, she wants to give her eyebrows a nice beautiful shape, do you perhaps have it?
Thanks Floyd, there are many featured stores on our site that have eyebrow stencils. You should have luck finding some good ones at Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s and most others. Good luck with your shopping! Regards, Alyce
This is an excellent variety of cosmetics that any woman would love. I feel like a lot of these are super expensive though. Are there cheaper options when it comes to brushes, for example? Usually you need at least half a dozen brushes for different uses and if each one is $15+ that gets to be super expensive! Is there a good brush set you’d recommend that doesn’t cost as much?
Hi, I’ve found that brushes are one area where it is wise to pay for quality. Cheaper brushes are not as soft, and often don’t last long because the fibers fall out. The good news is that good brushes last for years! Unfortunately, I don’t know of a good set… I prefer to pick individual brushes that work well and kinda create my own kit. 🙂
It’s amazing, so a woman got a lot to spend on beauty products, as a man I’ve been living in the simplicity of washing my body, using an antiperspirant, put on some perfume and I’m good to go. I realize it’s a lot of stuff to learn in beauty products for women, but if I want to make her a gift, from this list, what do you think would make her happy? she loves make up. An eyeliner and a lipstick, what do you think!
Hi Jonel! Men can get in on the skincare party too!! 🙂
I’d say the best makeup / skincare GIFT items are the brushes and tools… I applied makeup for years without good tools (due to a tight budget as a student), but the right tools make the experience so much better. Not only do they look pretty on my countertop, they are much better suited for the job than the free applicators that are included with cosmetics.
The overall best gift (not cosmetics related) is the Sonos wireless speaker system. That has been one of my most favorite purchases in the last decade.
Thanks for sharing your list of favourites. I’m always curious what other products beauty junkies love using on a regular basis. I used to also wear the Urban Decay Primer Potion (in the Original Formula though) for years, but then I switched to the Nars Eye Primer last year because the eyeshadows of the Tarte Rainforest of the Dark palette would crease and fade on me. However, these are the only eyeshadows that do this on me so it’s strange. I’m disappointed with that Tarte palette but I just love the colours so I really wanted to make this work. At least it does work with the Nars Primer. Did you ever try it?
I also use the CND Stickey Base coat. In fact, I just ordered a new bottle as I’m running low!
Awesome! I have not tried the Nars Primer, but I have been impressed with most (not all though) of their other products. It sounds like one I should check out!
The Stickey Base / Shiney Top Coat combo for manis / pedis has been impressive. My polish usually stays in place for well over a week. It’s definitely good stuff!
Thanks so much for sharing your favorites too!