Sunday, August 19, 2018

Holy Grail Products I've Replaced (or Supplemented)

People often send me incredibly kind messages and emails telling me that they love my blog. And in a solid half of those emails, these incredibly kind people mention that one of their favorite things about my blog is that products I rate highly or call my favorites generally reappear for years and years. I take pride in the fact that, when I say I love something and it's a favorite, I mean it. I will almost never call something my Holy Grail unless I have used it for at least a year and/or finished an entire tube/bottle/stick/whatever.

That said...

Now that I've finished my move and started wearing makeup again, I'm noticing that I keep reaching for specific products. Many of them are not my much-raved-about Holy Grails. Instead, they're products that have entered my collection in the last year or two. It used to take me forever to replace a Holy Grail favorite, but it seems to me that changes in consumer tastes and improvements in product textures and ranges have resulted in a lot of new stuff that suits me better. (That is, cream and liquid products that are easy to apply and take very little effort, also known as "makeup for lazy people.") When the Holy Grails I've Replaced tag became popular on my YouTube feed, I knew it was time to talk about these new loves.

Bear in mind that I still love all of these products, that the original Holy Grail is still a better choice in some scenarios, and that I would still give all of these my wholehearted recommendation. But in my day-to-day life, yeah, the newbies are taking precedence.

Shu Uemura lash curlers -- Surratt Relevée lash curlers

I used the Shu Uemura lash curlers for most of my undergraduate years, but I switched to the Shiseido curlers when Shu left the US. While the Shiseido version worked well, I decided to give Shu Uemura another try last year, and I had to admit that the Shu just gave me a better curl overall. Then somebody offered to sell me their like new Surratt curlers at a super low price. Now, I admit that the Surratt curlers can pinch my eyes a bit, mostly because it's a bigger tool with a bigger opening and I suck at positioning it. But while the Shu Uemura curlers sometimes have trouble grabbing the lashes at the outer corner of my eye, the Surratt curlers never miss a lash. Shu Uemura lash curlers, $22; Surratt Relevée lash curlers, $30.

Maybelline Full n' Soft Mascara -- Glossier Lash Slick

Maybellin Full n' Soft remains my go-to mascara for voluminous, fluttery lashes that don't smear or flake horribly. But if I'm not too fussed about getting a lot of volume and I want next to no flakes at the end of the day, I go for Lash Slick. It's become my go-to every day mascara: I can slick it on at 8am, work until 4pm, run errands in to the evening, and go out to dinner with zero mess. Despite the great staying power, it's also easy to remove with a Makeup Eraser and warm water. Glossier really killed it with this launch. Maybelline Full n' Soft mascara, $8; Glossier Lash Slick mascara, $16.

Buxom Show Some Skin Foundation -- Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint

Let's make one thing clear: I'm still more likely to recommend the Buxom foundation over the Philosophy tinted moisturizer. Buxom Show Some Skin has a much more inclusive shade range, and the packaging doesn't make me want to cry every time I open it. But I wear that Philosophy Skin Tint several times a week now, and I haven't reached for my Buxom foundation since I moved. I just find the Philosophy more comfortable and natural-looking on my very dry skin--once it's settled in, my skin looks smooth and lovely, but almost makeup-less. It's also a slightly better shade for my casual makeup days now that I self tan my neck. Buxom Show Some Skin foundation, $34; Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Skin Tint, $39.

Rohto Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk SPF50 -- Skin Laundry Daily Moisturizer SPF35

I have yet to find the dry-skin friendly sunscreen that will beat Skin Aqua for long, sweaty days in the sun. However, I'm definitely preferring the Skin Laundry Daily Moisturizer SPF35 for my day-to-day needs. It has a rich lotion texture and lightly hydrates my bone dry face while sinking in relatively quickly, working well under makeup, and never breaking me out or causing irritation. Also, Japanese sunscreens are frequently discontinued or reformulated to keep up with market trends. The relatively new Skin Laundry line, however, seems like it will be a bit more slow to change. Rohto Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk SPF50, ~$10 on eBay; Skin Laundry Daily Moisturizer SPF35, $25.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector -- Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand and Glossier Haloscope

I've finally admitted that it's time to throw out the bottle of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl that I've clung to since grad school. This stuff is way past its expiration date, after all. But even more than that, I just don't reach for the Becca highlighter as much as I used to. Mind you, it's still one of the most gorgeous, photogenic, and versatile highlighters on the market, and I'm sure I'll repurchase it one day. But I've been favoring quick-and-easy over versatile these days. I don't usually want to carefully ration how much Becca SSP I apply for a natural look; I just swipe on Glossier Haloscope in Quartz and tap it out with my fingers. I don't want to layer Becca SSP for a wet look; I'd rather spend all of thirty seconds swiping and blending the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand over my cheekbones. I'm lazy, you guys, and I'm finally admitting that that extends to my makeup. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, $41; Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand, $38; Glossier Haloscope, $22.


  1. Haloscope and Lash Slick have become two of my holy grails in 2018, too. ColourPop Lunch Money used to be my go-to "casual" highlighter, but it was always a little too bright for professional settings, so I'd just skip highlighter when working. But I can wear Haloscope in any situation without feeling self-conscious.

    1. I side-eyed Lash Slick pretty hard when it was first released because...yeah, sure, it won't smudge and will still come off with warm water. But it does. I'm impressed.

  2. I think for anyone who's a bit interested in beauty, there's always a chance that something that was once HG status will one day get displaced. Haloscope is definitely one of my HGs as well, though - I've barely been wearing makeup recently, but when I throw on a quick face I always tap on a bit of Haloscope.

    1. Haloscope has become my "dumb reach" highlighter. It's just so easy to apply and blend.