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Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Holy Grail Affordable Beauty Products

(Click on the product to be taken to my original review, if available.)

Hand & Nail


Skin and body care


I know that some categories are missing (lipstick, gloss, eyeshadow, face powder, etc.) so just to be clear, for those products I either do not have one Holy Grail product that I always fall back on, or I love several products equally.

What are some of your Holy Grail drugstore products?


  1. i too love the st ives green tea scrub, and i thank you for introducing me to it. i strayed away one time went back to the apricot scrub, but for some reason now it's too harsh for my skin. went back to the green tea scrub and my skin doesn't spaz out. it's definitely a keeper!

  2. My Holy Grail Hand Creme is Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Skin Therapy Lotion with Shea Butter. LOVE IT!!!

    Thanks for the posting. Good information to have.

  3. Things that have been my long-term Holy Grails (I mean for *years*) include Cerave cream (in the tub, as face moisturizer), L'Oreal Voluminous mascara, Carmex lip balm (pot form(, Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss in Nude Lustre, and Milani Luminous blush.

  4. My HG cleanser is Noxzema and HG lipstick is L'Oreal Colour Riche. They never fail me, and though I may stray from time to time, I always come back to them. XOXO

  5. One HG for me that I've never heard anyone talk about...

    Body Moisturizer: Up & Up Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin (compare to Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion)...LOVE this stuff and I really don't care for the Aveeno product it's competing with...give this one a go when you're at Target next!

  6. I've wanted to try the green tea scrub but always leaned towards the apricot srub, i think i will give it a try next time. One of my holy grail is the Wet N wild Coloricon eye liner, i love it!

  7. Colorstay Foundation. Nothing in the world like it - either Active or Regular - and no, MakeUpForever HD doesn't even begin to come close: it cakes, transfers, and settles into lines, all for three times the price.

    And the only lipstick I use, ever, is Cover Girl Outlast. I don't know why anyone would use a "normal" lipstick when you can just put it on once in the morning and forget it until you go to bed. Fabulous stuff.

  8. ColorStay foundation for sure. I also love the Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks, Palladio rice powder, NYX single eyeshadows and Milani blush in Luminous.

  9. Oh, and Wet'n'Wild trios, singles and Comfort Zone palette. How on earth did I forget those!

  10. I want to know what your favorite candy is. ;P

    Thanks for your list. I know, too well, that we don't always stay with a Holy Grail, and if we try something new and/or improved and love it, the king of the hill doesn't always stay there.

  11. My HG's for years have been: Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid - Original (I always try other face lotions but always end up going back to this one) & Carmex chapstick!! I cannot live without carmex!! Love you &this blog.

  12. A few of mine:

    Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

    Eucerin Everyday Protection (I forget the spf)

    Nyx runway palettes (awesome for $10)

    WnW Black Creme Polish - the best "underwear" for many glitter and flaky polishes

    Hard Candy Glamouflage concealer

    Sally Hansen fast dry topcoat in the red bottle

    Revlon Superlustrious in Mauvy Night

    Salt and pepper NC20, green eyes and glasses, oily/combo skin (used to be extremely oily when younger)

    Still dying to try that PF foundation. We finally got Ulta in our town!

  13. I actually thought, hmm, I don't have many HGs! But once I thought about it, I realized I actually kind of do! Among them: Max Factor Pan Stick, the classic Neutrogena moisturizer (forget what it's called), Seche Vite, Orly Extra Strength np remover, and the most important one of all, Sally Hansen Cuticle Massage Cream.

  14. I love the L'Oreal 360 Clean cleanser for blemish-prone skin... I stray from it and regret it a lot. For some reason I guess I keep forgetting how well it works for my skin. Definitely an underrated facial cleanser line in my opinion.

  15. a few of mine :)
    (with a note that many of the drugstore products everyone raves about are not available in my country). but what i found and dearly loved are:
    - Milani Luminous Blush
    - NYX Round Lipsticks
    - Carmex lipbalm (the classic flavour one, in a tube!)
    - eyeshadow: NYX The Runway Collection Palettes
    - summer foundation: Bourjois Comme Apres 10 Heures de Sommeil

  16. Mine are:
    Maybelline dream satin foundation mixed with Revlon Age Defying Spa Illuminator, Cornsilk powder, Nars Laguna bronzer Orgasm blush and Albatross highlighter trio, Mac paint pot Rubenesque and Revlon Super Lustrous glosses. I am still looking for a good drugstore mascara!

    1. Jordana Best Last Extreme Volumizing Mascsra is great! It only comes in black & it stays black all day. It curls my lashes, I don't use a lash curler I just apply one coat of Mascara to my top lashes then to the back of my lashes by curling the wand from the root of the back of my lashes upwards & towards my eye lid & then I do a 2nd normal coat on the top lashes & I can't believe the volume, curl, length, rich black color, & hairspray like hold. I even prefer it over my former HG L'Oreal Voluminous for being longer lasting, more curl & less flaking when it starts to dry out. Also, it cost 40-50% less. It was $2.99 at Walgreens 6 months ago but has gone up to $3.49. The cheapest I could get L'Oreal for was $5 at Walmart then use a $1 off coupon but really I always ended up paying $7.50 at Walgreens because it was closer/more convenient. It's also G's current HG mascara. One more thing. Her HG makeup wipes by Epielle takes the Jordana mascara off way easier than any makeup remover or cleanser I've tried.

    2. try maybelline full and soft, loreal voluminous carbon black - both are good lash separaters and will not clump lashes

  17. Most of my makeup is high end, but I have a couple drugstore HGs.

    *Wet n Wild Greed eyeshadow palette - I love it so much I have one in at home in my vanity and one for my makeup bag.

    *Wet n Wild brow kit. So perfect.

    *Milani liquif'eye liner (black)

    *Maybelline one by one volume express mascara

  18. Here are some of my holy grail products from the drugstore:

    - Queen Helene Mint Julep Scrub (best face and body scrub)
    - Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (best body lotion)
    - Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash (best body wash)
    - Ponds Original All Day Clean Towelettes (best makeup removal)
    - Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion (best mascara)
    - Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries in the Snow (best red lippie)
    - Revlon Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Suede (best matte red lippie)
    - Wet 'n Wild Black Creme nail polish (best black polish)
    - Wet 'n Wild Silent Treatment trio (best nude eye)
    - Visine
    - Chapstick (plain/original black tube)

    And...that's all I can think of off the top of my head! :)

  19. Hmmm...let's see

    Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash
    Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
    Neutrogena Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover
    Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
    Kiss My Face Lip Balm spf 15
    Maybelline Lash Discovery Waterproof Mascara
    Gilette Venus Embrace
    Sonia Kashuk Makeup Brushes
    CeraVe AM Lotion spf 30
    GUM Expanding Floss
    Covergirl Lashblast Length Waterproof Mascara
    Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
    Maybelline Clear Lipliner

  20. I am glad you mentioned Jordana. Their eyepencils are good.. I think I would never spend 18 dollars or more on an Urban Decay Pencil

  21. Thanks G ! Can you please tell us what your favorite drugstore dry shampoo is?

  22. Thanks for ur wonderful info. Mine consist of colorstay, rimel matte powder, color tattoos, milani baked blushes, jordana best lashes mascara, revlon colorstay eyeliner, maybelline define a brow, nyc sunny bronzer, wnw eyeshadows, and those matte lipsticks from wnw...but as for nails: seche vite! I wld be lost without it! O_O then there is my clairsonic, what did i ever do to clean my skin before it?
    G. I must ask, i have been on the look out for eye wrinkle serum or lotion or whatever i can find because im 26 and i notice these small crows feet starting to show. I really trust u and u have NOT let me down once and i SEE ur skin and i wld be beyond happy to have ur beautiful skin. What do u recommend? I really hope u answer, it wld mean so much to me and i cld use ur help/expertese in this matter. Thanks for all u do! =)

  23. Would anyone care to list their fav eye makeup remover? I'm trying different ones out right. Seems like every mascara that comes out lately is helmet head for my lashes! Right now I'm using Neutrogena oil free. I tried the wet n wild in the deceptively mild looking purple bottle and it stung my eyes and made me tear up!

    1. I use CVS Oil-Free Eye Make-Up Remover, same one mentioned in G's post above.

      I used something else before that stung my eyes, but CVS's didn't!
      I loveeeee it. It takes off all my makeup very well.
      I hold one soaked (not too much) pad to each of my eyes for a few seconds before rubbing lightly to take off all the makeup. ^^

    2. I love the target up and up dupe for neutrogena. It has a purple cap.

  24. Brush Cleaner: johnson's baby shampoo
    Shampoo & Conditioner: john frieda blonde shampoo and conditioner
    Makeup Towelettes: Simple- cleansing facial wipes
    Makeup Remover: CVS brand Oil-Free Makeup Remover
    Nail Polish Remover: pure acetone
    Facial Scrub: Neutrogena
    Foundation: maybelline mousse foundation
    Concealer:still haven't found the right drugstore version. my high-end is Boi-ing by Benefit for under $20
    Face Primer: NYX HD face primer
    Blush: Milani Baked Blush in bellisismo
    Bronzer: Milani baked bronzer in soleil
    highlight: NYX tango in a bronze powder in 'tan enthusiasm' (i'm medium dark-nc44) this bronzer is so light on me that i had to use it as a highlight
    Lip Balm: maybelline babylips
    At-Home Hair Color: l'oreal excellence hair color
    Eyeliner (pencil): loreal HIP studio
    Eyeliner (liquid): Physicians Formula eye booster (fat version)
    Mascara: Rimmel sexy curves- it does wonders for my lower lashes
    Base Coat and Top Coat: Revlon basecoat n topcoat
    Eyebrow Product: sorry had to go high-end Sephora retractable brow pencil in midnite brown for $12
    Eyebrow hair gel: Maybelline clear mascara
    Eye primer : NYX HD eyeprimer and maybelline color tattoo
    eyeshadow colors: milani, maybelline, loreal infallable, wetnwild

    1. kryolan dermacolour concealer is amazing, it covers EVERYTHING!!! its only $5.00 online

  25. I never gave this much thought before but there are lots of products I tend to reach for over and over again and things I would be sad if they discontinued it and gladly repurchase. Here's my little list of favorites:
    Hand cream: Sally Hansen Manicure Firming Hand Cream
    Cuticle Cream: Hoof Hands Hard as Hoof Nail Cream
    Nail File: Tropical Shine 4 way buffer
    Makeup remover: Noxema cleansing cream
    Eye makeup remover: Wet n wild eye makeup remover
    Facial Scrub: Family Dollar apricot scrub
    Primer: Rimmel London Primer
    Eye primer: ELF eye primer, NYX eyeshadow base in white
    Foundation: Maybelline BB Cream in light/medium
    Powder: ELF Complexion perfection color correcting powder
    Setting powder: Coty Airspun loose powder
    Bronzer: NYX Matte bronzer in light
    Blush: Hard Candy Fox in a Box in Truth or Dare
    Eyeshadow palettes: Hard Candy top ten eyeshadow in Feelin' Blue?, Wet n Wild color icon pallettes in I've Got Good Jeans, I'm Feeling Retro and Sweet as Candy
    Pencil eyeliner: Jordana easyliner for eyes in coffee bean, Wet n Wild color icon pencils in blue, green, and purple
    Liquid eyeliner: Essence Liquid eyeliner in black
    Mascara: L'Oreal Million Lashes in black-brown
    Eyebrows: Ardell brow defining palette brow kit
    Lipstick: Wet n Wild blushing bali, NYC city duet 2 in 1 duel color in the vintage pinks
    Lip gloss: ELF super glossy lip shine in Honey Do, Rimmel London Vinyl Shine
    Brushes: Soho eye liner, Soho eyeshadow, Soho blending brush, ELF defining brush, ELF blush brush, ELF smudge brush
    Base coat: Sally Hansen Miracle Cure
    Top coat: Seche Vite, Sally Hansen Fast Dry Diamond shine
    Hair product: John Freida Frizz Ease, Garnier Fructis leave in conditioner, Garnier Fructis Style shine brilliantine shine glossing spray

  26. I'm going to print this out! I already use some of them, though.

  27. Hi G I tired the Black Radiance Primer and because of the Titanium Dioxide i had a white cast in my photos. Do you not have that problem?

  28. I have tried the Jordana InColor Fabuliner,St. Ives Green Tea Scrub, and Dr. Bronner's soaps following your recommendations/reviews on these products and I am in love!! These three are my HG staples too! Thanks G!

  29. Clean & Clear Cream Cleanser
    L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black mascara
    any kind of Physician's Formula powder
    L'Oreal True Match concealer
    Marcelle Hydra-C SPF 15 Moisturizing Cream
    Poshe Treatment basecoat

  30. G, what's your favorite bronzer? I didn't see one in your list :)

  31. Hey G, I would love to know if you know of good drugstore polishes in pale blue and in yellow being sold right now. It seems like a lot of brands have tremendous trouble with those color formulas, so it would be great if you might just list some HGs or recommendations for those colors.

    1. Sally Hansen xtreme wear in breezy blue is a great light blue nail polish!

  32. lolll i tought i was the only one using the elf smudge brush for liner :O got the idea from an elf haul from emilynoel83

  33. Isn't that Suave Pro Moroccan Body Lotion not just the BEST?!?! I die each time I put it on in the morning! I bought some Pacifica body butters when you posted the discount on BeautyBrands, and I have been reaching for the Suave recently over those! It just melts into the skin beautifully, and it smells divine!!! Great picks, G!

  34. I can't thank you enough for recommending the Wet Brush!! My youngest daughter has the worst thick, tangled hair ever. Seriously, she wakes up looking like Captain Caveman. This has eliminated the tears and trauma of brushing her hair!

  35. I love the eture cotton pads, too, but the international shipping is usually insane, so I went on a search for something similar. A nice alternative that I found are DHC cotton pads, made in a very similar way with a rayon/silk lint free covering. You can get them for $5.50 per box on dermstore, which can also be a great way to hit the free shipping mark on that website.

  36. e.l.f. eyelid primer, it's on par with Urban Decay Primer Potion. Amazing stuff and its only a dollar!

  37. Completely agree on the NYC top coat! I discovered this a few years back when I bought it on a more $10+ top coats for me! Absolutely love it!!!

  38. Sally Hansen xtreme wear in breezy blue is great!

  39. Holy grail drugstore has to include loreal true match foundation. I've never had such exact color matching with an amazing finish and coverage. Jordana 12 hour made to last liquid eyeliner pencil is SO comparable to the Urban Decay 24/7 liners!! and revlon's highlighting palette in bronze glow with their photoready skinlights in pink light are my ESSENTIAL highlighting tools

  40. My holy grail products;

    1. Ivory aloe bar soap (this stuff works wonders for acne!)

    2. Queen Helene cocoa butter stick(it's my night moisturizer and it stops scars)

    3. LA colors moisture lipstick

    4. Queen Helene cocoa butter lotion

    5. VO5 strawberries and cream shampoo and conditioner

  41. G, I'd love to see if any products changed. Please update when you get the chance:)

  42. G- What are your favorite moisturizers? Day, night, eye?


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