My Top 15 (All Time) Favorite Makeup Products


I get a lot of questions as to what my “desert island” beauty products would be… those tried and true favorites that you keep buying over and over again.  I thought it would be fun to share those here with you today… the best of the best, the products I can’t live without!  Keep reading to learn more about them / why I love ’em so much… but in the meantime, I would love for you to tell me your faves in the comments section! 

  1. NARS Lipstick in Niagara, Funny Face, and Heat Wave.  NARS does lipstick (and color, for that matter) so well.  Niagara is my go-to neutral, Funny Face is the best bright pink, and Heat Wave is a gorgeous red orange coral.  I couldn’t pick a favorite amongst these three colors, so they all just have to count as one product.
  2. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer is my favorite highlighter… it gives you subtle shine + luminosity where you want it without being overly sparkly/shiny.  Just a the perfect amount of gorgeous glow…. elegant + not overdone.  It’s also all natural, which I really love.
  3. tarte Lights Camera Splashes Mascara is my latest favorite (I also wrote about it here)  It leaves my lashes so long + thick and does not budge, all day long.
  4. Stila Eye Shadow in Kitten:  This is the best neutral eyeshadow I’ve ever tried.  I don’t wear eyeshadow that often, but this one is great for every day… I keep buying it and buying it!  It’s pretty and shimmery, and stays on all day without getting the rest of your face all sparkly.
  5. Essie Nail Polish in Geranium.  This is my “it’s summer!” shade.  It’s a hybrid red/coral, looks good on every skin tone, and looks especially pretty with a tan.  I’ve been wearing it for years now and constantly reach for it at the salon once Spring arrives.
  6. NARS Eyeliner Pencil in Kyoto is a bit of a funny choice for someone with blonde hair and blue eyes (aren’t we supposed to wear brown liner to enhance the blue?) but it works for me… it’s the perfect hazel green…. brightening up my eyes and making them really pop (without looking overdone.)
  7. Benefit They’re Real Mascara is an oldie but a goodie.  Even though I’ve been wearing the tarte mascara more recently, I had to include this one here as its one of the best I’ve ever tried.  Leaves lashes longer, thicker, and glamorous…. it never lets me down!
  8. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Glow was a Birchbox discovery, and one I keep going back to.  This one is great for every day… leaves my skin dewy + luminous, in that way that you aren’t wearing any makeup but just happen to look perfectly fresh.
  9. tarte LipSurgence pencils in Skintuitive (color adjusts to your energy / body temp) or Lust (the perfect sheer red!)  I have almost every shade of these pencils and love them so much.  A little bit like a balm, a little bit like a gloss… leaves lips feeling healthy + hydrated with just the right amount of color.  These are especially great in the summer when you just want something light!
  10. bareMinerals Powder Foundation.  I’m not really a foundation person, but when I need it, this is what I reach for.  It leaves my skin looking like me, but with airbrushing.  It’s also got SPF in it, which is good because I sometimes forget to put sunscreen on in the morning.
  11. Zoya Nail Polish in Grace.  It isn’t just because it’s named after me (it isn’t) but this is the perfect sheer light pink nail polish.  It does not streak which always seems to be a problem for me when I do my nails myself.  Zoya nail polish refuses to chip, too… I don’t know what it is but I’ve personally found their nail polishes to be the most long-wearing.
  12. Benefit Hoola Bronzer.  I talk about this product all the time on here, but it truly is the best bronzer I’ve ever tried.  I get new favorites here and there, but keep coming back to this one… I’ve been using it for ten years now!  It looks a bit intimidating since it’s such a dark color, but if you use a light touch, you’ll get great results.  As an added bonus, it lasts forever.  I use it nearly every day and buy a new one every couple years.
  13. Bare Minerals “Stroke of Light” Concealer is meant for just under your eyes, but I also love it to cover up red spots, botches, or the occasional breakout.  It’s creamy but not too thick/goopy.
  14. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Palais Royal is my favorite dark/going out shade.  This is what I put on when I want to feel like (in my own mind) a sexy little vixen.  I think it can be hard for blondes to pull off the dark lipstick look but this one is great… it’s sheer enough to not be jarring, but still provides a more dramatic look.  I wear it in a lot of my outfit posts, like here and here
  15. The Balm InStain Long Wearing Blush in Lace (a bright pink) stays on all day and gives cheeks the prettiest pink flush.  I put just a little bit on the apples of my cheeks and at my hairline for a natural little bit of glow.

P.S.  Be sure to stop by later today… I’ll be sharing a more comprehensive review of my favorite new primer.  Get excited.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. PennyPincherFashion (@PPFGirl):

    Love posts like this as I’m always looking to try new products – definitely intrigued by that highligter/luminizer…must try when mine runs out! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    6.26.13 Reply
  2. Alison:

    Definitely agree with you on the NARS lipsticks, their shades are too pretty not to bring with you!

    6.26.13 Reply
  3. Rachel:

    I’ve heard amazing things about #2, I need to try it out!

    6.26.13 Reply
    • Grace Atwood:

      It really is the best!!!

      6.26.13 Reply
  4. Megan Zietz (@MeganFrugalista):

    really loving tarte lately! Xo, Megan,

    6.26.13 Reply
  5. The Avg Girl Guide (@AvgGirlsGuide):

    Love! Never get tired hearing people’s beauty favorites. Must try that neutral eye shadow, highlighter and NARS lipsticks. PS: Adore Zoya’s Grace… good name doesn’t hurt. 😉


    6.26.13 Reply
  6. Ashley:

    stroke of light is one of my absolute favorite pieces of make up!

    xo SideSmile,
    SideSmile Style

    6.26.13 Reply
  7. chelsie | chelsie, darling:

    stila kitten is such a staple! love this roundup!

    6.26.13 Reply
  8. lifeonthesquares:

    Totally agree about the Benefit “They’re Real” mascara…wearing it today & always haha

    XO, Stefanie
    Life on the Squares

    6.26.13 Reply
  9. elle [wonderfelle world]:

    I always love knowing what products are others “must-haves”! I want to try the RMS luminizer and Zoya polish in Grace now! My can’t-live-without products would have to include le metier de beaute’s peau vierge tinted treatment, MUFE aqua eyes liner, edward bess bronzer in desert sun!

    6.26.13 Reply
  10. jessica grant:

    This is basically just a favorite list right? Are you a Makeup Artist, or just another blogger with an opinion? Really like that essie shade.

    6.26.13 Reply
    • Grace Atwood:

      Just another blogger with an opinion! 😉

      6.26.13 Reply
  11. Alexa:

    Hey Grace! I’ve been looking for something like a long-lasting blush (number 15), you would definitely say it stays on most of the day? Feel like a lot of the ones I’ve tried fade easily! P.S. I really do love your blogger opinions! 😉

    6.26.13 Reply
    • Grace Atwood:

      Yes, it really does!!! Using a primer before helps it stay on, but this does not fade – highly recommend! xo

      6.26.13 Reply
    • erin (@erincg):

      grace, thanks for the tip on this blush – will keep an eye out!

      alexa, another one to check out is the Make Up For Ever HD cream blush – stays on all day and the pigment is incredible!

      6.26.13 Reply
  12. petal and plume:

    this was so fun, thanks for sharing! we share a lot in common!

    6.26.13 Reply
  13. michelle:

    the benefit mascara makes my eyes burn and water. i wish my sensitive eyes liked it better because it is really good mascara.

    6.26.13 Reply
  14. Ashley:

    You would need two different nail polishes? Lol you must like to paint your nails. I, however hate it, so I’d probably add skincare. Does that count?

    xo Ashley

    6.26.13 Reply
  15. Amber:

    I’m in love with Stila’s Kitten Shade; I have it in their In the Light Palette and it’s my favorite one! I also recently bought the Hoola Bronzer, one of the biggest reasons because it’s matte and the consistency is incredible!

    6.27.13 Reply
  16. Gabrielle | Savvy Home:

    I use and love the first 3 daily so I think it’s safe to say I should try the others 🙂

    6.27.13 Reply