Honing In on My Holy Grails

How I streamlined my makeup routine

Almost every beauty item I’m using is a Holy Grail. It took me forever to get here. My Holy Grails were like Drew Barrymore standing on a baseball diamond waiting for me, Sam Coulson to come kiss them.

A few years ago, I was definitely a drugstore (thank goodness) beauty junkie. But only because I was constantly on the search for my perfect foundation, my perfect concealer, my perfect shade of lipstick. In that search I inevitably burned through dozens and dozens of makeup products that were hoarded for a while and then eventually either given away to friends or discarded. So wasteful. Both monetary and physical waste.

I’ve been watching beauty gurus on YouTube since freshman year of college, so. . .seven years ago. And though a lot of what I know about makeup and how to apply it I learned from these channels, which I found immensely helpful, what I later realized was that it was also encouraging me to buy and try new things. A lot.

And I don’t even particularly enjoy experimenting with new makeup looks. I’ve always been after a signature face that looked and felt right for me. Simple! But simple ain’t easy. I didn’t know if it would work, but I decided to unsubscribe from all the beauty gurus I was following in the hopes that not constantly seeing that content would help curb my craving to buy more makeup. I only stayed subscribed to one beauty vlogger: Emilynoel83, the only person I was still subscribed to from when I started watching beauty videos in the first place in 2010! I still appreciate Emily (who comes from a news broadcasting background) for her almost scientific approach to her makeup reviews. They’re super informative and fair. And they make me a more informed and interrogative consumer of beauty.

You know what? It worked. Over time I stopped buying so much. I was patient, and I watched Emily’s videos with the intention that I was on the hunt for the best. Of everything. I listened carefully to what skin types, tones and lifestyles she recommended for each product and I only bought the things I was pretty confident I would like. I also conceded that I may need to spend a little more on certain products. Like foundation, something that was making contact with my entire face, since I’ve long dealt with problematic and acne-prone skin.

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

It took a while, and I was patient. But I eventually found a routine that I’m happy with. And just about every product I use is my personal Holy Grail. And it’s freed up so much time in my routine and clutter in my brain. It’s also saved me a lot of money in the long run too because I’m not always burning through new makeup products. Generally, I try not to buy a new makeup product unless I’m repurchasing or buying backups of products I use a lot (mascara). And if I want to try a new product, like say a new highlighter, I need to finish my current highlighter before I can try something else.

So, without further ado, here are my Holy Grails and a few that I’m still searching for. I’m getting warmer and warmer still!

I'll keep y'all updated on my search for my remaining Holy Grails. If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments!

Diana Le

Diana Le

Diana is the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of Oatmeal Cardigan. She works as a copywriter by day and moonlights as a texting guru by night.