My Holy Grail Makeup Items from the Sephora Sale

The Sephora sale is HERE and all Rouge members get 20% off their favorite (or soon to be favorite) items. VIB members get 15% off starting tomorrow, and Insiders (which anyone can sign up for) get 10% off starting April 23rd. It's no secret that I love makeup, so I wanted to share some of my absolute, best of the best, holy grail items (and their runners up) from each category with you guys to shop and save on as well!!

Not going to lie, I love a good pre-makeup moisturizer. If you haven't tried it yet, it's a must! Take any really nice, hydrating base and you'll see a major difference. Prepping your skin for the before really helps your foundation settle nicely. 

My Runner Up: Tatcha Dewy Skin

As for primers, I don't think they are as much a necessity as a good hydrated base, but I don't have a problem with them overall. I think there are a lot of great primers that do different things (like pore fill, mattify, etc) so it's all about what you want out of it. Great pore-filling primers are this one from Tarte that I love and this cult favorite from Benefit. I normally use the wonder glow primer from Charlotte Tilbury to give a nice dewy look.

When it comes to setting sprays, there are a lot out there. They're mostly all water BUT they work. They help lock things in place but also do a nice job of meshing all your makeup together. My favorite time to use a setting spray is after I apply all my face powder (like baking, bronzer, and blush) to help set and blend it. There is nothing worse than a dry and powdery face. Try it next time you do your makeup! I promise it will help give you a more natural and hydrated face base. 

My Holy Grail: Smashbox Photo Finish
My Runner Up: Tatcha Dewy Skin

We are in the era of foundations and I promise you there is truly something out there for everyone. Long gone are the days of settling for a foundation that doesn't have this or doesn't do that. Seriously, the options now are ENDLESS. I have tried a ton over the years to find "the one" and I even went through a whole year-long process trying to find my tried and true to wear on my wedding. It lead me to a lot of really great foundations. 

And just like the rest of your makeup, it's all about what you want out of your look. Like the Estee Lauder Double Wear is an amazing foundation that is 110% full coverage and will give you a totally clean slate when it comes to skin. While on the other hand, the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is a wonderful light-medium coverage foundation that will look JUST like your skin but better. And in a category of their own (but under the same umbrella), you have CC creams, cushion foundation, and tinted moisturizers.

I'm a light and natural coverage kind of girl. Once I tried the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, I never looked back. Seriously, I stopped testing new foundations! It's been over a year and I still use it to this day on a weekly basis. It's that good. It feels like you're not wearing anything at all and gives the perfect amount of coverage you'd want out of a foundation. 

Ahhh the eyes. Arguably the most important part but I will share that I'm not the biggest eyeshadow/eye look fan. My makeup collection says otherwise, but it is what it is. I have a problem, let me be lol. So here are some quick mentions: my go-to eye shadow is usually whatever bronzer I'm wearing in my crease and whatever highlight I'm using on my lid. 

If we want to get into palettes and actual eyeshadow, I personally really love the Anastasia Norvina palette (the glitters are amazing) and am a BIG fan of the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize cream! My favorite cheap shadow is actually from Ulta and it's $10... soooo.

My most used favorite concealer of all time is the Tarte Shape Tape but for the purpose of this post (and the sale), I wanted to share my favorite from Sephora. It's hands down, without a doubt the Nars Creamy Concealer but it's not pictured because I ran out of it!! V v v v sad. I like to buy the mini sizes so I never run out before it expires, and I can always carry it around with me in my purse. I really like (and often use) the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye concealer. If you are looking for a FULL COVERAGE concealer, this is it. 

When it comes to eyeliner, I mainly like to use whatever dark eyeshadow I have lying around. But lately I've been trying more liquid liners (trying to perfect my cat eye) and have been a fan of this Stila Liquid Liner. One liner that I pretty much always wear is the Tarte Fake Awake nude liner. I place this on my lower waterline and it opens up my eyes. I loathe when girls put white in there because it just doesn't look natural. A nude color like this really does change your entire eye!

For mascara, I really have a love-hate relationship with it. I LOVE mascara but my eyelashes have been an absolute nightmare lately. I can't seem to do anything with them. When they turn out poorly, I blame the mascara lol. I've been testing out the Ilia Mascara and it's fine, but doesn't build up very well. The mascara I've been using for the past year and swear by is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara. It will COAT your lashes and give them the falsie look you want! I love it so much I even got the lash primer to match.

My Holy Grail: Nars Creamy Concealer
My Runner Up: Tarte Fake Awake Liner

Let's start with some powders because this is pretty make-or-break in your makeup routine. Having a bad powder that is too heavy, the wrong color, or not setting enough can ruin any good makeup day. For most of my makeup life, I was loyal to Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder and hardly ever tried anything else. I remember saving up to buy this because it was that good! I couldn't live without it. I still love and use it to this day, but I have found a new love. 

And that's the Fenty Pro Filter Powder (I use the shade lavender). I think I saw it in a YouTube video first and fell in love with the idea of a light purple powder that helps brighten your face. I tested it out and never looked back. I cannot say enough amazing things about the Fenty beauty line either. I don't know a brand that has consistently been as good as they have! I love everything I've tried from them, this powder especially. It's super heavy duty but weirdly not at all drying or cakey!

As an honorable mention (because I would do a disservice without saying anything) is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Powder. This stuff is amazing and if you want to talk about a brand that can do no wrong, look to CT makeup. This powder is some of the most finely milled powder that you can layer 100x over and will never once build-up or look cakey. It's amazing. And for lighter makeup days or whenever I'm on the go, I always have this by my side. 

When it comes to bronzers, I have struggled, I won't lie. I am so pale that a lot of bronzers look really dirty or ashy on my skin. And if there's anything I hate more, it's when girls look dirty from their bronzer!! I'm not trying to recreate the early 2000's when we put bronzer alllll over our face. We're better than that!

I first fell in love with the cult classic Hoola Benefit Bronzer and it was great. It was dark but I was able to make it work. But when they released a Hoola Light Bronzer, I was THRILLED. It was like they heard the cries of pale girls everywhere and came out with something for us!! I love that it's super light but also buildable so you can really get the right amount of bronze you want and need for any makeup look. It also looks amazing on the eyes. 

It wasn't until I saw Camille Kostek's makeup routine that I broke my Hoola obsession and found a new, but familiar love: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Powder. She was using the powder I know and love but in a darker shade for bronzer and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I mean how brilliant is that?! The color turns out to be the perfect bronze-goddess shade for my skin too. 

And if you know me, you know I'm also all about a liquid look. I actually think I prefer liquids overall in my makeup routine because I feel like they give a really nice, natural, and youthful look for your skin. I first got into liquids via the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Duo, which to this day is still an all-time favorite of mine. Then I played around with the Chanel cream bronzer but didn't love it as much (a little too orange for me) until I was sent this Perricone Bronzer in a PR package. I am a fan but I did just purchase this new Fenty Cream Bronzer because I am a creature of habit. 

My Holy Grail: Hoola Light Bronzer
My Runner Up: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Powder (I only put this as the runner up -- and not the holy grail -- because it's not a true bronzer and I don't know that it will work on tanner skin than mine)

Then, we come to blush. AND I LOVE BLUSH. But I am the *MOST* picky about it. I have a pretty oily t-zone and I DO NOT like a shimmery blush. And guess what 99% of blushes have? Shimmer. Before I figured it out, I was trying everything in my power to stop looking like an oily mess by the end of my makeup day. Little did I know that it was because of my blush!! It had a shimmery highlight to it and once I fixed it, my world was changed.

I found that a nude blush looks best on me and the only one I really truly love and use all the time is my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush. It lasts such a long time (which is hard for blush), gives the perfect touch of color, and it doesn't add any kind of shine!! Winner, winner chicken dinner.

An honorable mention here would be my liquid blush. I really have gotten into the Glossier Cheek Paint but another most-used favorite is my Perricone Blush. This was in the same PR package as my bronzer and I love how easy it is to use. It's a great color and when I don't feel like wearing anything else, I throw a touch of this on each cheek and call it a day.

My Holy Grail: Tarte Amazonian Clay

And then that leaves us with highlight. Ever since Jaclyn Hill came out with Champagne Pop, it was the start of a new era: highlight was IN. And it was bright and blinding and everyone under the sun made one and it came in a million shades and formulations. So you have some options.

If you want a BLINDING highlight, look no further than Cookie by Benefit. This color originally came in a trio set and constantly sold out just because people wanted the highlighter. So Benefit listened and came out with single pan options. You just cannot go wrong with Cookie if you want a highlight sent to the gods.

If you're looking for a little more in terms of shade options and a little less in terms of blinding, I personally love the Fenty Killawatt Highlights. I think I originally got a mini highlight in a gift set and ended up using it until I hit pan. Then I bought a big one, broke it, and bought another big one lol. Again, Fenty can do no wrong!

And then it comes to one of my favorite makeup items OF ALL TIME. I think this is my No. 1 must-have makeup item in my entire collection: the Hourglass Ambient Light. Here's the thing, it's amazing, yes, BUT I've done the blinding, strip line highlight and I'm past that. I want the glow from within, luminous all over look and THIS ... this is it.

I wore it on my wedding day and I've worn it every day since, but this gives the most natural, wonderful glow and I cannot say enough amazing things about it. It builds wonderfully so you can go from natural to a little more glowy in no time. You can also apply a light layer all over the face for a nice top coat and I promise your skin will never look better. Yes, yes and yes.

My Holy Grail: Hourglass Ambient Light
My Runner Up: Fenty Highlight (this beat out Cookie by a slim margin because it has more color options for more skin tones!)

P.S. If you got to the bottom of this post, comment with your favorite item you either want to try or want to refill and I will pick five random people and buy it!! Just leave your email so I can contact you. Will pick people Tuesday morning!!


  1. Great products! I would love to try the Hourglass Ambient Light powder.

  2. I'm so intrigued by the lavender Fenty powder!

  3. All great products! I struggle finding a blush that I can stick with and love. I would want to try the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush you mentioned!

  4. You really sold me on the Hourglass Ambient Light powder - sounds amazing!! Would love to try :) Thanks for sharing these!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. hi!! no one has left their email so I can't contact anyone :(

  6. So many good picks here, I love the Tatcha Dewy Cream! I haven't tried Charlote Tilbury yet, so would love to try her eyeshadows - Eyes to Mesmerize! littlethingsolga@gmail.com

  7. Hi Krista! I was wondering if you have a tried and true moisturizer (tinted or not) with SPF that you use as a good base. I've seen a lot of products pop up lately (Supergoop, Tula) and am curious if you use one that you can recommend! (laurenbenedetto@gmail.com)

  8. I have been reading from a few people about the CT magic cream--I am needing a great eye cream/cream for my eyes! dianazylow (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. Thank you for this post! Would love to try the Fenty Pro Filter Powder! kendallmcdaniel@hotmail.com

  10. Really want to try the Hourglass Ambient Light! You sold me on it and the glowy from within look is definitely what I'm going for! rebecca (dot) dennee (at) gmail (dot) com <3

  11. Hi Krista! I would love to try the Hourglass Ambient Light. Thanks for the helpful post!

  12. hi! I always love your recommendations! I really want to try the charlotte tilburry flawless filter because it comes so highly recommended sarahrc0618 (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. I would love to try out the Farmacy Honeymoon Glow overnight serum! sandersch520@gmail.com

  14. Hi Krista! I would love to try the Ambient Lighting Powder! Just not sure what color... Thanks so much for the detailed post! I love how you broke it down per category. My email is alyssayalvarez@gmail.com

  15. Hi, Krista - Thank you so much for the offer! I love your blog but this is my first time commenting :) I am very interested in trying the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer -- I actually never wear foundation because of my acne-prone skin, but I've always wanted to try a tinted moisturizer so that I can get a little coverage. My email is kathryneotoole@gmail.com

  16. Your review made me really want to try the Fenty Pro Filter Powder! I always struggle to find powders that work with my skin tone, so I'm intrigued by the lavender color. kajjjj176 [at] gmail [dot] com

  17. Your Instagram tutorial was SO helpful today. I hope you’ll make it a highlight. I usually get ready and go pretty quickly so it seems like the Laura Mercier tinted moistures would be good for me! Thanks for such a sweet giveaway. Xo kateelmes207@gmail.com

  18. This post was everything! I’ve been looking for new things to try and I am so happy I came across this! I would love to try the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer! It would make early mornings much easier for me :)
    Thanks again xo

  19. I had no idea Hoola Bronzer came in LITE! I tried the original and it was too dark for my skin but I think the lite would be perfect. Thank you for sharing all of your favorites. DeeAroyer@gmail.com

  20. The Tatcha luminous dewy skin mist has been on my list for ages, but I've never pulled the trigger - I'd love to try it! ckennedy925@gmail.com

  21. I've always wanted to try Smashbox Photo Finish! It's been on my list forever but I've never pulled the trigger! meister.abby@gmail.com

  22. I would love to try a thing Charlotte tilbury or the hourglass ambient light. What color do you use in hour glass?

  23. I found your post super helpful! I’ve been working on updating my make-up routine and am really excited to try the Tarte Fake Awake eyeliner. I’m hoping it will make my eyes pop more and have been looking for a non white liner! bbarber2015@gmail.com


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