My doppelganger / recently retired blogger, Stashy asked me about HG beauty products. Straight off, I am a makeup hoarder, so I don’t actually use that much makeup on a daily basis. I do love hoarding though LOL. Anyways, here’s my HG makeup and why.


  • Panned product / repurchase
  • Own a backup
  • Use at least weekly **again, I’d like to emphasise, I am a hoarder and do walk around bare faced

My skin type: combination skin, dehydrated. For more details, click here.

BB cream

Okay, Stashy, it is the same thing again, I’m sure you’re sick of me talking about this – Primavista multi cover base UV. I have at least 2 back up at any given time. I love it because it evens out my skin tone and makes my face radiant/youthful without stickiness. It’s that my skin but better sort of look. I trust that all my friends and colleagues already know about my obsession with this product.

Holy Grail over 30, face: Sofina Primavista multi cover base UV, Sofina Primavista long keep base UV, MAC face and body foundation, MAC blush, Primavista powder foundation


My ultimate budge proof makeup primer is… Primavista long keep base UV. Literately nothing budges if I use this as my base. It smooths out pores and maintains a matte finish. I only use this for between my brows and nose.


MAC face and body – I own C2 and C3, in 120ml format and 50ml (for travel). I think this one is the most qualified.

I love its sheer, wet skin-like finish, totally undetectable in real life or via camera. It gives my face a natural glow (without any powder) that last all day. The water-repellent formula works excellently for me in all weather conditions.

Honourary mention: Clarins True Radiance is a close second, because I have repurchase it before and it tends to be my go to foundation for interviews. It is ironic, because the lasting power is not fantastic without a powder. Read my review here.

Loose powder

None qualifies for HG.

If I have to choose a loose powder, Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder is my go-to. I have repeated the purchase. For the life of me, it is lost in my stash at the moment LOL Told you that I don’t use this type of thing. It is super fine milled and make my face feels super smooth.

Pressed powder

Sofina Primavista powder foundation. In case you’re wondering, yes, I have bought one of each product in their whole range. Not everything made it to HG, of course.

I have repurchased the refill and panned this powder before. Warning!!!! This one has performance issue when it is humid (90% + conditions) e.g. Singapore . The powder “lifts” and moves around 4th hour wear whenever it is super humid. Anyways, in regular EU conditions, it gives a beautiful satin, medium towards high coverage. Easy to blend, fine milled. The compact is beautiful. If I bundle with my HG primer (Primavista long keep base UV), it is pretty bullet proof for 8 hours+ wear in any condition. **I tend to use this in summer.

I love it because I get to choose the case AND the powder is super smooth. My face feels silky after application. Every year Sofina release 2-4 cases, they’re always beautiful (love). Plus, I love that there’s a thick cover for the powder, it really keeps the mirror clean.

Primavista powder foundation. Beige 05 suits me most of the time, when I get more tanned, I use Ochre Beige 05. When I lived in London , I had to use Ochre Beige 03.


Kate stick concealer. Drugstore price (under USD10), better than high end performance. Hands down. Buttery, easy to blend, full coverage. What else am I supposed to ask for? It has dethroned everything else that I own.

**Photo is at the end, sorry, I only realise the photo fail after I published.

Brow pencil

Etude House drawing eye brow. MEGA cheap, easy application, comes in my shade (charcoal) and has a spoolie. Again,star performance. LOVE.

Eye shadow

Laura Mercier cavier stick in rose gold. Easy to apply with fingers and last all day. Gives the eye lid a beautiful glow. **The colour does breakup on my “fold” after 6  hours wear on a warm day (25+ Celcius). Everywhere else stay put for like 10+ hours. The point it, it is very lazy and great for doing makeup in public transport LOL

Honorary mention: MAC single in Tempting (lustre). It is a bronze gold with lots of sparkle. Super pigmented with blinding lustre, last all night partying. I apply it on its own and blends out for a glam up night out look. Mega lazy, just perfect for me.

Holy Grail over 30s, eyes: Etude House drawing eye brow, Brow lash Ex washable mascara, MAC eye shadow, Laura Mercier cavier stick


Brow lash Ex washable WP mascara (Japanese drug store brand) lengthens and keeps the curl. No flaking, survives mild crying. I can’t ask for more.

Honourary mention: I have by far repurchased (& used) Majorlica Majorca’s mascara more – Lash King and Lash Expander. This is a very recent dethrone. **It maybe more that I got bored. I still do swear by Majorlica Majorca’s.

Eye liner

None, because I really don’t use this often.

The most bullet proof one that I own is Bobbi Brown gel liner. Can swim with it. Period. O and physically impossible to pan. After daily use continuously for months, I only got some dent. #$%!$#@$% (refer to my project pan that has nothing to show for it)


Too lazy. I own a few contour products, but don’t use any of them often enough to qualify as HG. I have never repurchased any.


Hm… okay, I don’t use this at all during winter, but summer time, it is probably Clarins bronzing duo in 01 (light). I HATE the current packaging! The synthetic peached fabric pouch is terrible. The older version was a red compact with contrast gold clip plus a classy looking duo colour taffeta sash bag. Even the version before was better than now, it was gold compact with a red gem clasp. So forgive me if I hate the current packaging. I swear I will not buy any more if they disappoint me with their packaging again.

I like this the best because it has 2 tones to choose from and the powder is not too hard press to use. The tone runs red and easy to work with.


MAC pinch o’ peach. Natural looking every day peachy pink sheer tone matte blush. It lasts over 8 hours without fading **subject to limited French greetings during the day, nothing can survive 10+ greeting kiss okay? I like it tons because I feel that I look more cheerful when I wear it. I love MAC blush singles because of the see through top. It is easy to identify which colour I am grabbing in a rush.

Honourary mention: I have bought (& pan) more of Benefit Dandelion than MAC blush, but with the smelly brush incident that I had with them, I no longer buy any products from Benefit. Dandelion is a mauve fine shimmer pink that lights up the face. I used it for all over the face and as a blush. It is a fool proof blush that I have used enough times that I apply it without the need of a mirror. Very light packaging, it had been a favourite for a long time. Too bad that I lost trust in their quality control. I am frankly too scared to buy any more.


Most purchased and panned of all time must be Rouge Dior in shade promenade, aka my lip but better shade (okay, a bit more brown than my own). The texture is buttery smooth, zero bleeding and smells divine. Too bad that their current spokesperson, Ms Hadid, annoys me; I will not purchase from Dior until further notice. I am a bit of a psycho, it the brand’s advertising annoys me even one bit, I will stop buying from them. So many brands to choose from, why spend money on the one that causes even the mildest irritation?


Tools / Brushes

Actually, no idea why I like using these so much. Out of habit?

MAC 187 – duo fibre face brush. It works particularly well with MAC face and body foundation

Esprique foundation brush – flat top, high density. Love this brush, but it is HELL to clean.

Bobbi Brown face – kabuki brush (mine is SOOOOOO old and never shed)

Zoeva 142 – concealer buffer

MAC 129SH – face / blush brush. Mine is well over 10 years old, both hair and shade in tact! I bought both the short handle and the regular. Although the head is the same, I tends to use the short handle one more.

Japanese hand made (Hiroshima) blush brush – round domed shape, natural hair blush brush, short handle *I think it is pony, but I can be wrong. I have had this for a while

Real Technique contour brush – I use it for highlighter / for overly pigmented powder

MAC 224SH – cult favourite natural hair tapered blending brush

MAC 214 – short shader brush (very dense). I use it for smoking things out or pack pigment onto a small area.

MAC 266 – Angle brush. I use this for my brows. I think it was meant for eye liner.

Zoeva 310 – spot liner brush. I use this for eye liner gel / cream.

Shiseido lash curler – I have had this since I was a teenager LOL I do change the rubber twice a year though.

I have not used any sponges for the last 6 months LOL, but if I have to choose a sponge, it will be Shu Uemura pentagon. I have bought several packs before, so it will be the most qualified to be my HG. They’re soft on the face/eyes. Lots of angles for finer application. It is creamy white. Very easy for me to spot if it is dirty haha.

Holy grail over 30s, nail: Canmake gel volume top coat, Innis Free nail polish, OPI nail lacquer, Rimmel salon pro

Nail polish

Winter favourite

Rimmel London Salon Pro in 124 Venus. It is a vampy red with blue tone. Last about 5-6 days without chipping (without the need of top coat).

Summer favourite

OPI nail lacquer in “a oui bit of red”. Classic red with minuscule glitter. I like it because the glossiness remain after several days of wear. I don’t know if it happens to other people, but some nail polish doesn’t look as smooth or shiny after the first 2 days.

Novelty topper

Innis Free eco nail colour #105. It has rose gold and copper flakes, plus strips of white. It really adds a beautiful festive finish to the nails.On top of that, it is super cheap.

The close second is the Canmake sugar topping coat. When this stuff dries down, it looks like frosted sugar (textured). Love that stuff, but I think it has been discontinued.

Top coat

Canmake Gel Volume top coat. Makes the nail look super fat. LOVE it! Did I mention that it is cheap too? 580 JPY. Honestly, just take my money.

For reference, here is Stashy’s HG post. **thank you, Stashy for the post idea 😉 xox


So, how about you? What’s your Holy Grail makeup product?

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Bought everything myself. This HG list is unlikely to change for at least another 2 years due to the amount of back up that I have haha. I must say, HG list ins my 20s was quite different.


Salut, I am Joyce. 40 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. Pingback: Dior backstage face and body foundation review – Local Girl Foreign Land

  2. It’s such a hilarious disconnect to be a makeup hoarder who doesn’t wear makeup regularly! 😆

    I promise to try the sample of the Primavista SOON. My skin has been acting up lately so I’m hesitant to try anything new. I want to try it when my skin is at its optimal so I can fall in love with it too…

    You remind me that I need to pick up another bottle of MAC F&B foundation. I was talked into buying the massive bottle (“better value!”) but in reality I could not finish that bottle! I’m going to get the smaller one. I also should get another KATE stick concealer but I want to give other ones a try (ie NARS soft matte concealer)

    Do you apply the Sofina Primavista powder foundation with the sponge included in the compact or with something else? I mentioned to you that I finally got a Shiseido powder to look good on my skin when I got that Koyudo Macaron Kabuki Brush. Buffing it in with a dense brush made all the difference!

    Hmm I don’t own MAC Tempting. I will check it out. Typically I don’t like Lustre finishes because the glitters fall down. I also don’t own MAC Pinch o’ Peach blush! 😮

    I do NOT like MAC 187 – I actually gave mine away. Just HOW do you apply liquid foundation using that thing? And I can’t believe you use a brush to apply MAC F&B! It’s recommended to use fingers because the rubbing helps to create the seal… I will find the Lisa Eldridge video that explains this!

    I will be back to post my 2nd half of my comments…

    • My skin freaked out during winter 😣 hope yours will recover soon. I got eczema for like 2 months. Drove me nuts.

      For the Primavista powder foundation, I apply it with the Bobbi Brown kabuki and then I “press” my face with the sponge (no product). I don’t actually apply anything with the sponge. Your Koyudo brush is too beautiful for use 😍😍😍😍

      Tempting does have glitter fall out after 4hrs or so. That is why it is only the honourary mention and not the HG 😂 Laura Mercier cavier stick has no fall out, but they only come in satin/shimmer finishes.

      Yes, MAC 187 isn’t your thing lol I recall your old post. When I have eczema on my hands, I use brush for everything? It is a pain. I’ll try to do a close up slow-mo on how I use the brush. I don’t know but I have used 187 whenever it is a water base foundation or when I want to diffuse the coverage. MAC170 and Esprique foundation brush worked for F&B ‘film’ too.

      Haha I’ll wait for your 2nd half comment 😘😘

      • Ok I’m back with the 2nd part of my comment! 😛

        I need a better photo of your Hiroshima hand made brush! Is it the red handled one down in the group shot below? You’re such a tease! If it is the red handled brush, then I would say it’s made of goat hair, not pony. I’m sure it’s super soft and lovely.

        Shiseido lash curler is excellent. But if you’re able, try to get your hands on the Surratt one. It’s been a game changer for me.

        Have you tried the Daiso sponge cleaner? It may help with cleaning your Esprique foundation brush. I only recommend it for synthetic bristles though. Alternatively, I’ve found Dawn dish detergent to be effective in removing foundation from brushes / sponges as well.

        I’ve not tried any Rimmel nail polish and people seem to really like them. I’ll have to check them out one of these days!

        I’m glad I “influenced” you to post this! 😀

        • Hey, Stashy~~ sorry, I’m super late with this reply. Wasn’t trying tease LOL I was trying to make my beauty post more bblog-like. I don’t have the brush on me (traveling), will send you a close up and ‘portrait’ of the brush. I promise.

          I have not tried Surratt or the Daiso sponge cleaner~~ Okay, I’ll take your advice and give the lash curler a try. Didn’t you say that Daiso has changed / reformulated their sponge cleaner?

          **With the Esprique and MAC170, I use the Foreo play to clean wahahaha, because that thing is useless for cleansing my face. I finally found a use for it.

  3. Fun post Joyce! I don’t blame you for not wearing makeup most of the time. 1. It’s effort and 2. you have amazing skin anyway x

    • I am so lazy haha 😂 aw, thanks. I am so surprised that my macro bare face photos haven’t scared reader off 😘😘😘

  4. For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup all the time, you did well to have repurchased many things LOL. Hm, I remember getting a Primavista Sofina BB cream sample or something from YesStyle but I don’t remember if I’ve used it or not, I will have to check! I never hear anyone talk about them (and I like j-beauty) so it was refreshing hearing you talk about them.

    MAC Pinch o Peach sounds like a blush I need in my collection. I love buying blush, it makes me happy. 😂😂

    I love Bobbi Brown and love most things I have tried from them so far…I am really curious about their brushes so I will need to have a look in-store!

    • Hey, Hoiyin~~♡ thanks for dropping by. Well, having the makeup in my collection makes me happy. These days I make an active effort to wear makeup more often to use up my stash 😃

      I talk about the Primavista multi cover all the time lol O be careful with the free samples. I got expired free samples from them before.

      Maybe you do a Holy Grail post? I am a big fan of Japanese beauty too 😁

      • Oh really? How can you tell if the samples have expired or not? Bad smell?

        To be honest, I don’t think I am qualified yet to do a Holy Grail post because I really don’t have that many products that I have repurchased over and over again. Maybe in a few years. 😝

        • Sorry for my late reply xox they sent me free sheet masks and it had the expiry date on them >_< seriously, what were they thinking.

          How about a “go-to” product post? That will be workable, no? 😀 will be interesting to see. I am a sucker for Japanese beauty product haha

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