You know the classic ice-breaker question, "if you were stranded on an island with only _____ items, what would you have with you?" I'm sort of answering that, but in a less dramatic way. I don't anticipate being stranded on an island and a beauty product wouldn't be on my list if I was to find myself in that situation, BUT you get the idea. I thought it would be fun to round up my "stranded island"/holy grail items in a couple different categories: beauty, style, etc.

I share a lot of products and things that I love with you guys through this blog and my Instagram feed. I like trying new products, especially if I've heard good things. Sometimes they work great and get integrated into my beauty routine, sometimes they're just okay, sometimes they flop. The ones that are great and prove their greatness overtime, however, are the special ones. Those are the holy grail items, baby. Each of the items that I'm about to share with you have been purchased with my own money, so you know that I actually love them! Most of them, save for a couple of lip products, have been purchased several times because they're just that great.

SKIN
I've shared in skincare posts previously that I didn't really pay attention to my skincare until the last couple of years. Now that I am intentional about it, it's one of my favorite beauty categories. I love finding and using products that enhance my skin and work well for me.

Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask
I could go on and on about how much I adore this mask, but I'll spare you the details. Plus, you've probably already heard me talk about it several times, so you know. I've tried a couple other charcoal masks that just didn't compare to this one. I can feel it working on cleaning out my skin as soon as I put it on. It stops breakouts before they get worse and keeps my skin looking good! I use it about once a week.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
If I had to pick only ONE beauty product to use for the rest of my life, it would be this liquid gold. It's amazing, incredible, wonderful, the best, etc. It's cleared up my skin, adds brightness, moisturizes, balances, smells great, basically does all the things. I use it every night after I cleanse my skin.

Fresh Beauty Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm
I have this irrational fear of being stuck somewhere with dry lips and no lip balm on me. I always had chapped lips as a kid. Once I hit high school and realized my lips didn't need to be chapped at all times, I started carrying a tube of chapstick with me everywhere I went. It was either in my purse that was on me or in my back pocket, just in case. That habit has carried through into adulthood! I have a lip balm everywhere in our house - the bathroom, my office, my nightstand, our living room. No matter what room I'm in, I know that there's a moisturizing lip product nearby. Of all the kinds that I've tried, I do love this one because I feel like it lasts the longest. It's super moisturizing and doesn't soak in too quickly. Plus, it doesn't have any taste to it, which is a bonus!

NAILS
I prefer my nails with polish on them versus not. As soon as a nail starts to chip, though, it's all coming off. I can't deal with chipped polish on my nails like some people can! I'll just end up peeling it all off and damaging my nails. I used to like getting gel manicures since they lasted so long, but hated how destroyed my nails would be when I would get them removed. Regular nail polish lasted, at max, three days on me before it started chipping. I would polish them 2-3 nights a week, which is crazy! That is, until, I finally found a formula and combination of products that works for my nails! I can get my at-home manicures to last at least five days now, which is a game changer.

Seche Vite Clear Base Coat
This is the best base coat I've used. It's not too thick or sticky and creates a nice surface to flawlessly apply the color.

Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish
This is it, guys. If you haven't tried this line yet, you really should! I have several colors that I rotate between, but my go-to lately has been Matter of Friction. The application is super easy, too: I use my base coat (although you don't technically have to), two coats of color and then the top coat.

Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Top Coat
This top coat works great to seal in the color and create a nice shine.

HAIR
Growing up with a hairstylist sister, I was bound to be a little neurotic about my hair, right? If I had to choose between wearing makeup or doing my hair, I will always choose doing my hair. You can read about all the haircare products I use and love in this post, but here are a couple of my must-have's.

Aquage Uplifting Foam
My sister introduced me to this uplifting foam years ago and I've been using it ever since. It gives great lift at the roots without feeling like I have a ton of product in my hair.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
I've found this dry shampoo to be one of the best that I've used...and I've tried a good amount. It does its job well without leaving behind any residue or extra unwanted product.

Kenra Volume 25 Hairspray
The best hairspray around, hands down. It feels like I've been using this product forever. It smells great, holds wonderfully and doesn't get crunchy or make my hair feel grimy.

MAKEUP
I've tried a fair amount of makeup in the past couple of years, although probably nowhere near what some people go through. I'm much less daring when it comes to makeup than I am with clothes. I'm down to try the new trends or something that's a bit out of my comfort zone with styling, but makeup is more intimidating to me. I enjoy playing around with new products and, having tried enough in the last couple years, I feel comfortable knowing what brands, colors, types of products work well with my skin.

Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara
The best mascara I've used, for sure. With naturally full, long lashes, this magic in a tube enhances and amplifies my lashes without feeling too heavy. It comes with a steeper price tag than a drugstore mascara, but for me, it's worth it. I have recently started using a great drugstore dupe that I'm loving though!

it Cosmetics CC Cream
My go-to foundation for a couple years now. I like a medium coverage foundation - my skin likes to breath and I prefer to be able to see my freckles under my makeup. I love this one because it's buildable and has the built in SPF.

Dior Addict Lip Glow
I prefer tinted balms to lipstick most of the time, so this one was an obvious choice. I love the balm because it does a great job enhancing my natural lip color while hydrating. I have it in the Lilac (my favorite!) and the Pink.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Morning After
The best everyday, barely there, wore it on my wedding day color. I used to be pretty bold with my lipstick color choices - I loved a bright, hot pink. While I think it's fun to play around with bold colors, this is a wonderful everyday, any occasion shade. It adds just enough color to pull together a full makeup look, but still looks natural. I love the formula of these lipsticks - they don't dry out and they wear really well.