My Holy Grail Face Makeup for Combination Skin

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

If you read my post on my go-to base make-up, you’ll know that I have combination skin gearing towards the oily side. I’ve tested a number of foundations and other products before settling down with my base makeup favorites. Now, I’ll go through my top picks when it comes to lasting face make-up.

face makeup

Not only do I have an oily T-Zone, my skin is also slightly sensitive to some face make-up products. I don’t normally look for ingredients that may irritate my skin (which I should do), but my skin just literally speaks to me when it doesn’t like something. I get acne or these little bumps that clog my pores.

No matter if they’re local or high-end, narrowing my search for my holy grail face makeup products has come to an end. Let me show you my top picks and why I love them!

Hit pan on Benefit Hoola
My favorite bronzer - Benefit Hoola. So happy that I hit pan on it this much. I love it so much, I already bought a back-up and a mini size one.


I love bronzers. If you’re a morena like me, a bronzer should be a staple in your makeup kit more than a blush. A touch of bronzer gives the skin that healthy, sun-kissed glow which looks natural on women with medium skin tone. I used to like golden bronzers with a bit of shimmer, but since contouring has also been taking over the makeup game recently, I opted for a product that can do bronze and contour at the same time.

That’s when I fell in love with Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer. This bronzer is a cult favorite of many beauty bloggers and vloggers and I can understand why. The right contour powder comes in matte finish with a cool, ashy tone that resembles the shadow. On the other hand, the perfect warm tone bronzer has a tint of brown that gives the skin a healthy, golden flush without making the face look orange. When it comes to Hoola Bronzer, you get the perfect blend of cool and warm tones.

Combining both cool and warm tones in a single bronzing product saves time and money when I do my makeup. Admittedly the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer used to be my holy grail bronzer. It’s a tad bit ashy than the Hoola and it stays longer on the skin. Not sure if Too Faced changed their formula, but when I bought the regular size my skin always gets irritated by having tiny bumps along the sides of my face. It’s too bad though because I love the packaging so much – very high quality – and it really smells like chocolate.

In contrast, my skin approves the Hoola Bronzer even if I use it everyday. It’s a dual purpose product that bronzes the face and at the same time contours the cheek, forehead, nose and jaw line, too. It doesn’t give too much pigmentation at first application, but it’s very easy to blend and build up which I find helpful so I don’t get that obvious contour line. This lasts on my face for a solid 6 hours. I even use this as my neutral brown eye shadow when I travel.

The packaging is made with durable cardboard and all boxed products of Benefit Cosmetics have artistic, stylish, and fun design true to Benefit’s brand image. It also comes with a brush which I find useful for travel and quick contouring. The only downside is that it sheds a lot. To be honest, I find the packaging bulky inside my makeup bag but it keeps the product safe. I’ve dropped mine several times and the bronzer hasn’t smashed yet. It’s steep for the price and for the amount of product you’re getting (only 8.0 g / 0.28 oz), but this product treats my skin well and I’m going to use it until I completely empty the pan.

Price: Php 1,700 at Benefit Cosmetics Philippines counters, Php 1,800 at 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed and Natural Beauty
My go-to Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes in Exposed and Natural Beauty. I use them frequently but I barely made a dent on its unique pressed form and design.


I used to skip applying blush before. That’s because I didn’t find anything that lasts on my cheeks for more than 2 hours. I tried using Smashbox, but seriously an Ever Bilena one lasts longer. I picked a loose and compact blush powder from Maybelline before and I find myself reapplying product after 3 hours. Korean brand blushes are the worst on my cheeks because not only are the shades light, they also stay on my face for just an hour max.

That’s when I discovered Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blushes (Seriously Kathleen Lights has a tremendous influence on me with my makeup selection and I trust her judgement most of the time). Tarte is well-known for their long-wearing blushes that last up to 12 hours. Though mine doesn’t last that long, I get the satisfaction of still seeing my blush for up to 8 hours depending on the shade. That’s a very long time for someone who has combination skin!

Like many of Tarte’s products, the key ingredient in their blushes is the Amazonian clay which helps control oil and at the same time hydrates the skin. These blushes have a radiant finish so each shade looks natural on the skin and they are not powdery at all. Their Amazonian Clay Blush is so popular, that it has more than 20 shades – more than 30 even if you include limited edition ones and those in palettes. With a wide range of shades available, there’s always a color suitable for every skin tone.

My two go-to shades are Exposed and Natural Beauty. Exposed is a nude color that has the slightest tint of rosy pink in it. It’s probably Tarte’s best-selling shade in their Amazonian Clay Blush line. I use this shade whenever I do smokey eyes, bold lips, or just when I’m unsure of what blush goes with the rest of my makeup. On the opposite spectrum is Natural Beauty which is a muted strawberry red shade, which looks more red in real life than in photos. It looks intimidating to apply, but you can’t go wrong with a light hand. I use this whenever I wear nude or warm rose lipstick shades, which is most of the time. This is the perfect drunk blush shade for morenas who aren’t a fan of using water or gel tints on the face (like me). 

Since this Tarte blush has a unique finish compared to other powder blushes, you need to really dig into the product to get the pigmentation. I find that using a stippling brush and doing the stippling motion are the best ways to apply this blush. If I use a regular blush brush, I need to swirl the brush several times and with a little force to get the color. I instantly fell in love with Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush that I ended up buying 5 of them all at the same time. It might seem pricey but it’s totally worth the price because it’s difficult to hit pan on these blushes. I probably won’t need another set for the next 3 to 5 years (keyword: need. Lol)!

Price: Php 450-600 for deluxe size and Php 1,000-1,800 for regular, individual size (Shopee and online resellers), US$ 29 on,, and

The Manizer Sisters: Mary-Lou, Cindy-Lou, Betty-Lou
My holy grail highlighter: The Balm The Manizer Sisters


Another product that’s been popping and reinventing on the makeup scene are highlights. Some brands are just on-point while others are too extreme and unnatural for decent, human use. When it comes to highlighters, my holy grail boils down to The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer. It’s the first highlighter I ever owned and I just find myself going back to this. Even on my medium skin, I find that this light champagne shade goes well together with the rest of my make-up. The shimmer particles are so tiny that it doesn’t look chunky when applied onto the skin.

I love the The Balm’s highlighters so much, that I ended up getting The Manizer Sisters palette and sold the regular size Mary-Lou Manizer. The other two highlighter shades are Cindy-Lou Manizer (rose) and Betty-Lou Manizer (golden bronze). I rarely use Cindy-Lou on its own so I combine it with Mary-Lou. I also mix Mary-Lou and Betty-Lou together if I want my highlight to be a little golden but still subtle.

This highlight lasts on my skin for about 4 hours. Though my ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Wisp lasts longer, I like how the Mary-Lou Manizer melts beautifully onto the skin when my face becomes oily throughout the day. I even like this one better than my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop because I find the Becca one too blinding and chunky for everyday use.

Mary-Lou Manizer works well when applied with either a fan brush or a small fluffy brush.

Price: Php 1,025 at Beauty Bar Philippines counters, Php 1,237 at, and US$ 24 at (regular size)
Php 1,395 at Beauty Bar Philippines counters, Php 1,464 at (The Manizer Sisters)

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray in 118 ml / 4.0 fl oz
My current go-to setting spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

Makeup Setting Spray

I seldom use a makeup setting spray for daily use. Most of the time, I’m already fine with my MAC Fix+ to eliminate the powdery look and to freshen up the skin. I loved Skinfood Red Orange Makeup Finish Spray (Matte) to bits because it prolonged the matte finish on the face for 4 hours and it’s affordable, too. Unfortunately, Skinfood already discontinued this product including the glossy version.

By default, my go-to spray for now is Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. Truthfully the best one I tried is Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray. Unfortunately, as Kathleen Lights would say, “das esspensive.” With Skindinavia, you’re really paying for the brand and the quality. As for the All Nighter spray, Skindinavia actually formulated this setting spray for Urban Decay. I tried both and they really made my makeup last long as if it’s freshly applied. Urban Decay All Nighter is also cheaper than Skindinavia here in the Philippines.

However, what I find disappointing in the All Nighter setting spray is its off-putting scent. I read reviews online and other people are also complaining about the scent which they suspect is due to the new packaging. I find that the bad smell diminishes after a couple of minutes and didn’t irritate my skin. But once I finish this bottle from Urban Decay, I’ll switch back to Skindinavia even if I have to pay more.

Price: Php 1,600-2,500 (Shopee and online resellers), US$ 32 at (118ml / 4 fl oz)

Holy grail face makeup for combination skin - The Manizer Sisters, Hoola, Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, All Nighter
My holy grail face makeup from The Balm, Benefit, Tarte and Urban Decay

What are your favorite bronzer, blush, highlighter, and setting spray? Can you recommend me a setting spray that works for your combination or oily skin? Leave me a comment below!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I bought these makeup with my own money and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest and based on my experience.

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