The Undupeables: My Seven Skincare HGs

I’m writing up my current routine (I know, it’s finally happening!). It took me a while to figure out how to lay it out because I don’t really go by product, I go by product category or function. So, if I want to wash my face depending on what time of day it is, if I wore makeup or sunscreen I’ll reach for different product types. As I was writing I realised that there are a few items in my routine that I do not substitute. I don’t think of them as situation specific, I just think of them as the only product for that job. I have Holy Grails (HG). Huh! 



That’s kind of weird for me, because I’ve experimented with products for so long I never thought I’d find anything that’s a HG or a staple for me. Usually what happens is that I’ll buy something, it works great then the seasons change or a month passes then it’s like, “ehhhhhhh, maybe not” and it stops being as effective. So I’ve learned to not get too attached, I know which products are seasonal, or work in certain situations. But a solid all rounder? Never thought I’d have that, now I realise I have seven!

  • Cremorlab T.E.N. Cremor Cleansing Veil


When she was sending me some skincare products to try in the Clabiane W-Line, my unnie added a few cute extra gifts one of which was this amazing facial wipe. She sent me the big size of 60 sheets and I have to admit even though she raved about them I was kinda meh about trying it. You see, I’ve tried so many wipes and none have been worth using at all. They either don’t clean, or they sting or they require way more rubbing than I’m comfortable with to be effective. 

But these wipes? WOW. They’re the stuff of dreams. They are so gentle, and effective and non sticky and non stingy and generally just super pleasant to be around that I carry them with me everywhere. I wouldn’t recommend trying to carry the large size around because it is quite bulky, so when I had the opportunity to order from Peach and Lilly (via the lovely Angela from beautyandthecat) I threw in a few of the mini size to take around with my travelling. 

Pricy, but if you’re going to use a wipe, it might as well be these as they are nothing short of perfection.


I’ve already talked about this cleanser in my Hada Labo brand review. It’s boring and unexciting, but it works so well as a second cleanser I can’t really complain at all. Seriously, it cuts through even the most oily first cleansers and makes my skin super happy. I’m sure there are great alternatives, but why fix something that ain’t broken? 

  • Muji Unbleached Cotton Pads


You know how when you use a cotton pad it absorbs like 50% of whatever you’ve poured into it, and you end up wasting the product? Yeah, this doesn’t happen with the Muji Unbleached Cotton Pads. What you put in, you pretty much get it all back out, which is amazing! It’s a little out of the way to get, but its the only item in my stash where I buy in bulk for my Mom and I. It’s effective, cheap and I cannot imagine using any other cotton pad.


Sent to me by my unnie in Kokofash, my skin adores this toner. I wrote a review about it in my Clabaine W-Line review, safe to say as long as I am able I will continue to use this product. For the two weeks I was without it, I legit struggled to maintain glowy skin.

It is super pricy, hard to get, but so worth it, oh my god. 

  • Neutrogena On-the-Spot® Acne Treatment


Benzoyl Peroxide is not available over the counter anymore in the UK for reasons known only to the pharmacies themselves. So when I went over to the US, that was on my list of things to purchase. Obviously, having never used it I had no idea how my skin would react, so I stuck to 2.5% and let me tell you right now my skin LOVES it. Holy crap. I’ve tried all manner of chemical exfoliation in many different ways, and nothing has come close to helping my skin clear up like this product. I use it right after using the Clabiane Toner.

I’m sure there are other brands that work just as well, but this? I bought four tubes, and I kid you not the next time I go over to the US I’m buying twice that many life without this stuff seems unnatural.

  • May Coop Raw Moisturizer


Shipping cost how much? I hope it was worth it..” is what my mother said when she saw the shipping envelope from Jude of Fifty Shades of Snail. Well, it was, it was Mom. A few months ago, Jude sent me over some samples of May Coop’s Raw Sauce, and May Coop’s Raw Moisturizer and while I found the Sauce pretty meh, I fell head over heels for the moisturiser. I use this exclusively as a night cream and even though I’m pretty liberal with application, it sinks in very quickly? 10 minute tops.

My HG of HG. This is the perfect heavy/light moisturiser for night that ever was. It sinks into my skin really quickly, leaving it hydrated without a nasty greasy feeling. I wake up with soft, hydrated skin that doesn’t feel oily or heavy. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect cream.

I have to thank Jude and Angela for being my May Coop dealers and enablers, without you, I would have considerably less awesome skin.

  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel Sunscreen


Um. No white cast or greasy feeling? Yeah, okay thanks can I have this forever please? This sunscreen came so highly recommended by so many people, I bought two tubes of it in the hope that it would be my perfect sunscreen. My reasoning was that if it didn’t work for me, I could give it to my family members who I knew would use it. 

But, now I’m hoarding it and no-one can have my precious sunscreen. It’s really awesome. Doesn’t dry my skin out, doesn’t make it oily, doesn’t cause breakouts and has ZERO white cast.


So these are my Holy Grail products. The ones that have never failed me, always been reliable and most importantly the ones that work, work! Have you  used any of these products? Love them, hate them? Let me know, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) is applicable, so my Holy Grail might be someone else’s Holy Fail and that’s totally okay 🙂

28 Comments Add yours

  1. AsphodelDW says:

    Omg so happy that the Biore watery gel doesn’t have a white cast! On my sunscreen wish list now! 💖


    1. adoredee says:

      😍 This sunscreen is bae. I don’t say that often.


  2. Fiddy Snails says:

    Y’know, I found myself nodding and grunting in agreement with you over the Muji cotton pads, and that made me realize that I have actual feelings about cotton pads, and now I feel like I need to do some reflection.

    Awesome list and I’m so so glad you love the May Coop! Let me know when you start running low so I can smuggle you another jar ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. adoredee says:

      Hahaha, right? It was the last thing I realised was an undupeable but probably the first HG I had. I genuinely don’t use anything else and neither does my Mom. I have real feelings about cotton pads, lol!

      May Cooooop! I’m scraping the bottom of the jar of the first one, about to open the new one. I’m good for now, but I will let you know!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I too have strong feelings about cotton pads. 😂 I almost thought of doing a mega review because I’ve tried about 10 kinds (Asian ones) now looking for a unicorn pad that might not even exist. I’ll have to check out these Mujis; I’ve only used another style from them, which are great for the cost but could be sturdier. –Angela

      Liked by 2 people

      1. adoredee says:

        😁😂 Without realising we all seem to have super strong opinions on cotton pads. They’re such a vital part of your routine so I guess it makes sense! I recommended the Muji ones. I find the unbleached ones to be much better than the bleached ones.

        I do know what you mean, they aren’t as structured as other cotton pads.


      2. Moi Sanom says:

        I have been actually preparing a mega cotton pad review myself for a while 🙂 I would love to read yours! I have had both amazing and really crappy asian cotton pads so its worth it to read up on it to me


      3. I look forward to your post! 🙂 I have tossed several boxes out and can’t remember them any more. I have “only” three kinds right now…but I guess I could still turn it into a review. Who knew there were so many secret cotton-pad lovers?!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Btw, scrapped the mega review because I bored myself just thinking about taking pics of cotton pads 😒

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Beautyandthecat giveth and taketh away 😂! I’m working on trying to dupe my undupeables, so I’m going to have to do a cotton pad show down at some point.. So you won’t be alone.. 😆


  4. Moi Sanom says:

    I am kind of like you that I dont have many HGs and even if I really like a product I love to experiment more so I will replace most items in my routine when finished. There are very few that are no replaceable though due to their amazing results and often cheap price. (when something is amazing yet expensive I WILL find a replacement 😉 And sometimes I think I can find something better but after trying a few of the same type and nothing comes close I realize that the product I liked at first might just turn into something more serious


  5. Leilathechinadoll says:

    You are so lucky, when I use any acids or benzoyl peroxide my face becomes red and puffy 😦 not just like meh bad reaction puffy its full on like get this off your face don’t leave the house today puffy.


    1. adoredee says:

      Oh my gosh! That’s so intense! What products have you tried?


      1. Leilathechinadoll says:

        Gels, cleansers, lotions, toners…..I tried everything with even the lowest of concentrations. So then I used some prescription…..but nothing works better then a simple Royal jelly face mask.


      2. adoredee says:

        Damn! Well at least you know what works and what doesn’t!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Maya says:

    I love your HG products! Were do you get these cotton pads? I haven’t tried many Asian ones, only a few brands form ebay. I use western cotton pads but find many to harsh, or they absorb to much product. It’s actually nice to hear an opinion about AB pads, ). Reading here the comments it looks like we will have some cotton pad reviews in the near future 🙂
    The May coop is it actually an asian brand. Korean ?havent heard of it before


    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Thank you!
      I get these cotton pads directly from Muji, we have a few in London, so when I go I stock up. Or I order from their online store if I don’t have time! Actually, I’m so excited that there are so many cotton pad enthusiasts! It’s such an underpraised essential part of our routines!

      May Coop is Korean, they aren’t a very big company at all, they’ve only just moved to the Western audience, I think before they were more in Chinese speaking countries? Or online only in Korea!


  7. Ilovecheese says:

    Thanks for your list. It is always interesting to see what other people love. I think a most everything is on any more. The bad thing about BPO is you have to be really careful or you end up with bleach spots on your towels and pillow cases.


    1. adoredee says:

      One, your name is my life story, and I love it!

      A lot of the items are available on too! But they’re way more expensive than they are in the US. If it’s $7, it’s £20 here, which is pretty steep 😦

      Yeah, I’m really scared about bleaching so I only use the BP in the morning and wash my hands super thoroughly!


  8. I have got to try that sunscreen. I just started my AB regimen about 2 weeks ago and I LOVE it, but I HATE the sunscreen I am using currently. I love your blog btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. adoredee says:

      Aww thank you Jamee! This sunscreen is so so amazing. So far it’s lasted five months of near daily usage, I love this product.

      Welcome to the AB family! What’s your routine so far?


  9. Jennifer says:

    Is the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF 50 the same thing as the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50? I can only find the Essence on Amazon.


    1. adoredee says:

      Sorry for the super late response, but no they are not the same thing. However, I like both equally! I think I went with the Gel because per/ml it was more cost effective.


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