The first of these is Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm.
Image Credit: Sephora
Nothing, and I mean nothing, takes off makeup like this stuff. It is a solid balm that, when you apply it to your face, takes off every bit of everything, including one of my other HG products (below). There is a bit of a trick, though. You have to first massage this all over your dry face, then wet your fingertips and continue to massage it. The oil will emulsify and the real magic will happen. Take your time before you rinse thoroughly, and everything will come off (including super-stubborn eye makeup). Now, this is kind of expensive ($29), but I only have to buy it 2-3 times per year, and considering how much time I end up saving by not having to wash my face three times, it's so worth it to me. It's also really kind to my dry skin. Obviously, buy it under special circumstances! (That is, when a department store is doing a Clinique bonus, when Sephora is doing 20% off (for VIB Rouge, or 15% off for VIB), etc.) I follow it up with a quick cotton pad's worth of Garnier's Micellar Water just to make sure I've left no residue. I have about 1/3 of my current jar left, and I already have a backup in my backups drawer (everyone has one of those, right?).
My other HG product that I bought a backup of this week is my Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Fresco (2C3). This is my 3rd or 4th bottle of this stuff. Nothing covers my rosacea so well, and nothing matches me this perfectly. Now, I have Kat Von D's Lock-It Tatoo Foundation, and that stuff is like *paint*. It even smells like it. I like it, but it is a completely flat, matte finish. It requires some -- finessing. The Double Wear is perfection right out of the bottle. On a normal day, I just set it with RCMA no-color powder. On a day when it has to last 18 hours (I'm looking at you, debate tournaments), I set it with MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation (N4). Set that way, it really does last 18 hours. While this foundation is not cheap ($38), it is so, so worth it. I don't wear it every day (no makeup junkie wears the same foundation every day! There are far, far too many choices! And actually, my go-to is Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless (still not cheap at almost $15!) in 105. It is the easiest to blend and go, so if I don't need my makeup to last more than six or so hours, I just wear this and call it good!
Image Credit: Sephora
I have other HG products (MAC lipsticks in Brave and Modesty come to mind), but the preceding two and Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner in Rockstar (a blackened purple) are the three that I can think of right now that I have to have backups of at all times. I have tried so many purple eyeliners, but I can't find an exact (or even near enough) dupe of Rockstar to make me happy. I am on the verge of buying two or three to make free shipping on the UD website, but a year or so ago, they did BOGO on their eyeliners, so I'm holding out and hoping!
Does anyone else have any such HG products, either high end or drugstore?