I suppose you might call these Holy Grail items, for me these are products that I've enjoyed testing and found to produce--on me--beautiful results. YMMV so shop wisely, make good use of samples, and find what works best for you!
Links to most of the indie sellers can by found on my favorite companies page; commercial brands are usually available online or through your local department/Sephora storefront.
My Pretty Zombie: Wicked Crochet & Thunderpants are some of the best glitterbombs out there; Andrea is a master at blending them so that they are gorgeously multi-dimensional and the glitter well-distributed. She's got another trio of glittery shades coming out on Black Friday 2011...I am SO on that! Samples available through the seller (on Etsy).
Fyrinnae: Any, really, but I'm an especial fan of their Arcane Magic shades as well as many of their dark shades, like Monarch Butterfly, Victorian Vamp, and Tyr. Samples (mini jars) available through the seller.
Eye & Face Primers
Too Faced Shadow Insurance + Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: I was introduced to this dynamic duo through another blog and by all that is holy it is the best combination primer/fixative I have ever used. Nothing else comes close for me--my eyelids are an oil slick that even dimethicone cannot tame.
When I want something that won't budge ever: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner. A performer's best friend, seriously
When I want a quick & dirty line on the upper lid: Urban Decay 24/7 Liner Pencil; Zero & Rockstar are my go-tos.
OHWTO's Black Magic Cream Soap. Thorough without being harsh or drying. I love this stuff so much I brought it with me to Kaua`i this year. Now it's even better as Black Magic Scrub--face-friendly exfoliating powder blended with the cream soap! Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Meow Cosmetics Foundation in Naughty Korat is perfect for my skin 8-9 months of the year. In summer, I just up the depth of the shade to Fierce. Silky smooth, easy to wear, and long-lasting. Awesome. Samples available through the seller; contact their customer service for assistance selecting shades to sample.
I might have to deathmatch my current favs to declare a HG here. Stay tuned!
The best thing I have found is the stuff I make at home ;P
Darling Girl Cosmetics' Liquid Kiss in Fenix is the. Best. Shade. Ever. It is a beautiful, semi-sheer and easily buildable rosy-bronze shade with a gold & green duochrome that gives my lips just the right amount of olive shimmer to set them off without looking too "otherworldly." No samples available (except perhaps by sending an email request) but a full size in an easy-to-use "click pen" (with a brush top) will set you back a mere $5.25.
De Leon Cosmetics is an indie company based in Australia; Gladys creates some seriously gorgeous lippies including one of the first nudes I've ever thought looked good enough on me to wear outside the house: Wee Little Puppet Man <3
Morgana Cryptoria tinted lip balm in Coventry is hands-down the best MLBB lippie-in-a-tube I have had the pleasure of wearing. No samples but a full size is an affordable $7--way less than your neighborhood MAC counter!
When I want attention: Morgana Cryptoria gel lipstick in Nevermore.
Benefit's They're Real. Trial size available, check your local Sephora or department store.