February 02, 2018


Each year we are inundated with multiple product launches from the beauty industry, probably even more so since the rise of bloggers and YouTubers. Some of the products that are introduced are quite innovative and readily become holy grails in our beauty routines, while others unfortunately gather dust in the black box of regrettable purchases. As the first beauty post of 2018, I've decided to share with you some of the products I absolutely adored from my 2017 beauty buys and a few which I wish I could return for a full, non-negotiable, refund. 

Fortunately, I only have two products on the WORST list. These are...

1. NYX The Skinny Mascara in 'Black' (R129.95, Clicks/ NYX Professional Makeup Store, Sandton City)
I have tightly curled lashes which make mascara and lash application quite a mission, therefore when it comes to mascara I try to pick variants with wands and bristles that are narrow enough to give me a smudge-free application. Granted, the NYX Skinny Mascara wand is narrow enough to give my lashes a mess-free coating of mascara, but the bristles are so narrow that they don't grasp my lashes with ease which makes for a very futile application. The formula also seemed to dry up/finish quicker than most mascaras I've used.

2. Maxfactor Masterpiece Nude Palette in 'Rose' (R279.95, Clicks)
Maxfactor is great with mascara, but this eyeshadow palette is such a letdown. The issue with this palette is that it swatches beautifully, but blends into nothing. The consistency of each shadow is super powdery which means that you have to apply a number of layers and even then, the colours don't hold. Moreover, you have to apply the shadow with your finger because the shadow doesn't cling to makeup brushes. It's a very frustrating palette to work with and an impulse buy I will forever regret.

The powdery consistency of the Maxfactor Masterpiece Nude Eyeshadow Palette is quite disappointing.

On the BEST list we have...

1. MAC Cosmetics Single Eyeshadows (R110 for refill pans, MAC/Edgars, maccosmetics.co.za)
I have a considerable number of eyeshadow palettes, most of which usually have dents in only a few of the colours in the palette. I find this to be quite wasteful so last year I decided to start buying single eyeshadows with the intent of adding colours that I don't have, to the collection that I already own. This means that I ultimately curate my own eyeshadow palette with colours that I regularly want to use.

2. Real Techniques Mini Expert Face Brush (R130.00, Clicks)
For the festive season, Real Techniques came out with a miniature range of their core brushes and packaged them as small gifts that could make perfect Christmas stocking fillers. Now, I don't own any Christmas stockings but I found the size of the brushes to be ideal for my everyday makeup bag. The quality of the brush is as great as the regular sized brushes.

3. NYX  Mineral Stick Foundation (MSF15) in 'Cocoa' (R224.95, NYX Professional Makeup Store, Sandton City)
I picked up the NYX Mineral Stick Foundation when I attended the launch of the NYX Professional Makeup stand-alone in Sandton City. Honestly, if you are a fan of the brand, you have to visit one of the stores (other one is at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town) because most of the newest product releases from the US are stocked there and the range of products available is much more diverse than is available at Clicks. Anyway, I picked up the foundation stick because I'd been looking for a cream contour and was quite pleased with the seamless blendability and neutral undertones of the foundation.

4. Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Lacquer in 'Slay It' (R139.95, Clicks/Dischem/Foschini)
Maybelline South Africa had a number of impressive product ranges launched last year and one of them was the Vivid Hot Lacquer range, which comprises 12 high-shine, uber-pigmented, long-lasting lip glosses. I picked up the deliciously dark and vampy 'Slay It' shade - it is a deep aubergine shade and I am beyond pleased with the colour intensity and longevity.

4. Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (R69.95, Clicks/Dischem/PicknPay)
This R69.95 mascara caused a bit of a stir in the American beauty community last year, after it was reviewed by a Reddit user as one of the best drugstore mascaras on the market. Naturally after reading that, I had to try it out. My lashes are quite curly so the false lash effect is lost on me. I do however love the thick yet lightweight texture of the mascara and despite not being a waterproof formula, it's quite long-lasting and doesn't crumble.
5. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in 'Dark' (R460.00, MAC/Edgars/maccosmetics.co.za)
If you are looking for a powder that sets your foundation without the flat, powdery finish, the pressed powders from the MAC MSF Natural range are the ones to consider. They offer sheer coverage and have a matte, yet slightly pearlescent finish which gives you a skin-like radiance. I didn't know I needed the powder until I used it and I loved it so much that I literally scraped out the last particles of powder after I hit pan and couldn't even wait a day before repurchasing it.

NYX Professional Glitter Primer is great for glitter and shimmer eyeshadow.
Love the holographic packaging of the NYX Glitter Primer

6. NYX Glitter Primer (R107.90, NYX Professional Makeup Store, Sandton City)
Glitter is all the rage at the moment and yes, I've dipped my finger in a glitter pot or two but it always feels a bit too extra for me. Shimmer eyeshadows, on the other hand, are a favourite however since I have hooded eyes the shimmer tends to transfer and look a mess. The NYX Glitter Primer is quite tacky on application so it helps keep the pigment from transferring.

7. NYX Total Control Drop Foundation in 'Cappuccino' (R220.00, Clicks/NYX Professional Makeup Store)
The top 3 most highly anticipated foundation releases of 2017, in South Africa, were definitely: NYX Total Control Drop Foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Foundation and the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. Of the three, I picked up the NYX foundation because I found a shade that suits my complexion perfectly whilst still giving me adjustable, long-lasting natural matte coverage - what more can I ask for? I will provide a more in-depth review in a follow up post.

8. Essence Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara in 'Browny Brows' (R51.95, Dischem/Clicks/PicknPay)
This brow mascara is often quoted as the quintessential dupe for the highly-sought after Benefit Gimme Brow, which as you might guess costs a lot more. I use it for adding texture to my brows after
filling them in, which makes them look a lot more natural.

9. Catrice Prime and Fine Pore Refining and Anti-Shine Base (R92.95, Dischem)
If I had to rate this primer based on the pore refining and anti-shine selling point, I would have to put it on the 'worst' list. It doesn't really do much for me in that regard but it does help keep my foundation in tact. I also find it to be quite hydrating which is a plus for my combination dry skin.

10. Real Techniques 2 Miracle Mini Eraser Sponges (R97.00, takealot.com)
Much like the Miracle Complexion Sponge, the Real Techniques Miracle Mini Eraser Sponges swell when damp and are relatively soft to the touch. Although these latex-free sponges were designed for fixing makeup mishaps, I keep them in my everyday makeup bag and use them for touching up my makeup during the day.

11. Palladio Crushed Metallic Eyeshadow in 'Stellar' (R99.00, Dischem)
I've hit pan on this eyeshadow so that should tell you how much I love it. I use it mostly as a highlighter because it gives the most natural radiance I've ever experienced in a highlighter. By natural I mean it doesn't look gold or bronze - it simple looks like natural light bouncing off your skin. Although it is a metallic powder, it has a mousse-y texture which helps it blend seamlessly onto your skin/foundation simiar to the application of a cream product.

12. Smashbox Always On Gel Eyeliner in 'Fishnet' (R270.00, Woolworths/Foschini)
I despise black liners that smudge and most on the drugstore market that promise to wear for 8 hours without budging usually move in the first few minutes, so I took a leap of faith after seeing some positive reviews on the Smashbox Always On gel eyeliners and bought it. The budget-beauty buyer in me definitely had a mini stroke when I bought what is essentially a simple, black, 'won't save your life nor pay your debt' gel eyeliner for R250 but you know what, it's a purchase I would gladly make again. It's super pigmented, dries fairly quickly and DOES NOT MOVE! I use it to tightline my eyes and experience has taught me to wait a few seconds for it to set before blinking.

A round up of the best and worst makeup of 2017 by VERY ME VERY V, South African Beauty Blog.

So those are the makeup products that stood out for me in 2017. I guess, in hindsight, I could have reduced the best list to 7, 8 products but I have to give credit were credit is due. I hope you've enjoyed the read and can refer to these lists when making your next purchase. If any of these products were your faves of 2017 as well or are your current faves, please let me know in the comments below.

 'Til next time,


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