And just like that, with the end of a truly wonderful year, and the beginning of a new one, it’s time. Time to reflect not only on all that has happened (I’m planning a personal post on this one), but on the items and products I’ve used that really made a lasting impression on me.
Last year I kept things (relatively) simple, with only two categories – skincare and makeup. This year I had to make sure I included all things body and hair – I’ve found some truly remarkable products that really deserved a shout out!
So, without further ado, let me begin!
1. BODY WASH
Lush The Comforter Shower Cream was most definitely my favourite body wash of the year. I only had a smallish bottle of it, nothing enormous, but boy did I make it last. In fact, I think I loved it so much as it’s the shower cream I took on our mini-moon (you can read about that HERE) with me. Hubby loves anything I use that smells like berry, so the fact this smells like creamy blackcurrant meant it was an obvious choice. Plus, it was nice and moisturising too! I can’t find this on the Lush SA website anymore though, I think it may (sadly) have been limited edition or discontinued.
2. BODY SCRUB
Milk Solutions Grapefruit & Pomegranate Sugar Skin Scrub (R271.90) is the perfect kind of scrub. Really scrubby, so it works like a charm to smooth bumpy skin and remove old self tan, but still gentle and nourishing. I received a small tub of this in our goodie bag at the KZN Blogger Meetup, and used it up so quickly. I then was super lucky that I was sent a little hamper of goodies from Milk Solutions late last year as well. But don’t think this is the only reason that this gem of a product made it into my ‘best of’ post. You know when you go to certain salons and have a mani or pedi? That scrub that a lot of salons use, that smells like heaven and is pink and sugary is the same as this! In fact I had bought it several times last year already. It leaves skin baby soft and smooth. Truly one of the best scrubs I’ve used.
3. HAND CREAM
Soap & Glory Hand Food (£5.50) is an old favourite, but a constant one. I finished up a tube of the Smoothie Star scented Hand Food early this year, and my wonderful Cam from Jane Wonder spoilt me with one for my wedding too. This is honestly the best hand cream I’ve ever used. It leaves your hands amazingly soft, protects your hands if you repeatedly wash them, and doesn’t ever feel sticky or greasy. Plus it smells divine. I just wish we could buy this here in South Africa.
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium eau de parfum (R905 for 30ml) was a beloved fragrance of mine from 2016. This year just solidified it into my favourites (despite having a few others I also really loved) purely because it’s the fragrance I chose to wear on my wedding day. If that’s not a good enough reason, then I don’t know what is! I find this gourmand fragrance to be probably the most sexy and feminine scent I’ve used. It’s quite sweet though, so definitely more of a winter fragrance for me here in humid Durban. Perhaps even a cool summer evening one.
5. BODY MOISTURISER
The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Butter (R110 from Clicks stores now!) was a limited edition scent that somehow stuck around for quite some time. I bought myself a tub in 2016 and after one use, immediately returned to my local store and grabbed a couple more. Not only has it reignited my love for TBS butters, it’s become my favourite scented body moisturiser ever. Hubby even agrees – he pops into whichever TBS store he sees to see if they have stock, whenever he walks past. He often spoils me with a new tub if he can find it. This isn’t for everyone though as it is quite a sweet, fruity scent, but if smelling like a dessert is your thing then it’s perfection.
Loving Tan 2 HR Express Self Tanning Mousse in Dark (R699 from Muse Beauty) was a bit of a strange purchase. I’d originally tried out the regular formula in Ultra Dark after listening to several Youtubers rave about it, and found it just wasn’t right for me. But when I saw it pop up on Muse Beauty, I figured I’d give it a try in the shade Dark. It wouldn’t be as deep a colour change for me, and this version only gets left on for 2 hours. Hubs hates it when I smell like self tan, so to be able to come home, slap some on and have a shower a couple of hours later sounded great. And this stuff works like an absolute bomb, leaving you with a natural and even olive-toned tan. It also fades super naturally too, as long as you don’t use any exfoliating sponges or puffs in the shower.
OGX Smooth Hydration Argan Oil & Shea Butter Shampoo (R165) was most definitely my favourite shampoo this year. I spent the first half of the year striving to grow my hair as long as possible and nourish it. The second half was spent going from dark to blonde, slowly and gently, and trying to keep the moisture levels in my bleached ends up. This shampoo is pricier for a drug store one, but it’s a larger size and is PHENOMENAL. It kept my hair soft and shiny and didn’t tangle it up at all, plus it wasn’t so rich that it left my fine hair flat and weighed down. I repurchased this at least 3 times this year and being without it again now, I can tell you it won’t be long until it’s back in my loving embrace.
2. DRY SHAMPOO
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Floral & Fruity Blush (R63.95 right now at Clicks!) is fabulous! I’ve tried so many different brands of dry shampoos and always come back to Batiste. And after ages of trying out the different scents, I think I’ve finally found my favourite. This smells super clean, super feminine and like jasmine flowers. The formula works best for me, and I’ve repurchased so many cans of this dry shampoo this year. Even with darker hair, if you spray, leave to absorb, massage in and then brush out, you won’t be left with any residue or white caste. An absolute gem.
OGX Smooth Hydration Argan Oil & Shea Butter Conditioner (R165) is the matching conditioner to my favourite shampoo. I also repurchased this several times this year, and it left my hair immensely nourished and soft, without being heavy or greasy. This will also be repurchased soon.
4. LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
Schwarzkopf Gliss Ultimate Oil Elixir Express Repair Conditioner (R89.95) was a miracle find this year. I’ve never been one for leave-in conditioners or detanglers. But in my bid to grow my hair as much as I could this year, I found this on a 3 for 2 special in Clicks. It helped me to comb out my damp hair incredibly smoothly and easily, and it wasn’t too rich or oily for my fine hair either. It left hair soft and manageable, yet was as light as a feather. I tried to repurchase it when it was finished, but was desperate for something and unfortunately the 3 stores I visited had no stock, so I had to find something else. But as soon as that’s finished I’m back onto this baby!
5 & 6. HAIR MASK
I have here a super affordable drug store mask, and a higher end salon branded one. Both, I love, and I really couldn’t choose just one.
Garnier Ultimate Blends Nourishing Repairer Balm (R55.95 right now at Clicks!) is seriously better than some very fancy, salon masks I’ve tried. It’s rich and nourishing, and it does an amazing job at helping to prevent damage and repairing any damage done. I try and use this at least once a week and have just about finished my third tub this year. Insanely good, regardless of price.
Goldwell Dual Sense Rich Repair 60 second treatment (R265) is amazing for repairing damaged hair. I was suggested this originally by my hair stylist, who was worried about my hair after a medical treatment left me with breakage and thinning hair. This leaves my hair feel so soft, so nourished and so smooth. Plus, you only need to leave it in for a minute!
7. HAIR TOOL
Vidal Sassoon Easy Wrap Wand (R199 right now at Clicks!) is a godsend! I originally bought this for around R350, and was happy to part with the cash for such an incredible tool. It comes with a heat resistant glove and is so simple to use, yet the curls it creates last for absolute ages. No curling tong or wand I’ve tried has given me such smooth, long-lasting curls. So for this price, I feel every girl should own one 😉
8. HEAT PROTECTANT
Goldwell Sleek Perfection (R230) is the first salon-brand heat protectant I’ve used in many many years. I always figured that drugstore worked just as well, until I saw this on the shelf during one of my colour appointments, and thought that I’d give it a bash. And let me tell you, I can now tell the difference between salon and drugstore. I’ve not used a heat protectant EVER that helps to smooth hair and protect it, that smells this good AND that slows down my hair’s natural reaction to humidity (an everlasting problem here in Durban, and that usually results in frizzy, uneven waves). I bought this in the older packaging and apparently the word ‘serum’ in the description had been putting customers with finer hair off, as they were worried about it leaving hair greasy or flat. It does neither to my hair, and I’m known for over using product. It just leaves me with smooth and shiny hair.
And there you have my favourite body and hair products of 2017!
What were your favourites from last year?