Beauty · Makeup

Best of Makeup 2017

My makeup loves waxed and waned for most of 2017.  Some products I liked initially, but stopped enjoying a month or two after.  I figure that in the first half of the year I was too stressed out – planning a wedding in 6 months is NOT easy guys.  When your mind is that preoccupied, and you’re trying to make decisions on colours and dresses and flowers and decor, you can’t be trusted to make a proper decision on makeup.  Plus my skin was playing up so badly from stress and hormones (due to new meds), so nothing sat right on my skin.  You know how you can apply makeup one day and it’s flawless, and the following day you do the same thing and it cakes and lifts and creases and is just downright meh?  Yes, that was my issue a lot this year.

In the second half of the year my meds were changed again to another treatment, and the hormonal breakouts have been terrible.  Lots of little red bumps around my chin and neck.  If you’re curious about the meds, I might do a post purely on the terrible hormone-related issues I’ve been going through.  I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the end of August 2016, after years of repeatedly telling my gynae that something wasn’t right.  He did a laparoscopy to see what was going on as he couldn’t find anything, and found I had pretty bad endometriosis.  It had grown back less than a year later, and it’s been a whirlwind of check ups, different medications, hormonal ups and downs, tears and side effects that would make any normal person unhappy.  It’s caused havoc on my body and skin.  I just wish we had some kind of support group here in Durban, where ladies who suffer with the disease or have suffered from it in the past could meet and talk.  It’s not spoken about enough in South Africa, so nobody knows just how damn crappy the disease can be.


I had a really tough time narrowing things down this year for all the above reasons, so forgive me if this post sounds indecisive, or if I have more than one option – some items were so good in such different ways that I couldn’t choose.



1 &2. PRIMER

I have two different types of primers that I loved during the year.  One is hydrating and the other is a silicone-based one that blurs, mattifies and increases the longevity of your makeup.  Both work amazingly well.

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer (R650 on Muse Beauty) is a superb hydrating primer that contains all sorts of goodness for your skin.  With coconut water, electrolytes and probiotics, it’s perfect for dehydrated or dry skin types, if you’ve had a bit of a party the night before, or if you’re just suffering from lack of sleep and energy.  It smells absolutely heavenly and feels like a light moisturiser, leaving your skin plumped up but not greasy.  I managed to grab a travel size of this just to get a feel for it before splurging on the full size.  But now, I will definitely be adding a full sized tube to my stash once this one has been used up.

The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer (R128) was an odd purchase for me.  I don’t usually like overly silicone-y primers, and I’d heard very little about this product.  However, I’ve been loving all of my other purchases from the brand so much that I put a little faith in them, and bought it.  It did help that it was super affordable too!  This doesn’t feel ANYTHING like the other silicone primers I’ve used, it feels more like a thick gel or a moisturiser.  Yet it does a great job at subtly blurring pores, mattifying the complexion and my makeup goes on super smoothly and lasts much longer.  The trick to this is applying it and giving it a couple of minutes to sink in before going in with foundation.


I chose one high end and one drugstore foundation, as I have had such a collection that I was arguing with myself (out loud too, #embarrasing!) over what to include.  I eventually settled on these two.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear 24HR Foundation (R499) is so luxe and even smells like roses.  I’ve always been an Estee Lauder Double Wear gal, but this year I tried out something new.  I’d been hearing such great things about this foundation, that it stayed put so well, it didn’t rub off on anything and that it left your skin looking flawless.  I can agree with all of these things!  Although it will rub off slightly on your other half’s nose if you have a bit of a smooching sesh (whoops!), but all foundations will do that haha.  I finished mine up and was so so sad to toss the bottle.

L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24H Matte foundation (R220) is a constant repurchase.  I was without this for about 3 months this year, and on a whim grabbed another tube.  Suddenly, all that I was missing in my foundation life was right again! This stuff stays put like nobody’s business, and leaves you with beautiful matte, flawless skin.  This is probably the only foundation I could use and NOT set with powder, yet it’s not a flat matte – you still have some kind of radiance to your skin.  I alternate between Vanilla (when I’m fair) and Radiant Beige (when I’m tanned) and in between I just mix the two.


Wet n Wild Photo Focus pressed powder (usually under R100 but R71.95 at Clicks now!) is more affordable than my usual powder of choice (Rimmel Stay Matte Transparent pressed powder) and is actually a better colour match for me too!  It’s been said to be a dupe for the Mac Mineralise Skinfinish Natural powders, and is so smooth and finely milled that it feels weightless on the skin.  It keeps my skin matte and it stops any creasing too.  Only con is that it doesn’t travel well – I’ve had two of these smash in my makeup bag just going to work!  I’ve remedied that by putting a couple of cotton rounds inside on top of the powder, and it seems to be doing the trick.


Catrice Liquid Camouflage Concealer (R70) is often out of stock in Dischem stores and on Takealot, and with good reason!  This is a high coverage and waterproof concealer that stays put so well and doesn’t crease, plus it’s super affordable!  I know I’ve raved about my Colourpop No Filter concealer lately, but I only got it towards the end of the year, and for the rest of the time this was my product of choice.  We’ll just say that one has an honourable mention 😉



Can you handle that I left this gem out of my little collages???  I almost cried when I realised!

Garnier Skin Active BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin in ‘Light’ (R110) is the highest coverage BB cream I’ve tried.  This shade is also spot on for my skin!  I’m halfway through a tube and I only bought this in November, and that goes to show just how much love I have for this product.  I find I can wear this to work, on weekends when I’m relaxing, and occasionally at night (if I’m not worried about photos being taken, as it has SPF in it).  My skin has received so many compliments when I’ve worn this, and nobody believes me when I say I’m just wearing a BB cream!




NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Pro Palette (R394.95) was included in my goodie bag at the launch of NYX at Gateway early last year.  I was a bit put off initially as the powders are VERY pigmented, but once I could get the right amount of powder on my brush I was so in love.  I’ve used this to bronze, contour and set foundation, and while the white shimmery highlighting is too white for my skin tone, I’ve used it lightly or mixed with the satiny-finish beige shade.  I’ve even taken that satin beige shade and lightly dusted all over my face when I’ve used too much powder and I look too matte.  I’ve hit pan on one shade and about to hit pan on two more, and will probably have to repurchase two of these this year – one for my collection and one for my pro kit.


Essence Satin Touch Blush in Satin Love (I can’t find a link and I’m scared they’ve discontinued this – best I get to a store and stock up!) is absolutely beautiful.  It’s a subtle neutral pink with a satin finish, and gives the most gorgeous natural flush to the cheeks.  Superbly understated and perfect for bridal makeup (in my opinion).  I use this blush most days of the week and have barely made a dent in it, as it’s nicely pigmented.


LA Girl Strobe Lite Strobing Powder in 100 watt (R149) is a rather gold-toned highlighter, but on the skin it just gives a gorgeous summery glow.  I find it can be used to be very subtle (light hand) or very intense (heavier hand and a spritz of setting spray right where applied).  I did find it was a bit powdery at first, but if you apply with a brush and then press over with the dampened sponge you used for your foundation/concealer, you’re good to go!


I have one local and one overseas brand for setting sprays that I loved this year.  Neither of them even come close to last year’s favourite – the Urban Decay Chill setting spray – but I’ve not had that this year, and if I haven’t used it I didn’t want to showcase it again.  Although, I really need to get my hands on a new bottle!

MAC Prep + Prime Fix + Spray (R320) is a lovely, light spray that settles all powders on your face and gives your skin a bit more glow.  It also definitely makes my makeup last a little longer than if I go without it.  I had this in a travel size in the Coconut variation this year and boy it was delicious.  I’m constantly on the lookout for it!

Colourpop Aventurine Setting Spray ($6) is a gemstone crystal-infused spray that also contains cucumber water, lemon extract, honey extract and coconut water.  It smells like freshly sliced cucumbers (super refreshing) and is designed to keep makeup in place while still hydrating but keeping oil at bay.  It does all of these and feels SO much more expensive in it’s glass bottle with holographic labels.





LA Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil (R85) is the closest local dupe I’ve found for my beloved Soap & Glory Archery brow pencil.  It’s super duper fine, so you can draw on hairs, and gives me the most precise brows ever.  They come in a large array of colours, and have a spooly on the end too – a must for me!  They’re also soft enough to show up on your skin, but not too dark and they stay put all day.


Essence Make me Brow eyebrow gel (R54.95) has been considered to be a close copy of the Benefit Gimme Brow – it tints, sets and fills out with little fibres.  I love this stuff and have repurchased more times than I can remember.  I’m currently using the lightest one to tone down my darker eyebrows so they blend better with my blonde hair, but I’ve used the darkest one for years too.


MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork (R280) is an absolute gem of a product.  Or should I say ‘was’?  I finished it up and am in the process of finishing another eyeshadow primer before I treat myself and repurchase this one.  I used this on a daily basis under my eyeshadows and it gave them so much more longevity.  It was a subtle enough brown if used lightly that it wouldn’t affect the colour of eyeshadows.  I could, however, use a little more and create a pretty subtle brown shading on my eyes.  With a slightly darker and/or warmer colour in the crease, I often just did that and a little liner and mascara and my eye makeup was done.  Beautiful and very simple.  I scraped the last pot completely clean and am dying for a new one.


Palladio Beauty Crushed Metal shadow in Stellar (R99) was a birthday gift from the lovely Cam from Jane Wonder and even though I was given it in July, I’ve already hit pan in a big way!  There are so many beautiful shades that I now want to add to my collection, even though I’m usually not one for single shadows.  I need to find a way to depot them I think!  The shade Stellar is a gorgeous bronzey shade that I wear to work almost daily and it’s my go to look when I’m rushed for time or have no idea what to do.  Stellar on the lid, a warm brown in the crease are perfect for day time, but at night I add a bit of a darker shade along my lash-line and voila!


Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadow in ‘Weenie’ ($5) was a favourite last year and continues to be.  In fact, I’ve repurchased it!  It’s the most perfect shade of rose gold, it makes my green eyes pop and does the same for blue eyes.  This is a creamy, moussey, putty texture that is so unique, yet in the shimmery finishes just works so damned well.  Best applied with your finger or a synthetic bristled brush.  This was also part of the Kathleen Lights collaboration with Colourpop, and I adore her!


These are two eyeshadow palettes that I’ve used a LOT this year and have chosen when I’ve travelled, whether it be for several days away or just overnight.  Both are great in that you can create a decent number of looks, and take daytime looks to night with more intense or sparkly shades.  Both of them also have matte and satin/shimmer shadows, so they’re nice and versatile.  The Too Faced one is international only, but I provided the Muse Beauty link where you can find it here in SA (and where I bought mine).  The Focallure one is available on Smak Cosmetics and is super affordable too!

Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette (R720) has been so loved that I’ve hit pan on one of the shades, and several of the others are almost there too.  It’s been the most versatile palette that I’ve ever owned, and I took it with me on honeymoon.  There are matte shades for the crease or just all-matte simple looks, shimmery shades to add a bit of pop and a nice mix of light, mid and dark shades.  I would say that if I had to choose ONE eyeshadow palette for the rest of my life, it would probably be this one.  I’ve used the matte browns to do my eyebrows, the shimmery larger pan as a highlight and I’ve even used the one mid tone to do contour with in a pinch.  The love I have for this palette is deep.

Focallure Smokey Eyeshadow Palette #4 (R165) was very kindly sent to me by the ladies at Smak Cosmetics.  I won’t lie, the packaging was very basic and I didn’t have the highest of hopes for the product, but I ended up being beyond impressed.  There are three matte shades and three shimmer, all are extremely pigmented and buttery, and the blend super easily.  I was at first tempted to say that this would be great for a beginner with makeup, but anyone would enjoy it!  They have a number of other palettes, some all shimmery, some all matte, but this one is great for creating a simple look (with the first four colours) and you can use the shimmery plummy colour and the matte black to deepen a look up for night time.  And that matte black is phenomenal!  I’d buy this palette just for the black, as it’s deep, dark, sooty and smudges out like a dream – no patchiness at all!  I’ve done a daytime look with the soft gold on the lid, the matte brown in my crease and outer corner of my eye and the creamy shade on my brow bone, and I’ve done a deeper look with the cranberry (it looks pink in the image but it’s actually a cranberry shade) and plum blended with a teensy bit of the black.  Really lovely palette.


NYX Professional Makeup Slide On, Glide On Eye Pencil (R119.95) is absolutely beautiful.  I have the shades Jewel (a plummy shade) and Golden Olive (exactly that, a golden olive green), both slightly metallic.  They’re super creamy, blend out like a dream, and stay put once they’ve set.  I want to add more shades to my collection this year.


Essence Volume Stylist 18h Curl & Hold Mascara (R64.95) was a bit of a meh purchase at the beginning of the year.  I figured it wouldn’t work, as the formula is very thick (due to the styling waxes) and the brush always picked up FAR too much product.  It would result in clumpy lashes each time and I ALMOST gave up, until one day I took the brush and wiped a bit of the product off before applying.  BINGO!  I did this a few times, and once there was less product in the tube (after a good few uses), the brush didn’t pick up as much.  This mascara lifts my lashes and holds them in place all day long.  It doesn’t smudge or flake either, and I’ve been asked so many times if I’m wearing falsies or have lash extensions, when wearing this.  I finished it up and it’s almost time for a new one!





MAC Velvet Teddy Matte Lipstick (R240) was my favourite last year and still is.  I am almost finished my second tube of this, but never fear! I have a backup in place, as hubby grabbed a new one for me for our one month anniversary.  He even went into the MAC store alone (bonus points there) and told them he needed a lipstick called ‘something teddy’ as it was his wife’s favourite.  How cute is he?!  He said he remembered me saying at some point that I wasn’t using it daily anymore as I’d already powered through 2/3rds of the tube and couldn’t justify repurchasing it yet when I had so many other nude shades.  He wanted me to have my favourite to use whenever I wanted to.  Bless his heart, this is one of the many reasons I love him.  This is a deep beige, neutral shade that is just so perfect for my skin tone and I always get asked what I’m wearing when I use it.  It’s a cult classic for a reason!


Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil (R315) is a deliciously rich, thick oil that feels so luxe on the lips.  I love the huge doe-foot applicator and how my lips just soak this up.  I’ve actually forgone a lot of my other glosses this year in favour of this (which I have in Honey), as I feel I’m getting a 2 for 1 product that nourishes my lips as well as giving them the prettiest shine.  I want more colours and flavours now, especially Candy and Honey Shimmer.


I found two formulas this year that I’ve enjoyed wearing, but I have to be honest in that I’ve been wearing regular lipstick a lot more this year than ever before.  These two, however, are the ones that have stood out to me.

Revlon Ultra HD Velvet Matte Lip Colour (R129 at Clicks right now!) smells like fruit and custard to me, and the shade I own (Seduction) is a lovely neutral pinky colour.  It doesn’t dry down completely and it isn’t transfer-proof, but it does settle down to a velvety finish and is so comfortable to wear.  It also lasts really well during the day.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid lipstick ($20) is one of the best formulas I’ve found.  I ordered two shades Exorcism (a ripe blackberry) and Double Dare (said to be a cocoa-blush) early last year and while I don’t wear Exorcism all that often, Double Dare is a lovely every day shade.  So lovely, in fact, that my Momma may have taken ownership and is carrying it around now in HER makeup bag haha!  These feel weightless on the lips, aren’t overly drying and stay put just beautifully.  Plus, Kat Von D products are vegan and cruelty free!


What makeup products were you completely addicted to last year? 


If you’d like, you can read all about my 2016 Makeup favourites HERE.

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8 thoughts on “Best of Makeup 2017

    1. Just remember to wipe a bit of product off the brush the first few times – and not around the edge of the tube! This will clog up the entrance and germs and air can get trapped in the tube then. I used either a piece of tissue or a face wipe and just got all the excess off.. xxx

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