Happy New Year! Amazing that we've just hit 2018, although no doubt this year will go as quickly as the last one did so let's make the most of it while it's here.

Today I'm writing my second empties post for December 2017, and while yes it's the first day of 2018, I did take these photos a few days ago - it's just that I've been slow to get things moving.

In no particular order...

Palmer's Moisturising Body Oil

This made my yearly favourites list because it's the nicest body oil I've tried. I've reviewed it here.

Not only does it have that familiar, rich and chocolaty Palmer's scent, but it also hydrates my body beautifully and a little goes a long way so the bottle lasted ages.

It spreads and absorbs well, and although I wouldn't call it a dry oil (it does leave a slight residue), it's not super heavy so it doesn't feel too rich. Repurchase? Yes.

Avène Micellar Lotion Cleanser & Makeup Remover

Full review here. I really enjoyed this micellar water and I'm sad to see it go because it worked so well for my skin. Not only did it remove makeup better than many other micellar products I've tried, it did so without stripping my dry, sensitive skin. 

Yes it costs more than I would usually spend on a makeup remover, but you can always grab it when one of the big pharmacies is having a half-price sale, and I may just do that. Purchase? Yes.

Mecca To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+

Full review here. As you may know, this is my favourite sunscreen on the market. It's not greasy, it works and it doesn't clog pores, plus it sits well under makeup.

I can't rave about this enough. If you haven't tried it yet, I urge you to grab a sample and see how you go. Everyone I've told about this product loves it: it's a cult favourite for a reason. Repurchase? Yes.

Omorovicza Cleansing Foam

This is a nice, gentle cleanser and while it does lather a little, it doesn't foam up and it's not one of those cleansers that contains skin-harming SLS. I've reviewed it here.

I generally used this in the morning as my second cleanse. I used a balm or oil cleanser first and then went in with this to gently clean my skin. It did a good job of that and I enjoyed the process of using it.

While I did like it, it's not a repurchase for me. I personally don't feel the need to spend this much on a cleanser unless it's off-the-charts good, and this didn't quite make the grade. Purchase? No.

Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser

Full review here. This is a good, basic everyday cleanser that doesn't cost the earth and that you can pick up in most chemists. It has that familiar Sukin scent and it cleanses well without stripping the skin.

Mind you, it's designed for normal to oily skin and I did find it a bit much for my dry skin to use twice daily, so I tended to use it only in the mornings perhaps every second day - otherwise I risked drying my skin out. Still, it's a good product and it should suit plenty of skin types. Purchase? Maybe.

Skinstitut Even Blend Serum

I didn't like this product at all and I expected to love it because it's had such good reviews, so it was a disappointment for me and I'm glad I've finally finished it. I've reviewed it here.

It's a gel product and it's meant to target things like sun damage and pigmentation etc, and not only did it not do that, but it was also far too drying for me to use alone so I had to mix it with an oil - otherwise it completely dried my skin out. And since it left a coating, my moisturiser couldn't penetrate and nourish my skin over the top of it. Foo. Repurchase? No.

Project Pan empties

As always, I'll talk about these briefly because I've already talked about them to death via Project Pan, but if you're interested in any particular product then I've left links to my full reviews.

  • Marc Jacobs Lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: full review here. I was expecting to love this formula because a lot of people do, but unfortunately I found it too drying and it was also a little grainy so I could feel it when I pressed my lips together. I'm glad I've tried it but I wouldn't buy it. Purchase? No.
  • BareMinerals 5-in-1 Cream Eyeshadow in Sweet Spice: a lot of people rave about these but I found the formula to be too drying if I wanted to wear this as an eyeshadow (and I'm not the first person to have said this), so I could only apply a tiny bit and use it as a base. Thankfully, though, it made an excellent facial contour and that's how I got through it. Repurchase? No.
  • Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 32: full review here. I hated this lipstick and I'm so glad I've finished it. It was drying, it stunk and it made my lips look awful. However, since it was bright orange, it was a good one to mix with pink lipsticks to make them more coral (my favourite) and that's how I got through it. Purchase? No.

  • Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector: this is a fantastic corrector and I'm sad I've finished it but I'm also glad because it lasted almost two years of daily use so it was definitely time for it to go. It's a cult favourite for a reason. Full review here. Repurchase? Yes.
  • Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige: full review here. I panned two of these this year - this one was too dark and the other one was too pale - and I used them both as foundation mixers. They worked beautifully as mixers but I didn't like the foundation on its own because it clung to dry patches and emphasised texture. Repurchase? No.
  • Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Pencil in Rich Brown: I haven't reviewed this yet but I do have another one that I've just opened so I'll review that eventually. It's fine as an eyeliner and while it doesn't adhere to the waterline as long as I would like, it's not too bad and I've certainly used worse. It's also a twist-up arrangement that doesn't require sharpening, which is a huge plus for me because I'm lazy. Repurchase? Already have.

In sum

That's all from me!

Wishing you all a very happy 2018: may it be a good, safe year for all.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

Hello and welcome to my first round of Project Dent for 2018!

I bought this Bobbi Brown bronzer earlier in the year but I only opened it a few months ago, and since opening it, I haven't actually used it. Yikes!

Reason being, I've been panning a Laura Mercier and also a Clarins bronzer, and I've been so busy focusing on those that I all but forgot I owned this one. Oops.

However. I wound up Project Pan 2017 yesterday and I'm giving myself a couple of weeks 'free time' before kicking off PP 2018, so this is really the only opportunity I'll have to dent a bronzer before I start focusing on the Laura Mercier one again - and I'm going to make the most of it.

I would also like to work out how I feel about this product during the denting period, and while I'm not sure that two weeks will be enough time to feel ready to review it, at least I'll have some idea of how I feel about it by the time it comes to doing my update post.

If you're anything like me, you'll have seen this bronzer raved about in the beauty community. Sure, it's not as well-known as something like Benefit's Hoola or Nars' Laguna, but it frequently shows up in people's favourites. That's why I bought it.

Also, it's a matte bronzer (my favourite) and this particular shade has a red undertone (also my favourite), so it's been on my list of products to buy for ages. I'm definitely glad I bought it, but I'd also like to confirm that it's as good as everyone says it is!

Here's how my bronzer is looking today, 31 December 2017:

And here it is again:

As you can see, I haven't used it. Indeed, I haven't even swatched it! 

So what I'll do over the next two weeks is use it every day, and after that I'll update you on my progress so you can see how much I've used during that time. Sure, we likely won't be seeing any dents in two weeks, but we should see a difference in the pattern on the surface.

Wish me luck!

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

Hello and welcome to my final Project Pan tally for the year!

I wrote my last Project Pan tally at the beginning of October, and I'm back today to do a final count and work out how much I've panned during 2017.

Initially my goal was fifty products, but since I'd beaten that by October, I revised my goal to eighty. Did I meet it? Let's see.

So, at the beginning of October, my tally was:

  • two eye primers 
  • three face primers (one travel-sized) 
  • two liquid foundations 
  • three powder foundations (one travel-sized) 
  • three BB/CC creams / tinted moisturisers (one travel-sized) 
  • one cream eyeshadow/eye base 
  • one highlighting pencil 
  • four concealers 
  • ten lipsticks (one mini) 
  • five lip glosses 
  • one lip balm 
  • one lip crayon 
  • one lip liner 
  • one eyeliner 
  • one powder blush 
  • two non-powder blushes (one gel, one liquid) 
  • one powder highlighter 
  • three liquid highlighters (two travel-sized) 
  • four hair treatments (one travel-sized) 
  • three hair oils (all travel-sized) 
  • one sunscreen spray (travel-sized) 
  • four face masks 
  • one tanning mousse (travel-sized) 
  • one toothpaste 
  • two perfumes (one travel-sized) 
  • one nail polish 
  • one lip scrub 
  • one sleep spray

That's sixty-five products in total. Let's count what I've finished since then.

October was a reasonable panning month and I managed to finish seven products in total, including a full-sized bronzer, a primer, a foundation and a tinted moisturiser. All four of those had been on my list for a while so it felt good to finally finish them.

October's tally was as follows:

  • one primer
  • one tinted moisturiser
  • one foundation
  • one bronzer
  • one lipstick
  • one tooth-whitening product
  • one moisturiser

November was one of my best months on record and I was able to finish twelve products. This included a full-sized liquid highlighter as well as a full-sized powder highlighter and also a couple of mini bronzers. Woot woot!

Here's what I finished in November:

  • three lipsticks
  • one lip pencil
  • two bronzers (both minis, one liquid and one powder)
  • one powder highlighter
  • one liquid highlighter
  • two eyeshadow pans
  • one hair treatment
  • one tanning mousse

And last, December. I wasn't able to finish all my products by the end of the year (I had four remaining, only two of which I'd hoped to finish and didn't), but I still panned seven products in total and I was happy with that amount - especially because those included a full-sized cream eyeshadow, a corrector and a foundation.

Here's how December looked:

  • one foundation
  • one corrector
  • one cream eyeshadow 
  • one eyeshadow pan
  • one eyeliner
  • two lipsticks (one mini)

The final tally

So, let's add up the above products.

Here's the final list:

  • two eye primers 
  • four face primers (one travel-sized) 
  • four liquid foundations 
  • three powder foundations (one travel-sized) 
  • four BB/CC creams / tinted moisturisers (one travel-sized) 
  • two cream eyeshadows/eye bases 
  • one highlighting pencil 
  • five concealers 
  • sixteen lipsticks (two minis) 
  • five lip glosses 
  • one lip balm 
  • one lip crayon 
  • two lip liners
  • two eyeliners 
  • three eyeshadow pans
  • three bronzers (one powder mini and one liquid mini)
  • one powder blush 
  • two non-powder blushes (one gel, one liquid) 
  • two powder highlighter 
  • four liquid highlighters (two travel-sized) 
  • four hair treatments (one travel-sized) 
  • three hair oils (all travel-sized) 
  • one sunscreen spray (travel-sized) 
  • four face masks 
  • two tanning mousses (one travel-sized) 
  • one toothpaste 
  • two perfumes (one travel-sized) 
  • one nail polish 
  • one lip scrub 
  • one sleep spray
  • one tooth-whitening product
  • one moisturiser

That's a total of ninety-one products. My golly! That's easily my best panning year ever. Hooray to that. Maybe I should set the bar even higher and aim for one hundred next year? Although I don't have as many products these days so I mightn't be able to do it. We'll see.

In sum

That's all from me! I hope you enjoyed this little post and found something interesting in here.

It's definitely been a good panning year for me and it's also the year that I managed to get my total collection down to below less than one hundred makeup products, so I'd like to keep that total stable next year and perhaps even reduce it a little further.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

Hello and welcome to my final Project Pan update for the year!

I'm super pleased to report that I've finished another foundation and also a mini lipstick, so I've managed to sneak in a couple more empties before the end of 2017.

Above is my Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige. As you may know, I didn't love the formula of this by itself but it was a fantastic mixer and so I mostly got through it by using it to darken up any base that was too pale.

To make sure I got through it this month, I also wore it by itself a few times each week (mixed with some whitening drops to get the shade right) and I occasionally mixed some in with my primer to give me a bronze glow beneath my makeup. I did find a way to enjoy this product but I'm still glad it's gone.

Next, my Marc Jacobs lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. This was only a mini so it didn't take ages to get through and I knew I'd finish it this month, but it's nice to see the end of it all the same. 

I reviewed this product yesterday and I mentioned that I didn't love this formula because I found it very drying, plus it felt grainy when I pressed my lips together and it also didn't do anything for smoothing my lip lines. So it's safe to say that this isn't for me and I'm glad that it's done.

There's my marker sheet for the lipstick below (bottom right):

As for the rest of my products, I only have four remaining because I didn't replace things as I finished them this month.

There they are:

Here's how my list is looking at the end of December:

  • Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Bronze 04 
  • Dazzhop Lasting Eyebrow Pencil 
  • Alpha-H Balancing & Pore Refining Mask with Jojoba 
  • Natural World Hair Oil
  • Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige 
  • Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector 
  • BareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow SPF 15 in Sweet Spice 
  • Marc Jacobs Lipstick in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 
  • Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 32 
  • Stila's Gilded Gold from the In the Light Palette 
  • Rimmel Exaggerate Auto Waterproof Eye Definer in 212 Rich Brown

So I finished seven products this month and I only have four left. I'll keep working on those four for now and then I'll roll what's left into next year's challenge.

I really thought I would finish my Natural World hair oil this month, but as you can see, I didn't quite get there. It's safe to say, though, that I'll finish it sometime in January - and I'm looking forward to doing so because then I'll be able to open something new.

I do enjoy this hair oil but I've had it for ages now so it will be nice to move on to something else.

Next, my Dazzshop eyebrow pencil. You'll see the marker for this on the sheet above (the long line towards the right). I had a feeling that I wouldn't quite finish this in time and indeed I didn't, but there's probably only a week or two remaining and then it will become too hard to sharpen.

I do like this product but I also prefer a slightly paler brow pencil because my brows are so dark already, so using a paler product gives me a more natural look.

Above is my Laura Mercier bronzer. As you may know, I introduced this in mid-November and I've already used around forty per cent of the whole product. You should be able to see above that there's a rim around the top half of the pan: that's the area that's been worn down so it's no longer a dome.

I've never burned through a bronzer as fast as I've burned through this one, and I'm expecting it to be done within the next two months. Not good enough for a bronzer that cost me this much! It's just not pigmented and it also falls off my face because it's so dry, so I have to reapply it after lunch. 

And last, my Alpha-H mask. I knew that I wouldn't finish this by year's end but I wanted to include it anyway, just to make a start on it. I've still probably got three or four months left in the product, but I want to take a short break now that I've wound up Project Pan for the year - that way I'll be able to focus on the three sample masks I currently have open.

Once I've knocked out those three, I plan to throw at least three of my full-sized masks into Project Pan 2018. As you may know, I recently did a skincare inventory and I've also put myself on a skincare no buy, and one of the reasons why I'm doing this it because I have a ridiculous amount of masks in my collection and I really need to start finishing them.

In sum

That's all from me!

It's been a pretty good panning year and I'm pleased to be wrapping things up now so that I can have a few weeks off before I start Project Pan 2018.

In the next little while, I also plan to do a tally post so we can see how much I finished in the 2017 panning year, and I may well do another 'lessons learned' post if I have enough content - keeping in mind that I've already done a few of those posts so I may not have anything new to share for the moment.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

This Marc Jacobs mini lipstick has been up for review for ages, it's just that I've had so many posts to write as we come into the end of 2017 that it's been on hold while I've done more time-sensitive posts.

But this lipstick is on my Project Pan list and I'm at the point where I'm scraping product out of the lower cap so it's time to review it before I send it to the empties bin.

And I'm looking forward to sending it to the empties bin, I must say. I know a lot of people love these lipsticks but I don't because the formula isn't hydrating enough for my dry lips. How unusual ; )

Indeed, I was surprised that I didn't like this lipstick because Youtuber Jessica Braun raves about the formula, and she tends to have quite similar tastes to mine (she's one of the few people who finds MAC lipsticks to be drying, which I agree with) so I really thought that I'd love these.

But I don't, so there you go. I'm going to assume that the formula across the board is the same (or at least very similar), so now that I've tried this GWP and don't like it, I've happily scratched another high-end lipstick off my list.

Marc Jacobs claims/product details:
  • A rich, creamy lipstick that redefines luxury with instant indulgent colour 
  • Provides 10 hours of wear
  • The unprecedented payoff comes from concentrated colour-boosting pigments that are triple-milled and enriched with hydrating ingredients
  • Imparts long-lasting colour and moisture
  • Your lips will feel instantly plumped and nourished from powerful peptides, antioxidant-rich seaberry and natural humectants, including meranti and cocoa butter
  • Its subtle vanilla taste and scent mimic a decadent dessert
  • Just snap the case shut and hear a satisfying click, which Marc Jacobs describes as 'the sound of luxury'
  • Formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates
  • RRP $43 AUD

I do like the fancy little packaging of this mini - it's the kind of product that I may well keep for display purposes after I've finished it.

'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' is described as 'baked rose' and I get that because it's pink without being too pink and it's quite rich and deep in colour, so it's one of the few pinks I can wear (pink normally doesn't suit me).

There's the bullet in direct sunlight above.

And there it is in natural light below:

Next, swatches.

Indirect sunlight:

Natural light:

And light and heavy swatches in direct sunlight (yes, I photographed these swatches on different days, just to keep you on your toes ; )):

My bare lips for reference:

Wearing the lipstick, natural light:

And indirect sunlight:


I don't think this is a terrible lipstick but I don't love it for a few reasons so I'll be glad to finish it.

While the product feels nicely creamy and smooth when applied, within a few seconds my dry lips start to feel very dry beneath it. Indeed, I can't wear this consistently for a whole day (and definitely not on consecutive days) because my lips start to crack and flake something chronic if I do.

Also, you'll see above that the formula doesn't do much for my lip lines, and since the main thing I look for in a lip product is something that smooths out my lips, this product is an automatic fail for me. Sure I can wear a gloss over the top, but my lips still feel dry underneath the gloss and I would rather just have a lipstick that deals with texture for me.

Also, there's something weird and grainy about this formula that I don't like. When I rub my lips together, there's a definite grainy sensation so I don't enjoy wearing the product. I'm also aware of it on my lips and I prefer a lipstick that I can't feel, so it loses points there too.

The good news, though, is that it wears very well so you don't need to keep reapplying it. Also, when it does fade, it fades evenly and leaves a stain behind so you don't need to 'babysit' it throughout the day.

Shade 216 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a flattering pink that's not too bright and it's also quite rich and deep in colour so I can see it suiting a lot of different complexions. Sure it's not my favourite shade because I'm just not a pink person, but I can wear it so that's a plus.

All in all, I don't hate this product but it's not for me and I personally don't think it's worth the price-tag. Indeed, it's probably the only Marc Jacobs product I've tried to date that I don't love, so that's something to keep in mind.

Not for me.
Hello and welcome to my final Best in Beauty post for 2017!

You may remember that I divided these posts last year so I had one for complexion (see here) and one for cheeks, lips and eyes (see here), and I've decided to do that again because otherwise this post would be too long.

If you're interested in seeing this year's complexion post: it's here. That one's more about base products while this one's more about 'decoration'.

Also note that I decided to keep my list fresh this year and not just bring you a post full of Hourglass (because Hourglass could have won in the bronzer, blush and highlighter categories), so if I've tried anything this year that rivals my Hourglass products, then I've included it. Also, a lot of these products are 2017 releases so hopefully you'll enjoy having some newer stuff to consider.

Let's have a look.

Best bronzer: Becca Sunlit Bronzer (Ipanema Sun)

While my Hourglass bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light is still my number one, this Becca bronzer in Ipanema Sun comes very close and I personally think it's the best bronzer release of 2017 (keeping in mind that I haven't yet tried any of the Marc Jacobs bronzers).

It applies and blends beautifully, and it offers a natural bronze glow that just looks good. This is also one of those powders that blends well even if my base is still a little tacky, and you can't say that of all powders so that's a huge plus for me because I'm always wearing a dewy base.

I'm sure all the shades are as good as each other, but I picked Ipanema Sun because it's darker and has a red undertone, which is my personal favourite for bronzers. Love.

Best blush: Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush (Lines and Last Night)

Again, my Hourglass blushes still just beat these because they airbrush the skin a little better than these do, but gosh these are still amazing. So amazing that this year I bought three of them (!).

This one in Lines and Last Night is my favourite - you know me, I'm obsessed with all things orange - but I do love the other two I own as well, those being the nude Flesh and Fantasy and the peachy pink Kinks and Kisses.

What I love about these is that they apply and blend well and they also smooth texture on the cheeks so they make me look younger. I also love the highlighter section of the three I own because it's subtle and it doesn't emphasise texture. Sensational.

Best highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Prismatic Amethyst

There's a story behind this highlighter because I almost, almost didn't buy it. Reason being, I'd sworn off Becca highlighters because even though I love the colours and the feel of the soft, creamy formula, the two I own (Opal and Champagne Pop) emphasise texture so they're not the ones I reach for when I want to look my best.

However. I'd heard that the formula of Prismatic Amethyst was different from the original Becca highlighters and that it was more subtle and did better with texture, and I loved the colour of this so I finally bit the bullet and grabbed it.

I'm so glad I did. I'm completely in love with it and it now rivals my HG Hourglass highlighter in Brilliant Strobe Light: when I'm going out, it's always one of those two that I'm wearing.

Amethyst is an interesting, cool-toned pink/lavender colour and it's a lot more flattering than I expected, plus it doesn't emphasise texture and it also looks beautiful on the eyes. Can't get enough.

Best eyeshadow palette: Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-conic Multi-finish Eyeshadow Palette (Egitorial)

If you've been watching and reading Best in Beauty posts recently, this palette will come as no surprise because this range of eyeshadows has shown up in so many people's favourites. With good reason.

I reckon these must be some of the best thought-through palettes in a while because they're all interesting and versatile, and this one in Egitorial can perform as either a neutral, everyday palette or as something with a bit more grunt for night-use. The shadows blend and perform well, and while I still prefer the ABH formula over this one, it's still very good and I love it.

Indeed, I've already got my eye on three more of these (and there's only six in total!), which I'm hoping to buy over 2018 as I pan more shadows and make room for them in my collection. Honestly, they're brilliant. I haven't been able to put this down.

Best mascara: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

This is hands-down the best mascara I used this year. I've reviewed it here.

It's everything I want in a mascara: it delivers good length and thickness (probably a bit more length than thickness, which is my preference); it's not too clumpy so I rarely need an eyelash comb; and it stays put throughout the day so I don't wind up with flakes and smudges everywhere by lunchtime.

And best of all, the wand isn't too fat so I don't end up with mascara goo all over my hooded eyes whenever I use it! Love.

Best lipstick: Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Refillable Lipstick (I've Never)

You might be sick of hearing about these because I'm yet to find someone who doesn't love the formula, but I had to mention it here: it's the only high-end lipstick I've ever used that I personally feel is worth the price.

Why? I'm not going to lie: the packaging. Yes the formula is fantastic because it applies beautifully and a little goes a long way, plus it lasts well so you don't need to keep reapplying it, but I've found budget lipsticks that work well too so I personally don't feel you need to buy one of these for the formula alone.

But the packaging? I feel so damn special whenever I use this that the purchase was worth the money just for that. The bullet looks like a cross between an elegant, feline cigar and some kind of weapon, and it has some weight to it so it feels well-made. Love.

NYX Butter Glosses (Apple Strudel)

Full review here. This year I tried three raved-about glosses for the first time: Fenty's original gloss release; two of the fabled Marc Jacobs glosses and these Butter Glosses from NYX. And you know what? I still prefer the NYX versions for the simple reason that they're the most hydrating of the three. They're amazing.

I've tried two shades so far but I have another two that are waiting to be opened as soon as I've finished a few more lip products, and I already know that I'll always have one of these in my handbag because I can rely on them for moisture so they're great to pair with other lip products or just wear alone.

Plus they plump up the lips and smooth out texture, so they make my lips look younger. On top of that, they come in a range of shades so there's sure to be something for everyone. Yay.

In sum

I'm super pleased that I've managed to finish all my Best in Beauty posts before the end of the year - I wasn't sure I would manage to do that with all the festive madness going on, but I've done it so huzzah. Now I can focus on winding up Project Pan for the year!

I hope you found something interesting to try in the above post, and do let me know what your makeup favourites are for the year: I'd love to hear.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x
Hello and welcome to my next Best in Beauty post for 2017!

You may remember that I divided these posts last year so I had one for complexion (see here) and one for cheeks, lips and eyes (see here), and I was going to throw them all in together this year but then my list travelled beyond twelve products so I decided to divide them again.

You'll note that most of the items below are different from last year's list, but a couple of them are repeats because I haven't found anything in 2017 that knocks them from top position.

So without further ado...

Best primer: Becca Backlight Priming Filter

Full review here. When I first started using this primer, I knew that I really liked it but it wasn't quite HG material for the simple reason that I can't wear it underneath my sheerer bases: it's too shiny. Also, if my base has enough coverage to dull down the shine of this primer but it wears off during the day, then my face starts to look like a discoball after lunch because this primer stays put so it becomes all you can see.

While those issues are still true, I realised this year just how much I loved this. It smells beautiful and applies well, but most of all, it's easily the most hydrating primer I own. Nothing makes my skin feel like it's had a drink the way this product does, and since I have dry skin, I can't help but love this. Sure it's not perfect, but it's close.

Best foundation: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

I haven't reviewed this yet but it's hands-down my favourite foundation this year and it's hard to imagine that anything else will ever beat it. I'm also calling it my favourite tinted moisturiser because the coverage is a light/medium on me and I can't get it to be any heavier than that because it doesn't build well, but I don't mind that because it looks so beautiful on the skin.

It's hard to describe quite how good this is, but it looks like skin and I reckon you could just about call it undetectable: it's easily the most natural base I own. It has a dewy finish and it melts in and becomes one with the skin. As soon as I finish my bottle, I know I'll be buying another one.

The only bad thing about it (aside from the fact that it ain't cheap) is the minuscule shade range, so I really wish they'd expand what they have. I currently own the shade 213, which is a little pale for me and it's not yellow enough, so next time I might try 123 and see if that's a better fit. Love.

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

Full review here. This is one of those polarising products that some people love while others think is useless, and I'm definitely in the love category - and I panned this product in 2017 but I never grew tired of it so that's saying something.

So far I've tried two other correctors (one from Tarte and one of Becca's newer offerings) and I still think this original Becca one is the best. You only need a tiny amount each time and it really boosts the efficacy of your concealer. I wouldn't say that it completely removes my under eye bags, but it gets pretty close.

The other good news is that the pot lasts me two years of daily use because a little goes a long way, so it's good value and I don't think you can go wrong with it.

BareMinerals BareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer

This concealer made my list last year and it's making another appearance this year because I'm yet to find anything that beats it. I've reviewed it here.

I love this because it's super hydrating on my dry skin and it doesn't settle into lines (provided you set it), plus it offers decent coverage that never looks thick or cakey. I also love the nourishing texture - it really does feel like a serum - and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that works better for textured, dry and/or dehydrated skin. Love.

RCMA No Colour Powder

Full review here. I'm not someone who has tried a lot of setting powders because I rely on Hourglass' Dim Light to do the blurring and airbrushing for me (see below), but I did make sure to finally pick this one up in 2017 because it's an HG product for many and it's not expensive so I was more than happy to buy it.

I love it. It's finely milled and it applies beautifully, and even though it's white in colour, it doesn't leave behind a white cast. I also think it works well on the under-eyes (not all setting powders do) because it is so finely milled, so that's a plus.

On top of this, it's never dried out my dry skin because I can apply just enough to dull down the tacky finish of my base product and I've never over-applied this so that my lines look more pronounced. If you haven't tried this, I urge you to take the plunge because it's that good and it won't break the bank.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light

I do own the full-size of Dim Light but I haven't photographed it or reviewed it yet (silly me) so I'm including the shot of this Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3, which includes a pan of Dim Light.

Dim Light is easily the most amazing makeup product I've ever used. It blurs texture and airbrushes the skin, and it makes me look five years younger. It's also undetectable on the skin. Every time I use it, I still can't believe how good it is. 

Indeed, I've managed to convert a bunch of family members who now won't use anything else, and my aunt even threw out the other powders she owned after using this for the first time. If I could only own and use one makeup product for the rest of my life, it would be Hourglass Dim Light. 'Nuff said.

Best setting spray: Banana Boat Soothing Aloe Mist After Sun Spray

Full review here. This is the only other product on this list that made my yearly favourites last year, and I'm not surprised that it's made the list again because I really think it can't be beat. 

Yes I've tried the Urban Decay All Nighter and yes that makes my makeup last longer than this one does, but the All Nighter doesn't hydrate and plump my skin like this Banana Boat offering (plus this one's a lot cheaper) so it's won again in this category.

It does exactly what a setting spray should do - it takes away the any powdery look to the skin and merges things together, plus it refreshes the face and gives me much-needed moisture - and it only costs a few bucks for this large bottle if you can find it on special. Amazing.

In sum

I hope you enjoyed this little post and found some ideas for new things to try in 2018. 

I always have quite a few items I could put on this list but I've narrowed it down so I'm only including the best of the best, because I want this list to contain the stand-out products and nothing else.

Note that I'll shortly be doing my Best in Beauty post for cheeks, lips and eyes - so stay tuned for that if you're interested.

Do let me know in the comments what your favourite makeup products were this year: I'd love to hear.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x
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