Dec 17, 2017 Skin

The Best of 2017: Every Product I Emptied This Year

by Emily Algar


As 2017 draws to a close, I find myself looking back at the year that was. Working in beauty is a never-ending spiral of new launches, and fancy technologies that promise to leave you looking and feeling like a brighter, sparklier version of yourself. I'd be lying if I said I tried every single product that lands on my desk, purely because I don't have enough skin and hair to make it possible. But with that being said, I do try a lot of stuff.

My bathroom is basically a treasure chest of lotions, mists, and creams that are designed to tackle a range of concerns, but there are few that I turn to every single day. And even fewer that I empty again and again. So now, I am pleased to present to you all the products I emptied this year. Some are new launches, others are old favourites, but all are incredible and worth every single penny, as far as I'm concerned. 

Keep scrolling for the best of 2017, or all my 'empties', so to speak. I promise at least one will change your life. 

Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant

Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant ( $85 ) ($68)

I would like to start with this Dermalogica powder exfoliant because this year I used an entire Microfoliant, and am now 80 percent of the way through the newer, punchier version (the Superfoliant). The highly active resurfacer works a treat when left on skin for about 60 seconds in the shower. I alternate it with Biologique's P50 lotion as an exfoliator (on the nights I don't use retinol, but more on that later). It leaves my skin clearer, more refined, and less congested. 

RMS Living Luminizer

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ($55)

Okay, so I haven't actually finished this little tub of amazing-ness, but I'll be damned if this coconut oil-based highlighter doesn't get a mention. I bought this at Mecca in Double Bay (my local) about nine months ago, and I haven't looked back. It's dewy and glowy, not shimmery. I pat it anywhere and everywhere every single day. If I'm feeling extra, I'll layer either a Tom Ford (fancy, I know) or Hourglass powder in Luminous Light on top. 

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($44)

Another incredible product. I have bought five tubes of this in my lifetime and I do not plan on stopping. If it was $100 a pop, I'd still buy it (but thankfully it's only $44). Sometimes I think if I could only own one makeup product (god forbid), this would be it. It covers EVERYTHING. I have had a particularly rough few months dealing with hormonal acne, and I kinda' feel like no one really noticed because of this concealer. I use Custard in winter and Ginger in summer (however I let you in on a secret—Mecca is launching a few new shades early next year, so my go-to might change). 

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Refreshingly Purifying Cleansing Hair Scrub

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub ($29)

Have you used a sea salt scrub for your hair before? I hadn't until 2017 and I highly recommend it. I had heard great things about the Christophe Robin version, so when this showed up I gave it a go. It's a wonderful, fresh, zesty concoction that leaves my hair bouncy, fresh and full of life. I have very fine, oily, flat hair (fun!), and I really do find this helps. And let's be honest, when was the last time you noticed a shampoo really did amazing things for you? Use it once a week for a deep clean and volume boost. 

Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots

Skyn Iceland Blemish Dots ($28)

You may have noticed earlier I spoke about my acne situation? Well about four months ago I dragged my spotty self into Mecca and bought these (because acne stickers are a thing, I promise). I love them because I put them on at night, and can apply the rest of my skincare without fear of overloading my pimple with a bunch of other lotions. Also, the pimple is protected and safe from bacteria! I kid you not, upon waking the spot has gone down—it's still red, but not raised. I will also confess that I have worn them to 5:30 a.m. gym classes because you actually can't see them. I even found one still on once at work—I know, shameful. They're designed to slow-release a slew of acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree overnight. It comes with 28 stickers and I have seven left. 

Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir

Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir ($116)

I confess that in 2017, I was addicted to antioxidant serums after I read Zoe Foster-Blake rave about them. Wearing one in the a.m. is very important, especially for a 23 year old such as myself who is hell-bent on preventing environmental ageing. This was presented to me at a Mecca showing, and the brand is the brainchild of a Miami-based doctor who clearly knows good skin (senior editor Lisa is besotted with the Doctor's Scrub, FYI). It contains vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, and ferulic acid for a brighter more even complexion. It also protects the skin from environmental aggressors like free radicals and pollution. I press into skin in the morning after cleansing, and it's not oily in the slightest. I'm now onto my second bottle. 

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($33)

Everyone knows and loves this mascara, but it would be wrong of me to not give it a spruik. I bought one late in 2016, and wasn't sure as I have always exclusively only used comb-style wands (like the Benefit They're Real, which is my other favourite). Does it live up to the hype? Yes it does. Have I bought two more since? Yes I have. 

Nars Blush in Orgasm

Nars Blush in Orgasm ($44)

Another classic, but I actually only tried this for the first time in 2017 (crazy, I know). It is truly the greatest blush there ever was. Also, who actually uses a whole blush? It's not easy, but I've done it. That's how good this is. 

Cosmedix Purity Solution Deep Cleansing Oil

Cosmedix Purity Solution Deep Cleansing Oil ($55)

One might think that cleansing oils are all much the same, but they're not. I used this up about five months ago and have missed it ever since. I'll probably buy another one from Adore Beauty right now, if I'm being honest. It takes off every bit of makeup (not just most of it but actually all of it), and leaves my face clean and balanced. 

La Mer The Hydrating Facial

La Mer The Hydrating Facial ($350)

I had three of these sheet masks, and after I experienced the first one, I saved the next two for my birthday, and my birthday the following year—that's how special they are. I even plan to re-purchase one day for my wedding. The cloth is soaked in the brands' iconic Miracle Broth along with other goodness, and I swear your skin will be bright, bouncy, and smooth when you peel it off and massage in the serum. It's like magic. 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer ($39)

I always go back to this moisturiser. It's no-fuss, hydrating, and reasonably priced. I've gone through two 125ml sizes in the past two years. If you need a basic but wonderful moisturiser for skin, buy this. 

The Beauty Chef Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder

The Beauty Chef Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder ($60)

Every morning I mix a bunch of powders into a big glass of water, and this is my favourite. I've just finished the small sized tub, and asked for another for Christmas (not kidding). I swear it (and the Glow powder) has helped my skin in a way I didn't think a supplement could. I add lemon and liquid chlorophyll to the mix, as well. 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($154)

Retinol is a miracle worker as far as beauty products are concerned, and it's effective in treating everything from acne, to wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. I've tried a few, but this slippery blue liquid from Sunday Riley is my favourite, and I'm about two weeks from bottle completion. I once spilt some on the bathroom floor, and I was beside myself. I press it into my skin in the evening on the nights I'm not exfoliating. It's quite oily, so feels hydrating as well. 

Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Miss Kensington

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Archive Nude Pinks ($120)

Before Charlotte Tilbury, I had only ever finished one lipstick ever (Nars Audacious Lipstick in Lana, and it's the best orange-red that ever existed). I was wearing Bitch Perfect for about six months until I found Miss Kensington in the Lip Archive set of three. It has just a little more depth, and is the closest colour I've ever found to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's pout. The semi-matte finish makes it not too 'Instagram nude', without being full-blown chalky. Pair it with the Pillow Talk lip liner for the best results. 

Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Lotion

Nivea Rich Nourishing Body Lotion ($8)

I've been repurchasing this for at least 10 years. It's cheap as chips and does a great job at hydrating dry, scaly limbs. I exclusively use the rich version, in the dark blue bottle, as it leaves me glossy but not sticky. I've used body creams that are $200 a tub, and this is better. I buy the little mini-sized option for travel, too. 

Image credit: @intothegloss