We're Officially Halfway Through 2018: Meet the Best Products I've Tried So Far
How is it July already? I actually have no idea where the time goes, and it terrifies me. One minute it's all summertime and Réalisation Par dresses, and the next it's one degree and I've forgotten my umbrella for the fifth day in a row. Life, hey? But it's okay, because the six months of 2018 means six months of rigorous beauty product testing, and boy do I have some winners for you. From the best facial oil ever, to the perfect anti-eye shadow that's literally impossible to stuff up, I present to you my ultimate product edit of 2018 so far. There's some luxe investment picks, some cheap thrills, and a few in-between options for those days you're feeling frivolous in Mecca.
Keep scrolling for the best bits, and don't say I didn't warn you when you find a new ride-or-die.
Rationale ProCeramide Cleanser ($92)
The most incredible discovery I've made this year beauty-wise has by far been Rationale (you can read all about it here). I love the entire range, but the cleanser is especially amazing. I've never been big on cleanser and just used anything gentle, but this one is so creamy and thick, it's like a mini treatment. I massage it into dry skin, and let it sit for the entire shower before rinsing. The ceramides have helped tremendously with repairing my barrier.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Deep Hydrating Face Mask ($226)
Expensive, yes, but holy wow it WORKS. I actually tried this for the first time upon meeting Dr. Sturm herself, and she told me the best practice is to let the mask dry, and then rub/roll it off using your fingers. It honestly leaves my skin so bright and bouncy, I've almost finished the entire tub (cue the tears). Rosie Huntington-Whiteley actually used it to prep her skin before the Met Gala, so there you go.
Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Matte ($49)
I don't do eye shadow in my everyday life because it's just too hard and fiddly, but this velvet-y formula from Chantecaille is like eye shadow for dummies. I use my fingers to smudge it all over my lid and pair it with mascara and a little brown eyeliner (I tight-line on the upper lashes only), and it looks so good. The colours are really special, too.
This is 100 percent the most beautiful new fragrance I've come across this year. The whole Grandiflora line is amazing, but Boronia especially captured my attention. The best way I can describe it is as a non-cliche floral that smells luxurious and warm all at once. It's spiked with notes of cassis, freesia, sunburnt hay, and immortelle absolute, and lasts on my skin beautifully.
Vitner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($270)
I have actually been coveting this serum for about a year, and now that I'm using it, I finally understand the hype (it's basically liquid gold among beauty editors and other industry professionals). Created by winemaker April Gargiulo, it's a blend of nourishing, anti-inflammatory oils that get into the deeper layers of the skin, hydrating and nourishing like no other oil I've ever used. It has quite the price tag, but it can literally replace most of your skincare routine. I love the fact that it's suitable for a range of skin types too because its main function is to nourish, hydrate, reduce inflammation and optimise barrier function. I've been using it for a few weeks, and my skin looks brighter, and more hydrated. It 100 percent lives up the the reviews.
Kosas Weighless Lip Color ($38)
I actually bought one of these last month in New York after Lara Worthington talked them up on Instagram, and I just love it. It's a beautiful, clean brand that sources only quality ingredients, and it really shows. The lipstick is creamy without catching on dry spots, and it wears really nicely (considering it's not a long lasting formula). I bought the shade Undone, and it's the perfect neutral. Kosas is launching in Mecca later in the year, so if you can hold out, you can avoid international shipping costs (however, I can attest that it's worth it if you cave).
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Sleeping Mask ($5)
I actually cannot go past this $5 sleeping mask from Neutrogena. There's so much product in the pod you can get two uses easily, and it really plumps tired skin thanks to the high concentration of hyaluronic acid. For the price, it's really, really good.
Salt by Hendrix Cleanse Jasmine Soak ($25)
I've really gotten into the art of bathing this year (thank you, Gwyneth), so have tried just about every soak and oil money can buy. The absolute best I've tried is the Goop Martini Soak (OMG, heaven) but it's almost impossible to get shipped to Australia. Trust me, I've tried. Luckily, this pick from Salt by Hendrix is also pretty lush. It's full of Epsom salts and magnesium to soothe muscles, as well as clay powder to cleanse. The flowers are a nice touch, too.
Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm ($190)
While I love essential and plant oils, I generally avoid using them in my face as they can (in certain people) lead to irritation, but I threw caution to the wind when this Tammy Fender balm landed on my desk. I've been coveting the range for so long (I love beautiful, holistic skincare), so when it finally launched in Mecca I was so excited. This balm was actually originally created for post-op patients to soothe and assist with healing, so the texture is perfectly rich and creamy. It's definitely not an everyday product (unless you're really dry), but I love it when my skin feels red, irritated, or ravaged by the elements. Also, the smell is amazing and it's just a really, really special product to use.
Venustus S.O.S Roll On ($59)
I only discovered Venustus products this year, and I'm actually a little confused as to how I ever lived without them. This S.O.S. roll on is a life saver on days where I'm running late due to traffic, or dealing with a merciless inbox. I pop it on my wrists and take a few deep breaths to calm down. It's really nice before bed, too.
R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder ($53)
Controversial opinion, but I actually don't really love dry shampoo that much. I use texturising sprays aplenty, but I'm a chronic hair-toucher and hate the chalky dust all over my hands if I've used dry shampoo, so I normally just tie greasy strands back and call it a day. I am, however, a huge R+Co fan, so decided this was worth a shot. It is actually so good! Pumps up volume, absorbs greasy bits, and doesn't feel too powdery (despite being a powder). I also find I need a fraction of the amount I'd normally use thanks to the pump format, so it justifies the price in my opinion.
Vida Glow Beauty Glow ($60)
I have quite literally tried every vegan protein out there, and this is one of my all-time favourites. It's a blend of pea, brown rice, sacha inchi, and chia protein, as well as digestive enzymes for a well-functioning gut. The best part is the taste though—it doesn't have that weird, artificial flavour so many proteins have, but adds just enough sweetness in my oats or smoothie.
Go-To Skincare Exceptionoil ($51)
Not new, but I only just started using this product about a month ago, and it's the best. It melts into the most delicious oil/butter hybrid, and properly hydrates flaky legs and other scary, dry bits (think elbows, cuticles, and heels). It also smells really nice, and is a true multi-tasking hero—you can even use it in your hair if you're stuck.