The past few weeks have been particularly stressful but there are a few things keeping me going: mostly BEAUTY PRODUCTS! Or as I like to call them, my beauty essentials.

Here are my 2016 beauty essentials, in no particular order..

1. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water – R79.99* (Dischem)

This stuff is life-changing, guys. It’s a make-up remover, and you use a cotton wool disk or round to wipe your make-up off. You don’t need to rinse it off. It’s the bomb.com. It literally just feels like water, and it doesn’t dry out your skin. It dries up easily. I love it so much that I would rather use this every day than wash my face – I hear your mortified gasps, don’t worry, I won’t do this. Side note: don’t think it’s as gentle as water and purposefully put it in your eyeballs like I did. Because it stings. Like the sting of a thousand angry bees.

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2. OGX Weightless Hydration Coconut Water Shampoo and Conditioner – R150.00* per bottle (Dischem)

We all know that the latest beauty essentials trend is coconut oil, in all its multi-purpose glory. I then discovered this beautiful shampoo and conditioner set, and once I sniffed the product, I was SOLD. It is a weightless formulation and drenches your dehydrated strands. It is SLS/SLES free which is a big bonus as this is a known irritant in tons of products to give a soapy, foamy appearance (and feel) to products. It has even been linked to another carcinogenic product. These OGX products smells great and they don’t weigh down my hair like most products do. Although it’s pricey, I luckily hardly use it because ‘thanks short hair’, and also, thanks to my beauty essential product number 3..

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3. Batiste Strength & Shine Dry Shampoo – R79.95* (Clicks)

I try not to wash my hair too often, and I try to limit this to twice a week at the most so that I avoid stripping my hair of it’s natural oils. This is obviously a different story if I go for a run or exercise, which means I have to wash my hair. When I’m not exercising, and it’s the middle of the week, Dry Shampoo and I are BFFs. I swear by the Batiste range. I have tried a number of other dry shampoo ranges – one cost me almost R200, and it wasn’t even close to being as effective as Batiste. The Batiste products smell great, and the results are long-lasting. Your hair is refreshed, and enlivened with body that you never knew it had.

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4. Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser – R89.95* (Clicks)

I have big pores, and it’s one of my least favourite skin issues that I felt hopeless about. That was until I discovered this product. It is basically a skin primer and can be used before putting on make-up, or it can be used without make-up at all. It basically smoothes your skin and pores, and it makes your skin look flawless. It is fragrance-free, and a gorgeous thick cream that glides onto your skin easily. I can’t get enough.

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5. Paradiso Tropicale Cocco di Saint Barth e Frangipane Triple Milled Natural Soap – R49.00* (Woolworths)

I’ve been loving glycerine and natural soaps more these days – so much so that they are the only soaps I now use. You aren’t putting nasty chemicals onto your skin, your skin doesn’t get dried out, and more importantly, these soaps smell gloooorious. This soap, in particular, smells good enough to eat. I find my sensitive skin has responded really well to the products, and I have minimal redness and eczema when using these natural soaps.

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6. MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in ‘Dark Side’ and Satin Lipstick in ‘Rebel’ – R220.00* each (MAC)

I have been desperately trying to find the MAC Lustre lipstick in the shade ‘Plumful’. Alas, I haven’t had luck just yet, but I’m hoping they’ll have stock soon. I’m obsessed with a dark, plummy lip and I didn’t let the fact that Plumful has been out of stock deter me. The helpful people over at MAC helped me find these two shades, and I am OBSESSED. I had to buy both of them, because they both met my needs. Although they are very similar, the one shade has more of a bright plum hue to it, which is still great to wear in Summer, and the other shade is a darker plum, more suited to Winter. I’ve even been layering these shades over one another to create a different look. I can’t get enough. I’m still going to keep my eye out for the Holy Grail that is ‘Plumful’ but I’m pretty happy with these options in the interim.

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‘Dark Side’ left, and ‘Rebel’ right

Here’s an idea of what they look like on – very similar, and almost exactly the plum shade I’ve been searching for..

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‘Rebel’ on the top picture, and ‘Dark Side’ on the bottom picture

These are the beauty essentials products that I’m absolutely loving at the moment. What is driving you beauty-crazy lately? Send me the names of the products you use – I’d love to try them out and discover more of the glory that has kept me sane over the last few crazy weeks.

*prices correct at time of posting

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