The beauty world is full of surprises! Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, the clever sausages keep pulling more rabbits out of the hat. I tried a lot of beauty products over the last month and a bit but these 10 finds were indeed my favourite of them all. Here are my picks for the top 10 new beauty products to try this month and beyond.

1. Revolution Makeup Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit

Revolution Makeup Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit

The hype around the Revolution makeup South African launch may have died down but that won’t stop me from telling you about one of the best lip products I have ever used. True story, this lip kit has changed my life. I’m a bit obsessed with Matte lipsticks, especially of the liquid variety, and in terms of formulation and price point, no one can touch Revolution’s Matte Lip Kits at the moment. Each kit contains a liquid lipstick with a doe foot applicator and a matching lip pencil, giving you the tools you need to create the perfect lip. I love it because it’s lightweight and goes on like a dream, without being sticky or drying out. The longevity of the colours is also fantastic and the pigment on point. The Matte Lip Kit range offers a range of gorgeous shades including Regal (a muted red/orange), Grandee (a light, petal pink), Noble (a brown nude with a hint of red), Echelon (a pink based nude), Royal (a deep purple), and my favourite, Reign (a pink toned nude with a warm slightly brown tone to it).

The Revolution Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kits are available from Clicks stores and online at R124,95.

2. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Sculpting Gel

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Sculpting Gel

I don’t mean to alarm you, but I think botox in a bottle has arrived! Designed to help redefine the look of your natural facial contours, Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Lift and Firm Sculpting Gel offers an instant lifting and tightening effect. The lightweight, invisible gel feels like a serum but goes over your moisturiser rather than under it and is a true revelation in the skincare world. The product is packed with skin-tightening peptides and wrinkle-smoothing ceramides that offer you ‘wow’ results you can see. But it’s not all about the short-term game, while Hyaluronic acid offers an instant plumping and moisturising effect, Acetyl Tripeptide-2 helps to support collagen and elastin production over time, giving you long-lasting results with continued use. The product is applied with an innovative cooling aluminium massage roller applicator, which itself has an instant manual lymphatic drainage effect. After a little while of using this product I noticed that my skin felt instantly tighter and looked perkier after every application. The product also works beautifully as a base for makeup and creates a dry ‘satin’ base without stickiness so your foundation goes on smoothly and stays put.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Sculpting Gel retails for R755 (50ml) and is available from Woolworths and Edgars. 

3. Caribbean Tan Cinnamon & Coconut Skin Smoothing Exfolia

Caribbean Tan Cinnamon & Coconut Skin Smoothing Exfolia

One of my favourite products recently got a brand-new look, which makes this the perfect opportunity to gush about it. If you haven’t used this exfoliator yet you’re missing out because it is THE best pre-tan product and general full body exfoliator on the market. The product was previously packaged in a big plastic tub but Caribbean Tan has ditched the tub for a re-sealable bag instead. I’m not 100% sold on the new packaging but the product itself remains a winner, so I’m not overly phased about having to switch from a pot to a packet. If you haven’t tried this product then you should know that it smells heavenly and exfoliates like a boss. It contains natural sugar exfoliators to remove skin cells and give you the perfect pre-tan canvas. I use it all over my body before tanning and it’s really effective but gentle at the same time. The product is oil based but doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily after washing it off and the Jojoba Oil in the product actually helps to restore moisture in the skin to leave you with soft, smooth skin. A little goes a long way with this product and it’s also super affordable so you won’t feel bad coating your entire body in it.

The Caribbean Tan Cinnamon & Coconut Skin Smoothing Exfolia retails for R69,99 and is available at Clicks.

4. Avon Mark Mega Effects Mascara

Avon Mark Mega Effects Mascara

When I first saw this mascara from Avon I knew I had to have it. You could say I’m a sucker for a gimmick but after using this innovative mascara it’s clear that Avon has put a lot of effort into redesigning a new applicator and method of applying mascara. Instead of the usual cylinder-like mascara tube with a long spindal brush, this mascara offers a wider ‘tube’ with a paintbrush-like applicator. The innovative applicator also has a flexible 90 degree angle handle which can be twisted to help you get to all your lashes, from any angle. The mascara is a bit difficult to open when you first use it, but you soon get the hang of the wiggle action needed to free the brush from its tube. The formula of this mascara is quite thick so it’s best suited for ladies who love a dramatic look and the brush does help to get every last lash, lengthening and creating volume as you apply. It’s not my favourite mascara formula ever but the brush really is a neat innovation for someone who loves a full lash look.

Avon Mark Mega Effects Mascara is available from Avon representatives. Click here to find your nearest Avon representative.

5. Elizabeth Arden My Fifth Avenue Eau De Parfum Spray

Elizabeth Arden My Fifth Avenue Eau De Parfum Spray

When I first received this fragrance I was intrigued by how the fresh, sparkling floral top notes would combine with the more sultry base. The fragrance was designed as a celebration of a woman’s ambition and an ode to New York and opens with top notes of lemon, mandarin, fresh Ozonic and violet leaves, evoking the energy of one of the most famous streets in the world before offering a surprise burst of freshness. At the heart of the fragrance notes of lotus flower and jasmine are revealed, embracing you in feminine florals before finishing off with a warm base of musk and woods to reflect a woman’s strength and resilience. The musky base of this stunning fragrance really helps to anchor it and keeps the scent from being too light or forgetful. It’s a great choice for ladies who want a fragrance that will work for them both day and night.

Elizabeth Arden My Fifth Avenue Eau De Parfum Spray retails for R625 (30ml) and is available from Woolworths.

6. Sorbet Home Candles and Diffusers

Sorbet Home Collection
This exciting new gifting range offers diffusers and candles made from authentic raw materials and natural scents that will transform your living space. Made up of three magical scents; Orient, Waterfall, and Chestnut, the collection features three diffusers and candles. I’ve been trying the Orient range with warm notes of caramel and sweet dates — it’s divine! Whether you’re using the candle or diffuser, the scent is long-lasting and is a super easy way to ensure your home always smells like an upmarket hotel. What’s more, the packaging is simply beautiful, making it ideal for gifting, and the product design is elegant. The candle is housed in a chic gold, metal holder while the diffuser liquid comes in a glass bottle with cork stopper and black diffuser sticks.

The Sorbet Home Diffusers retail for R379 and the candles for R399 and both are available from Sorbet salons or online.

7. Essence Insta Perfect Liquid Makeup

Essence Insta Perfect Liquid Makeup

If you love liquid make up you have to try this budget-friendly wonder from Essence. Available in 9 shades, this waterproof foundation should appeal to a wide selection of South African women as the different shades can be mixed and matched to create the perfect colour for all skin types. While the foundation goes on liquid, it has a strong matt effect, giving you a flawless finish every time. I love that the product is buildable, so you can create the right amount of coverage to suit your needs, and the super handy dropper nozzle lets you create an insta-perfect look drop-by-drop. The product is best applied with a wet sponge, to avoid a streaky look, and feels light and effortless for hours after application. The foundation worked great for me, even though my skin is quite dry and dehydrated, but having said that I would recommend ladies with dry skin use a good primer underneath this foundation to avoid getting a cakey effect. Ladies with oily skin will adore this product for its shine control and its flawless, natural looking finish.

Essence Insta Perfect Liquid Makeup retails for R99 and is available from Clicks and Dis-Chem.

8. Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo & Conditioner, Colour Brown

Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo & Conditioner, Colour Brown

Hair loss expert, Plantur39 is back with another innovation and this time it’s all about tackling colour loss while preventing hair fallout. This colour intensifying shampoo and conditioner combo promises to give you a deeper brown and greater colour brilliance with every wash, while also hiding emerging regrowth in-between salon visits, grey hair roots, and grey hairs. What sorcery is this? Every time you wash your hair with this great combo, coloured pigments build up on the hair,  increasing the colour intensity over time. At the same time, activating Phyto-Caffeine penetrates the hair and helps prevent hair loss. To use you simply wash your hair with the shampoo (leaving on for 2 to 5 minutes depending on the colour intensity you want) and follow with the Colour Brown conditioner. You’ll also need to leave the conditioner on for about 5 minutes to get the full effects of the intense colour. In case you’re worried about dying the rest of your body, the colour contains cosmetic pigments so it won’t discolour the hands or scalp. What’s more, if you’ve gone a little too dark with the product it washes out after a few washes with regular shampoo. I noticed a real difference in my hair colour after using these products a few times and while I don’t have greys to worry about just yet, I loved how this product duo intensified the colour of my natural brunette locks.

Plantur39 Colour Brown Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo retails for R185 and Colour Conditioner for R175 and is available at Clicks. 

9. Herbalife Pro-Core Drink Mix Powder

Herbalife Pro-Core Drink Mix Powder

While this isn’t exactly a beauty product, good nutrition is super important for beautiful skin. If you’re struggling to get all the right nutrients and vitamins into your daily diet, Herbalife’s daily Pro-Core supplement can help. This water mixable drink powder is formulated with a unique complex of ingredients especially designed for everyday nutritive support. Its key active ingredient is Epicor, a yeast-based fermentate, which has high anti-inflammatory properties and is shown to boost immune health. The drink also provides four essential vitamins and minerals and is particularly high in vitamin D, vitamin C, Selenium and Zinc, which all play an important role in vital everyday body functions. The 37g pack comes with 10 individual serving sachets, and can be taken once a day with 150 ml warm or cold water, or added to your favourite protein shake. I actually enjoyed drinking this vitamin drink on its own. It’s got a delicious blackcurrant flavour which makes it easy to drink down but it also goes great in fruit smoothies.

Herbalife Pro-Core retails for R180 and is available online or from a Herbalife agent. 

10. Mavala Heritage Colours Collection

Mavala Heritage Colours Collection

Mavala has just released its autumn winter 2018/19 collection and I’ve got to say, this collection of warm, rich colours has got me a little bit excited for cooler weather. These warm earthy colours will invigorate you and enlighten your wardrobe this winter season. This winter, fashion is all about fawn leather, thick enveloping knits, as well as over-layering, and Mavala’s Heritage collection, inspired by the shades of autumn, will no doubt make your winter wardrobe pop. With 6 decadent shades this collection features everything from warm golds and bronze hues to soft pinks and deep reds. I’ve only started using the Mavala range of products recently and I’ve been super impressed with everything I’ve tried, particularly the nail lacquers. They apply like a dream, are very long-wearing, and the colours are oh-so-beautiful.

Mavala Heritage Colours Collection retails for R87 each and is available from Dis-Chem.

Want more beauty finds and reviews? Check out our Beauty section for more exciting reading!