Wow, what a year that was. I know I hardly posted anything for the second half of the year. We moved and then I was lucky enough to land a few big contracts that have kept me busy, leaving me little time for Rouge.
I’m hoping to gain a little more balance next year, but as I’ve said before – money talks, so my paying work always comes first.
I haven’t stopped testing products, though, and I have a load of products that I’ve managed to photograph and are just waiting for me to write the reviews…promise I’ll get there.
In the meantime, here are my 19 favourites of 2019.
My skin has never looked as good as it did after my 3 month trial with Dr Alek Nikolic and his range, sk.in. The range comprises 5 products, each designed to target a different skin concern, but combined, they will deliver the skin of your dreams. To determine your best routine with the range, take the sk.in test here. Read my full review of the whole 3-month process in this post.
I used up my first Theravine Daily Defence Finishing Mist in just a few months. This antioxidant spray contains 7 plant extracts to protect the sin against pollution. You can read about how I used it in this post.
Bioderma Photoderm Kid SPF50+ is pretty much all I’ve used on Jools this year. If you’ve ever tried to put sunscreen on a child, you’ll know that it’s like trying to bath a cat; often unsuccessful and always unpleasant for all parties. This sunscreen has a genius blue tint that is visible on the skin, but disappears once rubbed in. This makes it incredibly easy to see where you’ve applied and where you haven’t, avoiding those horrible streak burn lines from where you didn’t apply (we’ve all had them, right?). It offers very high protection and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin.
Thoclor GF2 is something I’ve been meaning to write about since I first got it at the beginning of the year. It’s a hypochlorous acid formula that helps to heal damaged skin (of any kind). The science behind it is quite heavy, and I will write a full post about it, but basically it’s been renamed ‘magic spray’ in our house for its ability to heal and protect the skin from all manner of issues, from minor grazes to sinus infections, from bug bites to irritating spots that won’t clear. If you want to know more before I get my post up, you can read all about it here.
I always knew I was going to love Lamelle’s Correctives HA+ Serum with its 4 molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. It’s one of the best HA serums I’ve ever used and definitely a good starting point for those of you who are new to the HA game.
Phyto Pro Collagen Booster was an absolute game-changer for me this year. I’ve struggled with back and neck issues for year thanks to childhood and teen horse riding-related injuries. This vegan formula offers your body all the co-factors its needs to create its own healthy, strong collagen without having to down revolting glasses of slimy bovine goop. As with all collagen related products, it will go to where your body needs it most (it’s never your skin first, sorry), and works to repair and build the collagen in those areas. Thanks to this, I’ve been relatively pain free in my beck and back. Get yours here.
Dermalogica’s Intensive Moisture Cleanser is a new staple in my skincare routine. It’s been a while since a cleanser impressed me this much. I’ve been using it for months now, and my skin still loves it as much as it did on the first cleanse. Definitely worth a try if you have dry or sensitive skin.
Honestly, I would be hard-pressed to find a favourite in this line-up had it not been for Elizabeth Arden’s Great 8 Eight Hour Daily Defense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF35. This is undoubtedly my favourite skincare launch of 2019. It has been on my face every single day since I got it, and I absolutely adore it. It isn’t greasy, blends easily, doesn’t leave residue and doesn’t pill under makeup.
I know the CHANEL Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint is a bit of a marmite product, but I fall firmly in the love it camp. I hate wearing heavy makeup, so this is a dream for me. The light formula has been designed to wear on its own (which I do most days), or as a hydrating primer under foundation.
My optiphi Body Curve β-Body Wash Polishing Body Cleanser (R267) is the best body exfoliator ever launched – don’t DM me, it is. With lactic acid to increase cell turnover, increase ceramide production and help maintain the skin’s moisture levels; and salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells, normalize oil production and increasing cellular turnover, this is a serious body wash with medical benefits. Read my full review over here.
This time of year is the perfect occasion to get your hands on one of the Nuxe Insta-Masques (R330 each). My favourite is the Exfoliating + Unifying with Rose Floral Water and Macadamia Oil. It delivers a glowing, fresh complexion in just 2 minutes!
Afari is a launch so close to my heart, as it’s the brainchild of my dear friend, Margaux. Targeted products that deliver great results, while uplifting women in under privileged communities is a winning combo for any brand. But the fact that it’s all local and utilizes an active ingredient that’s been used for centuries in traditional medicine takes it to a whole new level. Shop this brilliantly local brand here.
If you have weak and peeling nails like me, then you’ll want to try Mavala’s Mava Strong Nail Treatment (R234). It’s a fortifying and protective base coat for nails that can be worn as a base coat or alone as a strengthening treatment. I switch between this and the OPI Gel Break, but prefer this as it’s clear, so easier to maintain. Both leave the nails stronger than when applied.
It’s hardly a surprise that the latest addition to the CHANEL Les Eaux Collection is my favourite fragrance of the year. Paris-Riviera (R2070 for 125ml) opens to a top note of citrus, a heart of jasmine and neroli before drying to a base of benzoin and sandalwood.
Ok, hear me out on this one. I know this is going to come as a curve ball, but I’m loving the WBEAUTY Hydrate Hydrating Face Mist (R210). Girls, the Woolworths skincare is pretty impressive. I’m testing out some of their serums at the moment, too. I’m more than half way through my bottle of this hydrating mist, and I know I’m going to repurchase.
A Lip Balm from CHANEL is a princess product, I know. But my word do I love my Les Beiges Healthy Glow Lip Balm in Light (R645). It adds a subtle hint of colour while moisturising my lips, keeping the soft and flake free, no matter what the weather.
If you haven’t tried the Revlon Photoready Candid Concealer (R140), I suggest you do. I can’t remember the last time I went through so many tubes of the same concealer in a year. I think I used 3 or 4 since it launched, and I have no plans to change it, either.
My go-to shampoo this year has been Davines Love Curl. David Gillson recommended it to me, and I’m so happy with the results it delivers. It’s one of those low-poo (could there be a worse term?!) formulas that you leave in for a bit before rinsing and there’s no need for conditioner. It leaves my curls soft and defined without any frizz. You’ll find Davines at carlton Hair International salons nationwide.
Anther brand I owe a huge post to is Skinny Tan (sorry, Susan!) Their new Coconut Water Tanning Mist (R400) is just life for people who shy away from self-tan because of the mess, fuss and smell. This formula has no guide colour, so won’t leave streaks on your bed linen or clothes. You simply apply, leave to dry and 8 hours later, you have a bronze glow that would make Giselle proud and smell of coconuts, not burnt toast.
That’s it! What were your favourite products of 2019? Share them below, and let’s compare.