My top beauty products for 2013

Never an easy thing to do, choose your favourite beauty children. But if I had to choose, because there was a large hired goon two feet away from me, tapping menacingly on his small Sephora shopping basket with his eyebrows raised, then these would be my favourite beauty products of 2013. Aside of all the ones I have forgotten, obviously. Of which there are probably many. Apologies.


Been meaning to post on this since I was a little boy. So underrated. So cheap! Lightweight, sheer but with great buildable coverage, dewy, lasts nicely and very quickly able to make your skin look frrrresh, THIS is the foundation for any fruits needing something that covers all bases, as it were. Lovely silky feeling, too.



We all take beauty shortcuts if we can. Oh come on! I’ve seen you wearing lipstick as blush, and use nail polish as shampoo… So, obviously if we could blend the body wash bit of the day/night with the body lotion bit, why the dang wouldn’t we? It’s not the first product like this to waddle onto the market, but it sure is a good one. (Of course, being on a vehement anti-stretch mark bender right now, I add more oil/butter on the stretchmarky bits.)


Have we not always dreamed of an undereye concealer that was genuinely hydrating, and didn’t, not even for a nanosecond, cause fine lines to be accentuated, or crepeyness, or just that shit, dry, old look that so many concealers unfortunately create, but rather create a luscious glow of hydrated, fresh, plump evenness? OF COURSE WE HAVE, YOU GORGEOUS DUNCE. And Benefit bloody went ahead and did it, din’t they, by popping the concealer in the middle of a lovely, creamy hydrating shell of balm-like moisturiser. I love this gently swiped or dabbed along under my eyes (after foundation or just BB cream) and then blended and pushed in with warm middle fingers for bright, concealed, fresh eyes. (I use the medium… concealer should be same tone as your skin, not lighter.)



O&M colour is hugely popular with those who prefer their hair colour ammonia-free, and this (in-salon) version is a cracker. I tried it in NYC earlier in the year when the O&M creative director/superstar Janelle Chaplin (also a good friend and valuable team member) and decided to freshen up my natural brown one arvo. I LOVED the gloss and shine and health my hairs (well there’s more than one) were given. An especially good low-commitment option if you’re between colours or despise regrowth.


Not new to the world, but new to Australia in 2013 (and only 89 times the price it is in France!) now finally available to buy. I’ve written on this gear before, and it is, quite simply, the finest makeup remover on the planet. Also, the most gentle, travel-friendly, sink-free cleanser a dame could possibly hope for. Maybelline is launching their version early 2014, which I will be very eager to try.


If you’re not into CC creams yet, and I can understand the resistance, after the rapid influx of BB creams, I too figured they were a crock of shit, but they are so far from that. They are practically a gift from Makeupula, the makeup Goddess herself. They sit perfectly between tinted moisturiser and foundation, giving hydration, skincare benefits, sun protection, wonderful coverage and most crucially, excellent, dedicated colour correction for those of us who suffer from pigmentation (ME ME I HAVE THE MASK OF PREGNANCY ME ME ME )or redness, congestion or just uneven skin tone in general. The Smashbox CC finish is semi-matte but still real fresh, and I find I only need concealer on top and am done.


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, I am a CC addict. This one is as wonderful as the Smashbox for essentially the same reasons, and both get a gruelling work out from me although I find this one gives a little more coverage, and is a little thicker. It’s just a case of whichever is closest to my greedy paw of a morning, really.



I always gravitate towards wet styling products (those that you apply on wet hair before styling, unlike dry ones which you use at the end, when hair is, uh, dry) that combine heat protection with their styling/setting benefits, and this is a great one for that. This foam (use only a small amount, it’s powerful and too much will lead to hair that needs washing a day before it should) protects the hair and conditions it, and makes it smooth and ready for a blow-dry. And even if you don’t blow dry, it behaves far better, and is straighter than if you didn’t use it. When I was away for a month, this and my volume powder and dry shampoo were all I packed.


Peanut butter is the new chocolate, and sheer is the new matte. And this is the perfect example: creamy, gloriously sheer (but with definite colour, if that makes sense), absolutely non-cakey or drying, leaves a lovely flush/stain but is still glossy and is buildable for those who want more punch – this is one of those perfect examples of just how far lipsticks have come, and how many wonderful attributes they come with these days. I love #14 Coral in Touch, a coral-orange that will make your head spin for its summery perfection. Classy, vibrant, polished and fun.


Glides on like a balm, delivers extremely vibrant pigment and is a joy to re-apply, due to its elegant crayon stylings. Doesn’t last forever, but if you prime lips and use liner, you’re in good hands. Or, just wear it as a sheer wash, by pressing the product into your lips with your finger. I was particularly fond of the Palais Royale shade, a wine-coloured plum that works magnificently with bronzed cheeks and bare eyes.



Remember, they’re not stronger than SPF 15 or 30 (or rather they are, but marginally, 2%, say), but what they do offer is more time protected. So, if you usually burn in 10 minutes with no protection, SPF 15 will give you 15x that in the sun protected, SPF 30 will give 30x that, and SPF 50 will give – you guessed it – 50x that. Terrific for the lazy at reapplying. (“All of us”.) Get on board.

Well, that’s me. What did you love/discover/use too much of this year?

And of course, happy new year, you gorgeous bastards. Thank you for all of your reading of blog. Here’s to an OUTSTANDING 2014 for all of us!

PS … I have MANY wonderful new things happening next year, and the second I am permitted, will yell at you lovingly about all of them. “How exciting!” as they say in America.

Responses to this drivel: 20 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 20 )
  • Fiona

    Zoe, thank you for teaching this make up dunce a thing or 5 this year! (It’s been years of looking blank and mild terror when confronted by multiple make up counters! ) One of my favorites sheer lipsticks this year has been the Elizabeth Arden 8 hour lip tints – the blush and Berry are wondrous and as you said – classy, fun and polished!

  • Giulia

    Hi Zoe!
    I was just wondering with the Clinique CC cream, would you recommend it for people with more yellow skin tones or pink? Thanks!
    p.s this blog is the cats pyjamas 🙂

  • Rosie.

    So many new faves this year. Although not necessarily new on the market but new to me. I love the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation, an absolute godsend and I love that it has a pale colour in pink and yellow tones. Perfection! Sunsense SPF 50 daily moisturiser is a lifesaver. I’ve been addicted to Origins overnight Drink Up mask, and Antipodes Brightening Serum. And Essie nail polish in Priceline has been a saviour for a nail colour addict living in a rural centre. All of the essie will be mine! But Chinchilly has been my favourite new colour.
    Thanks for everything this year Zoe. Particularly the info on physical sunscreen. I’ve just bought my first Invisible Zinc products and am going to give them a go.

  • kirsty

    ..great post…will give the revlon a go..the clinique CCi s good..my best beauty buy has been the bobbi brown cream stick shadow’s..purple and the new bronze.. i have become an ‘online buyer’ [ i live in hobart and we dont have the luxury of mecca etc] thanks to you zoe… my eyes have been opened to all that is out there plus new products…happy 2014 to you and family to be.

  • Courtney

    Yesss! I’ve been looking for a good, new all round foundation, will give the Revlon a try. Can’t even remember the last foundation I owned, as I’ve been obsessed with Nude by Nature’s Tinted Moisturizer all year – onto my 3rd bottle! Also just got onto their BB cream and find that a mix of the two is great for my skin and gives a fresh, light and even coverage. Plus I think all your yelling has worked Zoë – I take off my make up 90% of the time rather than every odd occasion – oops lol. All the best for 2014 Zoë 🙂

  • michelle

    My newest discvery has been “Becca’s the one perfecting brush”. I use it to buff in primer, BB cream, consealer, powder, highlighter, bronzer and blush. It has cut down my beauty routine by half and leaves me with flawless looking skin.

  • Amie

    “Angel tears from heaven” is what I call Bioderma. First tried some in Nov last year whilst holidaying in France (those French sure do know their skin care). I savoured the bottle I had bought, and sadly used it all up the end of Sept. Then it appears in Priceline. Happy days! I moved to the UK a couple of weeks ago, and have discovered another gem that is as equally blessed as Bioderma, but cheaper and more easily accesable. It is the L’oreal skin perfection micellar solution.
    This year I’ve been loving my Chanel vitalumiere aqua foundation, and the cover girl 3 in 1 foundation. Holy grail foundations for me this year. Have also reconnected with my naked pallet. And love the cover girl clump crushed mascara, and the L’oreal million lashes mascara.
    Waiting patiently to see what beauty gems are released in 2014!

  • Amie

    Zoe, do you know much about the Dior nude Bb cream? Is it worth the hype?

  • Dyan Copeman

    Hi Zoe, Have the dreaded hyperpigmentation and adore the Nars palais royale lip pencil, am wearing pretty it much every day – we’re like lipstick/pigmentation twins!? 😉 must try these cc creams x

  • Kerry

    Thank you Zoe, love your blog (and tweets). Bought the Nars on Amazon last night and had the great pleasure of buying the Revlon foundation at half price at Chemist Warehouse today (rude not to, not sure what I spent the other $115 on……). Wishing you all the best for your exciting new year 🙂

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  • Sarah

    Hi Zoe! Have you ever heard of/used Lytera? It was recommended to me as a better alternative to Pigment Punch but its extremely pricey so I’m reluctant to buy without hearing form someone who has used it.

  • Ally

    Just started using the Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser and it’s great, thank you! I’m a new mum so I need all the short-cuts I can find (and my postpartum skin needs the moisture!). My favourite beauty product that I started using in 2013 was the MAC Opulash mascara. Look forward to hearing about what you have in store this year!

  • Michelle

    Thanks for the Benefit fakeup recommendation! It’s amazing. I just bought the Smashbox cc cream – but am now worried about the note I just saw on the packaging saying it contains oxybenzone … does anyone have thoughts on this? Ok on top of physical sunscreen or best not to use? 🙁

  • Sarah

    Hey Zoe,

    Can you confirm the existence/release date of the O&M at-home colour? I’ve asked at a few O&M retailers here in Melb and no dice! Mostly just blank looks…


  • Rosie

    I’m so glad Bioderma has finally hit Australian shores, I’ve been waiting to try it out and see whether it really is the miracle make up remover that the blogosphere seems to be raving about.

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