18 beauty products (under $50) that changed the lives of the Mamamia team this year.

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to stop and reflect. To take a minute to look back and give thanks to the people and things that changed our year for the better.

The ones who made getting out of bed at 6am that little bit easier, who picked us up when we were feeling down and made us look like we actually took an hour to get ready instead of two minutes.

Yes, we’re talking about our favourite makeup discoveries of 2016.

From the mascara that’s better than sex to the brow product you’ll never want to leave the house without, here are the 18 beauty products under $50 that changed the lives of the Mamamia team this year.

1. MAC Mineralise Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle Highlighter, $48

Meet the gorgeous highlighter anyone can use.

“I love it because I’m lazy when it comes to make-up and I realised putting a little bit of foundation on with this over the top makes me feel fresh and awake and bright,” says Zara.


Image: MAC

2. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $33

It may have mixed reviews, but this is the mascara not one, not two but THREE staff members now couldn't live without.

"It just blew me away from the first application. Usually I am reluctant to wear mascara without eyeliner, but this one does all the heavy lifting by itself," says Kahla.

"It has everything - great texture, consistency, and just gives beautiful long lashes," says Mary.


Image: Supplied

3. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $24

Pimples stand no chance against this bad boy.

"It's a a straight up MIRACLE in a bottle and I'll body block the fool who gets in between me and it," says Ally.


Image: Mecca

Watch: Zoe Foster Blake shares her best beauty tips ever - grab a pen and paper. Post continues after video.

4. Kylie Jenner Lip Kit in Mary Jo K, around $40

Arguably one of the most hyped up beauty releases of the year - that actually lives up and delivers on it's promise.

"The lip pencil is pigmented, creamy and glides on like a dream. Mary Jo K is my dream red and the consistency is Ah. Mazing. It's nowhere near as drying as other matte liquid lipsticks and genuinely stays on the whole day, night and beyond without budging or smudging," says Brittany.


5. Nars Illuminator, $44

"This liquid illuminator from NARS changed my life. It's the best, you can put it on your cheeks for a bit of colour and it doubles as a colour corrector under your concealer. You can even wear it as an eyeshadow," says Valentina.

Image: Mecca

The perfumes that always get us compliments. (Post continues after gallery.)

6. Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx™ Peeling Gel, $40.10

It's the skincare product you'll actually enjoy using.

"Your skin feels so good after. When you apply and start rubbing you can feel it sloughing off dead skin it’s very satisfying. You actually feel like it’s working. It sounds gross but I don’t care. I did it to my daughter and she was so grossed out by it she won’t let me do it to her again but I WANT TO SO BAD," says Rebecca.


Image: Beauty Bay

7. Benefit Gimme Brow Volumising Eyebrow Gel, $39

A new release this year, it's the brow product not one, not two but THREE Mamamia staffers use every single day.

"Unlike a lot of other brow products, it is SO easy to use and offers the kind of daily coverage that sits somewhere between nothing at all to extreme Hollywood-level brows, which is perfect for days in the office or afternoons at the pool!" says Katy.

Image: Myer

8. Mode Matte Lip Cream in Hottie, $3.

Yes, you read that right - $3, available at your local supermarket and it's a favourite of Mamamia's beauty editor Edwina Carr Barraclough.


"It's so pigmented, one swipe is all you need and when it's dry this stuff does not budge. As someone who is constantly cursing my lips and their ability to somehow devour lip glosses and lipsticks around seven minutes post-application, I can assure you this stuff is the definition of long-lasting," she says.

9. Garnier Micellar Water, $13.99

Ditch the makeup wipes for good.

"I love it because other makeup removal products are either oily or dry the crap out of your skin. It's so cheap as well, it's one of those products that you really don't need to buy the expensive version for it to be good," says Gemma.


Image: Priceline

10. Morphe M504 Large Pointed Blending Brush, $11.08 

Your eyeshadow game will be transformed.

"Buying cheap brushes can be like playing Russian Roulette, but this one is an absolute winner (and no falling out hairs!). If you have to own just one eyeshadow brush (or are looking to graduate from using your fingers or those tiny provided brushes), make it this one. It's foolproof and makes blending shadow a dream. I won't leave the house without it," says Brittany.


Image: Beauty Bay

11. Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer, $23

"This keeps my foundation on all day long. I have a habit of touching my face a lot during the day so this helps keep it all in place, including my eyebrows. I apply all over my face, it feels nice and covers dry skin patches really well," says Stacey.


Image: Mecca

12. The Base Skin Illuminator Shimmer, $26

This might not give you Lara Bingle's enviable hair, but you can channel her summer bronzed look.

"It's one of those products that ticks all the boxes. It's affordable, easy to use, delivers incredible results and lots of compliments whenever I wear it, and Lara Worthington routinely posts how-to videos on her social media, which means I can use it in a million ways I wouldn't have thought of otherwise," says Katy.


Image: Sephora

13. Rimmel London Lasting Finish Foundation, $18.95

"My skin went very dry on me this year, rendering my previously trusted foundations totally unsuitable. Then I discovered this and haven't looked back. It's got a great colour range for fair skin like me, offers great and buildable coverage and I love the in-between matte and dewy finish," says Brittany.


Image: Priceline

14. Bare Minerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil, $44

"Revolutionary for me. It pulls off all your makeup, making sure you clean skin properly before you apply the rest of your skincare regimen. It doesn't dry out your skin either. Oil is nothing to be scared of!" says Mary.


Image: Mecca

Watch: Why you need to add a face mist to your skincare regiment. Post continues after video.

15. Sephora Collection Rouge Cream Lipstick in It Girl, $20

"This was my winning red lipstick of the year. Thade suits everyone, it stays on for ages, it's $20. I bought it running to the train because I was late to dinner at the beginning of the year and it's now my favourite," says Gemma.


Image: Sephora

16. Go-To Skincare Face Hero, $45

Buy a bottle for everyone you know.

"I don't use much skincare, if any, on my face, so I realised I needed a quick easy moisturiser in the mornings and at night. This one's great because sometimes I feel it evens out my skin tone enough so I don't have to pop any foundation on, smells lovely and rubs well into the skin so it's not too oily for too long," says Zara.

Image: Go-To

17. Girl Lane High Protection Sunscreen SPF 50+, $9.99

"Formulated for teens and tweens, Girl Lane is great for anyone with super sensitive skin. This take-with-you-anywhere sunscreen fits snugly in your bag, is four hours water resistant and won’t dry out your skin thanks to the addition of Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. Plus, it’s fragrance-free which is a nice change from over-the-top smelly sunscreens. Slop it on, people," says Edwina.


Image: Girl Lane

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18. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, $44

"Finding a bronzer for pale skin that doesn't make look skin like muddy is a serious quest - until you get your hands on this. It's a great shade for adding a bit of colour, also works for contouring and smells like chocolate. Winner," says Brittany.


Image: Mecca

What's your favourite makeup discovery from 2016?