From shoes to holidays and books, the Marie Claire team shares what their favourite purchase of 2016 was.

Jackie May, editor

OK, it’s not a house, a new car… not even a pair of shoes. It’s something I put on every day – well, at least I have been since I was introduced to it a few months ago. My best buy has to be Chanel’s Lift Lumière, a firming and smoothing foundation with SPF15. It’s soft, light and dewy. It’s a pleasure to wear and easy to apply. Can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover it!collage-3

Michelle Hattingh, online editor

My best buy of the year was a pair of black culottes by Jane Sews. It might sound a bit boring, but the material is heavenly and it walks the tightrope between being both on-trend and a classic. Jane Sews is a Durban-based brand that also sell their products online. It makes me proud to wear the items knowing I’m supporting local talent.

But the best part? It’s super comfortable, which makes me feel good about myself and my body.

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Kelly Fung, fashion and beauty director

I splurged a little… OK, a lot… and bought myself a pair of these Valentino Noir ballet shoes with chain detail and ankle straps. I couldn’t walk out of the store without them! They take first prize as my best buy of the year because as cheesy as it sounds, I can and do wear them with everything. There is something about well-made items, be it clothes, jewellery, handbags or shoes, that feel worth the buy. They do last, and if not forever, a lot longer than the typical high-street buys.

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Stefanie Jason, features writer

From all the (not-so-many) things I bought in 2016, my raffia bag is attached to so many wonderful memories. A foreign land, the warm ocean breeze and romance. Wandering down the cobbled streets of Stone Town in Zanzibar, I found a quiet alley that branched from a busy square. A woman with skin the colour of desert sand and jet-black hair invited me into her shop; an arcade of cheap gold jewellery, Zanzibari material and raffia totes. Of course, I would want everything but only had $25 left in my purse and was flying back to South Africa the following morning. I spent all I had in her gallery, on a $20 bag and a copper bracelet for my love. And returned with no money, but a bag full of memories. (Photo: Lyst)
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Fatiema Johnson, designer

My best buy for 2016 was a week-long, solo trip to Zanzibar from FlyMango.com for under R10 000. I went in November. It included flights, transfers, accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Totes worth it!

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Shani Rhoda, managing editor

My best buy of 2016 was a jump off the 216m-high Bloukrans Bungy Bridge on the border between the Eastern and Western Cape. The amazing views of the river and ocean below were well worth the money… and the stress. It was R890 for the jump. Photos and videos at an additional cost.

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Christine van Deemter, features editor

Hands-down my best buy this year was the Neapolitan Novels by Italian author Elena Ferrante. The four books – My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child – follow the lives of two friends, Elena and Lila, from their impoverished childhood in Naples during the 50s to adulthood. Don’t let the twee covers fool you – it’s an unflinchingly honest and almost forensically psychological exploration of female friendship, motherhood and domestic and societal violence, set in a milieu of political upheaval. I read all 1 700 pages in six weeks flat and it was the most exhilarating literary journey I’ve ever undertaken. I almost wish I could have my memory wiped so I could meet the characters again.

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Kira Gimpel, fashion assistant

I’ve been buying cheap sunglasses for most of my life and have gone through so many pairs as they’d break or get scratched so easily. Fed up, I decided to save some and invested in a pair of shades, the Retrosuperfuture tortoiseshell sunglasses for R1 800. I bought them earlier this year, and they still look super cute.

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Knox Thusi, junior beauty editor

My best buy was this pair of strappy black heels that I got from Legit recently.  They are a replica of a pair I lusted over at Zara but for a fraction of the price. I love a bargain that is still of great quality and these heels make me feel so luxe – party shoes, much?

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Juan Geel, art director

I need a proper cup of coffee in the morning to get going, so I finally invested in a Nespresso machine. Caffeine FTW!collage-5