My summer vacation is winding to a close; in a week I’ll head back to Montreal to complete my degree. (That was a very casual statement, but internally I am freaking out that I only have two semesters left of my undergrad!) As such, this seems like as good a time as any to share some things I loved this summer. Here are a bunch of beauty favourites and a few non-beauty things I enjoyed.
On the skincare side of things, I first must mention La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60, which has kept my pale, pale face free of burns all summer. A new discovery for me is Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Serum, which I use a few times a week when my poor dry skin needs a little extra pep. Curiously, my face defied convention by being fine during the winter and a flaky, dry mess as soon as summer hit; this serum applied underneath my regular moisturizer gives my face a noticeable boost in moisture and eliminates the flaky patches around my nose and between my eyebrows.
I forced myself to use up my bottle of ColorStay before moving back to Revlon Nearly Naked Liquid Makeup in 110 Ivory, and boy did I miss it! I love this foundation year-round, but it’s especially perfect for summer since it’s lightweight and dewy without looking greasy. (Yeah, like I need to look like I’m sweating more than I actually am!) It also doesn’t break the bank, which makes it perfect to go back to again and again.
I was very into cheek products this summer, from Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone, which was the perfect intense yellow-toned highlight for my fair skin to my beloved Body Shop Honey Bronzer in Fair Matte, which is a beautiful natural bronzer for those of us who look like we don’t get much sun (but want to pretend we do).
Two blushes reigned victorious for me this summer: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso and Hourlgass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush, which I reached for a combined total of approximately seventy bazillion times throughout the warmer months. Luminoso actually took me a year to warm up to after I initially hauled it on a trip to upstate New York, mainly because I wasn’t sure about peaches on my complexion. I surprised myself by using it so often this summer, but it is the perfect easy, glowy, warm summer shade. As for Luminous Flush, I wore it for two weeks straight after I first got it, which is rare for me. I always switch up my makeup! The Hourglass blushes are so worth the money – they have the perfect amount of pigmentation, they’re a dream to apply and blend, and they last through 10+ hours (and lots of sweat). Luminous Flush in particular is a gorgeous warm pink that seems playful and carefree.
Two of my eyeshadow palettes got a lot of love this summer. I found myself wanting to put minimal effort into the eyes quite often, which called for my (well-loved) Urban Decay Naked Basics palette. When I wanted something a bit more complex, I could not get enough of everyone’s favourite neutral palette, the LORAC Pro. It has basically every colour a neutral lover could wish for! I used my MAC 217 eyeshadow brush, a birthday gift from my friend Hayley, constantly to blend everything beautifully. I don’t know if it’s quite worth the constant hype it receives, but I do see why it’s a staple in many a makeup bag. Are there solid, less expensive alternatives? Yes. Am I glad I have it? Hell yes!
Although I have a deep and abiding love for bold lipstick, this summer I loved quick, neutral looks. Rimmel’s Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 08 was my go-to for this. The slightly brownish pink goes with everything, and I used it at least once a week – which is definitely saying something when you consider how many lip products I have!
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red is easily my holy grail true red through every season of the year. This summer it was my most-used bold lipstick, probably because it’s such a classic colour and the formula is truly a dream.
You guys probably know how obsessed I am with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Pacific Blue (more on that soon!). I will wear this nail polish year round, whenever I feel like it, but I especially like it in the summer. That electric blue is perfect for the weather and takes me back to my warm January weekend in Marrakech when I got to see bleu Majorelle in person. I’m still on the hunt for a replacement, though, as I still cannot get behind the new Pacific Blue that looks nothing like the old one.
I had a few non-beauty favourites as well. H&M did me a solid with a gorgeous pair of high-waisted, tie-front black shorts that went with everything and instantly made a simple black tank top or a band t-shirt seem that much more deliberate.
I got my ears pierced in Edinburgh in March and got to take my starter studs out in May. This summer I was very into stud earrings! I love the triangular prisms from H&M because they’re simple but a bit different, and the flowers were a gift from my brother’s girlfriend. The jury is out on whether they’re roses or tulips, though I’m hoping for roses since they’re my birth flower. (I have two roses tattooed on my body, so I’m pretty serious about the whole thing.)
In terms of entertainment, I’ve recently been very into novels written by women. (This year one of my goals was for 75% of the books I read to be by women, and so far I’m batting 1000!) I loved Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places (possibly more than Gone Girl?) for its twisted, fast-paced plot that never dragged. I’m about 3/4 of the way through Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, and I can barely put it down. The writing is lush and provocative and the story has me hooked.
Finally, this summer I watched all 202 episodes of The X-Files (and both films) in a month and a day, which I personally consider quite an accomplishment. I also took about a month of from this blog back in June and July, which is no accident – I simply spent every spare moment getting sucked into Mulder and Scully’s world. They made me believe in love, okay?! I haven’t had the heart to dive into a new television series since I finished The X-Files over a month ago; it’s going to take me awhile to open my heart to something new.
And there we have it: everything I loved this summer. Here’s to a fantastic fall semester full of new discoveries, beauty-related and otherwise.