Summer 2018 Favourites

Posted on July 30, 2018 under Favourites

I hardly ever do favourites posts, mostly because I don’t try nearly the volume of products necessary to make that tenable on a regular basis. I think occasional seasonal roundups work for my purposes, though the last one I did was back in the fall of 2016. Here is the warm-weather answer to that, then!

Like many others, in the summer months I opt for a lighter base. This is now my second summer regularly using The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 1.1N, which doesn’t work too well for my skin in winter but looks beautifully natural in summer. To pair with this lighter base, I’ve really been enjoying Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer in Ivory. True to its name, it has a natural, radiant finish, but its peachy undertone does wonders in brightening up my dark undereye area. To give it a bit more coverage and lasting-power (and to make it a tad lighter), I usually mix in a little bit of Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define Concealer in C1. Mixing concealers is a new and slightly finnicky trick in my repertoire, but I can’t fault the results.

Here’s the Bourjois concealer on its own (on the right, obviously) for comparison’s sake:

When mixed with the Makeup Revolution concealer, it’s not quite as dewy as it appears in this picture. I do prefer that look slightly, but I think the results of Radiance Reveal on its own are lovely: natural, luminous, and surprisingly effective for such a comfortable, emollient, lightweight formula.

Back in May I used some Optimum points to pick up the Clinique Blush Pop in Peach Pop, my first taste of this well-loved formula. Though I find the clear plastic packaging a bit cheap-looking, I can’t deny that this is a beautiful buildable, long-lasting blush. Like a basic bitch, I love peach in the summer, so I’ve used this very frequently over the past few months. When I want a more vibrant blush, I use my trusty Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat, a lovely red-coral. Between those two blushes (well, and the always-appropriate Hourglass Mood Exposure, of course), I’ve scarcely touched anything else.

My eyelids eat cream formulas after the six-hour mark, and I always have the best results with powder shadow over a good primer. So colour me surprised that the Stila Shimmer and Glow Liquid Eyeshadows truly stay put on my eyes all day. In the heat of a humid Toronto summer, these shadows are quick and easy to apply and completely bulletproof. I picked up the shades Kitten (Stila’s classic champagne) and Jezebel (a rose gold) in May, and I’ve been using them… basically all the time. I do really like the Glitter and Glow shadows, too, but they’re a bit prone to fallout, while the high-impact, metallic Shimmer and Glows are not.

Here’s how Kitten looks on my eye, with a matte brown powder shadow in the crease:

And Jezebel, with some similar crease shadow action (and mascara smudges):

And a swatch gif, so you can see how beautiful these guys really are:

In the summer I gravitate towards my impossibly bright lipsticks, all of which are in the same basic colour family. Marc Jacobs So Sofia, a purchase made almost exactly a year ago as summer wound to a close, has seen a lot of use. So has Revlon Fire and Ice, a truly classic shade which lives its best life in the summer months. New-to-me is NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, a shade popularized by Taylor Swift several years ago. In the wake of 1989 (which was a damn catchy pop album, sue me), I coveted the colour but could never pull the trigger; when a family friend gifted it to me last month, I was predictably ecstatic. On Swift, Dragon Girl is a bright, fiery red; on me, it’s noticeably more pink, though still as delightfully vibrant. Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Romantic is a long, long, longtime favourite – it’s a beautiful sheer, warm red that’s never too much. (They still make this shade, too, though most of the Balm Stains are long gone.) After a long period of gravitating more towards neutral lipsticks, I’m back to my best self with my bold colours.

L-R: Marc Jacobs So Sofia, Revlon Fire and Ice, NARS Dragon Girl, Revlon Romantic

I arrived back in Canada at the end of May after eight months in the UK, and I found that my hands were suddenly very dry in this climate. Though I have a pretty dry face and very dry arms and legs, my hands have always self-regulated pretty well. But apparently the change in climate was too much, so I had to turn to The Chemistry Brand HA3 Hand Hydrator. This is a super effective, hyaluronic-based hand cream with a light whipped texture. The reason I like it enough to talk about on my blog is that it sinks in incredibly quickly without compromising its efficacy. I cannot stand feeling like there’s anything on my hands; I want to wash them immediately. A lot of hand creams are like nails on a chalkboard to me, but not this one. It also has a very peppy zesty scent which I enjoy.

I also really enjoy The Chemistry Brand Hyaluronic Body Mist for a hit of moisture between body lotion applications. It’s especially nice to have something so quick and easy to apply in the summer, when the heat can induce lethargy. Sometimes it seems altogether too much to rub cream all over my body, but a quick mist is within my capability. This product definitely isn’t a substitute for an actual body lotion (at least not for my dry skin!), but it’s a great interim product.

In the non-makeup realm, I would probably be dead without the Invisibobble knockoffs I got at Primark back in the winter. I’m growing out my blonde (as you have no doubt been able to surmise from my photos over the past year and a half), and I have a few months to go before I can chop it all off. My hair is longer than I like it, and since it’s very thick and abundant it’s just far too much to have on my neck in the summer. I’ve been putting it up in a high ponytail or topknot almost every day, and these little coiled hair ties do an amazing job at keeping my hair comfortably in place. I definitely don’t think you should pay for the brand name version, but if you can find cheap knockoffs they are great for keeping thick, unruly hair at bay.

And, before I go, one summery miss: Avène High Protection SPF50+ Emulsion. This sunscreen has a pleasant texture (if a bit thicker than other facial sunscreens by brands like La Roche-Posay and Vichy) and user-friendly packaging, and seems truly effective if my perpetually-fair face is anything to go by. Unfortunately, it leaves such a white cast. When I’m going to work this isn’t an issue as I put foundation on top anyway, but I often leave my house without makeup but still want to be protected from the sun. It’s a bummer, because I do like the product otherwise, and the pump/squeeze-tube hybrid packaging is always welcome in my home. When I’m out of this I’ll be looking to another brand for my face sunscreen needs.

And that’s what I’ve been putting on my face this summer! It’s a nice mixture of new discoveries and old favourites.

My sun protection routine

Posted on July 22, 2015 under Reviews

As is typical of someone of my pallor, I don’t tan. I go from reflectively pale to bright red with nothing in between. Luckily, I haven’t actually had a proper burn in years, thanks to constant vigilance when it comes to sun protection.

As most of us know, sun protection is important year-round, not just in the summer. But I’m especially hardcore about it when the UV index is particularly threatening, and lately I’ve found three products that have quickly ascended to “favourite” status when it comes to protecting my skin from its worst enemy.

For the face: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 60 & Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50

I can’t even tell you how many thousands of dollars’ worth of these two facial sunscreens I’ve sold. They’re my go-to when a customer wants a high quality lightweight, non-greasy sunscreen for the face, and the vast majority repurchase it again and again. It sinks into the skin in no time, feels like nothing on the face, and doesn’t cause breakouts. It’s perfect under makeup since it’s so lightweight – it doesn’t feel like you’re layering a billion things on only to sweat them off.

sunscreen-swatches

Left: Unblended so you can see the fluid texture. Right: Blended so you can see how the tinted and untinted versions appear on the skin.

Generally, I recommend the tinted mineral sunscreen to people as physical sunscreen does offer longer-lasting sun protection. A lot of my customers like the tint, too. Personally, I prefer the untinted chemical sunscreen (SPF 60) myself, since I’m so fair. One layer of the tinted version blended away fades into my skin fairly well, but if I use enough to maximize on my sun protection I find it looks a bit muddy. I am definitely paler than average, though, and the tint would be appropriate for most people.

It’s worth noting that the bottle does look a tiny bit different now: it’s shorter and wider, but the product inside remains the same. My bottles are from last summer – but don’t worry, they don’t expire until 2016!

For the body: Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50+

I really despise applying sunscreen to my body. I have enough incentive to protect my precious face, but when it comes to the far more vast surface area of my body, I’m reluctant to bother. Most of the time it’s not the threat of a burn (or complications from burning) that motivates me to do it – rather, it’s protecting my tattoos from fading. I paid good money for them, and I intend to preserve the colour for as along as possible!

A spray is the best bet for someone as lazy as me, and I love that this one is non-aerosol. I’m not exactly an environmentalist, but there are some things that are so easily avoided that it’s foolish not to! But besides the format, I’m a big fan of the product inside. I find that it sinks in fast and feels lightweight on the skin, and it does its one job admirably. A bonus is that I find it quite moisturizing, which is nice for someone as perpetually dry-skinned as me.

I will mention that it is quite heavily fragranced, which I find strange from a brand like Avène that markets itself towards those with sensitive and intolerant skin. My skin isn’t sensitive to fragrance for the most part, but my nose can be – and I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of the scent of this sunscreen. (On the other hand, one of my coworkers raves about it, so it’s obviously up to personal preference.) The scent doesn’t linger long after application, though, so I don’t consider it a dealbreaker in the least.

And that is how I maintain healthy skin when the sun is out to get me!