Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Favorites

You've probably noticed a dearth of summer-related posts on this blog, as compared to my winter skin tip posts and my endless ramblings about the glories of autumn. The truth of the matter is...I don't really like summer. I get it, it's sunny and you can wear cuter clothes and young people aren't in school and there's no snow and ya da ya da. It just doesn't do it for me. I burn too easily, and I absolutely haaaate sweating (summer always does a number on my skin).

But although I'd love to hide in the A/C all summer long, I do have to get out and do things from time to time. And if it's a special occasion, I like to wear a bit of makeup. When I'm fighting the humidity and trying oh so hard not to clog my pores, these personal favorite products really shine.

5 Minute Makeup: Dolce & Gabbana powder foundation and Wet n' Wild liquid eyeliner

When it's 90 degrees and 90% humidity, I won't be caught dead in full-on foundation. I don't want it to melt off my face in public, and I definitely don't like the way it feels on my face after I've been sweating for a good six hours. Instead, I tend to stick to ye olde basics: sunscreen, brow pencil, and mascara.

But sometimes the humidity gives me a break, or I know I'll be in an air-conditioned building for at least a few hours. Then, I'm willing to use two more products. I'll dust on my D&G powder for a slightly more matte finish and a tad more coverage, and I might line my upper lash line with liquid liner so it looks like I really tried. These two products are water-resistant, comfortable on my skin, and quite portable. (While I mention these precious babies in a lot of FOTD posts, I don't actually write about them often...oops.)

Comfortable Color

As mentioned, I will generally avoid color cosmetics in the heat of summer. I'll even pass on lipstick, which is quite obviously one of my all-time favorite things in existence. But if I'm going to a post-beach outing, or prepping for the rare summer job interview, I gotta get some of the life back in to my face.

Becca Beach Tints are absolutely indispensable. While they're not the longest-wearing products (they last for less than 4 hours on my lips), they're small enough to tuck in to a pocket and thin enough to be layered and layered and layered without feeling heavy or looking garish. My personal favorite is Watermelon--very much a "my cheeks but better" color on fair skin--but Grapefruit and Dragonfruit have also become staples in my collection. I highly recommend topping them with lip balm if you want to use them as a stain, however, because they can be a bit drying.

World's Best Brush Cleanser

Some people like to spend oodles of money on brush cleansers. They'll get a $30 bottle of oily, smelly liquid to douse their fluffy pretties in, and hey, if that's their thing, more power to 'em! I'm kind of...funny about brush cleanliness, though: any brush that comes in to contact with creams or liquids is deep-cleaned immediately after use, and any brush that's used on powders is cleaned once a week.That would require an awful lot of $30 brush cleanser.

The oil and bacteria  from human skin can damage both your brushes and your products. This is especially true in the summer, when you're sweating and producing more oil. I'm sorry, I know it's obsessive, but I need my brushes to be clean!

Enter Dr. Bronner's Castile Bar Soap. Super-cheap and readily available at Target, this one bar of soap has been my go-to brush cleanser for over a year. Now, somebody with more brushes would probably work through a bar much faster...but still! That's beyond impressive. It's also super easy to use: I dampen the brush bristles, swirl them on the bar of soap, then rinse the bristles out and lay the brush flat to dry. I rinse the bar after every 3-4 brushes. I can clean 20+ brushes in less than 3 minutes using this method--far faster than I could with any liquid cleansers. And despite regular cleanings, this product has never damaged my brushes. They're as soft and clean as the day I bought them.

Top Tools

Like I said, I don't have that many brushes. I'm a creams-and-liquids kind of gal, and most of those products are best applied with fingers. So for the past few years, I've been using a hand-me-down brow and lash comb and an ELF eyelash curler. I knew that the brush didn't get my brows back in shape, and I knew that the ELF curler wasn't the best fit for my eye, but eh, they got the job done. I was happy.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and try some more appropriate tools, and sweet fancy Moses, am I glad I did. This $1 ELF brow spoolie feels like Heaven. Yes, I know, that sounds weird; I don't care! Brushing my brows has become a morning ritual. I even use this spoolie to comb through my eyelashes before applying mascara or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, and as odd as that sounds, I can't recommend it enough. It feels great...kinda like your lash line is being massaged and scratched simultaneously.

The Shiseido lash curler, meanwhile, is a better fit for my deepset eyes because it's flatter. It rarely pinches me, and I find I get a better curl with this guy than with the much rounder ELF curler. As an added bonus, it actually feels nicer in my hands: more lightweight and more comfortable to hold.


  1. I am so ready to buy that Dr Bronner solid bar! Once I am done with my solid beauty blender one, that is SOOOO going to be mine. :)

    1. I would be stunned if you went back to more expensive cleansers after trying the Dr. Bronner's bar. It's just so easy and cheap, and it cleans everything in seconds.

  2. I use a solid soap for brush cleaning, too. My choice is Yardley's Oatmeal and Almond Botanical Soap. Smells yummy, and lasts forever!

    1. I use the scented versions of the Dr. Bronner's, even though I should be a responsible human being and get the fragrance-free version. :X