This July was one of the worst months I’ve had in a while, to be honest, but I’ll spare you from too many of the details. I’m really not looking for sympathy either — in fact, I abhor the whole institution of writing things just to look for sympathy (genuine or otherwise) from others, so don’t mistake this. However, I have been loving beauty products and I must say that it’s been a particularly good month for product loving — and this month I haven’t had loads of time or energy for makeup and beauty experimentation so there’s a low-fuss theme going on.
Origin’s Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($28)
This was one of those products I had always wanted to try as many who I read with similar dehydration concerns to me seem to rave about this but it’s not stocked on the Sephora website and it’s not easily available anywhere close to me so I didn’t fully add it to the shopping list but when I went in to pick up the Hourglass Ambient Palette, I spotted this on the shelves and I couldn’t resist. It was amazing from first use, feeling lightweight and ultra-soothing on the skin, providing intense hydration with that slightly belly oil-rich feeling. I think this one might just beat out my The Body Shop one but I can’t be too sure. It does smell heavenly but I’m not a fan of scented skincare and could easily do without the peach fragrance. It’s truly intensively hydrating and not particularly thick feeling and actually can vastly improve dry flaky skin overnight.
L’Oreal Sublime Sun Alcohol-Free Quick Dry SPF 50 Sheer Finish Spray ($18)
I really never expected to include a body sunscreen in one of these favourites posts but here I am, once again surprising myself. I love the ease of spray sunscreens (as many others do) but I have easily irritated skin and suffer from eczema and some body acne (fun stuff) and this neither irritates with alcohol content, feels greasy or causes breakouts while providing solid sun protection. It does need a little bit of rubbing in in my experience but it’s so much easier and fuss-free than a lotion formula.
Skin79 Snail Nutrition BB Cream ($20/39)
After my lovely cousin picked this authentic Korean BB Cream up for me at Sasa in Hong Kong last summer, I became really obsessed with the stuff until Summer ended and forgot about its loveliness, especially as an all-in-one skincare-makeup hybrid product but I’ve been gradually adding it back into the routine and this month it’s been an essential. I don’t love it as a foundation as much as Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet etc. but the medium-coverage base provides fabulous sun protection and moisture while still looking fairly natural and glowy on the skin. I’m not someone who usually experiences oxidation but this one actually does and when it changes tone it looks phenomenal (not when you just put it on and this is why I’ve probably been neglecting this one). Another word of advice is that these sunscreen-heavy bases need to be worked into the skin well in order to have the desired effect in my experience. However, when I went to a music festival last summer this was a lifesaver – and a timesaver. You can order from the brand’s American site if you’re interested, by the way.
Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Lip Butter ($4)
With such sensitive and perpetually-chapped lips, lip treatments are essential for me and as a result, you’ll hear about them loads on the pages here. It’s not a miracle treatment but this affordable balm has been a savior for hydrating my lips without ever causing them to become irritated. It can give a milky cast to the lips but the balmy formula instantly soothes and brings moisture to the lips without any weird smell, taste or anything.
Now Solutions 100% Natural Shea Butter ($20)
Somewhere in the early phase of the month, I did something (presumably) that caused quite the painful and unsightly eczema flare-up on my legs and unfortuantely there doesn’t seem to be a miracle cure or fix for the whole itchy situation, applying this basic cream twice daily has helped to soothe the area, prevent itching and help to calm the situation more quickly. As of now, I’m pleased to report that the basic formula has helped my legs to recover tremendously.
L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in Universal Sun ($15-16)
I will admit that I’ve raved about this pigmented red-toned matte bronzer numerous times in the last month but in truth I have only done so because the formula and the colour are both so phenomenal. The smooth powder offers impressive buildable pigmentation that remains effortless to blend into the skin. It’s also nice that it wears like a champ. It’s not the most cool-toned or non-orangey of bronzers, with quite a strong red undertone and warmth to it but it is the perfect hue to add that natural-looking sun-kissed hue to the skin.
Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment ($14-16)
This is yet another rather pricy (for a product of the drugstore variety) product that I’ve mentioned my love for more than once or twice and have been wearing most of the time. Despite being a stain, the formula does not dry out lips, even after the flattering balmy ‘gloss’ has worn off completely. The lightweight stains also don’t highlight dry patches or textural problems on the lips like thicker formulas can and I’ve been addicted to the summery sheer-but-buildable muted tangerine hue.
MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette ($21)
In the last year or so, I’ve become addicted to the results of filling in at least the sparse areas of my brows on a daily basis but in all honesty, I don’t love the effort it can take, especially lately as I haven’t been going all out on my makeup and this tinted brow gel seems to be the perfect solution. The cool-toned light brown hue matches my hair to a t, adding invisible looking definition to the brows that tend to look hairlike. True to its name, it stays in place on the brows until you remove it and can be worn alone for subtler brows or worn alongside some powder or pencil for more of a full-on look – but I’ve been just reaching for this one and it’s suited my laziness nicely.
MAC Eyeshadow in Woodwinked, Soft Brown & Smut ($12/18)
This month I’ve been using my MAC palette consistently and have fallen back in love with new colours to the palette and an old-standby — they are easy shadows to work with and consistently fabulous quality so they have suited my minimalistic mood nicely. The ever-popular antiqued-gold Woodwinked was rediscovered early in the month and I’ve become addicted to applying it all over the lid and blending it well to achieve that coppery hue, generally paired with some lazy-girl liner of some kind. The warm-tan matte Soft Brown and the dirty brown-taupe Smut were additions made throughout the month that I’ve been relying on equally as much. Smut is the perfect shade for smoking out the lashline and adding definition to the crease as it’s an interesting hue and doesn’t have much fallout while still delivering on the pigmentation front and Soft Brown has proven itself as worth the hype, being thrown through the crease for some depth as well as some transitioning-colour goodness. Oh MAC Eyeshadows, how I love thee…