The Summer Essentials

It might be officially fall now, but before getting onto the lovely symptoms that the change of seasons gives me, I thought I would catch up on the products I loved throughout this hot and humid Summer we had. I’m one of those girls who adores fall, but before I get onto those seasonal-central products, let’s do a roundup of warm weather favourites:

Paula’s Choice Omega + Complex Cleansing Balm ($28 US | 103 mL)

I did not need to add another cleanser to my cleanser rotation this summer, but I couldn’t resist picking this one up. I might have only worn makeup a handful of times over the season, but I really appreciated how well this cleansing balm broke down my tenacious sunscreen. It has the ease of being housed in a tube — and isn’t impossible to squeeze out — and is fragrance free so it doesn’t upset my skin or sensitive eyeballs and breaks everything down like a dream. It actually easily removed waterproof mascara, which I so very rarely use, mainly out of the fear of having to remove it . The fatty acids its enriched with also add to the soothed, comforted feel it leaves behind.

Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk for Sensitive Skin SPF 50 PA++++ ($43.69 CAD | 60 mL)

In such a hot and muggy summer and since doing yoga five times per week, — at least a few of which I get super sweaty during — I’ve come to appreciate this velvety liquid sunscreen. It’s a combination sunscreen, featuring zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, Uvinol A Plus, Tinosorb S and Uvinul T 150, and has great photostability and reliability in independent testing, all without irritating my skin in the way that chemical filters tend to. It has that velvety finish that everyone enjoys but without irritating and over-drying my skin out with drying alcohol and has the most minute white cast that dissipates on its own and reapplies nicely. The sunscreen isn’t drying when layered on top of other skincare and I enjoyed how the sunscreen felt on my skin in the heat and sweat and that it doesn’t run into my eyeballs and make me cry painful tears.

Dr Ceuracle Vegan Kombucha Tea Essence ($37.89 CAD | 150 mL)

Essences are a weird skincare product; I love them but they are weird. They either are super-watery products that you pat into the skin immediately after washing (think a first essence) or are a variation on the serum theme, with a real focus on a single or a few key ingredients. This one falls into the latter group and my lord, is it moisturizing. It contains your usual glycerin, green tea extract and water, saccharomyces ferment filtrate, sunflower seed oil, centella asiatica and ceramide np. It has a really interesting kind of biphase texture that turns from the tea-coloured liquid to a calming milk. In my experience, it’s a soothing, calming, hydrating and moisturizing dream. I loved it in the hot and humid weather and I’m sure I’ll be ready to express my eternal devotion to it in cooler temperatures. In the summer, I used it as a serum underneath moisturizer or on its own when I was feeling lazier, and I know I’ll be happily piling it under anything in following months…

Ion 9 Row Silicone Brush ($17.39 CAD)

Even dealing with quite frankly the most ridiculous humidity this summer and starting working out five times week and getting sweaty, I’ve actually probably gotten to the best place with my wavy curls this summer that I maybe ever had. A big part of this is attaining good wash day results after using the denman-esque brush to coil my hair and form curl clumps and spirals that last. Most wash days I use this brush to form spirals and enhance my curl pattern with a curl cream, before scrunching with a gel. This brush has definitely helped me achieve tousled, fluffy loose curls.

Curlsmith Curl Defining Styling Souffle ($35.99 CAD | 237 mL)

The first half of the season, I think I exclusively used this as my gel, which is why I actually ended up converting to the jumbo sized bottle. It’s one of those gels that offers medium flexible hold and is actually curl enhancing and clumping by its own right. I get the best results by applying it to my hair after removing excess water with a microfibre towel first and get a slight cast that disappears on its own post drying or diffusing. It’s a glycerin-heavy gel but it performs well enough in humidity if you don’t mind the fluffy look, probably because it’s moisturizing with babassu oil, sorbitol, linseeds, avocado oil and shea butter. Basically the film-forming humectants and oils it contains make it perform well in heat and humidity. This gel has given me some of my most juiciest spirals and clumps and plenty of curl compliments, with its odd custard-y texture.

Pattern Beauty Curl Gel ($32 CAD | 289.8 mL)

Towards the end of the summer, I got the opportunity to try this highly acclaimed gel through FabFitFun and I couldn’t resist giving it a go basically the second the box arrived. I will note that it worked as well on my long loose curls as it does for the tighter types that it was certainly created for. It’s a cream gel kind of texture with medium hold and is very moisturizing. It helps to clump curls together but didn’t weigh my hair down by any means, which makes sense because I think it was intended for big airy but defined curls, rather than a flatter more helmet-y controlled kind of curl. It’s another glycerin heavy gel with aloe, coconut oil, castor oil, wheat amino acids and hydrolyzed silk. It offers maybe medium hold but leaves the curls defined, soft and easily refreshed days later.

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum ($85 CAD | 10 mL)

I was not doing a whole lot of perfume during the season, as it was just so hot and humid and I was doing so much swimming that it seemed like a moot point. I tended to only reach for perfume for evenings or the rare actual occasions and I found myself reaching for this expensive perfume. Now, I was happy to be able to try the private blend in this smaller spray, as they are majorly expensive but it is the perfect warm boozy spicy vanilla that doesn’t actually read masculine. It lasts for weeks on clothing and forever on the skin without being headache-y. I can only imagine liking it more in cooler weather.

Kosas Revealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer and Daytime Eye Cream ($37 CAD | 6 mL)

While it has been rare for me to wear makeup at all in the season, I did reach for this concealer basically every time that I did. It’s hydrating, has good ingredients, creases incredibly minimally and does not highlight texture or dryness. The mica it contains provides some light reflection, the arnica should theoretically be soothing, the caffeine is brightening and anti-inflammatory and the peptide it contains, sodium hyaluronate and squalane are lovely things for my generally dehydrated and flaky skin. It’s great underneath the eyes, with a full face of makeup or minimal makeup and buffed wherever you need it for a foundation-free face. I will say the colours run incredibly yellow and the first shade I bought (3.5W) could easily make me look jaundiced; the second time around, I went for 1.5C, which was lighter and was marketed as having pink undertones, which works wonderfully under my eyes and on the centre of my face. It isn’t actually cool-toned or overly pink though; it’s more neutral warm and slightly yellow …

What products were your standbys this summer?
Maggie, x.

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