The Summer Essentials

So this summer, I’ve been a mess. Aside from working, making plans with friends and taking copious naps, I haven’t managed to get anything done. For a while, I was dreading even having to wear makeup on account of the humidity and heat that we’re experiencing. However, I’m now back into it. I’m just hoping I can pull myself together enough to make posts happen again. I’m still going to pull together a favourites post at the end of the summer, summing up my favourite products for the months I’ve missed posting on, but I’m going to go through some seasonal essentials today:

(Can you tell I’ve had this post waiting in drafts for over a month? :))

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Essie Nail Lacquer in In The Cab-an: Particularly on my toes, I adore a bright blue polish in the summer and this one is perfect, leaning slightly more on the bluer side of turquoise with an easy cream formula. It’s opaque in two thin coats and is easy to work with, lasting a while – on my toes at least.

Skin79 Snail Nutrition SPF 50 BB Cream: In hot and humid weather, everyone – even those like myself who have skin that edges itself towards the truly dry and perpetually dehydrated end of the spectrum – dislikes the feeling of heavy product (or hardly any product at all) on the skin. We all can appreciate a multitasking product that does all three of its functions well – providing necessary sun protection, moisturizing and functioning as an everyday product – and this is it for me. Unless I’m being an idiot, I never burn when I’m wearing this. Impressively, it provides medium natural coverage that works whether or not I’ve gone for a full-face or not and stays put.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: In this truly humid weather of the summer that just passed, I was not in the mood for any sort of makeup experimentation. This left me looking for a foundation that looked like skin, had a bit of glow and left my skin looking far better than before on a fairly regular basis and this one was my pick. With its satin finish, medium-buildable coverage and longevity, it might just be worth its hefty cost.

Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer: Despite being a lover of applying a bunch of cheek products on the daily, my lack of enthusiasm for makeup application left me looking for a one and done cheek product on a regular basis – and that product in question was this effortless and slightly glowy golden-hued bronzer. It’s smooth formula gave that effortless glow with the swipe of the brush and it added much needed life to my face in an instant.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner & Serum: I suppose this was the summer that I really fell for some Physician’s Formula products. In the very beginning of Summer – or perhaps the tail end of Spring – I broke down and bought the eyeliner that everyone raves about and fell in love. It’s fine tip creates the smoothest lines and makes creating a flick a breeze in seconds. I love that its rich colour and smooth application doesn’t fade after opening for a few months. In my whole not wanting to put a load of makeup on fairly regularly, I’ve been relying on this liner to give me that instantly polished look.

OPI Nail Lacquer in No Doubt About It ($10-12): My infrequent posts in the last six months or so, aside, I have mentioned that I’ve become way more polish obsessed as of late. This summer, I fell for a neon pink – despite not being the kind of girl who is into pink in any shape or form. In my defense, it is a pink-coral kind of hybrid and it’s flattering on my warm undertones. It dries matte so it dries unbelievably fast which is nice, but my only complaint is that it does not cover completely on its own and layered over white, the polish only applies evenly with a perfect coat of white underneath. However, in three coats alone, it does cover 90% of the nail line and looks even.

Zoya Pixie Dust in Vega ($12): This teal tinged pale blue textured polish might not have the same quintessential ‘summer’ quality to it but its ease of use and cool kind of feel left me reaching for it more often than not. The mixture of matte and holographic glitters leave a cool effect on the nail but truly, what I adored the most was that it dried quickly – only requiring two easy coats – and was chip-resistant even without any top coat.

What did you love this summer?
Maggie, x.

 

May 2016 Favourites

Yet again, this month – I don’t actually know which month I’m referring to by the way – has been a complete failure for posts. I just haven’t been able to get myself around to posting. I’m not exactly sure why. Regardless, I’ve got some products that I loved throughout May to share:

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I couldn’t write a favourites post without including a product from last month’s post, to be completely honest. I’m still in this state  of obsession with the Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hempseed Oils High Porosity Moisture Seal Masque ($17.15) that I was in throughout April. I’m still very impressed because of how nourishing yet lightweight the masque is, especially without being exorbitantly expensive. I’m pleased to report that I have gotten used to the very fragrant floral scent. After using the accompanying Shea Moisture Mongogo & Hempseed Oils High Porosity Moisture Seal Shampoo ($15) for another month, I’m confident enough to say that it is deserving of almost the same praise. Without being formulated without any silicones (or harsh cleansers for that matter) it imparts impressive moisture and slip whilst removing residue and the like. I’m yet another one to join the Shea Moisture shampoo loving bandwagon. It hydrates and is impossibly gentle, which I love, all whilst not weighing down my finer strands in the slightest.

Being incredibly lazy in terms of removing my makeup and washing my face at night, I gravitated towards using makeup wipes in May. I tried out the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths ($11-12) and used them on a frequent basis, enjoying how gentle and soothing they were whilst removing makeup well. They are among the gentlest wipes that I’ve tried and impressed me, even with my beyond sensitive skin.

Fairly late in May, I had quite the drugstore beauty spree with one of my closest friends, and one of the results was the much-anticipated Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm ($17). It was a rather late acquisition to be included in a favourites post to be honest but the thick balmy potted balm was good enough to make the cut regardless. It’s soothing and nourishing, remaining on the lips all night and providing nourishment to the lips that lasts after it wears off. I’m partial to the matte finish that it leaves for under lipsticks.

When I got into the routine of wearing more face products on a daily basis,  I became committed to using  MAC Fix Plus ($26) to get rid of that makeup-y appearance and give my skin a luminous glow. It’s not exactly a novel product, but I will admit that the glycerin-based spray does what it intends to do and is hydrating – especially in comparison to the alcohol-based offerings.

Always eager to find the latest and greatest product to camouflage and brighten my dark undereyes, I’ve been trialling the Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector in Peach ($34) – with success. It’s not a daily product for me, I’m afraid, but it’s a great additional product underneath concealer to counteract the natural darkness that I have. The issue that I have with the corrector is that it is so pigmented that it requires a product applied over the top to hide the orange cast. However, it blends like a dream and supports the seamless application of a product on top.

My greatest two discoveries of May were colour products. The first of which was the fairly recently released Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Bronzer ($19.99) that I reviewed last month hereI’ll keep my ravings to a minimum as I did enough of that in the review but I must say that I have adored the neutral brown bronzer tone and the easily blended texture of the bronzer to add some shape and a golden glow to my skin. One of the product’s assets is that it requires almost no work to look nice. My other love that I have yet to mention is the MAC Versicolour Stain in Can’t Stop Won’t Stop ($28), an expensive but lovely balmy and glossy new-generation stain. It does not have the high colour intensity of a matte liquid lipstick or anything but the formula remains balmy and comfortable, whilst providing a lasting even stain on the lips hours after the product has faded. The medium peach (with a tinge of coral shade) is a great everyday one for me, adding some brightness without much effort or upkeep.

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The makeup in action

 

Any favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

The Review| Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer

Not only is the Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer ($19.99/11g) mighty expensive for a product from a drugstore brand,  its marketing is so gimmicky that any skeptic would pass by this product, deeming it all unfounded claims and minimal results. With these marks against it, the bronzer somehow managed to majorly impress me. And not just in that it’s-sort-of-kind-of-nice sort of way; I must say that it competes with my favourite bronzers.

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Ingredients: Talc, Synthetic Sapphire, Mica, Dimethiconol Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Fragrance/Parfum, Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Lauroyl Lysine, Lecithin, Polybutene, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol

Before I get into the part where I gush about my love for the bronzer, let’s get to the drawbacks that it has. There are only two shades that it comes in and I grabbed Bronzer, the darker of the two because it wasn’t all that much darker than the lighter offering and had those golden brown undertones that I tend to prefer. If you have medium to dark skin, I would say that you are likely out of luck with the range, as this one is maybe on the lighter side of medium. Physician’s Formula makes a big deal about their ingredients but I do note that the first couple of ingredients include talc and mica which are two minerals that people tend to have sensitivities to. Also they market the bronzer as being oil free on a technicality, instead they contain the butters which are essentially solidified versions of the oils themselves. The butters themselves do appear impressively high on the ingredient list, however, I must note that they will not improve the quality of the skin in the way that skincare products do – and Physician’s Formula argues that they do. My one last complaint is that fragrance appears so high on the ingredients list, especially of a product that boasts being superbly gentle on the skin. Note: The fragrance complaint is there but some will find the coconut scent incredibly pleasant and summery, especially in combination with the colourful packaging.

Just as Physicians Formula markets the bronzer to do, it applies with this creamy bendable texture that feels like a cream-powder hybrid – with the ease and practicality of a powder and the seamless finish and glow of a cream. Somehow it does manage to give that “lit from within tropical glow”, as cliched as it sounds. Because of the butters I assume, the formula is creamy and radiant but it reads as skin-like because the finish is satin-y without any noticeable shimmer. The pigmentation is medium but build able which makes it effortless to use even on my winter-pale complexion. I love its versatility for adding some warmth to the face in general and sculpting in smaller, more specific areas. On fairer skin, I think this bronzer will pleasantly surprise with its ability to add that sun kissed element without reading as orange-y in the slightest. For me, it’s highlight is that it lasts and lasts on the skin while adding that seamless glow to the skin. It doesn’t cling to dry patches or uneven texture in the slightest.

In terms of colour-comparison, I would be tempted to compare it to NARS Laguna because of its depth and golden brown undertones – but I haven’t examined them closely or anything.

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Have you tried the Physician’s Formula Bronzers?
Maggie, x.