Summer is my favorite time of year for makeup. Well, I also love autumn. And spring is pretty awesome, too. Basically, I like every makeup season except winter (we’ll get into that later). But summer might be my favorite of all, mostly because it’s a chance to experiment with color, brighten everything up, and break some rules! This summer was a game-changer for my makeup routine because I found a few new products that have become complete favorites. The best news is that most of these items can transition right into fall! Let’s jump right in to the descriptions of my new lovers.
- Benefit gimmeBROW
I have a love/hate relationships with eyebrows. For one thing, my eyebrows are really, really skinny to begin with. That means that the full brow trend just doesn’t work for me. Also, I tend to dislike massively drawn on brows. Most of the time I think they look fake and draw too much attention to the brows instead of the rest of the face. However, I am of the belief that strong brows can really make or break a makeup look. Brows do lots of important things to help frame the face, so it’s important to consider them when doing the rest of your makeup. So since I don’t like drawn on brows and since my brows are nothing spectacular, I needed a product that would allow me to emphasize my brows without going overboard. Enter the miracle product that is gimmeBROW. This delightful invention is perfect for gals like me because the fibers in the product actually make your brows appear thicker. It’s kinda like putting mascara on your brows (sounds gross, but it is super effective). I find that it helps to provide more bulk to my brows, emphasize them slightly, and allow them to blend in with the rest of my eye look without looking ridiculous. Best of all, it only takes seconds to apply and it is basically fool-proof! The teeny-tiny brush makes the application process simple and less intimidating than trying to draw on eyebrows with a pencil. Benefit gimmeBROW retails at $22 and comes in 2 shades, light/medium and medium/deep. I use medium/deep and find it works perfect for my hair color. You can find Benefit products at Ulta, Sephora, stand alone Benefit stores, and most department stores.
- Becca Mineral Blush in Damselfly
Summertime is my favoritetime for blushes, and I found a bunch of new ones this summer that I have fallen in love with. Topping the charts, though, is this Becca mineral blush in the color Damselfly. Why is it the best of all? Well, to start with, the color is a perfect mix of coral and peach (super warm toned and bright for summer). Secondly, it has a tiny bit of shimmer in it, so it gives the skin a beautiful glow. It isn’t too much glitter, though, so you won’t feel like you’re 14 years old. Most of all, the staying power can’t stop won’t stop. This blush lasts forever on my cheeks! There’s nothing like applying a blush in the morning and still seeing it before you wash your face at night! It’s a bit on the pricey side ($32) but the quality is such that you get a big bang for your buck. You can find Becca blushes at Sephora (insider hint: they are ALWAYS sold out at the stores, so you might have to go online to get these beauties).
- Sigma F40 Large Angle Contour Brush
Why do I love this brush? Let me count the ways…ONE: the bristles are super soft and pack a punch! One dip in the product and you have enough blush to cover your whole cheek beautifully. TWO: the white bristles are so easy to see the color of the blush you used last. That’s important for me because I try not to mix different blush colors on one blush. Since I can see the color of blush easily, I never accidentally use the wrong brush for the blush of choice for the day. THREE: The shape is perfect! The angle on the brush makes blush (or bronzer) application a breeze because it contours perfectly to your face. FOUR: The quality bristles are soooo easy to clean! Enough said. You can only buy Sigma brushes online (unless you live near the Mall of America). You can visit sigmabeauty.com to purchase the F40, along with dozens of other brushes that most people consider to be superior to MAC brushes, and way less expensive!
- Lorac Pro 2 Palette
The Lorac Pro 2 Palette launched at the end of July, and I have been wearing it incessantly since then. Lorac’s new palette features cool toned shadows that are so highly pigmented – just one dip in the pan and your brush will be full of awesome product! The palette has 16 colors, 8 matte (top row) and 8 shimmery (bottom row). I can’t even explain how awesome these colors are – they are so easy to blend together and the shades are unique and perfect for all eye colors. My personal favorite shadows within this palette are light brown, cool gray, nectar (!!!), and mocha. I know that I will continue to use this palette as we get further into fall and winter…I can’t wait to rock the navy and jade shades. If you’re in need of a set of neutral eye shadows, you can’t go wrong with this palette. The colors work effortlessly together and they are long lasting on the eyelid, too. You can buy Lorac products at Ulta.
- Jouer Matte Moisture Tint
Can I just say, thank God for Jouer? This tinted moisturizer has changed my life forever. In the
summer, I really don’t want to spend very much time on my makeup in the morning. (Let’s face it, there is to much adventuring to do and spending time on foundation is not high on the adventure list.) Tinted moisturizers make the morning routine a breeze because you can apply it in seconds with your fingertips. Why is Jouer matte moisture tint the best in the land of tinted moisturizers? Well, it’s matte, so you won’t get shiny during the day. Really. You won’t get shiny. I have tried multiple tinted moisturizers (also known as BB creams and CC creams) and have yet to find one that can compete with the richness of Jouer. I also really heart that there is SPF in the product, so it helps protect my skin during the summer months. (Disclaimer: if you’re going to be in the legitimate sun for an extended period of time, this will not be enough protection.) I find that I get very good coverage with this product. It covers all of my freckles and sun spots but it doesn’t look like cakey or make me look like I’m a porcelain doll (we’ve all seen people fall victim to that issue). Also, the tube lasts FOREVER! I have used it every single day this summer and have barely even made a dent in it! So while it is a bit more expensive ($38), you won’t find yourself repurchasing it very often. You can find Jouer products at Nordstrom.
- Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Peach
Ladies. If you have blue eyes, stop everything you’re doing and race to the department store to try out the Laura Mercier eye basics in peach. I’m telling you, it’s a game changer. This product is the perfect eye base for any eye look that features warm toned peaches, browns, and grays. Remember how I said I love the color Nectar in the Lorac palette? Well, this is that same color but in a tube! I love that the applicator is a wand because it makes applying the product super simple. All I do is dab a few dots onto my lids and then blend it out with my finger tips. Sometimes I wear this color all by itself, or I often blend a warm toned brown in the crease (such as light brown in the Lorac 2 palette or MAC soft brown). Talk about an easy routine! The orange undertones of this color make blue eyes pop like crazy! While peach tends to be a spring and summer color, I fully intend on using this product all through the winter, too. It is subtle, fresh, and completely unique. My favorite place to buy Laura Mercier is Nordstrom (because Nordstrom is my favorite place to buy anything), but you can also find it at most other department stores as well as Sephora.
- Elizabeth & James Nirvana
The land of fragrances is very confusing to me. It seems a little bit like the world of wine tasting to me. Musk? Floral? Oaky? Nutty? Nuget? Vanilla? Sandlewood? (What is sandlewood, anyway?) All of these terms seem impossible to understand. So I can’t really explain to you why it is I love Elizabeth & James Nirvana in black, but I will just say that it’s awesome. It smells kinda masculine but mostly cottony (that’s probably not a thing) and super sultry (also not a thing). It has been my go-to fragrance for this summer because it is unique and delicious but not overpowering. I tend to wear it mostly at night because, like I said before, it’s pretty sultry. Apparently Elizabeth & James created this perfume, along with their other fragrance, called white, to create a new style of fragrancing (again, not a thing). They intend you to mix the black and white fragrances together to make a custom scent. Well, I personally HATE the white one, so that won’t be happening in my life, but maybe I will be the unique one who doesn’t combine the flavors (flavors? that seems wrong). Also, if you’ve never tried roller ball scents, I highly recommend them! Why? They are cheaper! They are easy for travel! They allow you to try out a scent without committing to a huge bottle! Check out Elizabeth & James at Sephora (and try out the white fragrance, too…maybe you’ll love it!).
So…those are my favorites from the summer! I hope this inspires you to branch out and try some of these items, because they are likely to be life changing for you just as they were for me. As we move into the fall, I am excited to break out my darker lipsticks, my smokey eye looks, and my riding boots. Stay tuned for more product reviews in the weeks to come! I promise they won’t all be high-end products. (I’m not sure why these favorites were all prestige cosmetics. I promise I also love the drug store!) Happy Labor Day to you all, and I hope you find a way to drop the curtain on summer in style!