Summer Beauty Buys

summer beauty

Summer beauty tends to be more relaxed than in the other three seasons. There is a greater focus on caring for your skin and in the world of make-up, little pops of colour are all you need. I truly believe that great skin starts from within. It is always important to drink your eight glasses of water a day but did you know that you will actually need more during hot summer days? I add two more glasses on really hot days and even more if there is a cool beer or other alcoholic drink in the mix.

My skin noticeably changes with the seasons and so far this summer, my skin has been all over the place.
I started with dry skin, left over from the winter and spring, and moved onto oily skin with a few breakouts (thanks so much hot, muggy days!) I headed to my local Sephora to check out a few masks and to ask, as I always do, a million questions about what's new and what I should have on my radar.

summer

Over the last month I have picked up a summer beauty staples and could not be happier to leave the foundation and concealer at home and celebrate a more natural look. Summer is about carefree days after all! I have been working hard at correcting a few skin issues and apply a minimal amount of make up with only the lightest hand possible. I also found the most amazing way to remove eye make up and started using a body oil that you need on your nightstand. Here's a rundown of my favourite summer beauty buys

Garnier Micellar Water - I've heard so many positive reviews of micellar water but since I was happy with my Sephora Eye Make up remover (which I still recommend) I never thought of changing. Until we painted our ceiling with oil based paint and ended up with it all over our faces and the only thing that would work to remove it was my entire bottle of eye make up remover! Little tip to all the design DIYers out there (Thanks Amanda for the tip!) Since I was out and didn't feel like making a run to the mall, I headed to Shoppers Drug Mart and decided to finally try micellar water, since it was on sale for only $6 (You can pick it up for $3 in the States). Y'all, I am in love! It removes everything. Mascara, gone! Lipstick, like it was never there! It's also gentle on your skin and eyes. I wear contacts and it hasn't caused me any issues. I'll be using this from now on. 

Nivea Nourishing Body Oil - I received this in a package that Influenster sent me (you do not need to be a blogger to receive Influenster packages. You just need to have some social media and be willing to write a few honest reviews). The body oil has been sitting on my nightstand since I got it and has not left. It claims to firm loose skin including stretch marks and while I can't confirm that, what I can say is I love putting a little on my legs, arms and especially my elbows before bed. I am itchy all the time, especially at bed time, and this has really helped. It absorbs quickly and really moisturizes thanks to a combination of avocado oil and macadamia oil. I especially love that it is not greasy and because it absorbs quickly, it does not make a mess of my bedsheets.  It also has the most pleasant and delicate scent! A little goes a long way with this product and at a cost of under $10 it's well worth the try. 

summer make up

Remember I mentioned having a few issues with my skin? To combat my dry skin in the spring I started using Dior's Gentle Cleansing Milk and it worked like a charm. Once the hot weather really kicked in, and I like a fool was walking and working out in the muggy weather, I noticed my face feeling greasy and no longer as clean as I would like. I knew that I would need to add in something with a little scrubbing action and I found that with Aveeno's 60 Second In-Shower Facial. I prefer to do my facial scrubbing in the morning and this little bottle has really brightened my skin up! I love that it still feels creamy enough to prevent dryness but scrubby enough that my skin feels clean! 

At the same time I picked up the in shower facial, I also bought two new moisturizers from the Aveeno line. I had read some good reviews of the Absolutely Ageless line so thought I would try out the daytime moisturizer with SPF and the nighttime moisturizer. Firstly, the blackberry scent is incredible! I love it but you can't love a moisturizer on scent alone. I love the light feeling of both the daytime and nighttime and at no time have I felt dry. The daytime moisturizer has an SPF of 30 which by the evening makes my face feel a little greasy but at that point I am ready to wash it off for bed time anyway. I like the higher SPF as I do spend a good amount of time outside. I have read that you should reapply your SPF moisturizer halfway through the day but have not tried that yet. If I plan on being outside and in the sun for an extended amount of time, I always use a separate SPF spray. SPF is the best way to prevent sun damage to our skin ladies! 

My make up routine is rather minimal right now but I still wanted a pop of colour on my lips. After a quick walk down the lipstick aisles in Sephora, I settled on Laura Mercier's French Kiss. When I want the lightest hint of pink, I lightly press this on my lips and swipe on an SPF chapstick right after. For a night out or when I take outfit photos for the blog, I put French Kiss on full strength. I find it very moisturizing and the colour is so saturated, it lasts for many hours. 

Nars Orgasm

With a little swipe of colour on my lips, I felt I needed a gentle sun kissed glow on my cheeks. Enter the classic Nars Orgasm. I first started wearing this a few years ago and after it ran out decided to try a few others (like this Dior blush and this Bobbi Brown one) but now I am back into the Nars Orgasm fold. I knew right away that this was the tone and shade I was going for this season and the new special edition packaging was too cute to pass up. One quick swipe gives you a nice summer glow and makes it easy to get ready in the mornings. I add a few passes of mascara (I'm in love with this YSL right now) and that's it! Easy summer make up! 

facial mask

Once I added the in shower scrub to my daily routine I knew my skin would get under control in no time. But I am not a patient person and wanted to clear up blemishes and blockages right away. After reading what felt like a million packages, I settled on the Dr. Jart Pore Minimalist Mask. It was a bit of a splurge as far as one time use masks go ($10 for one sheet mask) and since I have not heard anything of the brand, this was kind of a gamble for me. I'm so glad I took the plunge because I noticed a difference the next day! I had a number of blockages (the painful under the skin type pimples) and they were noticeably reduced the next day. Two days later, they were almost all gone! I wish I had bought more of these masks as I'm sure my skin would have been fully cleared up if I used it twice that week. I will be keeping this in mind the next time I notice my skin starting to break out. I highly recommend you try this mask if you too are noticing acne and skin blockages this summer.

I love eye masks because for me, my eyes instantly tell the story of how I slept or how much alcohol I had the night before. Alcohol is very drying, if you do imbibe I recommend using a moisturizing sleeping mask before bed. I've followed that rule for a few months now but really only used it when I had more than a few drinks on the weekend. But now I am finding that my eyes look heavy even after only one glass of wine with dinner! I've actually been making a conscious effort to limit my alcohol intake (no drinks during the week or Sundays, staying away from beer and limiting myself to only a few glasses on bourbon and wine nights). Not only is this much better for my overall health but my skin just can't deal anymore! As much as I love a good drink, I love my skin a lot more. I've been using anti-aging moisturizer and SPF on my skin since I was 20. I'm not going to let a few drinks ruin all that work!

I tried this Sephora eye mask after a night when the dogs woke me up at 4 in the morning, which happens every now and then. I did notice a slight reduction in my dark circles and the area was definitely moisturized, which is everything it claimed to be. I still feel like I should have gotten better results so the next time I'm in store I will be looking to try out another brand.

sephora

Did you know that Sephora will give you free samples of any scent in store to take home and try out for a few days? I am scent obsessed and I am constantly asking for a sample of something new! I once bought a large and expensive bottle of perfume only to realize after a day or two that the scent just didn't work for me. Perfume smells different on different people, something to do with the chemical reaction when the perfume hits our skin. That's an expensive mistake to make so now I test out every scent before I buy! These little samples also come in handy for vacations. Instead of taking a large bottle I tuck a few of these in my suitcase or overnight bag. If I love the scent I'll buy it once I get home. Then I am able to find a scent I really enjoy and it will always remind me of a great vacation! I did this with a sample of Gucci Flora, I wore it to meet Martha Stewart and the scent always takes me back to that amazing moment!  

I'm obsessed with the Aerin line (probably has to do with the founder Aerin's impeccable style and love of blue and white) and after smelling five different fragrances I knew this was a quality line and something I would like for my summer scent (I change up my scent with the seasons). The only problem was that after smelling so many, I couldn't tell which one I liked the most! I settled on two to try as samples, Mediterranean Honeysuckle and Ikat Jasmine. After a few days of alternating there was a clear winner, Ikat Jasmine! Jasmine, tuberose and sandalwood are combined to create a warm, fresh scent perfect for summer days and evenings. So...back to Sephora I go to pick up a bottle of this beauty! 

While I am looking forward to fall (as I really do wish it was always fall) and the return of warm jewel toned make up, I am surely not wishing summer away. I recently read a blog where the writer stated that summer is essentially over after July 4th. Not at all! Summer is here to stay for a good few months and I intend to enjoy as much of the nice weather as I can. These summer beauty buys are helping me to look my best during these warm months and I wish you a happy and carefree beauty summer!

Let me know in the comments what summer beauty products you are loving!   

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