After what feels like forever, I finally feel myself again. Or at least more myself than I have for the past few months.
I blame the weather — the non-existent spring we had in Toronto combined with way too much darkness, rain and cold and left me feeling shitty 90 per cent of the time. And I know, I can’t totally blame Mother Nature for my mood (there was a lot of other stuff going on), but she certainly didn’t help.
But now that summer has actually arrived, I feel alive. Inspired, even. Longer days, heat and plenty of sunshine is good for the soul, and I’m soaking up every minute of it.
Summer, for me, also means happier skin. This past winter was probably one of the worst EVER for my skin, especially on my face. Inflammation, redness, severe dryness and eczema came back with a vengeance. And since I’m always looking for a quick fix, I was trying every product possible for some relief. That backfired, leaving me with an insane allergic reaction, which was followed by shedding (yes, actual shedding) and then finally, clearer skin. Needless to say, it took a lot of coaxing and a major editing down of products to calm everything down and rehabilitate my epidermis (you can see the regime I used here).
Since that episode, I’m been very mindful to take really good care of my face. In the summer, I like wearing as little makeup as possible, but that can only be done when you have a good base. Since my skin isn’t as dehydrated, I’ve switched things up a bit (but only a bit!) from my winter routine.
SKIN – MORNING
In the morning, I either spray my face with Avène Thermal Water or use Consonant’s Foaming Face Wash because it gently cleanses and tones. Then I apply SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX+, a good vitamin C serum for sensitive skin and slather on Vichy Mineral 89 (which I wrote about how much I love here) for some extra moisture and dewiness. Afterwards, I use SkinCeuticals Phyoto Corrective Gel, a now-permanent staple because it truly does keep my redness at bay and feels sooo soothing on. Then, I put on belief’s The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb, which is somehow lightweight despite being quite hydrating. But it makes me feel fresh, which is obviously nice for summertime.
While in Iceland, I noticed fine lines forming under my eyes, so I’m giving that area some extra TLC. At the end of my trip, I picked up an anti-aging eye gel from Soley Organics, which was created by Icelandic actress, Sóley Elíasdóttir, and was inspired by her family’s tradition of using Icelandic herbs for healing. I massage it in using my Foreo Eye Massager, which has literally been sitting on my top shelf for over a year without being used and has raised many eyebrows of people visiting my condo (you’ll understand when you see it). At least it’s getting some love now. After that I use SkinCeuticals Eye Balm, which I’m honestly not too crazy about, but it’s the only eye cream I have right now. I then apply SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense which I LOVE because it acts as a great makeup primer.
Speaking of sunscreen, I’ve finally started wearing it on the regular (at least, on my face). I have a few facial sunscreens, but my absolute fave is Chanel’s UV Essential. It goes on like a regular moisturizer, doesn’t leave the white cast or sticky sheen and smells divine. It was my saviour on my cruise to Italy, Greece and Turkey two years ago. I have it in SPF 20, which I love since I still want a bit of a tan (old habits die hard), but sadly, the lowest SPF it now comes in is 30. Boo.
SKIN – NIGHT
At night, I always use Bioderma Micellar water to remove makeup… it’s been my go-to for years and I’m never turning back. After I get rid of my eye makeup, I wash my face with Omorovicza’s Thermal Cleansing Balm. I recently learned about the brand from the PR agency that represents them in Canada. It hails from Hungary, which is apparently home to mineral-rich thermal water and mud (who knew?). I later learned the cleansing balm has a cult following and when Nichola Joss (a.k.a. Kate Moss and Meghan Markle’s facialist) told me she was obsessed with it, it made me even more excited about using it. So I massage that onto my face, then wipe it off with a wet towel, as rinsing alone won’t remove the product. And I can honestly say my skin feels ultra soft and smooth after using it… though I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue indulging in it once this pot is done as it retails for a whopping $110 USD. Yikes.
After that, I tone with my beloved Biologique Recherche Lotion P50T. I love this stuff SO much. It’s also super expensive, but I don’t mind spending the money because it gets rid of dead skin and makes me glow. I seriously can’t live without it. I would normally use it in the morning as well, but since I started using the vitamin C serum, I nixed it, as they should not be layered.
The rest of the routine is the same as my AM regime, minus the Serum 10 AOX+, though I do use Omorovicza’s Rejuvenating Night Cream instead of belif. I don’t know if it’s really helping with the wrinkles, but this baby is ultra rich and I wake up with oh-so-smooth and soft skin.
Obviously, I’m doing masks here and there. Charlotte Tilbury’s Goddess Skin Clay Mask is my forever fave, but I’m also loving the SkinCeuticals Phyoto Corrective Mask, especially when my skin is irritated and angry. And Avène’s Soothing Moisture Mask is always a good pick if my skin needs some extra moisture and hydration.
And that’s it for skin, which, I promise, is the most intensive part.
Like I said earlier, I’m all about as little makeup as possible in the summer. All I really need is something to illuminate and bronze my skin, then some mascara and a lip colour.
I LOVE The Estee Edit Beam Team Hydrate + Glow, which is an incredible illuminating moisturizer that just works for me. Sadly, the brand is going to be discontinued, but luckily I have an extra tube left. If I’m not feeling too lazy, I prime with Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer then put the Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter all over my face for a really nice glow (read more about them here), instead of Beam Team.
Since I’m not tanning, I need a bit of colour, so I use NIOD’s Photography Fluid Tan, which, quite honestly, is a bit disappointing in that it doesn’t leave me as glowy as I’d like. However, the Beam Team and Dew Drops make up for it.
To cover up my bits of redness or blemishes I use Glossier’s Stretch Concealer in Dark and/or benefit’s new boi-ing Airbrush Concealer in 3. I truly love them both, for different reasons. You can read about them more in-depth here, but essentially Glossier’s really is stretchy and moves with your skin so it looks as natural as possible, while the benefit concealer somehow makes you look airbrushed, but still makeup-free. It’s pretty incredible. For more stubborn, angry pimples, I’ll cover up with NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Ginger, which provides heavier coverage, but is not at all cakey.
After that, it’s all about more bronze and more glow. My fave highlighter ever is Nudestix Skin Glossing Pencil, because it doesn’t have a colour to it and simply just adds some gloss to your face. I like to use it on top of my cheekbones, on the inner corner of my eyes, on my cupid’s bow and underneath my brow bone. Then it’s onto bronzer. If I want a more matte look, I use Marc Jacobs Beauty O!mega Bronze Coconut Perfect Tan (limited edition, sadly, but there’s the original version available), which smells delicious and gives some nice colour. When I want even more shimmer, I use bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer in Tan. I haven’t quite found a cream (or even powder) blush I’m crazy about yet for my summer look, so I usually skip it altogether. However, if I feel like I need a hint of colour, I’ll use Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk.
For eyes, I line the waterline with benefit they’re real! Push-Up Liner, curl my lashes with my Shu Uemura eyelash curler (my fave since the 10th grade), then apply loads and loads of Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Lashes. I didn’t like this mascara at first, mainly because I wasn’t applying it right. Then Kate Synott informed me it’s meant to be applied vertically first, then horizontally and that changed everything. I don’t think I’ll ever use another mascara. I do, however, put on Maybelline Lash Sensational afterwards to kind of “seal” everything in, since Legendary Lashes is really runny on me. If I want to do a slight cat eye, I’ll use Kat Von D’s Ink Liner, and if I want a bit of colour, I use Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze — it looks especially sexy when smudged under the eye. For brows, I rotate between benefit Gimme Brow and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz.
As for lips, I use either Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude or Pillow Talk (the first is more nude, the second more pink). I’ll put my Blue Lagoon Lip Balm on top so it doesn’t look too matte, nor too glossy. Then I seal all my hard work in with Urban Decay All-Nighter.
I don’t do too much with my hair, mainly because I’m lazy. I wash every three or four days with Hairstory’s New Wash, a cleansing conditioner made by the founder of bumble and bumle that I really quite like. My hair feels super soft, the remnants of blond are less brassy and it’s one less step in my hair washing routine. Since it does leave my roots a bit flat, I amp things up with Redken’s Full Frame 07 Volumizing Mousse.
If I decide to air dry my hair, I use Redken’s No Blow Dry Airy Cream, which leaves my strands nice and textured. If I’m blow drying, I use Ouai Wave Spray, not really for waves, but mostly for a bit of texture and grit (and plus I LOVE the smell) and my Dyson Supersonic. In between washes I spray a ton of Klorane’s Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair, which I should probably buy stocks in since I use it so much. I add more volume and texture using Redken Wind Blown 05, which really does make your hair look windswept and is a really good (more affordable) alternative to Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. If my hair gets too kinky, I’ll straighten things out with L’Oreal Professionel’s Steampod, but not before dousing my hair with Redken’s Fabricate Heat-Active Texturizer (read more about it here). It allows me to keep my hair looking texturized and voluminous while straightening and every time I’ve used it, I’ve gotten compliments.
And voila! The summer ’17 beauty edit. What are you using/loving lately? Let me know in the comments!