Just like that summer is over! Can't say I'm sad about the end because for me summer is usually a miserable experience. It's hot, too hot. It's muggy. I'm invariably dripping in sweat as soon as I exit my apartment. While many are in the midst of mourning the end of the season, I'm celebrating since it means autumn is here at last. I'll take cold sweater weather over never-ending sunshine any day! To mark the end of the season, I thought I might as well take a moment to reflect on a handful of my summer beauty obsessions.
An "Instagram made me do it" purchase that I do not regret in the slightest. Facial oils are somewhat new to me. I've only tested a handful and almost all were predominantly hydration-focused. The Leo Oil is hydrating too but also helps soothe irritated skin and heal acne. Discovering an oil meant for acne-prone skin was a revelation! My skin type is difficult to work with. It's dry yet acne-prone. Annoyingly, almost all skincare designed to fight acne dries out my already dry skin. The Leo Oil helps heal acne and hydrate at the same time. Mind blown! I don't know the intricacies of how exactly this miraculous oil does its job but I do know that the simple all-natural blend of blue tansy, rosehip seed and meadowfoam oil work to reduce redness and irritation. The oil itself is a gorgeous shade of emerald green. I apply two to three drops of this every night. It's a dry oil so it absorbs quickly. Since I started using this last month I’ve noticed that my acne heals much faster and that my skin is much more balanced. The Leo Oil might just be my newest holy grail skincare find!
If there's one makeup item that defined this summer it would be cream blush. I haven't touched my powder blushes in months! Unloved, they're slowly collecting dust in my makeup storage containers. A year ago I wouldn't have even thought of wearing a cream blush but now I can't live without them. I love how natural they look! They blend in seamlessly and provide a touch of glow. The two cream blushes that got the most use were the Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk and the Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Werk. Dusk is such an unusual shade. Straight out of the tube it looks vaguely like a bronzer. As a very pale person the sight of a pinkish brown blush terrified me at first. However, that's what makes this blush stand out from the crowd. Since it sits somewhere in between a blush and a bronzer, I don't need to wear both. Dusk acts as both. Werk is a straight up everyday muted rosy blush that works with just about any look I throw together. Both of these cream blush formulas are heavily pigmented and long-lasting. All around winners!
Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter
Who could've predicted that I would be addicted to a citrus-scented body butter?! Certainly not me. Historically, citrus and I do not get along. I can't stand citrus scents! They're nauseating. Thankfully I went against my citrus-phobia this summer to give this Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter (*) a try. Now I'm hooked! Most citrus fragrances remind me of my cringe-inducing teenage youth. They're too sickly sweet. This Bliss Body Butter is not remotely like that. It's fresh and sophisticated. It reminds me of a mojito. The lemon is barely noticeable. The buttery yet lightweight texture is divine. It glides onto my skin and sinks in instantly. No greasiness to speak of! This won't provide enough hydration in the dry winter months but for now it's perfect.
Riddle Oil in Santal
Since I only have three perfumes in my pathetic excuse for a collection, I thought it was high time to explore new options. Thankfully Riddle Oil reached out to me a couple months ago to send along their scented oil discovery set (*). I'm having fun playing around with all the interesting new fragrances! So many options! My most worn and loved has got to be Santal, which is making me seriously considering trying the classic Le Labo Santal 33 perfume next. I'm dreadful when it comes to describing perfume notes but Santal is a cozy, slightly spicy warm scent to me. Some other personal faves are Muse, Voyeur and Poppy. For those of you who are ethically conscious, you'll be happy to know that Riddle Oil's products are cruelty-free and vegan. The scents are also all unisex.
It Cosmetics CC Cream
It's wasn't hard to select my favorite summer base. The It Cosmetics CC Cream is perfection in every way. This foundation gives my skin such a lovely healthy glow. It conceals almost all minor imperfections like pigmentation and redness too. Each time I apply this I audibly gasp at how flawless my skin looks! The ultimate "your skin but better" base. It also contains SPF 50, which does in fact protect your skin against harsh sunlight. My only annoyance is the shade range. I have the shade Light and even though it's the second lightest shade in the very small shade range, it's much too dark even now when I'm the tannest. To make it work on me I mix in a couple drops of my very light NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Finland. This fall I hope to invest in the shade Fair, the lightest, though even then I might have to mix both Fair and Light to make it work. Ugh!
Aesop Parsley Seed Mask
Summer always means my obnoxious blackheads come out to play big time. The Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque is a savior when all hell breaks loose! It's the most intense, heavy duty cleansing mask I've ever tried. I'd say it's comparable to the cult Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask in its intensity. However, unlike the Aztec mask, the Aesop one has never irritated (or should I say burned?) my sensitive skin. Still, to be safe, proceed with caution if you are nervous about the Parsley Seed mask messing up your skin. It's strong! But, that means it deep cleans your pores like no other. The herbaceous scent is slightly overpowering, which is my only qualm. The Aesop Parsley Seed mask has a dedicated following for a reason. It's one of the most effecting cleansing masks on the market!
BeautyBio Rose Quartz Roller
Though face rollers and gua sha tools are everywhere on Instagram this year, I managed to avoid the craze for a while. I was curious but skeptical that they would be worth the hype. However, when BeautyBio reached out to collaborate on the launch of their new Rose Quartz Face Roller (*) I immediately said yes. It was the perfect excuse to test one out for myself. I can happily report that face rollers are amazing!
My BeautyBio roller doesn't transform my skin or deliver dramatic results but, oh man, it’s sooo relaxing. The crystal rollers are cool to the touch. I like to put my face roller in the fridge to cool it down even more. The cool roller heads help depuff and honestly feel so incredibly refreshing. I find that daily face rolling massages help ease tension in my face muscles. Mostly, I focus on my jawline, forehead, under eyes and temples. If you need a "how to" guide to the art of face rolling like I did when I first got into it, check out this short video Byrdie made.
The BeautyBio roller is a tad pricy at $60 but it's much bigger than other face rollers on the market. If you're on a budget, Mount Lai, a brand co-founded by the very cool Stephanie Zheng from the blog A Collection Of Vials, have a jade roller at $34. If you have your heart set on rose quartz, Herbivore have a $40 roller.
Disclaimer: Products marked with an (*) were kindly gifted to me by the brand for review purposes. This just means that a company sent them to me to test for free. I am (and was) not paid to photograph or review them. All opinions are my own.