Wowder Is Here!

Seen the memes yet?

You know – the memes where people call Glossier for the perfect-skinned; the memes where people coat themselves in Vaseline, saying "I love the newest Glossier highlight!"

Basically, what's been coming to pass is: Glossier's been criticized for appealing only to those with dry, clear skin. That their products don't suit those with more oily skin; that they're not being inclusive; that their "no-makeup makeup" only really works on one skin type.

Well, Glossier heard, & Glossier responded – in the best manner possible: by using a meme making fun of their own brand.

Two days ago, on Instagram:

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First: nice response! Light-hearted acknowlegment that yeah, maybe their products weren't for everyone – up til now. The link was wowder.net. This redirected to glossier.com/wowder, which claimed:

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A little information, a little video, & a waitlist. People complained that they couldn't stand the wait! That this was going to be Glossier's most unique product yet; a product that strayed from natural dewiness – & helped people with more oily skin control their shine.

Some of you into the beauty scene may have spotted "Wowder" in a video made by YouTuber Jackie Aina – you can watch it right here.

The video was titled: "Trying NEW Makeup! First Impressions and More." Jackie tried a host of products made by a host of brands, including Burberry, Natasha Denona – & a brand that Jackie said she could not reveal. In the description box, it says: "One of those products is a product I previously tested BEFORE agreeing to collaborate for this video. Today you'll get a sneak peak of that product!"

Jackie went on to test the "Wowder" – she used two shades: "Rich" & "Dark/Deep." Jackie said: "These powders are designed to set the makeup. They control oil, they are mattifying, they help with long wearing of makeup – BUT! These powders do not respond the same way some others do, & I'm going to show you what I mean by that."

Jackie went on to use this for her under-eye area, & also used a bit to dust all over her face. She mentioned that the product had a special brush – but used her beauty blender when applying Wowder on her under-eye area. She mentioned how neutral this powder was – no excess red or yellow under-tones. She seemed to be quite happy with her results, by the end.

For Glossier to send a product to Jackie Aina to test out speaks volumes. She's an extremely popular YouTuber – but she's "different." By different, I mean: She's not afraid to speak her mind about certain brands & their questionable ethics; she's not afraid to call out brands for their lack of shade diversity; she makes videos with a full face of cruelty-free makeup, or a full face of makeup made by black businesses.

Basically – Jackie is a hilarious, talented, politically correct YouTuber – & I trust her because of her unapologetic reviews. She's extremely open – so for her to say such positive things about Wowder? Again, it speaks volumes.

Right off the bat, this told me that Wowder would be good for those with oily skin, & there would be shades that would suit women of color – yes, even dark-skinned women of color. Great! I was a bit apprehensive, though – would I like Wowder? I have dry skin; I have pale skin. I love highlight & I love looking dewy. Would Wowder appeal to me?

Well, I got to find out a bit sooner than the rest of you. Full disclosure: I am a Glossier Rep, & while I am not paid for this review (or giving this information) I have been sent Glossier products in the past & continue to get sent new products if I make sales quotas as a rep. I was lucky enouh to make my quota (thanks to all of you!) & I got a mysterious email a few weeks ago, from "The Wowder Team."

I wanted to make sure that it wasn't spam, so I reached out to my wonderful community director. I got a winky face, & a bit of a tongue-in-cheek confirmation. Low & behold – my Wowder arrived about 5 days ago, & I have been testing it ever since I got it (quietly, that is). Let's take a look at my first impression photos. First: a letter to me from The Wowder Team:

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Basically: identities were revealed, & there was a box that I was extremely excited to open.

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As you can see, I got "Light/Medium." I was…extremely apprehensive about getting this shade. Turns out – this is the lightest one! & it suits me beautifully. Why? Well, turns out it's actually okay to have a powder that is slightly darker (or the same shade) as your skin, as long as it's neutral. For me, in fact, choosing a powder that is my exact foundation shade could be detrimental if I happened into a paparazzi event – the flashback would be terrible. Should I say James Charles terrible?

My point is – no one's face is "HD-white" – not even me, whitest of whites. So – we start with the lightest shade, which is "Light-Medium." Then there is "Rich" & "Dark/Deep," the shades Jackie used combined. The shades are sheer, so they are adaptable. They're not necessarily universal, but these three shades will cover the whole range of skin tones – becaues of the neutral undertones the powders possess.

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I was a bit suspicious of the color of the powder – & how it would look on my skin – but I had (& still do have) faith in Jackie Aina, so I persisted.

I don't use under-eye concealer, so I don't set my undereyes. I decided to be creative – that's what Glossier's all about, right??? I decided to use it in place of a "face makeup" aside from concealer. So, basically, I used a bit of Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer in Fair or Glossier's Stretch Concealer in Light for spot coverage/coverage in the middle of my face. Then, I would lightly buff Wowder over my forhead, center of my face, & other areas I might want to cover.

Wowder is truly amazing. Take it from an oily-skinned, extremely famous YouTuber like Jackie Aina – & a quiet, dry-skinned, not-famous-at-all writer (????) like me. We both love Wowder! We use different shades, & we use it in different ways – but we both love it.

I've found that Wowder has a blurring effect. It definitely prevents flashback in photos. It's almost like a filter when you wear it. It's buildable – I could see myself wearing Wowder, & Wowder only – I like it best, however, in the way I have been using it the past few days.

What're some other fun facts about Wowder? Read away:

  • Contains diamond powder for dimension; no flat effect here! & no, don't believe the people on Reddit – diamond dust does not hurt your skin
  • It has an airy, weightless formula – it absorbs oil, but vanishes into skin (this is why it's great for all skin types)
  • The "trampoline mesh" that keeps the powder safe = no mess packaging. It's easy to shake out a little; it's equally easy to make sure you're not wasting product, either.

"Does it come with the brush?" 

According to Glossier, the Wowder Brush was "specifically designed to work with Wowder" (I would hope, anyway!!!). The bristles are very soft, but they're also dense – great for a powder like Wowder, or even for a more intense powder highlight. Its shape makes it easy to buff Wowder all over the face, or focus on smaller areas: like under-eyes. Glosser: "The Wowder Brush ($20 USD, $25 CAD) & Wowder ($22 USD, $27 CAD) were invented to work together, so we've made you The Wowder Duo PDP - this includes Wowder & the Wowder brush, which total to $35 USD or $45 CAD. In both currencies, you'll save $7 by buying the duo.

Don't want a powder, but want the brush? The Wowder Brush is available separately! Don't want the brush, but want the powder? Wowder is available separately!

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Is dewy OUT now? Is Glossier being trendy by switching things up? Will they maintain their relevance?

I'm biased – but I think Glossier's here to stay. They're reaching out to more people by releasing Wowder. Now, people with oily skin; people who enjoy a matte finish; people who retweeted or reblogged the Glossier memes (!!) will start looking at Glossier with a more serious eye. Glossier itself said:

"Fresh, real skin is what we’re known for, and Wowder is an extension of that. Still healthy and glowing, but matte where you want it—no more shiny t-zone. We aren’t backpedaling on the dewy look that’s core to our brand (dewy isn’t dead!

we love dewy!). Makeup is a choice. Choose your finish."

Choose your shade. Choose your finish. Choose the way you want to do makeup – or not! I'm here for it – & I never thought I would say that I love a powder as much as I love this one! But I really do. I might be switching my CC Creams out for Wowder & a little concelaer on extra hot, sweaty days. I think my skin will thank me. But now, I can choose a finish – & still shop with one of my favorite brands.

As I type this, Wowder is now available, & you can get it here!!! Get it! tell me what you think. I can't wait to here your opinions on Glossier's latest – & most unique (for them, anyway) product. & while you're waiting for your shipping, here's a few photos of me rocking Wowder last night:

But it comes down to this: if you follow me on social, or if you read this blog, chances are that you have dry/sensitive skin, & you might not normally wear powder. Are you worried about using a powder?

Remember this (while checking out on Glossier.com with your Wowder Duo):

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Love,
Sof ❤

July Favorites: A Whole Lot of Hydration (& Silk, Shimmer, Mint, Honey)

Happy Aug – holy shit, it's August??? Summer??? Didn't we just have the Solstice???

I'm panicking too – but I'm also reflecting on some of my favorite products I've used this July. Most of them are brand new & were wonderful surprises – some are old favorites. There should be at least one that fits your budget! I hope you enjoy a little tribute to the month of July. I'm ready to start testing things for August.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – $25

I heard about Laneige (the brand) thanks to KathleenLights. She'd been raving about their lip mask in several of their videos. I immediately checked them out on Sephora & was shocked by the low prices – & high ratings. I didn't get the lip mask right away, but I was in need of a sleeping mask – this water one looked amazing, & compared to most overnight masks, this was practically pennies to pay.

I was 100% NOT let down by this product. You get 2.3 fl. oz. for $25, & the jar comes packed full to the brim. It's also sealed air-tight – like a yogurt cup, you have to peel off the top – & includes a little spatula for application. Major points for the hygienic packaging & the large amount of product for the price paid.

The first time I applied it, it sank in very easily, felt extremely cooling & hydrating, but didn't feel tacky or sticky – it also didn't stick to my pillowcase, which is a problem I often have when using sleeping masks. I woke up with extremely glowy, bouncy, hydrated skin that had little to no redness (big problem of mine waking up, especially around the nose area).

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Definite repurchase – & a reminder that KathleenLights always puts me on to good products with low price tags. The success I had with this mask led to my next purchase:

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask -$20

Okay – the success I had with my first Laneige product was a direct cause of my next purchase. Now that I knew that Laneige's other products were good, I was ready to try the lip mask that everyone – Kathleen, Instagram beauty bloggers, & the people reviewing on Sephora – was raving about. This has an almost full 5-star rating on Sephora, which is incredible…so I was excited to see what the hype was about.

Again – massive amount of product compared with other brands like Bite or Dior (both have overnight lip masks). A little product goes a very, very long way; it feels a bit like a gloss, just a little creamier. It could be worn during the day – you'd just get some shine, so if you don't mind that, I'd go right ahead & wear it during the day (I have done it!). It smells like cranberries & strawberries, & the consistency surprised me – I thought it would be a harder, balm-like texture. It's very soft, similar to the Dior Creme de Rose balm if we're looking for comparisons. This also comes sealed & with a spatula – again, major points.

According to Laneige, the mask's "exclusive Moisture Wrap™ technology boasts hyaluronic acid and minerals to form a protective film over the lips to lock in moisture and active ingredients. A generous layer of this soothing mask at bedtime helps reduce flakiness so you can wake up to lips that feel refreshed, supple, and soft to the touch." This includes Vitamin C, antioxidants, & fruits like…you guessed it! Cranberries.

The first night I used this, I didn't exfoliate my lips, I just used this product, & this product alone. I woke up for the first time in months with extremely soft, plump lips. I tried it again the next night, this time using the Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Polish first. The results were even better – lips looked healthy, hydrated, full of color, & plump without looking fake (I hate that look).

As someone who's continually dehydrated (thanks, chronic illness!) it's hard for me to find balms/salves that work really well on my lips. Glossier's Balm Dotcom in Rose (or Birthday if I'm feeling fanc) is my go-to for the day time, but it doesn't always work perfectly as an all-night lip mask. This Laneige mask is now a staple in my night routine – & I think it'll stay that way for a long, long time.

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Lip Balms

Now that we're talking lips, let me share with you the three balms I've been using this past month during the day that have been life-savers.

First off – Fresh Beauty Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30 – $25. I know $25 is a lot for a lip balm – but this isn't "just" a lip balm. It can be used on other areas of the face (like the eyelids or cheekbonees or nose) that sunscreen might not settle into so easily. The SPF made a big difference on my lips – protecting them from the sun makes them less chapped, & using this treatment was proof of that. I talked about using this in my post about being at an amusement park for the day, which you can read here, in a lip balm post which you can read here, & also in an SPF post, which you can read here. Just know: it's great. & it is very cute, too.

Secondly – Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom – $12. This was released in June, but I developed new appreciation for it over the month of July. I've been using it as a balm – of course – a highlight, & a lid gloss. The shimmer in this product makes it very multi-purpose. Think of it as a cream highlight, but cheaper. Yes – this balm is permanent collection! The special Milk Bar sticker it comes with, however, only lasts for the summer…so if you're all about collecting limited edition stickers/pins/products I'd hurry up & buy this, since I do believe the sticker is gone by September. Also – remember that Glossier changed their shipping policy! Now you can buy any 2 items or more & get free shipping. That means that you can get two Balm Dotcoms (which is $24) & still get free shipping. The minimum previously was $30. Good stuff! Oh, I almost forgot. This smells like birthday cake, of course – it also tastes like it. 10/10, will continue to use.

Finally – Caudalíe Lip Conditioner – $12. I also included this in my lip balm post, & I mentioned that it's a great little luxury to have. $12 is practically pennies if we're looking at the price range of most other Caudalíe products, & it's a lovely alternative to Balm Dotcom for those of you who live in areas where Glossier is not yet shipping. This smells like champagne, has a waxy texture – which I personally like – & is a lovely little luxury. It looks chic, works very nicely, & is available internationally! Win win.

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WINKWINK CALM Mask – $40 (*PR-gifted)

WINKWINK is an indie brand that's gotten some attention on Instagram lately! They were kind enough to offer to send me a mask, & asked if I had a preference. I told them my skin type (dry-sensitive) & asked them to pick one for me! They sent me their CALM mask. The key ingredients are olive green clay (helps rebalance oil flow, strengthen skin & aid scar-healing); matcha powder (powerful detoxifier); & peppermint (eases swelling, reduces redness and calms itchiness. Also a source of salicylic acid).

Basically, this is a clay mask that detoxifies – but is gentle enough for dry, sensitive skin. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw a main ingredient was peppermint; my skin doesn't always love that "minty feeling" (I know, I'm weird) & I was worried I might get a rash or something. It's a reaction I had (unfortunately) to Lush's Mask of Magnaminty several years ago. It's a me thing, not a brand thing.

Surprisingly – this was incredible!!!!! Truly…incredible. I've used it three times now, & always feel detoxed & clean. I also feel hydrated & cool – but in a good way. This is probably the only minty mask that I actually love & want to keep using – the results are lovely & it really does feel good, to my surprise & delight! Check out their range – there's some other great detox masks. But especially check out CALM. You won't regret it.

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – $6.80

I spoke about this in my brand review of The Ordinary (read it here) & talked about how I think it's the only serum that can truly be a dupe for a Glossier serum (as of right now, anyway). This one is a hyaluronic acid serum, so it's a dupe for Glossier's Super Bounce Serum. Both have plumping, hydrating, soothing qualities – this one just has those qualities for much less.

I love the cooling sensation of this product,  & my skin has been a lot calmer since I've started using it! Even when I did a bit of a product detox, I made sure to keep this one in my routine. I'm glad I did, because my skin looks & feels more balanced thanks to it. Also – order through Beautylish! Faster shipping, comes with cute stickers – & also, you often will get unexpected samples (ex. I got tiny Bioderma bottles with my last order).

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Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy™️ - $56

Okay – expensive, I know. But also – there was a sale when I bought it (a $15 off special & I was curious!) so it wasn't only a good deal when I bought it…it's an old friend.

I used this on & off throughout the winter but didn't really pay it much attention. It was the first "warming" mask I'd ever used, & I was confused on how exactly to use it. I put it in the back of my cabinet & didn't take it out much.

When I was straightening up this month, I found it again, & decided to give it a serious go. The goopy, honey-textured mask (it's called Honey for a reason) is golden-yellow, until you start massaging it into your cheeks. It melts into a creamy white, & warms your skin; not uncomfortably…just right.

The mask contains "honey (a natural humectant used since ancient times), propolis (an antiseptic found in beehives), and amino acid-rich royal jelly. Echinacea GreenEnvy™ is a unique variant of echinacea purpurea, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical cichoric acid—a potent, natural antioxidant that enhances hydration and the purifying benefits of honey. Glycerin attracts moisture to the skin and provides hydrating effects for a suppler appearance. " Basically, it's a product sourced from honey & derivatives of honey. It's supposed to plump, clarify, hydrate, & renew – all at once.

In my opinion, this mask is a 2-3 day process. In fact, Farmacy recommends you use it 3 times a week. It's detoxing, so you might see some small breakouts the first day after using it. After I used it three times, however, I could see that my skin was clearer & more transluscent. It's not drying, either – so it's great for dry-skinned people. Just be aware that warming masks don't work well with some skin. Patch test a mask like this if you're not sure how you'll react to it!

Personally, I now adore this mask & will be getting a refill – even though this time it'll be more expensive. Farmacy's released a whole honey line since this mask was put out, & it all looks beautiful & worth a try. This mask, however, will be purchased first.

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Dr. Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel – $39 (*PR-gifted)

I don't have many water-based moisturizers or masks. Well, not until this month, anyway! Dr. Jart was kind enough to send me their Hydro collection (this moisturizer as well as an eye gel & sleeping mask) so stay tuned on a complete review of those products.

I do know already, however, that this Hydro Gel is my favorite of the trio (that's why you're seeing it here). I've only tried one other water-based moisturizer, & that was the Sunday Riley CEO. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it – I only had a travel-size, & I definitely didn't feel like it was worth getting a full-size. I felt like I wasn't maintaining hydration; the gel sank in, but was I getting anything out of it?

With this one, I know I am. It's incredibly cooling & soothing – "hydro" is right. It truly feels like a second face wash after I've put this on. I've been using this as a day cream ever since I bought it; it pairs beautifully with my daily sunscreen: Glossier Invisible Shield. Both are incredibly lightweight & invisible.

This product made me reconsider water-based moisturizers! It showed me that they do work; you just need to find the right one. I know that this was gifted, but I will be purchasing this myself if it continues to work so beautifully.

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Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in "Mars" - $28

Milk Makeup's been around the block a few times – but they really started getting hyped after they released their first Holographic Stick: "Supernova," a holographic, purple-y opal highlight that caught the eyes of YouTubers, Refinery29, & beauty blogs amass. Everyone wanted that holographic shade. I never ended up getting it – I own the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit & didn't feel as though another silver-purple highlight was necessary.

My interest in Milk's Holographic Stick became a bit more intense when Milk announced their addition to the collection: the shade "Mars," described as a golden pink. It was said to be universally flattering, great on the deepest & lightest of skin tones.

I looked at the shade online, in videos & photos & decided that this highlight was targeted for those with deeper skin – that's who mainly featured this product, anyhow (I'm not trying to say that marketing is a bad thing; on the contrary I support & try to highlight brands & products that market to all skin tones).

When I swatched it in-store this past month, I decided to take the plunge. It felt very smooth, & I figured I could use a little fun in my life.

Happy ending! The stick is extremely soft, doesn't pull on the face (it might take off foundation if you're applying it directly & have a heavier amount of face makeup) & leaves a duo-tone, peachy-pink sheen. It's not oily, it doesn't smear – it looks dewy yet unique; subtle enough for my cheekbones but cheeky enough for my eyelids. I love this & was shocked on how well it worked on my skin tone – just as beautiful, but very different from some of the swatches I'd seen on deeper skin tones.

I think this is a great product if you're looking for a bit of a fun highlight that's easy to apply, travel with, & can be multi-purpose!

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The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil – $9.80 &Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil – $22

Clearly, I'm on a rosehip oil kick. Why? Well, it's because rosehip oil is one of those oils that works on every skin type – it does a lot of things, & none of them are bad. It reduces redness & inflammation, soothes skin, reduces texture, clears pores (which reduces acne) & a whole lot more. Basically: if you have oily skin, use rosehip oil. If you have normal skin, use rosehip oil. If you have…you get my point.

So, these are the two options I have tried. I first tried out rosehip oil with the Mario Badescu Nourishing Oil. It was good! It reduced redness & cleared pores – it always felt a bit runny, though; hard to pat onto my face or even mix into creams.

This past week, I got The Ordinary's Rosehip Seed Oil…worlds of difference. This oil's vial is UV-protected, so the oil doesn't lose potency over time due to light. This oil is extremely pigmented & rich in texture…just two or three drops is all you need for your face.

The Ordinary's version of rosehip oil is less than half of what the Mario Badescu one costs…& it's been changing my skin in the most positive of ways: more hydrated, less irritated or red, clearer, too! Even though it's only been a week, I know this one's the winner. This is a great example of cheaper product being much more effective than a higher-end product. They're the things we all want & strive to obtain! This is one of them.

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Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream – $47

I have raved about this product before, & for good reason: it's extremely hygienic (similar air-tight packaging to Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream), extraordinarily hydrating, & beautifully soothing.

This was a cream I used during the day during my skin detox. Only a cleanser, a toner, a serum/oil, & a cream…this was my day cream! Chaology Beauty (the company behind Saturday Skin) has developed a special formula: one that is in every single one of its products. According to Chaology, Saturday Skin's effectiveness is from "the Cha-7 es Complex, an exclusive peptide formula that promotes skin's natural regeneration process…increases collagen and elasticity while reducing melanin production for a flawless, stress-free complexion."

Basically, every Saturday Skin product ever makes you glow, lifts your face, & keeps infections & irritation away. This is how I've felt using this product. It does the job just well enough that absolutely nothing is imbalanced. Definite repurchase, definite old friend.

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Slip Silk Pillowcase in "Pink" – $79 (*PR-gifted)

I know, I know!!!! This is definitely not one of those things you just casually go to pick up. But silk pillowcases are amazing for your skin, hair, & scalp – especially for those with compromised or sensitive skin. Slip was so kind to send me their (very luxurious take) on a silk pillowcase! There are cheaper options (still wonderful, too) on Amazon for those who can't take this kind of purchase plunge.

Hate being that person, but yes: I really do feel more refreshed. My skin is softer & more relaxed – no pillow wrinkles anymore! My scalp is softer but not rubbed to redness – something I might notice more accutely, now that I'm you know…bald. I'm not sure about the anti-aging claims – remember I'm still just 20 – but my skin does feel softer, looks brighter, & feels more pampered. Going to sleep feeling like a king won't hurt your skin – ever.

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That's all for this month! Things were brought back, new things arrived – I was surprised by new & old products, several times! I'm excited to see what August will bring.

What have your July favorites been? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Sof ❤

[Safe] Sun Fun: How I Kept Sun Safe at an Amusement Park

Amusement parks! The terror of some, the delight of others. Personally, I'm one of the people delighted in roller coasters, stomach drops, & the "I'm gonna fall" feeling.

IMG_4017Safe to say that I feel at home in amusement parks! I do! Just this week I went to one with my family. I hadn't been for three years & was excited to see what was new.

Why hadn't I been in three years? The summer I was diagnosed I was told I shouldn't be in evironments like that; the second summer I was out of state vacationing; this summer, finally…I would be able to return.

Obviously, many things drastically changed for me over the past three years. I'm sicker (boo) I'm more fatigued (boo) & I am very sensitive to the sun. It's incredibly important that I wear sunscreen; the medications I take increase risk of skin cancer. SPF is no joking matter for me!

So, without further ado, here's what I wore on my face to the amusement park!

  1. A tiny dab of CLĒ Cosmetics CCC Cream – SPF 45 (!!) in the shade Light
  2. Spot concealing with the Tarte Shape Tape Concealerin Fair (I use a little brush to get rid of blemishes or redness under my nose)
  3. Dabbing Milk Makeup's Glitter Stick on my cheekbones & eyelids (no longer available)
  4. Tapping a bit of Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze on the bridge of my nose & a tiny bit on my cheeks
  5. Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen – SPF 30 (this is a multi-purpose SPF product, but primarly a balm)
  6. Glossier Invisible Shield Sunscreen – SPF 35
  7. Glossier Boy Brow in Clear
  8. Milk Makeup Face Mist
  9. Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Crush 

There's a lot of debate on whether SPF 50 is truly more effective than SPF 30 or 35; there's not much research out there either. Most dermatologists agree that once you hit a 30 or 35 number, sunblocks don't really get much more protective. They all agree that sunscreen is important to apply frequently – especially when outside. That's why I brought my Invisible Shield – I'd never tried putting it on over makeup, but I would be doing that at the park. The gel formula hinted that I'd gently pat it into my face with no issues with my makeup moving. I also had the SPF from CLĒ's CCC Cream on my face, too –  safe to say I was very sun-protected.

 

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I started out the day fresh-faced, of course: here's a look at what I looked like on the way – 10 a.m.!

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I have to note that the weather was beautiful. It was partly sunny, but it was very breezy – sometimes even cool. Still: the sun's rays are there, & I knew I had to take care of my skin no matter what.

Around 2 pm (few hours later) we stopped to eat & regroup. I reapplied my sunscreen…this time OVER makeup. The sensation? A cooling gel that is easily tapped into the face – & doesn't feel sticky, even over makeup. I was super impressed by this. I wasn't wearing a full face, true – but it didn't mess up any spot cleaning I'd done with concealer & it didn't mess up my highlight. Usually, a sunscreen would mess up concealing. This one did not.

I finished up with a spray of Milk Makeup's Soothing Face Mist & we were off again. Here's my look, mid-day, after sunscreen re-application:

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Not much – if anything – moved around. I was very satisfied with the power of the sunscreen & the Tarte concealer. My brows were fine – I was wearing Boy Brow, after all…& everyone knows the brows stay put with that!

A few more hours, a bit more sun – I kept reapplying my Fresh lip balm & hoped that my sunscreen would last even though I only once reapplied. The day ended quickly, & we started to head back. I started to look at my face, wondering if redness or breakouts would pop up.

Nope!!! Nothing at all. Here's how my face looked on the way back home:

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So…conclusions?

  • Chemical sunscreens are my thing from now on – especially this one. I like the gel consistency & I love how it absolutely doesn't mess up any makeup (Peach & Lily has some great ones I'm dying to try)
  • If you spend a lot of time in the sun: TRY CLĒ COSMETICS' FACE MAKEUP! Both their Essence Air Cushion & their CCC Cream (the one I used at the park) have high levels of SPF – they work for a lengthy time – & they work well.
  • When out in the sun, SPF lip balm is more effective than regular. I haven't ever noticed a difference inside…but walking for some hours under the sun is a different matter. I kept reapplying the Fresh balm – it smells & feels great, just like their original balms – & my lips were soft & crack-free on the way back. Hack: apply it to your browbone area/bridge of your nose/other small areas. It's a multi-purpose SPF; safe to use all over the face! Just don't put it in, you know, your eyes.
  • I'm really getting into Milk's Face Mist. I love the way it feels going on. It's very cooling, so: great for summer! It's also seemed to clear my skin a little bit. The only issue I have with it is that it often stings my face for a few seconds after the coolness of the spray has dispersed. Anyone have similar reactions? Do you know what it's from? I haven't gotten a rash or anything like that; it just stings a few seconds after I put it on

Well…that's about all the groundbreaking conclusions I've come to today! Remember: amusement parks/fairs/other outside summer activities are great fun…but they're not as much fun when you're boiling like a lobster. I personally escaped this year with zero (0!) redness or ruddiness to my face. I just had a bit of a neck burn. That's nothing a little aloe gel won't fix, right?

What are some of your favorite products to use when you know you'll be spending some time outside?

Love,

Sof ❤

The Lip Trio I’ve Been Loving Lately

"Blurry lips" have had a bit of a moment this summer. Whether it's dabbing a bit of creamy lipstick into the center of your lips & patting it outwards or carefully dropping a red, ink-like substance into your lips – I say into because it literally sinks into your lips as you watch – waiting in satisfaction for the slight blur it provided the outer lines lines of your lips.

Blurry lips look effortless, easy, & windswept. They look beautiful on days out; they look sexy when paired with a good liner & mascara. They can be done all kinds of ways. Here's a look I've been loving lately:

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This is the easy, care-free, blurry look I'm going for. However – I was about to go out for the evening when I snapped this photo. I had to make sure my lips would last at least an hour or two – it's no use to keep applying a product that simply flies off in thirty minutes or less.

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To make sure my lips stayed blurry…but also stayed in place, I took a few extra measures here. I used the Stila Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer Stila Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer – described as a "two-in-one aqua balm treatment and primer to keep lips looking and feeling full and plump." I don't think this is necessary if you don't struggle with dry or chapped lips; this is a product I use simply because it's like a lip balm underneath a lipstick or liner – without the greasiness. This one melts into my lips, & makes sure they have enough hydration to keep on a lip color without flaking or feathering. I don't think it's a "necessary" product & I have done many a look without this…but if you struggle with chapped lips, this is a nice primer for you.

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For a little definition, I used MAC's Lip Pencil in Burgundy. I know there's a lot of controversy over buying MAC, & I understand why; this pencil was purchased before I did research on brands, so I do still use it. To replace this one, though, I'll probably get Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in the shade Blackmail. The liners are very similar in effect & quality, & Urban Decay is a 100% cruelty-free option.

When I apply the liner, I'm not 100% precise with it; I'll make some areas a bit darker & others a bit lighter. I just make sure to define my cupid's bow & the lower bottom lip. Everything else is fair game. I blot the liner over with my finger before I use Glossier's Generation G Lipstick in Jam – my favorite shade, besides Zip. Jam is a great autumn/winter shade because it can be built down to a quite dark, berry, "jammy" shade. It's also gorgeous during the summer when lightly patted into the lips – which is exactly what I did for this look. It glosses over the feathered look the liner gives; softens some harshness. Then you're ready for the final step!

I used the Milk Makeup Oil Lip Stain in the shade Feelz to finish off my look. This product is very self-descriptive; the oil gives a good bit of sheen to the lip; it is not, however, glossy or sticky. This sheen eventually gracefully fades into the color already onto the lip. It's beautiful by itself; I also love using it as a lip topper. Whether sheen or matte, this product is a great finishing touch & ensures the color will stay for hours – thanks to the "stain" in the actual name of the product.

 

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I've swatched all three of the lip colors used on my hand below. I love this plummy shade at all times of the year; it just depends on how heavy a hand you want to use, really. I love using these products alone or combined – all three or just one. They're great products – all three are super easy to apply…even if you use more than one.

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The end result is slightly sexy, illusion-of-wine-stained lips. I like pairing it with a few sweeps of reddish-bronze eyeshadow. It looks sleepy – again, we're going with the effortless theme, remember? It's summer.

What's your favorite summer lip/eye/cheek? Tell me about it!

Love,

Sof ❤

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#FindYourLight: All About Glossier’s Haloscope Highlight & What It Does (& Doesn’t Do)

It’s been more than a year now since Glossier pulled their first corporate “Beyoncé” & released their highlight, called Haloscope, into the wild.

It made perfect sense at that time – strobing was in, “glowing to the gods” & “highlight so blinding you can see it from space” was the kind of aesthetic people were trying to achieve. So, of course Glossier would launch a highlight around that time.

Like most things Glossier, Haloscope is effective without being over the top, beautiful without being gaudy, simple without being dull. It just…is. Haloscope is the highlight you can carry in your bag (however big or small) when you don’t have time to finish getting ready in the comfort of your own home. It’s the highlight you can wear to work or school without getting that “well, that’s a lot of makeup!” – but it’s also the highlight you can apply with a heavier hand for that evening summer (or winter) party. It’s practical, it’s elegant, it’s perfect.

Glossier first started out their Haloscope campaign with two shades: Quartz, described as “a universally flattering, pearlescent glow,” & Topaz, “a healthy, sun-kissed glow.” They were marketed for being flattering on all skin tones & types, for being easy, for being enhancing, nourishing, & easy (before I get into product description, let’s finish with the last shade, shall we?).

Glossier then released a “limited edition” Haloscope in the shade Moonstone, described as “an opalescent glaze.” It only came in the 2016 Black Tie Holiday Set – you couldn’t get it as an individual item. But then…people loved Moonstone so much (people like me) that Glossier officially made Moonstone a permanent part of the Haloscope collection in March.

So, here we are, in July! A year & one month after Haloscope first launched. So…why am I talking about it again? This is kind of old news, after all.

Well, it’s mostly because Glossier revamped their Haloscope campaign – two new gorgeous girls, lots of swatches on different skin tones, &, best of all, a “space theme” – something I find ironic, given all the overboard comments on “highlight from space,” etc.

Now, on Glossier’s home page, you can find this:

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So, we have the “best in the universe” thing playing with the “universal shades.” Clever! But…do all three really work on all skin tones? Having tried all three, I’ll go with “yes.”

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From left to right: Topaz, Quartz, & Moonstone
I’m not the only one who thinks all three shades are universally flattering. Take it from Kim Johnson, Glossier’s Community Manager: she was featured on Into The Gloss last December, demonstrating how she uses all three Haloscope shades – at once – to amp up her look for a night out. According to Kim:

“I highlight with Haloscope in Quartz, Topaz, aaand Moonstone. Yes, I use all three shades of highlighter. They’re like children—how can you possibly love one more than the other? Answer: You can’t. I apply Topaz on the sides of my nose and blend outward for the sunburnt look and in a line on my cheekbone right above where I’ve just contoured. I follow up with Quartz down the bridge of my nose, on the cupid’s bow and in the corners of my eyes and finish off with Moonstone in a half halo above the Topaz towards my brow bone. Blend it all out with your fingers and boom (read the complete feature here).

My kind of gal! I’m not a bronzer person – & I never will be. Okay, sometimes I’ll use a little bit during the summer…but it never feels quite right on me. More often than not, I’ll end up regretting a bronzer purchase (& I only have two), & wish I spent it on a highlight instead.

So, do I have all three at home with me right now? This very moment? Sadly, no. I have Quartz & Moonstone still in stock – Topaz ran out a while ago. I will be repurchasing it, however, after this campaign brought back to mind how all three Haloscopes can be the only makeup you wear (other than a skin tint or foundation). For example: Topaz as a bronzer, Quartz as a highlight, & Moonstone on the lids, inner corners of the eyes, & browbone. Done. Glowy, slightly flushed, & extremely effortless.

Now, for some examples: the new campaign girls, wearing (all three) Haloscope shades.

Moonstone:

Quartz:

Topaz:

As you can see, they all look really good. Both of these models have drastically different undertones & skin tones – but Haloscope still works its magic. I really don’t know how it works so well – someone as fair as me would usually steer very clear of a shade as dark as Topaz – but it just does.

Maybe some of the magic is due to its formula. I remember being verrryyy skeptical about the formulation of Haloscope when it was first released. As you can see in the photograph below, Haloscope has an outer halo, & an inner ring:

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Haloscope’s construction
The outer core is infused with genuine crystal extracts – either Rose Quartz or Golden Topaz, depending on the shade you choose – which is what gives Haloscope its glow, sheen, & its all-day staying power. The inner core (what looks like a lip balm) is a solid oil core of vitamin-rich moisturizers: Coconut, Castor Seed, & Sweet Almond oils.

Yup. Coconut oil.

I actually cringed when I saw that this is what half of the highlight was composed of – I’ve always been more than a little afraid of putting coconut oil on my face (it’s comedogenic…for me, at least) so this was a big balking point for me. When I ordered my first Haloscope in June of last year (shade: Quartz) I hurried around my house, worrying that the oils would melt the highlight before it got to me – or, even worse, that the oils would mess up my skin.

Neither happened. My Haloscope arrived, safe & sound, & I tentatively swiped it on my cheekbone. Then swiped again. I checked for a yellow/orange undertone – something I can occasionally get when working with a champagne-y color. Not there. I went out for the day, checking my reflection every once & a while. Still on. Still on. Still on. It stayed the whole day – despite the heat, despite my doubts, despite the coconut oil (seriously…still can’t figure that one out).

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Okay, so enough about the product information: What do I personally love about Haloscope?

Several things. One: the stick formula. Anything in a little tube or stick (ex. Cloud Paint or Haloscope) makes life a lot easier. Haloscope’s stick packaging allows me to very quickly swipe on the day’s glow & run out the door – great for when I don’t have much time but still want to look awake & put-together. It allows me to throw one in my bag, to dab on the center of my lids if I’m going out right after an evening class & don’t have time to go back home to amp up my makeup. It gives me a very dewy, glowy finish without having to layer a bunch of powders. Basically: it’s a very subtle strobe (or medium, depending on how much product/how many shades you use) that never looks sweaty – or powdery! It doesn’t fade out to sheer glitter, like so many cream or stick highlights – thanks, moisturizing inner core! Best of all, there are now three glowy, gleaming shades – all of them multi-purpose. I’m going to have to snatch up Topaz soon, & finally complete my trio. As for right now, check out the swatches (one swipe each!) of the two Haloscopes currently on my makeup table

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Moonstone on the left, quartz on the right. As you can see, Moonstone has a sheerer, more transluscent finish, & is also cooler. Quartz is more opaque, more golden; I’d call it a light champagne. I love wearing both of these on a daily basis!
So, once again, Glossier proved to me that I could do it! I can wear orange blush (thanks, Cloud Paint in Beam), I can wear a highlighter that has coconut oil in it without a hint of a clogged pore or a blemish.

I don’t usually talk as much about Glossier’s makeup products as I do their skincare products. That’s on me! There’s more than Boy Brow going on at Glossier’s labs – so let me start with reintroducing you to Haloscope.

Oh – & if you’re unsure where exactly to apply Haloscope…don’t worry. You can put it pretty much anywhere (that’s what I do), but if you really want to know the best places, Glossier has it mapped out for you:

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Gleam on!

Love,

Sof ❤

Shop all Glossier here! P.S.: Me this past weekend, wearing Haloscope in Quartz on my cheekbones, browbone, & inner corners of my eyes✨

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Some SPFs That Will Keep You Cute & Safe This Summer

Happy official summer, everyone! Now that we’ve had our first global heatwave (hello, reminder that the planet is getting warmer), it’s truly time to get serious about sun protection.

Yeah, I was joking about the planet getting warmer (except not really…because it is), but it’s no laughing matter. As summers (& winters) get warmer, we lose the protection of the ozone layer, which makes us more susceptible to UV rays – which cause cancer. Sun burn is bad, & cancer is worse. Of course, we’re all at risk for skin cancer – but making an effort to wear SPF on your body & face every. Single. Day. Will drastically reduce that risk.

So! I’ve already posted about a few sunscreens & SPF products, but here’s an even long lineup. Some of them are just plain old sunscreen; some of them are CC cream-type products; one is even a moisturizer that contains SPF. Two in one, perfect for those lazy summer days. I hope one (or more!) of these suit you, & even if none of these are particularly appealing…please wear sunscreen every day! You’re doing your own body a huge, huge favor.

SPF Products With No Tint 

These will give you sun protection with no tint, coverage…whatever you want to call a foundation product! Just plain old sunscreen kind of SPFs.

Dr. Jart Every Sun Day UV Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Dr. Jart is, all around, a very solid brand. It’s K-Beauty at its finest (check out their Beauty Balm, their Ceramidin line, & their rubber masks if you want to be blown out of the water). This isn’t my favorite product of theirs, but its a product my mama purchased for me when we found out my new meds would increase my sensitivity to the sun. SPF 50 is about as powerful as it gets! There’s some debate over whether an SPF 50 is truly more effective than an SPF 35, but if you’re paranoid about being protected, go with the 50 & your mind will be at ease. This is a physical sunscreen, so its active ingredients are zinc oxide & titanium dioxide – ingredients that sometimes leave a white cast or a tacky feel. On my skin, I haven’t had either of these issues with this product. Just remember I have fair skin, so this sunscreen might leave a white cast on those with deeper skin tones (feel free to comment below if you’ve tried this sunscreen – or any of the others – & what your experience with it has been).

This sunscreen has a slight sunscreen-y smell, which I don’t like. At the same time…it is a sunscreen…plus, it has powerful SPF, doesn’t break me out, & leaves no stickiness or white cast. The price is reasonable for the amount you get (& the strength of the SPF). If you’re a fan of Dr. Jart’s products & aren’t wary of physical sunscreens, I’d say give this one a go! Even though most physical sunscreens are a hit or miss for me, I’ve had no issues with this one.

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The Every Sun Day Sunscreen – with simple (yet elegant) packaging, a trademark of Dr. Jart products
Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35

One of the newer sunscreens to hit the market, the Glossier Invisible Shield is a chemical sunscreen – that means that it does not contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, the ingredients that are classically found in a physical sunscreen. This also means that it leaves no white cast, even on the deepest of skin tones. Glossier made this clear by casting a dark-skinned model in their Invisible Shield campaign.

I enjoy this sunscreen a good deal! It has a pleasant smell (citrusy), so if you’re bothered by the “sunscreen smell” this is a good option for you. It’s super lightweight – the texture reminds me of Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Gel – so I like putting it on if I’ll be wearing a full face of makeup. It sinks right in & I know that it won’t interfere with how my makeup sits on my face. You’re getting less product than the Dr. Jart sunscreen for about the same price (Dr. Jart’s is 1.7 fl. oz.; Glossier’s is 1 fl. oz.), but if you’re looking for a sunscreen that definitely won’t clog your pores or feel sticky/heavy on your skin, it’s worth it, in my opinion. Not my favorite Glossier product, but it’s a sunscreen that’s worth mentioning, especially for readers who have deeper skin tones.

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Glossier Invisible Shield – a step away from their classic #millennialpink packaging (the classic “G” logo remains on the top of the product’s cap)
Farmacy Green Screen Daily Environmental Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 30

I own three of Farmacy’s products (this one, the Honey Potion mask, & their Green Clean double cleanser) & have nothing bad to say about any of them. This is also a physical sunscreen, so it does contain titanium dioxide & zinc dioxide, but I get no stickiness, white cast, or sunscreen-y smell from this product. It’s a slightly lower SPF than the Glossier one, & significantly lower than the Dr. Jart, so this might be a reason for its lack of sunscreen-y scent. It’s also worth noting that it’s in the same price range as the Dr. Jart & Glossier – but has slightly lower SPF.

Still, I have nothing bad to say about this! It claims to be non-greasy &, interestingly, says it helps with fading dark spots. It’s definitely non-greasy, & I really enjoy the scent of the product; it’s super fresh. Another defense for the price of this product is that it’s cruelty-free & formulated with all-natural ingredients (side note: Glossier is also cruelty-free). &…I do think it helps fade dark spots – at least, the ones that you get from blemishes. I noticed a decrease in dark spots after I used this 5-6 times. It’s also great for sensitive skin – actually, all of Farmacy’s products are. I think it’s even less sticky than the Dr. Jart one (which isn’t sticky at all) & I enjoy the smell of this one a lot, too – which says something, since I usually despise the scent of most physical sunscreens. I’d say grab a sample & see how it feels! I have nothing bad to say – & you’re paying for 1.7 fl. oz rather than 1 fl. oz (which is what you get from Glossier Invisible Shield). Plus, it’s 100% organically-sourced & cruelty-free.

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Farmacy’s Green Screen – I like the packaging! It’s similar to the Honey Potion face mask – both have a wooden cap/top
Origins A Perfect World™ SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea 

Full disclosure (as always!!): I got this sent to me by Origins (thank you!!) & was initially skeptical. When I put it on the back of my hand, it felt too thick to be a day cream…it seemed to be more suitable for night use. However, it was contradictory – because who needs SPF at night, right? Still, Origins has never done me wrong (& yes…I’ve purchased 99% of their products myself. I’m being honest!), plus the white tea made the cream smell really good – so no sunscreen-y smell that I keep harping on about. I decided to give it a go at night, first, to see how my skin reacted to it, then if it was okay, try it during the day.

Night time = good. Day time = good. It’s not sticky at all – not even a little bit! – & leaves no white cast on my skin. It smells amazing, it’s great to use on no-makeup days…& it’s also great to use on makeup days, when I just don’t feel like putting on moisturizer & SPF. This one does it all. I love it, & will be purchasing it myself when I run out – but I don’t think I’ll need to for a while. A little goes a long way. FullSizeRender.jpg-31

SPF Products With Tint 

So…yup! These are SPF products. With tint. For days when you feel like you want face makeup, but don’t want an extra step to protect your face from the sun. But still want to protect your face from the sun.

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Erborian CC Crème – $44

I like this product pretty okay! That’s probably the best way I can describe it: pretty okay. I will say that it was an introduction to CC Creams to me. Like… the guy at Sephora patiently heard out my rant (“Nothing matches my fair skin, I’ve tried every foundation & BB cream in the book & I still end up looking orange. Or dry“) & then guided me over to K-Beauty, placed this in my hands, put it on my face, & I left with my mouth wide open. I’d never seen a product that adjusted to one’s skin tone. That blew my mind (& yes…it was in January of this year. I’m behind on this trend, I’m aware).

However…after looking into more CC cream-type products, I kind of lost my love for this one. It wasn’t a perfect match for me. Some days it would look really good; others, I kind of felt like a Mattel doll. It worked, but it didn’t move with my face. It does have SPF, yes – but it’s SPF 25. I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing this without some extra protection. Also, this is a good product if you’re pale – but Erborian only carries two shades: Clair (my shade) & Regular. Regular is in no way a shade for deeper skin tones. It probably would suit people a few shades darker than me. Erborian in no way is covering the shade range that it should. I get that it’s a niche brand, & I get that K-Beauty doesn’t usually have darker shades…but I know of other K-Beauty brands that do. So, Erborian…I love your holographic packaging, & your CC Cream works pretty well for me. But I’d love to see a larger shade range (like…come on!!) & I’d like to see you amp up that SPF a little, too. Xoxo, Gossip Girl.

CLĒ Cosmetics CCC Cream – $31

Okay…yes!!! I first heard about CLĒ through one of the Glossier girl’s Instagrams (@ceciliagorgon), & was intrigued. It’s not often you hear a girl with a deeper skin tone (I believe Cecilia wears a combo of Deep & Dark in Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint/Stretch Concealer & Medium Deep in CLĒ but I’m not positive) talking about a CC Cream, so I checked out their shade range. Muuuuchhh better than Erborian’s. I haven’t seen them on all skin tones, but CLĒ has five shades. I know I’m always going to be the lightest shade in anything, but I like to look for greater diversity in shades now that I’m reviewing things for people with various skin tones & skin types.

Another plus: the CLĒ CCC Cream (CCC is for Color Control & Change) is $31, but has SPF 45 (!!), moves more easily on my face (it becomes part of my face rather than sitting on top of it), & boasts to be an all-in-one: a foundation, primer, & sun protector. I have to say they’re right. I’ve used this with & without a primer; sure, if I want an extra glow maybe I’d use that Becca Backlight Primer – but I don’t need one for it to stay on all day. & that’s great. In short – this is cheaper, is more likely to have your shade, has higher sun protection, & sinks into your skin rather than sits on top. !!!!

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White packaging with rose-gold detailing; super simple, super elegant
CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Air Cushion – $49

For those of you who want sheer coverage but MAX sun protection! The Essence Air Cushion was the first cushion foundation product I ever tried. I really like it – especially if I combine it with another product (sometimes it’s the CLĒ CCC Cream, sometimes the Glossier Skin Tint, sometimes the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer…it depends!), as it gives sheer coverage & sun protection without feeling sticky. This is so blendable that it’s guaranteed you’ll never have a “foundation line.” It comes in 4 shades – one less than the CCC Cream, has SPF 50, &, yes, you might be gasping at the high price tag – but that’s because the cushion comes with one compact already filled & a refill in a sealed bag. Essentially, you’re getting two products (& you can purchase cushion refills only – without getting rid of your packaging! here).

This won’t give you as much coverage as the CCC Cream. I’d say it’s somewhere between a CC/BB cream & the Glossier Skin Tint (if you know how that works) for a coverage reference. But…this is a great product for summer. It’ll even out your skin, give you enough coverage not to worry about redness or uneven skin, & protect your skin from the rays to the max.

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An up-close look at the Essence Air Cushion – refill not pictured. Mirror in the compact, so you can apply on the go (ideal for road trips)
Dr. Jart Cicapair™️ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 – $52 (or $18)

Okay. I really, really love this stuff. I love it so much. It’s probably my ideal face makeup. Not my ideal face makeup when I’m having a bad skin week, let me be honest – but if I have a little redness & maybe one or two blemishes, I use this…& only this. It smells like freshly mown grass, goes on pale green but adjusts to your skin tone (like a CC cream). Yes…it’s expensive. I got the full-size version, but after using it for a bit, I feel like I absolutely could’ve gotten the $18 0.5 fl. oz. size & been just as happy. A little goes a long way. It absolutely obliterates redness from my face (even around & under my nose, which is a problem I always have with my dry skin), &, best of all, it moves with my face – if you can’t tell by now, that’s what I always look for in a face makeup product. I never feel like I have anything on; it sinks in like a moisturizer & doesn’t highlight any dry patches, doesn’t break me out or feel sticky (despite the SPF)…it doesn’t do anything I don’t want it to do, & it does everything I do want it to do. I just wish the SPF was a little higher. But…hey. I can’t ever have a perfect face makeup product, right? (Maybe so. I’ll keep looking)

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The pale green color of the Cicapair Treatment in the jar. It seamlessly blends & melds into your own skin as you apply it (with brush or fingers)
There you have it. That’s a lot of SPF combined. In the end, I’m at the very least moderately happy (hopefully happier!) with all of the products I mentioned. Most of them I love, some of them I absolutely adore. But all of them give sun protection to your face, which is super, super important!! It’s important year-round, of course. But if you’re out tubing on a river or lake, or going on a sunrise hike, or riding a horse in the Rocky Mountains – or just sitting in your own backyard – you’ll be getting more sun than you would in the winter. So it’s crucial to keep your face shielded. Wear SPF! &, if you want to embarrass your siblings, wear a bucket hat, too!

Happy summer. I love you all!

Love,

Sof ❤

 

I Love__…June Favorites!

Hello friends! I’m back, hitting you with my June favorites post. This is going to include some skin care, some makeup, & a nail polish & a bag!!! I’m truly branching out. Amazing! I hope you enjoy these mini reviews. I love all o these & am not faking (as always!! Why would I!).

The Ouai’s Morning After Kit

I jumped on the bandwagon! It’s the one everyone’s been on for a while, but my ears perked up once I saw Ouai’s Rose Hair & Body Oil all over my friends’ Instagram feeds, as well as my own discover feed.

Okayyyy…I get it! I shaved my head again (you all know this…& stay tuned on a post about that) but I used these before I shaved it & will still be using a few even now that I have. I bought the Morning After Kit because it had three products that I was super interested in trying:

  • Rose Hair & Body Oil – it’s an oil…for hair & body! It is super Instagram-able. I get why it’s all over my feed…it’s truly gorgeous. I love anything & everything rose-scented, so I was excited to give this a go. Also…the color of the product looks like rosé. Very elegant, very summery. This is not a greasy-feeling, overwhelmingly sticky or slimy oil! Very lightweight, I only needed two small pumps for my whole head (now just one!) & the smell is absolutely gorgeous. I know people have reservations about rose scented products because of the whole “that’s my grandma’s potpourrie bowl” thing but it’s 2017, people! I promise this won’t give you potpourrie hair. Also…super shiny effect. It feels healthy on my scalp & hair. I really like this & even though I have no hair now, I’ll be getting full-size once I run out of this mini (also, stay tuned for a post on what i do to my hair/how i take care of it when it’s shaved down to almost nothing!)
  • Dry Shampoo Foam – okay, this stuff kind of blew my mind. I’d never liked dry shampoo; it always felt too sticky or cruncy or stiff. This one is in an aerosol can, so it comes out like shaving cream. “Foam” is right – this stuff is like meringue! It smells gorgeous. Everyone describes it as “gardenia florals” & I’d have to agree! It’s definitely not overpowering, but it’s more scented than the Rose Hair & Body Oil. Regardless, it really got rid of dirt/oil, made some real volume in my hair, & is fun to use (I like foamy products if you haven’t noticed!).
  • Finishing Crème – again, another love! There wasn’t a product in this kit I didn’t love. This has a very subtle scent; it’s a lightweight hair lotion that gives hair shine – also makes hair look healthier! Easy to apply on damp hair.

Biossance 100% Squalene Oil 

cannot rave enough about this product. It’s meant for face, body & hair – it’s organically sourced, cruelty free, has no scent (so if you’re sensitive to scents, this one is for you!) & makes everything better…not to be dramatic. Seriously, though! I put it on my hair (again…coming soon on how hair cair is still necessary even when it’s super short), my body, & recently, my face. I was worried it would break my face out, since the skin on one’s face & one’s body are different (the face is 100% more sensitive). Never fear. This oil hasn’t let me down, ever. It’s good on my face, my hair, & my body. It has 4 & 3/4 stars on Sephora, too…I’m not the only one.

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Hair products galore!
FOREO LUNA Mini 2 

This is a cleansing device sent to me by FOREO (thank you so much!!). It really changed my cleansing game, as I’d been using a charcoal sponge to cleanse previously. I recieved it in the beginning of June, fully charged it, & it still is going strong! It’s meant to be used once a day, & I use it in the evening. My skin is even clearer than when I was using the charcoal sponge, which I appreciate – since it’s a device that’s significantly more expensive! I like playing around with the different settings, depending on how my skin feels that day – & it stops every 15 seconds to let you know you should move to another area to cleanse. Very meticulously done, very well thought-out. I really love this! Oh…& now I can shower & wash my face at the same time. I didn’t like bringing my sponge in the shower. Loves it. (Read my review of FOREO products here!)

Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom

Truly the product of the month. One of my favorite Glossier products is their Balm Dotcom. This flavor/shade (??) was a game-changer. Holographic packaging, a shimmery balm that can be used on the lips, lids, or high points of the face as a highlight. Created in collaboration with Milk Bar (the famous bakery in NYC renowned for their special birthday cake), the balm smells & tastes (!!) like birthday cake. You get a special sticker (pink, with silver glitter, & balloon-shaped) – but only for the summer. The balm is here to stay; the sticker is a summer collaboration with Milk Bar – & a summer collaboration only! Get the sticker while you can (looks amazing on a phone) & if you want a full review of the Birthday BDC, click here!

CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Air Cushion

Sheer coverage. SPF FIFTY. FIFTY!!!!! FOR A FACE MAKEUP PRODUCT! No greasiness, comes in various shades (unlike most K-Beauty brands), doesn’t leave a line, thanks to the cushion applicator, & gives a dewy glow – it’s like Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, except in a cushion. & with SPF 50. Yupppp. Also…stay tuned for some special CLĒ stuff I’ll be doing soon 🌚

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Glossier’s Birthday Balm Dotcom, CLĒ’s Essence Air Cushion, Essie’s Perfect Posture 
Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream

Saturday Skin keeps doing it! This is an airtight moisturizer, so nothing can get to it. Contamination risk? Zero. It feels velvety smooth & soft; the texture is so nice that I can wear it during the day (under makeup or just by itself) or as a night cream. It’s hard to find a moisturizer that can do day & night. This one does day & night…& it does it beautifully. Also: the cream has a light, fresh, citrus scent that is infinitely relaxing.

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask

I absolutely love Herbivore, their products, their aesthetic, & their standards – they’re vegan & cruelty free, so for any of my readers/followers who are looking for skin care/makeup that’s vegan/cruelty-free, this is the brand for you!

I’d had my eye on this Herbivore Blue Tansy mask for a while, but restrained myself…since god knows I have enough face masks. However, about a week ago, Herbivore had their 6th birthday, & to celebrate that, had 15% off any purchase – & included a deluxe sample of the Blue Tansy mask in each order. I couldn’t resist! I ordered their Pink Clay Cleansing Bar (stay tuned for a post on solid facial cleansers), & eagerly awaited my package.

I was NOT let down. This is an amazing mask, I’ve used it quite a few times already, & I can really see an improvement in the brightness & clarity of my skin. It’s super lightweight – described as a “natural clarifying and cooling gel mask that gently exfoliates, smooths, and resurfaces skin.” “Gel” is absolutely correct. Although the mask is a deep, ocean-blue in the jar, it gives only the slightest blue cast to your skin when applied. It tingles, which is normal for any product containing AHAs, but is not unpleasant or uncomfortable. I love using this in the evening: I cleanse my face, apply the mask, brush my teeth, hop in the shower, come out, & rinse off the mask. This is the perfect window, since it takes me 15-20 minutes to do all that, & Herbivore recommends you leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes! If you’re new to AHAs, you should start with 5-10 minutes – just so you don’t risk a burn or a bad reaction! AHAs are great for the skin, but if you’re sensitive, it’s better to start slow.

Damn you, Herbivore – you really got me hooked, & I know I will be purchasing the full size once I’ve used up my sample. However, it’s a generous sample. I’m not too worried about running out that quickly! (For 25% off ANY Herbivore purchase, click here.)

Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser / Milk Makeup Matcha Toner 

Okay. I haven’t done these enough justice (I don’t believe you’d find a photo of these babies on my Instagram) but they’re really amazing. I love both! I love the toner more, since it’s 1) super soothing, cooling, & reduces redness (like a Milk Cooling Water Stick – but actually intended to be a toner) 2) the world’s first solid toner, which is pretty amazing 3) is TSA-friendly – something I’m always on the lookout for! I love the cleanser, too – just not as much as the toner. Don’t get me wrong – I really like it. It smells amaaazing (the toner is scent-free) & I always know I’ll wake up with clear, fresh skin after using  it. I just am speaking out of paranoia here, since I’ve had no issues with it…but the cleanser does have some sort of micro-beads in it, so I’d be nervous to use it every single day in fear of breaking open my skin. Still, this is a suspicion that hasn’t occurred – I’m just voicing why I don’t use it every single day. I’d definitely take the cleanser & toner if I were to fly somewhere. It’s easy, it’s clean, & saves you a lot of extra little bottles & containers. Milk’s been putting out some very neat products lately (aka Glitter Stick for Pride Month!!) & I think this falls into the “neat” category.

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Milk Matcha Duo, Saturday Skin’s cream, Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Mask, my FOREO in the background (as well as some hair product!) & Essie’s Perfect Posture in the foreground

Essie Gel-Couture Color: Perfect Posture 

I love this color so much! Essie calls it a periwinkle poweder blue – I prefer baby blue. Whatever you want to call this shade, it’s amazing – delicate yet unique. It makes your nails stand out, but doesn’t make them look streaky, like so many white nail polishes might do. Basically, it stands out in the best way, stays on forever (part of Essie’s gel collection) & the name is adorable.

Pop & Suki Camera Bag

I finally did it! My very own Pop & Suki Camera bag. I got it in Noir, didn’t choose to customize it, but got a luggage tag (also in Noir) with the pink letter “S” on it. Simple, minimalistic, so easy to carry around – &, despite its small size, it really does fit a surprising amount of things. At the same time, the bag’s small size encourages you not to overpack, which, as a serial overpacker, I truly appreciate. Did I mention that they’re the cutest brand ever? I want a P&S/Glossier collab now, please! They’re the brand queens of #millennialpink (they also have makeup cases, if you’re interested).

I wouldn’t have bought this bag myself, but I got birthday money – & I am glad I used it on this baby. Let me know in the comments if you’d like a “What’s In My Bag” post!

That’s it, everyone! My favorites for the month of June. As always, I’m being completely, 100% honest. I’d never post about a product I didn’t like – especially not for a monthly favorites type of post. Then there’s no point!

Let me know in the comments what your June favs were!

Love,

Sof ❤