Holy smokes! July has completely gotten away from me. I had a plan for this blog, really, I did (Welcome, by the way! :D), and it did not begin with a Favorites post. But here we are, right? For now, I’ve decided I’ll be posting my monthly favorites on the first of each month so that I’ve had the full 28/30/31 days to pick and choose. And also because I procrastinate, but that’s beside the point.
I’ve been a beauty blog lurker for quite some time, so I’ve got some ideas about how I’m going to run things around here (uh-huh, we’ll see), but it might take some time for this to really feel like my own thing, so I hope that as you read this you are patient with me while I come into my own writing style.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about my supposed future growth, so I’ll just get on with it.
It has just been too damn hot for me to want to spend an hour and fifteen minutes with a 300 degree iron around my head. I just can’t do it. I won’t! Plus, I had some pretty serious heat damage to my hair because my flat iron decided to go wonky, and I’m not kidding when I say that the hair around the crown of my head was maybe THREE INCHES LONG. WTF, indeed. So, I vowed to use as little heat as possible and spend the summer with my naturally curly fro. I hated it at first, but you know, I’m coming to terms with it. Anyway, the point is, this product has totally helped cushion the blow.
I’ve used a few Shea Moisture products before, but I’ve never gotten on with one quite like I have with this. It’s been a Godsend, seriously.
It’s a cream product but it holds my curls just like a gel would, without being hard or sticky, and it smells sooo good – sweet like a fruit smoothie, kind of peachy-mango-ish. Amazing.
I wouldn’t say it adds a crazy amount of shine, but I have noticed significantly less breakage, which could be due to this, or the fact that I’ve been no-heat for practically 2 months. Either way, I’m on board.
Also, it’s quite a lot of product for what you spend. I think it’s about $10 in the drugstore, and it’s 12oz/340g, and would easily last a good 3 or 4 months.
Next up are two more hair products. As I said before, I had some pretty serious hair damage, and while I was trying to figure out what exactly as causing it, I was also trying to find something that would help stop it.
I’m trying to take a real stand against sulfates here, guys. They’re nasty little buggers, and I want no part in it.
Let me drop some knowledge.
Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl ether sulfate are foaming agents that can be found in a ton of things from soap and body wash, shampoo, detergents, fruit fly killer (ehhhh) and shark repellent (eehhhhhhhhh….). It can be extremely drying (hence the need for conditioner after you shampoo), and can alter your perception of sweetness, like in toothpaste. All in all, I’d just rather not. So, sulfate free. Yes!
Anyway, I feel like the shampoo gets my hair really clean, almost squeaky clean, and the conditioner makes my hair soooo soft. And bonus, you only need to leave it in for 1-2 minutes! Normally I ignore that advice and leave conditioners and masks on my hair for the length of my shower, but this one really does work the best in those one or two minutes. For a girl who prefers showers under 10 minutes, this is ideal.
And the smell is heavenly – kind of coconutty and fresh, and just slightly sweet. Loving them.
Next is a lip product that I really don’t see myself going without for the rest of my life. When I discovered this, it was like I’d just found the fountain of youth, except it’s a lip balm, and won’t keep anything but my lips looking young. Close enough.
I don’t have much to say about this other than it is just really incredible. I only use it before bed, because it’s quite thick, and it just hangs out on my lips all night, working its magic. When I wake up in the morning there’s still a tiny bit lingering, so I know it’s been doing its job all night long. And the smell is lovely, like honey and citrus.
On to a lip product I have been drooling over for months. I don’t know how long ago these were released in the UK, but they had them looong before us poor Americans did. So when I saw the shiny geometric tube sitting in my local Walgreens a few weeks ago, I did what any reasonable beauty junky would do – pounced and bought 3. That’s right. I’m talking Rimmel Apocalips, although here in The States we call them Show Off Lip Lacquer (It’s just not the same, is it? Sigh.)
The shade I’m loving is (400) Big Bang. When you put it on, it’s a bright-ish red with cool undertones, but as it fades it goes a bit pink, which suits me fine. These go on really smooth, and this has been my go-to red for the month. There are 2 negatives I’ll mention though. First of all, they smell absolutely horrid; kind of like burning plastic. I actually wasn’t sure I’d get on with these at all when I first tried them, but you get used to it (sorta). That, and they smudge kind of easily. That’s a small point though. I’d say this is pretty high gloss, and it really just adds a little something to an otherwise plain face or outfit.
Lip product number three is a Revlon Lip Butter in (063) Wild Watermelon.
As you can see, I’ve been loving this product for quite a while. This will actually be the first lip product I’ve ever used up, so I’m kind of looking forward to buying a new one :p. Anyhow, this is just a no fuss coraly-pink that is somewhat sheer on the first swipe, but easily buildable. It’s just the perfect anytime color, and I can’t think of the last time I didn’t have it in my bag.
One side note, I’m not sure whether this is a limited edition shade or not, as it came out with Revlon’s summer collection, but I’ll swoop up another two, just to be on the safe side.
The last lip product, I swear, is a new one by Rimmel Moisture Renew, and is in their fall collection.
(560) As You Want Victoria is a medium berry pink with cool undertones. I really love the Moisture Renew line because they don’t make my lips feel dry or flaky, but the downside is that these don’t really last very long. I think I got about a 2.5 hour wear time before I noticed some fading and gathering in the lines of my lips. That’s a minor point, as I don’t mind reapplying throughout the day, and I’m glad I picked this one up because I anticipate getting a ton of use out of it come autumn.
On to blush.
I’d never really dabbled with cream blush before this summer, but after constantly catching my eye in the drugstore, I picked up a couple Revlon Photoready blushes, this one in (200) Flushed.
Pardon the packaging.
This is just a nice, bright pink blush. Although it’s cream, it feels like a powder on, and it’s quite easy to work with. I use a fairly light hand, because it can be kind of easy to go overboard with this one and look like a painted freak, but with the right touch it’s just very fresh and nice looking.
Ahh, mascara. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect one, and I think I may have found it in CoverGirl’s Clump Crusher Mascara (810) Black Brown.
Again, excuse the packaging.
I read a lot of mixed reviews on this mascara before purchasing, but what I’ve found is that this creates a decent amount of volume at the roots, some length, although not a ton, and really feathers out the lashes so they look light and natural. This is a really great mascara for an everyday casual look.
The nail polish I’ve been wearing for the majority of the month is (420) Sweet Lavender in Rimmel’s 60 Seconds line.
It’s a very pretty pale violet color, and I find it goes well with a ton of outfits. It is nearly opaque after 1 coat, but I always go with two, and it’s pretty with a gloss or a matte topcoat. It’s just a sweet pastel that I’ve been reaching for nonstop.
I’m not entirely sure what it is about this product, but I’ve been reaching for it consistently since about February. This may be TMI, but I get serious dry patches around my nose, even in the summer when my skin changes from normal to combination/oily. Anyway, this stuff does a decent job at keeping that area in check. It’s not a super thick moisturizer, which I actually prefer in the summer, but it still did a good job when it was cold out. It’s just an overall nice product.
The last of my beauty favorites are these Birchbox Bobby Pins I received as a beauty extra in my July box.
These are the first bobby pins I’ve ever owned that have actually been able to hold my fro in place. Plus, they’re totally cute. I love them, that’s all.
And finally, I have a few non-beauty favorites to mention.
The first is a shop I found on Etsy whilst shopping for scrapbooking supplies. Moose Art Paper Goods & Packaging Supplies sells some of the cutest washi and fabric tapes I’ve come across, and some designs I hadn’t seen before, at a really reasonable price.
They’re based in Singapore, so I figured shipping would be a bit steep, but it wasn’t at all, and I got my order in about 4 business days, which was great.
Next is a show that was recommended to me by a coworker.
Moone Boy is absolutely hilarious. It’s about a 12 year old boy growing up in the ’80s in rural Ireland, and he and his imaginary friend get into some shenanigans. I cannot recommend this enough.
And finally, this cake I made for Independence Day.
How lovely and festive is that? I’ve been really into cake baking lately, and whip one up any time an opportunity presents itself. I couldn’t wait to unveil this at dessert on the 4th, and it didn’t disappoint. There are recipes all over Pinterest, but very few of them are any help at all. I’d recommend this site, although I used this frosting to frost the outside, and on top of the white layers, and used raspberry jam on the red layers. It was sweet and tart and delicious.
And that’s that (phew)! So long, July. Helllooooo, August :D.