Top Ten: Summer Favorites

It’s that time of year again when the sun starts setting a little earlier and those back to school lists start cropping up, but I’m not quite ready to let go of those long, warm days yet (or to go back to school next week for my last semester of grad school). Instead of jumping the gun for fall, here are my top ten favorite products that I turned to all summer long.

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Brow Wiz ($21.00/0.003oz) – Believe the hype. I avoided this little thing for ages because I couldn’t believe it was really any better than the other brow pencils I’d been using (MAC, ColourPop). Oh how wrong I was! This brow pencil is so fine, it’s nearly effortless to shape and fill in your brows with precision. The formula is fantastic as well, not too soft to make a mess and not so hard that it’s difficult to use either. I’m not sure there’s anything better on the market. I use the shade Medium Brown.

Screenshot 2016-08-21 11.38.38
photo from

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll ($12.95/3.5oz) – An old favorite, I recently restocked on this polenta-based exfoliating cleanser and can’t remember why I ever stopped using it. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth, and it’s gentle enough to slough away dry patches without making any new ones. After cleansing to remove my makeup, I use a nickel-sized amount to gently scrub my face and neck. My makeup sits so much better on my skin after using it!

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Powder ($20.00/0.14oz) – It took me ages to even test out the little samples I had of this loose powdered sorcery, it seemed so intimidating, but I will never look back. This microfinish powder is so finely milled and looks absolutely flawless on the skin. I use it to set my under eye concealer and around my nose where I’m prone to creasing to keep those areas looking perfected (and poreless). It’s super lightweight so it’ll never get cakey, which makes it an excellent choice for special occasions and photos. I like to apply with my RealTechniques setting brush.

MUFE HD Powder

TARTE Tarteist lip paint ($20.00/0.20oz) – At this point, I was pretty sure I’d tried every liquid lipstick worth trying…and then I got a sample of Namaste in a Sephora order. For how terrible the shade names are in this line (see below), the formula is outstanding. It has a mousse-like texture, like an extra luxurious version of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, but unlike the SMLC this formula does dry down completely and won’t budge for ages. The best part? If you do happen to eat some of it away, it layers seamlessly for on the go touch-ups.

Tarte Tarteist lip paint in ‘Selfish’
L to R: Namaste, Selfish, Cray Cray, Adorbs

BENEFIT Rollerlash mascara ($12.00/0.14oz) – This wasn’t really on my radar when it first launched, but I recently snagged a deluxe sample and it has become my daily go-to. It’s super black, very wet (my favorite kind of formula), and the rubber wand is perfectly curved to encourage your lashes to do the same. I now use this mascara every day for work and have completely ditched my lash curler for the 9-5.

Benefit Rollerlash mascara

TOO FACED Born This Way concealer ($28.00/0.23oz) – I have a love-hate relationship with concealers, in that I love what they do but hate experimenting with new formulas. I finally decided to give this one a try after hearing so many good things, and I don’t think I’ve touched either of my MAC concealers since this one arrived. It’s got great coverage in a creamy liquid formula that blends beautifully and lasts all day. It looks so lovely on the skin and doesn’t add texture or crease throughout the day [with setting powder] which makes it a new powerhouse formula that should be in everyone’s arsenal. I wear shade Fair. Also note, the range here is a bit more balanced than the Born This Way foundation range which runs very yellow/warm.

Too Faced Born This Way concealer in Fair

DRYBAR Detox Dry Shampoo ($13.00/1.4oz) – Completely serious, this might be the only dry shampoo I use for the rest of my life. With my thin, dehydrated hair, most dry shampoos do the opposite of what I need. DryBar’s Detox is absolutely perfect in absorbing excess oil and adding volume without leaving a sticky feeling, and easily gives you an extra day or two between washes. The smaller size bottle fits perfectly in my handbag for a little “juj” before happy hour.

MAC Studio Fix Pressed Powder Plus Foundation ($28.00/15g) – Not really a new product for me, this was my go-to foundation for nearly a decade before I started using liquid and cream products. I recently picked up a new one to help speed up my morning routine, and might love it now even more than I did back then. The powder is smooth and soft, it applies seamlessly and doesn’t draw attention to any of my dry patches even with its matte finish. Set with Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix and it won’t budge all day long. I wear shade N4.

MAC Studio Fix powder in N4

SEPHORA COLLECTION Bronzer in Anguilla ($17.00/8.5g) – Regardless of your skin tone, it can be difficult to find a good match for the varying degrees of warmth or coolness. For me, a cool-toned pink girl, bronzer has always been my white whale. No more! This shade is perfect for adding a little dimension to my face after applying foundation. It blends well, so no chunky patches or streaks, and adds a super natural matte and semi-sheer tan wherever you may need it. This line has several great shades, but I specifically use Anguilla.

Sephora bronzer in Anguilla

SUGARPILL Pro Pan ($10.00/3.5g) – I’d been waiting so so long for this release and I couldn’t be happier! I absolutely love Sugarpill as a brand and their eyeshadow formula blows so many of the bigger brands out of the water. Previously, all single shadows were sold in individual packaging (like MAC singles), but as of this month you can now buy all of their pressed shadows in a magnetized pro pan for your z-palette too! If you haven’t been feeling very inspired lately, these shades will light a fire under you. I’ve already got four and have several more on their way.

Sugarpill Pro Pans in Buttercupcake, Love+, Acidberry, and Home Sweet Home (clockwise from top)

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