What I’m Using: August 2019

Wow. WOW. I can’t even believe I’m remembering to write this post, as this has been one of the wildest, longest-and-shortest months of my life. It was only one month ago yesterday that we hit the road for our new home in California, and with this month has come a cross-country road trip, a week of training in Texas, a new apartment, a new job (not counting my husband’s new job, too), a new church, an upcoming pet adoption, and just all the general weirdness that any transition brings. And a four-hour trip to the DMV …

July was all about being on the road and sticking with travel-friendly products, but August has been more about adapting to a new climate and tweaking skin and hair routines accordingly. My new job will also involve early mornings, which means easy, impactful makeup that I can count on in a rush will be key. Here’s what I’ve been relying on (so far) this month:

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The air dry that actually looks good: Virtue The One For All 6-In-1 Styler

Literally all air-dry stylers I’ve tried have simply air-dried my hair with mild, uneven wave and a lesser amount of frizz than usual. Big whoop. They’ve never left my hair with uniform waves or texture that’s made me feel like I can actually walk out the door without heat styling. Virtue’s 6-In-1 Styler is the first- I mean THEE FIRST – air-dry product that actually works for me. But it doesn’t leave me with waves … it leaves me with curls! So fun! I’ll work a dime-size amount into wet hair and it doesn’t matter if I leave it down or up after that; there’s basically no frizz, and lovely curls are easily coaxed out with just a little scrunching. Or who knows, maybe it’s the sea air I live near now.

The instant awake: NARS Blush in Exhibit A

I’ve used this blush for years on brides and more “intense” makeup looks on myself, but what NARS Exhibit A really is is the most underrated tool for natural makeup. Being so outrageously bright on first look, you would expect a blush like this to be anything but subtle, but just a tap actually provides the most gentle, complexion-brightening warmth that makes you look lit from within. It complements any skin tone and almost works as a bronzer in that it gives that kind of “lift” to the skin. Something like this is perfect for when your complexion looks dull and tired, and it looks awesome with the extra bit of color all this sunshine has given my face!

The easiest sunscreen on Earth: Sun Bum Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30

The thing with me and sunscreen is that I hate it. I don’t know why or how not even a Glossier sunscreen can make me diligent about it, but sunscreen just feels like the biggest inconvenience in the world. And I know it’s easy to say that until you have melanoma, so I get it, but good heavens I have got to find a formula that doesn’t make me whine like a four-year-old.

And honestly? I think this may be it. And why? Because it’s in stick form! Duh! This is the most throw-in-your-bag, no-brainer formula that just swipes on clear. No white cast, no tapping it around with your fingers. Just wash your face, add your toner and essence, swipe this on, and add makeup if you like. Plus, it smells a little like banana, which is nice and vacation-y.

The recovery mode serum: Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

I don’t think I’ve ever eaten out as much as I did in July. Between fast food on the road, constant restaurant visits during training, and having to grab takeout frequently as we filled our fridge, I managed to really stuff myself full of chicken fingers all across America. Top that with stress and sleeping on all varieties of scratchy pillowcases that aren’t yours, and you’ve got breakouts. I got a couple of those giant zits that charitably refuse to fully surface, but mostly it was tiny little bumps all across my cheeks and jawline- tons of ’em. Mostly, my skin just felt totally rough and uneven to the touch and if I picked at any of it, I wouldn’t be able to stop.

This Peach and Lily serum gets lots of Instagram buzz and has great reviews, but when I used it back in the spring, it didn’t do much for my skin. In fact, it seemed to cause breakouts whenever I used it. Out here, however, its combination of skin-clearing niacinamide, peptides, and inflammation-reducing extracts like East Asian mountain yam have seemed to do the job during this odd season for my skin. The results seem more like what the product claims- excellent hydration and visibly calmer skin, with cleared breakouts! I’m also no longer on a diet of chicken fingers, so, there’s that too.

Bonus! My July makeup selfies

I managed to really do my makeup (as in taking twenty minutes, starting post-shower with a skincare routine) about three times in July. I used a few of the products mentioned in this post and the previous one, but of course there were others added. I went with the same general look each time: a bronze-y smokey eye, a peachy cheek, and a nude lip. I also managed to find decent lighting to capture it each time ūüôā The second one has no filter, while the other two have about forty percent of a filter.

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The Supers Are Here!

It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of famed beauty blog Into The Gloss. ¬†I’ve been reading and commenting since its early days, and it still is probably one of the first four websites I hit up each day when I want to do a little leisurely browsing just to get the creative juices flowing. ¬†It’s also no secret that out of Into The Gloss has come Glossier, a skincare and makeup brand inspired by what real girls (and guys, quite frankly) need in real life. ¬†Glossier’s marketing is genius, their branding is fresh, and their products are BOMB. ¬†You may have read my review for their brow product, Boy Brow, that I posted some time last year. ¬†I’ll be going on my third tube of that stuff in maybe a month or so.

So when I was contacted by an editor at Into The Gloss asking if I would be interested in receiving Glossier’s newest product a week before it launches to try it out and spread the word, I very, very,¬†very quickly said “GIMME”.

Just kidding. I said a very professional why-thank-you-I’d-be-glad-to-help kind of thing. ¬†With probably too many exclamation points.

But it was in the response I received after that, that I knew I’d hit truly the jackpot- the new launch consisted of not one, not two, but three¬†new serums. ¬†And as a tribute to the original supermodels from the 1990’s days of yore, these new serums have been dubbed The Supers. ¬†Because let’s face it- Kendall, Gigi, and Bella would be nowhere without the original Cindy, Naomi, and Linda.

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If you’ve never used a serum before, you may find that they’re a great way to level up your skincare routine as they can deliver very concentrated ingredients to target specific concerns. ¬†Prior to receiving the Supers, I’d been using a vitamin C serum to treat dark spots and improve my skin’s texture. ¬†However, it leaves sort of a film on my face that doesn’t make applying sunscreen or makeup very easy. ¬†I can always tell when I’m not a huge fan of a product when I forget to use it everyday, or even every week. ¬†I’ve had this serum for a while and I’m only halfway through- I can’t blend makeup very evenly on top of it and I can’t put moisturizer on top of it without it rubbing off. ¬†Absorbency is key.

Now on to the Supers. ¬†My first observation was one of relief- trying to meet the needs of every skin type in one kind of serum is incredibly hard, and I am so glad that Glossier really went for it and created three serums and not just one. ¬†I mean, does everyone use the same kind of moisturizer? ¬†Do even you use the same exact moisturizer every single day of the year, day and night? ¬†Of course not. ¬†So why would creating one type of serum make sense? ¬†Everyone’s skin is different, and even our own skin’s needs change from season to season. ¬†In the winter out here my skin becomes extremely dry and dull, whereas in the summer I’m exposed to the sun much more and my eating habits aren’t as great thanks to nights out and restaurant food, which typically means greater acne risk. ¬†So, a combination of three different serums to meet a variety of needs is a dream to me.

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Here’s what each serum is meant for, according to the press release I received from Glossier and from left to right as pictured above:

Super Glow¬†– Vitamin C brightens and Magnesium energizes for days when you didn’t get enough sleep or your skin looks sallow. ¬†It evens skin tone and creates a light-reflective complexion. ¬†The water-like texture immediately absorbs into skin without a trace.

Super Pure РNiacinamide soothes redness and Zinc helps calm blemishes.  Junk food and stress are other skin-disrupting triggers that Super Pure helps counteract.  The light, water-gel formula quickly absorbs into skin.  It helps let go of irritation and flushes out impurities, including excess sebum that builds up inside pores.

Super Bounce¬†– Hyaluronic Acid plumps skin up with moisture and Vitamin B5 brings elasticity back to tight skin for supple softness- the “bounce” you want. ¬†Good for skin that’s depleted from blasting A/C or high high heat. ¬†The smooth, milky texture soaks into skin without any stickiness or residue for instantly softer skin.

Here’s my very, very, very shorthand interpretation of each of these: Super Glow is for anti-aging and dullness, Super Pure is for acne and skin congestions, and Super Bounce is for dryness and roughness. ¬†All three can be used to both prevent and tackle a variety of issues, or perhaps just one can be used daily¬†to treat something specific. ¬†It’s really up to you and what your skin needs. ¬†Here’s what I did …

I chose to use Super Glow each night after removing my makeup, washing my face, and before applying my night cream. ¬†Its consistency¬†is just like water so I admit it’s not very “fun” to apply- no yummy texture. ¬†Also, I’d place the dropper right on my skin and apply the serum directly, quickly patting it in. ¬†Otherwise, if I placed it on my fingers first, it would absorb right into them and would never reach my face. ¬†In the morning, my skin looked refreshed with a light glow. ¬†A notable dark spot on my right cheek seemed to improve along its edges throughout the week, too (and I hadn’t used my previous Vitamin C serum consistently enough to track such changes). ¬†Out of the past six nights, I’ve used Super Glow four nights.

In the morning, I chose to cleanse my face and then apply Super Pure right after applying toner. ¬†Super Pure has that nice whoosh texture- it absorbs very fast and leaves skin ever so slightly mattified, from my perspective. ¬†I liked using this in the mornings because I am always guilty of eating a bit of salty food late at night, and this week was no exception. ¬†I’d hoped to counteract¬†the havoc my popcorn consumption my wreak on my skin by using this, and it did seem to work. ¬†I had no major blemishes throughout the week to track for effectiveness, but my pores were less visible after application and the little bumps I get on my cheeks (the telltale sign of my salty snacks) settled down after about two applications. ¬† ¬†Out of the past six mornings, I used Super Pure on three of them.

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I chose to save Super Bounce for the weekend because I had a feeling it would be my very favorite of the Supers, and boy am I glad I did. ¬†It’s definitely my favorite with the quickest payoff in terms of making your skin feel “yummy”, as I so love to say. ¬†This is the most viscous of the three serums, and “bounce” is a completely appropriate term for describing its texture and affects on your skin. ¬†I love using my favorite skincare products right before applying makeup, so I cleansed and then prepped my skin on Saturday and Sunday with Super Bounce. ¬†Whew- my skin looked faboosh! ¬†Glossier definitely delivered on the promise of improved elasticity with this one. ¬†And in the winter out here, I know this stuff will not leave my side- soooo hydrating. ¬†I’ll probably go through a whole bottle just getting through December and January alone.

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I’m going to continue to use all three of the Supers in tandem to see their long-term affects, but I’ll keep saving Super Bounce for weekend makeup prep because I know it’ll really be a lifesaver once the air gets drier. ¬†My main focus will be on dark spots and anti-aging with Super Glow, and fighting little breakouts and pore clogging with Super Pure. ¬†For long term results, I’m most excited to see what Super Glow will do with my dark spots. ¬†For immediate results, I’m loving Super Bounce for its instant softness.

So there you go! ¬†And if you’ve often thought about trying a serum but have been scared away by the expensive price tags, here’s some encouragement- each of the Supers only costs $28, and all three as a set costs just $65. ¬†To put that into perspective, Caudalie’s least expensive¬†serum costs $50. ¬†Ole Henriksen’s least expensive¬†serum costs $50. ¬†The price tag for the Supers, I’ll admit, had me pleasantly surprised.

Let me know if you decide to pick one up, or perhaps try the whole set! ¬†And I want to hear what they do for your skin over time. ¬†The Supers go up for grabs on glossier.com Monday morning, probably at 6AM Eastern time. ¬†So like, in four hours or so. ¬†You’d better get some sleep.¬†¬†xo, MR