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Summertime Lovin': Favorite Beauty Products of the Moment

While I don't want to face the reality that summer is over... I need to accept it. Goodbye beach trips and shorts weather and not having to worry about dry, flaky skin at noon.

And since it's the end of the season, it means it's time for me to reflect on my favorite beauty products I tried this summer! I'm not sure if it's because I didn't try all that many products, or if I tried a lot of mediocre products, but it was a struggle for me to come up with 6 favorites. There weren't as many contenders as there usually are. Nevertheless, because there was less competition it was much easier for me to pick the winners! So here are my 6 favorite beauty products I tried this summer!





1. OMI Brotherhood Verdio UV Moisture Essence SPF50+ PA++++

$9.95 - $14.90 for 50g/ 1.7 oz via alphabeautyUK eBay storefront & Beautius
Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate), Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Bisethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (Tinosorb S), Ssodecyl Neopentanoate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Benzoate (Uvinul A Plus), Octocrylene, Coix Lacryma-jobi Seed Extract, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Moringa oleifera Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Acrylates / Alkyl Acrylate C10-30 Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Tocopherol Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Carbomer, BHT, Disodium EDTA , Phenoxyethanol

Can liking obscure Japanese sunscreens be a thing? Because it's definitely a thing for me.

This sunscreen is free of alcohol, silicones, essential oils, and added fragrance. It also provides superior protection with 4 different sunscreen filters (Tinosorb S, Uvinul A Plus, Octocrylene, and Octinoxate) at SPF 50 PA++++. It has calming and soothing ingredients like job's tears, green tea extract, aloe, and moringa extract. It's "resistant to water & sweat" (delivers on those claims in my opinion.) And on top of that, it's elegant IRL too! So not only does it look good on paper, it performs well too.

It has a light, lotiony consistency that provides hydration but doesn't feel heavy on the skin. Thankfully, it doesn't have any sort of white cast! It's also easy to layer without pilling.

I know that laundry list seems almost too good to be true, but the skincare gods have truly blessed us with this release. Oh, another perk? It's not exorbitantly priced either! It's much cheaper if you buy it in Japan (about ¥600.00 which is about $5.50) but even online, it's within the $10-$15 mark.

I bought mine from Alpha Beauty supply via eBay but I'm happy to see that it's now being sold at Beautius! I've bought from both retailers and considering the products come all the way from Asia, they arrive relatively quickly (between 1 or 2 weeks.)


2. Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream (PR)

$58.00 for 2 oz via Sephora & Youth to the People
Ingredients: Purified Water, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Octyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Propanediol, Stearic Acid, Rhodiola Rosea, Ocimum Tenuiflorum (Holy Basil), Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha), Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Mono Laurate, Squalane (Olive), Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chineses (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Pentapeptide-59, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Maltodextrin, Carbomer, Mixed Tocopherols, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Panthenol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Oil, Caramel Color, Xanthan Gum

So far I've had really good luck with YTTP products. Their lighter moisturizer was actually one of my favorites last spring, and their clay mask was part of last year's summer favorites (neither PR gifted.)

This has basically been my go-to nighttime moisturizer for the last 2.5 months. My skin is pretty normal in the summer, but it's still prone to becoming dehydrated overnight because I like sleeping right in front of the fan. This moisturizer kept my skin hydrated all night long, even with the fan in my face.

It's creamy, absorbs well, plays nicely with oils (read: doesn't pill), and just overall is kind to my skin. It also has a ton of fun ingredients like mushroom extracts and adaptogens! It doesn't have a very strong scent (no fragrance or essential oils in the formula.) Tbh I think this is a moisturizer that could work for all skintypes. I think as the weather starts becoming cooler and drier, I could easily wear this in the daytime. It doesn't have any silicones so it should play well with most sunscreens! Plus even though it is deeply moisturizing, it doesn't have a particularly thick texture so it doesn't feel heavy on the skin.

If I do wear continue to use it as a nighttime moisturizer in winter (if I haven't finished it up by then) I think it'll work perfectly under my favorite Cosrx rice sleeping mask!



3. Rituel De Fille Celestial Eye Soot in Ara (PR from the Detox Market)

$38.00 for oz. via the Detox Market
Ingredients: Ricinus communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Mica [CI 77019], Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Titanium Dioxide [CI 77891], Silica (Silicon Dioxide), Tin Oxide [CI 778161], Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Hexylene Glycol

You know when you've been meaning to try something forever, and then when you finally do it totally lives up to the hype and you wonder why the heck you waited so long?! That's me with this eye soot.

This is the most etherial eyeshadow in my stash. I had the hardest time capturing a swatch of it, because it's so unique. It has an almost sheer base with sparkles that shift between gold and pink.
It's easy to blend as an all over lid shade. It wears well layered over powdered shadows and even works as a winged liner. It's very versatile and I've already gotten a ton of wear out of it. When worn over eyeshadow primer it lasts 8+ hours on me! Without eyeshadow primer, it starts heavily creasing after 4-5 hours.

The only thing I'm not a fan of is the packaging. It's very tiny and deep, rather than wide and shallow like most shadows. BUT then I thought about it and perhaps that's so it doesn't dry out as quickly? Will the lower surface area prolong the shelf life? Who knows? Either way it means I can't dip my finger into the shadow without scratching it with my nails, which means I must use a brush every time.

I'm a big fan of the one and done eyeshadow look and cream shadows, in particular, have been my go tos over the past year. This one and the Chanel one in New Moon I featured in my last winter favorites are perfect for my super casual, no makeup makeup look.

P.s. I did include a quick swatch of the shadow, but I don't think it does it justice. It looks a lot more intense and dynamic IRL.



4. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in Shade 6

$44.00 for 1.0 oz via Sephora, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, & Beautylish
Ingredients: Water, Hydrogenated Didecene, Mica, Glycerin, Propanediol, Squalane, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Isoamyl Laurate, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyacetophenone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Glycosaminoglycans, Hoya Lacunosa Flower Extract, [May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891)

Is it a primer? Is it a highlighter? Is it a tinted moisturizer? I honestly don't know but I use it as all three! Sometime's I'll wear it under foundation, other days it's my only base product, and occasionally I'll dab it on the high points of my cheeks to add a lil' dewiness.

Basically, it's a very sheer skin tint with a very dewy finish. It lightly blurs my acne scars and evens out my skin. I can't really say it extends the wear of my makeup when worn under foundation, but it does add hydration and makes matte foundations look more dewy!

It was perfect for summer because I don't like to feel like I'm wearing a ton of crap on my face when it's very hot and humid. Plus, my face is going to melt off anyways. This held up well on such days, although it definitely faded after 8 or so hours.

I do like the packaging! It has a huge doe foot applicator making it easy to quickly slap on my face. If you've never tried any Charlotte Tilbury products, spoiler alert: they look more expensive than they feel. Even though this has a fancy look to it, there's not much weight to it. It's not a big deal as the product inside is what's important, but worth noting.

The biggest con is the limited shade range. I picked up shade 6 which was too dark for me even when I was at my peak tan. I might pick up shade 5 for the winter, but I'm not sure if the undertones will work for me. In my opinion, the online swatches at Sephora and Nordstrom are not color accurate. If you can, I would recommend going in-store to get shade matched.


5. Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser (PR)

$68.00 for 4.1 oz/ 125 mL via Sephora, the Detox Market, spaceNK, Nordstrom, Neiman MarcusCult Beauty, & Bloomingdale's
Ingredients: Hordeum Vulgare Leaf Juice*, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Glycerin, Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, Water, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Mel/Honey/Miel, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Aroma**, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus-Indica Flower Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, L (+) Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Chlorella Pyrenoidosa, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Extract*, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Extract*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil*, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, p-Anisic Acid, Menthol, Menthyl Lactate, Sodium Phytate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Caproyl/Lauroyl Lactylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, CI 77288, Alcohol, Limonene, Linalool

Besides for exfoliating toners and serums, I don't use many skincare products targeted towards acne prone skin. I guess all those years of stripping my skin with SA cleansers and scrubs and gels has made me shy away from them. BUT every now and then I find one that works for my skin without turning it into an abandoned desert landscape.

I love using it a few days a week, morning or night. It has a cooling sensation when applied, but it isn't uncomfortable (and it's cooling-- not stinging or burning like some other products.) From a peek at the ingredient list, it's probably from the menthol.

It does a good job of "deep cleaning" my skin without completely stripping it. I put "deep clean" in quotes because I recognize it's an incredibly vague and sometimes useless, overused term-- but when you use a mask or cleanser that deep cleans, you just know! It's a feeling! My skin is matte, but not tight or red. The excess oil and sweat from the day (or night) is gone. My pores appear smaller. Usually the next morning my skin will be smoother and not as sweaty.

Performance wise, it meets my expectations! It foams up gently, rinses off clean with no film.

I've also been using it on my neck because I have a tendency to build up a layer of gunk there-- dead skin cells, sweat, sebum, all the good stuff. My white tee shirts would almost always have a brown ring of sweat by the end of the day. But then I began washing my neck and upper chest with this cleanser, and boom, problem solved! Or rather, mostly solved. If I'm sweating like a pig, I will still get that brown ring but it doesn't happen very often.


6. Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V

$28.00 via Rescue SpaVicki MoravToska SpaKarine Kazarian, & Paul Labrecque Spa (you'll need to create an account on all these sites to view the prices of all Biologique Recherche products, but the prices are the same across the board.)
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Gluconolactone, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Lactic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Vinegar (Acetum), Magnesium Chloride, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Phytic Acid, Spongilla Lacustris Spicule Extract, Yeast Extract (Faex Extract), Cochlearia Armoracia (Horseradish) Root Extract, Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Sulfur, Sodium Salicylate, Salicylic Acid, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Benzoate. (Copied from Beauty & the cat's blog post.)

I could and probably will write a short essay on this product at some point. But today, I'll try to keep my thoughts as concise as possible (while still honoring my stream of conscious writing style ~*aesthetic*~.)

If you're unfamiliar with BR P50... the long story is, it's a cult favorite chemical exfoliant aka a product that will help deliver brighter, smoother, glowing skin. It comes in multiple versions, or flavors if you will. There's P50, P50V, P50W, P50 PIGM. Each of them come in different strengths and different ingredients but overall, they all have a similar acid blend. There's also the 1970 versions which contain phenol in them (ie P50V 1970, P50W 1970, etc) The phenol versions are only sold in the US! There are also some versions that I didn't list which are only available in Asia, but I am not familiar with them.

Ultimately, I decided to try P50V, which is gentler than P50 but stronger than P50W. It's targeted towards drier skin types and includes more moisturizing and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

My reasons for trying the non-phenol version as opposed to trying the phenol version (aka the 1970 version) were two-fold. 1) Prolonged use/ exposure to phenol can lead to contact dermatitis. Probably one of the reasons it is banned in the EU. 2) In the case of it working amazingly well, I didn't want to get hooked onto it before trying the gentler/ safer phenol free version. And as I'm writing this I realize I have a 3rd reason-- I don't want to deal with the burning sensation and stinky smell from the phenol.

In my totally pedestrian, non-professional opinion-- American spas are really loose and free with recommending the 1970 version. Through dozens of instagram DMS and blog posts (admittedly a small sample size), I've read that 1970 versions are most commonly recommened because they're "the most effective" (it is the original version, after all.) But for many people,  it's simply too much for their skin! My personal view is if you can use something that's safe and effective why reach for something that's potentially unsafe and maybe a little bit more effective?

There aren't many ingredients I view as universally bad, but I'll admit that I've developed a distaste for phenol and you won't see me advocating for its use here. A stinging burning sensation for the sake of a stinging burning sensation is not appealing to me in the slightest bit. Skin & Tonics tested both the phenol and phenol free versions and wrote a whole blog post about it here. I definitely recommend reading!

Now that my mini-essay is over-- why did I love this product? Cause it delivers. I literally saw results after one day of using this. My skin was brighter and smoother. My acne was smaller and my scars were dimmed. After a month and a half of use, my skin saw vast improvements. TBH it may have derailed Sunday Riley's good genes as my holy grail chemical exfoliant.



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