July was a whirlwind of weddings, Jays games, a baby shower, early arrival of a new niece and a seemingly endless heatwave, which made wearing makeup a particularly challenging endeavour. As per most beauty fans out there, when summer weather is coming in hot, I actively try to lighten up my routine, but that doesn't really stop whatever makeup I do decide to wear from melting down my face. I rapidly become a slave to Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (which is a long-time favourite), and make a habit of blotting whatever base I choose to commit to for the day before powdering to remove a bit of excess product before sealing everything in. This little trick is a gem I picked up from a Wayne Goss vid ages ago, which actually ties into one of my favourites. On to the goods:
Okay, I'll level with you. I'm pretty sure this brush was limited edition, but if the balance of Wayne Goss' brush range is anywhere near this soft, then they are absolutely worth checking out. Full disclosure: Goss' brush range does use animal hair, so stick to the plethora of synthetic options out there if that's your preference. This particular brush was created with the "buffing" technique in mind, as well as contouring, blush, bronzer and general setting, which Wayne explains in full here. I own a lot of brushes of varying quality, and this is hands down the softest brush I own that gives me the most seamless finish ever when applying blush and bronzer. I have always felt sort of underwhelmed with cheek brushes in my arsenal, feeling as though they applied too much product or didn't blend product effectively without moving my foundation underneath. As Wayne explains, the bristles are not that densely packed, so the chance of disrupting your foundation/concealer while blending your powder products is pretty much nonexistent. This brush was priced at $35 and I'd pay way more for the results that it provides. I believe this brush from the same range is a similar concept, slightly different shape.
Can't say I ever really dove into the cushion craze, especially when most of the Eastern versions were simply way too light in tone and the Western versions were... well, I don't know, they just didn't really strike me as anything particularly special. As a self-proclaimed foundation fanatic, I couldn't believe I'd never tried Lancôme's original Teint Idole Ultra fluid, as it's increasingly raved about. That being said, I can't really comment on this cushion formula versus the original fluid. I can, however, tell you that this stuff has solid coverage and a little goes a very long way (max 2 light-pressure taps on that cushion - for real). I like how skin-like the finish is even though coverage is still very much present. I also don't mind the colour match (420 Bisque roughly translates to my NC42ish summer colour). It holds up to heat decently, to boot!
While sifting through my various drawers of makeup, I was pretty pumped to find this nearly untouched compact of Armani powder foundation. I never really fell for the Lasting Silk offerings the way I did for the Luminous Silk range, but I figured I'd give this powder a go, and I'm really fond of the smoothing effect of this powder. I've definitely had some skin woes this summer, so it's been great to have a powder that really goes the extra mile to seal concealer in and keep my makeup in tact regardless of the high temperatures. I don't think this one is available in Canada, but it's definitely a worthy purchase when in the US. It gives skin a virtually air-brushed finish, which is gorgeous.
It was only a matter of time before this product launched! I say that largely because it had become damn near impossible to find Maybelline Define-A-Brow in any shade aside from "Medium Brown" over the last year or so. This is not merely a repackaging, as I feel this pencil is a touch waxier than the Define-A-Brow formula, which felt stiffer overall, but any drugstore alternative to Anastasia Brow Wiz is welcome in my makeup bag. The tiny point allows for natural-looking strokes to mimic brow hairs. It's been my go-to for creating a slightly more handsome brow shape [I've been eyeing the beauty looks on the Sabyasachi IG account a little too much lately (this one slays me)]. Love following this pencil up with a clear brow gel for a brushed-up, fanned-out finish.
Yes, I'm at that point where products launched by bloggers aren't something I rule out instantly (well, maybe not the launches are marred with drama or controversy). I have to tip my hat to Huda for taking a bit of time to create her products and build out her business gradually. I also have to commend any brand that gets picked up by Sephora for distribution - that's no joke in scaleability and it takes a lot to fulfill a PO like that. Down to the brass tacks: this shade, Trophy Wife, is described as "rose wood" (fun note: the corresponding lip pencil from Huda Beauty is described as "the new best-selling rose wood" - that's a little loud, hey?) and I'm usually a sucker for anything described as this colour. In person, there's definitely a terra cotta vibe to the colour, but I'm pleased that this shade wasn't too light for my lips (a common occurrence with liquid lipsticks - they look absolutely absurd against the deeply pigmented outer edge of my mouth) and the formula was crazy comfortable. The colour settled in lines of my lips a bit, but frankly, my lips aren't smooth when my mouth is relaxed, so that's basically inevitable for me with any liquid lip colour. I counteract this with a tiny dab of lip balm on top of the liquid lipstick once it's set and all is well in my beauty world again. I found one layer of this lip colour was ample (two was overkill), and the shades are collectively noted to deepen once applied (says so on the packaging!), which Trophy Wife absolutely did do. It all resulted in a shade that's on trend without being too '90s for my personal taste, and my lips didn't feel like the Sahara after the fact - a winner in my books. I believe the full range of liquid lip colours will reach Sephora doors in October, with a handful of liquid lip colours and lip pencils available online now.