I confess that summer is wearing on me. By mid-August, I am usually very ready for cooler weather and, oddly enough, less sunshine. We caught a break yesterday when it actually rained. I was in heaven. Even though we’ve got more scorching hot days ahead, it’s nice to be on the tail end of it.
In keeping with my summer listlessness, I’ve been maintaining a very simple beauty routine–but one that never fails to inspire and refresh. Skin-clarifying products take center stage, and I barely do anything with makeup most days. (My waterproof eyeliner will melt if it looks out the window!)
Every morning, I exfoliate with this charcoal-infused Konjac sponge. The Konjac sponge is actually a plant that happens to be a fantastic little skincare tool. You simply wet it and massage your skin with it. It can be used with or without cleanser. The sponge never feels rough, so I have a hunch it’s a safe way to exfoliate regularly. They cost about $10 and last for 3 months or so (or until they fall apart).
Yet more activated charcoal–I am obsessed with this stuff. My skin can feel pretty congested in the summer, so I love finding gentle remedies to keep it smooth and clear. Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been treated with oxygen to make it more porous. By binding to impurities, like bacteria, activated charcoal serves as an effective skin-clearing superstar. This Shamanuti Cleanser is infused with lavender, tea tree, lemon, bilberry, and DMAE, giving the cleanser anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It smells delicious.
Staying true to our skin-clarifying theme here, this Luxe de Mer Organic Rosewater Toner is as refreshing as it is effective. Combining rosewater, witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil, it leaves skin feeling clean but not too tight. Witch hazel reduces inflammation and can help speed the healing of blemishes.
Now for something a little more fun! Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Mineral Eyeshadow in “Leone” is a perfect, warm gold with a bit of shimmer. Since loose, shimmery powders are pretty forgiving, I just dip a brush in the pot, tap off any excess, and press the powder on and around my moving eyelid. No complicated eye contouring here–just shimmer. The harsh afternoon sun isn’t worth a thing if you can’t dazzle in it.
An old standby for all seasons: Kelly Quan vegan makeup brush set. These handmade, luxury brushes are designed with the makeup professional in mind. Because synthetic fur isn’t porous like animal hair, it won’t continuously trap old makeup, dead skin cells, and bacteria, which means that vegan brushes are more hygenic in the long run. I’ve had my Kelly Quan set for over a year now, and they’re still like new–and soooo soft.
I was a bit late to the party as far as gentle hair ties (or “hair bracelets”) are concerned. I finally decided to try a few when E. and I were honeymooning in Asheville, NC. I wandered into a cute store and picked up a few by Simbihaiti, an artisanal store that supports jobs and clean water in Haiti. I’ve been wearing them around my wrists and fashioning impromptu messy buns with them ever since.
How are you managing to survive these last days of summer?