In the meantime, however, here is a various assortment of what I've been loving over the past month:
Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzer: I picked this up over a year ago after seeing a number of beauty bloggers rave about the product. It then proceeded to sit in my drawer unused for about a year. Great way to put a $48.00 bronzer to use. In all honesty, I was a bit intimidated (I'm a bit of a bronzing novice) and desperately wanted to avoid looking like an oompa loompa. After getting a fair bit of sun this summer, however, I decided to embrace my inner bronzed glamazon and whipped out the Soleil Tan de Chanel. In the interest of full disclosure, I still suspect that with a heavy hand, this product will make you look like an oompa loompa. But I use it with a stippling brush and have been buffing it across my cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin and it gives quite the natural look, if I do say so myself. Heading into the autumn and winter, I think I will try a technique of contouring and bronzing under foundation (you can see Essiebutton do this here) to try to maintain some color in my naturally fair skin throughout the year. Available from Nordstrom.
English Rain by Gabrielle Aplin: This has been playing on endless repeat in my apartment all month. This is Gabrielle Aplin's, an English singer-songwriter's, debut album and I don't think there is a single song that I don't like (although Salvation is my favorite!) I was so desperate to get my hands on this album (which is available on itunes in the UK & Europe, but not in the US as of yet) that I ordered the CD through an international seller on amazon.com. Yes, that's right, I bought an actual, physical CD. That hasn't happened in years. Waiting for it to arrive in the mail, rather than having the instantaneous gratification of digitally downloading was less than ideal--but it was absolutely worth it. I'm rubbish at describing music, but if you like pretty voices and pretty lyrics, give this a listen!
Covergirl Clump Crusher: I am perpetually on the hunt for a new mascara that will give me the biggest and boldest lashes. I rarely repurchase a mascara because of this, no matter how much I may like it, as I am always looking towards the horizon for something better. I've already purchased a second tube of Clump Crusher, though, which says a lot. I wasn't initially interested in this product, but after asking a friend whose lashes were looking especially gorgeous what she was wearing, I immediately picked this up. Clump Crusher, while a silly and absurd name, is a completely accurate description--I've never worn a mascara that separates and fans my lashes without clumping as well as this product does. While I'm still on the lookout for a mascara that will give me Katy Perry-sized eyes (if I'm brutally honest with myself, I think in my heart of hearts I want a mascara that performs plastic surgery-level changes to the appearance of my small, hooded eyes), Clump Crusher is going to be a staple in my stash in the meantime.
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renew Mask: Whenever I see almost universal praise for a skincare product amongst the beauty community, my hackles immediately raise. Fair or not, I usually assume that when a product is receiving rave reviews from everyone it's either because a) the company has made everyone agree to post only favorable reviews or b) the reviewers have lost their objectivity in light of the freebies being sent their way! Had I never used this mask by REN, I might assume that was the case here as everyone raves about it. But I have used it and I can say: believe the hype! This is the single best face mask I have ever used. It smells and looks like marmalade (I have to remind myself not to lick it off of my own face--although...REN uses only natural ingredients in all of their products, so I suppose ingesting some of this mask wouldn't be the worst thing you could do. But I can neither confirm nor deny, so no comment...) It also feels incredibly refreshing on the skin and doesn't burn or irritate like some other masks do. The directions say to leave it on for 10 minutes, but I usually leave it on for 30, which has never hurt my (admittedly unsensitive and quite robust) skin. As the mask is on your face, the glycolic, lactic, and other cruit-based acids go to work, exfoliating and brightening your skin. I have oily congestion-prone skin and many areas have a bumpy texture, but the mornings after I use this mask always reveal a much smoother, more refined complexion. I use it once a week, or a bit more often if I feel I need it. Worth every penny and available at Sephora.
Essie Nail Polish in Watermelon: Essie's cream finish polishes are by far my favorite nail polishes in the world and over the years I've amassed a fairly large selection. Watermelon is hands down one of the best. In addition to giving a gorgeous deep pink color, the polish goes on without any streaks and provides high shine opaque coverage in only one coat (top tip: the thinner the layer of nailpolish on your nail, the less likely it is to chip). There are no rules as to when you can wear a certain color, but to me, this is undoubtedly a summer polish. So, I'll be making good use of it while I still have the time! Available at Ulta. (Oh, and apparently tomorrow is National Watermelon Day, so it looks like I'm right on schedule.)
What are your favorites this month?