Hi, friends! Another month has passed, which means it is time for another Monthly Favorites post! I have some exciting news first, though. My mom and I are going on a Tokyo trip together in October! AND we’re going to do the Mario Kart thing!! We are both sooo excited and it’s going to feel so good to be back in Japan, even if it's Tokyo… (I lived near Osaka). I miss Japan so much!
My favorite products of July are a good mix of drugstore and luxury items from both well-known and not-so-well-known brands. And I actually tried out a ton of stuff last month, so this list is longer than my normal Monthly Favorites. I made some pretty great discoveries last month and I can’t wait to share them with you!
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Affiliate links may be used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.
Oille – Beeswax + Tumeric Organic Facial Balm ($98)
c/o Oille via Octoly
Oille is probably a brand that you haven’t heard of before, right? Well, keep an eye out for them because I think they may become the next big thing! They offer amazing products that are clean, effective, and ethical.
This cleansing balm in particular isn’t like anything I’ve tried before. It’s a balm that melts instantly upon contact with your skin and it’s like giving yourself a spa facial. It has a really refreshing citrus scent and leaves your skin oh so soft and moisturized! I was actually shocked with how soft my skin felt after one use.
In addition to cleansing, it has brightening effects, which decrease the appearance of hyperpigmentation and creates a much more even skin tone. I’d say this cleanser is more suitable for dry to normal skin type because of its very moisturizing nature.
Note: I don’t use this cleanser to remove my layers and layers of makeup. I don’t really think it’s meant to remove makeup (because it doesn’t do a great job at it), but it’s perfect if you like to double cleanse! This balm is the perfect cleanser to get the leftover makeup residue off and leave you feeling fresh and clean!
Shop Now: Oille
Context Skin – Hydrating Toner ($35)
c/o Context Skin via Octoly
This brand is another one you may not have heard of, but is totally one of the up-an-coming brands to keep an eye on. This toner has already been featured on Vogue, Glamour, and Byrdie! And I can totally see why.
Toner has always been something that I go back and forth on with my skincare routine. I love it for how refreshing it feels, but I hated how drying some can be – especially the ones that contain alcohol. My skin is already pretty dry and sensitive as it is, so it definitely does not like toners with alcohol in it!
Not to worry with this toner, though. It doesn’t contain any alcohol and it does the complete opposite of drying out my skin. You guessed it – it actually hydrates! My skin feels so firm and plump after a few swipes of this across my face.
It’s become a staple in my routine and I ALWAYS have to use it before priming my skin for makeup. It’s become something that I can’t live without. It’s perfect as a morning cleanser because it’s fast, easy, and heavier cleansers tend to dry out my skin too much if I use it twice a day. This one’s just perfect.
Shop Now: Context Skin | Amazon
Hourglass – Veil Mineral Primer ($54)
I don’t know why I waited for so long to try this primer! Oh, I actually know why… the price! It’s so expensive for a primer I want to cry.
But, all jokes aside, this is definitely one of the best primers I’ve ever used. The texture is so lightweight and silky that it just glides over your skin effortlessly. It feels like air. No, seriously. It’s hard to explain but it’s kind of dry to the touch. It doesn’t really feel like you’re putting anything on, but somehow it’s smoothing out your skin. It totally lives up to its name “Veil”.
I normally prefer moisturizing primers, but those aren’t normally as skin refining, so I like to use the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base first, then I layer this one on top of it and they work really well together!
It does contain SPF, so I’m not sure how much flashback it’ll cause in photos – I haven’t tested it out yet. Just cake on the foundation so the SPF in the primer doesn’t come through LOL.
L’oreal – Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer (~13)
Recently I’ve been really interested in “glowy” makeup. And I don’t mean dewy. I just want to radiate a bright, healthy glow. It’s been tricky trying to figure out how to do that. Setting powders pretty much make your entire face matte, even if it’s an illuminating powder with tiny reflective particles in it. Because the reality is, powder is just a dry substance. I’m not one of those girls that can go without setting powder. I NEED it. I like my skin to feel dry to the touch, but without looking dry, and last through a full day of work. Tough task?
I think I’ve found the answer with this product. First I tried it as a primer, but the glow didn’t really come through once I put on foundation. It’s definitely glowy by itself, but I wear full coverage foundation so it just covered it right up. SO, I began mixing it into my foundation.
And let me tell you, that was one of the most genius ideas I’ve ever had. Why haven’t I tried it before? With so many mixing drops and liquid highlighters on the market, why am I so late to the game?! Better late than never I guess.
I usually mix in about a pump of this into my foundation, mix it with my brush, and apply it as I normally would. It gives me the most beautiful radiant finish, even AFTER applying setting powder. I live.
Makeup Revolution – Liquid Highlighter in Starlight ($9)
I use this liquid highlighter in a similar way to the way I use the L’Oreal Lumi Primer. But, this one is for the days when I want to get crazy with my glow. I assume it would be similar to the Iconic London Illuminating Drops or the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, even though I haven't tried them.
When I’m feeling extra glowy, I cover my entire face with this after my primer AND I mix a few drops of it into my foundation. Girl. Glow for days.
I would be careful with how much you use though because with using the same amount of foundation that I would normally use, I noticed it looked a bit cakey by the end of the day. Decreasing the amount of foundation I mix into it solved this problem, though.
Shop Now: Makeup Revolution | Amazon | Ulta
Pixi Beauty – Glow-y Gossamer Duos ($18)
c/o Pixi Beauty
This (powder) highlighter has been the ONLY one I’ve been reaching for lately. And with the amount of highlighters I have, that’s saying a lot! The texture is so smooth, definitely doesn’t emphasize skin texture, and the glow lasts all day.
All of these shades are stunning, but my favorite is definitely the golden shade in the Subtle Sunrise duo (left in photo). It’s the perfect shade for my skin tone that’s not too bright, where it looks like a grey/white streak and not too dark, where it looks like a brown streak.
Shop Now: Pixi Beauty | Target
Benefit Cosmetics – Hoola Matte Bronzer ($29)
Just as I’ve been recently trying to get glowy skin, I’ve also been trying to bronze it up a little more? WHO AM I?! I used to be the queen of being pale and matte LOL. There’s just something about that ‘healthy bronzed glow’ that I’ve been really into recently. I’m still pale AF, but bronzer helps.
In my search for more bronzers to try, I didn’t really know what to try out. The only other bronzers I own are the Marc Jacobs O! Mega Bronzer and the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer (and I love both), but I wanted something a bit darker than that.
Luckily, I was able to get a trial size of the Hoola Bronzer in my last Sephora order! I’ve been eyeing this bronzer for so long because so many people rave about it. And I was definitely not disappointed. It totally lives up to its hype.
It is darker than both of the bronzers I already owned, which is exactly what I wanted, and it blends out so effortlessly! I was always afraid of going darker with bronzers because of human error – you know those ‘oh shit’ moments when you dip into the pan too much and then it’s a big brown blob on your face that can’t be blended out?! But, this bronzer blends out so easily that it’s really hard to go wrong with it.
NARS – Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm ($28)
I’ve been looking for this kind of lip product for so long! I’m not really a lipstick girl just because it’s inconvenient to have to reapply/touch-up. I know there are long-lasting options, but STILL. I’ve just never been one to wear lipstick. I only really wear bold lipstick on special occasions, and I’m constantly checking if it’s on my teeth, if it smudged, or if I need to touch it up. Oh the hassle!
A balm like this, with a hint of color, a hint of shine, and that is really comfortable to wear is totally me. The shade of this balm is absolutely perfect because it just enhances my natural lip color. It’s just really pretty and easy to wear.
(I do really want to make an effort to wear more lipsticks, though, despite the inconvenience. Here I am complaining about the inconvenience of lipstick when I spend over an hour on the rest of my makeup every day LOL.)
Cover FX – Dewy Setting Spray ($31)
Last, but not least on this list is the Dewy Setting Spray from Cover FX. As someone who is a diehard user of the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray, it took a lot for me to even purchase any other type of setting spray!
But, I’m really glad I bought this one. I don’t know if I would call it a DEWY finish, but it’s definitely not mattifying. (Obviously my goal for last month was to get DAT GLOW.) It holds my makeup in place all day and honestly, I don’t see a difference from my holy grail Urban Decay spray.
Cover FX also makes an Illuminating Setting Spray, so that one is definitely on my list of things to try next!
Shop Now: Cover FX | Sephora | BeautyLish
And that's it for my July Favorites list! Have you tried any of these items? I'd love to know what you think about them! Be sure to let me know in the comments. :)
Also, any time you are planning on making an online purchase, don’t forget to use Ebates! Sephora and Ulta are amongst the many makeup stores that participate in Ebates. Use Ebates every time you order something online so you can get a bit of your money back! (Some stores even offer in-store cash back) I’ve made over $500 in cash back from Ebates since I started under 2 years ago and I literally only buy makeup LOL so if you’re not using it, you’re totally missing out! I wrote a review on Ebates when I first started using it here.
Sign up HERE FOR FREE AND GET A $10 BONUS after you make your first qualifying purchase using Ebates!
Thanks for reading and until next time. <3
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Hey, it's Liana!
On lianadesu.com, you'll find lots of makeup posts, some travel posts, some lifestyle posts, some food posts, and some fashion posts. Basically everything you could ever want, right?
Join me on my adventures through life - discovering good makeup, good food, pretty places to visit, and hopefully some good life lessons. <3
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