Summer Favorites 2015

With summer wrapping up and everyone heading back to school, I thought I would try something a bit new for me (though certainly not for the internet) and tell you about some of my favorite things this summer! Why am I doing this, you wonder? Well, quite simply, I like talking about things that I like, and ALSO I enjoy hearing about things other people like. I honestly don’t know why, but it’s quite calming and interesting. (Plus maybe I’ll help you find something you’ve been looking for?) So without further ado…

MAKEUP & ACCESSORIES

bronzer

Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer by Too Faced

I WISH I could contour. I really do. I have owned one bronzer in the past and I used it just in the general area I thought bronzer should go for about a year and a half before deciding I deserved to invest in something better. Of course, buying a high-end bronzer has meant I’ve had to at least try to pretend I know what I’m doing. As a very pale woman, high-end bronzers are kind of intimidating – they cost so much and what if they’re too dark and do you need a highlighter TOO?? The Too Faced Snow Bunny Luminous Bronzer was exactly what I was looking for: a bronzer, a blush, and a highlighter all in one, AND it’s described as a “winter bronzer” which means it’ll work fine for me year-round! So for you paler ladies (or men, binaries are stupid) I highly recommend trying this out for an easy natural glow that won’t be too drastic.

foundation

POREfection Mattifying Face Primer by Lorac & Hello Flawless Foundation by Benefit

Remember that old bronzer I mentioned having for a year and a half? Well, it was part of a foundation kit, so no, I didn’t replace my foundation in that entire time either, and in all of that time I never had a liquid foundation or a face primer. Yes, I have spoiled myself to all of those things, and I have zero regrets.

The POREfection (oh boy) Mattifying Face Primer by Lorac is oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free, all things my skin likes. It was recommended to me as a foundation primer that’s good for filling in larger pores so the foundation goes on nice and smooth, and that’s exactly what I’ve seen from it.

Because my powder foundation was so old and I wanted a liquid foundation for days I might want more coverage for, I got both the Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow liquid foundation and the Hello Flawless powder foundation. I don’t have particularly bad skin by any stretch of the imagination, but I like to use foundation to even out my skin tone, and I wanted something I could build on for more coverage when I get a breakout. Both of these are great for that, as they were made to build on each other. They’re both very lightweight and natural, and the liquid doesn’t crease in my eye wrinkles. Plus, wearing foundation many days in a row usually leaves my skin feeling tired and pimply, but none of these three products have had that effect on my skin at all.

lipstick

Matte Creme Lipstick in Black Cherry by Bite Beauty & 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Blackmail by Urban Decay

Okay, so adding these to my favorites is kind of jumping the gun, because admittedly I haven’t worn them yet…I went to Sephora the other day with it in my head that I needed a dark cherry lipstick for this fall. I went in and swatched every dark red/plum that I could find on the back of my hand, and then finally, when all hope of finding my perfect shade was lost, I found this Bite Beauty lipstick in black cherry, the exact color I was telling people I wanted. It looked fantastic on, and it’s 97% natural, made entirely with food-grade products to improve the quality of the product and make sure you aren’t eating anything disgusting. How great is that?? The lip-liner is to keep it in place and add some dimension to the color underneath. I’ve always loved Urban Decay’s incredible colors, and I’m really excited to rock this combination throughout fall.

sunglasses

Yup, sunglasses.

I’ve kind of always had one go-to pair of sunglasses at a time, usually a $12 pair from Target, but this summer I switched it up and bought TWO pairs (how reckless of me) and I LOVE THEM. One is the perfect compliment to my resting bitch face, and the other one softens up that bitch face by making me look like I belong in a ’60s music video. What’s not to love?? So basically what I’m saying is sunglasses can do more than you think and you should treat yourself to an extra pair or two because it’s very bright outside and eye protection is important and so is being cute.

ENTERTAINMENT

Dance_Moms_Season_3

Dance Moms

It’s trash, and I love it. I’m pretty sure it’s about 85% scripted, and I’ve even read rumors that everything down to the actual competitions are staged, but man it’s entertaining. I ask myself as I watch my daily episode what it is I like about this show when I hate half of the people on it, and really, it’s probably that as crazy as most of them are no one in that show is an idiot, plus the girls are so nice and talented it’s worth just watching their beautiful dancing.

death note

Death Note

I know this is probably the last thing you expected after Dance Moms, but I decided I’d finally level-up in nerd points this summer by watching an anime, and what better to start with than the infamous Death Note? I knew the concept of the show, but I’m enjoying it way more than I expected to. Every episode pulls me in. I do wish I didn’t have to read subtitles so I could do other things while watching, but at the same time I really enjoy the immersion that readings subtitles encourages. So if you’re worried about reaching another level of nerd by watching anime, you know, just suck it up, cause it’s really interesting and worth it (and on Netflix).

gracesguide

Grace’s Guide: the Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig

I’ve tried to read self-help books in the past, but I’ve never made it all the way through one. I bought Grace’s Guide because I really enjoy her videos and wanted to support her, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. If I remember correctly, Grace wrote this book in about three weeks while touring, which is impressive given how good it is. It’s also such a genuine representation of her personality. Everything can be read easily in her voice, and the advice is spot on, with everything from how to do the walk of shame to tips for handling anxiety. If you’re a scared adulting millennial or just a fan of Grace and aren’t sure if her book would be worth it, get it, it’s completely worth it.

eat pretty

Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out by Jolene Hart

I picked up Eat Pretty because it had an intriguing title and a great-looking cover, and it’s been a great tool for me in changing the way I think about food. I don’t think about the emotional value of food as much as the nutritional value, and the nutritional value has evolved from being about calories and fat to being about the whole package. Food doesn’t just affect your weight, it affects everything in your body: your hair, nails, skin, sleep patterns, and more. So why would you put mediocre things in your body when you could be improving all the time?

years and years

Communion by Years & Years

This debut album by UK electronica synthpop group Years & Years is fantastic. I find it perfect for just about any listening setting, whether I’m emotional or just want background music. Really I just wish I could dance well so I could make some awesome routines to their music. Some of my favorite tracks are “Take Shelter” (which also has an incredible music video), “Ties,” and “Border.” Go ahead and give them a listen, you won’t regret it. And I always recommend buying music if you really want to support the artist.

ACTIVITIES
vidcon

VidCon 2015

I already wrote a big post about vidcon (9 Things I Learned at Vidcon), but let me just reiterate, it was amazing. Getting to see my favorite creators in person, learning how to be a better content creator, and meeting friends who do the same thing I do all made the cost so so worth it. I had a wonderful weekend surrounded by people who love the same thing I love and I highly recommend it for youtube fans, especially the creator track if you’re a small creator.

writing

Writing

Some may take summer as an opportunity to be more active, but I’ve always loved hiding in a dark corner from society for a couple of months to just read. This time I’m also writing, finally, and I’m honestly kind of proud of myself for it. I haven’t written anything spectacular yet, but as writing is what I want to do professionally, it’s really rewarding to see my story actually start to fill pages. There can’t be a final result without a solid beginning, and this summer has given me the time to be creative and build that foundation for what I hope becomes the best work I ever do.

Well, that was a lengthy post. Kudos to you for getting through it. I hope you enjoyed it, because I did enjoy compiling this list. Let me know in the comments what some of your favorite things were this summer! x.

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