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August Faves 2013

Most of these items were my go-tos for the entire summer. I not only live in a very hot, humid location but I have extremely oily skin (eyelids included). Talk about a double whammy!

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power Gel is my one and only cleanser. It is the only thing that keeps my acne at bay but does not dry out my skin. It is the only Neutrogena product that does not cause my skin to flake. It does not have an overwhelming smell and I only need a little bit of product to sufficiently lather my face and neck.

I buy my tea tree oil from CVS Pharmacy because the Body Shop item is too expensive for a little amount of product. I use tea tree oil as a toner. I use a plastic bottle to make my own toner. I add one teaspoon of tea tree oil and fill the rest with water. Undiluted tea tree is too harsh for my skin. When I have a rogue pimple I will apply it full strength, before bed, for no more than five minutes. It does not dry it out completely but I notice a huge difference in the morning. After I wash my face I tone it and let it dry. It is absolutely amazing. It stings a little but it keeps acne at bay and smoothes my skin.

I was in India when I discovered Nivea Soft. The humidity where I live is nothing compared to the humidity in India. I use no more than a tablespoon of product to cover my face and neck. It effectively moisturizes and does not break me out. It works very well for me over the summer. It is very light and does not have a strong smell. It will not provide enough moisture come fall. I already notice my skin is drier in the morning.

Thanks to the summer humidity, thicker moisturizers are too heavy and trap a ton of dirt. My two favorites are Nivea Smooth Sensation and Vaseline Spray and Go. Smooth Sensation is a lot lighter than other Nivea products and absorbs quickly. I like the Spray and Go because it is fast. It shaves off at least 30 to 60 seconds. However, I definitely do not use this product for moisture. While my skin does not feel dry it also does not feel hydrated. Given the humidity, it is not a huge problem. I will definitely have to retire it for fall.

My sleeping schedule during the summer is far from “scheduled”. I never go to bed at the same time two days in a row and I rarely get the same number of hours. If I mix that with my medications and I have the perfect recipe for constant puffy eyes! Every morning I wake up with puffiness. Clinique All About Eyes De-Puffing Serum is an eye-saver! It feels instantly cool and dries quickly. I use it morning and night after I wash my face. Since starting this product I do not have any puffiness in the morning. My only con is application. I have to hold the pen straight down so that the metal rollerball does not snag against my skin.

I never apply make-up without my trusty Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. It is the only thing that keeps my eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner from slipping all over my eyelids. Sometimes I have to re-blend my eyeshadow around the crease but that only happens if I do not wait for the product to become tacky. That is my only pet peeve. It dries quickly so I have to blend quickly before I pull at the skin. Even though it dries quickly, it takes a while to become tacky. If I keep my eyes open it does not stay put in the creases. I try to look down for a few seconds while it sets. I also apply a little bit under my bottom lash line. That eliminates the dreaded raccoon eyes!

Urban Decay Naked I Palette is my one and only true love. I use every single shadow in this palette except for “Virgin” and “Naked”. Each shadow is very pigmented and I only need to use a little to get great coverage. Paired with the primer potion, my eye makeup lasts all day. My favorite colors are “Half-Baked”, “Smog” and “Darkhorse”. Compared to the Naked II palette, the colors are warmer so they work better with my skintone. The eyeshadow brush is sturdy and deposits pigment evenly on the eyes.

My favorite mascara is Chanel Inimitable Intense in Noir. It does not clump and gives the illusion of massive volume without adding any weight. If it is really hot and humid outside it will run. It does flake at the end of the day but it is nothing a little water can not swipe away! For the hotter days when I know my trusty Chanel will not hold up I grab Benefit “Bad Gal Lash”. It adds depth and length to my lashes. Honestly, it does not look like I am even wearing mascara! If I am not wearing eye-make up I will add it to the tips to define my lashes. I have no experience with flaking, running, or clumping.

I just finished using a small sample of Dior “Tendre Poison” eau de toilette. It was an old sample my mother had. It is light but works perfectly for the evening. Within minutes the perfume has melded with my skin and is almost undetectable. What I mean is it basically becomes my natural scent. A lot of perfumes sit on my skin and retain their smell. Tendre Poison becomes one with me. People can not tell that I am wearing perfume. Unfortunately, since they no longer make this perfume I switched to Dior “Poison”. The smell is stronger and spicier but after the initial notes lift it reacts similarly to Tendre Poison.

I suspect a lot of these items will carry over to September as well. I love to happen across new products that I love so hopefully there will be some new things on the list!

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.