22 September 2015

End of Summer Favorites (Gabriel, Ursa Major, Brija, Balanced Guru + More!)

Tomorrow marks the official start of fall, so it seems appropriate to wrap up summer today with a favorites post.  These are the standout products I've especially enjoyed using over the last few months.  As many of you know, I've been focused on using the products I already have this year, rather than mindlessly buy-buy-buying, so while there are a couple new things here, most are products I've written about before, although not super recently. 



Gabriel Cosmetics Vibrant Pink Blush*
I used to be terrified of wearing too much blush and looking like a clown, but I've gradually worked up to being comfortable with brighter and more pigmented blushes.  Vibrant Pink is a matte cool hot pink and I loved it this summer.  It gives the prettiest pop of pink without looking overdone.  The Gabriel blushes are quite pigmented -  so a light hand is key - but they're blendable and easy to work with, even if you're fair skinned like me.  

Balanced Guru Calming Masque
I've raved about this mask several times before and it really is a consistent favorite of mine.  Made with a blend of detoxifying bentonite clay and sea kelp, soothing calendula, marshmallow root, echinacea, and aloe vera, and nutrient dense rosehip, sea buckthorn fruit, and gingko, it strikes a perfect balance between drawing out impurities and nourishing the skin with healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  The mask is actually quite detoxifying, but it comes as a powder, which allows you to easily tailor the liquid(s) you mix in to best suit your skin.  I like to use water, in combination with a few drops of a face oil to prevent the mask from drying as firmly as it does with water alone.  I also often mix in a drop or two of carrot seed or frankincense essential oil as an extra anti-aging boost.  My skin is always left looking visibly clearer and brighter after using the Calming Masque and I feel like it's something I'll always keep stocked on my skincare shelf.  

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash*
I really enjoy a lathering cleanser, but my skin can't tolerate how drying some of them are.  Happily there are products like the Fantastic Face Wash, which foams up nicely, rinses easily, and doesn't leave my skin feeling at all dry.  I first used it about six months ago but gradually drifted onto new things, as we do, only to rediscover it mid-August and fall head over heels all over again.  The scent is an invigorating unisex blend of spearmint and evergreen trees that's lovely and refreshing without being over the top.  The cleanser offers gentle exfoliation from sugar cane and fruit extracts, and a slight tingly sensation from the mint leaves skin feeling extra clean, though never dry or stripped.  

Pacifica Red Red Wine
I first saw this nail polish color in a Youtube video last fall and immediately set my sights on it.  It's taken me until the summer to actually get my hands on it, as even though a nearby health food store stocks the Pacifica polishes, they've been sold out of Red Red Wine every time I've been in.  The color is pretty much just what the name suggests: a classic dark red/wine color with a creme finish.  I wore it in the summer, but it's really a more traditionally fall/winter shade, so I don't foresee putting it away anytime soon.  The Pacifica polishes are 7-free and vegan, with a great, long-wearing formula.  

Brija Cosmetics You Know Who Highlighter
I used to prefer a matte complexion, but these days I really think glowing, luminous skin is the way to go.  To me, it just looks fresher, healthier, and more natural.  That said, I have some larger pores on my nose and cheeks and I've struggled to find a highlighter that provides the radiance I'm looking for without emphasizing or drawing extra attention to them.  But, I think I've finally found it in You Know Who, which gives a beautiful ethereal glow without any piecey shimmer or glitter.  It's a light, white/cream shade, but it doesn't look chalky or frosty on the skin.  It's also versatile in that it can be worn lightly for a subtle everyday look or built up to a more serious gleam for a dramatic highlight.  

Ora's Amazing Herbal All Purpose Salve*
This salve is great for lots of things, but my favorite use is on bug bites.  It works like nothing else on both swelling and itching.  We've got a good number of spruce trees in the backyard and plenty of mosquitos as a result, so whenever I'm out there with the dog, there's a decent chance of bites.  Just last week, I managed to get a bite right in the middle of my forehead, which, being in such an obvious spot, of course swelled up huge and looked like a goose egg.  I used the salve twice that night and it worked like a charm.  The formula has a grapeseed and coconut oil base and is packed with anti-inflammatory herbs like calendula, comfrey, chickweed, plantain, burdock, thyme, and St. John's wort.  It visibly starts to take down swollen bug bites within minutes of application, and within a couple hours, even the biggest bites are nearly gone.  With summer winding down, bug bites aren't as big of an issue, but I know I'll still keep this guy handy for its multitude of other uses.  It works well on other skin irritations and soothes everything from cuts and scrapes to pimples, chapped lips, dry cuticles, and rashes.  

Hope you had a fabulous summer and are looking forward to fall!

*Press sample
Contains affiliate links

10 comments:

  1. That blush looks stunning, Gabriel seems like such a lovely brand Xx

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    1. Gabriel is one of my favorites! Hopefully they'll be more easily accessible across the pond one day soon :)

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  2. haha ok so i just started using the zuzu luxe la sirena palette and there is a very similar blush in there - like yours but with sparkle. i thought it would be terrifying and i wore it today and i completely love it! hot pink blush who would have thought?

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    1. Amazing, isn't it? I never would have thought hot pink could be so wearable either. Both blushes in La Sirena look beautiful! Not sure I could pull off the blue shadows though :)

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  3. The blush is such a pretty colour x

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    1. It really is! I can't get enough of it :)

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  4. Probably not what you were going for, but I love your choice of background for that photo - Georgia O'Keeffe is one of my favourite artists!
    All those products sound lovely, especially the All Purpose Salve. Multipurpose products always have me tempted. :) x

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    1. Thanks Emily! The fact that you recognized it makes me so happy :) Completely agree, multipurpose products are the best!

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  5. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to trying some of these! I also recommend checking out Beausoleil Organics and their new line of products. I am currently a beauty blogger for this startup company and they have some wonderful cosmetics to try!

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm not familiar with Beausoleil, but I'll have to check them out :)

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