Summer's beauty products have a lot to live up to; from withstanding the rigours of travel to countering the effects of heat and fatigue, the products that prove their prowess are as much lifetime winners as they are seasonal ones. Having spent the first half of the month travelling in 30+ degree temperatures, and the second suffering a summer cold with a discernibly dull and grey vista from my window, these products have more than proven their versatility in meeting every requirement upon the season's agenda.

SEPHORA Colourful Shadow & Liner in Café Au Lait

I recently documented the extent of my long-term eyeshadow obsession and it struck me that the majority of my collection leans towards the metallic/glitter-fest side of things, with very little room given to matte and neutral shades. So when a trip to Sephora earlier this month saw me swatching their homegrown contribution to eyeshadow pencils, I made sure to stay away from the tempting array of golds and coppers and opted instead for this cool matte nude. The shade has a contouring effect that is perfect for providing barely-there definition, and when paired with a shadow just a few shades darker, results in a subtle smokey look that serves to widen my eyes and enhance their natural colour - perfect for 'no makeup makeup' days [this also pairs beautifully with a slick of black eyeliner]. The texture is incredibly light and creamy so applies easily straight from the pencil [although I usually use a blending brush to soften the edges and define the crease] and it's also not too soft as to crease easily or fade away, lasting all day long even without the use of an eyeshadow primer.



GROWN ALCHEMIST Vanilla & Watermelon Lip Balm*

My annual summer cold struck within hours of my arriving back from abroad, and aside from rendering me full of cold and completely drained of energy, also left me with a severe case of chapped lips. There's nothing worse than waking up with lips so dry and chapped you can barely talk, and this is usually a situation I find near impossible to remedy - but was on this occasion solved with the help of this recent addition to my skincare stash. A lightly fragranced and incredibly hydrating cream with a silky and decidedly non-greasy texture, I took to applying a thick layer of this to my lips before bed in order to prevent my lips from chapping overnight. More of a lip cream than a balm, this kept my lips packed with moisture and helped to smoothen out their rough and patchy texture with immediate effect. Needless to say that even as my cold has faded, I've maintained the ritual of applying this before bed as well as putting it to use as a lipstick primer [a function at which it excels].

ORIGINS Original Skin Retexturising Mask*

Introducing one of my favourite launches of 2015; this stuff brightens a dull, lacklustre complexion in one single application. Fast, easy, affordable, and impressively, it works - living up to every one of those 'pore-refining' claims we're oh so used to rolling our eyes at. I dedicated an entire blog post to it [because yes, it's just that good], but the fact that I've been reaching for this multiple times a week over the past month meant it was more than deserving of inclusion here as well. Essentially, this mask detoxes and regenerates skin without stripping it - over-exfoliation is a thing of the past. Delicate enough to be used daily, this mask is suitable for all, rebooting your skin without imbalancing it. Be prepared to glow.


CLARINS Beauty Flash Balm*

Well worth its 'cult product' label and every hyped review you've read on it; this multi award-winning, bestselling radiance booster well and truly lives up to every one of its seemingly far-fetched claims - it smoothes, brightens, and moisturises, leaving skin with a noticeable glow [used in conjunction with the above, instant luminosity is guaranteed]. Texture-wise it's less a balm and more a silky cream, and its virtuous ingredients list [inc. witch hazel, olive, algae extract, rice starch and bisabolol] is formulated to suit any and every skin type. Ideal for nourishing skin after a deep cleansing facial or for prepping your complexion ahead of makeup application [its smoothening capabilities render it a fantastic primer], this multi-use product has fast become an essential in my skincare routine and will be an instant repurchase.

& Other Stories Eyebrow Pencil in Tamin Brown*

Despite the crude simplicity of its form [eyebrow products have long since soared above and beyond their initial humble pencil form], this is a real winner, and performs every bit as well as some of the high-tech bestselling brow fillers I've used in recent years. The formula is soft without being too creamy, and is a perfect shade match to natural hair - cheap pencils usually to adhere to a synthetic spectrum, which leans either too red or too grey, but here is the exception. When sharpened to a point, and applied in short, light strokes [to emulate the appearance of natural hairs] this results in the appearance of thicker, bolder, but overwhelmingly natural looking defined brows. And it's most commendable feature? Whilst pencils are a notoriously short-term brow filling option, this has impeccable last - your brows will be as bold come home time as they were upon application.

What were your standout beauty products this month?