Summer Love: My Favourite Finds of Summer 2015

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

The CNE is open, temperatures are dropping and back-to-school sales are everywhere. To me, the last days of summer are for reminiscing about the sunny days and setting goals for the rest of year.  I also take some time to re-evaluate my beauty regimen and sort through my make-up (because 7 month old mascara is gross).  Here are my favourite finds of the summer, a few of which can carry into the fall and beyond.   

I. Porter Magazine

I’ve been eying Porter magazine at the newsstands at my local Wholefoods for a while, but I never thought to pick up a copy. I assumed that it would be crammed with ads and not enough reading material because it’s published by an online store (mag snob, I know). Thankfully this summer’s issue, the one with the history-making Joan Smalls cover, proved me wrong. My favourite article is an exerpt from Christina McDowell’s book, “After Perfect: A Daughters Memoir” and is titled, “Can losing everything be a blessing?” It describes the loss of her privileged life and her rise to a new beginning. The best quotes from the article are “Loss changes you. It stares you down in the face of disaster and it is paralyzing, taunting you with the question of whether or not you’re strong enough to handle it” and “Today, I have found depth of character and limitless gratitude”.  The fall issue of Porter is already on newsstands. You can subscribe to Porter Magazine here or purchase Christina McDowell’s memoir here.

II. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

My best beauty find of the summer was NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. I used it nearly every day this summer. And considering I’m not a huge foundation wearer that is saying a lot. In my line of work, I don’t have a lot of time to get ready in the morning. But with this, I was able to have an everyday makeup look done in about five minutes (along with a neutral eyeshadow, lipstick and brow pencil). Applying the tinted moisturizer was quick and easy. I dabbed pea sized amounts on my cheeks, chin and forehead, then blended the product in with my fingers. The colour and coverage was perfect for my skin (NARS and MAC seem to be the only brands that I can find a match in my tone). But I was more impressed with the condition the moisturizer left my skin in.  I have dry, sensitive skin but this moisturizer left my skin dewy and soft. And I did not experience any break-outs from the product.  I purchased it for $54/tube and it has lasted me about 5 months so far.  The only negative thing I have to say about this product is that it does smudge and transfer unto clothing easily. But this is an easy problem to fix with a bit of setting powder. 

III. Rise Up x Liz Loughrey

I absolutely love this song by Toronto songstress, Liz Loughrey. I came across this song last week and must have played it over 20 times already. It was the musical motivation I needed to finally get this blog up and running on time. It has an empowering message and a roots vibe. If you love it too, you can buy the single on bandcamp.

VI. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or

This shimmering body oil is next on my list of favourites. I decided to pick this up after seeing it in my twitter feed and reading up on a few reviews. I was already interested in trying similar products by either Tom Ford or NARS. So, I thought this would be a good introduction. After some searching, I found the product at Shopper’s Drug Mart for around $40 (50 ml bottle). What I really like about the Nuxe version is that the label reads “95% ingredients of natural origin and preservative free.”  This alone convinced me that I don’t really have the need to try out the other brands anymore. This oil is a blend of borage, camellia, sweet almond, St. John’s Wort, hazelnut and macadamia oils that are nourishing to the skin and smell delicious. The oil is a “dry oil” so I found my skin absorbed it quickly and it did not leave me with any greasy residue. Plus the gold shimmer is subtle. If you’re looking for a body-oil without the shimmer, the original Huile Prodigieuse is also available as an alternative.

V. L’ Occitane Jasmin and Bergamot Body Wash

My first introduction to this body wash was as a gift with purchase. Since then I’ve been through 5 bottles (the rest courtesy of their summer sale in July). It left my skin clean, without stripping it dry or leaving a residue behind. But my favourite thing about this product is the scent. Part of la collection de Grasse the fragrance is light and fresh. It smells like you’re sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea on the patio of La Palette with a basket of freshly-cut jasmine flowers at your feet. Très romantique!

VI. Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set (Monogrammed)

My final favourite is also one I pinned on Pinterest for a while before making my purchase. It is the Cuyana Leather Travel Case set which comes with a small 5 x 8 x 2.5 inch case and a large 7 x 12 x 3.5 inch case. Cuyana adds limited-edition colours each season. So when I saw that a grey set was finally available, I knew it was time to buy. The cases are made of genuine Argentine pebbled leather and feature gold-toned hardware. The smaller case makes a great everyday makeup bag. I haven’t used the larger case yet, but it is large enough to carry my flatiron and a wide-tooth comb.  I had my cases monogrammed because I knew this set would become one of my signature items. The cases are hand-crafted and great quality pieces that I think will last for years.  I also love Cuyana’s philosophy of quality over quantity, “fewer, better things lead to a fuller, better life.” I find this to be true. As much as I love Cuyana, I have to give my Canadian readers this warning: the customs duty on this set was hefty and came as a surprise to me. I found out about the charges when the courier delivered the items. If I remember correctly, the duties came up to about $60CDN. The travel set cost me $95US plus $15US to add monogram to both cases. Shipping was extra as well. I am pleased with my purchase, but will definitely do a bit of math before making another purchase.  If you are interested in a case of your own, you can check out Cuyana here. They design clothing and other leather goods as well.

This is not a sponsored post. The thoughts expressed are honest and my own.