Summertime Skin Essentials

We’ve been experiencing one of the hottest summers on record here in Toronto! Summertime skin for me, means: protection, hydration and oil control. Here are the items that I’ve been using to help my skin battle the summer heat:
I’ll do mini reviews on each of these since some of them are fairly recent acquisitions.

Illamasqua Matte Veil – C$55.95
The original Hydra Veil is my favourite primers for winter months so I decided to give the matte version a try. This primer not only helps to smooth my skin and keep it matte, it also somehow manages to not suck the life out of my skin. I love the secure packaging with the inner lid – it did once have a little spoon scoop attached but I’ve since misplaced it. 😳 Also, it looks and smells like strawberry yogurt!

Clarins UV PLUS HP SPF 40 Day Screen Tint – C$42
I’m forever on a search for a mineral sunscreen that isn’t overly greasy or creates a ghostly white cast. And I think I’ve found it! Prior to this I was using the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF 50, and although I initially liked it, it was way too orange for my skin tone, and it was balling up on my skin. The Clarins one wears really well and isn’t overly orange (ok it’s a tad orange but workable – see skin swatch below). It does add a little more oil to the skin so when I wear this underneath my normal foundation, I notice I get shinier earlier. Which brings me to the next item…

Avon Makeup Setting Spray – C$12
This stuff is incredible! I was not expecting much from this, but it truly helps to set my makeup and keep the shine on my skin at bay. I’ve tried the Urban Decay All Nighter spray but I didn’t find it too effective. For me, this one outperforms UD! The spray nozzle on this bottle is quite good too – a fine even mist that covers the whole face with a few passes. The only concerns I have are: 1) it’s full of alcohol (3rd ingredient) so I won’t be using this daily.  And 2) the bottle is tiny, only 60ml. But, never pay full price for Avon, I got mine for only $6.

Mary Kay Beauty Blotters Oil-absorbing Sheets – C$8.50
These are one of my favourite blotting papers – they’re made of linen / paper and very effective in ridding shine on the face without adding any product (I’m not too fond of the ones with talc on the paper). And they are nice large size sheets (10 x 7.6cm) so I only need one sheet per blot.  I typically bust one of these out after lunch (1-2pm-ish) to blot before I powder my face.  Compared to others on the market, they’re not too expensive either. I prefer the linen / paper type of blotting papers over the plastic / film type – my other favourite blotting papers are from Shiseido and Boscia.

L.A. Colors Pressed Powder in Beige – C$2
I purchased this for the $20 Makeup Challenge and colour me impressed!  This powder provides decent coverage but what I liked most about this is the shine control. It’s slightly powdery, but as long as I use a light hand with a fluffy brush to apply a thin layer, it’s fine. The packaging isn’t the most sturdy – the lid is prone to coming unhinged – but I’m pleased that L.A. Colors even bothered to provide a mirror inside the lid!

L to R: Swatches of the Illamasqua Matte Veil, Clarins UV PLUS Day Screen Tint, and L.A. Colors Pressed Powder

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief – C$29
Even though the summertime is about oil control, the skin also risks becoming dehydrated due to both heat (outdoors) and air conditioning (indoors) – that’s why I love hydrating facial mists for the summer.  I picked this up in the beginning of the year due to all the hype around it. I’ve only been using it for a few weeks and I’m undecided if it’s fantastic or just good. I do like that it contains glycerin which seems to act as a hydrating base and a makeup setter. I use this as both a pre-serum step, and to freshen my makeup. For now, I still have the Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner as my favourite facial mist. I’ll form a better opinion once I’ve used this longer – it’s definitely a good product at the very least! 😛

Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm in Grapefruit SPF 25 – C$10.50
Lips are one the of the body parts that get neglected in terms of sun protection (another is the back of the hands!)  I’ve searched high and low for lip products with high SPF that don’t leave the lips with a white chalky finish, and so far, Jack Black has been the best option. It’s not my favourite in terms of finish though – to me, the balm just sits on top of my lips and feels uncomfortable. It contains lanolin which I might be sensitive to. But I’m willing to tolerate it in order to provide sun protection for my lips. Also, this contains chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate 7.5%, Avobenzone 3.0%), I’ve not come across any lip sun protection with just mineral / physical sunscreens – if you’ve come across any, I’d love to know!

These are my summer skincare essentials – what are yours?

45 thoughts on “Summertime Skin Essentials

    1. It’s tricky to find a primer that works to control oil but isn’t too drying, the Illamasqua is so unique in that sense. I’m certain that Avon uk would sell that setting spray – I hope you find it! 🙂


    1. I don’t know what it is about the Sukin mist but I love it so much too! The ingredients aren’t that remarkable but it just feels more hydrating to me. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha you’re been EYEING the Sukin eye cream, Jodi? Oh you! 😛
          I haven’t tried their eye cream – I’m using the Antipodes one right now… that thing is a 30ml jar, which is unheard of with eye creams! I’ll probably be using that eye cream until 2017!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. The Illamasqua Matte Veil sounds amazing! Especially the texture and scent, haha. I have never heard of Hydra Veil until now, but I feel like I need it in my life now! Where do you even get Illamasqua these days?
    I’m always on the lookout for good sunscreens, too…still haven’t found any I like!
    Man, I can’t believe how expensive those Jack Black lip balms are becoming! I have 3 going right now (I keep them in different places) so I haven’t bought one since last year, but I’m pretty sure they were $9.50 then…and then $8.50 before that…Shiseido has a lip treatment specifically made for sun protection purposes that is supposed to be really good, but 1) I don’t think it’s sold in Canada, and 2) It also contains chemical sunscreens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Illamasqua Hydra Veil is my secret weapon come winter time. I’ll do a review on it. If you think the texture of the Matte Veil is interesting, wait until you see the Hydra Veil (hint; it is Jello).
      I’ve been making an effort to only use mineral sunscreens but it is SO tough to find them. The Japanese sunscreens are all chemical sunscreens too. I know they’ll look and feel really nice but I worry about how they mimic hormones. Since I use sunscreens daily, I want to limit my exposure.
      I remember the Jack Black lip balms being around $8 too! It’s so sneaky how they increase the prices year after year…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I clicked on the link you linked to in your post about the Matte Veil vs Hydra Veil, and when I saw that the Hydra Veil was clear jelly, it just made me want it more! How interesting, I’ve never seen a primer like that before…looks more like a gel moisturizer or face mask.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, yes I think it’s worth the price. The ingredients are great and does what it claim. Unless I come across a cheaper alternative with the same type of ingredients, I’d continue to use this for now!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m using the Clarins UV PLUS HP SPF 40 Day Screen (no tint) as a primer before foundation. It’s a little runny but I still like it better than most SPF products.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is the one without the tint also a mineral sunscreen? I have a couple of Japanese sunscreens to open up next but I really like Clarins sunscreens overall.


  3. Would the Clarins Multi-Protection would be enough to wear alone as my foundation ???
    Is the grapefruit flavour of the Jack Black lip balm awful ??? I own the Black Tea & Blackberry one and it taste so bad … I do use it because of the SPF 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, you definitely can wear that Clarins tint on its own. I did when I was in Japan, I only wore that and powder on top. It worked miracles to protect me from the sun! No burns or even a tan being outdoors all day. 🙂
      I don’t like the grapefruit scent of the Jack Black either. I was undecided about that or the Black Tea one – but I think it probably doesn’t matter in the end, they all are bad! I wanted the Shea one but it’s always sold out! I wear it for the SPF too… not my fav.


  4. Emily from Beauty Broadcast on YouTube was just saying in a couple recent videos how good that LA Colors powder is… and it’s only like $1 US!

    Blotting sheets are a necessity for me year round. I love the CVS, Walgreens & Target brand ones as they work exactly the same as the Clean & Clear ones. The ones from Elf & Palladio are good too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was really surprised how well that LA Colors powder control oil. I used it for my $20 challenge but it was during the winter time so I didn’t really appreciate that aspect of it. Definitely give it a whirl – what have you got to lose except for $1? 😛
      Oh I don’t like those film ones. I find they take off TOO much oil / moisture from my skin, if that makes sense? Those leave my skin looking like a lizard… I prefer the ones that are linen / paper.


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