July Beauty Round-up

July — much like all of this year — had some ups and downs. We thought we were moving closer to our move to London, only to be hit with another paperwork setback. One silver lining, I suppose, was more time to burn through my beauty stash so I don’t have to check an entire bag of jars and bottles. I swear, my entire body is covered in so many potions right now it’s like paint by numbers.

And just like that, we’re rocketing toward autumn. Soon the pumpkin spice gremlins will emerge and we’ll have another reason to stay inside. At least I know we still have at least another two months of twice-a-day showers here in NYC before #sweaterweather really kicks in.

Last month I used up some beauty products I’d been working on for a while. And that’s a good thing because that means they lasted a loooong time. A few were definitely luxuries so it was nice to know if I spend that kind of money the product won’t be gone in two or three months.

For the month of July, here’s my rulings:


Afrodita Cosmetics WIN UP-LIFT Frozen Mask — The perfect mask for Monday morning. I adored this hydrating and firming mask I picked up at the airport in Split, Croatia. Made with ice wine from Switzerland and vitamin B5, it really does smooth out fine lines and leave your skin so soft after 30 minutes. The texture can take some getting used to (it’s almost slushy, like ice of course) but it feels so cool and soothing on your skin, especially if you keep it in the fridge and mist your face throughout the treatment.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 – Tinted — I think I’ve found my HG sunscreen. This formula has an almost whipped texture that absorbs beautifully, evens out my skin and doesn’t transfer to my clothes. The addition of niacinamide and lactic acid to this mineral sunscreen (zinc) helps to keep my skin from getting too greasy and it never broke me out. I have been loving the look of just this sunscreen and no foundation throughout quarantine.

Neocutis BIO GEL Moisturizing Hydrogel — To my fellow greasy ladies and gents, this one is for you. I picked up a bottle of this oil-free anti-aging moisturizer during a Dermstore sale and it’s really lovely for oily skin. I liked to use it at night over my retinol and the combination of proteins, antioxidants and growth factors helped keep any irritation at bay and promoted healing from any blemishes. A word of caution though, don’t use any other hyaluronic acid products with this one. There’s plenty in there. I’ve read too much HA can cause inflammation and I can report the few consecutive nights I added an extra HA serum to my routine I broke out from it. Not whiteheads or cystic pimples, but raised red bumps that quickly disappeared once I stopped using both.

Peace Out Dark Spots — I’m a bit on the fence with this one. These microneedling patches with niacinamide and licorice root took some getting used to. I was able to apply similar patches right on top of my other skin care but for these, I really needed to wipe away any other product(s) first. Not a reason to pass on them, but not as convenient. They did, however, make a noticeable difference in some stubborn marks on my cheek. I used almost the entire box on one spot and definitely saw an improvement. Did it erase it? Not even close, but using these right after a blemish heals wouldn’t hurt.


UBUNA Beauty Brighten Maximum Glow Serum — A lovely serum, but didn’t go to work on my acne marks as much as I’d hoped. Full review here in my UBUNA Beauty writeup.

Gulsha Ultimate Rosewater Spray — This is a nice rosewater mist in a size perfect for throwing in your bag. It smells good and feels refreshing, but it doesn’t do much more than that. I enjoyed using it throughout the day for some added hydration but it felt like an extra step in my beauty routine I didn’t really need.

See what else I’ve used up here.

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