Summer Beauty Products: A Minimalist Routine

July 24, 2012

In the deepest, hottest part of summer, it’s just too hot for a regular beauty routine. Everything sweats or slides off, and the heat saps any energy to do much more than pour a cold drink. But there are ways to compact your beauty routine, and keep your beauty cool as well. Here are some products that can take the heat – some of them are from my working makeup kit, some have been introduced to me through Wild Beauty, and some are products that have kept me going through my own beauty life.




Fresh Mild Rice Cleanser from Blissoma

One of the most annoying things about extreme heat is that even good skin gets problematic. Sweat, oil, and dirt seem to build up in minutes, and most cleansers are either too creamy or too drying for repeated, middle-of-the-day use.

Fresh Mild Rice Cleanser, sent to me by Blissoma, is a face saver in the heat. It has a soft texture with a little bit if exfoliation from the brown rice, plus a refreshing citrus scent. And while it incorporates moisturizing oils hemp and apricot kernel, it doesn’t leave too much oil after cleansing.  Skin feels clean, but not dried-out. And I have to admit that I haven’t gotten my usual “heatwave pimples” since switching to this cleanser for the summer!

Fresh – Mild Rice Cleanser from Blissoma – $26.99 at


AnnMarie Gianni Ayurvedic Facial Scrub

Okay, I’ve already admitted that I don’t exfoliate enough. Part of that is laziness, and part of it is that I just don’t want another gunky thing to deal with. But AnnMarie Gianni’s Ayurvedic Facial Scrub might just convert me.

Sent to me as part of a sampler, (which will figure into a giveaway soon!), the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub is a rhassoul clay and fenugreek seed-based powder, which can be used on its own or blended into a facial cleanser. It smells fresh and herbey, leaves my skin feeling smooth, and is the perfect “half-step” I needed exfoliation to be. Plus, since it’s a powder, I can take it travelling without fitting it into the ZipLoc!

Ayurvedic Facial Scrub from AnnMarie Gianni – $24.95 at


Nars Pressed Powder

Okay, so you could try to keep up the foundation/concealer/powder routine in the summer, but if you’re out in 100-degree heat, it’s not going to last. What’s the best alternative to going bare? Pressed powder. I apply it with a brush over sunscreen, especially right down the center T-zone. The trick for this is to get a color as close to your skin tone so that it evens out the skintone as it mats shine, making a foundation layer unnecessary. Nars has a really good color range – I use it for my working kit, and pull the color Beach (a light tan) for my own skintone.

Nars Pressed Powder – $32.00 at


Maybelline Volum’Express One by One Mascara in Blackest Black

Ok, certain things I don’t want to leave the house without – and curled and mascara’ed lashes are on that list. But how much of that mascara is going to be falling in clumps and runs before noon?

This is where I look to the big companies for help. They have the R&D, they have the mass market, at least some of their claims have to be true, right?

Which is how I found Maybelline’s Volum’Express One by One Mascara. Maybelline’s Volum’Express line of mascaras can be confusing – each one does something different. I chose this one because it’s been a while since I bought a defining mascara, especially for myself. (I use more thickening ones for work.) While it’s not as volumizing as the thickening ones, it definitely defines, lengthens, doesn’t clump, and most inportantly in the heat, stays on. How it manages to heatproof without being waterproof I don’t know, but it’s the most stable mascara I’ve worn on myself for a while. (And as for the thickening part, I think I’ll try fellow makeup artist Tracy Murphy’s technique of combining several different mascaras!)

Maybelline Volum’Express One by One Mascara in Blackest Black – $8.49 at


Jane Iredale Chocoholicks Lipgloss Palette

When it seems like everything’s melting at once, it’s nice to have something that melts well. Jane Iredale creates products from food grade ingredients, which is especially useful in lip products. How much lipstick, balm, and gloss have you eaten? I’ve eaten tons!

Now Iredale Cosmetics has a new palette of glosses featuring chocolate-inspired colors and flavors. The Blood Orange gloss gives a coppery-golden sheen, but my personal favorite is Chili Pepper, an Indian Red gloss with a chili-infused dark chocolate flavor. Yum…

Jane Iredale Chocoholicks Lipgloss Palette – $35.00 at


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  • Janna Mandell July 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Hi there! So here’s a question — I don’t wear powder now because I feel like I instantly see the powder on my skin and I feel like it makes my pores look more enlarged. Do you have any suggestions on brands and/or brushes? BTW — as a fellow beauty blogger I can tell you your blog is by far one of my all-time favorites. You’re an incredible writer and I worship your aesthetic. Keep it coming!

    • Meli July 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      H Janna!

      Thanks for coming by – and the compliments(blushes)! I’ve found that with powder it’s not really the brand but the color and the amount used. As in, use as little as possible to mute the shine. Especially in the summer, the moisture on the skin absorbs the powder and everything looks smoother and less oily, but not totally matte. Too much powder and it gets…powdery. For my own face I use a big brush with a bit of powder on it, start with the T-zone and then swirl it over my face a few times to make sure everything’s blended – quick and easy!
      p.s. I enjoy your hair tips and product reviews…

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