Best of July
Hello August! It is with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I say that. Excitement, because I can't wait to go on holiday later this month, but sadness because we are entering the last month of summer, which is by far my favourite season. But let's focus on July, which is what this week's post is all about!
For the first time in a few months I have more than a couple beauty favourites. This year I have found some amazing products that work wonders and I've not changed what I use that much and my make up has been minimal since spring, but I can feel I am arriving at that point in the cycle when I'm craving some new things in my stash, so expect a few new appearances soon.
Up to last month I'd used coconut oil for baking and as a hair mas, but had never on my face. Towards the end of June I moved the jar from my kitchen cupboard to the drawers in my bathroom and have used it as an eye make up remover every single night and it is, hand on heart, the best I have ever tried. As I said in my earlier post, you really don't need to splash out on fancy eye make up removers. I focus on the eye area by gently rubbing it on y eyelashes but also use it on the rest of my face as a cleanser and remove it with a hot flannel or muslin cloth.
I bought this at the supermarket in Duras, France, when I was there last June on a yoga retreat. I've never come across this brand in the UK, but I have used their products often when back at home in Spain, where you can find it at Carrefour. What attracts me the most about Le Petit Marsellais body and hair care range is the wide variety of scents, which includes lavender honey, shea butter, almond milk, grapefruit, and a very long etcetera. Orange blossom is my mum's favourite flower and a scent that reminds me of Valencia, so whenever I come across anything with that fragrance I have to buy it, and this was no exception.
There is a website called frenchclick.co.uk where this range is available. I can also highly recommend their hair range, especially the conditioner with shea butter and honey (lait de karite et miel).
Dermablend Corrective Stick (45 Gold)
I've not been wearing foundation since the spring, but my skin is far from perfect, so I have been relying in this super concealer to cover all my skin's imperfections for a few months now. Dermablend is part of the Vichy brand and their foundations and concealers are so pigmented that are often used to cover scarring and tattoos. The colour range of the sticks isn't amazing, but they do cover an awful lot of sins and if you set them with a light dusting of translucent powder their staying power is great. The colour is very concentrated though so be spare and blend blend blend!
I got this brush a couple of years ago when I bought the Core Collection set by Real Techniques. At the time what I was really after was the buffing brush, which I still use and love, but this little gem has become a staple in the past couple of months. In my May favourites I talked about how much I loved Topshop's glow pot and used it in the inner corners of my eyes daily. Well, this brush is what I apply it with. It is small and soft and would also be great for concealing little blemishes.
Since I came back feeling great after a yoga retreat in France I really wanted to keep it up and incorporate a bit more yoga into my every day life, and a very easy way to do that is at home. I saw this Youtube channel recommended by Anna from Vivianna does Make Up and decided to try their videos. I. LOVE. IT. It is fairly challenging and I still find myself skipping a few chaturangas to catch my breath but it's so invigorating and makes you feel amazing. Not to mention Lesley Fightmaster's voice, which I could listen to all day. She's got that great balance of encouraging you to try challenging things whilst making you feel at ease if you can't do it that day. I love it when she admits what took her a long time to achieve - makes it so much easier to relate to when you're having a day when your body just won't go there.
Similar to the famous 30 Days of Yoga from Yoga with Adriene, there is a Yoga Fix 90, although I've been choosing different videos depending on what I feel like on the day.
Music / books / tv / films
Who would've told me, that going away to the middle of the French countryside on a retreat was going to end up in me buying a Kindle, another piece of technology! I had been resisting it for a long time, telling myself that I preferred having paperback books to keep them and put them on my book shelves. However, life is changing and so must I. After talking to others on the trip who had them, I realised that having a light device I could take everywhere would encourage me to read more, so on my last night, just before going outside to gaze at the stars, three of us made an impulsive purchase and simultaneously bought Kindles. I got the most basic version, which has been more than enough.
Since then I have swapped my usual Youtube watching binge for reading before going to sleep, and have seen so many benefits! I sleep better, wake up more rested and I've really been enjoying reading on a daily basis instead of just during holidays.
This book is making it into this month's favourites but I know that it is much more than a monthly favourite. It is a book I will never forget about. Cheryl Strayed tells her experience of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995, a few years after her mother passed away from lung cancer. She says she went on the trail to become the woman her mother had raised her to be. Cheryl walked 1,100 miles on her own, encountering people and other creatures in the wilderness, going through experiences in her life in her mind, one of the most important being losing her mother and how it affected her family. It is a book about grief and about how she found healing in the wilderness of the PCT. The book was later adapted into a film starring Reese Witherspoon last December. I am amazed I hadn't watched it or read it before, but sometimes books and films find you when you are ready for them.
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