Summer Favourites 2022
Is it just me, or do the last three months feel like a bit of a blur? I feel like December lasted ten minutes (we can blame Christmas for that), and I spent a good chunk of January isolating thanks to a virus that just can’t take a hint and now we’re about to welcome Autumn, it blows my mind how quickly this year has started. As such, I’ve got a short and sweet seasonal favourites post to share before I go and dust off my Autumn boots and dig out my berry lipsticks #FallAddict
Chantecaille Jasmine And Lily Healing Masks – this is a gorgeous hydrating mask that has the wobbly texture of cold cream, and has fast become one of my favourites. It’s formulated with Panthenol to encourage soothing and healing, Macadamia Oil to condition the skin, Evening Primrose Oil to nourish and Jasmine Flower Extract to soften – all with a base of Rosewater and Glycerin. Although the official instruction is to use this as a 20-30 minutes wash-off mask, I prefer to use this as a leave-on treatment overnight. The idea of rinsing off this pricey product just doesn’t sit right with me. I like to apply it right before bed as an extra layer of moisture for nights when my skin is feeling dehydrated or looking a bit dull, or for when I’ve stayed up late and done my evening routine hours prior.
Fenty Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream – I can’t remember the last time I fell so in love with a moisturiser. Lately I’ve been finding them a little boring, but this is different. The dewy finish, the speedy absorption, the subtle fruity scent, and in case that wasn’t enough to interest you the packaging is really clever. When you first purchase it you get a pot of the cream sealed with a foil lid and a reusable outer shell to keep it in. Once you’ve used it all up, you just pop the inner cartridge out, purchase a refill and slot it back into the outer packaging which means less plastic ending up in the bin. Back to what’s on the inside though. It’s a gorgeous gel-cream hybrid formulated with Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Watermelon Seed Oil, Cactus Flower Extract, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice and Jojoba Seed Oil. Full review here. I’ve recently finished my first tub, and I very much see a refill in my future.
Jordan Samuel Hydrate The Mist – in Summer, I need a mist. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be refreshing, hydrating and preferably with a fine spritz – cue Jordan Samuel. This hydrating mist is formulated with Glycerin, Cucumber Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol and Red Seaweed Extract which helps to pull moisture into the skin. It can be kept in the fridge, works beautifully to refresh makeup, works great applied quickly pre-SPF reapplication when your skin is feeling a bit dehydrated, and it works incredibly well to sandwich additional layers of moisture in between your existing routine – as I said, in Summer I need a mist.
Vaseline Invigorating Glow Skin Serum – when it’s 35°C the last thing I feel like doing is applying a thick and balmy body butter that take two hours to soak in, but my dry skin is a year-round occurrence and it just won’t quit, so for the second Summer in a row, this has been my go-to lotion. Light texture, it absorbs quickly, it has a fresh cucumber scent and is readily available from chemists and supermarkets for less than $10. I can’t say enough good things about this product.
Pixi DetoxifEYE Patches – picture this, you’ve woken up early and it’s already hot out, you had a restless sleep because the overnight low temperature wasn’t nearly low enough and as you trudge to the bathroom mirror you realise your puffy and dry undereyes are telling the world all about your crappy night. Cue the Pixi Eye Patches! These hydrogel patches are cooling and refreshing, and are made with Coconut Extract, Caffeine, and Cucumber Extract to help soothe and hydrate. They instantly wake me up, even when I’m feeling my most groggy, and they make me look so much more ready for the day than I feel. I first bought these last Winter and I really struggled to use them on cold and frosty mornings, but in the warmth of January? Perfection.
Just For Men Beard Dye – okay, hear me out on this one, I know it says ‘beard and moustache’ dye, but this is the best eyebrow dye I’ve ever used. Not only does it not stain skin (although, I’m pretty careful with application anyway), it lasts a solid week before it begins to fade and it doesn’t make my brows or the skin around them feel dry or dehydrated. Plus, you get so much more product for a much smaller price than the female aimed brow dye products #pinktax. I’ve been using this for almost two years now, but in Summer I find it especially helpful since I’m usually only wearing SPF and brows, so if I can have my brows ready to go it saves me time filling in all my sparse spots with a pencil, I just need a swipe of clear gel and I’m good to go.
Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana Eau de Parfum – describing fragrances is an art form, and so many writers are able to describe scents with such visual whimsy that you can basically smell them off the page (Alice du Parcq and Sali Hughes spring instantly to mind), but I’m going to give it my best go to describe the two scents I’ve been spritzing non-stop all Summer. Bare with me here. The first is Dolce, which I’ve had in my collection for a while but to me this is the perfect fragrance for hot weather. It sits in that gorgeous intersection of soft, fresh florals meeting with a green and aquatic edge. And although it’s undeniable feminine and very floral, it’s not at all dusty or powdery – pure Summer freshness. I love this an an everyday perfume, but often layer it at night to boost it’s staying power because it tends to be a bit flighty.
4711 Original Eau de Cologne – not only is this a lovely perfume, but it’s also one of the oldest perfumes still in original production. First created in 1792 in Cologne, Germant. The scent is made up simply of Lemon, Orange, Bergamot, Lavender, Rosemary, Petitgrain and Neroli (extraordinarily similar to the much newer Tom Ford Neroli Portofino if you’re familiar with that fragrance). It’s a very fresh, citrus-forward scent and is very warm-weather appropriate, this unisex fragrance is a definite favourite of mine. But it also holds a superpower, I’m not sure exactly why, because this doesn’t seem to work with just any perfume, but if you spray this gorgeous and inexpensive fragrance onto itchy mosquito bites, it instantly takes away the urge to scratch. Surely it’s something to do with alcohol and citrus, but I prefer to believe in the mystery wizardry that cannot be explained – whatever the reason, it’s a concrete Summer must-have for me. My German great-grandmother gave me a miniature bottle when I was young for this exact purpose and I’ve never been without it since. This is a ‘forever-favourites’ kinda product.
BOOKS AND TELEVISION:
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane – Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects) is one of my favourite authors and when I heard her say that Mystic River is one of her favourite suspense books and that it influenced her writing I knew I had to add it to the to be read list. At almost 600 pages I really thought I’d struggle, but this book is engaging, descriptive, complex and unlike anything I’d ever read before. It centers around three men living in a dodgy part of Boston who were friends as kids, before a crime occurred and caused them to drift apart. Fast forward twenty-odd years and another crime in the same town weaves their paths together again. Highly recommend if you like suspense/thrillers, but if films are more your vibe Clint Eastwood directed the movie with Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn which is absolute gold.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson – I didn’t realise that this was a ‘young-adult’ book when I picked it up, the book centers around the murder of a high school girl so it doesn’t exactly scream young reader. The format, however, is so good that I don’t mind one bit that the writing is a little ‘youthful’. The storyline focuses around Pippa who has elected to investigate the local murder of fellow high school alum Andie Bell from five years earlier, even though the entire town is convinced that her boyfriend was the culprit. Set on clearing his name, Pippa enlists the help of the convicted’s brother to re-investigate the closed case and right what she believes to be a huge miscarriage of justice. The book is delivered through interview scripts, investigative discussion logs, text messages and phone conversations, as well as narrated chapters which makes the book so easy to read and stay engaged in. Very different style of mystery book to Mystic River, but very enjoyable too.
Outer Banks – this has been on my Netflix list for yonks, but over Christmas I gave it a go, and within just a few days I’d completely devoured both seasons and started stalking online gossip sites to get a clue as to when season three would be airing. The best way to describe this show is if National Treasure and CSI: Miami had an angsty teen-drama love child, this would be that. It’s tense, clever, stressful, addictive and incredibly well cast. Give it two episodes before you call it, but I’m counting down the days to the next season!
The Lady Vanishes Podcast – I’ve been glued to this podcast for a long time, but it finally feels like this true crime podcast might actually be reaching some answers. Although the story of missing person Marion Barter began in 1997, the case has taken so many crazy twists and turns and has only just over the last month or two gotten to the NSW Coroners Court for its very overdue inquest. Meaning that this cold case is currently unravelling in real time. I don’t want to give any spoilers here, and honestly the case is too convoluted to give you a decent summary anyway, but it follows Sally Leydon, the daughter of missing Marion as she teams up with two Channel 7 journalists to look into the disappearance of her mother. To say the story has to be heard to be believed is the understatement of the year – dozens of name changes, international travel, countless affairs, missing money and an alleged conman that preys on vulnerable women who will make your skin crawl. It feels odd to list a tragic true crime in a frivolous favourites post, but I hope you understand that I list it here with sensitivity for the people involved, knowing that it’s real life, not merely entertainment for us as an audience. I feel really invested in this case, I even watched most of the live-streamed inquest over the last few weeks.
Allen’s Bites Mini Chocolate Coated Raspberries – Coeliacs and other gluten avoiders will know just how hard it is to find lollies and sweets that you can actually eat, but these chocolate coated raspberries hit the sugary and chocolaty spot all in one when you’re feeling like a little post-dinner treat. They’re fairly new, but they’ve just made them available in dark and white chocolate as well as my favourite milk version.
Pantry Pasta – okay, so I don’t actually follow a recipe here, but this recipe is surprisingly close to what I actually do when I haven’t made proper plans for dinner but I want something packed with flavour and really filling despite the lack of planning. We call it ‘pantry pasta’ in our house, but it’s essentially some cupboard staples (black pitted olives, anchovies – a few more than you think, chilli flakes and loads of crushed garlic, I can live without capers, but if you like them go for it) all pan fried together and tossed with any pasta of your choice. Serve it with yesterday’s bread oven-roasted with a slathering of garlic butter and you have pretty much a dream meal for me.