Summer Must-Haves When You Don’t Like Summer

Summer is here, and I hate it.

I don’t like the beach, I don’t like swimming, and I sure as hell don’t like the sun.

It’s a little problematic if you live in a tropical country like I do.

See, you’re not just dealing with the oppressive heat; you’re dealing with unrelenting humidity. It ruins your hair, your makeup, and your day, leaving you looking like that poor dumb Nazi bastard at the end of Raiders.

The good news is that I now have a trusty arsenal of summer favorites to make this horrendous weather a lot more bearable, at least until the rainy season rolls around in a couple of months.

Life in monsoon Asia — what a blast.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

There’s really no point in wearing a full face of makeup in this weather.

Admit it: your makeup will never look as fresh as it did this morning. The traffic situation in Metro Manila would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic, and there’s no way your face beat will survive both the summer heat and the MRT.

Avoid makeup meltdown by sticking to a light base and then doing pinpoint concealing as necessary. Glossier’s Skin Tint barely has any coverage, but it does have a blurring effect that helps blur out blemishes and texture.

I also find that the dewy finish keeps me looking healthy and glowing throughout the day, even when my nose inevitably oils up.

BLK Cosmetics Creamy All-Over Paint in Peony

I have naturally flushed cheeks, which sounds cuter than it really is. I’m not talking about that girly peach-pink hue that offers a youthful glow. No. The tiniest amount of exertion leaves me bright red, like an elderly Maru-chan.

Fighting the redness in this heat is an uphill battle that I’m not prepared to face, so I’ve completely given up. You know what they say, right? If you can’t beat them, pick a blush that enhances that natural flush and just run with ’em.

Catchy.

BLK’s Creamy All-Over Paint in Peony perfectly mimics my natural flush, so a few dabs on the apples of my cheeks gives me that healthy and vibrant post-workout glow. (A magnificent lie, to be honest. I always look like I’m two sets of Russian twists away from death after I exercise.)

I have to use a light hand with Peony, though, otherwise I’ll quickly go from sun-kissed to sun-stroked.

Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer in Inda Sun

Here’s the tea: I didn’t buy this for bronzing; I bought it to contour.

For the longest time, I thought I wouldn’t ever need to mess with contouring, because I’m not a Kardashian and don’t plan to be one anytime soon. But then I saw Tiffany Young’s Vogue video and it was a lightbulb moment.

Like most people of East Asian descent, I have a flat face. I normally don’t mind so much but when I apply base makeup, there’s always a tendency towards exacerbating that flatness, which looks unnatural.

Watching Tiffany’s video, I finally understood that contouring isn’t about that overly chiseled Instagram look; it’s about adding dimension!

The trick, really, is in finding the right shade. Too warm and you could end up orange; too cool and you could end up grey. Thankfully, Inda Sun is the perfect neutral-warm shade that fits my complexion exactly.

I lightly brush the bronzer along the perimeters of my face (but not the forehead, because mine is tiny as it is) to minimize the overall flatness. For added dimension, I apply a little more along the jawline and right under my cheekbones.

Voila, I am 3D.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s efficient — especially during hot summer days when I want maximum impact with minimal effort.

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo

The battle against humidity is no joke, at least as far as my hair is concerned. I could shower in the morning, leave my hair untouched for a couple hours, and still find it flat and Snape-y by mid-afternoon.

No one wants to be Snape, just so you know.

So I finally found a dry shampoo that I don’t hate! That’s major. I’ve tried a lot of them, but this one from Batiste works best for me. It isn’t too smelly, it doesn’t look weird and it doesn’t make my hair stiff. It doesn’t lead to unnecessarily weird tangles, either.

I know they have a smaller travel version, but I only have the huge one so I just stick it in my gigantic bag and tote it around as insurance.

What are your summer must-haves?

(No seriously, I am constantly looking for better tools to manage this goddamn heat. Send help.)


Photo by Kent Pilcher on Unsplash

Kilay Clash: Glossier Boy Brow vs Sunnies Face Lifebrow Grooming Gel

Before we start, take a second to look at that picture of me on the right hand side of your screen. Look at my brows.

I have good, thick brows. Slightly unruly, but definitely the sort of brow that seems to be popular right now.

Thank goodness they survived the 90s. That’s largely due to my mom’s absolute obsession with tradition, which holds that unmarried women are not supposed to tweeze, pluck, or shave their brows.

It was such an annoying thing back then, given that I had really bushy brows when everyone in the 90s tweezed theirs into oblivion, but it’s obviously a wonderful thing in hindsight. Thank you, mom. Thank you, weird Chinese tradition.

So now why do I even bother with brow gels? I like having nice, natural brows but they can get a little unruly sometimes. I trim the underside occasionally, or if I feel like it’s moving away from thick to actual thicket.

Glossier Boy Brow is one of the most life-changing beauty products on the planet because it grooms and really gets those fine hairs to show up, so you get that runway model brow without a lot of effort. That said, I don’t like having to ship the products through a third party, as it needlessly complicates my life and it probably isn’t very good for the environment.

So I decided to try out Sunnies Face Lifebrow Grooming Gel. It’s local and it’s inexpensive — two things that I am decidedly very into.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how we ended up with this comparison post. But first, the tale of the tape:

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 6.05.08 PM

Statistics are only half the battle, though, so we move on the crux of this post: can the Lifebrow actually replace my Boy Brow for good?

Packaging

It’s no secret that the Sunnies Face owners took a lot of inspiration from Glossier, and it definitely shows — especially in the packaging department. That said, I don’t understand why the handle for Lifebrow has to be that long? It’s not really serving anybody, and we could do just fine with a shorter one.

Wand

When it comes to brow gels, you want a wand that will grab even the tiniest eyebrow hairs. Precision is key!

Both brands offer excellent wands. Glossier’s is short but a little wider, while Sunnies Face has a wand that’s thin and tall. With these wands, applying the product on the brows is a lot easier and takes very little effort. You don’t have to worry about smudges, either.

Color

Boy Brow comes in Clear, Blonde, Brown, and Black. Lifebrow is available in Ash Brown and Warm Brown. (I use Black and Warm Brown, respectively.)

Black can get pretty intense, especially if I’m a bit heavy-handed. The color really does show up. Warm Brown, though, isn’t as visible. This probably isn’t a fair comparison, because clearly I have dark brows and Warm Brown won’t be as obvious on them. I don’t know if Lifebrow is coming out with new shades in the future, but it looks like they really are going for something a bit more muted.

The Actual Product

The most crucial difference between Lifebrow and Boy Brow? Lifebrow Grooming Gel isn’t enough to recreate that Boy Brow finish.

Boy Brow grabs the brow hairs and thickens them, so you look like you have thicker brows. I don’t have to use a pencil to fill in the gaps, I just brush my brows and go.

With Lifebrow, it looks like you really need the matching pencil if you want that thicker finish. To be fair, the brand does sell them as a duo, and nowhere in their product literature do they say that their brow gel volumizes or thickens.

It does work great if you just want something to fluff up your brows and give them hold. Lifebrow is no way a one-stop-shop like Boy Brow, though.

Conclusion

Glossier’s Boy Brow remains undefeated, and I may have to keep ordering it for the foreseeable future. That said, I could get the matching Lifebrow pencil and see if it works out better. It’s just that I’ve never used an eyebrow pencil (don’t really need to), but it might just be the missing ingredient to take Lifebrow grooming gel to the next level.


Photo by A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ on Unsplash