You should totally click this collage and make it super-huge!
Before I go on to my frivolous rambles about makeup and skincare, I want to write a little about the 2013 Pittsburgh Pride celebration. I've only been to Pride once, and that was for a mere two hours. Getting to see the parade and experience some of the shows and booths was a major treat. But more importantly, it was a privilege and an honor to spend the day with thousands of beautiful people who support equal rights. I want to thank absolutely everyone who came to Pride and supported our thriving LGBTQ community. You give me hope for the future.
And since we're on a serious note about love...
Again, you should click this puppy.
...I feel like now is the perfect opportunity to express my bittersweet love for the city of Pittsburgh. Although I technically grew up in the suburbs, I spent countless hours of my high school career catching buses to the city and lousing about, enjoying its ambiance and acceptance. The delightfully cooky mix of old storefronts, polished skyscrapers, and renovated warehouses is so indicative of the surprisingly rich and diverse city I have always loved. This is a place where I feel loved and accepted, a place where I can always find something to do and someone to do it with. The streets are full of noise and activity. Nobody judges me for what I do or what I wear. All in all, it is the only place I have ever been and felt 100% "right" in, and I'm desperate to live there.
Sure, it's not a glamorous dream, like a move to New York City, or a poignant and romantic one, like a life in the country. But it's the dream I've harbored for a decade now, and the dream I am least likely to achieve, given the cost of living in the actual city. Still, it's a testament to my deeply-rooted love of Pittsburgh that the outrageous cost of a studio apartment isn't enough to scare me away. Pittsburgh: I love you and I want to be with you. Let's make that happen someday.
Now that I've spammed your screen with rainbows and whined piteously, here's some stuff you're probably more interested in! These are my (mostly) unsung heroes of the summer, products I've come to rely on during these hot, humid months. The first product is relatively new to my collection, but already super-loved: the Out of Africa Pure Shea Butter body lotion ($8, Drugstore.com). This lotion moisturizes and softens my skin without feeling sticky or heavy, and it soaks in immediately. It does smell of raw shea butter, which doesn't bother me in the slightest, but those who dislike that nutty scent will probably want to try the fragranced version.
I've also been thanking the Heavens for the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60 ($39, Shiseido.com), which has kept my face and hands from burning without breaking me out or ruining my makeup. I don't think I've ever used a sunscreen that was this weightless yet effective!
The Charlotte Ronson Liquid Eyeshadow in Sky ($9, Sephora) is more like a light "gloss" for the eyelids; it makes them look dewy and fresh, but also manages to stay on for hours and hours. It's a shame that Sephora appears to be liquidating this line. :(
I've been using two bright, cool-toned pink blushes endlessly since I got them: the Becca Beach Tint in Lychee ($24, Sephora) and the Yves Saint Laurent Creme de Blush in #9 Babydoll ($34, Nordstrom). Both are airy, super-blendable, and incredibly comfortable. They're also completely void of brown tones, which makes them perfect natural flush shades for super-fair skin.
I've also been enjoying the MAC Blot pressed powder in Light ($24, MACCosmetics.com) for touch-ups and moderate oil control. There's nothing that can really stop my super-oily nose from getting shiny during a humid Pennsylvania summer, but this powder manages to old the shine at bay for a bit, and when I touch it up halfway through the day, it doesn't get cakey.
Finally, I want to give another shout-out to the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl ($41, Sephora). This product is so not-glittery and gorgeous that I sometimes forget how uber-glowy it is. Most highlighters require large amounts of shimmer to make your cheekbones so beautiful, but this product manages to make your cheeks outright glossed without the excessive glitter. I will love this product forever and ever.