Round-up: My Picks for Summer, What’s New on the Testing Block & Music News!
Hey lovelies! I hope you are enjoying your Summer so far! The weather here started out very Fall like, but has now moved into “seventh level of hell” hot and humid! It’s always extremes here in good old Western New York! 🤣
Anyhoo…I had wanted to get a Summer Faves post up a while ago, but with teaching/lesson prep/review and rehearsing non-stop for recitals, it’s been a wee difficult to focus on blogging. It’s going to get even busier in Sept. which I will chat about later, but for now, I have a break in the craziness and want to dish on what I’m loving for Summer, what new products I am testing and upcoming music events/news!
First up…My current Summer Faves!
- Lovinah Dragon’s Blood Tonic – I love all of the Dragon’s Blood products from Lovinah, but for Summer, this is my top pick! This toner cleanses, exfoliates, hydrates and brightens skin. It also keeps skin acne free with ingredients like prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants and Dragon’s Blood! Read more about this amazing product here and use code GlowLikeBrie to save 15%!
- Genetix Organic Skin Serums – I love and use all of their facial serums/oils, but lately, I’ve been gravitating towards the Glow Brightening Serum as the last step in my morning routine. It contains vitamins A, C, D, E + hyaluronic acid, chia seed oil, hibiscus, turmeric, and melatonin to help nourish, plump, hydrate, and create an all-day glow! Code Brie saves you $$ at checkout!
- Elaa Superfruit Rejuvenating Moisture Mask – I’m a fan of everything Jill from Elaa creates, but this mask is truly something special! It contains tons of antioxidants (particularly astaxanthin), vitamin C from whole food sources like organic acerola cherry, dragon fruit and amla berry (to name a few), hyaluronic acid and many other organic plant goodness to deeply nourish, hydrate, tone, firm and impart a healthy radiance! It feels like a whipped moisturizer when you put it on and your skin is soooo soft when you wash it off! Once again, Jill has outdone herself!
- Bella Aura Collections – I can’t ever see myself without every single one of these products in my routine – but for Summer, I am especially loving the Rapid Repair Clarifying Elixir to ward off any blemishes, redness, dehydration or irritation and the Gravity Repair Serum to tone, firm and reduce cellulite..because shorts! Code Brie15 saves you 15% sitewide!
- Fitglow Age Clear Detox Cleanser – This is my favorite night time gel cleanser ever! For night I like a double cleanse so I start off with this cleanser to dissolve makeup, dirt, and gunk from the day, and then follow up with this one. Perfect for my reactive skin, this contains activated bamboo charcoal to purify pores, wildcrafted white willow bark to fight blemishes and cucumber to cool and soothe. It’s not the least bit drying, in fact, it leaves my skin feeling soft and supple and happy!
- Lumion Skin Oxygen Serum – This multi-tasking product protects the skin against environmental damage, fights aging and acne, helps to heal cuts, scrapes, and burns and is great for helping to soothe and heal sunburn (which my hubby loves this for). It’s basically like a natural Neosporin but that is also anti-aging and anti-acne! This is a definite must-have!
- Suntegrity Impeccable Skin SPF30 in Ivory – This is skincare, sunscreen, and makeup all in one, that contains vitamins & peptides for skin benefits, non-nano zinc oxide for broad-spectrum SPF protection and melanin (from non-GMO corn) to protect against blue light from electronics. It provides medium coverage and does not contain any pore clogging silicones, but still makes your skin look flawless. Since this color is too light for me, I use this as a primer/sunscreen under my make up. Like all of the Suntegrity products I have tried, this was another hit for me.
- Bare Minerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation – When I want a really natural coverage (that covers what I need covered) and that helps to treat any blemishes that may have popped up, this is the foundation I grab. I use the color Fair 1C and it is a perfect match.
- The Organic Skin Co. – I am obsessed with everything about this company (read my full post here), and I am especially loving the Lip/Cheek in Velvet for a bold Summer lip and the Cream Shadow in Deep Purple as an eyeliner. I also love using the Primer as my moisturizer+primer as well!
- Fitglow Beauty Vita Active Foundation in 1.5 – For Summer, I don’t like a heavy foundation, especially when it is humid. This one feels light on the skin, yet provides the most perfect, natural coverage. It’s made with skin-caring ingredients like aloe, rose, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and carrot seed oil and actually improves the look, feel, clarity and health of your skin the longer you use it!
- Fitglow Beauty Lip Colour Serum in “Go” – My every day, go to lip product and color! This is actually a lip serum and gloss in one – it contains ingredients to moisturize, plump and promote collagen all the while adding a touch of color and lots of shine!
- Jane Iredale Mystikol Powdered Eyeliner in “Sapphire” – The perfect bold blue for Summer! Goes on more like a gel liner and I love to “set it” with a powdered shadow in a similar shade for longer staying power!
- 100% Pure Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick in “Tempest” – Not sure if this has been discontinued, but I love this super bold violet shade and the creamy, richness of the lipstick is another plus. Lips are hydrated and dressed in beautiful, long-lasting color!
- Clove + Hallow Lip Velvet in “Road Trip”- Keeping with the bold, in your face color theme here, this lip stain is about as bold as you can get! A really bright hot pink, this color is meant to make your lips the star! I really love these lip stains from Clove + Hallow, not just because the colors are simply gorgeous or that they last literally all day until you take them off, but also because they are made with clean, natural, lip nurturing ingredients! Clean Beauty does not mean you have to compromise with performance and this brand definitely proves that!
- Zuzu Luxe Blush in “Sunset” – This beautiful warm apricot shade is really flattering on my fair skin and adds just a touch of shimmer that is subtle enough for day but still glam enough for night.
- Evolvh WonderBalm – Even though this says it’s for curls, this can also be used to achieve sleek, straight looks too. This silicone-free formula contains castor and almond oils to soften and hydrate hair, while also keeping frizz at bay. I like to use this on my hair when it’s damp and then style, and my hair is smooth, silky and oh so shiny! The ingredients are clean and cruelty-free.
- Innersense I Create Waves – Formulated with pink Himalayan salt and aloe vera to provide texture and hydration, this creates waves that are soft and touchable, not sticky or dry like other salt sprays I’ve tried. Lavender oil provides a calming fragrance and amethyst crystal (associated with the crown chakra) strengthens the imagination and refines the thinking process.
Use on wet hair and scrunch ends a bit to make waves, or use on dry hair to “revive” curls/waves. Either way you use it, this will give your hair volume, soft texture, and a beautiful scent. I personally love to use it both ways!
New on the testing block…
There’s not a lot I can say at the moment about this next group of products, other than first impressions are pretty positive! I’ll be covering each more in depth (either here or on Insta) at later dates once I’ve had a bit longer to test them out!
- Alighten Natural Skincare – Alighten Natural Skin Care creates clean, non-toxic, natural, and luxurious skin care. Their products have been created to pamper and nourish, using carefully selected natural and beneficial ingredients. They strive to create beauty with inner conscience by using recyclable glass bottles and box and shipping packaging that is made from materials that are both recycled and recyclable. They also donate a portion of every sale to an organization that empowers communities and families to take action against hunger. I was graciously sent their Gentle Renewing Facial Cleanser, the Vitality & Restoration Serum, and the Nutritive Revitalizing Facial Oil. I’ve only been using them for a few days, but I am truly impressed by how deeply moisturizing, calming and nourishing each product is. So far, my skin is liking each product so we’ll see how things go in a month or so of use. I’ll keep you guys posted!
- Bare Minerals Bare Pro Liquid and Pressed Powder Foundation – Breathable, full coverage, matte finish, SPF, formulated with clean ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and bamboo stem extract for a soft focus, blurred effect – these are working out quite nicely for me and my fussy skin. Also, these don’t cake, streak or break me out and there are 35 colors to choose from, so finding a match is easy! I’ll be posting more on these later of course!
Other new products I will be testing out and may or may not share, depending on how well they work and if I like them…
These products were kindly sent to me from a PR firm I work with often and though I love Trilogy, Devita and Ao Skincare, I’m not sure about Robin McGraw. I’m not very familiar with the brand, so I will need to look into them more before deciding on using. I’ll keep you guys posted!
So, a lot has been happening in my music life! From teaching to studying to performing, to being the studio’s creative director, it’s been non-stop! As of right now, I am only up to 4 student’s, but possibly (hopefully) I will be acquiring 2 more soon. It’s been hard for me to take on too much as I am still recovering from adrenal issues, but am getting better with holistic treatment, so I am starting to feel able to do more! In Sept. my teacher will be traveling to Europe to attend several opera masterclasses as well as star in the lead role of Nedda in “I, Pagliacci” and while she is gone, I am being put in charge of the studio and all of her current vocal student’s (at least 21 student’s so I need to be better STAT lol!)!! In addition, I will still be performing my creative director role, as well as teaching my own student’s and working on upcoming recital pieces. It’ll be a lot to take on, but I am ready for the challenge!
October will be our big studio faculty recital and I am currently combing through books to find the best repertoire that not only showcases what I can do vocally, but that is the correct vocal fach for me as well. So far, I’ve definitely selected “Come Scoglio” from Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart, a Spanish Art Song (to pay homage to my Spanish heritage), and the Phantom Duet with a fellow student and instructor I recently performed with. My teacher is also looking at a few other Mozart pieces for me that would fit what my voice is growing into (I’m blossoming into a Dramatic Coloratura, a very rare and awesome voice type so I am pretty stoked).
In addition to all the recitals we are planning for this year, we’ve also been having some Open Mic/Jam Night’s that have been a blast. It’s for student’s 16+ and we have food, drinks and just hang out, play music and have fun! We’ve only had a few student’s attend – it’s mostly been us teachers and our SO’s or friends of my teacher, but it’s still been a lot of fun to just spend time with other music lovers. And of course drink wine. Lots of wine…
Last week, we had our all-studio Spring/Summer Recital and it was simply amazing! Everyone did so well! I had such a great time singing “Laci Darem La Mano”, and even though some things went wrong during my solo piece (unfortunately, there is always something that can go wrong during live performances – you just have to go on regardless), it was still a wonderful evening and I can’t wait to perform again!
Until next time!
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