July Beauty Favorites (and life+death updates)

Usually July is my one of my favorite months because there's so much fun things going on. This year though, my July was a bit boring: I spent 4th of July watching my younger sister while my mom and stepdad went out of town, and Cecilio and I were gonna go to his friends' house but he worked late and was too tired to go. And we didn't get to watch fireworks. Oh well, we'll spend many more 4th of Julys' together!

I wouldn't say I had absolutely nothing to do, because I had a few highlights: celebrating best friend's birthday and going to the Oakland A's game (even though I'm a Giants fan). The highlight of every July for me is going to the state fair and getting my funnel cake fix, petting baby farm animals and riding on the skyride afterwards. And I got to go to the fair every single day last year as an intern. It was physically (and sometimes mentally) exhausting, but I wouldn't have traded the experience for the world. It was the best place I've ever worked in.

This month, my sister and I dealt with a few deaths. Our grandma (on our dad's side) passed away on the 16th. She was 93 years old. She had a heart attack a week earlier and was rushed to the hospital. She stayed for a few days, got released and then fainted. Then was when she left this world. I'm very thankful that I got to see her when I went to the Philippines 3 years ago, because I did not grow up with her the way I grew up with my other grandma. My dad told me a lot of stories about her and the house they grew up in, in the northern part of the Philippines where they had acres of farmland. He spoke about how she was an amazing cook. She was so fascinated with how much I looked him. She probably knew what had happened to him (he had stage 4 lung cancer), but no one has ever officially broke the news to her. She kept telling my aunts, cousins, mom and I that whatever happened to him, she did not want to know or hear of it. Either way, it would've been too much for her to bear. When we would get in contact with her, we would just say he was very sick, but in a generalized way: no mention of cancer. It was very heartbreaking and I am just thankful for the time I got to spend with her. I take solace in the fact that she is now with my dad and grandpa, and that she did not have a prolonged suffering the way my dad did.

My sister had at least 2 friends who passed away this month. I just feel awful for her, especially because our family friend (and her best friend), Noelle, passed away in November. I wrote about it in this post. My sister also had another best friend that she grew up with who died from pancreatic cancer in December. This month, I've also been grieving over the death of Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. No other celebrity death shook me the way his did. I have been a Linkin Park fan since I was 12, and they have helped me throughout my teenage years. He has helped so many of his fans...if only we could've helped hi as well.

I'm sorry if this was a bit depressing! I just needed to get this out of my chest. Death terrifies me, especially it hits close to you and it happens more frequently. To make things a little more light-hearted, here are my favorites (the products I've been reaching for the most) this past month:

Essence Gel Nail Polish in "Feels like Birthday"
I've heard some amazing things about Essence, so I figured I would pick up this gorgeous polish at my local Ulta! I'm not a big fan of the brush because it's very wide (and not flat), and applies really thick. But my goodness this bright red violet is perfect for summer! It lasted a good few days before chipping, but if I bought the Essence base and top coats I'm sure it would've lasted longer.

Glossier Cloud Paint in "Dusk"
I loved the Glossier Cloud Paint in "Haze" that I went to order Dusk! This tannish-nude shade gives the illusion of a natural sun-kissed glow. I also prefer using gel and liquid blushes for the summer since it's not too heavy on my skin.

Hanalei Rose Lip Treatment
For my painfully dry lips, I can never have too much lip balm. I got this in my July ipsy glambag. I was happy to see how it has a tinted pink color! It has the texture of a lip oil, and feels super comfortably.

L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
I am never spending $23 on a mascara EVER AGAIN. Why should I now that I have the ultimate dupe of the Better Than Sex mascara? It adds volume and even curls my lashes! I feel like I am walking around in natural looking falsies. Also, it doesn't clump like BTS does. I'm sold.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in "Medium"
I bought this concealer in the shade "Tan Sand" back in February, because it was closer to my skin tone and I needed something to cover my dark circles. I still couldn't help but wonder why it looked darker on me than the rest of my face. I asked a beauty advisor at Ulta what would be the best shade for my dark circles, and she pointed out the shade "medium". She said that "Tan Sand" is better suited for my face itself. So ever since, I've been using this shade and it gives me the full coverage I want (and actually matches), especially over my beloved BECCA Backlight Colour Corrector in "Peach".

Kylie Liquid Lipstick in "Ginger"
Say what you want about Kylie and her family, but I love her lip kits and I freaking love this shade. I don't know why I didn't buy it last year when it was released. I always have a hard time finding a nude lipstick for my skin tone, since most of them are made with fair-skinned ladies in mind. Oh no, Kylie's lip kits are WoC friendly. The shade ginger is described as a "warm terracotta brown" and it couldn't be any more true. It shows up as a medium brownish nude with peachy undertones. I saw somewhere that MAC Persistence is a dupe, but I don't agree...Ginger is warmer and more pigmented. This is a wonderful everyday shade, and it gives your lips a punch of color without being in-your-face. It's very work friendly, and balances out a smoky eye. My only gripe is that it's very drying, but that's to be expected with liquid lipsticks.

How has your life (non-beauty included) life been in July?
What has been some of your favorites?


  1. July hasn't been an overly exciting month for me, I did have my graduation though and I've had a few days out. I'm really sorry for your loss, and it must have been horrible for your Sister as well, to have to watch people she grew up with pass away too soon. I agree with you, it is an incredible scary thing.

    It's good to hear the shape tape worked for you, I just wish it was cheaper to get here, but I would probably go for medium too as it seemed the closest match from youtube videos I saw. Your colour matches are also super helpful xx

    Velvet Blush

  2. I'm so sorry for yours and your sister's losses, but I'm glad you wrote about them if it helped you get things off your chest.
    I'm very curious about that L'Oréal mascara, I'm wondering if it's available in Italy. I haven't seen it around yet, but I'd love to give it a go.

  3. The rose lip treatment sounds really heavenly! I also think L'oreal has some of the best mascaras out there- I will stan a $7 tube over a $20+ anyday!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. Chester's death was a really huge shock to me too. I haven't fully realized it yet, as Linkin Park was something I listened to with my mom, who passed away in September of last year. I'm trying not to think too much about, personally. I'm sorry that July just wasn't a good month for you, but I'm hoping August will be better ♥


  4. I've heard great things about essence nail polish and that shade is gorgeous, I need to try this brand out! I hope your August is better than this month...

    Lauren X Huggled

  5. I am so sorry for your losses, it must have been a very rough time for you and family. My thoughts and love are with you. xx

  6. I've got to get my hands on the tarte shape tape concealer at some point bc all I see is hype!

    Carla x

  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma and your sister's friends, it must have been a really tough time for you guys. Death terrifies me too, but it's good that you're getting it off your chest.

    I haven't used drugstore mascaras in a long time, but your review of the L'oreal one makes me want to go back to them again! Natural falsies sounds amazing!

    Jenny | Geeky Posh