Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF+ debuted a few months ago, and although I’ve been using it regularly since then, I haven’t mentioned it much here on Haute Mess. But, now that I have had ample time to test this one-of-a-kind product, it is definitely time for an (overdue!) review.

Full disclosure: I am a Glossier Rep, but I purchased this product myself, and this post is not sponsored in any way. You can, however, shop through my Rep link to save 20 percent on your first purchase, plus enjoy free shipping every time you choose two or more items!

Before Invisible Shield, I was never a huge sunscreen person by any means. I always wore it on my face during the summertime, especially on the beach or by the pool, and my bb cream does contain some SPF, but that’s about the extent of it. I wasn’t (and I’m still not) a fan of the thick white cast that other brands, even those as reputable as Clinique, leave behind. It just feels greasy and messy because it never fully dries.

Glossier changed all that earlier this year. This revolutionary water-gel formula (think: a serum-like consistency) soaks into the skin almost instantly, leaving behind no white cast or sticky, greasy feeling whatsoever. And although the bottle is small (perfect for traveling or storing in your medicine cabinet–or both!), the formula is so lightweight that a little really does go such a long way. Which is great, because in addition to my face, I love dragging a little onto my neck and décolettage, and there is definitely enough to go around.

In addition to the SPF 35, Invisible Shield also contains vitamin E, vitamin P, broccoli and aloe leaf extracts–a powerful antioxidant blend that neutralizes free radicals, which can also cause damage to the skin. Similarly, fermented yeast and vegetal extract create an invisible, breathable barrier that prevents pollution from getting into the skin.

Cigarette smoke, car exhaust, smog, dirt and dust (among others) increase the levels of free radicals produced by the body, according to A Woman’s Health.

“Free radicals are unstable molecules that attack human cells and damage DNA. They lead to aging, tissue damage and possible disease.”

The sun’s UV rays aren’t the only factor that causes the skin long-term damage on an everyday basis; free radical damage also takes a hefty toll on our bodies’ largest organ.

“Pollution is one of the main sources of damage to the skin. Free radicals interfere with the skin’s ability to produce collagen, which keeps it firm and healthy. When contaminants come into contact with your skin, they can interfere with the skin’s ability to regulate moisture, leaving the skin dry, splotchy, wrinkled and clogged,” A Woman’s Health continues.

“Think about the dirty film that builds up on your car between washes. That same film is building up on your skin—you just don’t see it.”

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Even though I have already discussed most of these products in various recent (and not-so-recent) posts, I decided to round up all the beauty essentials I’ve been reaching for regularly this summer. I noticed that I’ve been gravitating towards antioxidant-rich products to keep my skin healthy despite being exposed to more environmental stressors than usual, given that I spend a ton of time outside this time of year.

No one should go through summer without a trustworthy facial sunscreen. After a couple years of religiously applying Clinique’s to the high points of my face, I switched to Glossier’s Invisible Shield after it debuted a couple months ago.

Two years in the making, this first-of-its-kind daily sunscreen+ has SPF 35, which protects the skin from sun damage. The “+” means that it also protects against pollution and free radical damage. And the best part? As the name suggests, it wears completely invisible, leaving no white cast whatsoever. It doesn’t clog pores or disturb makeup, either.

A good facial spray is essential during the summer months to refresh and revive skin. On a given day, I found myself spritzing Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea quite a few times. And, I’ve already ordered a backup bottle of it.

Speaking of green tea…

Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser, in its unique stick form, is ideal for traveling. But, even when I am not on the go, this cleanser is amazing!

Matcha green tea is packed with antioxidants that do the body good; turns out, those same antioxidants also detoxify and purify skin. With the help of algae extract, skin’s natural defenses get a boost–and instant hydration!

Like any good cleanser, this one also gently exfoliates, while the matcha and lavender essential water soothe skin and calm redness.

During the summer months especially, I need to be able to leave the house with just sunscreen on my face; I cannot stand the feeling of makeup on a sweltering day unless it is absolutely necessary. That being said, I am not immune to breakouts–especially when summer days leave my face dirty, sweaty and sunscreen-y. So, I need all the help I can get when it comes to fighting problem pimples.

At the first sign of a breakout, I’ll treat my skin with Glossier’s Super Pure serum as the third step in my beauty routine. This niacinamide/zinc combo instantly reduces redness, helps even out texture and prevents breakouts from worsening. Three to four drops of this bottled magic are all it takes to dramatically shorten a breakout’s lifespan. (I’ve also been treating my skin with Super Glow 2-3 times a week because it contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.)

When it comes to whiteheads, I’ve tried just about every spot treatment there is–and I’ve finally found the one! Though Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is pricier than most, it makes all my whiteheads disappear overnight. As soon as I put this product on after moisturizing, I can feel it working. And when I wake up in the morning, almost all of it has soaked into my skin, drying out the pimples and leaving them virtually invisible.

There are few skincare dilemmas witch hazel (available at drugstores) can’t solve; for my normal-to-oily and super sensitive skin, it is a must-have at all times.

When my complexion isn’t at its best, I’ll add witch hazel to my routine after cleansing and before toning. After 2-3 days of doing so, my skin looks–and feels–better than before!

I can’t resist a good face mask, but I always find myself coming back to Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack throughout the summertime. Because it contains avocado oil and aloe, it is definitely gentle enough to use twice a week–which is a major plus this time of year because hot and humid climates leave my skin feeling super grime-y. Still, it contains kaolin clay to draw out oil and buildup from the pores, as well as bitter orange peel to exfoliate the skin and balance its oils.

Leafy greens like parsley, spinach and cress sprout, with the help of eight different super-fruit extracts (including acai, aronia and bilberry), protect the skin from environmental pollutants that cause skin damage.

Kat Von D’s Lock-It Blotting Powder is new to my beauty collection, but it didn’t take long to become one of my skin saviors. I was in the market for a new powder when I noticed YouTuber Kathleen Fuentes (aka KathleenLights) raving about this one, so I decided to give it a try, and I am so happy I did!

Like Fuentes mentioned, this powder leaves me virtually pore-less. And because it’s a blotting powder, it does a great job of controlling oil and keeping my makeup in place. With a good setting spray, this finely milled powder has a natural–never cake-y–finish.

Glossier’s cult favorite skin salve is a necessity no matter what the season, but Balm Dotcom in Mint is perfect for the hotter months because it has an amazing cooling effect. Just like all the other BDCs, a little Mint goes a long way, and it lasts for hours on end. It’s my go-to, do-it-all lip balm that quickly replaced all the others in my collection.

Lastly, it just isn’t summer without a yummy tanning oil! My fav is the SPF 6 watermelon scent from Bali Body. All of BB’s tanning and body oils leave skin silky smooth and glowing–never sticky.

Watermelon seed oil, packed with minerals and antioxidants, naturally hydrates and nourishes the skin. It also stimulates the body’s melanin production, resulting in an unbeatable bronze.

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Last week I took a midweek trip to New York City to visit Glossier’s showroom! As a Glossier Rep, this is sort of like  totally a right of passage for me 😉

Because this was my first time visiting the showroom, which is located in SoHo near Chinatown, I was sure to snap a ton of pictures. After all, it claims to be the most Instagram-able room in town, and it definitely did not disappoint!

Although I’m familiar with most of Glossier products, it was great to be able to test those I’ve never seen IRL before. Needless to say, I will definitely be stocking up on Generation G in Crush and Super Bounce as soon as I get the chance. (I’m a sucker for fun lip colors and anything with hyaluronic acid, so…)

The atmosphere inside the showroom is minimalist and clean–and the Showroom Editor’s utility suits are super cute! As expected, the brightly lit penthouse (yes, penthouse!) is a combination of crisp white and, of course, Glossier pink. And it smells SO. GOOD. thanks to a candle burning (next to a cluster of crystals!) on the sink. I still cannot get over the little “employees must moisturize before returning to work” sign.

I also absolutely looooved the artwork hanging on the walls, too. In addition to the infamous mirror decals that read “YOU LOOK GOOD” and “ASK ME ABOUT MY BROWS”, several larger-than-life editorial-style shots hang on the wall (including the new Birthday Balm Dotcom shots shown below).

Glossier additionally provides comfy seating and a little reading material, too. Offbeat, artsy magazines sit on tables near the inconspicuous Glossier mottos “JUST DEW IT” and “MAKE GOOD CHOICES”.

The best part? You can shop aaaaall of Glossier’s showroom deals (which are listed below!) through my Rep page! Any first-time Glossier customer receives 20 percent off her first online purchase, and all customers enjoy free shipping each time they choose any two items.

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I gave in and ordered Urban Decay’s new Naked Heat palette as a li’l birthday present to myself earlier this month. As soon as I saw via Instagram that UD was launching this beauty, I knew I’d eventually be getting my hands on it; I just can’t resist all the fire-y warm tones that mimic natural hues like cinnamon, paprika and terra cotta. It is the perfect complement to UD’s Naked Smoky palette, which has been a part of my collection for years now.

Flames have been everywhere this season in both fashion and beauty; so many (including me!) are happy to trade uninviting cool tones for warm ones like copper and rust. And although they may at first seem difficult to pull off–especially during the daytime–I actually find them to be much easier to work with than their cooler counterparts.

What can I say? I’m a changed woman. We can thank Kylie Jenner’s burgundy palette for that.

For this tutorial I decided on a semi-casual look; later on, I’d love to do a more intense nighttime one involving the deep matte tones. My favorite thing about UD’s Naked palettes is that, unlike Kylie’s, each one has everything needed for a complete eye look: base shades, crease shades, lid shades, highlight shades…

Although this was my first time playing around with this palette, I can say that so far, I really love it–maybe even a little more than I love my Naked Smoky palette!

With the shimmer shades, there is very little fallout. And with the matte shades, there is absolutely none. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover this because I’m definitely not the neatest or most patient person when it comes to makeup application.

Products I used…

(*I received this product as a part of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program during my birthday month.)

Base

Step 1: Apply a generous coat of primer, focusing on the t-zone in an outward motion.

Step 2: Using the same technique, apply 1-2 coats of BB cream.

Step 3: With the attached wand, apply a light coat of Stretch concealer under the eyes and blend with the fingers using a tapping motion. Build up the coverage if necessary.

Step 4: Using the fingers, apply Stretch Concealer to any redness or blemishes.

Step 5: Set BB cream and concealer with Lock-It blotting powder, focusing on the t-zone and the under-eye area.

Step 6: To “melt” makeup into the skin, use a generous amount of setting spray, then pat it into the skin.

Naked Heat

Step 7: Using the fingers, apply a small amount of eyeshadow primer to the entire eyelid.

Step 8: With the fluffy end of the brush, apply Chaser to the entire eyelid, crease and brow bone.

Step 9: Continuing with the fluffy end of the brush, apply Cayenne to the crease.

Step 10: Apply Dirty Talk over the entire eyelid. Be sure to clean the brush between colors.

Step 11: In the outer corner apply En Fuego in an upward and outward motion the create a long, cat-like effect.

Step 12: Using the denser, angled end of the brush, apply Cayenne to the lower lash line, concentrating on the outer corners. Connect the lower lash line with the upper lash line to complete the cat-like shape.

Step 13: Continuing with the angled end of the brush, layer Dirty Talk over Cayenne on the lower lash line, again, concentrating the most pigment on the outer corners.

Step 14: Making sure the brush is completely clean, use the fluffy end to apply 1-2 layers of Ounce to the brow bone and innermost corner of the eye.

Step 15: Top with two coats of mascara on both the upper and lower lashes.

Finishing touches

Step 16: With a fluffy blush brush, apply blush to the hollows of the cheeks, focusing closest to the hairline and sweep towards the center of the face, in addition to the apples of the cheeks.

Step 17: On the orbital bone around the eye, as well as the cupid’s bow, apply White Sand with a clean setting brush.

Step 18: Using an upward brushing motion, apply Boy Brow to the eyebrows, concentrating on the center portion of each brow, working outwards to the inner and outer corners.

Step 19: Finish with another generous coat of setting spray.

Step 20: On top of a little Balm Dotcom, apply an even coat of Lip Paint, focusing on the center of the lip, allowing the color to spread outwards.

 

I am so impressed with this year’s birthday gift from Sephora! Because I already own Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush in Seduce, I knew I was going to looove Paaarty! The formula is amazing, and Paaarty is such a great color–it’s slightly lighter and pinker than Seduce. So, I am super happy to now have it in my collection. On the other hand, I had never tried Tarte’s Lip Paint before, and I’m not the biggest fan of liquid lipsticks in general. But, this one isn’t so bad! The color is girly and versatile, and the formula isn’t overly drying or flakey. Plus, it’s definitely long-wearing.

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Model, actress and activist Emily Ratajkowski rarely changes up her makeup look, and when you are that gorgeous, there is no real reason to do so. Her signature nude-brown-pink lip looks effortlessly chic no matter what she is wearing on a given day or night, so lately I’ve been loving to recreate it myself.

This universally flattering lip color is perfect for achieving a sun-kissed summertime glow–with or without the sun. By adding bronzer and this season’s must-have sunset-inspired eyeshadow, this natural-looking lip appears polished.

Ratajkowski in February 2017 [source: CelebMafia]

At the 2017 Met Gala afterparty [source: E! Online]

L’Officiel Paris | May 2017 | by Sam Nixon [source: Fashion Editorials]

Daytime

Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen in Honey by Fresh: Protect and nourish your lips while giving them a healthy wash of color with this cult favorite balm. $24, Sephora

Glass Tinting Lips-Talk in Ruffle Dress (BR401) by Etude House: I’ve gotten way into K-beauty this year; from sheet masks to lip stains, I cannot get enough of the East’s fun, effective and inexpensive skincare and makeup products. Ruffle Dress by Etude House (one of my fav K-beauty brands!) is the perfect barely-there brown with a subtle satin finish. $7.28, Etude House

Day-to-night

Generation G in Leo by Glossier: What kind of Glossier Rep would I be if I didn’t include their easy-to-use matte lip in this post? Gen G is a must-have for lipstick newbies, low-maintenance beauty lovers and even glam gals on-the-go. Swipe on 1-2 coats for a sheer look, or build it up for more intense color. $18, Glossier

Multistick in Cashew by Bite Beauty: Bite Beauty’s long-wearing Multistick is an essential in every lady’s beauty collection because it is safe to use on eyes, face and lips. Create a sun-kissed monochromatic makeup look with Cashew, a dusty brown-pink nude. $24, Sephora

Butter Gloss in Tiramisu by NYX: Alone or layered over a matte lip, this cult favorite gloss is as affordable as it is delish. And, it is known throughout the beauty community as one of the most universally flattering makeup products. You will definitely be restocking this one as soon as you run out of it. Prices vary, drugstores

Nighttime

Satin Lip Pencil in Bansar by NARS: I received a hefty sample size of NARS’ Satin Lip Pencil a couple years ago as a member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider rewards program, and it’s been a staple ever since! The formula feels so creamy; I love the way it melts onto the lips and adapts to flatter different skin tones. And, when the rich pigments begins to fade, it doesn’t look messy or splotchy. Instead, it fades evenly, leaving lips with a diffused wash of color. $27, Sephora

Intense Butter Gloss in Tres Leches by NYX: Tres Leches is nearly identical to Tiramisu–except the color is much richer and the formula is slightly shinier. It is still super easy to apply, though, so Tres Leches is all you will need for a stress-free special occasion look–no tricky lip liners or streaky liquid lipsticks required! Prices vary, drugstores 

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