I celebrate my birthday big time, I mean complete with fireworks, barbecue, and all that jazz! And yes, I celebrate it with the entire nation… because guess what, Born on the 4th of July baby here! Red, white and blue, be it in style or beauty, you know I got something for you!

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Since it’s a weekend of nonstop festivities and with summer in full swing, sun protection and hydration are keys to keep your skin in tip top shape. Unless you’re staying indoors or going out only at night time, I highly encourage to keep your makeup as minimal as possible. Ditch thick cream or liquid foundations and opt for something lightweight like CC or BB cream, or even better, a tinted sunscreen/moisturizer like SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 32 ($38, 1.85 oz/ 52.5 g). Indicated for all skin types, most especially post-procedure or sensitive skin, this physical sunscreen is free from oil, paraben and fragrance. For optimal protections against sun’s harmful UV rays, apply it liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hrs if you’re staying out longer than usual.

The hot and humid weather also zap out skin’s moisture so it’s a good idea to bring a facial mist like derma|e Purifying Toner Mist ($15.50, 2 fl oz/ 60ml). It features marine algae and green tea, both of which refresh, fortify and rebalance skin against environmental pollutants.

Looking haggard from hangover? get instant fix with Pixi Eye Zone Brightener Illuminating Serum ($17.60, 0.14 fl oz/ 4ml). It’s a nice compliment to your favorite concealer. In a nutshell, it’s a lightweight under eye serum that renders subtle radiance, which in effect fakes a good night sleep and a more awakened look. The trick is to apply it right after moisturizing your face, let it soak in for few minutes, then apply your concealer over it. It’s retractable and travel-friendly to say the least.

Pixi also launched a go-to version of its cult favorite Glow-Tonic ($19.80, 60 pads). These pre-soaked pads tone, hydrate and gently exfoliate (5% glycolic acid, aloe vera, ginseng).

Skin feeling dry and patchy? Lather Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Exfoliating Gel ($29, 4 oz) is a must-have this summer! Available beginning July 1st, this ulta-mild & ultra-refreshing facial cleanser is a big hit to me instantly. It contains possibly the gentlest exfoliant I have ever used, jojoba beads and passion fruit seed powder. Lather has been invading my bathroom like a plague, in a good way of course as I love all of their products!

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Let’s talk makeup. Red, white and blue don’t mean you have to wear ’em everything from head to toe. But if you have the guts, I say why not! Beyu Cosmetics (sold online and in select CVS stores), this European drugstore brand has something for us in time for 4th of July!

4th of july makeup, beyu cosmetics review

I will be posting separate review and swatches but I want to quickly show you these beauties which are surprisingly affordable! The Color Catch Palette (3484 shade, $11.99) contains 4 shades in light beige, mauve rose, mauve berry, dark plum in shimmer finish. I find that they apply best if wet. The Soft Liner (666, teal, $8.99) (660, white) has commendable pigmentation and wear time. I haven’t tested if it’s waterproof but under sweltering heat, it did not smudge or budge the entire day I was wearing it. If red lipstick is your jam, you will find Pure Color & Stay Lips pretty decent for the price ($14.99). The twist-up black case has heft to it. Shade 80 is true red while Shade 55 is tomato red. If you’re feeling the whole gradient vibe, mix them and slay like a boss!

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Minimal Makeup using Beyu Cosmetics, SkinMedica Tinted Sunscreen, Pixi Eye Brightener under concealer, Tom Ford Bronzer

If you know me, I have a penchant for timeless designer purses in terms of structure, not to mention function. This navy blue Burberry hobo (which I bought 2 years ago, also during my birthday) has been one of my staples because it also doubles as cross body bag (out of stock online but you may still find it in Burberry standalone shops). In general, I think owning a blue bag breaks the monotony of blacks and browns of this world. I can pair it with anything, dressed up or down, casual or athleisure, this bag is definitely one of my favorites!

burberry ledbury hobo, zerouv sunglasses, via spiga wedges espadrille white

Lesson learned. Never ever bring your expensive sunnies especially when hitting the beach or pool. I don’t know about you but my clumsiness is a trigger for disaster, either I break or lose a pair. Anyways, while searching for some cheapo yet UV rays-compliant, I chanced upon ZeroUV; with price ranging from $10 up, I even hooked up hubs to try ’em. Mirrored sunglasses are very trendy this season, just like the retro-style in the above photo ($13.95).

And then there were wedges. If you’re vertically-challenged like me, wedges are the greatest invention when it comes to height and balance! These beautiful white espadrille-type style from Via Spiga ($225, but currently 50% off at Nordstrom) compliment any summer outfits like laced shorts, rompers or jumpsuits. I must confess though, while they are generally okay for an afternoon meet-up or date night, they aren’t designed for a whole day of walking.

Any 4th of July staples you want to share? fill me in!

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