The Summer Lovin’ Tag

Hello from South Florida! I took this photo yesterday evening, toward the end of a thunderstorm.

It’s hard to adhere to a regular blogging schedule when your location changes every few days, but I couldn’t resist doing this meme from Liz at Beauty Reductionista.

1. Summer lipstick you’re loving?

I’ve been enjoying sheer and semi-sheer reds, both cool and warm. And on days when I just can’t be bothered with color makeup, I reach for my favorite (and recently repurchased!) MLBB. Left to right: Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin, Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple, NARS Flamenco, and NARS Dolce Vita.

Swatched in the same order:

2. Summer nail polish you’re loving?

All Essie, as it happens! For my fingers, Lollipop (cherry-red jelly) and Fashion Playground (mint green with faint silver shimmer); for my toes, In the Cab-ana (swimming-pool blue).

3. Summer blush you’re loving? Illamasqua cream blush in Zygomatic (I’m sure you knew I’d say that). I can’t remember the last time I bothered with a powder blush in this sticky heat, and pink-beige Zygomatic goes with absolutely everything.

4. Favorite summer drink? Iced coffee by day, mojitos by night.

5. Favorite fake tan? The world of fake tans is a total mystery to me.

6. Favorite summer song? I like wistful, self-indulgent songs in the summer. Two of my favorite singers, La Roux and Lana Del Rey, have just released new albums, and I’ve been enjoying La Roux’s “Let Me Down Gently” and LDR’s “Old Money.” But my all-time favorite summer song is Duran Duran’s “Rio.” 

7. Favorite summer accessory? With the exception of earrings, I’m not really an accessories person: lipstick is my favorite accessory! But I’ve been wearing these new earrings from Anthropologie almost every day.

8. Favorite summer fragrance? I don’t wear much fragrance in the summer, but when I do, it’s usually Lush’s Tuca Tuca. It’s a violet-based perfume, but sexier and less sweet than most violets (e.g. my favorite spring fragrance, L’Artisan Verte Violette). Tuca Tuca smells vaguely of incense, like something a Victorian spirit medium would wear.

I’d like to write more about fragrance on this blog, but I find it intimidating in the same way that I find writing about wine intimidating: one needs a level of expertise that I’m pretty sure I lack. I can tell you what scenes or memories a perfume evokes for me, or what notes I detect, but it’s all so subjective that it might not help you at all. Plus, inexpert perfume writing often resembles a bad prose poem, and since my writing tends toward bad-prose-poem ornateness anyway…well, you understand my reservations. I like violet perfume and purple prose.

9. Summer book you’re loving? What makes a book a “summer book”? Is it just a book you read in the summer? Anyway, the book I’ve enjoyed most this summer is My 1980s and Other Essays, by Wayne Koestenbaum, the middle-aged male version of me (neurotic, vain, pretentious, and given to obsessive regret).

Someday I’ll do a makeup look based on that photo of Debbie Harry.

I’ve been recommending this collection to everyone in my life, even to people very unlikely to read it. I can’t remember the last time I was such a wild-eyed zealot for a book. This is partially an egoistic thing (his flaws are exactly my flaws: it’s incredible), but he also writes brilliantly about photography, poetry, pop culture, and figuring out adulthood in a society ravaged by AIDS. Read My 1980s for, if nothing else, the essay “Advice to the Young”:

“I have turned literature, like every love, into a harness. The discursive situations I confront–audience, reader–hold me like a vise, and so I end up not speaking, rather than trying to begin the awful, necessary work of accommodating myself to that confinement, learning the dimensions of prison so I might transform it into a nursery.”

10. What are you most excited to do this summer? 

In late August, my boyfriend and I are driving down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles! I haven’t been to LA since I was eight, and I don’t think I’ve ever been on Highway 1. And before that, I’ll have a few weeks in San Francisco to see my parents, catch up with old friends, and eat delicious food. (And finish my article. Damn it. Being in one place for more than four days at a time will be such a relief.)

Feel free to do this tag, if you’d like! I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying this summer.

11 thoughts on “The Summer Lovin’ Tag

  1. I've already said it, but I'd love to read what you have to say about fragrance! I've actually really enjoyed the Lush perfumes I've tried so far — all three in stick form. I'm going back for Breath of God at some stage.


  2. Eh, I think everyone can and should write about fragrance – the more experiences that are out there, the better, no? It's like makeup. If you read about negative and positive experiences, you can sort of match your experiences to someone else's and find your \”twin\” or \”opposite\” and it's all very helpful in the end. (I often find that my fragrance opposites are more helpful than those who share similar tastes – at least I know what to avoid or what I may desperately love, given the level and intensity of my opposite's hatred for a certain perfume, ha!)


  3. Thanks for the encouragement! I always fall into the trap of assuming that there's one correct way to write about fragrance, and that I'll sound ignorant if I haven't done allll the research on the correct terminology. But, of course, the only way to learn to write about something is to write about it. I think I've spent too long in academia…


  4. All right, that settles it: I'm going to write a fragrance post when I'm back home with all my stuff. When I ordered my sample of Tuca Tuca, I also got samples of Superworld Unknown and Cocktail, but didn't like either one. I wish I liked more Lush perfumes, since they're pretty affordable as fragrance goes!


  5. I've had 3 out of 4 of your lipsticks at some point or another. :)And your fears about perfume reviews is exactly why I sort of stopped. It got to be a lot of work, trying to sound poetic without being too dramatic or sentimental. But really, the entire blogging endeavour is a giant flight of fancy anyway…!


  6. Ohh, I'll have to check out (literally, as most of my books are library books) My 1980s and Other Essays. More book recs, please!Sorry if you've already mentioned it, but have you tried Lipstick Queen Medieval? It's my summer favorite, and this is from someone who likes flushed and natural, rather than bright lips (and while the gimmick is that it's supposed to be a \”bitten lip\” look, really LQ is incapable of making a truly sheer lipstick). I think Now Smell This does glorious perfume reviews. Also, Luckyscent's descriptions are always what I wish perfume actually smelled like. YSL Parisienne is my favorite violet. Givenchy L'Heure Bleue is also very violet on me, but I can't remember which concentration I have.


  7. I wish I had more books to recommend, but the sad truth is that when you're doing a Ph.D. in English, pleasure reading often falls by the wayside. It's embarrassing how few books I've read for fun this year. That said, if another book moves me as much as My 1980s has done, I'll mention it here. :)I've never tried a Lipstick Queen product, though I've always been curious about the brand. I remember being interested in Poppy King's collaborations with J. Crew and Kate Spade, but not *quite* interested enough to try one of the lipsticks for myself. And thanks for the violet recs! I actually had no idea that YSL made perfume…


  8. You have great taste, so I'm gratified to hear that! And I agree, beauty blogging is not exactly a Serious Pursuit (not for me, at least), so I don't know why I'm not allowing myself to have fun with perfume reviews. I'm just so ignorant about perfume, is the thing…


  9. *sigh* I thought I'd commented on this, but then remembered that my computer had restarted itself while I was on the captcha thing :-PI'm a little hazy on exactly what I wrote (and of course I could never recapture its sparkling wit, materful prose etc) but I believe it went something along the lines of 'please do perfume reviews! Totally know what you mean about not being able to read for pleasure in grad school! I really need to take another look at those maybelline vivids!.'That was it, in a nutshell 😉


  10. Don't worry, I'll just assume that it was the wittiest, most eloquent blog comment ever written. 🙂 I hate when comments get lost for one reason or another, or when you totally think you've commented on someone's post and it turns out you haven't. And yes, isn't it horrible that grad school makes it so hard to read for pleasure? My literary (and cinematic, and musical) tastes were so highbrow in college, and now I read the Hunger Games trilogy and watch Adventure Time. On the bright side, I think I've become much less of a snob…


  11. Apparently, I was also unable to recapture my ability to type words/punctuate correctly: *masterful *Maybelline *assorted commas :-PThere is that, certainly! I wonder, though, if the decrease in snobbery one experiences is due more to a dearth of time/attention to devote to heavy prose inherent to 'highbrow' things, or more to the fact that we've gotten older, and have therefore extracted our heads a little further from our backsides when it comes to being snobby about things. Gotta love teenagers, eh? 😉


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