2 Surprising Beauty Lessons I Learned This Summer

Summer beauty has historically meant one thing and one thing only to me: beat the oil slick.

All of my beauty decisions centered around finding products, tips and hacks that would mattify and cover my oily skin in the hot summer months. We’re talking powders, primers, and even milk of magnesia (which has a very different intended use).

This summer I took a completely different approach, and I loved it so much I’m actually going to carry it into the rest of the year. Here are the 2 surprising beauty lessons I learned this summer.

1. Stop fighting, wear less

This started with dialing back the coverage of my foundation. I was wearing Estee Lauder Doublewear every day, yes, that sounds like a lot for a lot of people, but remember my priority was full coverage and matte. This summer I’ve been using the RMS Un-Cover Up as my daily foundation instead, and it’s been a completely new experience letting my skin show. When you’re oily and acne-prone, this can take courage. Instead of covering my face in mattifying primer and foundation, I’m taking a more natural approach by cleansing with Osea’s Cleansing Mudd and setting with the Well People Realist Invisible Setting Powder. My skin does look oily and my redness shows through by the end of the day, but unless I’m being photographed or filmed for work I don’t stress it. I even did a 7-Day No Makeup Challenge this summer! You can’t wear any less than that.

Photo by @cassandra_jk

I’ve also been challenging myself to wear less even when I do wear makeup. For example, if I wear lipstick, then I try not to put on mascara or brows. I think it’s a fresher take than the Instagram full-face makeup, and I’m loving YouTubers like  and  who do this really well. Lately I’m loving Janna Tew, Chrissstttiiine, Violette_fr, and La Madelynn. They all let their skin show without a sheet of foundation, and while their skin is admittedly clearer than mine I’m done with feeling bad about that.

2. Experiment more, care less

I used to wear the same makeup every day. Natural skin, natural eyes, natural lip, sometimes a bold lip. Now I’ve been experimenting with color and to be frank, makeup looks that most people don’t like. Yellow eyeshadow, blue lipstick, red eyes, and embracing shine. Not wearing makeup for 7 days proved to me that I don’t care what anyone thinks about the way I look. I feared that maybe I was wearing makeup daily to look attractive to other people, but through the challenge I learned that I missed my morning creative practice of choosing how to wear my makeup. And on days when I try something new and no one compliments me, I still feel amazing.

What beauty lessons did you learn this summer?


This post is sponsored by Follain.

Cristina V. Cleveland

Cristina V. Cleveland is a senior beauty editor based in Austin, TX. She has been exploring personal style and decor on Fuji Files since 2009. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, To&From Magazine, Coco+Kelley, CamilleStyles and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.

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Rather than pushing up-to-the-minute trends and products, Fuji Files is about discovering a lasting, personal aesthetic and the journey to feeling your personal best. 

Fuji Files was started by Cristina Cleveland, the Managing Editor of NaturallyCurly, the largest hair and beauty content platform. Her work as a writer and editor has appeared in publications like Refinery29, Teen Vogue, CamilleStyles, Blavity, Birchbox, TradHome Magazine, Coco+Kelley, and ads in Glamour, InStyle and Lucky.