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Staying out of the sun and still rocking a beautiful, healthy glow has never been easier. Long gone are the days when I’d soak my skin in baby oil and lie out in my grandparents’ backyard for hours, basically frying my skin.
Thankfully I got over that stage pretty quickly, although it might have been because I ended up falling asleep and burning my face, once or twice. After that, of course, came the early 2000’s, along with my (thankfully) short-lived love affair with tanning beds. It’s a good thing that as we grow old, we also grow wiser. Well, most of us do, anyway.
This beautiful bunch of my summer must-haves doesn’t include a few obvious bits such as sunblock, but it should go without saying that they also make the list. Today’s post is all about glowing skin, and summer hair.
Chances are you’ve probably heard of the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. It’s been all over Instagram and beauty blogs for the last couple of years. I’ve tried so many firming body creams, lotions, and gels, and this one was quickly added to one of my favorites. What people mention most when talking about this cream is the scent. It’s very warm, sweet and long-lasting. My nose can be a little sensitive to strong fragrance and they do occasionally cause me headaches, but this one doesn’t seem to bother me, despite being quite strong. Now, what I personally love most about the Brazillian Bum Bum Cream, is how hydrating it is. I use it all over my body; because of how rich the texture and formula is, a little goes a very long way. With daily use, one tub lasts about 6 weeks. It’s a perfect product for summer because the hydration it provides lasts all day. It’s not a miracle worker in terms of things like cellulite reduction (and the brand doesn’t really claim that it is) but with regular use, it’s very effective in improving the firmness and elasticity of the skin. I love using it in conjunction with dry brushing (which I do before showering) and after working out.
I loved the scent of the cream so much, that I also picked up their Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist. This hair and body mist is a mix of pistachio and caramel and it reminds me of sunny summer days and the beach. Being a body mist, it’s not extremely long-lasting, but sometimes it’s exactly what I want for those warm summer days. The standard size also contains quite a generous amount of product (240ml).
One of my summer must-have hair product is OUAI’s Wave Spray– most days, this spray is all I need. My hair is naturally straight and this product makes getting those beachy waves very simple. I spray it all over while my hair is still damp, and either let it air dry for more subtle waves or use a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment to get more volume and definition. Another way I use this is by spraying it on a little teasing brush and gently brushing any baby hairs. This helps them stay in place, even in hot weather. It also helps with giving your hair hold and taming any flyaways, when wearing your hair up and in my opinion, it works better than hair spray.
OUAI Matte Pomade is also great for adding texture and creating a simple, effortless and tool-free hairstyle. I rub a small amount between my fingers, and kind of run my fingers through my hair in sections, adding that “piecey” texture. You do have to be careful when using this pomade though because despite being called “matte” it can make your hair look greasy if you apply too much product. The reason why both of these make my “summer must-have” list, is that they’re perfect products for creating easy hairstyles, even when you’re feeling lazy. They also both work good in that hot, humid summer weather.
I’ve never been too picky in the hair care department but during summer my scalp can get a little dry. Despite my hair being very much on the oily side, my scalp also gets itchy and irritated. For some reason, this becomes more of an issue during summer, even though I don’t spend a lot of time out in the sun. Drugstore shampoo was always good enough for me and I never saw a huge difference in using most of the high-end hair care products. For the last couple of months though, I’ve been using the Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo and I now refuse to use anything else. It’s an exfoliating shampoo that has a cooling and soothing effect on the scalp. It leaves my scalp feeling fresh, free of irritation or flakes and my hair looking soft and silky-smooth. I find that I don’t have to wash my hair as often since using this shampoo, and most of the time I don’t even use a conditioner. If you have similar issues, I highly recommend trying this out (you can get a small travel/trial one at Sephora for $11.)
One of my most-used products during summer are bronzing and self-tanning creams and lotions. I always stay out of the sun and because my skin is very fair, I like using something that will help my skin look healthy and… visible, rather than being translucent. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Body Illuminator* is perfect for adding color and a little glow. This product can be a little confusing. At first, I was under the impression that it’s something you’d use all over your legs. I quickly realized the applying this all over is not only difficult but actually quite impossible, because of how fast the product dries. Once it’s dry, it stays in place and cannot be blended.
This illuminator is actually meant to be applied only on the center of your legs (the same way as you’d apply a highlighter only on certain areas of your face) to help them appear longer and slimmer. The tube comes with a rollerball applicator that very easily glides on the skin- I then use my fingers to blend it in and allow it to dry (which happens very quickly). Once dry, the product is transfer-proof and will stay in place all day. This illuminator comes in two shades: Nude Glow and Golden Glow. The lighter shade is quite deep/dark, so I only use this when I’m spray-tanned or using a self-tanner. Once you figure out how to actually use this product and make it work for you, it gives absolutely beautiful results.
I just talked about my favorite body bronzing and blurring product- Vita Liberata’s Body Blur in my last post. It’s such a beautiful product that adds the most natural, gorgeous glow and color to the skin. It also blurs small imperfections adding an airbrush-like finish to the skin. Once blended it will stay in place- the key is to use a small amount of product. This is a perfect summer product for those days/nights when you want to add a little glow and temporary color to your skin. Body Blur comes in four shades, and the easiest way to apply it for an even all-over color is with a tan applicator mitt.
Moving on to some of my most-loved summer products for the face. Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base has been my summer favorite for years now. It’s perfect for warming up the complexion, contouring, bronzing- it does it all without looking too warm or orange. Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Liquid is another summer must-have, and I think it might have been one of the first Chanel products I’ve ever used (or, perhaps they used to have a foundation that came in a similar packaging?). This liquid is so versatile and can be used in as many ways as you want. It can be used as a highlighter, you can mix it with your foundation, body lotion, apply it all over your face to add a healthy glow, etc. Because of how sheer it is, it doesn’t look or feel overwhelming- it adds just a very subtle, beautiful glow to the skin.
Marc Jacobs O!Mega Coconut Perfect Tan Bronzer in Tan-Tastic! is a bronzer that I use most often when I’m wearing fake tan and need to warm up my foundation a bit. I’m not too much of a bronzer girl, but I definitely do use them a lot more often during the summer. This one is perfect to use with a big, fluffy brush, it blends easily and looks very smooth and natural.
When my skin is closer to its natural tone, when I don’t self-tan or use body-bronzers, I love using bareMinerals Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer in Fair to Light. This is a really great bronzer for fair skin and if you’ve ever felt intimidated by bronzers, this one might change your mind. The shade Fair to Light will only work on pale skin; this is how subtle and delicate it is. It’s impossible to “overdo it” with this powder. It’s perfect for adding just a touch of subtle glow and bronze to the face.
Another face-bronzing product I’m loving this summer is Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops.* These drops are perfect to use on bare skin when you’re going makeup-free and just want to add some radiance to your complexion. You can also mix them in with your base, use it as a primer, mix it in with your moisturizer or use it on your body to add a touch of bronze. I love using it on makeup-free days, mixed with my favorite moisturizer.
Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer in Tan-Tastic!; bareMinerals Powder Bronzer in Fair to Light; Chanel Tan de Chanel Makeup Bronzing Base; Chanel Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Liquid; Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Sunshine Drops; Vita Liberata Body Blur in Latte; Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Illuminator in Nude Glow and Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Illuminator in Golden Glow.
I mention the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask from Fresh quite often, and I love using it during summer. It’s one of the few skincare products that I’ve used which actually deliver on the “instant results” promise. It’s perfect for summer because it’s cooling, refreshing, helps with hydration, dullness, and elasticity. Love the way it leaves my skin feeling and it’s the only face mask that Mark actually likes and doesn’t complain whenever I use it on him (13 years of being together and I still have to remind him to use a moisturizer every night and sunblock during the day, smh). This mask is my favorite to use before any special occasion where I’ll be wearing a lot of makeup, or just when my skin is feeling dull or dry. It’s also amazing to use when you’re traveling, don’t get enough sleep, etc. It has a very unique texture that feels velvety, gritty and smooth all at the same time and it washes off very easily (feels just like a moisturizer, so it doesn’t actually dry while it’s on the skin). I apply it on damp skin and usually leave it on for about 15 minutes. For those truly hot and humid summer days, I also like to keep it in the fridge, which enhances the cooling/depuffing effects.
There are definitely many more products in my summer lineup, but this bunch is what I use and reach for every single day. What are some of your summer must-haves? Anyone share my love for the ones I talked about here?