Easy, Breezy, Summer Girl
By Melissa Gulden
There’s a certain vibe— an attitude in the summer that says: Carefree. Relaxed. Sexy.
The feeling of your skin after a long day at the lake, the texture of your hair when you let it air dry, post ocean swim. The toes are brightly colored – the hair lightly tousled. It’s that “Je ne sais quoi” – that quality that cannot be described – that you only seem to have in those relaxed days of summer.
But you don’t want to look so relaxed that people think you’ve given up, so here are some fabulous skin, hair and makeup products to keep you glamorous throughout the summer and beyond.
Sun Protection. Sun protection is vital for many reasons – the most obvious is the prevention of skin cancer. The sun also prematurely ages your skin and causes wrinkles and dark spots. Who wants that? So please be diligent with your application. With so many great smells and textures of sunscreen, you really have no excuse. I love Neutrogena Beach Defense. It comes in spray, solid and lotion form, in a wide range of SPFs and smells divinely coconutty ($9.99). Think using suntan oil is bad? Not if it has SPF 50! Supergoop Sun-Defying Oil ($26) is chock-full of the antioxidant meadowfoam seed and great for dry skin. Worried about clogging pores? Not with Coppertone’s Sensitive formula. The SPF 50 boats 15 percent zinc oxide plus soothing aloe extract ($8).
Moisturizer. Look for a lightweight, everyday protection with vitamins C and E, plus SPF. Try Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer ($8). For a richer cream, try Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Crème, SPF 25 ($45). The Chanel Hydra Beauty line is light and perfect for summer months, and camellia is the secret weapon in the Gel Crème. Try the Hydra Micro Gel Yeux, too, for de-puffing eyes after those long, festive summer nights ($68-87).
Hair. Look for products that contain UV protection for summer; after all, you pay a lot for those luscious locks. Alterna Bamboo Beach Summer Sunshine Spray is a protective shine oil so hair won’t suffer from harsh rays. Redken Color Extend Sun Shampoo has a fade resistant complex to lock in moisture and lock out UV rays so you can repair and protect your color while you lather up ($14.50). Aveeno Nourish and Strengthen Shampoo is waterproof – wait, what? Yep. The wheat protein isn’t water-soluble, so parched strands soak it up and look healthier. For styling summer hair, many products smooth and treat dehydrated hair. Moroccanoil Treatment Light ($41) is a magical oil that fills damaged strands with proteins lost to styling. Alterna Summer Hair RX After-Sun Hair Quench is a soothing treatment gel that rehydrates, softens and smells as yummy as a tropical cocktail ($20). And if you’re lucky enough to have natural waves, use a sea salt spray, like the one from Lush, to add texture and body for a casual, beachy look. The organic line’s sea spray not only adds texture, but it smells amazing, thanks to a mix of orange flower, grapefruit, neroli and rosewood blend perfumes ($13).
Body. Keep skin looking healthy and hydrated with scrubs, such as Bobbi Brown beach Body Scrub ($35). The fragrance takes me back to childhood days at the lake. The sugar granules in Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish buff your body, while ginseng root invigorates ($65). Great to use before self-tanners.
And speaking of…
For less commitment, try Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer ($8.99) to build up your tan gradually. Bolder? Go with L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee ($11.99). The bronze color helps you see your application. Bath and Body Works has a new At the Beach line, and the Airbrush Bronzer ($18.50) is a golden, glittery bronze to make sure you really shimmer and shine. Great for making legs look extra appealing.
Makeup. Keep your foundation light and low-maintenance. Try Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 ($45). This oil-free foundation blends easily and creates a smooth, high-def canvas. Or go even easier with a tinted moisturizer, such as Laura Mercier. When you’re in leisure mode, dual-purpose products make sense, and this one is a triple threat: cream, SPF 20 and foundation in one. Same rules for concealer – look for UV protection, especially since the eye area is so delicate.
For eyes, the secret here is staying power. After all, who wants melty makeup? Waterproof and long-wearing formulas are your best bet. There is a plethora of products that won’t crease or fade. Waterproof eyeliners are a must-have. Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Stayput Liner ($18) was originally created for water ballet performers and uses evaporating emollients so pigment glides on before it sets. For mascara, try Lancôme L’Extreme Waterproof Instant Extensions Lengthening Mascara ($26). Now, you may see cream shadows and think they would be greasy, but Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($24) goes on sheer, not tacky, dries to a velvety finish and stays and stays. For lips, forgo your usual lipstick and try a gloss instead. Lips should look like you just ate a popsicle – with a touch of color and shine. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Color Balm ($17) has a gorgeous, shiny finish that isn’t sticky and a pop of color.
Now that you’re covered (with sunscreen, right?), grab a cute suit, SPF, a juicy book and hot tunes, and go enjoy a perfect summer day.