4 Aug 2017

My summer essentials

It feels a little odd sitting down to write about my essential summer products when it's so grey and drizzly outside - you'd never know it was August!  I won't complain though, as we've had some gorgeous weather so far this year, and I'm sure there's more to come.  I haven't got a nice beach holiday to look forward to this year, so I've been making the most of the British summer!

Talking of the British summer, it can of course be rather unreliable!  I'm fairly impressed that I've picked up a light tan from a few weekend afternoons spent in the garden, but more often than not the blazing sunshine seems to come through when I'm stuck in the office - typical!  Fake tan has been my friend this year, and I've made a little more effort than usually to get into a bit of a routine.  I don't like fuss and effort when it comes to fake tanning - I want something that gets the job done quickly and easily, and these products from the Sunkissed range at Superdrug fit the bill nicely.  I've been using the Sunkissed Gradual Tan in light medium to give me a nice natural base - it's one of those tans that you apply just like  moisturiser, and it gradually builds a bit of colour.  If I have some sort of occasion where I'm going to flash a bit of flesh (sadly wearing 70 denier black tights to a wedding isn't socially acceptable, apparently) then I'm reaching for the Sunkissed Self-Tan Mousse in dark.  If I'm going to make the effort with fake tan I darn well want to see the results, and this dark mousse really gives me a full on holiday bronze effect immediately.  I'm not very pale naturally, so this doesn't look over-done on me, and bonus it makes me feel a little bit more confident about showing my legs.

These Velvotan self-tan mitts have served me well throughout my tanning escapades so far this year.  I find a mitt the best way to get a really even and mess-free application and I don't know how I lived without this mini mitt for the face.  Using a full-size body mitt in that area just feels weird now!  

Velvotan have quite literally got my back when it comes to tanning - this genius self-tan back applicator is the answer to my tanning dilemmas!  As you can see it's a tanning mitt on a super long arm, allowing you to reach all those areas on your back that are normally left pasty and streaky!  I wish I'd come up with this idea myself - I remember once putting my hair brush inside a tanning mitt in a sort of make-shift version of this, but it still didn't reach far enough!

Whether you're at home or abroad, staying safe in the sun is of course key.  I always seem to manage to burn my nose or the top of my forehead no matter how much sun cream I apply, so my Mum suggested I try the P20 once a day sun protection.  She's been using this for years and swears by it - turns out Mum knows best as since I've been using this, I've not burned at all.

You need to look after your skin if you've had a dehydrating day in the sun, and what better than a shower gel that soothes and nourishes the skin as well as enhancing your tan? The Institut Esthederm Micellar after sun shower gel is designed to cleanse away all traces of sticky sun cream, sand, salt  and chlorine without any effort, so no need to rub at your skin especially if it's feeling a little sore. I wish I had a nice beach holiday to take this one on!  It smells gorgeous too.

When it's hot there's nothing I like more than spritzing a cooling facial mist to chill me out.  The Pixi hydrating milky mist is one of my favourites.  It feels so good on the skin especially if like me you suffer with dehydration.  My top tip is to keep this one in the fridge - you'll thank me next time we have a scorching hot day!

If I'm going away on holiday or even just having a day out to the beach, a Bioderma Sensibo mini is always in my bag.  It's perfect for a quick refreshing cleanse and I always have to have something like this with my if I'm at the beach - I can't stand feeling all sticky and sandy and having hair plastered to my face.  I'm clearly not one for working the natural beach babe look!

I love to have a new fragrance for summer - later in the year when it's all gloomy and you miss those balmy days, a sniff of a significant scent can bring those memories straight back to the present.  At the moment I'm reaching for the new Georgio Armani fragrance - Sky di Gioia.  I've not worn an Armani perfume before, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but as a lover of fruity florals, it's a perfect match for me.  The main notes are lychee, pink peony, rose and cedar.  It makes a gorgeous, light summery scent which is intended to evoke the natural beauty of the sunrise over the surface of the sea - lush!

Now if you can't go all out with your glow in summer then when can you?  I have a love hate relationship with my summer glow, as an oily combination gal.  I seem to spend ages slapping on products to keep my natural shine at bay (more on those in a second) only to then layer on a much more appealing faux glow.  You've got to laugh!  The Too Faced Love Light highlighter in ray of light is my favourite right now.  It gives an amazing pinky-golden sheen to the skin that's really visible and goes so well with a tan or bronze summer makeup.

And lastly onto some of the products I use to keep all that natural 'glow' at bay!  I'll start with a light, oil free moisturiser, usually the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream or the Temple Spa Moisture Matte and I'll skip the facial oil I'd usually use in the colder months.  For the really dry areas that need it (under my eyes and around my nose) I'll add some LaRoche Posay Cicaplast, but for the rest of the face I really try not to add anything rich that might promote oiliness.  

If it's going to be a hot day (or if I know I'm getting that sweat box they call the tube) and I want to put the full effort in to have my makeup last without melting, I'll start with the Cover FX custom blot drops over my moisturiser.  I'm not 100% sold on these, but they do make a difference to my skin in hot weather.  I think I expected a miracle from them, so I was a bit disappointed when I first got them last year, but after more experimenting, they do help, especially on my oily lids.  

Next I'll add primer, and this summer I've discovered the Nars pore and shine control primer.  I'm a huge devotee to the Nars smudge proof eyeshadow base, and this is kind of a version of that but for your whole face.  It feels a little bit chalky in texture, but it settles nicely on the skin and does do a fair job at keeping the shine locked down.  Once my makeup's on, powdered and finished, I'll go in for a liberal spritzing of Urban Decay's All Nighter setting spray.  Like the primer and the blot drops, it's not infallible and shine will get through on those really hot days, but it's one of the best setting sprays I've tried, and this combo of these three products works really well together for me.

What's been your summer essential so far this year? 


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