The warm weather often brings a burning desire to leave our regular beauty routines out in the cold. I know I streamline my own beautifying process in late spring and summer so that I can spend less time in front of a mirror and more time having fun in the sun. With streamlining in mind, I poked around my overflowing bathroom cabinet and pulled out five key products I could not—or should not!— live without this summer. Here are my Fab 5 products to take you from morning to evening, or from late evening to morning, depending on just how much fun you’re having this summer!
Come rain or come shine, whatever steps you skip in your daily beauty routine, don’t skip sunscreen. I just spent a few days at the beach wearing Bull Frog Marathon Mist Sunblock Spray SPF 36. I spent quite a lot of time in the sun and this non-greasy spray provided superior protection. The spray application can’t be beat, especially on a sandy beach.
If you’ll be surfing, or having your picture taken by the paparazzi, you might reach for something like Solar Protection for the Body SPF 15 by N.V Perricone, MD. This product contains body-firming ingredients and leaves a matte finish so you don’t look all sweaty when you show up in Us magazine. Finding a sunscreen for the face used to be a production: I feel like I was at the beauty counter every other weekend for the past few years trying to find a cream that worked for me. It’s easier now that many tinted moisturizers contain SPF like Skin Alison Raffaele Tinted Moisturizer, with SPF 15. I love the colorless “natural” shade that practically disappears on my skin. I’m also a huge fan of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 55. The words “dry” and “sheer” really sell it for me as I’m more inclined to wear sunscreen when I don’t feel like I’m wearing a layer of shiny, goopy mess on my face.
I used to be afraid of bronzer, but now I won’t live without it, knowing that a little will light up my face in the most flattering way. Tip: When choosing a bronzer, you should look for a shade that is just a few shades darker than your skin tone, and resembles the color of your naturally tanned skin. Also, get yourself a large soft brush with a rounded top while you’re shopping. Simply roll the brush ever-so-gently in the bronzer, tap off excess powder, and apply lightly to forehead, nose, and the tops of your cheeks. A very subtle hint of color looks best so don’t go back for more!
I love Bobbi Brown’s foolproof newest Shimmer Brick called Sandstone for a hint of natural-looking color. Sometimes I skip the forehead and nose and just add a very quick sweep of this to my cheeks before I race out the door. If you prefer the just-had-sex look to the just-hit-the-beach look, you might try a light blush like Neutrogena’s Mineral Sheers Blush for a combo just-had-sex-on-the-beach effect! The all-in-one blush-in-a-brush is easy to use and the pretty shades will add a natural flush to your cheeks.
Lip-gloss is a summer must. There are a million and one lip-gloss products on the market but my favorite, the Mini Lip Gloss from Sue Devitt, is cute and compact and can easily fit in your beach or gym bag. Made with Primrose oil to really moisturize your lips while giving you high shine, it rocks alone or over lipstick. I give kudos to Maybelline for their Shine Seduction Glossy Lipcolor. A sheer formula that is not sticky yet it sticks around on lips. Pucker up, but beware that deadly threesome—wind, long free-flowing hair, and lip-gloss!
When I’m showing more skin, as I tend to do in spring and summer, it pays to invest time and effort in finding the right firming body product. Firming products are available in a myriad of formulas, solutions, creams, and gels. Benefit boasts Jiggle Gel, a product they liken to an invisible girdle. I love the cooling sensation of slapping it on after a hot shower and before turning on the blow dryer. FatGirlSlim from Bliss delivers on its promise to one-two punch my pudge with its caffeinated formula and I really do feel less jiggle when I wiggle. Nivea Body Sun-Kissed Firming Moisturizer gives skin a hint of color with daily use while also helping me out for the spongy or slack areas of my bodacious bod! Multitasking is so 2007.
I rely heavily on anti-freeze in winter and anti-frizz in summer. In testing surely every hair frizz product in existence, I’ve learned that frizz-free hair doesn’t come cheap. I’m currently favoring Frederic Fekkai’s Zero-Humidity Frizz Control. It’s not cheap at $20 for 5 ounces, but it’s doing the work of several products—conditioning and shining my hair while fighting frizz and shielding from the damaging effects of UV rays. I’m also a big fan of the Jonathan Product line and especially Jonathan’s No Frizz Hydrating Balm. It smells almost as good as it works, and boy does it work, giving me shiny frizz-free locks in the highest of humidity. At $6, I can’t afford not to stock my year-round beauty-bag with John Frieda’s Secret Weapon. It smoothes and shines and keeps even the wildest frizz in line. With all these products, a light touch is best. It’s a fine line between frizzy and greasy!