SUMMER SKIN. BEACH HAIR.
Just call me the bottle whisperer. Chances are, it comes in a bottle or jar, I’ve tried it (and disliked it). Yes, you read that correctly: disliked it. When you work in the beauty industry, you automatically become a member of a very special group afforded the privilege to try just about every product that magazine editors are writing about and celebs are raving about. You don’t like everything you try and like the name or not, you become a Beauty Junkie. Now there are two types of Beauty Junkies in the industry.
The 1st type: the ones who try it all, like it all, and keep it all…in bins, in storage, in walk in closets, and (when space runs out) kitchen cabinets & ovens too. (Trust me, I’ve seen it). We also refer to this type as your typical garden variety hoarder. The Hoarder Beauty Junkie is one of the best kinds because she (or he) is like a witch doctor with something for everyone and their targeted ailment (pores, frizz, uni-brow). The HBJ also tends to be very giving, she (or he) will rummage through 3 Ikea bins full of night creams to find you “the perfect one”-and it will be- just be sure to check the expiration date.
The 2nd type: also known as the Can’t Go Backwards in Lifestyle Beauty Junkie. I happen to fall into this group comprised of women and men who have experienced the best of the best and from that moment on there’s no compromise and no sense in keeping a mass of sub-par product. (Chris Rock explains the CGBIL perspective far better than I ever could here and it’s pretty hilarious). One of the harsh realities (@WGP?) that comes with being in this grouping is that you’ve come to the realization that “you get what you pay for”. That does not mean drug store brands don’t work, many of them do. However, you pick and choose where you spend your money and you know what you like. Rather than having 50 moderately priced products in the bathroom, maybe you have 10 that work really really well for you, some of which may tip the scale.
Being that I fall into the latter, I’m usually inclined to keep my products to that min (10), especially during the Summer (it’s when I’m most busy and also when my style is a little more carefree). Below is my list of 10 Summer Wonders (skin & hair) that I simply cannot live without to help you shop like a pro.
*Check back next week for 10 Summer Wonders (makeup only). Yes, I will cover SPF! If you love color like I do, this will be the post for you.
Just add a sarong, shades, a coconut water & you’re ready to flirt with the lifeguard! ;)
1. Avalon Organics, Facial Cleansing Gel
Message in a bottle: "Washed away".
Face wash isn’t a hard product to come by when you’re working in beauty because they’re not terribly expensive to make and sample out so I have tried MANY- most of which sell in Sephora. With a slew of washes given to me, I’ll still purchase this one from the health food market ($12.99) on 1st. I use it year round. It’s the only wash that makes my skin feel completely cleansed. (Works wonders with a clarisonic mia- and let’s face it, that’s where you ought to spend your $).
2. Thayers, Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
Message in a bottle: "Flower Power".
At $9.95, it’s a steal. Some dermatologists say that toner does nothing but I have to use toner before bed & every makeup application because I like my skin to feel fresh and tingly. During the hot summer months in NYC, that’s exactly how I want my skin to feel so I’ll take some to-go in a mini spritzer to keep in my bag. Yes, I’m that girl misting herself on the subway but you don’t see looking like an oil slick, do you? I got yelled at by friends recently for using a toner that one could have taken shots with- it had THAT much alcohol in it. This one from Thayer’s balances my skin and smells like roses so it’s a little femme. Love that!
3. Weleda, Wild Rose Smoothing Lotion
Message in a bottle: "Coming up rosy"!
More rose scented products. I tend to gravitate towards anything lavender or rose scented because they’re not overpowering and tend to be very calming. It’s a small bottle for $28.00 and I’ll go through a tube quickly during the drier months so you could call it a splurge. Super lightweight and doesn’t leave behind a greasy filmy feel. I think it’s great for someone, like me, with nomal/combo/oily Tzone skin.
4. tarte, pure maracuja oil
Message in a bottle: "pure miracle"!
Maybe I am biased but I’ve always been a major fan of tarte (even before working for the brand). When tarte launched its first skincare product, this hydrating, moisturizing & intuitive skin elixir, I was one of the first to try it. Forget going back to the next fad in skincare, this oil actually worked wonders for me. “Score!” because I was given a few bottles in the office and use it every single night before bed. There are before and afters (after 3 wks) seen on QVC ($46.00) for this product but I can literally see a change in my skin overnight. (My apartment is super dry! Maracuja oil has replaced my need for a humidifier).
5. tarte, maracuja lip exfoliant
Message in a bottle: "obsessed".
Another maracuja infused miracle from tarte. I was skeptical about this product at first, not because of the formula but because it wasn’t an already existing step in my routine- did I really need to add another? I try to keep it simple but when my friend at work, Leigh, mentioned that it was like “brushing your teeth for your lips” I had to give it a try. “Hmmm… it sounds refreshing” I thought and what’s one extra step if it can eliminate the need for a medical strength lip balm? It’s got a refreshing burst of peppermint and sugar granules to slough off any dry flakiness. It’s sold with a LipSurgence lip tint for $29.50 on QVC so the tint is free. Wait a minute, I want that set now!
6. Dollies and Rockers, amped: salt spray
Message in a bottle: "SWAG".
I was lucky to receive this salt spray in a swag bag for a private screening of L!FE HAPPENS. I was using a product that rhymes with smurf cray from my favorite hair care line when I discovered this one. I had to make the switch. I’m a scent person…but I am choosy about them. This spray gives me the same beachy waves that scream salt & summer coupled with a yummy green apple scent that’s not overpowering. No idea on the price but worth giving Dollies and Rockers a call to ship you a bottle, STAT.
7. Bumble and Bumble, Styling Lotion
Message in a bottle: “Sleek & chic”.
A love affair that has lasted almost 10 years. I had seen this product many times but never knew just how badly my hair wanted it until I was introduced to it by my then-stylist at James Joseph on Newbury in Boston and have been using it since. (BTW, JJ: great salon! I just moved!). $25.00. When the beach weekends roll into Mondays and I want a more sleek look for the office, I’ll spritz this one-mane-wonder all over my head for the ultimate blow dry. Bumble has never let me down and after moving to NYC and meeting some of the amazing passionate people who eat, breathe, sleep and work for this brand (one that truly embodies the art of hair-styling), well I think I fell a little more in love with the House of Bb which seems impossible because my heart & shower caddy have already been full for so long. Yep, they are that cool. :)
8. Oscar Blandi, pronto Dry Shampoo
Message in a bottle: “Blonde Ambition.”
Do blondes really have more fun? I suppose it depends on the individual. One thing I do know is this, they really have a lot more work. The upkeep with going blonde is outrageous. I never understood the amount of dedication it takes to be a toe head so hats off to the golden girls who make it look so good. The more blonde you go, the less you should wash your hair each week to keep it from drying out. Oscar Blandi’s “pronto” dry shampoo is a new favorite of mine because it keeps my hair (and recent change) manageable between washes. $23.00 for a small bottle but you’ll use sparingly on roots only.
9. Bumble and bumble, spray de Mode (the purple one!)
Message in a bottle: “Bzzzworthy”.
spray de Mode is de best. I feel like I redeemed myself of the crunchy curls look I wore when I was younger by using this workable spray with flexible hold. Bumble has 3 different types of hairspray but this one has always been my favorite because my hair tends to be on the dry side. It is also choice for getting those soft waves that stay in place a-la-Lana del Rey. Who isn’t channeling her this Summer? One day I am going to do a YouTube tutorial on getting Lana’s waves using spray de Mode… Oh shoot, somebody already did!
10. tarte, Brazilliance skin rejuvenating self tanner
Message in a bottle: “Bronze Bombshell”.
For those who are vigilant about sun-worship safety, this is a self tanner made for you (and me). All winter long I kept busy at work writing away at the computer, some days barely seeing the light of day. OK, I’m being dramatic but it’s like that in NYC, you work all day and when you get out, it’s cold and dark and you are left pale. Pale. Pale. Pale. Eddie, I don’t think we’re (I’m) in LA anymore. Another trade-off OK by me. This is the self tanner I’m using for a buildable bronze leading up to Summer. No typical self tanner smell. No breakouts or irritation. No streakiness or orange tone. What’s the tradeoff? Snooky is still going to get more attention for her oompa loompa tone even if yours trumps hers.
Do you have a top 10? List under my post on facebook.
Currently listening to: Summer Sway