There are few phrases that stick in my craw as much as ‘summer ready’. It is often used to imply the panic and pressure women feel to lose half their body weight, remove every strand of hair below the neck, and have perfect, glowing skin so they can follow the ubiquitous ‘just throw on some BB cream’ make up tutorials. Let’s all eye-roll together.
This year I’m rejecting all that nonsense. I have put together my picks of products that help me to just feel that little bit more confident… with no rice cakes in sight.
The easiest way to perk up my mood is an incredible fragrance and my current favourite is Runaway by Karen Walker*. I could be wearing the most basic outfit, with the minimum amount of make up and my hair in a messy top knot, but as soon as I’ve applied this I feel so glamorous. It’s described as an ‘intense oriental’ scent and is designed to ‘evoke the atmosphere of a midnight forest stroll, with scents of campfire, incense, crushed pine needles and night blooming jasmine‘. This makes it sound quite autumnal/wintery but I think it’s perfect for warm summer nights. The bottle is shaped like an inkwell and the dark emerald and gold packaging give it an incredibly luxurious feel.
If you’re not a perfume fan, or wanted a more affordable way to make yourself smell delicious, the next recommendation will be right up your street. Run, don’t walk! The Body Shop Piñita Colada range is back. I was ADDICTED to their body sorbet last year and if you want to smell like a fruity cocktail then I would suggest you stock up now. It is the perfect summery fragrance, as soon as I put it on I feel like I’m on a beach somewhere. The formula is gel-like, which means it not only sinks in quickly but doesn’t leave a horrible sticky feeling on the skin – the last thing you want in hot weather is to slather yourself in heavy body butter.
My skin is so pale that I often refer to myself as ‘translucent’. When you factor in my rosacea – and super-sensitive skin that burns within a second – the chances of me achieving a natural tan are slim to none! Until a few weeks ago, I had never tried to do my own fake tan and had only ever had one professional spray tan. Having a subtle bit of colour gave me a little bit more confidence to wear summery clothes and made me look a little bit more healthy. I was pretty nervous when I was sent the Skinny Tan Express Mousse 1 Hour Tan* (I want to address that I HATE the name – I think it’s totally unnecessary and ridiculous – but the product itself is great which is a shame as I know a lot of people are out off by the name). I didn’t want to end up orange, or streaky, and worried that the tan would fade in obvious patches, but I liked that it was designed to develop naturally in an hour so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s dispensed as a foam with an olive green tint (don’t be put off, that gives it a more natural tone so you don’t go orange!) which helps you to see the sections you’ve already covered. I used a mitt and found it surprisingly easy to apply and there was no nasty smell. I panicked and washed it off after 45 minutes but I wish I had held my nerve, because although 45 minutes gave me a lovely subtle bit of colour … it was probably a little bit too subtle! Next time I think I’ll go for 90 minutes. However, there were no streaks, no dark patches, and no Oompa-Loompa-esque colour, so I am a convert (although I still wish it had a different name…)
You should all know by now that I am the biggest advocate of SPF. You should wear it every single day, with no exceptions, but you should also be topping up throughout the day if you are outside. I absolutely love the concept of the Bioderma Hydrabio Eau De Soin SPF30 as it’s light, easy to use, and feels really cooling on my sensitive skin. I wouldn’t recommend this as your only SPF but this is a great top-up product to throw in your handbag to ensure that you are protected throughout the day.
My rosacea reacts to heated hair appliances even in the middle of winter, so when it comes to the warmer months I gravitate towards no-heat hair styling. Recently I’ve been letting my hair partly air-dry, then separating it into four sections, before twisting and pinning the sections up to dry while I do my make up. My hair is prone to frizz if I don’t smooth it with hair straighteners, so before I separate my hair I apply the Klorane Leave-In Cream. Not only does this smell deliciously summery but it keeps everything looking sleek and polished.
And finally, one of the quickest and easiest ways to feel summer ready: a bright lipstick or eye-catching nail varnish. A bright orange, a shocking hot pink, a perky coral – you cannot underestimate how quickly these can lift your mood. My favourite lip products for the summer are Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks (they don’t budge, even in high temperatures and come in some beautiful shades) and the nail polish brand I reach for more than any other is Essie. They’re quick drying, have a long-lasting finish, with wide brushes for easy application, and an extensive colour range.
What are your tips for feeling flipping amazing for summer? What are the quick ways you boost your confidence or change up your look so you feel your own version of summer ready? Let me know in the comments below!
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