My Own Kind Of ‘Summer Ready’: How I Boost My Confidence

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.

My Own Kind Of Summer Ready - The products that help me to feel more confident in the summer

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.

Runaway Eau De Parfum, by Karen Walker (My Own Kind Of Summer Ready - The products that help me to feel more confident in the summer)

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.

The Body Shop Pinita Colada body lotion (My Own Kind Of Summer Ready - The products that help me to feel more confident in the summer)

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…)

Skinny Tan Express Mousse (My Own Kind Of Summer Ready - The products that help me to feel more confident in the summer)

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.

Bioderma spray on SPF (My Own Kind Of Summer Ready - The products that help me to feel more confident in the summer)

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 CreamNot 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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  1. englishabittoorose
    21st June 2017 / 1:19 pm

    I don’t do a great deal different in the summer but there are a couple of things I give attention to.

    If my legs are coming out, I use Lancome Flash Bronzer for legs which gives immediate colour and shimmer and gradually fake tans too. I do have Lancome’s gel face tanner (still on my shelf from a year or two ago) but with my rosacea flaring a bit recently I’ve avoided using it.

    Before foundation, I apply Clinique’s Super City Block spf40. I also dig out my Clinique bronzer and use a little of that on my face after foundation.

  2. Kathleen
    22nd June 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Hi Lex. You know I love your blog, love love. This article is great as well and I agree with the “skinny” name, why would any company in today’s hot topic market choose a name like that. Anywhoo, Ive got a hot topic I’d like to ask you about, animal testing. I’m wondering if you’ve ever considered not using brands who test on animal, sell in China, or are a subsidiary of a company who is not cruelty free. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, I don’t belong to PETA, I just chose this avenue as my way of making a stand against the use of animals. It can be a bit of a task at first but once you find the proper websites blah blah blah. Now that I’m typing this I remember hearing or reading that the U.K. banned brands that tested on animals. That can’t be right though, yes? No? Have you ever tried toners specifically designed for those flares that inevitably happen when you’re out and about? If not, I’ve got a few recommendations for you.

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