Tag Archives: moisturize

Fight Winter Dryness

It’s Groundhog Day, and despite what that rodent in Pennsylvania says, I think we still whole lot of winter ahead of us (I know the little guy didn’t see his shadow, but have you seen it outside?). Aside from the freezing weather and the mounds of snow and ice which have moved in for good, dry skin is one of the most irritating parts of this season. Unfortunately we can’t control the weather, but we can control the dryness of our skin, amen for that.

Winter is bad enough without dealing with flaking, cracking, chapped skin. Magazines make a big deal about changing your routine, but I’ve always found that doing the same thing—and often doing less, is what helps skin stay healthy. Too bad the harsh weather and the dry air can change the way skin and hair feel, which means sometimes a change is necessary. Here are the products I find keep skin feeling like June even in the midst of bitter February.

Herbal Works Moisturizing Salt Scrubs

The shower is the best place to trap much-needed moisture on your skin—you’ll also avoid constantly slicking on goopy moisturizers later on. I’m obsessed with this scrub my mom gave me for Christmas from Herbal Works (their online store is closed at the moment, but should be back soon). I couldn’t believe how using just a small amount could completely eradicate my flaky winter skin. It also has an insanely good smell that lasts all day long. My mother is so obsessed with this scrub that she bought it in the bulk size available for spas and salons:

(Cat used for scale)

If that’s not an endorsement I don’t know what is.

Lush Massage Bars

If you prefer to moisturize after you shower, Lush massage bars are an excellent and wonderful smelling way to keep the moisture on your skin. I love Fever, which smells like jasmine and sandalwood. These bars melt in your hands, so you can rub them on yourself—or get someone to help you out (Valentines Day is just a week away!).

Aquaphor Healing Ointment


I talked about it over the summer, but this stuff is even more essential in the winter. As someone who has often found themselves out in the winter chill without a good pair of gloves, I know the only thing to cure my cracked, irritated hands is Aquaphor. If skin gets to the point of bleeding, angry, discomfort, regular moisturizers will do nothing, you need Aquaphor.

Nivea Lip Balms

I’ve tried a lot of lip balms in my day, and nothing goes on smoother and moisturizes more than Nivea lip balms. They’re an affordable essential that can repair even the most chapped winter lips.

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Cetaphil is a drugstore classic, it’s an alternative to more expensive skin moisturizers and great for sensitive skin. In the winter when we need moisture more than ever, so the bargain price tag is especially appreciated. No need to deprive your skin and ration out expensive creams, Cetaphil gets the job done at a quarter of the cost.

Burt’s Bees Avocado Hair Treatment

Winter means dry hair, which if you fall prey to frizz, is actually a good thing, but shiny hair needs moisture and in the winter that can require some work. Wet your hair first, and then brush in some Burt’s Bees Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment, leave it on for five minutes or a whole afternoon, when you finally shampoo you will find yourself with a shiny head of frizz-free hair.

Happy Groundhog day everyone—if you wake up to another ice storm tomorrow morning I hope you eventually find your way out of the time loop!

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Beauty Bullseye: Sephora

Truth be told, I’ve probably spent more time in Sephora than in any other store in my adult life. It’s one of those places I go when I’m meeting a friend who is late, or if I just want to kill some time or escape from the wildness of the street for a few minutes. I can see how, to some, Sephora might seem like a nightmare, there are dozens of women pushing past each other, fighting for mirrors, or the attention of salespeople, perfume may get sprayed in your eyes if you’re not careful, and sometimes the lines are incredibly long, but if you love makeup—it’s heaven, all the things you love conveniently in one place to enjoy. Oh Sephora, how I love thee, let me count the ways!

The advantage of Sephora is that, unlike the drugstore, you get to play with the makeup—to me, this is a huge advantage, because if I had a dollar for every product I bought in a drugstore that I never would have purchased if I tested it, well I’d have a lot more money to spend at Sephora. Some people might like to shop the makeup counters at department stores, but not me. I hate having to jump from counter to counter, trying to shake off salesgirls who are so bored they won’t stop following me around making suggestions, or trying desperately to get their attention so I can just buy what I need. At Sephora there is usually a sales girl around if you need help, but once they’ve politely asked you if you need something, they leave you alone—I wish retailers would realize this is the perfect way to provide customer service. I’m someone who has worked a lot of retail, including department store make-up counters, and I can tell you, people don’t like you in their face, but they do want your help when they need it.

They also have their own brand of products, and for the most part they’re really great and reasonably priced too, I have often opted for a Sephora brand product when the name brand was just way too expensive, and I haven’t really been disappointed.

Flashy Liner Waterproof, $8Colorful Duo Eyeshadow, $8, Ultra-Shine Lip Gloss, $7

Sephora has been around since 1997, it originally opened in France in 1993, and is owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). I couldn’t find anything too negative about the company either, so that’s a plus. They have a generous return policy, and regularly offer free shipping over $50 on their site too. If you like Sephora you’re probably already a beauty insider, which means they give you a card so when you buy stuff you gain a point for every dollar spent, once you hit 100 points you get a fancy deluxe sample, and then once you hit 500 points you get a mini-kit or sample set, right now it’s a benefit best of sampler kit. I have 474 points in my bank right now and I’m not sure what happens if I just keep saving them, either way it’s better than other stores offer. A lot of places don’t even give samples anymore—or they’re inconsistent about it, and who doesn’t love free samples?

As a beauty insider you also get a birthday gift, for the past couple of years it has been a mini bottle of Philosophy birthday cake shower gel—or at least that’s what I’ve gotten. You have to pick it up in stores, but it’s a smart little incentive to get you in.

In fact Sephora is very good at getting you into their stores to spend money. They send e-mails with 15% off coupons, and I’m a total sucker for them. I go in thinking I’ll outsmart them and buy a product I was going to buy anyway, but then I see a new lip balm, or an anti-frizz spray. Suddenly I’m thinking “well, it is 15% off the whole purchase so I should probably buy some more stuff too” and then I leave having spent $65 and saved $9. Coupons are all about justification, I can walk out of there feeling proud that I was so thrifty, when really I wouldn’t have even considered buying that stuff if it weren’t for the discount—damn you Sephora, you get me every time!

Another sneaky trick they institute are the mini products strategically placed in front of you as you wait in line. I have seem many women (myself included) add-on an extra $5-$30 picking up one of those tempting little guys. Sometimes you think they’re going to be cheap because they’re small, but you have to be careful, because they throw in some expensive full size items to trick you. I’m sure if you have will power it’s not hard to resist, but miniatures are so appealing for some reason, it’s a phenomenon, it’s so pleasing to see something shrunk down small, I just can’t help it!

FileMate by tweezerman $5 each, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser To Go $15 for 1.7 oz., Sephora for OPI Daily Hand Moisturizer To Go $5 for 1.7 oz., Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist To Go $9 for 1.7 oz., Some Kind-A Gorgeous To Go $9 for .09 oz.,

When I walk in to a Sephora I usually don’t even know where to start, because the fun of it is the ability to play. Put a lipstick on, wipe it off, spray in some curl enhancer, why not? Alright, I assume a lot of women do this but maybe not—If I’m on my way somewhere else and I pass a Sephora, I like to run in and try on some new perfume or makeup, and then just pop back out in to the street and be on my way. It’s an awesome way to really figure out if you like something. Often I’ll forget I even did it and then on the way home I’m wondering “what’s that gorgeous smell?” only to realize it’s coming from my own wrist. Other times I go in there with a mission, or even better, with a gift card, but usually I go in to see what’s there. I like to play a game with myself, it’s called “if I had all the money in the world what would I buy?” I’m sure you’ve played it before too. It’s similar to the game “What would I buy If I had to buy something” which I only play in stores I don’t like. Here’s my list of what I’d be buying at Sephora today if I didn’t have to worry about silly things like rent, health insurance, or credit card payments—hey, you can always dream!

I have a purple eyeshadow obsession, also a Shiseido eyeshadow obsession, they go on so silky smooth and blend together beautifully, too bad they’re $25 each.

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color in Ghost, $25 for .07 oz.

Recently when I go into Sephora I’ve been sampling the Tocca fragrances, they all smell amazing. What I love about them is how they really change when you spray them on your skin, they are scents with a great deal of depth, there are so many lovely notes to discover as you wear them all day.

Tocca 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Sprays, $68 for 1.7 oz.

I’ve posted before about the Tarte lip stains, but little did I know that was just the glossy collection, now they’ve come out with a collection of matte shades too. I want one, they’re very similar to the others, but without the shiny glossy finish, and they come in a whole new set of bright colors.

LipSurgence™ Natural Matte Lip Stain,$24 for 0.1 oz.

I hate washing my hair, it’s long, easily tangled, and takes forever to dry, so I’m a big fan of dry shampoo. I’ve been reading good things about this one from Klorane, I’ve tried it in stores and it seems really nice, but I have tons of Oscar Blandi at home, so I have to use that up before I can justify buying more. It’s also nice that it’s made without Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes and a bunch of other bad stuff.

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo With Oat Extract, $18 for 1.7 oz.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy this Clinique skin-tone corrector because of the price, I have the moisturizer and it has helped lighten some sun damage around my eyes, so I really want to see how effective this product is. I’ve tried it in stores, but with a product like this you really need to keep using it to get results. It’s also supposed to be great for lightening acne scars.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, $49.50 for 1 oz.

Sephora keeps trying to get me to buy this eyeshadow compact, no seriously, they’ve sent me e-mails recommending it and it’s all over the magazines. It calls out its siren song to me when I’m in the stores, but the price is steep and I already have more eyeshadow than anyone I know, maybe one day though…

5-Colour Eyeshadow – Stylish Move 970, $58

For many years I’ve dreamt of a hair iron that could do anything—barrel curls, soft waves, or straight and smooth. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying this baby out, but in my imagination it’s amazing, so I’m going to go ahead and believe that for the price, this iron can do anything—I wonder if it can crimp too?

The Seductress: Curl, Wave & Straight One-Inch Iron, $230

Let’s be honest though, if I really had all the money in the world I would just buy a whole Sephora store and live there, or attach it to my house as an extra room. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about storing all of the products I buy either, wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Anyone else have a deep love of Sephora, what are your “if money wasn’t an issue” dream products?

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Beat the Summer Gross

If you live in the New York City area, you’ve been either sweating your butt off for the past couple of weeks, or adding money to your electric bill by cranking the AC day and night. Earlier this month records were broken from Central Park to La Guardia Airport. Just this past weekend more heat records were set across the area, and we still have another 2 weeks of July. Even when records aren’t being broken, the temperature has been sitting at an average of 90 degrees each day, so it’s hard not to feel like this:

Maybe you’re one of those people who thrive in the heat, who soak up the suns rays with pleasure and feel invigorated by the sweat—if that’s you, I’m in total awe.

If you see a girl looking sweaty, angry, tired, sunglasses slipping down her nose, a halo of frizz around her head, blisters on her feet, and using her skirt as a means to fan herself, well that’s probably me. I was not made for the heat, I am of hearty eastern European and Irish stock, I flourish in winter and was born in December, heat and humidity have always felt foreign and unbearable to me.

What drives me nuts about the heat is that you can’t escape it, the air just bears down on you. When you’re cold you can add on more layers, drink hot tea, start a fire, snuggle up with a buddy, do some vigorous exercise—you have some (usually inexpensive) options besides turning up the thermostat. When it’s nearly 100 degrees outside and the air is wet with humidity, all you can do is turn on the AC, or bathe yourself in cold water.

What’s worse is dealing with the back and forth between superficially freezing places like office buildings or supermarkets and the baking heat of the outdoors, it makes you nauseous. Then you have the constant worry of bringing a sweater wherever you go, and having to carry it around since it won’t fit in your bag—and maybe you should just bring a bigger bag, ugh, frustrating.

I recently read in a magazine (I have no idea which one, I can’t keep them straight at this point) that around 75% of women feel more beautiful in the summer, I found that sort of shocking. I guess it makes sense when you think about it, people work out more because you end up showing off your body more, and if you tan then you feel better about yourself too. For me though, the summer means frizzy hair, shiny skin, visible sweat stains and eww—chafing.

Chafing is gross, and while it’s stigmatized as something that only happens if you’re overweight, it can happen to anyone at anytime. It occurs from sweating and rubbing and it can happen anywhere on your body. It can even happen on your feet when you’re wearing cute new sandals and decide that even though you haven’t broken them in, it will probably be OK to walk around the city in them all day—big mistake.

The summer makes me long for socks, and boots, and comfy sweaters, but come February it will be a different story. Anyway, it’s hard enough to bear the dumbing heat, but trying to look attractive on top of it—who even cares? Unfortunately there are also a lot of events in the summer; parties, BBQs, weddings, and when you attend these events you want to feel you’re looking your best. So, I’ve put together a list of a some products that help keep me feeling human when I can’t sit around the house in my underwear with the fan blowing on me.

If you’re going to wear make-up in the summer, you have to be prepared for it to slide off your face, so what I suggest is a tinted moisturizer with SPF because it’s very light and gives you sun protection too. Now the problem for me is that I’m incredibly pale, so even the “fair” shade in most tinted moisturizers is too orange for me. I don’t think I’m alone here, a lot of these products only come in 1-3 shades and people come in a lot more shades than that. Laura Mercier makes this one in a variety of shades, it has a nice light coverage, but is a bit pricey, there is also an oil free version available.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $42 for 1.5 oz.

I like to make my own tinted moisturizer by using my normal moisturizer and mixing it with concealer. This way you have control over how light you want your coverage to be, and it’s much cheaper. You can just mix it together on your hand and then apply it, or you can get fancy and actually mix it up in a container, just make sure it’s well sealed.

M.A.C Studio finish SPF 35 concealer, $16.50

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, Fragrance Free, $11.49 for 4 fl oz

I’ve spoken before about my love of powder, specifically Lush dusting powders, but they’re $11.95 for 3.5 oz and in the summer I go through powder fast. I always keep this Johnson & Johnson powder on hand because it’s inexpensive and with the lavender and chamomile scent you won’t have to smell like a baby either.  If you dust yourself with this stuff after a shower you will stay smelling sweet and you’ll minimize sweat too!

Johnson’s Baby Baby Powder, Lavender & Chamomile, $5.49 for 22 oz.

Frizz is the enemy. During the summer months it can be completely unavoidable, but I’ve found that if I use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and then while my hair is wet I work in an anti-frizz finishing creme, I manage to keep the poof under control. I also give my hair a blast of ice-cold water right before I jump out of the shower, it’s supposed to seal the cuticles and increase shine or something, also the cold water feels invigorating when it’s this hot out. I’ve also decided that the Fekkai glossing conditioner is worth the hefty price tag, because it really works. I’m still on a quest to find a conditioner that works as well for less money. That all sounds complicated, but avoiding frizz is a battle people!

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme, $5.99 for 4 oz.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, $35 for 16 oz

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner, $35 for 16 oz

Nexxus Humectress Luxe Ultimate Moisturizing Leave-In Spray, $11.49 for 5.1 fl. oz.

Remember when I mentioned chafing? Yeah, it happens whether you want to admit it or not, and Aquaphor ointment is a great way to sooth yourself after you’ve fallen victim to the rub. I love this stuff, it is great for chapped skin in the winter, chafed skin in the summer, burns, small cuts, even bug bites.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment $5.99 for 1.75 oz.

This one is more for after you’ve been in the heat and you’ve forgotten your sunscreen and are now suffering from a painful and unattractive sunburn. When you get home from the beach or a walk in the park and notice that your skin is turning a brighter and brighter shade of pink each moment, you’ll be very glad you bought some aloe gel and put it in your fridge. My mom always kept a bottle in our fridge year round, and it remains to be one of the most comforting things for a bad sunburn, you can also just put it on if you’re really hot, anything helps right?

Up & Up Green Aloe Gel, $3.49 for 16 oz.

Lastly, but most importantly—put your hair up! Seriously, this seems like a no brainer, but when I see girls with their long hair sticking to the back of their necks, it instantly makes me feel hotter. I think sometimes we’re willing to sweat our butts off and be miserable to avoid ponytail bumps in our hair. But for real, this instantly cools you down, unless you’re lucky and can sport a cute short hair cut, then you have us all beat!

Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics, $2.99 for 14 pieces

I’d love to hear what other tips people have for managing to feel human when you really just want to seek out the nearest air conditioner. Please give me more tips, I need them!!

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Live a Lush Life

Have you heard of Lush? I’m assuming most of you have, it’s been around for a while, but if you haven’t heard of it you should. Let me tell you why.

Firstly I want to say I think more advertising should be done by people who genuinely like the products and are happy to promote them. I’m not saying companies should ask anyone to do this for free (although I’m about to do that right now), but if you can’t find people to promote your product who really like it and use it, then maybe it’s time to change the product.

Lush seems to understand this, they put out a great newspaper called Lush Times every season with new products and tons of reviews by real people who love the brand and are happy to talk about the products they use. They share their stories and pictures and It feels both authentic and fun, two things not seen too often in normal cosmetics promotions.

In the cosmetics world, Lush is a very unique brand. Although they don’t sell makeup, they do sell lip balms, hair products, and perfumes as well as bath products. It’s all organic and natural (like actually totally, not just labeled that way to appear “green”), has quite a selection of vegan items, and they make products that do amazing things while smelling absolutely delicious without the addition of chemicals. They also tell you exactly what is in the products they’re selling you, wild idea right?

It’s  nice that Lush doesn’t use model or celebrity endorsements or feature them in their ads, in fact they don’t seem to advertise much at all from what I can tell. They seem to function mainly on word of mouth and getting people into the stores—and it should be a lesson to other companies that if you make a good product, you don’t need to spend millions of dollars on ad campaigns.

One way that Lush cuts down on the cost of their products is by making their packaging from recycled plastic. Sometimes it’s a little wonky, but for the cost and the green factor it’s worth it. So often with cosmetics 75% of the cost goes into the packaging, so I’d rather get more product for the price anyway, although I can be a sucker for good packaging. Some of their products don’t use packaging at all, like their bath bombs.

My sister and I first stumbled on Lush when we were visiting family in Ireland in 2002, we took a day trip to Dublin and the most fun we had the whole day, aside from Dublinia! an interactive exhibit for children in the basement of Christ Church, which we played in like we were four-year olds, was discovering Lush (we made the mistake of going on a day when all the museums were closed). We could literally smell Lush from down the street, and wandered into the shop mesmerized by the colorful products and friendly staff. I think our Irish relatives thought we were crazy when we came home that night, each with a big bag of bath bombs and bubble bars, but it was exciting, we had never seen cosmetics sold in such a way before.

When we arrived home in New York, our whole suitcases, all our clothes, everything, was filled with the beautiful aroma. From then on, every time someone was going overseas we begged them to get us some Lush—I’m sure this was incredibly annoying, but we couldn’t get it in the states, so what could we do but beg? Finally after several years they opened stores across the U.S., unfortunately they don’t produce products in the states so they have to import them from Canada which drives the prices up a bit, but the cost still doesn’t touch what other cosmetics brands charge, so it’s worth it.

I’m going to run-through some of my favorite products, and if any of them appeal to you I hope you’ll check them out!

if you haven’t discovered Lush yet, or even if you have, you can find a store near you here. And if there isn’t one near you, they’re opening new shops all the time.

Let’s start with a soap that is great if you like your products earthy, scrubby, and delicious smelling. If you don’t like little bits of leaves in your soap you might not like it, but if you don’t mind bringing some nature into your shower you’ll love it.

Also a note on Lush soaps, at the stores you can get them cut into any size for you, so if you only want say a $5 piece to try, just ask them. Isn’t that nice?

Figs and Leaves Soap,$7.60 for 3.5 oz.

This is my favorite moisturizer, and it’s so much less expensive than a lot of department store creams. It smells like vanilla and cream and it is specifically made for sensitive skin which is great for me, also a little goes a very long way.

Celestial face moisturizer, $22.95 for 1.5 oz.

I’m very upset that I no longer have a bathtub because it means I can’t use Lush bubble bars anymore. I love bubble baths, and these bars create so many bubbles and leave your skin so smooth and sweet-smelling it’s perfect for the end of a stressful day. You can cut one bar up into pieces and save them so it lasts longer too, because they really do produce a lot of bubbles.

Creamy Candy Bubble Bar, $7.25 for a 3.5 oz. bar

Probably my all time favorite Lush product. If I could afford it I would put this on my hair every week. It’s one of the products my sister and I were completely hooked on as soon as we discovered Lush. It’s a hair mask, you put it on your dry hair (you need to saturate your head, I usually end up using half the container on my hair) and then leave it on for 15 minutes, or put on a shower cap to keep in the heat, and leave it on for hours. After you wash the treatment out you’re left with shiny, lovely, amazing, spicy scented hair. I love it, but I love most things that smell spicy, so if you do too, you will definitely love this. Your hair will smell like a spice market in some beautiful far-off eastern country, yum.

H’Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment, $18.95 for 7.9 oz.

Do you like Almonds? I love almonds, I love marzipan, I love the smell of almonds, I love almond milk, and I adore this soap. The only downside is that it is so creamy it melts away fairly fast, but it leaves your skin smelling heavenly, so it’s worth it.

Alkmaar soap, $7.95 for 3.5 oz.

Since I can’t take baths anymore, I have re-discovered shower gels, and this is one of my favorites. It’s great if you shower in the morning and have trouble waking up because it has a bright, cirtus-y scent that gives you instant pep for the day.

Happy Hippy, $26.95 for 16.9 oz.

I’m a little obsessed with body powders. Especially in the summer, I cover myself in powder every-time I get out of the shower, the cloud of dust scares both my cats and my fiancé, but I wouldn’t stop it for the world. If you don’t powder I highly suggest it, I love that in yoga class once I start to sweat, instead of smelling gross, the people around me are treated to a gorgeous vanilla aroma, lucky them. I love Lush’s Silky Underwear, but I just bought this new scent and it’s making for some serious competition.

Vanilla Puff Powder, $11.95 for 3.5 oz.

I did a whole post about shampoo because I’ve been questioning my whole hair care procedure recently. So I went back and tried Lush shampoo bars again, and now I can’t remember why I ever stopped using them to begin with! They can get a little crumbly in the shower once you get near the end of them, but no more so than a bar of soap. It is amazing how much lather these things produce, I mean seriously, I had enough lather on my head for three more people, and like everything Lush, they smell spectacular (except for the soak and float bar which is for dandruff, and kind of stinky, but supposedly effective).

Karma Komba, 9.95 for 1.9 oz.

If you’re lucky enough to have a bath tub, you should definitely try one of Lush’s bath bombs. I love the Butterball which smells (obviously) buttery and creamy and has little pieces of coca butter that melt into your skin, ugh, it’s so good.

When you go into a Lush shop they will give you a bath bomb demonstration, that way you can see how it fizzes and buzzes around your bath tub, sometimes changing the water colors, or releasing sparkles, but always smelling amazing.

The next time you’re feeling romantic, or sharing a bath with someone else, I recommend trying out this bomb. It releases a whole jumble of flower petals into your bath, as well as the incredible smell of roses and lavender. You may have to clean the petals out of your drain, but who doesn’t want to bathe in rose petals?

I like to buy bath bombs (or bubble bars) just to keep them in my drawers, they make all my clothes smell incredible.

Softy, $6.25 for 6.3 oz.

Anyone else have some Lush product recommendations? I’m sure I could go on forever because I’ve sampled most of their products, so feel free to ask questions too! Happy bathing!

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Beauty Bullseye: Summer cosmetics picks

So far I haven’t really posted about cosmetic products specifically, only about my love for them. So I thought my summer product picks would be a good place to start. I change-up my beauty routine in the warmer months, just like I have movies, music, and books that I only read, listen to, or watch, depending on the season, I also have certain products that I use during the summer exclusively (unless I choose to break my own rules which I do all the time).

Let’s start with a summer staple, the blotting paper. I have only recently re-discovered these guys after forgetting about them after high-school. Summer means sweat, which means shine. Sometimes shine looks amazing and dewy, and other times it  makes you look hot, and not in a good way, so these are a nice little solution, and also very affordable.

(Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets $6.00 for 50)

Sticking to the realm of fighting off sweat (accidental pun), here is one of my summer splurges, Lush dusting powder. Lush makes a variety of wonderful dusting powders, as well as other all-natural products, but this one might smell the best.  Dust it on after the shower and the clean, natural, scent of cocoa butter and vanilla will last all day, very much worth the price.

(Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder $11.95)

So, after you’ve gotten out of the shower and dusted yourself off with powder, you might want to moisturize that skin. I’m sure there are lots of very expensive, fancy, body moisturizers out there, but I have no money, so I like this one that i get at the drug store which smells great and lasts forever. It also does a very good job of keeping legs and body soft, while smelling lovely. Also, despite being a Johnson’s product it doesn’t smell like baby oil, more like strawberries.

(Johnson’s 24 Hour Lotion $5.99)

I have sensitive skin, so I can only use certain moisturizers on my face, my go-to brand is Clinique, because it’s gentle and hypoallergenic. My new favorite product is their Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer, which focuses on lightening brown spots from prior sun damage. I never listened to my mother when she told me to wear sunscreen when I was younger, so I was so happy to find this product which moisturizes, corrects skin discoloration, and has the added bonus of SPF 20 for sun protection.

(Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20 $42.50)

Moving on to the issue of bronzer/self tanner, I have long given up pretending I am anything but pale, but in the process I have tried many bronzing products. I must say as far as self-tanner goes, I haven’t found any oh-my-gosh amazing product. Everything streaks, blotches, or both. Even the lightest of formulas leave me looking zebra-like and consequently more embarrassed to show my skin. I do keep one tanning product around and that is Clarins Self Tanning Gel, I don’t use much of it, but I’m sure those of you with darker skin than mine (i.e. everyone) could put this product to even better use. However, I do like to dab it on my face in the summer, it gives a nice, natural, glow without looking too orange.

(Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel, 4.4 oz. $32.50)

For Fall and winter I like a rosy cheek, but in the summer I like things a little bit peachy. My sister gave me this Coralista blush from Benefit because her skin is even more sensitive than mine, and the scent is also very strong. It didn’t bother my skin at all, and I actually love the golden peach color it leaves on my cheeks, it’s very summery, I also happen to like the smell, although it’s perfumy. It comes with a little brush, but it’s cheaply made and the hairs fall out, so I would recommend using this with a normal blush brush.

(Benefit CORALista Blush $28)

I am so sick of hearing how Chanel always comes up with the hottest nail colors of the season when everyone knows it’s OPI and Essie who come out with the same color months in advance at one-third of the price. This season Chanel has delivered Nouvelle Vague, which looks very similar to one of my favorite colors, Greenport, from Essie’s summer line last year, only with a bit more shimmer. I’m happy that greens and blues on nails have gained popularity, it’s just fun and beachy for summer.

(Essie nail Polish in Greenport, $8)

I spend half the summer battling with my hair, which like the Grinch’s heart, grows three sizes each day. While in the winter I might try to tame my waves occasionally, in the summer I just give up and embrace the wildness. I have found that Fekkai’s Tousled Wave Spray helps encourage the crazy waviness that summer humidity can bring, while still keeping frizz to a minimum and smelling great.

(Frederic Fekkai Coiff Oceanique Tousled Wave Spray $23)

I’ve saved the best for last. These new lip stains from Tarte are my winner for summer. I have looked for something like these for a while, and was very happy to find them. I love lipstick, but I’m not a lipstick person, mostly because I’m lazy and forget to reapply it. These new stains go on like a lipstick, look glossy, and then stay on like a stain. They’re also minty and cute. The stains go on bright, which I like, and can be layered for an even brighter look. They’re on the pricey side, and I feel guilty for having two of them, but for a really great product, I have no regrets. I’ve been trying to get my hands on the Enchanted color for a while, but it’s always sold out everywhere. I have the Amused (bright pink) and the Lust (bright red) and I love them both!

(Tarte Natural Lip Stain with LipSurgence™ Technology $23 each)

So there you have it, that’s what I’ll be slathering on myself this summer. What are you guys splurging (or not splurging) on this year? I would love to hear what products help you fight the frizz and humidity, and keep you happy during the summer months, so let me know!

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