Ok, I’m a little late to the game sharing my summer essentials, hence calling the piece mid-summer essentials but as it feels like summer has only just arrived in the last couple of weeks, I felt inspired.
Whether we’re getting our bodies holiday ready or we’re just baring that bit more skin in the hot weather at home, we want to look good for the summer.
We all want to be that bit closer to having a flat stomach, for summer in particular. The hot weather can leave us dehydrated, increasing water retention and bloating. Miss Fit Skinny Tea is a home-grown detox tea and it’s the only brand that doesn’t have a laxative effect and doesn’t interfere with the pill. It was created by Irish Nutritionist, Ruth Martin and she knows her stuff. I’m only on week one, but it definitely reduces bloating, suppresses appetite and unlike other teatoxes, it actually tastes good. Packs start at €24.99 for a 14 day teatox.
This new creation from one of my favourite brands is similar to Sally Hanson Airbrush Legs and ideal for an impromptu night out when you aren’t fully tan prepped but need to show some skin. bBold Flawless Legs is a spray tanner that instantly adds a sun kissed glow and covers blemishes and imperfections – it is mainly for legs but Jenny tried it on her arms (while dressed and fully made-up) on Saturday night and it worked great. It comes in natural, medium or dark. It’s packaged in a super slim aerosol can so you could easily slip it into the drawer at work or into your bag for a last minute quick fix. It also goes really well over tan to enhance the look of your skin and it’s waterproof, which let’s face it, even in the summer, is totally necessary! It retails at €12.99 and is available in selected pharmacies nationwide.
Nail it with colour
Flip flop season is well and truly here, rain or shine, so, whether you’re a salon chick or DIY nail girl you should include a pedicure with your manicure. Opt for bright strong colours or pretty bright pastels on your nails. My top picks right now are The Body Shop Colour Crush in mint cream (€8.50), Essie in tart deco (€9.99), Revlon in one perfect coral (€9.49) and NYC in a New York Minute Quick Dry in rooftop party berry (€1.29).
We all have more skin on show for the good weather, so your usually hidden limbs need to be in good nick for you to bare them with confidence. To achieve smooth skin, a good exfoliator is essential.
Scrub it off
I love a good multi-tasking product and this is a brilliant and multi-award winning 3-in-1 product and particularly good for self-tan fans, as it prepares skin for tan, removes stubborn old tan while correcting tanning mistakes and of course gives your body all the benefits of a good exfoliation. It’s a really hard working product and a steal at only €4.99 for 200ml.
The Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub has been brought back by popular demand and is a lovely luxury spa type product if you have more time and a bigger budget. It literally warms on your skin and feels like a clay and rinses off to leave super smooth skin behind, it also smells fab. It is €18 for 400g.
Daily dry body brushing will also help slough off dead skin, improve the appearance of cellulite and wake up your lymphatic system (which is no harm as a lot of us put a bit more strain on our livers during holiday time and wedding season). Always remember to move the brush in gentle circular movements, in the direction of your heart. I leave mine in the bathroom hanging outside the shower so I remember to use. You can use a small handheld one like this from The Body Shop, or a long handled one like this one from Boots.
Butter me up
The sun dries out our skin, so does day-to-day toxins in the air, air conditioners and excess alcohol (more likely in the sunshine at BBQs, festivals and beer gardens). Always apply a nice body butter after each shower and again after a day in the sun. My top picks all contain soothing ingredients; honey, Argan oil and Shea butter. See three of my favourites below:
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
The same rules go for our faces, only stricter and all year long really, but in the summer months it is even more important that you use a great hydrating moisturiser with an SPF. We try out lots of moisturisers, serums and masques for the blog and there are wonderful products out there. However my current go-to budget product is Ponds Anti-wrinkle Nourishing Day & Night cream. It has an SPF of 15 and incudes white tea and only costs €5.99. I often layer it over a serum or follow with a masque but it’s a great all-rounder that leaves my skin feeling wonderfully hydrated. It feels rich but dries in super quick.
Lips can dry out in the sun very easily too and chapped lips are not only sore and irritating, but cause problems when it comes to putting on our lippy. Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil soothes, hydrates and feels fab, especially after a day in the sun. I’m using honey hue but there is raspberry and other options. It costs €21 for 7ml but lasts ages.
For those on a budget, I still swear my Vaseline Lip Therapy and have pots dotted all over my car, bag and desk. Their ‘rosy lips’ €2.69 has rose and almond oil and a pinky hue and their limited edition ‘paint the town red’ lip tint for €3 is as soothing and hydrating as all their picks but has a subtly sexy red tint, both last for ages. They have ‘sugar coated’, ‘queen bee’ and ‘pink bubbly’ in the range now too, all in very pretty packaging and I’m looking forward to trying them all!
Protect your skin
Sitting in the sun or walking in the park, even in Ireland is sun exposure, which can be damaging to our skin; long-term casing wrinkles and short-term causing unpleasant and painful sunburn. Shiseido released a new sun cream which is incredible as it contains ‘wet-force’ meaning it works harder when mixed with water or perspiration so is great for the whole family and all with sensitive skin. It has very high protection (SPF 50) and very water resistant plus it smells amazing. It retails at €36. Boots do a great cheaper alternative with their Soltan range, often with a 3 for 2 offer and Aldi’s range is also very reasonable and comes in a handy spray bottle.
Ideally keep your hair covered in the sun, especially if you have coloured, highlighted or over-styled hair (so, eh all of us). However this is not always possible and with the sun and chlorine, drying out and breaking down the fibre of your hair and causing frizziness, excellent products are essential to take care of the gruaig! I love the Kerastase Soleil range to protect your hair; particularly the complete care cream and spray in conditioner, although the whole range is gorgeous – I’m a huge Kerastase fan. A cheaper but still professional range is L’Oreal Expert Solar Sublime, like the Kerastase range, they have products to take care of your hair before, during and after the sun.
Making make-up last
Keeping my make-up from literally sliding off my face in the heat has been one of the major First World problems I have faced in recent weeks and on past holidays. Powder is your friend for shine, but if it’s really hot it can be rendered useless and can actually make the congealing make-up look worse, especially around the upper lip area. Two wonder ‘make-up fixer’ products that I love were released this summer with one spray touch up or hold. These don’t just fix that sweating off problem but seal in your make-up when it’s just applied or throughout the day if your face needs a touch-up, one spray will do just that. They are pretty miraculous, and although there have been products with similar preface released before, these are the best I’ve tried by miles. Clarins Fix Make up holds and sets your make-up giving it a longer last, smells divine and refreshes and soothes €28 for 30ml.
Primer can be another great way of making your make-up stay in place, especially for special occasions, my go to product to keep my make-up in place and smooth out my skin is Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch €30 for 15ml.