This post is more about wishful thinking than anything, since it’s now the end of June and we’ve had maybe two decent days in Vancouver so far. Worst Summer Ever! Anyway, sometime later in August, I’ll get to go to a proper part of Canada where the temperature climbs to a deliciously sticky 32 degrees and then I’ll need all of these awesome summer beauty treats!
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil
I bought myself a little bottle of this last year and am almost due for a new one. This is truly one of those all-in-one products, and a few drops goes a long way. It’s an after-shower moisturizer, a bath oil, a cuticle oil, a hair treatment...I’ve used it to remove eye makeup and applied it to freshly shaved underarms without incident—-and that’s really saying something. Also, it’s French and comes in a totally impractical but super-chic-looking glass bottle. This also comes in a version with gold shimmer, which is fabulous, but does limit its versatility somewhat. You know it fucking kills me to say that, because Mama loves her sparkles.
Lotion with sunscreen
I’m not one of those paranoiacs who carries an umbrella in July, but I also don’t want to get a sunburn. I always carry a lip balm with sunscreen in my arsenal, but sometimes it’s not enough. Having a tube of Lubriderm SPF 15 lotion in your bag can save you on those days when the sun comes out unexpectedly, or you end up sitting on a patio drinking all afternoon. It’s light enough that you can put a bit on your face in a pinch, but rich enough that you can use it as your summer hand lotion. You also get to play the hero and help out the men in your life, who never bother to think about sunscreen until AFTER they get a burn and then ask you for some like it’s a magical time machine that undoes sun damage. Sigh.
Lightweight Foot Refreshment
Everyone makes a peppermint foot lotion, but if it smells and feels as goopy as toothpaste, I’m not interested. I want something that sinks in quickly and won’t leave me sliding around in my shoes like I just buttered my feet. I have two go-to products for this, both from brands I don’t ordinarily purchase.
Mary Kay Mint Bliss Energizing Lotion for Feet and Legs
I love that this product even says you can apply it through hosiery. I always envision tired ladies at the bank rubbing this into their stocking-clad legs during their lunch breaks. It’s that light and fresh.
Arbonne SeaSource Detox Spa Renewing Body Gelee
This product has a smell more “green” than minty, and it’s actually meant to be used as a muscle rub or spa treatment that you wash off. I’ve had great success using as a lightweight foot and leg cream though, or as a super-silky body lotion on those days that you feel hot again thirty seconds after you get out of the shower. A word of caution: wash your hands after applying. You do not want to get this stuff in your eyes or on a mucus membrane. Ahem.
Caudalie Grape Water To Go
If you’ve ever wondered: who are those weirdoes who buy a spray can of water, then look no further. I’ve used Evian and Vichy in the past, but this one is my new favourite. Not only does it provide the finest mist of all of them, but it’s also made from GRAPE WATER. It’s like French wine—for your face! It’s a wonderful pick me up on sweltering days. A spritz on the back of your neck seems to lower your core temperature immediately. Keep a travel size in your bag, and a full-sized one in your fridge. Ahhh.
I’ve used a lot of shimmer products over the years, and loved nearly all of them. The problem is that most of them are quite heavily fragranced and VERY sparkly, so you can wind up feel like the town tramp, what with all your glitter and fancy smells. You harlot.
My newest favourite is Hawaiian Tropic’s Shimmer Effect Coconut Papaya After Sun Lotion. Why do I love it?
1. The shimmer here is very low-key, so you won’t feel like a disco ball if you go out in the sunshine. It’s just a very light golden glow.
2. It’s a nice moisturizing lotion with a very summery scent, but again, nothing so offensive that you feel like a giant pina colada.
3. It’s cheap and readily available, so you can stock up when the drugstore has a sale!
I should mention that this shimmer product also comes in sunscreen form. If that isn’t civilized, I don’t know what is.
Buy ‘em by the gross in those travel sizes and take an impromptu bath anywhere. Ice-cream hands, dirty sandal feet, stinky pits…you get the idea. Once I gave a baby wipe and some mint gum to a sweaty drunk girl who was barfing and she was so happy she cried a bit. If I ran the Girl Guides, there’d be a badge for that.
Again, available from the drugstore to the health food store to Holt Renfrew. Pick a favourite, although I like ‘em cheap and cheerful. Dabbing yourself with these is a much better idea than trying to cake powder atop a shiny face. In a pinch, I’ve been known to use a single ply of a Kleenex or even toilet tissue to blot away shine. Bonus points for first misting with the Caudalie Grape Water, then blotting. Oooh, look at you, Frenchie!
Nothing says, “I’m just this fabulous and I don’t give a shit” like red lipstick for evening—with hardly any other makeup. You’re a bit tan, your hair’s a mess, and it’s the cocktail hour. So: just spray and blot yer face, drag a couple of drops of the Huile Prodigieuse through your hair and pin it half up, and then slick on a red lippie (I like an orange-based one in the summer) right from the tube. There’s nothing sexier. I always think of the Michael Kors SS 2009 runway look for this (see above), which I think was the height of unstudied makeup perfection.
Edited to add:
Hey Western Canadians, I was in London Drugs yesterday and wanted to tell you that two of these products are on sale right now! The entire Nuxe line, including both sizes of the Huile Prodigieuse, is 25% off, and Hawaiian Tropic products are $7.99 each—plus if you buy any two, you get six bucks off. Hot damn!