With life having been extremely hectic up until this point, I’ve only really just started thinking about my ‘summer body’ prep. And whilst good intentions with regards to exercise and healthy eating usually go out the window within a few weeks, what I do stay on track with is a strong beauty regime – bolstered by some of my new favourite beauty must haves. From grease busting shampoos to gradual tanners that will boost your natural tan pre-holiday, here are the products I’m rooting for this summer.
I’m ashamed to say despite always looking at the amazing packaging of this brand in my local Boots, I’ve never plucked up the courage to stray from my usual hair routine and try Bumble and bumble out. Labelled as a miracle product by many of my favourite bloggers and beauty journalists alike, Bumble and bumble’s Color Minded shampoo aims to ‘keep all tones true’ and protect highlighted and bleached hair, especially during the summer months.
I was kindly sent the shampoo and conditioner of this range, as in addition to being great for colour treated hair, they are also sulphate free – a component vital to preserving my new Brazilian Blow Dry (read post here). I have found that since using these, I can get away with only washing my hair every other day, rather than every day as I was doing so before (which I know is terrible for the condition of your hair). They really clarify and condition your hair cuticles, leaving you with very fresh, silky soft locks – and they have a very light scent, which I know is important for some people, as walking round all day with very heavily scented products can be a little too much. If you have particularly greasy hair which you find you have to wash every single day (as even a spritz of dry shampoo doesn’t do the trick) then I would definitely recommend giving these a try. My only regret is not discovering them sooner.
Usually I opt for instant tanning mousses or lotions, simply because they make it easy to tell where you’ve applied the formula, however in the run up to summer and with hot, humid weather on the cards, I find such products too heavy on my skin. So much so I have been known over the past few weeks to wash off product straight after applying. Which is both a waste of time and money. So, I was absolutely delighted to discover He-Shi, the perfect balance between a tinted moisturiser and a full blown tanning product. A brand which is already highly regarded in the beauty industry, I had previously heard lots of brilliant things about the products via the Twittersphere but was yet to try it out for myself.
The colour which can be built up is so natural, I have actually been asked whether I’ve been abroad – despite having another 3 weeks to go (hurry up holiday). It’s not too orange, neither is it too dark but it’s a really olive tone which sits well with my natural skin colour. I don’t tend to apply fake tan to my face because it reacts with tanning products, so it’s really nice that the colour looks natural with my foundation/normal skin tone. With added Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, it applies so easily and doesn’t collect like many products can. I’d still advise exfoliating before use, like with any tan – but this sinks in nicely, without having to go to too much effort. The tan develops after a couple of hours, with no streaks in sight and feels extremely light on your skin, lasting for anywhere between 3 days – or in my case, a week. I’d recommend applying it every other day after showering if you are looking to build up a really natural, yet gorgeous glow.
If you’ve been a long term reader of my blog, you’ll probably know that just over two years ago, I had a professional teeth whitening experience – which finally gave me the pearly white teeth I had dreamed about. At a pricey £400, it wasn’t the most affordable option but the results gave me a new beam of confidence and I really couldn’t stop smiling. Tipped to last two years (and it really has done just this), I started noticing that my teeth were looking a little more dull than usual and set about trying to find another, cheaper solution.
After watching Gabi’s video on teeth whitening and seeing the results she had got, I eventually decided to order 3D Crest White Strips from the retailer she suggested. At £16 for five strips, it seemed a little expensive at first but far less than the £400 spent previously, of course. I’ve been using these for three days now and I have been really impressed by the results. Although my teeth weren’t particularly yellow to start with, I wanted something that would boost their natural colour – but not be too harsh on my gums or teeth as they can be quite sensitive. They are so easy to wear, for half an hour per day – and the application takes seconds. I can honestly say I’ve tried everything out there and these are the best high street, affordable solution.
I work with Bed Head quite a bit and whenever they release a new line of products, I am super excited to give them a try. They seem to consistently come out with amazing new solutions to an abundance of hair worries and woes, and this time – it’s no different. My favourite of the two has to be the Bed Head Urban Anti-dotes Recovery hair masque, which not only smells absolutely amazing but leaves your hair in the silkiest condition. The scent is a mix of citrus and watermelon and it seems to really hydrate the ends, giving a much sleeker finish to blow drying.
The scalp shampoo smells a little like a mens deodorant, which isn’t really off putting as it’s very fresh, light and awakening, but it’s also extremely effective at clarifying and cleansing the roots – which can often be bogged down by environmental factors, which this range aims to combat.
Murad are another amazing brand who I work with regularly, providing simple, yet effective treatments to skin issues which we can all relate to. True to it’s name, this one aims to combat blackheads, which are a real pain and no matter how clean I keep my skin – never seem to disappear. I don’t know whether it’s an age thing, or hormones, or simply the condition of my skin but regardless of what I try (even those enticing looking blackhead remover strips) nothing ever seems to work.
This is a unique product, used in two parts. First up is the blackhead remover, a masque type substance which is left on problem areas for 8-10 minutes (most effective when you’re in the shower and some steam is helping to speed up the process) before being washed off. Then, the next step – the pore refining sealer is dabbed onto the areas targeted, to create a layer on your skin (although it’s very light so you won’t feel it) that blocks any further dirt from entering and creating the blackheads we see. I was slightly disappointed, as ever, not to see instant results after the first application, but persevere and within a week or two, all those pesky black dots will soon be a thing of the past.
As a dry skin sufferer, I am quite fond of oils and super hydrating cleansers/moisturisers for use on my face, however I tend to find that they give the opposite (perhaps undesired affect) of leaving your skin too oily and shiny. The Body Shop have recently brought out a multi purpose dry oil, for your body, face and hair – providing all the hydration needed for boosting your skin, but without the unwanted side effects. It’s very light wearing and doesn’t feel heavy or pore blocking on your skin, which is a refreshing change.
Also from The Body Shop is this gorgeous shea body scrub which not only smells divine but works wonders in prepping your skin for the perfect base tan. I love that it has a very gentle texture, exfoliating gently without scratching or stripping your skin of it’s natural oils and similarly – the fact the exfoliating particles are sugar means that your shower won’t be left in a state of disarray once you’ve finished. The cocoa butter/shea scent is very refreshing and lingers lightly on your skin throughout the day. If you’re looking for something to take away with you on holiday – to maintain and prolong your natural tan – this is definitely it.
I’ve only very recently come across Antonia’s products but already I am sold! This facial oil serum is perfect for pamper nights, or those days you want your skin to feel extra special. If you enjoy getting the girls together for a night of facials, face masques and movies, this is the ideal addition. A quick sniff transports you into the relaxing haven a traditional spa creates and without being overly greasy, it helps to hydrate and smooth your skin.