So, it’s official. Summer in the UK has finally arrived.
And despite last week’s heatwave instigating a number of frustrated groans coming from my general direction (ahem, we’re not equipped for 32 degree heat unless we have a pool in the garden and a cocktail in hand), inside I was revelling.
Are we finally away with the rainy afternoons and dull, dark evenings?
Is a long, hot summer of social barbecues and ice cold concoctions at swanky rooftop bars ahead?
Er, that’s a rhetorical question. Because I’m not quite ready to check BBC weather yet (I think those clouds look darker because I have sunglasses on) and instead I’m going to officially announce that summer has started.
I declare my summer wardrobe open and will stock my dressing table with summer essentials.
And speaking of summer essentials, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to chat you through a few of mine!
Sun? Sweat? Sangria? What other excuse do we need to raid Boots then a hot weekend on the horizon?
Sure Maximum Protection
Although a good anti-perspirant is essential all year round, invariably it’s the summer months when your choice of product really gets put to the test.
Plus, feeling confident in your snazzy new summer dress, glitzy sandals or even your new bikini isn’t just about the fit and style.
It’s about putting your faith into your sweat protection and knowing you’ll smell and feel fresh all day long.
Let me tell you a little story about 14-year-old me, who had just found her perfect summer dress (H&M bargain – £10 in the sale) and had planned to wear it to my friend’s birthday party, where I knew the guy I liked would also be.
I had the matching hairstyle, the nails, the make-up and the shoes all planned out, but I hadn’t really accounted for the blazing hot weather and what that would mean for my underarms.
I mean, I forgive myself for not having a huge amount of experience on the deodorant and anti-perspirant front but back then, it ruined my once flawless plan. Because unfortunately it had rather strange sleeves, which clung to my underarms uncomfortably and within half an hour of arriving, they felt wet.
I was also super conscious that they smelt and so my beloved Britney Spears perfume was soon overwhelmed by the delightful scent of sweaty body odour. Sorry if this is TMI, guys!
It wasn’t even the fact that I was sweating and feeling uncomfortable that necessarily bothered me, it was the huge dent to my confidence that then ensued. From then on, I tried and tested practically the entire deodorant section of Boots before finding a couple I knew I could put my faith into.
I also educated myself on the difference between an ‘Anti-Perspirant’ and a ‘Deodorant’, which unbeknownst to me, are very different products!
A deodorant is essentially a perfume that you apply to your underarms. It does often contain ingredients that take action against bacteria with an antiseptic, however mostly it’s there to neutralise the smell of body odour and sweat. Whilst they’re great for some situations, for everyday wear – they didn’t give me the confidence I needed to get through the day worry-free.
An anti-perspirant however is on a completely different level, as it prevents body odour caused by the bacteria in our armpits and also reduces the amount of perspiration our bodies emit; therefore you never get that wet, sticky, uncomfortable feeling.
Plus, it usually has a fresh scent to boost your confidence and leave that area smelling fabulous.
One of my favourites – especially during the summer months when you need a bit of extra protection – is Sure Maximum Protection Anti-Perspirant in the ‘Confidence’ pink packaging.
Not only does this product provide continuous odour protection but it’s the most powerful protection from Sure, offering 48hr wetness protection, so you can trust you will have absolutely no uncomfortable ‘is that smell me?’ moments.
We’ve all been there, let’s face it!
Plus, the cream formula (which you twist to release and then apply) contains a bright scent of fresh apple, rose and jasmine, meaning you’ll radiate freshness and have maximum confidence to take on the day and flaunt that fabulous new dress.
I’m no formula expert but the cream is much more hydrating than other products I’ve tried, meaning that the area never feels dry or itchy – it’s totally moisturised and looks super smooth!
For me, it’s a must-have summer essential – and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way!
“The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence!”
Tropic Tinted Skin Shade
As a blogger, hot weather and holidays are bittersweet, because while you want to bask in the glorious sunshine and embrace a more natural look, you also want to utilise the opportunity to get some great outfit shots (because lets face it, shooting in the sun is a million times better than battling with hail, wind and snow – been there, done that).
And even if you’re not a blogger, you’ll probably empathise with wanting a bit of coverage for your skin, whilst also feeling a little bit glam and ‘made up’.
Plus of course, there’s also the dilemma of ‘do I put my SPF on first’ and ‘how long do I wait before I can add in moisturiser and foundation’.
Gosh, being a girl is one big internal battle, eh!
So when I came across Tropic’s Tinted Skin Shade, it felt like all of my prayers had been answered.
Not only does this handy little cream offer mineral facial sun protection (SPF 50, I’ll have you know) but it also moisturises and tints your skin for a little extra coverage.
It’s water resistant, the ingredients are 100% naturally derived, it’s freshly handmade in Britain and vegan.
Plus (oh goodness, I hear you cry – what else could this fabulous product possibly offer), it’s made with passion flower oil, aniseed myrtle and wild hibiscus flower extract, so it smells rather incredible and also offers dry and dehydrated skin (common in the sunshine) a helping hand of boosted hydration.
Benefit Gimme Brow
If you’ve never before tried this marvellous product then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? It’s practically the best thing that has happened to my make-up routine since I discovered non-clumpy mascara back in 2009. Who knew you didn’t have to wander around looking like you’d been attacked by a lumpy spider, eh?
Gimme Brow is a super tiny but very hard-working number, with volumizing micro-fibers to thicken your brows, tint to darken and a wand to tidy. Rather than fiddling around with powders, gels and pencils, you simply swipe this over each brow once or twice and instantly, you notice the difference. The results are instant – and very impressive!
The formula is water-resistant and super long-lasting, so while I do top up it’s abilities with a spritz of setting spray, your brows won’t be going anywhere – even if you fancy a quick dip in the pool!
Lots of you will already probably love this product, but if you haven’t yet tried it – you need to! For quick and easy make-up looks for everyday wear, this is essential. It’s the best £20 you’ll ever spend! And it lasts at least 6 months before you need to invest again (that’s if you use it every day!).
A must-have summer staple!
Initially when I first heard about ‘scalp masks’ they sounded rather frightening. In all honesty, ‘scalp’ is a pretty weird word in itself and maybe it’s why I don’t often think about it in too much depth. We’re all rather focused on treating our hair to hydrating goodness and split end treatments, but we rarely think about the condition of our scalp. And yet the poor thing goes through quite a bit of turmoil, especially during the summer months.
I mean we blast it with sun (how often do we remember to apply suncream to our scalp or wear a hat), put a load of product through it, scorch it with a hairdryer and scratch it with brushes. But it graciously takes it – and for the most part, stays quiet.
But it’s then when September comes around that the toll it’s taken starts to become apparent. Dry flakes start appearing, it might feel itchy and tight. And goodness forbid, it may also be sore and burnt.
Our scalp is an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be that way – and this year, I’m determined to give it the love it deserves. I mean it does host our crown (our hair) and protect one of the largest vital organs we own. No biggy!
The Philip Kingsley After-Sun Scalp Mask is a great one to go for, a combination of hydrating Aloe Vera and Chamomile Extract to moisturise and calm the scalp. Like many of his renowned treatments, you simply apply, leave for 10-20 minutes and then rinse off throughly. And the results are pretty instantaneous.
This one is particularly good for sensitive skin and it provides immediate relief from itching, tightness and dryness. It’s pretty much a magic worker!
For all-year round scalp care, weave in an Aveda Botanical Therapy scalp treatment into your next blow-dry session. Their unique new service, which also features an at-home scalp care kit, aims to exfoliate, nourish and hydrate the scalp to leave you feeling cleaner than ever before. I actually went along a few months ago to try out this service and it blew me away by how clean and shiny it left my hair. In fact, I think I show you how it looks in this vlog, although the results are less visual and more in the way you feel afterwards!
“Every summer has its own story!”
I know these technically aren’t beauty related, but a flat-lay just isn’t a flat-lay without sunglasses. So bare with me!
My very first ever ‘high end’ purchase was a pair of D&G sunnies. I remember feeling like the absolute bee’s knees when sporting them on our family holiday to Sicily that summer – and I don’t think that sensation has ever quite left me. There’s something a little bit indescribably special about owning a pair of fancy sunglasses, like you’ve ever so subtly added in a touch of luxury – without absolutely breaking the bank.
Admittedly, this impulse purchase of mine aged 16 (a treat to myself after my GCSE’s – and a blowout of the last of my birthday money) wasn’t exactly a wise one. I didn’t exactly have the best track record with sunglasses, considering my previous collection had either been sat on or lost. And unfortunately I still don’t have the best track record. RIP D&G sunnies.
However it’s a bit of a tradition that each year moving forward, I treat myself to a pair of special sunglasses each summer. And by ‘special’, I don’t necessarily mean they have to be high end.
I just like to shop for a pair that represents the style and trends of that year (albeit, a style that suits me), as this means my collection is like a little memory book of my summers. I can glimpse at those white aviator ray-bans with the slightly wonky arm and a flashback of my summer holiday age 17 instantly floods to mind. Giggling in the park, picnics with friends, a new boyfriend and staying out late.
So whilst my summer essentials kit certainly includes sunglasses – you can get a terrible headache trying to spend the day in the sun without them, not to mention damaging your eyes – my sunny essentials have a special sentimental meaning.
+ a special mention to my other summer beauty essentials…
Model Co Everyday Gradual Tanning Moisturiser – the next best thing since sliced bread and streak-free application every-time! Apply this as you would a body lotion and a few hours later, you could admit to a week in the South of France, with a natural sun-kissed golden glow. Ah–MAZ–ing!
Rimmel #Insta Fix & Matte Translucent Powder – perfect for fixing up your SULA’s (sweaty upper lip alert) or finishing off your selfie ready make-up look. I love that this doesn’t tone down or flatten the dimensions of your face created by contouring, it literally just mattifies everything and creates a gorgeous flawless finish! A summer and handbag essential!
Guerlain Terracotta Nourishing Dry Oil for face, body and hair – this is the ultimate oil for all things body related. Need a pick-me-up for your dry legs? Whack a bit of this on! Fancy more of a Gigi Hadid esque glow to your face? A few drops of this will do the trick! Is your hair just a little bit frizzy on the ends? Stroke this through and watch it calm down. This has been one of my most-used last minute products ever – and I love how delicious it smells too! In fact, the entire Guerlain terracotta range is definitely worth a try!
Oribe Bright Blonde Radiance & Repair Treatment – used after shampooing and before your conditioner, you spritz this through highlighted hair and then rinse. The results are pretty incredible, as those pesky straw-like ends are transformed and hair seems so much sleeker, shiny and more manageable. Shine is incredibly hard to achieve as a blonde (unless you count haven’t-washed-my-hair-in-3-days grease?!) and yet somehow, this beauty of a product seems to grant our wish.
Do you have any must-have summer essentials you could recommend?
This is a paid for advertorial in collaboration with Sure.