Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Favorite Things for Summer

I don't know about the rest of the country, but here in the Southeast, it's hot! We're seeing high temperatures in the 80-90 degree range daily. Hot weather always presents a challenge to look our best - hair frizzy from humidity, makeup melting off, etc. Lovely.

I decided to share some of my favorite items that are trying to keep me together (a tall order) in the summer. At some point, I'd also like to share products that help me in my running life, but for now, here are some products I love day-to-day this time of year.

Boscia BB Cream

So what is all of this hype about BB creams? At first, I thought it was just a passing fad (and it may be), and didn't bother to pay attention to it. Then, I learned about what they are. A BB cream is like a "one-stop-shop" in the morning - a moisturizer, sunscreen, pore refiner, primer, and a light tint. I've always wondered why such a product didn't exist before to make our lives easier.

Because they want us to buy multiple products. C'mon, Amy, you're a marketer.

However, it appears that Asian beauty companies finally started making such a product, and American companies are catching on.

I was running out of a foundation I didn't particularly love when I found out about BB creams. Intrigued, I headed into Sephora to check them out. There is now a huge selection of BB creams on the market among both department and drugstore brands. It was overwhelming. A sales consultant in the store walked me through their selection and recommended Boscia for my skin, which tends to be on the oily side. I loved it! I prefer light coverage in a foundation, so it was all I needed. It moisturized, mattified, and evened out my skin tone. It has replaced my foundation, sunscreen, and moisturizer, so I only need to wear my BB cream and eye cream before applying eye makeup and blush. Optionally, you could set it with a powder. I also wear it when running for the SPF benefit.

Crossbody Bag

I think summer is all about going lighter! When sightseeing on vacation, shopping, going to concerts or music festivals, or simply perusing around town, who wants to carry a heavy bag! While I love a good statement tote or satchel for fall and winter, I like to lighten up in the summer. Crossbody bags are in and vary from super casual to dressy. My casual choice is currently one of two Vera Bradley crossbody bags, which are bright, summery and happy. These styles are retired, but you can find similar choices here.

Sanuk Flip-flops

Last July, I was headed on a vacation to Savannah, GA with my husband. We knew that we would spend a lot of time exploring the historic district downtown and we'd be doing a lot of walking. I wanted to wear sandals, but was concerned about comfort. A friend recommended I try Sanuk flip-flops with a yoga mat sole. Yoga mats? In flip-flops?

Skeptical, I found them at my local Dillard's, and they felt amazing! They really are squishy like a yoga mat. I thought the Yoga Spree style in brown and white was a light, classic look that would match a lot of things. I wore them to my more casual outings in Savannah and was amazed! I couldn't believe I had worn flip-flops while walking all day and felt great at the end of the day! Since then, that pair has become my go-to flip-flops for casual day-to-day wear. I prefer dressy sandals or wedges to nicer events. This year, they are still in great shape and I wear them often.

Note - these should only be worn in casual situations. I'm not judging, but please don't wear flip-flops to work, a nice social gathering, etc. Dressy sandals, heels, or wedges are a MUCH better option. Also, I'm a strong believer in only wearing open toed shoes when feet and toes are well groomed. Eesh!

Crabtree & Evelyn 60 Second Fix for Hands

With the gardening projects I take on during the summer, my hands take a beating! Because I do a lot of hobbies with my hands and polish doesn't stick well to my nails (even gel polish!), I usually don't keep polish on my hands. Instead, I keep my nails trimmed, buffed, and clean. I also like to keep my hands and cuticles moisturized.

To accomplish all of the above, I follow a morning (and nightly if I remember!) routine of cleaning and filing my nails (if necessary). Then I follow up with a hand scrub, hand cream, and cuticle cream.

I'll admit that most of Crabtree & Evelyn's scents are a little strong for my preferences, but I love the Citron scent! It's so fresh and smells like spring. The 60 Second Fix (hand scrub and cream combo) is perfect for my routine!

Extra - I also love to use Burt's Bees lemon cuticle cream. Unlike cuticle oils, it's not greasy and it stays on my hands. I also love the lemon scent! I also do this routine after gardening or other projects.

A Summer Scarf

Yes, you CAN wear a scarf during summer! You just need a scarf made of a light material and bright summer colors. If you're going to be spending the majority of the day outside it might be overkill. However, if you spend part of the day inside or are out during a cooler summer night, a light scarf is a great accessory. It can make a sundress, tank top, or tee more interesting by adding color and pattern.

I think the keys to staying cool in a summer scarf are picking the right material, and draping it the right way. Obviously, the lighterweight fabric, the better. My favorite ways to wear a scarf in the summer are either loosely draped around my neck (not tight and close to my neck), or as a vest.

A vest? What? Yes, I learned that trick this year. It's SO easy - requires no sewing or pinning and takes 5 minutes. You can learn how to do this here.

I'm not a fashionista, but here are my two favorite summer scarf looks:

See? It really does look like a vest! Shirt - Gap (last fall), Shorts - Old Navy, Scarf - Old Navy
I love pairing a 3/4 sleeve top with shorts for cooler summer nights!  This is the top I wore my About Me pic. I LOVE it, as it adds texture to any outfit. I can't find it online, but a short sleeve version is here.
Scarf - Charming Charlie's. Cami - Target (love!). Shorts - Old Navy
Before I recruited B to help me take pics (what a good sport!), I tried being like the cool fashionista bloggers who take selfies with their phones. I'm not sure if I'm cool enough to pull it off. It was hard to get the angle right and make sure I was looking in the right place! I felt like a 16 year old on SnapChat (which I don't know how to use). I got one good pic out of it!

Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick

Lipstick is tough for me. On one hand, I have very fair skin, so dark lipsticks don't work. On the other hand, my lips are a natural rose color, so really light lipsticks don't look great on me either. My usual solution is a rose colored lipstick a shade slightly darker than my natural lip color. During the fall and winter, I like to wear Buxom Big and Healthy lipstick in Bombay. However, I wanted to brighten and lighten up in the summer.

I'd read a lot of great things about the new Maybelline Color Whisper line. I'm not afraid to explore both department and drugstore brands, and usually wear a mix of both. I love it! It's the perfect hybrid between a lipstick and a gloss. It's shiny but not sticky like a gloss. It's not quite as pigmented as your typical heavier lipstick, so it's great for summer. It still has a good amount of pigment (more than lip gloss - my usual concern with them) so the color definitely stands out. It goes on very smooth and lips stay moisturized. The "Rose of Attraction" shade is a lighter, brighter rose color than I wear in the winter, so it has become my go-to summer lipstick.

Updo for Hair

On days when I know I'll be running in the evening (and even days I don't), I want a hairstyle that is off my face and shoulders. I especially want a style that's a little more elaborate than a simple ponytail. That way it's dressy enough for work, and it's ready to go when I run in the evening. My favorite beauty blog is The Small Things Blog. The blogger, Kate, has an amazing way of breaking down elaborate hairstyles into easy to follow video tutorials. My hairstyle in my blog head shot just happens to be from the texture tutorial!

My favorite updos are the Messy Bun and the Side French Braid Bun. They get messier from running, but then that just makes it even cooler in a "messy on purpose" way.

My attempt at the messy bun. FYI -  I changed and took these pics after running. I still like it. It's never going to look the same as the tutorial.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh

I'm a little new to venture into fragrance. Over the years, I've tried different fragrances, but I'm sensitive to strong floral or musky fragrances. They often give me a headache. To keep it light, I've mostly stayed in the realm of body sprays from Bath and Body Works or Victoria's Secret. Since I'm almost 30, however, I decided it's time to find a grown-up signature fragrance for myself. After much sampling, my favorite is Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh. It's light, clean, fruity, with a hint of floral. I like it better than it's original cousin, Marc Jacobs Daisy, which is a little too floral for me. It's more grown-up, but not overpowering. I carry a rollerball with me when I'm on the go. Worth a try if you want a lighter fragrance for summer!

Some other items I'm hunting for summer - a good sunscreen, a powder to set my BB cream, and hairspray that stands up to humidity. I'll let you know if I find them!

What are your favorite beauty and style products for summer?


*I don't know anyone from these companies. These were all products I purchased for myself, and I wasn't compensated in any way for this post.

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  1. Boscia was my favorite BB cream!! I haven't been using BB cream for awhile b/c I've had a lot of other stuff sitting around I needed to use up, but Boscia was the best I tried.

    Wish I could do a cute bun like yours! My hair is a little too short still, and I'm not very good at styling my hair in general. I'm heading to Ulta today to check out some new products. I pretty much keep my hair curly all summer b/c its too hot to blow dry my hair!

    1. I know! Boscia is amazing! It makes my skin smooth, even, and less oily.

      I wear my hair curly a lot in the summer, too. It's just too frizzy straight. I struggle with fixing my hair. Definitely recommend The Small Things Blog! I've learned a ton from the tutorials there!