It’s that time again! A list of stand outs that got me through the most God-forsaken humid of days…and the otherwise pleasantly sunny times of July. I found myself going back to some of my faves and also discovering a few gems along the way. Without further ado:
FOR UNBELIEVABLY SHINY HAIR:
1. John Frieda Clear Glaze Luminous Color Glaze, $10. Some of you may or may not be familiar with John Frieda’s hair glazes. The jist of it is, they are products you use after you shampoo and condition your hair. You coat hair with the glaze and keep it in for a few minutes and then rinse in out for light-reflecting shine. I’ve tried their Brilliant Brunette glaze (their chocolate tinted one), but here’s why I love this one so much more: It’s not color-depositing like their other ones so it’s easier to use (ie not as messy), and it doesn’t leave any streaks behind in the shower. Plus the shine is quite brilliant. No ammonia, dyes, or peroxides either!
2. VO5 Salon Series Simply Stunning Leave-In Conditioner, $5. This is so much bang for your buck. Just $5–$5!–for a strengthening and shine-inducing leave in conditioner. It contains five essential vitamins and 11 revitalizing oils to protect against heat and split ends. I use it right out of the shower, before drying my hair. Props to my cousin Safia who discovered this lil miracle.
FOR THE BOD:
3. Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub, $15. At some point in the recent past I realized I can’t do without a body exfoliating scrub in the shower, and not all scrubs are created equal. This one is a happy medium — it’s not too dry (and over-grainy) so that it just chunks away in the shower, but it also doesn’t dissolve immediately against wet skin. Plus, it’s extra moisturizing thanks to its almond oil. Scentwise, it has the lightest hint of lime. Your super smooth skin will thank you.
4. Suave Skin Therapy Aloe with Cucumber, $3. I love that you don’t have to spend a ton for body lotion that moisturizes and has a fresh a scent as Suave. I’m a diligent post-shower-moisturizER, and Suave’s Advanced Therapy line not only is a nice, light option for the summer, it has skin benefiting ingredients like aloe extract that keeps you smooth for up to 24 hours. (PS Check out Suave’s FB page for some limited-time giveaways!)
5. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $10. Sometimes, it’s nice to go back to the basics. CeraVe’s skincare line is one of my favorites to just keep my skin balanced and fresh. When I’m using this, there’s never any irritation issues — just a gentle cleansing that doesn’t strip my skin of moisture or leave it dry.
6. Pond’s Luminous Finish BB Plus Cream with SPF 15, $10. Just a refresher, BB Creams have a few purposes: to impart a light tint, to help even out skin tone with its complexion correcting properties, and to protect from the sun with SPF. This new one from Pond’s is pretty amazing. Not only does it smell like heaven, it gives a light, dewy finish, and did help make my skin ridiculously soft (plus it’ll start evening out skin tone within a few weeks). It only comes in Light and Medium at the moment, which like many BB creams, is a little frustrating for darker skin tones. I also think this is better for dry-to-normal skin types. But it’s definitely made my mornings so much faster — just a little BB Cream and mascara, and I’m out the door.
7. Ruby Kisses HD Set ‘N Forget powder in Banana, $6. On a humid day, I never leave the house without a dab of this powder. It’s come through for me time and time again to set my makeup. The best part is, it doesn’t finish chalky or cakey at all. Find it online or at local beauty stores.
8. Bare Minerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener, $22. This was one of those products I recently re-discovered. Just a short stroke of this on the brow bone and under your eyes give you the most beautiful, and natural, light reflecting finish. Plus, it’s part-concealer to hide any dark shadows in that area.
9. Lise Watier Prebiotic Micellar Water, $25. I was noticing my eyes getting itchy randomly during the day and when I got them checked recently, I was told that I did have some blocked glands which could be leaving my eyes dry. This could be from allergies, or even makeup. Besides doing warm compresses in the shower, I thought I would play it safe and be extra diligent about removing my eye makeup. Luckily, I found this to be notably non-irritating. It’s a light makeup remover with skin-balancing ingredients and the consistency is somewhere between water and oil. Best of all, it takes my mascara and liner off with minimal effort.
10. Thymes Temple Tree Jasmine Hand Cream, $17. A super floral hand cream, drenched with the scent of jasmine. You have to love the flower at least as much as I do to really love it. I keep it at the office and apply it at least a few times throughout the day. The bubble of fragrance that soon after surrounds me is just a bonus.
LIPS LIKE THIS:
11. Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss Lipstick in 104, $5. So anyone remember the hottest days in early July? Well imagine having the worst congestion and sore throat during that time AND not drinking or eating anything during the day (I was fasting). No bueno. One morning during this time, I just needed to pull myself together for work and — not trying to sound too contrived here — but this lipstick did it. Feeling like crap inside but walking into the office and getting compliments right off the bat made me realize a $5 lipstick can be your best disguise.
12. Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss, $16. On the other end of the color spectrum, I pretty much have one of these Benefit glosses in every purse now. A silky, delightful lgloss with a gorgeous tinge of color that smoothes on lips like butter. Light and sweet for the summer (they taste like apricot!). Shout out to Lollibop, Kiss You, and A-Lister.
13. Ice Breakers Duo Fruit & Cool in Strawberry. Pretty random, but a nice little flavor I discovered. According to a study by researchers at the University of Oregon, social gatherings and meeting new people – especially sparked by summer outings and fun events – is good for your overall well-being. Fun fact: It was actually because of this fact that Ice Breakers teamed up with Hampton Jitney to send commuters off to the Hamptons with adventure bags full of things like beach balls and smartphone speakers to help them ‘break the ice’ last month. Well, these definitely would get you off to a good start — love these berry flavored mints!
On that note, how do you usually ‘break the ice?’ And what were YOUR favorite products to use in July?
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