Monday, May 26, 2014

QBB's Summer Picks: Body, and Skincare Favorites

Today marks Memorial Day, the traditional unofficial kick-off to the summer season in the US. It's also the kick-off to a series of posts that I've been thinking a lot about lately.  Although trends come and go, there are certain looks that I generally consider to be "classic" every summer- despite the trends.

This week I'll be bringing you a my summer favorites.  I'm going to break most of my blogging rules and show plenty of LE/discontinued products that aren't available at this time.  I've pulled some of my favorites; there are plenty of other shades that are similar that are currently on the market.

First, let's talk body.  The summer means more exposed skin, which also means a higher risk of danger for alabaster beauties like myself. Let me be clear: I'm going to be advocating for very high SPF value chemical sunscreens. I'm aware that not all need SPF 50, and that there is a small subset of people who claim that chemical sunscreens are dangerous.  That's not a debate that I am willing to entertain in this space at all. Thanks for your understanding.

Quick note: Links reference prior reviews on this blog.

QBB's Summer Favorites- Body Products:

1. A nice body exfoliator: I'm currently using a calming body exfoliator that I picked up at my local Whole Foods Market loaded with lavender and other calming ingredients. With all of the tanning, buffing, and shaving, it's important to keep your skin glowing.

2. Bronze and Shimmer: I find that a bit of shimmer helps my legs get that perfect summer glow.  Two of my favorite products are Clarins Summer Oil and Charlotte Ronson A Summer's Kiss (discontinued)

3. Self-Tanner: The only safe tan is a fake tan.  I've already shared my love for Nivea's Sun-Kissed Beautiful Legs Shave Reducing Self-Tanner on this blog.

4. Nourishing Shave Cream: Summer always brings out the razors. With extremely sensitive skin, I'm prone to razor burn. I've found two shave creams that work best for me, although I vastly prefer Whish's Shave Crave Shaving Cream ($20) to First Aid Beauty's Smooth Shave Cream ($7.50/2oz, older large size photographed here).

5. A light body butter: I don't need the intensive moisture of my winter products.  I'm currently loving Sephora Collection Super Supreme Body Butter, and find it to be the perfect balance between moisture and price.

Not pictured: my favorite body sunscreen. I simply hadn't repurchased my bottle for this year when I took this photo.  My current favorite is from Shiseido:

Photo via Sephora
 I enjoy the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion + Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face/Body ($39), and have also gotten good results from Kiehl's Sunscreens.

QBB's Summer Favorites- Skincare Products:

1. Exfoliate: Any time I use self-tanner, I make sure to exfoliate. I could've sworn that I've previously written about Clinique's 7-Day Scrub Scream, but I guess not.  I don't use it every day, but it's gentle enough for my sensitive skin.

2. Facial Sunscreen: I use Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face ($19.50, small size). It's waterproof but also gentle.

3. Lighter Moisture: I adore Shiseido's Benefiance Line. I find that the Day Emusion with SPF 18 is the best daytime moisturizer for my skin.

4. A Protecting Moisturizer: Caudalie Vinoperfect Broad Spectrum SPF Day Perfecting Fluid is a summer favorite for me, as it corrects my complexion while moisturizing- and with SPF!

5. SPF for the Lips: If I'm going to be outside, I use Shiseido's Sun Protection Lip Treatment SPF 36 ($22) to protect the thin skin covering my lips.

6. Healthy Lips: I use Bite Beauty's Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub to keep my lips smooth for all of the bright summer lip shades.

7. A Bit of Refreshment: Usually Caudalie's Beauty Elixir is a bit too harsh on my sensitive skin, but it's just what I need during the summer.

8. Blotting Paper: A little glow throughout the day is normal. I use Shiseido's The Pureness Oil Control Blotting Paper ($18.50) to try to keep my glow in check.  If the pouch looks a little battered, it is.  It lives in my makeup bag half of the year!

9. A face-only self-tanner: Your face is significantly different than your legs, so why use the same self-tanner? I've been having excellent results from Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster .

10. A tough yet sensitive makeup remover: In order to cut through all of the waterproof shades, it's important have a tough makeup remover. Koh Gen Do's Cleansing Spa Water remains my HG in this category.

11. A perfume that screams summer: I rotate fragrances frequently, but Giorgio Armani's Acqua di Gioia is a classic scent that just makes me think of summer. I pair it with the similarly-scented shower gel for all day scent.

Those are my favorites- what are your summer staples for body and skincare? Keep reading this week for some of my classic summertime makeup looks!

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