Five Summertime Essentials

As summertime settles in and looks as though it will stretch on into forever, I always find there are some products that I simply can’t do without. Many of them in one size or another find their way into my purse and end up traveling with me wherever i go in the summer months. These are my current top five summer must haves.

1- Sunscreen: Always a number one item and always in need. My current favorite is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50. It is described as the sunscreen for people who don’t like sunscreen and I have to admit I was in that camp for a long time. I simply hated the feel of sunscreen. I would use a spray as little as i could get away with and probably did some sun damage to myself because of it. especially since I would often forget to apply it. This sunscreen sits with my skincare and is applied as the last step of my morning skincare routine. Getting in the habit of adding it each morning regardless of what i am doing has done wonders for me. I still add an extra coat of spray sunscreen before going on my walk, but i like having that security under my makeup each day. While this is the original version, they now also make a mineral version.

2- Dry Shampoo: For me Klorane is my favorite. I’ve tried other versions and some have been good, others not so good. I always come back to Klorane. This did come with a cap but somehow i always loose the caps within a day or two of opening them. (I am beginning to suspect one day I’ll move the furniture around and find them having a party under my bed.) You may notice that this is the Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (extra Gentle) rather than my usual Nettle infused for dark hair. While the nettle infused is fantastic for darker hair, leaves less white residue and is my go to dry shampoo when I need winter touch ups, I tend to lean into the Oat Milk version in the summertime. It does leave a little bit more white cast than the nettle for dark hair, but it is gentler on my hair. The white brushes out quickly and easily. I am not saying the Nettle is harsh, it isn’t. But in the summer my bangs can get very oily looking very fast so I find myself reaching for dry shampoo to keep them looking good far more often than at any other time of the year, so I switch to the most gentle version available. Thus far, I have had very good results with this system.

3- Spray Thermal Water: To be honest, I used to think that thermal water was just for people sunning themselves pool side. I thought of it as something a bit extra rather than essential. Then I picked up a bottle to add to my bag for a pool party. I didn’t use it at the pool party, but when I got home I had it so I thought I’d use it. I fell in love and it has become a summer staple. While this travel size Uriage Eau Thermal is the one I keep in my purse, I also keep a bottle by the garden door. It is hot in the summer time and I sweat. With the high humidity, the sweat doesn’t evaporate and cool you off like it does in less humid climates. It just rolls down your skin leaving salt deposits on your skin. For me that always makes me feel both tight and itchy as well as hot and sweaty.

A quick spray of thermal water helps alleviate that. The water is far cooler than both the air temp and my skin temp so it is a quick but gentle cool down. I am one of those people who gets massive headaches if i am hot and sweaty outside and then go inside where it is air conditioned. I have to cool down a little first or that headache will more or less last the rest of the day. The thermal water helps. The water cools me down and it washes off some of the salt left behind so my skin doesn’t feel as tight and itchy. I personally like the fine spray of the Uriage as well as the slight scent of the minerals in the water.

4- Lip Mask: While I often think of dry chapped lips as a winter time affliction, it can be an issue for me in the summertime. I find I generally need a lip scrub more in the winter, where as a frequent application of a good lip mask will keep my lips from becoming overly dry in the summer. For me as soon as they start to chap I will pick at them absently when i am working. i never mean to and i yell at myself fiercely when I do, but by then the damage is already done and my lips are painful and need time to heal.

The best thing i can do is to not let them get to a stage where they ae dry enough to pick at. My current favorite lip mask is the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask. There is very little scent and no taste to it. While it is fantastic at night, a little dose during the day doesn’t go amiss. I will generally put a light coat on in the morning and let it soak into the skin before I do my makeup for the day. I do wile off the excess before I apply my lipstick. Often times i will just wear the lip mask as a gloss if I have a more natural look going on. It is a lightweight mask with heavy duty hydration and very little stickiness to it.

5- Sunglasses: I have reached an age where I am in a full out battle with the fine lines around my eyes. I know they are there and I know over time they will deepen because that is just the way that life works. However I am determined to put up as much of a fight as I can/ I know the Resistance will loose the war, I just want to draw out the battle as long as I can. while this has lead many plumping agents into my skincare line up, it has also led to a proliferation of sunglasses. Moving around in the sun without them causes me to squint, wearing them helps me not squint.

My current favorite pair are these aviator style pair from Tomahawk shades Marksman Class. I love the fact that the bottom of the lens is slightly flattened as this is a good shape for my face. My favorite feature though is the fact that the lenses are actually amber tinted. This means the sunglasses are cutting the glare but in their own way brightening the world around me rather than casting the world into shade. They are excellent for driving and it means that if i am outside and going from a sunny spot to a shaded one, i can still leave them in place since I don’t have to lift them out of the way when shade makes things slightly darker.

The Best Drugstore Foundations

Oh my darlings we have reached that time of year. It is the time of year where inventory is taken, gaps marked out and the list of current sales grows longer each day. So each year I look at the products I use or have used throughout the year and decide which ones are worthy of repurchasing. Because the one thing better than getting a product you like is getting it on sale. while some sales have already been activated, some are yet to come, as they approach I’ll try to list them. For now, we look at products worth bothering to pick up. After all, even if it is on sale, somethings don’t need to be purchased. It is only a deal if it is a good product.

Since I reviewed a drug store shampoo this morning, I thought it only fair to continue with another drug store item, foundation. Now some of you may be looking at the above photo and thinking that you see some Ulta products. When searching my Drug store foundations, I saw several I liked that I knew were from Ulta so I addend them onto this list since they didn’t really fit anywhere else. There is an Ulta in my town so I can pick them up just as though I was running to the drug store, hence their inclusion. I don’t have a Sephora in town so I order from them on line, but generally pick up Ulta products in person.

As with all my foundations, I go with medium coverage and I wear primer underneath them.

So on to the items.

  1. No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation: It does have SPF 15 in the mix, but that is just an extra perk and not something you should count on. What I like about this foundation is that the serum consistency makes it fairly melt into the skin. It is suitable for sensitive skin and I have never had any issues with it. Because of the bendability of the formula the shades are fairly flexible. I can actually use the same foundation year round and simply adjust it slightly at the extreme light and dark times of the year (aka mid-summer and mid-winter). It is a beautiful medium coverage foundation.
  2. E.L.F Acne Fighting Foundation: I’ve tried quite a few Elf foundations at this point and I think this one may be my favorite from the brand. It is excellent if you are in the midst of hormonal break outs (or any other breakouts actually) as it doesn’t irritate them at all. While I don’t know if it actually does fight blemishes, it doesn’t make them any worse. I apply in a thin layer at first and then blend it in. Going light with this foundation helps it not to streak with a makeup brush. Of all of these foundations, it is probably the most long wearing. It doesn’t melt into the skin like the serum foundations on this list, but it blends really well and stays in place all day.
  3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless: This is a classic must have for a reason. It applies well, stays on all day and looks fantastic. The only reason I don’t reach for it more is because of the bottle. The glass bottle has an open mouthed top. I always end up pouring out more product than I need. I know that in some places like Look Fantastic, you can order the foundation in a squeezable tube that is easier to control. If you can find this at your drugstore, go for it. My drug store only sells the glass bottles. Normally I am all about glass, but it is the open pour that bothers me. I tend to appropriate a dropped from a now empty skincare product to use it. It is a great foundation, it is just that pour.
  4. Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation: I know there are a lot of people out there who dislike this foundation for one reason or another. I actually like it. I think I like it because I don’t wear it more than about ten hours at a time. The bottle says 24 hour coverage. I’d say 12 is more realistic. As I said I rarely wear makeup more than 10 hours at a stretch. And in that time, this foundation looks great. It is a fuller coverage foundation than the others on this list. It is still medium coverage, but it is on the higher end of medium. It is what I lean towards when I have to give a presentation and know I’m going to be under some bright lights and the focus of the room’s attention. Again, I wouldn’t wear it more than 12 hours, but in those 12 hrs it performs beautifully.
  5. Ulta Youthful Glow Foundation Serum Drops: I was very impressed with this Ulta Foundation. It actually came as a bit of a surprise for me. I tried a couple of other Ulta foundations and hated them. I tried this one honestly because I liked the look of the bottle and i think it was on sale. The bottle of course, has changed. I am actually almost out of this and will have to repurchase it soon. So I don’t feel too bad about the old packaging as it will soon go away. I do however like the older packaging more than the new. I will happily repurchase this foundation again. I don’t there are many Ulta products in general I would say that about, and certainly no other foundations. Part of that is that I like the serum style foundation. I prefer foundations that blend into the skin and feel weightless. This one does. It looks good on the skin and lasts all day. It doesn’t have as high a coverage as some of the other foundations on this list so I generally use it when I am having a pretty good skin day. The big thing to remember with this foundation is to shake well before use.
  6. Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick: I seriously debated whether or not to include this on this list. But then I realized it is the stick foundation I find myself reaching for more often than the other products. Stick foundations are great when you are traveling or in a hurry. Well they are great in a hurry if they blend well. This one does blend well and gives good coverage that lasts throughout the day. It has a fairly wide shade range, however it doesn’t have a lot of flexibility. I have to keep two shades, one for summer and one for winter. As it is a very inexpensive product and quite contained, having two isn’t a problem, it is just something to keep in mind when shopping. It is a creamy formula and one that I tend to choose when traveling.

So there you have it, the top drugstore foundations I am currently using and would consider replacing. All of the links will take you to sites where you can find them. I believe some of the sales have already begun. If not, then just wait a few weeks for Black Friday sales to really get underway and then stock up. For me, all of the products but the Catrice (which I tend to use for public presentations which haven’t happened in a while) and the No7 (which I just repurchased) are getting low enough in product that I have them on my repurchase list. The elf and the Revolution products are the two I will repurchase first, the others will depend on the other items I need to replace. I hope when planning your shopping lists, this helps you out.