Products for Summer Survival

I feel like it’s only fair to tell you up front that I am not a summer person. I don’t live for the heat the way that some people do. Truly, I live my best life in colder climates with fuzzy socks, comfy clothes, downy blankets, cider, snow… Alas, summertime here in the south is on a whole other level. I can appreciate it for what it is but it’s just not my deal. So I’ve learned a few tricks to help survive the heat with my sanity semi-intact.

  1. Dry Shampoo. If you haven’t tried dry shampoo, please, PLEASE, do yourself a favor and pick some up. If you have tried it and maybe didn’t have the best experience, I implore you to give it a second chance. I have a lot of very fine hair which is naturally stick straight. It’s completely wasted on me. When it comes to my hair, I really prefer a low maintenance approach and dry shampoo is my go to for volume, texture, and longevity between washes. I’ll spare you the details of my process (if you want a tutorial, let me know in the comments box below!) but suffice it to say, I use some type of dry shampoo daily. Two of my favorites are the Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo and the Herbal Essence Dry Shampoo.
  2. Makeup Remover. As much as I love makeup and everyday glam, I LOVE taking my makeup off and going bare-faced. However, I hate the process of using makeup removing products. I’ve never had great luck with removal products. I don’t like the way a lot of them tend to dry out my combination skin or how some of them just smear the makeup around instead of really removing. I’ve used some that remove the makeup on a very shallow, surfacey level which I then have to follow up on with a deeper cleanser. So two weeks ago when I came across the Ulta Beauty No Cleanser Needed Makeup Remover Towels, I was skeptical at best. But they were fairly cheap so I figured “Eh, what the hell, right?” Oh. My. Lanta. I have since recommended these to my mother and my friends. No more harsh chemicals or excessive rubbing. Just amazing skin.
  3. Setting Spray. I sweat. Summer’s are f*cking hot and I sweat. Fact. One of my biggest pet peeves is how this affects my makeup. The creasing, the breakage, the fallout. No. Nun-uh. Needless to say, setting spray has been life changing. My favorite is the Nyx Matte Finish Setting Spray. It gets the job done without leaving my face feeling sticky or greasy and it lasts all day.
  4. Toner. I use this first thing in the morning when I wake up to prep my face.  I use this at night to calm my skin. I keep some of it in a travel-sized spray bottle in my purse. I love my toner. I have sensitive skin prone to redness and irritation so I really don’t like to use harsh toners or astringents if I can help it. My absolute favorite toner this summer has been Thayer’s Natural Remedies Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol-free Toner in Rose Petal. It’s cooling and refreshing and has a nice, light rose scent to it which isn’t nauseating or lingering on my face but is still strong enough to double as a touch up body spray on the go.
  5. Elastic/Scarf Headbands. Again, I’m a low maintenance kind of girl when it comes to doing my hair. I don’t like using heat styling tools very often but at the same time, I really prefer the look of voluminous, textured hair. However, in the summer it’s just not the most practical approach to hair. Most times I can achieve an easy style with a messy side braid; it keeps the majority of my hair off my neck without pulling it too high away from my face. But lately my favorite style has been twisting my hair up in an elastic or scarf tie headband, specifically from Pink Pewter. These jeweled headbands are gorgeous and multipurpose doubling as choker necklaces, bracelets, etc. They also eliminate the need for any additional jewelry which is great in the summer because I like to keep things light and easy. Stay tuned for a hair tutorial on some of my favorite ways to style these headbands!
  6. Moisturizer. I’m almost thirty years old and I’m still learning about my skin. In some ways not knowing more about what my skin needs makes me feel like a failure as an adult. So when I find a product that my skin responds to in a positive way, I really stick with them. An overwhelming majority of moisturizers over the years have left my skin feeling greasy and my pores feeling clogged. I have dry skin which then overproduces natural oils in order to compensate for the lack of moisture. So I need something that’s going to moisturize just enough to make my skin think it’s solid but not so much that it sits on top of my skin. Clinique had an amazing, mattifying moisturizer which both my husband and myself used for several years until it ultimately went out of production. Currently I use both the Elf Nourishing Night Cream and the Elf Illuminating Eye Cream. A little goes a long way and I have fewer break outs and dry spots.
  7. Matte Liquid Lipstick. Yes, this is very specific. Really, I prefer the Nyx Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade Rome to just about any other lip product right now. It’s my daily lip color which I layer over my Vaseline Lip Therapy chapstick in Rosy Lips for moisture. It’s subtle and really just enhances my natural lip shade without being sticky or cakey. It has great wear and I’ll throw some on when I’m bare faced out running errands for a confidence boost.
  8. Peppermint Essential Oil. Over the last year and a half I’ve struggled with allergies which have had a pretty big effect on my daily life. I’ve always been prone to headaches and hypersensitivity but weeklong sinus headaches, ear aches, and severe sensitivity to barometric pressure changes are in a league all their own. I can feel the weather change without looking outside and not in a fun, clairvoyant kind of way. I’ve tried a slew of remedies and medicines and it seems that the right combination one week is the wrong combination the next week. A coworker of mine who had to suffer through one of my worse bouts of weather sickness was kind enough to reach out to a local wholistic company and came to me with this amazing aromatherapy sachet which was a mix of peppermint and other essential oils. I carried that thing around with me for a good year or so. We use peppermint oil in diffusers throughout our home. We use peppermint oil candles. We take peppermint oil in capsule form as part of our vitamin supplements. For a cooling sensation to beat the summer heat, I’ll mix a small amount of peppermint oil with my favorite lotion and apply to my legs or arms.
  9. Face Masks. Summer time is hard on the skin and can often leave my face feeling dry and burnt out. There are several face masks which I rotate through maybe once every week or so to restore balance and moisture. Some of my favorite masks are all natural from Lush Cosmetics. Their company stands behind their products and has a positive platform against animal testing and the use of harmful chemicals/products. They pride themselves on their vegetarian formulas and their ethical buying. Currently in my lineup are the Mask of Magnaminty (self-preserving) refreshing mask, the Cup O’ Coffee exfoliating face and body mask, and the Rosy Cheeks soothing face mask with calamine.
  10. Activated Charcoal. Last but not least: activated charcoal. I’m still learning about all of the ways in which this product can benefit my body. So far we’ve used the capsulated version as a supplement, the loose powder version as a natural teeth whitener and skin cleanser. I’m curious to experiment with it more on the beauty side with DIY products like mascara and/or eyeliner. Pinterest has a lot of suggested uses, so keep an eye out for a new post featuring the wins and inevitable fails as I explore this product further.

So there you have it, my simple list of summer survival must-haves. Because I’m a messy human, naturally these are subject to change so be sure to follow my adventures in beauty mishaps and mayhem of which there will be many. Have questions, suggestions, or requests for content? Leave a comment below. Much love.

-C

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