June 14th 2017
Glossy Posse Picks special: the 26 most useful products for summer
June 17th 2017 / 0 comment
From sun-proof makeup to the new Brazilian Bum Bum cream, here’s our pick of the best summer products around for beach, bar and beyond
With summer in the air, our beauty bags have undergone a noticeable makeover as of late to suit the higher temperatures and much more favourable weather forecasts. Suncare, sun-proof makeup, bronzing, tanning, hair removal and Bum Bum creams (more on that later) have been the main talking points in the office, with the launches in the last couple of months providing an unprecedented amount of hair, skin and makeup inspiration. So to celebrate this very fact, we’ve decided to give our usual Glossy Posse Picks feature a seasonal twist this week. Introducing our summer special - a far-reaching edit of today’s best beauty buys (new and a few old favourites thrown in too) come staycation or vacation this summer.
Victoria Woodhall, Editor
Finlay & Co Pembroke sunglasses, £120
Summer for me means shades with UV protection – why would I want any more wrinkles? This new ultra-cool brand of Italian-made eyewear is utterly bespoke and all doable online. You choose your frame shape, then the frame finish (in some cases, the frame comes in as many as eight colours and finishes, although the Pembroke only comes in one option) and finally choose your lens colour (grey, pink, rose gold etc.) - they’re all 100% UVA/UVB protective. For an extra fee, you can add your prescription and engraving on the arm. They even advise on frames for different face shapes.
Dafni Go Straight Hair Straightening Brush, £99.95
I have hair that frizzes at the slightest whiff of damp. In the winter I wear a hat, in the summer especially on hot humid days, I’m stuffed. Nothing product-wise works on my fine hair, but this heated ceramic straightening brush in a heat-resistant travel pouch is an absolute marvel. Just a few strokes are enough to smooth out frizz. It gives the effect of a straightening iron (but without that drying whoosh of steam), and fits in your gym bag or tote. Worth the hunt for a socket when you’re on the go.
Bareminerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen for face and body, £25
Reasons I love this powder sunscreen: it can go on over makeup without messing it up or looking shiny and it won’t leak gunk in my handbag. I always have it with me. I can ‘dust’ my children at school drop off without much resistance (cream usually involves much more wriggling) when I realise it’s hot out there and I’ve forgotten to cream them up, it’s weightless, non-comedogenic and the brush head detaches so you can clean it. It has a slight mattifying effect for when you’re sweaty and it’s tinted for light skin tones and comes in a darker shade too. Super practical.
Tan Luxe Sleep Oil, £39
New developments in tan technology mean that overnight tanning without smearing and pillow staining is now an option. With raspberry seed oil, vitamin E and aloe vera, six to ten drops of this colourless oil hydrates, rejuvenates and leaves you with a subtle, natural tan on face and neck in the morning. I needed extra hydration on top from my moisturiser - applying it five minutes later didn’t compromise the even finish. Tanning overnight also means you can see what base you’re working with the next day when you apply your makeup. Makes total sense.
Dr.Ceuticals Foot Rescue SOS Cream, £9.99
I have this by my bed as I’m always shocked at how dry my feet become in the summer. With 25 per cent urea and shea butter, this cream is intensely hydrating and stops dryness from turning into cracking. It’s fragrance-free with peppermint oil that gives it a welcome cooling effect. It has parabens in so it’s not something I use every day, but to relieve stubborn hard, dry patches this works fast and effectively. I’ve used it to stop my sandal straps rubbing on my heels too.
Olivia Von Halle silk eye mask, Roxanne, £65
I know this is pricey for an eye mask, but to me it’s as essential for beauty sleep as a good night cream. It’s gloriously weighty, which I find really calming, and it’s large enough to block out most of the light. When you’re staying with friends in a room that has only flimsy curtains (experience talking) you’ll be grateful, likewise when you’re caught wandering to the bathroom with it on your head, it won’t put you to shame. It won’t dry your eyes as cotton does or give you a creasy face. It holds its shape really well - I’ve been through many silk masks that scrunch up after only a few weeks.
Out later on this month from www.oliviavonhalle.com.
Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
Gilette Venus Snap Portable Razor, £9.99
Who actually keeps those clear plastic covers that come with razors? I certainly don’t, which is why when I take my trusty Venus razor on holiday, casually thrown into my cosmetics bag, I often end up with cuts on my fingertips as I delve in to grab it. Ouch. But never again will I experience such pain as the travel-style Venus is here, the Venus Snap - in a hot pink no less, and with a moisture strip which acts like a shaving gel when wet, so no need to pack an extra product for a close shave. Genius.
Ultrasun Tan Activator SPF 30 for Body in 150ml, £28
As someone who is both prone to prickly heat and very sensitive to skincare, Ultrasun has become my ultimate sunscreen brand - apply it once a day and you’re good to go, with no added preservatives or fragrances that will irritate your skin. I’m far happier out of the spotlight and in the shade, but I admit it can be disappointing to get on the plane home with glowing, bronzed friends and see that you’re still the same pasty pale as when you flew out. But you can tan through sunscreen - in fact it’s fairly impossible not to since no SPF will block the rays 100 per cent - it’s just that with a good sun cream, you’ll tan more slowly and safely than if you were to stretch out and bake, and most importantly, your tan will actually last longer. To prove their point, Ultrasun have cleverly built on the original with their Tan Activator range; the same sensitive-friendly formula, only with an added natural tan enhancer that boosts the production of melanin (which deepens your skin tone) for a safer, longer-lasting tan. So now there really is no excuse not to protect yourself in the sun.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, £17
I recommend this eyeshadow primer all year round, but it’s really summer when it proves its worth by making sure your eye makeup doesn’t end up half way down your face come lunchtime. It is the ultimate base for eyeshadow and eyeliner - plus if you have quite pigmented eyelids like me, it evens everything out so you look a little less sleep deprived and a lot more airbrushed. I adore the golden shimmer tone of Sin as a replacement for my cream eyeshadow, but if you want it all over your socket and brow bone then Original is the way to go. If you’re oily, sweaty, hooded of eye or generally just prone to smudging, it’s the best £17 you’ll ever spend. It lasts for ages in more ways than one, too - I’ve used mine daily for over six months and it’s still going.
Maybelline Limited Edition Strobing Stick Light Iridescent, £7.99
I think highlighter is essential for summer skin - it’s all about looking light, bright and glowing, especially when it comes to those warm evenings and you’re re-moisturised after a day in the sun. This stick from Maybelline is the best I’ve found in recent years; budget-friendly, it isn’t glittery as so many of the cheaper highlighters are, and has the most dewy, creamy texture I’ve ever tried without being in the slightest bit heavy. Beautifully light and foolproof to apply, it leaves a pearly, luminous effect on the skin for a lit-from-within radiance that isn’t too pink or too bronze. Use it everywhere for the ultimate in grown-up strobing.
HEMA Sun Screen Coolbag, £5.50
I’m sad to say I have only just discovered this purse-friendly beauty brand despite its many stores in the UK, but it’s a case of better late than never because their products are so damn impressive. While the makeup range is truly worth checking out, it’s this cheap and wonderfully cheerful cosmetics bag that I wouldn’t be seen without this summer - it has a silver lining (literally) which means it acts like a cool bag for your sun screen, so no need to shove it under your towel or sun bed anymore in the hope that it doesn’t cook while you laze on the beach. We know skincare ingredients can alter and degrade in extreme heat, so keep everything chilled out in this coral number and no money will be wasted - and all for only a fiver. Sun smart indeed.
Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum face sunscreen SPF50 PA++++, £45
A mineral sunscreen that provides both quantity and quality for your pennies, this intelligently formulated daily shield leaves skin amply protected and ready to duke it out with the summer elements. Extremely moisturising and easily absorbed to leave zero chalky residue behind, its roster of protective ingredients helps defend skin against a range of environmental aggressors - pollution, infrared radiation, UVA and UVB rays and blue light emitted from computers, tablets and phones. Silky and peach tinted to instantly brighten tired complexions, it’s the ideal addition to any city dweller’s urban skincare regime.
Bobbi Brown Glow Sticks, £26
My borderline obsession with highlighters is well documented on GTG and Bobbi Brown’s new Glow Sticks (from the aptly named Follow the Sun Collection) have further fuelled the fire. Available in eight shades, each blends beautifully to add a veil of natural looking iridescence to cheekbones and high planes of the face - the variety of glistening peaches, pinks, plums and golds on offer truly is a treat for the eyes. My personal favourites include the golden brown Sunkissed and warm golden shimmer Island, but the one at the top of my list at the moment is Nude Beach, a golden bronze that makes for the most wearable of day time sheens that can also be amped up for night. Portable and mess-free courtesy of their easy-to-use stick bullets, think of them as instant sunshine wherever you are.
Philip Kingsley Sun Shield
With the spotlight on suncare shining particularly brightly when it comes to our skin, the effect that the sun can have on our hair often gets ignored. I’m terrible at taking preventative steps, but this new lightweight mist from Philip Kingsley is helping me become better at it one spritz at a time. Containing sunflower seed extract to help protect hair from the drying effects of UV rays, it provides an extra line of defence against the condition and colour sapping effects of summer, chlorine and salt water. With a scent that calls to mind the sun’s best qualities, but a formula that combats the worst, it proves to be a worthwhile new season investment to keep hair stronger and smoother especially when on holiday.
Essie Gel Couture Bold nail polishes in Style Stunner
The perfect pop of long-lasting colour, Essie’s new Bold range is just what my nails have been looking for as they make the tentative transition from socks to sandals. When combined with the line’s Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat, this bright orange shade stays put for around four to five days on me (provided I’ve sealed the edges of my tips) for a high shine, highly durable finish that’s really impressive in the chip-free stakes.
Clarins Pore Perfecting, Matifying Kit
As much as I love a dewy complexion, my T-zone seems to veer more on the super shiny side of things during the summer months. However, this clever compact of effective mattifiers provides all the tools needed to keep excess sebum levels under control. Comprising of a translucent powder containing white clay and absorbent blotting papers, its choice gives it a much appreciated point of difference to others on the market. It's the 2-in-1 oily skin fix I've needed, when humidity levels have threatened to have their way with my makeup.
Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, £18 for 75 ml, £44
The name itself is justification enough for choosing this bright yellow jar of bum butter (it’s ‘boom boom’ in Brazil btw), but if the carnival spirit doesn’t capture your senses, the scent will - who doesn’t want to leave a trail of pistachio caramel in their wake? Otherwise this smoothing, light-reflecting and energising cream (that’ll be the guaraná extract - it’s five times stronger than caffeine) isn’t strictly applicable to bums - it gives legs, shoulders and backs a beautiful sheen in equal measure. Basically, summer in a tub.
Nars Laguna Body Tint SPF 30, £30
If you like your summer body products with a hint of colour and some degree of environmental protection, this Nars body bronzer takes things up a gear. Sheer enough to look natural, it’s laced with Tahitian vanilla as well as monoi and tamanu oils to nourish and add more than a whiff of Tahiti (François Nars has a house/actual island here).
Benefit Hoola Lite, £24.50
The cult matte bronzer has lightened up, enabling the fair skinned among us to pull off a glow without looking faux if you see what I’m saying. Velvety, fine textured and with a scent that’ll transport you to sundowners in some exotic locale, if you’ve ever struggled with bronzer but want to warm things up just a smidge, dive on in. Considering that most applicators that come with purchase are a bit rubbish, the brush ain’t half bad either.
Dior Addict Lip Tattoo, £25
Like a liquid lipstick but not as drying, this lip emulsion creates more colour intensity than a tint while feeling weightless on the lips. With four suits-all colourways, it’s a no-brainer for a summer wedding given its longevity (it doesn’t quite stand up to the 10 hour promise but it’s not far off), plus it won’t transfer onto guests/the groom/your gran.
The Wet Brush Watercolour, £12.99
Summertime generally = knots season. Ease birds’ nests out of wet hair with this purpose designed brush - the bristles are flexible yet effective, with a soft tip to go easy on the scalp while stimulating circulation for healthier skin and hair. It can of course be used to smooth over dry hair too, and the watercolour print makes it feel all the more holiday worthy.
Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent, £41
This is quite possibly, summer condensed into a bottle. Whenever I wear it, it reminds me of hot summer days, dosed in suncream (I really love the smell of suncream!). Combining delicate touches of bergamot, mandarin, coconut, amber and vanilla, it's both warm and sexy and will transport you to a day on the beach wherever you are this summer.
Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil, £55
More often than not, I like to travel somewhere where I can trek around a desert or mountain top in the blazing heat. Last year, my skin suffered terribly in the Indian desert and the mix of dust, dirt and sun gave me such an unhealthy appearance. Designed to target irritation and inflammation, Votary's specialist oil-based cleanser proved to be a complete saviour - a truly magical creation. Its blend of 21 super seed oils, scented with purifying parsley seed oil deeply cleanses skin (without stripping it) and leaves it intensely moisturised too. Plus, it comes with a flannel - all angles covered.
Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, £32
It's never quite summer without a dewy highlighter in your makeup bag and this new liquid textured one from Marc Jacobs is brilliant. The gel-like texture allows you to build up intensity and the golden peach tone brings a warm radiance to the skin. Use alone as a highlighter or mix with your foundation for an all over summer glow. With five forms of coconut and provitamin B5, your skin will feel both hydrated and completely set for summer sun. Beware though, a little really does go a long way before you use too many pumps in one hit!
Origins GinZing SPF 40 Energy Boosting Tinted Moisturiser, £29
Hydration, high SPF and a seamless finish. Just three things this new tinted moisturiser from Origins delivers on. A hard-working multitasker, the inclusion of coffee beans and Ginseng adds a boost of much needed energy to tired complexions, leaving skin both healthy and radiant. The non-greasy formula is incredibly light on the skin and the sheer tint provides an ideal base for makeup too.
Institut Esthederm Micellar After Sun Shower Gel, £18
Working gently to cleanse and remove all traces of sunscreen, salt, sand and chlorine, this gentle oil-based After Sun Shower Gel also helps to moisturise and prolong your tan too. With its summery smell (a lot like my earlier Bronze Goddess pick), it leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated. Whether you've caught too much sun and need a little soothing moisture or just need a good post-beach clean up, this is the ideal shower bag essential to have to hand.
Out later on this month.