I love the enthusiasm with which the British welcome summer: at the first hint of warm sunshine out come the flip flops, al fresco lunches in pigeon-riddled squares, weekend barbecues, day trips to an over run beach and rosé-filled evenings on packed terraces. The ultimate signifier of summer in London can be measured in the length of queues for rooftops. The British summer is short but we know how to make the most of it. Apart from the weather benefits, summer brings out bright colours and a lighter approach to our beauty routine, letting the season’s optimism do wonders for our skin and general wellbeing. Here are some of my summer beauty essentials that I go back to year after year and that signal the start of a holiday mood.
Who hasn’t at some point in their life owned a can of Batiste Dry Shampoo? A festival beauty staple, dry shampoo provides the perfect between-washes quick fix, or in the case of festival goers, saves you hours of queuing for showers when you could be queuing for a burger instead. Summer really is all about queuing… I’ve tried several dry shampoos to disguise my occasionally greasy day three roots and keep coming back to Batiste. The subtle scent doesn’t compete with your fragrance and the white powder sprayed onto hair is easy to blend in with a little massaging using fingertips and brushing through the lengths. I love a multi-purpose beauty product (as seen in my beauty shelfie post) and this one doubles up as a gentle volumising spray, adding body and texture to fine hair, or adding grip to squeaky clean hair if you’re creating an up do. At £2.99 for 200ml Batiste Dry Shampoo should see you through the summer without encroaching on your festival budget.
No beach holiday is complete without a salt spray in your suitcase, it’s the perfect tool for easy going summer hair styling. Spending a day on the beach with your hair in the sea breeze will naturally give you a tousled wave, but if you need more structured help this beauty product should do it. Simply spritz onto damp hair and leave to dry naturally, regularly crunching your hair to give it that wavy thick texture with a matte finish. The salt spray has been formulated to protect hair against heat styling and UV rays, although you may want to add a weekly nourishing mask to your beauty routine to avoid dehydrated locks. Label.m’s sea salt spray is available in 3 sizes, the smallest being 50ml for £4.50, ideal for cabin luggage.
Facial sprays only truly made their mark on the British beauty landscape in the noughties, but French women have been using them for years. France boasts many mineral sources (Volvic, Vittel) and thermal spas (Avène, La Roche-Posay) so it’s no wonder that waters known for their health benefits play a big part in French lifestyle. Yet another multi-purpose beauty product, Evian’s ultra fine and lightweight mist can be spritzed to set your makeup or throughout the day to freshen up tired skin. If you store it in the fridge at night you can then keep it on your desk during the day for a quick and easy al desko refresh. If you are open to a little DIY you can create your own facial spray using an empty toner bottle with a nozzle, filling it with filtered water and adding a few drops of a suitable oil (for my post about essential oils click here).
I can rarely fault La Roche Posay – comprehensive product range, great results, affordable – but I do find their product names a bit of a mouthful. For those of you who’ve read my bathroom shelfie post you’ll know how much I love decluttering. The same can be said of streamlining sentences: compact, concise and to the point. So enough divergence and on to the product itself. I picked up this sample at a beauty event and was immediately drawn by the ultra light claim. Since suffering hyper pigmentation on my forehead 4 years ago I’ve sought out SPF 50 sunscreens, but these tend to come in the form of heavy thick greasy creams. This one feels practically like a gel and sinks in quickly, leaving a matte, not shiny, finish and no irritability for my sensitive skin. As with all good sunblocks these days it protects against UVA and UVB rays and is water resistant. Approved and recommended by dermatologists, I wear it when I’m exposed to the sun for a sustained period of time in the hope of halting the damage already inflicted on my skin. Because I can’t completely turn my back to the sun. Product photographed in group shots is a sample.
Summer in a bottle. I haven’t spent a single summer in the last 10 years without a bottle of this lightening hair spray in my bathroom cupboard. Whilst I’m happy to work with my natural dark blonde shade in the winter, the arrival of warmer weather calls for a sun-kissed look. I’ve never been one for costly salon-applied highlighters so when I came across Garnier’s 100% Ultra Blond spray it seemed the ideal solution. I spritz (lots of spritzing going on in the summer) it onto damp clean hair, focusing on the roots, then comb through before blow-drying or ideally letting my hair dry in the sun. I’m not a fan of the lingering chemical scent but the results are worth it: after 4 to 5 uses and exposure to heat my hair gradually goes several shades lighter, and with the buildable nature of the spray you can’t go wrong. I’ve not come across this product in the UK so getting your hands on it will involve a trip to France, where you can make the most of all the amazing pharmacy skincare I’ve already reviewed here.
What summer beauty essentials do you swear by? I’d love to hear about your recommendations, so leave a comment below to let me know!