Summer is my favourite time of year to experiment with new beauty products. After a long, hot day in the city, few things feel as good as giving your face a thorough cleansing, and covering your body in oils. Insert hearts-for-eyes emoji here!
Here are my top five products of the moment…
Treat Salted Vanilla Beach Hair Sea Salt Spray
When the weather is sweltering, the last thing you want to bother with is your hair. Looking immaculate is simply not gonna happen, so why even try? That’s where a beautiful salt spray can help: spritz a little at your roots to add instant grit and texture.
There are a lot of salt sprays on the market, so why am I recommending this one? Well, because it smells like salted vanilla, and if you, like me, want to smell like a cupcake 24/7, this is another way to do it. I love to layer up scents, and honestly, WHAT is better than hair that smells like vanilla? Nothing, that’s what! Plus, Treat is a great company: 100% vegan and owned by a badass babe. Their lip balm is my holy grail — nothing else even comes close, and I am never without a jumbo tube of the stuff. Swoon-o-rama.
Verso Skincare Super Facial Serum
I went off retinols for a while, because I started developing some sun spots and I was convinced it was because I was using retinols incorrectly. That was not the case. Sun damage is cumulative, so if you’re getting sun spots today (like me, grrrrr), it’s probably because you were irresponsible when you were like, 17. (Bummer.) I recently read what Caroline Hirons had to say about some of the retinol myths, and I decided to give it another go. My first stop was this little gem from Verso.
If you have sun damage, fine lines, or you’re simply not looking as “fresh” as you once did, I have to recommend giving retinols a try. Retinol literally reverses the signs of aging, and it does it well!
As for Verso’s Super Facial Serum? I only have one word for it: transformative. It’ll brighten, clarify, plump and generally invigorate your skin… And quickly. Don’t fear the retinol. Dive on in!
Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil
I don’t select my skincare based on how pretty the bottle is, but if I did, this would be an obvious favourite: the base of the glass bottle is purple, which makes the oil look two-tone. (It’s awesome.) This oil (or Ole Henriksen, below) constitutes the last step of my night-time skin routine, which, FYI, looks something like this: cleanse, P50, Serozinc, eye cream, retinol, serum, oil. Yes, that is a lot of steps. No, I am not crazy.
I loooooove this oil (and you kind of need to, given that it is $125). It’s a dry oil, which sounds weird, I know, but basically just means that it sinks in easily and doesn’t loiter on the surface of your skin. It’s jam-packed with “antioxidants, vitamins, essential amino acids, Omega 3/6/9, UV shields and natural anti-inflammatory agents for a luminous, radiant complexion”. Sign me up!
P.S. Sunday Riley also does an oil called Isis if you’re a little older (40+) and need something that packs more of a punch.
Ole Henriksen Pure Truth™ Vitamin C Youth Activating Oil
Up until about three weeks ago, I was using a Sodashi oil at night, which I loved. (I prefer an oil-free moisturiser with SPF for daytime.) But my Sodashi finally ran dry (although it lasted me a year, which is flabbergasting), and so I’ve been looking for new oils to take its place. This one is a goodie. Get thee to a Sephora and ask for a sample of this little beauty before you snap it up. (They will make you a sample of anything, by the way. Just ask!)
The oil is orange (Vitamin C and all), and has a pretty weird smell: not unpleasant, just unusual. However, I’m a big fan, and a little goes a long way. I’ve been alternating this one with Sunday Riley’s Juno, which is partly me being economical, and partly me wanting to keep my skin guessing. This is a lovely oil to brighten your skin and make your complexion shine bright like a diamond (holler, Ri-Ri!).
Aura Glow: Rose
Meow. There’s something magical about smothering yourself in rose-scented oil: roses are immensely rich in symbolism. In tarot, the rose signifies balance, and a promise of hope and new beginnings; roses represent secrets, immortal love, and the goddess Aphrodite. You can use rose oil to attract love, boost your confidence, and convey passion. In short, roses are powerful and otherworldly!
Aura Glow is a body oil, although you can use it as a massage oil (eyebrow wiggle) if the mood strikes you. I keep my bottle near the edge of the tub, and I use it all over my body in between turning off the water and grabbing a towel. It sinks in quickly, and smells insane. Plus, it’s cheap: around $10 for a huge bottle. Go get some!
Illustration by Louise Androlia.