My picks for summer 2012: face, body, hair… and dog?

So summer is fast upon us here, a few more weeks (if you are in the northern hemisphere, of course) and we will be basking in the sunshine, sitting poolside, sipping margaritas (or mock-aritas if you are underage) and just enjoying the sunshine.  I mean, I’m doing that now but the weather gets really scorching when it’s officially summer.

So when it comes to the weather, obviously sunscreen is a given, but what about hair, makeup, and skin?  Do you really want your makeup running off in the summer heat?  Got frizzy hair?  Humidity and heat will make your locks explode, and of course, you always have to smell your best.  I compiled a list of my favourite summer products (check out my nail picks here), everything from my fave eyeshadows to my go-to moisturizer to even what I apply on my dogs.


Alright, so obviously when I think of summer I envision tanned beach bodies.  Well not everyone can get a golden bronze in the summertime (myself included) so a must-have on my list is a self tanner. I have tried many tanners and my favourite has got to be St. Tropez. St. Tropez (available at Sephora) has a variety of different self tanners on the market, everything from a bronzing lotion to a gradual tanning lotion to a bronzing mousse.  I have tried both the mousse and lotion and if you had to pick one, I would go with the mousse.  The mousse dries quickly on your skin, it doesn’t make you feel greasy, and you apply it with a special glove (sold separately), so therefore no orange palms.  The lotion is good too, but I feel like the mousse is easier to work with and quicker to apply.  Before you apply your tanner, always exfoliate your dry areas (knees, ankles, elbows), then moisturize those areas to prep them, then apply the tanner. To avoid getting orange palms, wear some latex gloves and apply the tanner to your face and the back of your hands last.

Since you will probably be heading to the beach or lying by the pool, you have to make sure your skin is kept hydrated.  Again, I have tried lots of moisturizers in my day, but my favourite is Kiehl’s Creme de Corps.  This product, although not very fragrant, literally melts into your skin and leaves your skin super silky smooth.  I don’t have dry skin to begin with, but this stuff is great.  I usually apply it at night before I go to bed and wake up to smooth, supple skin.  I also slather it on when I wear shorts for moisturized gams all day long (I have to kick Ziggy off me though cause he loves to lick lotion).

After a long day at the pool or beach you will want to spray a fragrance to get rid of that chlorine smell.  I would say to always keep a summery-smelling perfume and a body spray handy. My faves for summer are Escada Moon Sparkle (I believe this was limited edition from 2007, but Escada always releases a similar scent every year, just changes the name and packaging) and Viva La Juicy perfume, which I don’t have, but I got a mini sample from Sephora and fell in love (it’s on my wish list).  As for body mists, I feel with a mist you can go a little crazy with this.  With a perfume or eau de toilette, a few sprays are enough before you start making people sneeze and complain, but with a body mists, I’ll spray this everywhere, plus I find they are usually lighter. I recommend Bath and Body Works for body mists as they always have a variety of different scents and always release new ones for the season.


Moving onto face, I only have a couple must haves for this area of your body.  First up, Kiehl’s Super Fluid, a UV defense sunscreen with a SPF 50.  I have previously blogged about this so I won’t go into too much detail, but basically I use this as a primer underneath my foundation.  I use Laura Mercier’s Silk Cream Foundation, which has no SPF in it, so having this heavy-duty stuff underneath really helps in sun protection.

For days at the pool or beach, or just plain lazy ones, I apply some BB cream.  I have the Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream and honestly, I just find this is like a tinted moisturizer.  It’s not full coverage by any means, but it has enough coverage to it that I feel confident and secure just wearing this to somewhere with a body of water.  In addition, it also has SPF 15 in it, so you got some sun coverage in there as well.

Lastly, not only will you want to keep your lips moisturized throughout the season, but you will want to protect them with sunscreen as well.  I am obsessed with Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in mango (in comes in other flavours, as well as unscented), but the best part is, it has SPF 4 in it, which okay, isn’t a high amount of sun protection, but this stuff is ultra moisturizering, lightweight, super yummy, and the added small amount of sun protection just seals the deal (Kiehl’s also makes a lip balm with SPF 15 in it).


St. Tropez bronzer and NARS Laguna (top). So sad, I'm almost out of it 🙁

For makeup, a given is obviously bronzer.  I have a few different ones, but my fave is NARS Laguna, which I am just about out of.  I have also been using St. Tropez, which is a little lighter than Laguna and more shimmery.  When it comes to bronzer, find one for your skin tone.  If you are very fair skinned, like me, don’t go for the darkest one you can find.  Bronzer should be subtle on your face, enough to give you that sun kissed glow, not make you look like an oompa-loompa.  Also, apply the product where the sun would naturally hit your face, so your forehead, nose, and alongside the bridge of your nose.

For eyeshadows, I have a few favourites.  Obviously lighter, bronzy colours are givens, but I would recommend that instead of powder eyeshadows, go with creamy ones.  I love MAC’s Paint Pot in Bare Study, a shimmery cream colour, and Maybelline 24-Hour Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze.  These also act as a base, so you can apply your eyeshadow over top.  Finally, if you are going swimming or just plain plan on sweating in the sun, these are the way to go as I find that cream products tend to stick better to your skin than a powder does.

On the same topic of waterproof, for eyeliner, I love Sephora’s Waterproof Creme Smoky Liner in Must Have (black).  This stuff will stay on your lids all day and not budge so you can do those cannon balls into the pool and not worry about raccoon eyes when you emerge from the water.

On the topic of both eyeliner and cream eyeshadows, I have been loving Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick in Turquoise from the summer 2012 collection.  I have been applying this as a liner over top of the Sephora gel liner, but you can also put this all over your lids or along your lower lash line for that extra pop of colour.

For lips, I love pink and my favourite shade for summer has got to YSL’s Rouge Volupte in #7 Lingerie Pink, a pale pink colour that is so creamy to apply. These lipsticks also have an SPF of 15 in them so they are perfect for the sunshine.


Moving onto hair, if you are prone to getting unruly frizzy hair, I would invest in the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum. I don’t really have frizzy hair, but I always apply two pumps of this stuff to my hair after the shower and before I blow dry it.  Every little bit helps, especially in hot, humid climates.

For some texture and fragrance, spray Redken’s Nature’s Rescure Radiant Sea Spray to your tresses, either wet or dry.  This product is actually a hair fragrance and has that ocean smell to it whenever your tousel your tresses, but it also acts as a texturizer. This stuff if perfect for when you leave the beach, it adds more of that beach-y fragrance, and helps with getting the perfect post-beach waves.

Finally, if you don’t like washing your hair everyday (it strips your locks from essentials oils) but need a freshen up, spray some dry shampoo to keep your hair fresh, add body, and looking clean.  I have really been loving Dove’s Style + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo and I know it has already gotten quite the cult following.


Your furry friend has to be prepped for summer too!  I have two picks here that I like using on Ziggy and Chase. 

Summers are full of dog parks, playing ball, and just plain getting dirty.  Between grass stains and getting in the mud (oh, and let’s not forget that wet dog smell), your pooch has to be kept clean.  For when Ziggy needs a freshen up, but not quite a bath, I like using Kiehl’s Spray-N-Play Cleansing Spritz, which is an “in-between” shampoos no-rinse cleansing spritz.  I like to think of it as a dry shampoo for dogs.  This stuff also removes stains, adds fragrance, and spot cleans.

For when Ziggy is stinking like no one’s business I love spraying him with the Dog Whisperer Lavender Coat Mist. I got this product from Canadian Tire, so I’m not sure where they would sell it in the U.S. or elsewhere, but it leaves Ziggy smelling like lavender and really does freshen up his coat.  Plus, The Dog Whisperer is his favourite show, so I mean, I had to get it for him.

Those are my picks for summer 2012.  If you have tried these products, please let me know your thoughts on them.  Also, let me know what your essentials are for summer.

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