Oh, hey there, summer. You seemed to appear overnight here in NYC. (Rude. Can’t you call first?) I promise I was thoroughly enjoying the mid 60s to 70-degree spring weather, but I guess I’ll survive in this sweltering 80-degree humidity.
Those of you not in NYC, I’m sure you can relate, too. I’m from Michigan, where summer consists of three amazing days, and 2,000 days so relentlessly humid it leaves you begging for death. If you live somewhere that has winter now, I feel bad for you for a different slew of reasons.
I live in a third-floor walkup that lacks air conditioning and somehow has the sun beating through the windows all day, no matter the time. This means that nothing is sacred: sleeping, cleaning, sitting and watching Netflix -- I am sweaty no matter what the activity. I’m contemplating a battery-operated hand-fan for whenever I have to move away from the solitary fan but I’m trying to refrain and put on a brave face. No A.C. means I’m helping the environment and not slowly dying of Freon poisoning, right? Right?
In order to cope with the grossness that develops in my sweatbox apartment, I enlisted my Facebook friends to help me find the most refreshing beauty products to get me through summer. Proceed with caution, these babies are addictive.
I’ve been facemask-shy after I broke out in an itchy, bumpy rash from one I bought on a whim at the drugstore when I was a teenager. But waking up in a pool of greasy face sweat hasn’t being doing great things for my skin, and I needed to find something that was a little more cleansing than my normal face wash without being too chemically strong (I'm Team SensitiveSkin). That’s when I tried this mud mask from Formula 10.0.6, and it’s amazing.
I love everything about this mask. It 1) Did not give me a bumpy rash. 2) Made my pores look and feel clean and tight without drying me out. 3) left my complexion bright and even. 4) Cooled down my redness. The mask contains orange, bergamot and sea salt, so its ingredients deliver and it smells great. Use this baby a few times a week and notice a large decrease in your sweat-induced breakouts.
Mmm. Just thinking about this stuff gives me the tingles. Like actual body tingles, cause that’s what this stuff does. The peppermint oil in both the wash and lotion not only smells delicious, it also leaves your body with a cooling, tingling sensation that is perfect for relaxing on hot days and exhausted evenings.
The wash/lotion sort of “kicks in” a few minutes after using it, and it just feels so good, like you’re breaking a rule. I like to use it and then sit in front of a fan, and just forget about the heat for a while. I love this stuff for everything from sore muscles after a workout (4-pound dumbbell lifts, TALK TO ME) to sunburns (the menthol cools the pain of a burn). The lotion is nice and lightweight, too, so you don’t have to wait forever for it to absorb and dry onto your skin. It’s basically perfection.
3. HAPPY HIPPY SHOWER GEL FROM LUSH ($28.95)
When you’re taking 2 to 5 short cold showers a day in order to stay sane, you want a little extra boost of happy.
During one of our many cool-down showers, my boyfriend and I tried Happy Hippy. The scent of grapefruit overwhelmed our senses in the best way possible. Then my boyfriend said, “If only grapefruit tasted as good as this stuff smells…” and we begrudgingly remembered our new “health initiative” and the grapefruit in the fridge waiting to be eaten for “dessert.” But that’s another matter entirely.
4. TEA TREE WATER TONER FROM LUSH (AGAIN) ($21.95)
I am absolutely in love with this toner water. Every time the tea-tree mist gently lands on my face, I think that this must be how the vegetables at the grocery store feel when they get their hourly watering. Lucky bastards. I’m too broke to spray this on myself once an hour, but I’ll do it once (or twice!) a day.
Again, more heat means more sweating and sadness and impurities in my pores, and the combination of tea tree, juniperberry and grapefruit in this toner helps keep all that business in check. These ingredients are good for controlling redness, oil, and brightening overall dull skin.
I love to use this stuff in the morning after cleansing and before moisturizer, and it has been delivering. After a few days of use I noticed a difference in my skins overall appearance -- bright, youthful, and less heat-induced redness and blotchiness. And when those unfavorable symptoms do occur, a few spritzes of this stuff leaves me feeling and looking refreshed.
5. HAPPY PERFUME SPRAY BY CLINIQUE ($48-$63)
I have, like, 100 of these little sample bottles somehow -- this perfume must have been Clinique’s giveaway scent over the holidays. Anyway, I didn’t use them during winter because the scent didn’t feel appropriate, but I am all over this perfume for summer.
You know how sometimes wearing perfume in the summer sucks because the scent sort of smacks you in the face all day? That definitely doesn’t happen with Happy. It’s actually really light and fresh, with citrus scents like (you guessed it!) grapefruit and bergamot.
I like a dash in the morning or anytime I might smell. I always get compliments on my scent after a hug or a close encounter -- and that’s because this isn’t an evil perfume that you can smell from across the room. It’s perfect for summer!
That’s my refreshing summer products roundup! What are your favorite products for summer that leave you feeling cooled off or refreshed?