Must-Haves: Summer Edition

Author: Ali


Ah summer. The time of year when you can wake up to find the sun shining, birds chirping, and officially say “sayonara” to all of those pesky layers!

Depending on where you live, your summer attire could range from classic sundresses and sunhats, to bikinis, cover-ups and flip-flops. For many of us, we’re rarely given the opportunity to wear our swimwear from nine to five during the summer season. However, when it comes to summer vacation, there are a few items that I think are vital for anyone traveling to warm-weather climates.

I’ve compiled a short list of items that I always bring with me on vacation – and have on hand during the hot summer months – and why I believe you should consider investing in these products too. Without further ado, here are my must-haves for the summer season:

1.   Breathable sun hats: Eric Javits' Sun Hats. More than just a fun fashion statement, sun hats are also one of the best ways to protect your scalp, face, and ears from the sun. Many people tend to forget that your ears, scalp and nose are the most susceptible to sunburn. What better way to protect all three while looking cute, right? With that being said, sun hats designed by people like Eric Javitis and San Diego Hat like to incorporate UPF 50+ protection into a lot of their hats to protect your pretty face from the sun.

2.   Leave-in conditioner or Smoothing Cream: Liss Unlimited Thermo Blow-Dry Cream. I don’t know when I started using this Liss Unlimited Thermo Blow-Dry Cream, but I can thank my hairstylist a thousand times over for introducing this product to me when I first started seeing her. Technically meant to be used prior to blow-drying your hair, I consider it my life-saver during the dog days of summer. It protects your hair from heat damage and smoothes hair as it’s drying. I typically let my hair air-dry when I’m on vacation in Florida, but I find the product still leaves my hair with a nice finish afterwards.

3.   BB Primer-Cream: Bare Minerals daily defense SPF 30. My mother uses this prior to applying her makeup. Typically, I use the original, but during the summer, it’s best to go with something that has SPF in it. You can wear it out before a run, or before hitting the pool or beach, providing you with SPF and minimal coverage. Also worth noting is its formula, which is designed to reduce the look of “discoloration, uneven skin tone and imperfections.”

4.   Bug Repellent: Wipes that have bug repellent in them. Everyone knows how irritating bug bites can be, sometimes even painful. Thanks to brands like Off! and La Fresh, you can now plan on a worry-free night on the town, or evening by the campfire with these easy bug repellent wipes. These towelettes are made so that you can throw them in your backpack or purse to use whenever you need them, especially if you’re dining outside. Both items are formulated with a repellent that offers protection from mosquitos.

5.   Sunscreen: Coppertone SPORT SPF 30. I’m very fond of spray sunscreens. However, when applying sunscreen, you should always apply it somewhere that isn't windy or if you’re already sweating. I made that mistake on vacation recently, and I decided it would be best to go back to non-spray prior to hitting the beach the second time around. I used my favorite non-spray, Coppertone SPORT SPF 30, which I love because it stays on even after I sweat or swim. I only have to apply it once, so I don’t have to worry about reapplying as much as I would with a spray.

Believe me when I say that bug bites, sunburn, frizzy hair and an unprotected scalp during vacation are some of the worst-case scenarios one could go through. So instead of risking these unwelcome consequences during what is supposed to be one of the highlights of your summer, why not take my advice and play it safe?


May Brings Flowers

Author: Ali

Spring has officially sprung, and it’s time to celebrate! I firmly believe that a woman should never leave her home without a spritz or two of perfume. In my opinion, whichever scents you favor say something about the type of individual you are. In honor of the first day of May, I decided to focus on some of my favorite floral scents. 

  • La vie est belle: When Lancôme released La vie est belle, literally meaning “life is beautiful,” I was absolutely obsessed. To this day, it is still my favorite perfume. This fragrance is elegance in a bottle. It is a sophisticated, yet delicate scent that stays with you all day. Notes include: iris, patchouli, and a sweet gourmand.

  • Flowerbomb: Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb is extremely popular and once you smell it, it’s quite obvious why. Flowerbomb is a full-bodied perfume that just bursts with different floral notes. It’s light and definitely presents a long-lasting aroma. Notes include: bergamot, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, patchouli, rose and tea.

  •  Glam Jasmine: Michael Kors’ Glam Jasmine was the best free product I ever received. A couple of years ago, I entered for a chance to get a free gift for myself and a friend from Michael Kors. Several months later, I received several sample of this fragrance in the mail. It is extremely light, but is the perfect pick for a signature scent. Notes include: Egyptian jasmine, jasmine sambac, jasmine petals, sandalwood and cassis.

  • Miss Dior: Dior’s Miss Dior is the perfume I reserve for family events, and elegant soirées that typically involve dressing up in a gown and looking my best. This romantic fragrance is one that must be applied with just one or two sprays due to it being an extremely powerful scent. Miss Dior will last from early in the morning to late into the night. Notes include: Italian mandarin, jasmine absolute, and an essence of Indonesian patchouli.

  • Daisy: Marc Jacobs’ Daisy is my favorite choice for the summer. Some complain that it can be too light, and might need to be reapplied more than once a day. Even though I agree with these claims, I find that I prefer it during the hot dog days of summer. Notes include: wild strawberry, violet leaves, Ruby Red grapefruit, gardenia, violet, jasmine petals, musk, vanilla infusion and white woods.

The finest moments of one's life can be well-documented in photos, but for me it's the perfume I was wearing that night that brings back the memories I cherish the most. Remember not to overdo it when spritzing your fragrance. After all, no one wants to be trapped in an elevator with that person with the overpowering perfume. It is always better to be the person who walks by and leaves someone thinking, “Wow, I want the scent that she's wearing."

Must-Haves: Bedtime Beauty

Author: Ali

Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Advanced’ Brow Enhancing Serum. When I convinced my mother that this was a good investment, she was pretty reluctant to spend $38 on a brow enhancing serum. However, after using it religiously for a month, she even noticed a big difference in my eyebrows – a good difference. We both found our eyebrows looking fuller than they had in years! The stuff actually works, and that’s a win in my book. 

Atrix. You might have trouble finding this in the states, but my college roommate freshmen year was kind enough to phone her mom asking to send up a container of Atrix to help heal her roommate’s dry, cracking hands. Another alternative to this product is O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream.

Olay Exfoliating Face Cloths. During a busy workweek, these makeup remover pads only require water to wash all of your makeup (even stubborn eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow) off of your face both in the morning and at night. 

Eos Lip Balm. I love this lip balm. Can’t get enough of it, which is why I apply it constantly – morning, noon, and night. Personally, I’m a fan of the Sweet Mint. I love how soft my lips feel after using Eos for a week, as well as the fresh feel that comes after application.

I incorporate all of these products into my nightly beauty routine, ensuring that I wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and my skin feeling replenished.

Up in the Air

Author: Ali

As the daughter of a flight attendant and a recently-retired airline pilot, I’ve flown a ton and have had my fair share of good and bad flights. However, nothing is worse than stepping off a plane feeling drained. My skin is dry, I’m bloated, tired, freezing – in other words, I feel like crap and 9 times out of 10 it probably shows.

I know I’m not the only one who has this problem while traveling. I went to my mom, Melody, for advice because who knows more about fighting fatigue while traveling than a flight attendant?

“The biggest thing is to stay hydrated,” says Melody. You could be in the air for just an hour, and already your skin is being zapped of moisture. She went on to say that “the altitude of the cabin is the reason why your face gets dry. When you reach 4,000 ft., the cabin altitude is at 6,500 ft. - it's like being in a desert. There's no humidity, it's just dry air.”

She shared her essential products for feeling refreshed after a flight – no more feeling as if you just came back from visiting the Sahara.

The Breakdown:

· Water

You’ll experience dehydration to a certain degree while in the air. With that being said, it would be wise to say “yes” to your stewardess when they ask if you’d like something to drink – and lean towards a refreshment like water that will replenish your body. “Avoid carbonated beverages, and opt for juice or water if possible,” says Melody. It will keep you hydrated during the flight.

· Hand Lotion

Bring a TSA approved bottle of hand lotion with you (3.4 ounce bottle) and keep it in your carry-on so you can reapply during the flight. My mother and I are total Epionce junkies.

· Moisturizing Makeup

Moisturizing makeup is a must while in flight. BB and CC creams will help to keep your skin soft and supple while up in the air. In an earlier post, I mentioned how I cannot live without bareMineral’s Complexion Rescue Moisturizing Cream. It’s a lightweight alternative to a foundation and it will help repair your skin while in-flight.

· Lip Balm

Lipstick might look great, but try reapplying that again before landing without a moisturizing base – it isn’t pretty. I use bareMinerals Jack of All Trades lip balm in Sure Thing. Obviously, I’m a bareMinerals devotee – but my mom prefers using a clear gloss coat of Epionce Anti-Aging Lip Repair (don’t let the name fool you, the results were immediate – I could actually feel my lips absorbing it upon application).

· Mineral Water Spray 

Evian Mineral Water Spray is my mom’s must-have. Spritz this onto your face prior to landing, and see your skin literally come back to life. The ingredients help rejuvenate the skin by moisturizing, refreshing and toning.

Without a doubt, I will continue to follow my mother’s in-flight advice. Especially when I travel to places like Los Angeles. The longer the flight, the more dreadful the after effects can be.

Must-Haves: My New Favorite Product

Author: Ali

Like many of you, I’ve invested a lot of time and money in finding the perfect makeup for my skin type. I have sensitive combination skin, so when winter rolls around my skin always gets a little finicky. Naturally, when I began using bareMinerals back in 2010, it was fate. Since then, the brand is my instant go-to for the majority of my makeup needs.

Recently, bareMinerals came out with their Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (aka miracle in a tube). I was going through a facial dry spell, which took a turn for the worst when I traveled to Miami to visit my parents. On top of everything else, I was running low on concealer. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to go to bareMinerals in Boca Raton, FL., I jumped at the chance to learn about their new tinted moisturizer.

Unlike most tinted moisturizers I’ve tried in the past, bareMinerals’ Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream comes in ten different shades so it actually matched my skin tone. The best part is that it actually hydrates your skin and it is so lightweight that you’ll forget you even have it on. I use the complexion rescue for going to and from places like the gym, or work. It’s a good product for someone who wants some coverage before hitting the streets, but doesn’t want to apply a full face of makeup to do so.

Most importantly, I've seen a  significant change in my complexion since beginning to use the product. I have always been one to take really good care of my skin so it takes a lot to impress me, and this product did just that.