Beauty: 5 Summer Essentials

Can you believe it?

The Fourth of July is in a few days!

Are you ready to dive into summer?

Here's 5 things to keep around in your bag whether you are beaching, pooling,  vacationing or even getting married (or at least going to a wedding)!

 Summer Essentials

5 product ideas to help make summer a breeze.

#1:  The perfect summer fragrance

It can get complicated trying to figure out how to smell fresh while the outdoors battle you with heat and humidity.

First you need a really good deodorant that truly fights odor. This really is the first step in avoiding the "masked smell" effect.

Second, get a great fragrance.
Something light and airy, but long lasting.
My personal routine entails body spray combined with lotion.

*warning: since you are likely to spend more time outdoors, try to avoid smelling like a flower. If you smell like a flower and wear bright colors, don't be surprised when you start attracting bees!
Citrus scents work best in warm weather. It always has that fresh smell!

This is a generic body spray that I like to use after a shower and before bed. It's great in the summer because of its refreshing scent.
Clean Fresh Laundry is my favorite perfume for warmer weather. For me it has an all day scent and is so fresh and so clean. Retails at $40 for 1oz.

Another favorite are Philosophy fragrances. Prices vary from $15 up.

*sponsored note
The warm West Coast sun tingling the skin.  The gentle touch of the salty Pacific. The wisp of a cool California breeze.  The heat of celebs that dot the coastline. Inspiration was right in the backyard for the fragrance developers of Laundry by Shelli Segal. It was a natural progression for the fashion-forward design house to introduce their fragrance after perfecting apparel, footwear, handbags, accessories and outerwear. Sexy, on-trend, casual, elegant, daytime, evening, baby showers, business cocktail - Laundry by Shelli Segal is something different for every woman.

Notes of fresh mandarin and wet plum wrapped in guava leaf this intricate, sparkling, floral chypre scent evokes sexiness and playfulness that will leave men wanting more and have women asking what she’s wearing. This chic ensemble unfolds into a textured heart of peonies and fresh cut orange flowers draped over a trendy layer of osmanthus buds. Her silhouette is styled with creamy sandalwood and a lace of patchouli leaf. A sexy finale of amber and deep musk dries down to create a long lasting trail of effortless sophistication.

The signature 3.4 fl. oz. Eau de Parfum Spray (SRP $80) and 1.7 Eau de Parfum Spray (SRP $55).  The pièce de résistance is the gift set which contains a 3.4 fl. oz. Eau de Parfum Spray, 3 fl. oz. Body Lotion, 3 fl. oz. Shower Crème and .33 fl. oz. EDP Roller Ball.  SRP $85 with a value of $126.  A high fashion gift with purchase train case will be offered at department stores across the country.

#2:  A sexy summer smile

Strawberry shortcake. Raspberry granita. Pomegranate mojitos. Fresh blueberries. The fruits of summer are dark, delicious and bursting with juices just waiting to wreak havoc on your smile! Despite their health benefits, dark colored fruits such as berries contain natural pigments that are powerful staining agents that can extend to the surface of teeth. You've seen the commercial, "If you're not whitening, you're yellowing."

On a recent visit to my dentist I asked him about whitening. He said that 
1) professional whitening at the doctors office and at the mall are good for a quick fix. Kind of like a jolt of cappuccino in the morning.
2) But the most effective maintenance is with over the counter whitening strips. He said although they sell prescription strength strips there at the office, the stuff sold in store can be quite effective if used properly and regularly.

That's good news for our budgets!
Over the next two weeks I'm going to try PlusWhite®’s 5 Minute Speed Whitening System!
*from the manufacturer
With the same bleaching oxygenating action of peroxide that dentists use to professionally whiten teeth Plus White®’s 5 Minute Speed Whitening System gives you professional whitening results – in the comfort of your own home – for a fraction of the cost. Whitening begins with the first application by gently and effectively lifting away stains from everyday hazards such as berries, coffee, cola, tobacco and wine. The easy-to-use system includes Plus White®’s Tartar Control Pre-Whitening Rinse, 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel and a mouthpiece. For best results use twice daily by simply squeezing a small amount of the Plus White Speed Whitening Gel into the comfortable cushioned mouth tray for five to fifteen minutes. Noticeably whiter teeth will appear within days.

Plus White®’s 5 Minute Speed Whitening System is available for $10.49 at mass-market retailers nationwide.

So hopefully when it's all said and done, my mouth will glow!

#3:  Bye Bye Bikini Bumps!

No doubt you want to get in the water, be by the water or lay in the sun this summer. 

That requires a bathing suit.


And that means you need to keep your bikini area nice, clean and neat.
We all know that regular maintenance of that area can irritate it.

My tried and true way to PREVENT bumps on the bikini line has been 1) exfoliate every day and 2) put deodorant over the area. 
You must apply the deodorant, spread and pat down.

I promise! It works.

You can also use BikiniZone Medicated After Shave Spray which is specially formulated to provide fast relief from the potential effects of hair removal. 
I like this product because it can sooth bumps you may already have, as well as, having the same preventative effect that my "deodorant" routine does.

*from manufacturer
The unique formula with Pramoxine HCL, a topical anesthetic, penetrates skin to stop irritation, pain and redness in the sensitive bikini area. The portable, easy to use spray allows for targeted care and comfort while the light scent leaves you feeling fresh. Regular use helps prevent in-grown hairs and keep your skin smooth and soft. Bikini Zone will not stain your clothing or bathing suits.  Available nationwide at food, drug and mass-market retailers - $7.99.

This portable-sized spray is great to travel with!

#4:  The ultimate sunscreen

Our shiny star will be on full blast this season. So protect your body and your face...whether you are wearing makeup or not.
Even black people, people!

I was sent Bioelements® RayDefense.  But just use anything that provides at least SPF30 during the summer months. I like this formula because I am pretty active outdoors and the *manufactuer promises "protection for an active, outdoor lifestyle. Its sun-smart technology is a dominant defense against prolonged sun exposure for all skin types. Lightweight and hydrating, Bioelements® RayDefense protects without adding shine."

4oz., $42.00 on, and at fine spas and salons nationwide.

5#:  Supermodel worthy lashes that last through swims, sea, salt air and then some…
Whether you are the gal that never leaves the house without a full face of makeup or you prefer to wear nothing on your mug during the summer, you should know that your eyes make all the difference in looking awake and youthful.

I'm like the latter and prefer minimal makeup these warmer days. But I have learned that I like my face better with the "open eye" look. So, I will always apply eyeliner and mascara.

The absolute minimum: mascara.

During the summer it's hard to keep water out of your eyes: the humidity, the pool and beach, the tears from a wedding or a breakup. Well if you want luscious lashes that stand up to all of those challenges, try HardCandy's Lash Ink. It is a 4 day lash stain that stands the test of time and defies the elements.  

OMG! I tried it this week and it did work.

But, I did not like it for everyday use. I didn't like the feeling of my lashes being hard and stiff going to sleep. That's fine for the daytime, but the 24 hour, 4 day lashes felt like sleeping with false lashes.

I would recommend this product for swimming. Imagine having beautiful, fluttery lashes as you emerge from the pool and into your boyfriend's arms.  
I would recommend for it for wedding days: the bride, the bridesmaids, mother of the bride and groom and guests.

*from manufacturer
Apply Lash Stain and there is no need to reapply for up to 4 days. Lashes can be curled and mascara can be applied directly over Lash Ink.  When mascara is removed, Lash Ink stays in place. 
 Available exclusively at Walmart and - $7.

Remember this product doesn't lengthen or add volume.

So what are your favorite summer items?
Comment below and tell us on Facebook. 

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