Beauty summer essentials 2015

From time to time, I like to post about the beauty and make-up products I’m currently using. If anything, I can look back at my own posts and figure what I used to love a year back. I’ve done this before with this travel beauty post, but I’ve since grown my make up and skin care collection and learned a few new techniques. I plan to downsize my make-up and skin care in the future and keep only what I consider essential, but until then, here’s what I’ve been enjoying this summer.

Sun protection

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Every summer I get obsessed with sun protection. I hate getting burned and I hate going out when the sun is strong, around mid-day, but it’s impossible to stay out of the sun for the whole summer, so that’s why I trust my SPFs. I use Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Emulsion SPF50+ 50ml for my face and Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Spray SPF50+ 200ml for my body, both at the beach and when I’m out and about or when I go for a run (in Norway and in Greece). I’ve been using all sorts of different products through the years, but Avene is perfect for sensitive skin (believe it or not, heavy sunscreens can give you chemical burns or provoke an allergic reaction) so the search is over.

Skin care, hair etc.

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Hair

I have a million products for my hair at home, but this summer I only keep one thing in my summer bag: Crème de Jour Disciplinante by L’Occitane. During Greek summers, I tend to leave my hair on their own, no blow-dry, not too much styling. I have thin, curly hair that tends to look like I came out of the jungle, so I use this creme to give some definition to my curls. It doesn’t hurt that it’s silicone free. As fas as shampoo and conditioner goes, I have a million samples of Aromachologie Repairing Shampoo and Aromachologie Repairing Conditioner, both by L’Occitane. In the summer I tend to wash my hair every day, at least on the days that I go to the beach, so having a mild rehydrating shampoo makes a world of a difference.

Face

I don’t know much about skin care. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with normal skin, that doesn’t need much. I don’t have any specific routine for the summer. For years and years, I’ve been using Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Optimale Rich during winter months when my skin is dryer and switching it up with Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Optimale Light for the summer. This summer I decided to try the version with SPF for the mornings and I’m very happy with it. This is my go-to cream for the past 5 years. I was using a cream for acneic skin before, but in the end it gave me some chemical burns on my cheekbones (not fun) and shifted to this one to relieve the symptoms. I’ve been trusting it ever since and my skin looks better than ever. For my eyes, I’ve been using Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream by The Body Shop. I haven’t noticed any huge difference between the days I use it and the days I don’t, so I’ll probably switch to one from Avene’s range when the tube is empty. I’ve heard good reviews about this one from Body Shop though and I might give it a this winter, on top of my regular cream.

When I am at home, I’ve been using mainly extra virgin coconut oil to take off my make-up. I only need one or two cotton disks slightly wet with water and then dipped into coconut oil. It is by far the best make-up remover I’ve ever used in my life, the cheapest and the only one that doesn’t irritate my skin. It has changed the way I see make-up. However, I haven’t found a nice way to travel with it. So when it comes to traveling, I prefer bi-phase cleansing lotions. Even though they’re meant to be for the eyes and lips, I use them in my whole face. The one I’m currently using is by a Greek (probably) company, Erre Due.

Nails

My all time favorite summer nail polish is Too too hot by Essie. You might have seen me sporting in all year-long as well, as it is my favorite coral-red and the only red that I have. I just love it. To protect my nails from getting stained, I use a base coat by Korres, the best one I’ve ever used (way better than any Essie one I’ve tried and cheaper). I keep both of them in my travel bag to touch up my nails, as they’re nothing worse than red chipped nails. To give myself a perfect manicure on the go, I keep a nail polish corrector pen and some nail polish remover on hand. I just dip the end of the pen in the remover (even though the pen itself is empty). For the summer I don’t use any top coat, because it tends to take so long to dry that I end up messing my nails. Impeccable manicure in 5 minutes!

Perfume

In Athens, you can find all sorts of perfume dupes for different price ranges. I bought my first bottle last year and haven’t looked back since. Especially, after breaking two very expensive bottles of perfume last year, I decided it’s not worth it. I can by the 8 euro bottle, keep it for few months, use it guiltlessly and replace it with a new one next time I’m back to Greece. I also impulse bought the perfect eau de toilette, Belle de Nuit by Fragonard, during my trip in Paris, in March. The bottle contains 200ml of perfume, so I couldn’t risk carrying it from one side of Europe to the other, so I bought a very cute Travalo that is extremely lightweight and has no chance of leaking in my bag.

What are your favorite products this summer?

ps. I’ll be back with my make-up favorites next week!