I know, I know, loving the sun/the summer is hardly a novel idea, but here’s a secret: I used to be really apathetic toward this sunny season. I love winter (maybe it’s the Canadian in me? Maybe it’s juist my obsession with Christmas?), and though I enjoyed a break from school between the months of June to August, I was sort of eh about the actual season.
THAT ALL CHANGED LAST YEAR. Remember the Winter of 2015? How totally dreadful and unending it was? Honestly, there were a few days–during April snowstorms–that I was actually convinced spring (let alone summer) would never arrive. It was storm after storm after power outage after snow day. I was honestly morphing into the Ice Age squirrel. When summer did finally arrive, in like July, I was determined to make the absolute most of the season!
That summer, I aimed to get to the beach or lake whenever possible, I tried to take walks in the sun everyday, and I drove with the windows down always. I went on picnics, runs to the library, and took total advantage of the fact that I live on a peninsula aka there is water everywhere. I swam even when the water was icy, even when there was an abundance of jelly fish, even when I’d just straightened my hair.
I lived for summer. I read only summer-themed books. I pinned only sunshine tattoos on Pinterest. I made the best, upbeat playlists.
2015 made a summer fan out of me, and I’m so excited that we’re finally back in this #blessed season. Here are some of my fav summer essentials!!
I will not step outside in the summertime unless I’m fully coated in sunscreen. I am a pale red-head. Genetics are not on my side when it comes to skin cancer, so I like to be extra cautious. Or maybe just cautious enough? Either way, I’m pro-sunscreen. My fav is Neutrogena’s Dry Touch because it doesn’t leave your body feeling sticky or looking shiny. It comes in a small-ish bottle and it is sort of pricey, so I save this stuff for outdoor events: weddings, concerts, ice cream dates. For a regular day at the beach, I’m a total Hawaiian Tropic girl. It goes on easy, works well, and smells great! It’s also much cheaper than Neutrogena, and perfect when you’re in and out of the water and need to reapply often!
I. Swear. By. St. Tropez. I will never buy another self-tanner for as long as I shall live. No more lotions, no more drug store sprays in an attempt to “save money,” no more streaky orange legs. I am Edward Cullen level pale–minus the sparkling–and since I am so very committed in my relationship with sunscreen, self-tanner is my saving grace. It adds the perfect amount of color without being streaky or obvious or orange or *INSERT ANY OTHER NEGATIVE SELF-TANNING ADJECTIVE HERE.* A bottle will cost around $40-50, but it will also last you a long time! I’m a special events type tanner, so I don’t maintain the glow all summer long. Because of that, I still have a bottle I bought two summers ago!
The first time I used this, I followed the instructions of a YouTube tutorial, which basically told me: 1. Use the mitt. 2. Exfoliate first. 3. Moisturize dry areas, i.e. knees, ankles, elbows, upper arms. 4. Apply roughly 30 minutes before bed. VIOLA. When you wake up in the morning, jump in the shower. A lot of tan is going to go down the drain, but don’t worry–it’s just the streaky stuff leaving–and you’ll be left with an even glow. If you want to go darker, do the same thing the next night!
ANY BEACH READ
I literally hate that somehow the expression “beach read” is synonymous with shallow read, because ANY BOOK IS A BEACH READ IF YOU TAKE IT TO THE BEACH. I am cruising through a massive stack of library books this summer! I just finished reading The Rose and the Dagger (sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn) while at the beach, and I can’t wait to share my review of Julie Buxbaum’s Tell me Three Things next week. Also on my summer to-read list: Emma Straub’s The Vacationers, and her newest book, Modern Lovers, and a re-read of Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun. If I also have time to re-read basically every Sarah Dessen book ever, well then–go me!
The product featured in my photo is Rimmel London’s WAKE ME UP Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch, and my tube is so old I’m actually not even sure it’s still made. That said, HIGHLIGHTER IS EVERYWHERE. If you have a Sephora gift card burning a hole in your wallet, I recommend the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. It makes you look like an angel. I know this because I very frequently “borrow” my sister’s sample size compact from her bedroom. If you do not want to spend $46 on highlighter (I do not blame you, neither do I), you have to let your angelic-ness shine from within! We are the human versions of ~don’t judge a book by its cover.~ Really though, go wild with bronzer and highlighter. It’s summer, you have a nice fake tan, why not?
SPF Lip Balm
Because guess what, kiddos? Lips can get skin cancer, too. (I should have just named this post OBSESSED WITH: NOT GETTING SKIN CANCER!) I know, I know, Maybelline Baby Lips are so three years ago, but who really wants to bring a mirror to the beach to apply a matte color????? NOT ME. I love the Pink Punch Baby Lips! It has just enough color, a nice smell, AND SPF. Other note-worthy mentions: Blistex. It’s cheap. It works. It smells fresh. And Hawaiian Tropic SPF 45+ lip balm. I don’t love that this smells (and tastes) like actual sunscreen, but it has SPF 45, which is an upgrade from my other choices, and it’s perfect for the super hot days or, like, a trip to Disney.
What are your summer obsessions? Do you have any non-$46 highlighter recommendations for me? Let me know and I’ll love you forever!