Monday, July 05, 2010

My Summer Bag Essentials

Every season I find myself with a short list of items I don't want to be without. They go with me on day trips, long weekends and generally live in my purse. Some of them are perennial favorites, other are new releases. Do you have any recommendations or recent discoveries for summer?

1. Sensai by Kanebo Silky Bronze Sun Protective Cream (SPF 30). No matter what, I don't leave the house without it and I'm happy to report the only color on my face comes from tubes and compacts. Not a hint of tan.

2. Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment Fluid. A combination of effective skin care and a tinted moisturizer and nothing short of a miracle. Review coming soon.

3. Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil. I liked these crayons when they were released last year, and my love for them has grown exponentially since then. Easy, pretty and reliable, never messy and practically fool-proof.

4. Powder- No matter what other products you wear in summer, finish it off with a good, finely milled powder, otherwise it's like you've wasted your makeup.  My favorites come from Guerlain, Le Metier de Beaute, Chantecaille, Youngblood Minerals and Lancome. They all perform well and make sure my face don't look like a puddle.

5. Light scarves, heavy bracelets- Accessorizing in summer sometimes feels too exhausting and futile. We go into arctic air-conditioned spaces and back out into the sun, humidity or heavy afternoon thunderstorm. It's uncomfortable at best, and disgusting the rest of  the time. I keep my statement jewelry on my hands instead of my neck- big and interesting bracelets and bangles add that extra touch without collecting sweat. A light scarf is more versatile than a cardigan- I wrap it over my shoulders when the a/c gets too much and use it to keep the sun out.

6. Tauer Perfumes- Orange Star. It's hard to sum this perfume in a couple of sentences and a full review is coming by the end of the week. All I'll say here is that this dry orange incense is a perfect combination of clean and sunny. Oh, and also gorgeous.

7. Kanebo Sensai SilkyBronze Soothing After Sun Mask.  I've become a sun block zealot, but I still go out of the house. While the sun screen has makes sure I don't get any color, my skin still feels like it can use some TLC after a 90 degree day. The mask cools, calms and makes the face look and feel alive. It's also an essential before a night out on town after a long hot day.

8. Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes- These environmentally-friendly wipes are wonderfully soft and gentle, do a good cleanup job and are great for a quick freshening up without irritating or drying the skin. There's no residue left and you can redo your makeup on the go right away. The bears on the package always make me smile.

9. Lush Silky Underwear Powder. A great combination of powder and moisturizing cocoa butter that I have yet to see anywhere else. It feels great especially on humid and sticky days and for a Lush product even the scent is ok. I'm on my third jar.

10. Vicks Vapor Rub- The ultimate feet treatment. Seriously. It heals, softens, prevents odor and performs better than anything I've ever tried.

Photo by Nina Leen for Life Magazine, 1946


  1. that Vicks Vapor rub tip is interesting. I'm going to have to try that out. Do you just rub it in or slather it on and then put socks on?

  2. What a useful and timely column! I can't function without a good tinted SPF moisturizer or a nice facial powder, either. Same goes for the light scarves; I have a few favorites, from fancy to street-purchases. And I always carry a few Herban Essentials towelettes for me, to refresh myself after any particularly sweaty delays in humid subway stations.

  3. Great post! I love light scarves in summer too, I tend to reach for big, dangly earrings and keep my hair swept off my neck.

  4. I'd like to read the specifics of the VapoRub application as well...

  5. the Vicks thing is so bizarre! I will have to try it!!

  6. Just wanted to let you know I LOVE reading your blog! You are a wealth of good information!

  7. luv2smile and Tom, I do both, according to need. It's good as a pre-pedi step, a cure for cracked heels and a regular foot maintenance treatment.

  8. Jessica, we should compare bag content next time we meet :)
    I don't even want to think how the subway smelled the last couple of days.

  9. Stefanie, you've got the right idea with the earrings. My ears aren't pierced and clip ons aren't the best idea in the summer, so I don't get to do that, but I love the look on others.

  10. Donna, thank you very much :)


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