Well, spring is officially here. No more bundling up or layering on. While I and my wardrobe are partial to cold weather months (it’s easiest to channel Kate Moss in that season), spring and summer are my favorite seasons to shop for two things: shoes and makeup. For some reason, I’m completely obsessive about winter clothes. I love hats, scarves, tights, boots, all with an extreme passion and I tend to totally forget about my face. So when the temperature rises, who do you think is stuck with sallow skin and dry feet? The girl so fascinated by her vintage black slouchy boots that she barely took them off all winter. As I look into my closet and realize I once again have “nothing to wear,” I also think about how shopping for sandals and makeup is so much easier. There’s no whining that eye shadows don’t fit, or that lip gloss is running small. The toughest thing is hoping your self-tanner will turn out right, and if it usually doesn’t, don’t fret! That’s why you’re reading this! This month, Essentials brings you the beauty goods that will get you prepped for your spring and summer wardrobe. Anyone who has ever shopped for a swimsuit pre-tan clearly knows why.
Summer screams glamour. It’s the season for everyone to pretend they’re living it up in Miami, even if they’re actually just hanging out at a random pool. And who better to teach us how to perfect the idea of living it up than Kimora Lee Simmons (we’re sure she’s dropping Russell, not sure if she’s dropping his last name). This spring, she launches her beauty line, KLS, and adds a little drop of her world into your makeup routine. The Glimmer Powder ($22, sephora.com) is genius when dusted across your shoulders and tops of your cheeks. It’s only a light neutral with a touch of pink and makes you shimmer like a gorgeous pair of Lanvin metallic flats, not glitter like a disco ball. If you’re looking for a drop of sunshine, the KLS Golden Glow bronzer is just what you’re looking for. It’s a bronzer with a soft touch of golden shimmer that leaves your face brilliant and glowing in a few swoops of a brush. Brush it across your cheeks and t-zone for a daytime look, but in the evening, it’s brilliant when brushed on the lips in conjunction with a red lipstick. My picks when choosing a red lipstick are Lola’s Kimono Kiss ($18, sephora.com) (a sheer red for those not quite ready to take the plunge) and Nars’ Jungle red ($24, sephora.com) (a blue based red that will make sure teeth shine their whitest with such a potent color).
When turning up the glam factor for summer, don’t forget about your precious lashes. Tarte’s Picture Perfect eyelash curler ($15, sephora.com) will not only open your eyes, but it will look darling as you whip it out during travel. It’s soft metallic lavender grips allow you to get hold of lashes to take them to great lengths. Remember to start with clean lashes (I love Lancôme’s Bi-Facil makeup remover [$23, sephora.com], which always takes everything off beautifully, no tugging or yanking involved!), and start at the root, gently wiggling the brush back and forth until you reach the end of the lashes. Perfect this technique and it will give you great results no matter what mascara you’re using. A failsafe formula is Dior’s Diorshow ($24, sephora.com), which also comes in a waterproof version for summer. While your instincts tell you to go for the standard black and brown, I adore the navy shade for amping up a summer look. While it sounds scary, the blue just makes your eyes look brighter. For more shimmer in the evening, take a look at Benefit’s Show Offs ($16, sephora.com), which are iridescent shimmer powders that can be applied wet or dry. Good shades for everyone are Bambi (a soft peach), High Roller (bright bronze) and Miss Moon (a marshmallow white). Dust any of the above anywhere for a glimmering wakeup. The intense shades of Mint Julep (a golden green) and Curtain Call (a vibrant blue) look best when applied as eyeliner. A great brush to use when applying powder or cake shadows as an eyeliner is Nars’ Push eyeliner brush 02 ($25, sephora.com). Pop Beauty’s Glitter Stix ($8, sephora.com) are easy to carry and come in an abundance of fun colors. Azure (teal flecked with silver) and Nude (glimmering beige) literally dance with bronzed face.
A pop of color is brilliant on any bronzed body, so keep up the brightness with vibrant polishes. Delux Beauty Nail Polish ($11, sephora.com) shines for days in fun colors like Star Daisy (dark orange) and Sweet Tart (potent pink). Paul & Joe have come up with the perfect party neutral with the shade Etoile Scintillante 36 ($12, sephora.com). Packed with every piece of shimmer you’ve ever seen, it leaves nails drenched in a tasteful gold. Anna Sui is no stranger to wild things, and her polishes ($13, sephora.com) are no different. My favorite color is 611. It’s a bright orange base with orange and red flecks of sparkle built in and is surprisingly wearable for everyday. If those bright colors are making you queasy, opt of pure colors with your tan. Sui’s 317 is a pale opaque pink, while 019 is like fresh snow and stars mixed together. The Sephora houseline of nail polishes ($4, sephora.com) has a neutral for everyone. Shades 27-33 are all made for those of us who are super picky and swear that some whites are “too white” and their range of actual colors aren’t too shabby either. I’m loving 04 (strong red orange), 56 (electric blue), and 60 (true sherbet orange) for metallic gold and silver open toes shoes.
Bronzers have reached a new height this summer. Now they’re coming in shades to suit every skin tone and type. While I’m a strong advocate of self-tanners on the body, I always think it’s smarter to opt for a bronzer when dealing with your face. Two Faced Caribbean in a Compact in Sunny Bunny ($25, sephora.com) is the perfect go-to bronzer. The cute compact boasts two shades that magnificently blend to create the perfect sun-kissed glow. If you’re looking for something richer in color, try Guerlain’s Terracotta collection ($38, sephora.com). I love it because it comes in shades, making it easier to choose what’s best for your skin tone. It also has a matte finish for those of us with less than perfect skin. While the most universal shade is Terracotta 1 (soft, subtle bronze), there are three more shades to choose from ensure your face matches up with the rest of you. If you’re looking for a bronzer with a bit of sparkle, check out Urban Decay’s Baked Bronzing Powder ($20, sephora.com) which can be used everywhere, wet or dry. Benefit
’s bronzer, Hoola ($26, sephora.com), is still perfection and becomes even better this year with the arrival of Benefit’s Dallas ($26, sephora.com), a dusty rose blush. When paired, the two create a gorgeous natural summer face that looks natural even on the fairest skin. For those of us who like a liquid bronzer, nothing works better than Becca’s Translucent Bronzer ($34, sephora.com). Face it: liquid bronzers are messy and complicated. Becca’s Bronzer is a gel formula that is lightly tinted to give you a dewy finish. Keep your skin supple with Benefit’s Dear John, moisturizer ($30, sephora.com) which is creamy, but remarkably light. Soft, well moisturized skin will keep your skin’s texture smooth, creating a clean palette for whatever bronzer you pick. No worrying about dry spots that suck up more pigment.
The same policy goes for your body. In order to have an even tan, you need to keep skin exfoliated and moisturized. A great starter to kick off spring is Bliss’ Magnolia Bud-dy System Skin Smoothing kit ($38, sephora.com). The body scrub and moisturizer will keep your body slick, while the hand cream can be popped in your bag or desk drawer. Fresh is maker of all of those scents you want to soak your life in. A refreshing pick from the Bliss collection is their Super Minty Soap n’ Scrub. Packed with cooling ingredients, the scrub comes in a handy tube making it easy to use on troubled rough spots. Their Vanilla + Bergamot Body Buff ($36, sephora.com) is perfect for getting skin smooth, without the worry of it getting to oily. The Fresh Sugar Blossom Body Treatment ($65, sephora.com) is the ultimate in scrubbing luxury. The brown sugar and floral blend is completely intoxicating and once you try it, you’ll be hooked. Indulge in a margarita, minus the hangover, with Philosophy’s Senorita Margarita Hot Salt Scrub ($25, sephora.com). It’s the perfect fixture for any bathtub this summer in its darling bright green jar. You’ll be aching for something salty in no time. Benefit’s Wonderbod Mitt is convenient and easy. One side is a terry, making it ideal for everyday use, while the other side is a loofah that isn’t at all scratchy or hard, but still sloughs away the rough patches in a few swipes. The folks over at DuWop are constantly turning out cult favorites, and their new scrub, DuWop Buttercream Sugar Scrub ($24, sephora.com) is no different. Filled with raw sugar, the scrub leaves skin with the lingering scent of warm sugar cookies, and silky smooth. Exfoliating with a scrub suitable for your skin type is a must for obtaining an even tan. Even if you’re 10 years behind and still tanning in the actual sun, skin always looks it’s best when it’s scrubbed and properly moisturized.
When it comes to self-tanners, everything depends on what you’re comfortable with. If you’ve done self-tanning for years, you know your way around the mousses, gels, lotions and sprays. For beginners, I suggest a mousse or spray formula. Both are easy to blend. With mousses, you can choose a tinted version that allows you to see where it goes. St. Tropez is an old favorite of self-tanning veterans for its even application. While the 3-step program may be a bit tedious for some (thought it does work wonders), the brand now brings us a nifty mousse. St. Tropez Whipped Bronze Self Tanning Mousse ($24, sephora.com) instantly gives you a deep, dark tint that the brand is known for. For a tan that lasts longer than the usual tan-in-a-can, reach for Fake Bake’s Self-Tanning Sheer Chocolate Mousse ($24, sephora.com). While creating a deep hue, the mousse immediately soaks into your skin and never feels sticky afterwards. For a mousse formula that creates a bit of shimmer along with a tan, opt for Lancome’s Flash Bronzer Mousse ($29.50, sephora.com). In about an hour, you’ll have a golden tan that will shine more than the sun.
I’m a huge advocate of spray tanners. They’re less messy and easier to use usually, if you’re using the right ones. Lancôme’s Flash Bronzer collection strikes again with its self-tanning body spray ($28.50, sephora.com). The concoction is weightless. Simply spray on clean, dry skin and blend in. The beauty of sprays is that they usually contain a lower pigment level, allowing an even tan to develop more quickly. Even when you have a streak or two, sprays are soft enough that you don’t end up with harsh lines. ModelCo has maybe perfected the art of self-tanning with their Tan Airbrush In A Can ($28-$36, sephora.com). The spray mists on in such a fine, smooth demeanor that there’s no need to blend it in. Simply spray it on, let it dry and you’re set. The nozzle completes a 360 degree turn, ensuring your golden brown in any spot you wish. This is perfect for those of us with no indentured significant other who are usually required to blend in sprays and mousses in hard to reach places.
After you’re glowing, offset your hard work with products made to show off a glorious tan. This spring, Sephora introduces their Super Sheen Bronzing Mist ($18, sephora.com). The mist leaves skin with the scent of warm coconut and a gleaming shine. For a sexy scent, try Benefit’s Flamingo Fancy ($24, sephora.com). The white ginger and plumeria scent make a steamy night out even hotter and skin drinks up the toasty bronzer. The most luxurious thing to pair with a tan is still Nars’ Body Glow ($59, sephora.com).The easy-to-use bottle is almost as sleek as you’ll be after rubbing this onto your shoulders and shins. It’s the fastest way to get model-perfect skin for a night out, or on a regular basis. Nothing goes better with spring’s frothy dresses than shimmering tan skin.
Spring’s fashions are streamlined this year. The contrast of a deep tan, glowing face and glam makeup alongside white shorts, five inch espadrilles and pale dresses is priceless. And while creeping into those things may take some
getting used to (I honestly do not want to abandon skinny jeans tucked into boots!), the right beauty products will definitely make the transition easier.