Ok, ladies, this weekend is Memorial Day weekend and that means it’s the unofficial kickoff to summer so now is the time to start getting ready for the summer months. Everyone wants to look and feel their best, especially during summer. Whether you experience a mild summer, hot summer or a blazing hot summer, one thing is for sure you want to be prepared for what the heat brings. I’ve compiled a list of must-have products to help you look and feel your best for the summer.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links & I will earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. All the products below are ones that I personally use and love. I wouldn’t put anything in this post that I haven’t personally used and recommend.
1. Whole 30- The 30-Day Guide to Total Health & Food Freedom Book: Before you start thinking, “Oh, it’s another gimmicky diet for the summer”. Wrong, this is a program that helps with a lifestyle change, not a quick scheme to drop pounds. Don’t let me lose you here, this book provides you with a tough love approach and truly helps guide you to a healthier lifestyle. Don’t buy the book thinking you will lose weight (even though that is a perk to this program) but read it because you want to feel your best. It’s not a fix-all to health problems and concerns however you’ll be surprised that you’ll find yourself sleeping better, feeling more energetic and looking more refreshed. It does provide a strict guideline for the most successful results but don’t become overwhelmed, it’s not as difficult once you get into the program. I am currently on my 5th round. I like to complete rounds every few months to rebalance my body. Don’t take my word for it, give it a try yourself! The Whole 30 book sells for $18 and is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Jet.com, and Target.com.
2. Exfoliants: Now that you have the Whole 30 book guiding you to feeling your best let’s find the best products to prepare your skin for applying self-tanner. Since you want your self-tanner to look flawless and natural you’ll need to find a great exfoliant that is gentle on your skin while it quickly exfoliates all the dead skin. The first one, The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Microdermabrasion*, I use for my face because it is gentle and the grit is very fine and exfoliates without causing any irritation to my skin. It is exclusively sold at The Body Shop for $23.00 for a 3.3oz tube. (Note- the packaging has been updated and does include more ounces than the tube seen in the picture.) I would recommend waiting until they have a Buy 3 Get 3 Sale, it makes the product much more affordable.
The second exfoliant that I highly recommend is the Target brand Apricot Scrub* which when comparing the ingredients to the St. Ives brand, is the same ingredients but a few dollars cheaper. The apricot scrub can be found at Target for only $2.72. Do be aware there are two versions one is for blemishes and one is not, so be sure to grab the correct one.
3. Sunless Tanners: Now that your skin is prepped and
ready for color, let’s turn to a safe way of looking as though you’ve spent hours in the sun. A good sunless tanner provides a natural golden tan without leaving you looking orangey, blotchy and frankly like an “Oompa Loompa”. The price range varies but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve your desired color.
My picks for the best sunless tanners are the Million Dollar Tan Face*, and Banana Boat-Summer Color. Both are easy to apply, look natural, are streak-less and last a solid week before fading naturally. The Million Dollar Tan* can be purchased on Amazon.com while the Banana Boat-Summer Color can be found on Jet.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com. The Banana Boat-Summer Color (Deep Dark Color) is one of my favorites to apply to my body. The color does develop over time however if you haven’t reached your desired color it’s easy to apply additional tanner later in the day. The lotion is tinted so it’s easy to see where the product has been applied. I do recommend waiting until it’s fully dried before dressing because the color will rub off onto your clothing or sheets. It washes out without a problem but it’s just easier to wait for the product to fully dry.
4. Aloe Vera: Okay, so you’ve decided to not use the self-tanning approach instead wanted to enjoy the rays of the sun by laying out a tad too long or perhaps you were busy with outdoor activities and the next thing you know you are burned to a crisp. What do you do when you’re in pain and are as red as a lobster? Grab a can of Solarcaine! Hand’s down this is my very favorite brand of aloe vera. Time and time again this saved my skin (before I decided to go the sunless route). I love this brand because you spray it on your burned skin. You never have to touch your burning skin to rub it in plus it soothes the burning sensation that often accompanies a sunburn as well as it helps moisturize the skin. It’s alcohol-free so there is no chance that this will dry out your skin, unlike some aloe vera products that do contain alcohol. This is the only brand I’ll ever buy again. I have found with minor sunburns, if this is applied immediately it saved my skin from peeling, which is another plus! I make sure that I always have a spare can around because you never know when you may need it. It’s also great to provide relief from pain or itching caused by minor burns, cuts, scrapes and insect bites. Very easy to use and no sticky substance sticking to clothing or bedding. This is a must have for any time of the year! Look for it in the sun care section inside stores or find it easily at Amazon.com, Jet.com, and Walmart.com. The average price is about $7.00 for a 6 oz can.
5. Foot File: Your body is either sporting a golden tan from the bronzer or recovering well from the unfortunate sunburn so let’s turn to the feet now. We want our feet to look well maintained so how do we get those silky heels? One device that will largely help with calloused heels is the foot file from Magnifeko. There are more expensive brands of foot files available such as Amope or Dream Walk by Dr. Scholls but why spend more money on name brands when you can find one that is just as reliable but about $13 cheaper. If money isn’t a problem then the name brands are great but if you’re on a tighter budget and would like the same features without skimping on quality I’d buy Magnifeko. I can go months between charges with normal use (once every couple of weeks). You don’t want to overdo it otherwise you could make your heels bleed. So less is better. If you’re tired of rough, cracked heels this brand of foot file is pretty reliable. You can find it on Amazon.com for $24.95. (Note- I did receive this foot file at a discount in exchange for an unbiased review. But my review was in no way influenced by the discount.)
6. Nail Polish: Your feet are prepped and ready for polish. There are so many colors to choose from and whether you favor bright, bold colors or soft, light colors you want to find the perfect color to compliment your toes and fingers. So how do you decide what color to choose? Easy, pick the color that will help you make a statement. I have picked 6 colors that are sure to get you compliments. Each color is priced around $1.99 so they’re not only great looking but affordable too!
Easy Going is a soft, creamy pink that looks great on fingers. This is a remarkable color not only during the summer but throughout the year. It’s in the pink family but it’s very subtle and complimentary to any outfit. It’s neutral enough that it can be worn in the workplace without drawing unnecessary attention. The color can be found at Jet.com and Target.com.
I love this color because it’s a bold color that has a mix of purple and pink within it. Outrageous is a great toe color, it can be worn on the fingers but it is a bold color so if you’re not used to wearing a bright color on your fingers it can be a bit much. I love the shine that the color emits making your toes sparkle in the sunlight. (I also have a very helpful hint to getting this color out of carpet-Leave a comment below if you would like to know the secret).
Island Coral* is the top coral color for the summer. (You can read all about the color by clicking on the above link connecting to a previous post.) It’s the perfect combination of orange, pink and peach! It looks great on both toes and fingers. You can find the color at Jet.com, Kmart.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com.
24/7 is a bright pink color that looks amazing on the toes. It’s more of a darker bubble gum pink than a plain regular pink. The creamy color glides easily onto the nails without any streaks. I’d recommend two coats in order to achieve the desired boldness and coverage. 24/7 can be purchased at Jet.com, Kmart.com, Target.com and Walmart.com
The name of the polish is Lavender which normally would be thought of as a pastel color, however, this color is not pastel but bold, creamy and gorgeous for summer. It’s not the traditional summer color however it’s a color that looks great on both fingers and toes. It’s a nice change from the pinks and purples that are often seen during the summer months. With just one coat of this color, it provides great coverage and is an eye grabber when on the nails. Lavender can be purchased at Jet.com and Kmart.com.
Mint Apple is such a bright shimmery color that looks great on both fingers and toes. It’s definitely mint in color so the green has more depth than a sea green. I do recommend a couple of coats in order to achieve complete coverage of the nails. It’s a bright color with the perfect amount of shimmer, not overly glittery in appearance. So pretty! Interested in Mint Apple? It can be found at Jet.com, Kmart.com, Target.com and Walmart.com.
7. Flip Flops: Your toenails are looking all pretty and now you need comfortable yet affordable flip flops to wear while running errands or going to the beach. My #1 pick for flips would be Old Navy. They are super comfortable and when you can get them on sale especially during their $1 sale it’s worth stocking up on the new and traditional colors for the summer. (This weekend they are a $1 for cardholders). I have pairs of flip flops that I have had for several years and even though they show some wear to them they are just as comfortable and functional as they were when I first bought them. Old Navy always has a wide selection of colors and styles so I can literally walk in and find the perfect color to match any outfit or shirt. Check out the newest colors and styles for yourself…Black & White Palm Trees, Hot Sizzle, and Tropical Vacation.
8. Dry Shampoo: It’s hot outside and your hair needs a little pick me up to look as fresh and clean as it did the day before. It’s time to reach for a quality dry shampoo. The Tressemmé brand gives volume to limp hair yet isn’t sticky or stinky. I have tried a few different ones and this one comes out on top.
I have been using Tresemmé for years and I love the lightness of the product. It does a great job at providing volume to limp hair. It has a pleasant scent that freshens up even the dullest of hair. Despite it providing volume it does not make the hair stiff. The 4.3 oz bottle can easily be found at Jet.com, Target.com and Walmart.com. The prices vary between $4.50-$5.00.
9.Tote Bag: Now that you’re looking your best you are ready to do a little traveling. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a road trip, beach day or a flight taking you to paradise, a spacious and durable bag is essential. Not wanting to skimp on style, you want a reliable bag to get you through your travels and even use as an everyday bag when you are home. The Under One Sky reversible tote bag from Target is a great everyday and travel bag. The tote is $34.99 and includes a removable wristlet and since it’s reversible you can choose what color you want on display to match your outfit. The straps are strong and can withstand a good amount of weight. The tote measures 19.75H x 12.5W x 5D which is plenty spacious. As a helpful note, in order to keep the tote organized on a daily basis, I’d recommend using cosmetic bags within the tote, to keep from losing smaller items in the tote. It’s faux leather but it looks very nice and like a quality bag.
10. Handheld Personal Mister: The last item that I highly recommend for the hot summer days is a hand-held personal mister. This mister helps keep you cool in so many different situations such as sporting events, walking around amusement parks, children’s athletic games and practices, picnics, gardening and really any outdoor activity. I’ve had mine for a few years now and am still surprised how handy it is when the weather creeps up to insanely hot temperatures. The mister is super convenient to carry since it’s about the size of a sports bottle. It works amazingly well and has become an essential accessory for the summer. The pictured mister was bought a few years ago at Home Depot so unfortunately, they aren’t selling the exact one. However, they are selling a comparable one for $12.99 Arctic Cove. About midsummer, they have in the past put them on sale so you could snatch one up for under $10.
These 10 items will help make your summer a little more pleasant while helping you to look your best! What are some of your summer essentials? Comment below….
Note: The items with an asterisk are items that I have written a detailed review about in previous posts. If there are items in this post that you would like to see a more detailed review on please comment below.
(Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.)