Our beauty fairy Julia Alfert on her top 5 must-haves for the summer: handy, nourishing, and refreshing
My beauty year runs a course all its own: in fall, I need products to prepare – my skin is adapting, my hair is getting used to central heating again, and my body to the idea of being packed into Norwegian sweaters. In the winter, wearing those aforementioned coarse knits, I’m always on the hunt for bath additives, rich creams, and oils. In the spring it all gets cleaned out, a spring cleaning you could say: then the utmost purging and tightening can find a way into my bathroom cabinet. And in the summer?
Yes, and now in summer I’d much rather do away with everything except the sunblock. Mostly because I just returned from a trip through South America with only a very light bag and recognized how light (in the truest sense of the word) and carefree I felt without my usual care routine, all the bottles and tubes that go with it. That doesn’t mean in the slightest that I’ll being giving it all up for good – I’m far too curious for that and love trying out new creams and oils too much. But, it’s nice to realize that you can go for a long time without and still shine. From within, of course.
It was with this feeling of liberation that I approached this article and put together a small selection of must-haves for the summer. And it’s only five products, which means I’m even more sure about them: they’re a must for your holiday suitcase, weekender, or your bag for a trip to the beach.
After you’ve applied sunscreen over your whole body, you want to wash your hands. But then they’re completely clean and, of course, unprotected. In any case, they’re exposed to natural light the entire year round. That leads to the hands being the first thing, in most cases, to look “old”. The solution to this beauty problem is Fabulous Hands Crème in the spray bottle by Margaret Dabbs.
The transparent cream is easily sprayed on the hands and isn’t just moisturizing, but is also SPF 30. A light, scented film lays over the skin – which can still breathe. Not sticky or smeary. The only way you’ll recognize later that you did put cream on your hands is the discreet and fresh scent of mandarins and geraniums, and I can happily live with that.
We’re going to keep going with sprays because they’re so beautifully easy and practical. This time it’s a face spray – and what a face spray! Even the name of the brand, Coola, sounds refreshing. And their Makeup Setting Spray doesn’t have to be used as one. I use almost zero make-up, and especially not in the summer. But I’ve wanted a spray-on sunscreen made for the face for a long time and was really excited when I struck it rich with the California brand Coola, which makes organic – and still luxurious – sun protection products. With SPF 30, a pleasant sunscreen scent, and a texture that goes weightlessly onto the skin like a light mist, this spray sun protection advanced to one of my summer must-haves.
You probably won’t fall in love with the packaging – but all the more so for what’s inside!
I wash my face at the moment just with lukewarm water (I’m afraid that either too cold or too hot will stress my already transparent skin and make my blood vessels more visible, that’s what a dermatologist told me and I’ve believed it since). That was proven on my travels, as one or two cleansing products could safely be left out for a while. In addition, there’s something else that brings many care steps together into one: the DMAE Firming Pads by Perricone MD. I’m using these at the moment after washing with water to wash away the last bits of dirt. Afterwards I actually don’t need anything else because these pads, soaked with toner and caring ingredients, are enough. They smell wonderful, moisturize and freshen skin, which feels toned but not tight.
Just as I get excited when I look out the window and see the sun shining, I get excited when I discover the 365 Sun Compact by Lancaster in the bathroom or in my bag. It looks so beautiful, like out of another time. The retro brown works as well in my grandmother’s green-tiled bathroom as it does in an orange hammock under a few palm trees. And this creamy compact powder has a many other advantages as well: it protects with Full Light Technology (a new formula for complete protection) and SPF 30 against skin damage from the sun and other environmental causes. It conceals small imperfections without too thick of coverage. And it conjures up a beautiful, gently tanned complexion through a Tan Activator Complex. I use the lightest shade (light glow) and imagine that I’m making my disappearing Cuba-tan last a little longer.
I can’t go without a lip care product. Of course, pure coconut oil always works and a rich cream can be used as lip balm as well. But like I said, the search for new products is just too much fun to stay with the tried-and-tested. And as you know, those who look will find. Like myself at the moment – and with the brand Saint Clouds, which produces everything from soap to hand cream by hand in Munich using pure natural ingredients, and avoiding synthetic additives.
The lip balm that I’m taken with smells and tastes like fresh lemon balm and lime – a little like the caipirinha that I just drank on the beach of Ipanema in Rio. That’s how I get that ultimate summer feeling back, and soft lips to boot. The brand has turned “I want you naked” into its motto.
And for the last, one especially nice discovery: before you are actually on your holiday, most of the time you have to get there – and with small travel sizes that are allowed in your carry-on, the Flight Kit by Susanne Kaufmann has proven to be a good travelling companion on road trips as well as long-haul flights. The Leg-and-Vein Spray cools and refreshes, turning fallen-asleep feet lively and heavy legs light. The Moisturizing Spray for the face refreshes dry skin with calming and moisturizing extracts as well as combating that musty plane smell. With the sanitizing Hand Spray Purif-i, cleansing vegetable alcohol that contains nourishing elements of arnica gets your hands clean so that they can rub a bit of this Moisturizing Mask on your face. You just let this sink in like a cream – it contains bee’s wax and hazel nut oil to turn dried out skin smooth. And for especially demanding skin areas and those spots reddened through travel stress, try a little Nutrient Concentrate – the name says it all. And what, of course, shouldn’t be missing from your travel kit? Exactly: lip balm. This Balm for one of the most demanding parts of the body is definitely in it. They thought of everything, without being too much of anything!
translation: melissa frost
Originally from Hamburg, Julia Alfert moved to Berlin from Paris in 2010. After completing her studies in Art History and trying out different jobs, her path led her to Harper’s Bazaar, where she worked as Fashion & Beauty Assistant until mid 2015. While she’s harboured a love for all things beauty-related for as long as she can remember, her discovery of the written word is recent. When Julia isn’t busy trying out different creams, oils, and sprays she writes and styles for an assortment of magazines and websites.