It’s that time of year again, the season of tanned skin, gleaming bronzers, flowvy dresses, sun hats and all that good stuff- SUMMER!
What’s there not to love?! Especially the adorable fashion and trends this season. Before these sun-filled days begin, there are a few essentials to consider before hitting the beach! Here’s my quick sum up of must haves to combat the heat and be summer ready!
1. Latter on the sunscreen
No matter where you’re going during the day – the office, stroll on the beach, or car trip, do not forget to apply your sunscreen. This is also important for the winter months as well but that is an entirely different discussion. For some this may seem like a hassle, especially for those of darker complexion who have the misconception they neither are immune to the sun nor need sunscreen. Regardless of your skin complexion, sunscreen SPF protection is essential for all! Your skin will thank you!
Another issue I hear and I can attest to this myself is “sunscreen is so thick and leaves a white film on my skin- I hate it”. This is a valid complaint and I found myself being wary of sunscreen due to the fact of its rather thick and distinct consistency. This is where you will need to do your due diligence. Don’t opt for the cheapest sunscreen at your nearest pharmacy. Spend some time testing and trying various brands and I guarantee you will find the one best suited for your skin. This is especially true when purchasing a SPF sunscreen moisturizer for the face, which I’ll briefly touch upon later. If need be, visit different stores and ask for samples (trust me, retailers would be more than happy) and test various brands and types. I did this myself and found an amazing SPF 33 moisturizer for the face and body from Shiseido. I purchased it at Sephora last summer for $41.00 (CND). Mine you I only use this SPF cream on my face but it has lasted me over a year despite using it every day (it’s worth the price). I would definitely recommend it! You can check it out at http://www.ca-e.shiseido.com/sc/product/view.asp?S=12572
What’s great about this sunscreen is its dual use- body and face. It extremely rare for me to agree with using something that can be used on the body and face but honestly this is my only exception. Firstly there is absolutely zero oily, cakey feeling. That thick, white layer is nonexistent. This SPF is extremely light, absorbs quickly into the skin, and does not clog your pores – all important qualities to me. This SPF may not be right for you but I advise taking the time to sort through the many brands on the market and find your match. Protection is key during this season- for the face and body.
2. Water waves
Water, water, water- repeat x 100. This should be your summer mantra. Water is extremely important during these heated months. It’s good for the body and soul. With heat exhaustion comes a dehydrated body which is not good. Many have the mistaken belief that you must literally drink 6-8 actual glasses of water to gain the necessary water for the body every day. This is not necessarily true. We gain a good amount of water from the food we intake into our bodies. Chose water rich fruits and vegetables such as berries, melons, grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers. These foods are not only good for you but come loaded with water thereby taking the pressure off to guzzle down 8 glasses every day. Let’s face it, were all busy people and don’t have the time to be the bathroom all day disposing of all that water. A helpful tip is too bring a reducible water bottle with you at all times (or most times). It will remind you to have your daily water intake in moderation.
3. Be feet ready
Your feet are your summer hands- everyone sees them! They are out there and exposed to all so make sure they are in their best shape possible. Treat your feet well. Just like your hands, you use them every day and they are more insight during these hot summer months. Take the time to show them some love! Treating yourself for a relaxing pedicure does wonders for your feet and body. It’s a time to unwind and refrain from the demands of your busy schedule. Choose fun, flirtatious summer colors that pop in your flip flops, wedges, and sandals. Show a bit of your personality! For those on a budget, treat yourself to a home pedicure. It’s easy and requires a few tools and products from your local beauty store (some which you should already have). For the basics you’ll need:
· Foot scrub
· Pumice stone
· Foot file
· Nail clipper
· Cuticle clipper
· Toe separator
· Base polish
· Clear nail polish
· Nail polish color of your choice
You can follow these basic steps for your home pedicure:
1. Cut and trim nails until desired length. Should ideally be kept short and neat.
2. File in one direction to ensure all ridges and unevenness are gone.
3. Cut cuticles if necessary.
4. Soak feet in warm water for 1-2 minutes. This should soften your feet.
5. You will need a dime size of foot scrub per foot. Gently apply on the feet in circular motions for approximately 1 minute
6. Rinse off with Luke warm water
7. Apply pressure with your pumice stone and scrub the bottom of the feet, including heels. Be sure to target spots with rough skin.
8. Rinse off with Luke warm water and pat dry with towel or clothe
9. Insert pair of toe separators
10. Apply base coat of nail polish, followed by the nail color of your choice
11. Let dry and finish off with a top, clear coat
12. Wonderful feet J
Hope my tips have been helpful! Enjoy the heat and superb weather!
Nail Care Basics
Ladies we’ve all faced the annoyance of a broken nail. It’s something we can all empathize with and absolutely hate with a passion. We think to ourselves with frustration “ugh now I gotta cut them all” or simply “f@$$%!!!” and your mood flips a switch. This is a common irritation many of us encounter and I hear it all the time. A close girlfriend of mine asked me about her issues with nail breakage and I thought since this is a collective problem we fabulous ladies face, it would be a great topic to blog about.
Here is my opinion. Personally I have always preferred real nails over those fake, annoying plastics things glued on top of my fingernails. I know they look pretty and all but really when you think about it, the consequences far outweigh the benefits. Let’s face it, they begin to grow out in the blink of an eye, within a week you have got to fill them in to maintain its “fresh” look or you just end up looking ghetto, not to mention how extremely damaging they are for your real nails and costly. My motto is if you can grow and take of the real thing, it’s always the better option.
The key is to understand your nails better. They are not just a piece of nothing. Your nails function as a protective plate and enhance the sensation of your fingertips. They are supposed to be strong and tough and require as much care and treatment as your skin but is too often overlooked and neglected. Most look to treat there hands and forget the importance of their nails. Trust me, your nails are just as hungry as your skin for moisture, water, and oils. These are essential components necessary to keep them strong and brittle-free. Your nails are a living, breathing thing-they crave and require water just like any other part of the body. Now imagine what happens when you place a fake nail on top-it suffocates it to death (not good at all!!). Hence, avoid fake nails if possible. Get them for special occasions if you need too but I would suggest giving a shot growing them.
Many of you may also deal with the ongoing aggravation of actually growing your nails to your desired length without having one or two break half way- I share this pain with many of you. If you desire mid-length to long nails here are from helpful tips I use to ensure my nails remain healthy and damage-free:
1. Get rid of the nail clipper. Say NO to the clippers and bring out the nail files. Using chunky or even small nail clippers can do heavy damage to your nails. Remember, your nails are very delicate and you don’t ever want to place it under such harsh pressure. By continuously pressing down on your nails, this creates a triggering effect that results to weak, brittle nails, basically meaning a heighten chance of more breakage. We do not want this! Instead opt for your trusty nail file. It’s crucial to understand when filing your nails, only do so in one consistent motion (either right or left). Do not file in a back and forth motion as this will also encourage breakage and damage your nails. Simply file your nails to your desired length and neatly shape them. It’s that easy!
2. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize. Repeat x100. Ok well not that many times but I hope you get the point. Just like your skin, your nails have an appetite for oils and water. During winter it needs these things even more and than ever. Always keep a hand moisturizer on hand- one which treats hands and nails is even better. I also suggest actually using tiny drops of moisturizer on each nail and massaging it in to ensure your nails are actually receiving the oils needed.
3. Reduce hot water exposure. This is a biggy. I know we all love our hot showers and washing our hands in hot water but try and avoid it with the best of your abilities- I’m still trying myself. Hot water not only leaves your hands and nails extremely dry, it actually strips out the necessary oils leading to that dreadful pealing effect on the nail we all hate. When using hot water for various activities (i.e. washing dishes) try using a pair of rubber gloves. This will keep your hands and nails protected from the hot water wrath and reduce peeling.
4. The foundation is key. Like building a house, you’ve got to do it from the ground up to ensure it’s secure. The same goes for your nails. Chipped nails stems from breakage and you’ve got to get to the root of the issue before seeing any change. For those of you who get chipped nail polish and breakage (which is like 99.9999% of us), I’d give a base coat a try. I know it is another “step” but it has a positive residual effect. Go to your nearest beauty store or drug store and look for a anti-breakage base coat. I would wear it alone for a week or so (without any polish to follow) as a treatment to repair your nails. Then I would suggest wearing it every time you wear nail polish as it will continuously treat and condition your damaged nails.
One last thing. This is a helpful tip for anyone who gets stained nails after removing nail polish. Get some lemon juice, preferably use a fresh lemon and squeeze some of its juice. Pour it into a bowl and soak your fingernails for about 3 to 5 minutes. Lemon has whitening properties and will therefore diminish any stains.