I have an unpopular opinion. I don't like summer. It's actually my least favourite season (yup, I like winter more than I like summer). Why? I guess the thing that bugs me the most is the heat - I'm definitely not a hot person. My boyfriend recently asked me, 'if you could live anywhere in the world apart from the UK, where would you live?' My answer: Iceland. I'm that bad.
Luckily, where I live, it tends to keep fairly cool. Sure, I still have to chuck the duvet on the floor in the middle of the night, and I may break into a sweat while walking up a flight of stairs, but it's nothing compared to the intense heat of London. Just last week, I was on the tube and I could barely breathe because the air was so thick (London-based readers, how do you cope?).
What I DO like about summer are the new releases in the beauty world - the products that help you get through the season and make your life that little bit easier. I've rounded up five beauty products that are currently helping me survive this summer, from haircare, to teeth whitening, to makeup products. Read on, and I hope these inspire you to try something new!
Colab Original Dry Shampoo, £3.49
Available at Superdrug, Colab was created by blogger Ruth Crilley (A Model Recommends). These very Instagrammable dry shampoos come in different styles, but my favourite is the 'Original', which features a handwritten black font on a light pink background - so cute.
The fragrance features bergamot and rose, which isn't too overpowering, and the formula doesn't leave a huge white mark. This is ideal for summer, as your scalp is likely to produce excess oil and sebum in the heat, leaving your hair looking a little bit less fresh than normal. I tend to use this on third day hair, with a few sprays in the morning and then just after lunch if needed.
Natural Teeth Whitening Co Charcoal Powder, £14.99*
I was always a bit sceptical about charcoal teeth whitening powder. Ever since I saw the trend appear on Instagram, I've always wondered whether it worked or people were being paid to say so. However, I was curious to try it for myself, seeing as my teeth aren't the whitest thanks to years of drinking tea.
I received a sample from the Natural Teeth Whitening Co, which uses natural, vegan ingredients. I'm always up for supporting vegan products, so I was happy to give this a go. The powder is a little messy, as you would expect, but if you're using this over a sink this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
The charcoal is finely ground and non-abrasive, and it's also food grade so it won't matter if you happen to swallow some. You use this by placing a pinch of the powder in the palm of your hand, dipping your toothpasted brush into the powder, then brushing for two minutes. Rinse, then brush with water to remover any extra residue.
Over the course of 16 days, using the powder twice per day, you should see a gradually whitening smile. I saw results in less than a week, which totally changed my mind about these products. Plus, you can use this whenever you feel as if your smile needs a boost, as it doesn't contain nasty chemicals.
Panasonic IPL Machine, £349.99
This is a little on the expensive side, but it's a great tool for those of you who hate other forms of hair removal. It's painless (unlike waxing or epilating), doesn't cause ingrown hairs (unlike shaving), and doesn't smell (unlike hair removal cream).
Is intense pulsed light (IPL) safe? Home IPL systems such as the Panasonic machine are far lower in strength than the IPL treatments you'll find in a clinic. The only thing I've found is that when you're using the machine for a long time - say, to do both legs - it gets a little hot towards the end, but this is definitely nowhere near painful.
I've been using this sporadically over the past few months, but it's best when you use it weekly on a higher setting (3 or 4 is best). Since I've been using it, my hairs have become finer, and they're looking naturally less hairy.
Dead Sea Spa Magik BB Cream, £13.95
I don't wear a lot of makeup in summer - I prefer to work on my skincare routine and get my skin in tip top condition so that I don't feel like I have to wear it. However, on the days where my skin could use a little pick-me-up, I apply this really light BB cream from Dead Sea Spa Magik.
It's light coverage, so it doesn't feel heavy and it gives a nice dewy finish. I like that my freckles come through when I'm wearing this, but red blemishes and dark under-eye circles are covered up by the colour correcting formula. The only problem I have with this is that it only comes in one shade, which is perfect for me in summer when my skin is darker, but not so great in winter.
Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, £20*
It took me a few tries to get used to this product - but now I'm hooked. I'm very meticulous about my eyebrows; if they're not quite right, my entire face doesn't feel right, so as you'd expect I'm picky when it comes to the products I use.
Benefit's Gimme Brow has a tiny brush which distributes the eyebrow-thickening formula evenly, giving you fuller eyebrows in just a few strokes. I apply this after my BB cream, sweeping in an upward direction with the brush, before finishing off with a tiny bit of brow powder to make my brows just a little bit bolder. This formula makes my eyebrows stand out, but in a natural way - which is perfect for summer makeup looks.
*Gifted for review