Birchbox Best: Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen

Supergoop Everyday SunscreenI’m just going to say it. The name “Supergoop” does nothing for me. In fact, in the past I’ve been so put off by the name that I simply did not want to try the sunscreen. That all changed last weekend. Having been quite literally burned by an ineffective sunscreen earlier this summer, I turned to this little tube in hopes of making it through the holiday weekend without being scorched by the sun. I slathered it on and headed out for a weekend of sunning and swimming.

First things first: it felt good. It absorbed quickly, wasn’t greasy and left my skin feeling nice and smooth. It also had a mild, citrusy scent that I liked a lot. Other than those two initial observations, I didn’t think about this product at all until I realized, after two sunny days spent largely outside, that I didn’t have the faintest hint of a sunburn and my skin looked and felt great. It’s a fantastic sunscreen, and I only wish there was more in my sample – this stuff is expensive!
Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Runner Up: Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. I’m a real tough customer when it comes to dry shampoos, but I was instantly impressed by this one. I really love the scent, which is feminine and clean, and it’s super easy to use. You simply spray at your roots and then massage it in; within seconds it adds volume and removes oil, leaving clean, weightless hair. My one complaint is that these results only last a couple of hours – you’ll want to bring it with you for touchups!

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Smarten Up

The temperature continues to rise, and summer is (hopefully) on its way, so naturally we are being bombarded with ads and articles about sunscreen and the best warm-weather skin care available. After reading approximately 13 different articles about the importance of protecting your skin – and taking notice of a few irritatingly persistent crinkles around my eyes – I decided it was time to step up my skin care routine. After all, I’ve been slapping on the same SPF 15 tinted moisturizer every morning for years, and, as much as I hate to admit it, my skin is beginning to change with age. Plus,  prevention is huge in the battle against aging skin. So, excited to find something new, I did my research and headed out to find my best bet.

I read about Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer in several articles, and was intrigued by a lengthy advertisement that promised Smart Essentials would help a busy girl like me protect her skin while looking fresh-faced and bright. I found a bottle at my local Walgreens (for $6 less than the posted price at Rite Aid, I might add!), and brought it home for a trial.

After one day of using this moisturizer, which features an SPF of 30 and comes in a cheery yellow and orange bottle that for some reason increases my confidence that it will brighten my tired skin, I noticed a nice glow. Not only that, but it kept my face from getting shiny, a problem I’ve been battling lately. This surprised me, because I often find that products containing sunscreen often leave a greasy feel on my skin – not so with the Smart Essentials moisturizer. It has a light scent, absorbs quickly, and, in my opinion, left my skin tone looking more even and less blotchy than my trusty old tinted moisturizer.

I saw one of my best friends a few days after I started using it, and she told me I looked fantastic, and that my skin looked dewy. Dewy – not shiny. I thanked her and told her I was using a new moisturizer that was changing my life. And hopefully it will – sun damage and dull skin is no laughing matter. So for now, I’m officially making the switch to SPF 30.

It’s a smart choice.

Beach Beauty

As we head into Independence Day weekend, I know many of us  are planning on hitting the beach, or lounging by the pool, or taking a dip in the lake… in other words, we all want to spend the weekend basking in the sun and playing in the surf.

I, for one, am lake-bound, off to a favorite family spot to celebrate the 4th and my brother’s birthday. And, just as I do every year, I will be toting some of my favorite beach beauty products:

1. Burt’s Bees – My favorite lip balm of all time is also my favorite beach balm, as it moisturizes dry lips better than anything else and its minty flavor helps keep me cool.

2. Sunscreen – I don’t really have a brand preference, but I use at least SPF 15 on my body and SPF 45 on my face – no need to add any unnecessary age spots or wrinkles!!

3. Lemon Lights – Summer after summer I get complimented on my amazing natural highlights. Little do those envious gals know that mother nature has a little help highlighting my hair. I swear by John Frieda Beach Blonde Lemon Lights highlighting gel.  If, like me, you combed lemon juice through your hair every summer as a kid, you will love this lemon-scented wonder. It’s the same idea as lemon juice. You apply the gel on whichever strands you hope to highlight, and then hang out and let the sun do its thing.  You end up with highlights that technically are natural, since you’re not dying them and they come from being outside, but it happens a lot faster this way – and you get a little say over where those highlights are. And even though this product is marketed towards blondes, my very brunette hair loves it!

Protect it!

As I write this, the sun is shining gloriously through my window, lighting up the new spring leaves and making everything warm and beautiful. And while I do love the sun, its warmth, and the cheerful shine it brings to life, I do not love the wrinkles, sun spots, and cancer that lounging in the sun unprotected can cause.

I’ve been watching a good deal of trash television lately, and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Over-tanning! Jerseylicious features a lot of big hair, bad eyeliner, and over-the-top tans. Over the weekend I watched a health show about people who are addicted to strange things, and one girl tanned so often that her skin was orange and she no longer resembled her family members. Why? In a time when the health risks associated with tanning are widely known and much too real to be ignored, why are people still (literally) baking themselves in the sun?

Now, I’m not saying we should all march around looking pasty and pale. There are plenty of sunless tanners out there that look natural and are actually good for you skin. (Check back later this month for a post on self-tanning!)

A lot of people just love being outside in the warm weather, and I don’t blame them at all. It’s wonderful, and getting out to enjoy nature and the fresh air is a perfectly healthy thing. Just please, think of your skin. It holds you together and can make you look radiant and youthful or saggy and old. So protect it!

In the warmer months, I don’t leave home without some SPF. Many beauty products, from powders to glosses, contain sunscreen that you can apply without thinking about it. But as soon as I get out of the shower, I slather on a body lotion with SPF from head to toe. My current favorite? Vaseline Aloe Fresh Protecting Lotion. It smells fresh, smooths skin, and keeps me safe from daily sun damage, all at once. As for my face, I vary the moisturizer, as long as it has SPF 15 or higher. I’m liking Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Protecting Lotion. It soothes redness while also providing protection from the sun.

A tip to keep in mind when applying sunscreen: don’t forget your neck, chest, hands and feet. These parts are often neglected and can give away your age. Nobody wants a youthful face to be accompanied by a turkey neck.