‘I love the summer. It’s a romance that begins as soon as the weather starts to warm up, which signals that it’s time for me to get my prep on. And from fake tans to bronzers, I’m all about the glow. But first, the basics: I make sure I’m exfoliating and moisturising my arms and legs on a regular basis. I honestly think it helps keep my skin feeling smoother and looking fresher. I can’t spend any longer in the shower – two small children prevent that – so everything I use has to be super-efficient. For scrubs, I’ll be turning to NEW Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Radiance Jelly† (200ml) EXCLUSIVE, which combines a shower gel with exfoliator. For everyday moisturising, it’s a quick spritz of Aveeno Daily Moisturising After-Shower Mist* (200ml) which goes on in seconds and doesn’t need rubbing in. It prevents my skin looking dull and adds extra sheen – which is what we all want if we’re squeezing ourselves into cut-offs. When I’d like a bit more glow, on summer date nights or balmy holiday evenings, I slather on Clinique Body Tinted Lotion* in Medium/Deep (125ml), which is like bronzer for your body.
Did I mention I’m obsessed with looking as bronzed as possible from May until the end of September? Of course, no one actually sunbathes any more, but I’m never far from a bottle of fake tan. It gives me that full-on sun-kissed look, is speedy to use and no longer makes me smell like a wet dog while waiting for the colour to develop. Bondi Sands has been my brand of choice for a few years now, and its NEW Aero Aerated Tanning Foam (200ml) EXCLUSIVE is a fake-tanner’s dream come true. Light and airy, it’s easy and quick to apply, and develops into a gorgeously deep colour.
Next up: bronzers. For the working week, I keep IT Cosmetics Confidence In Your Glow* in my bag. This palette has a shimmering bronzer to sweep over the high points of my face; a complementary blusher for the apples of my cheeks; and a glimmering highlighter for cheekbones. On holiday, when a powder feels too cakey, I switch to a cream or gel. My latest is YSL Touche Éclat Shimmer Stick in Bronze*, a bronzer-meets-highlighter you can also apply to arms and legs.
I team all this with a few coats of a waterproof mascara (L’Oréal Paris Paradise*) – with all that bronzifying, I’ve no time for anything else. Finally, the foot zone, which is an essential step for me, as I spend the season in flip-flops or sandals. To slough away dead skin that’s built up on ankles and soles, Footner Exfoliating Socks (1 pair) are my go-to. I put them on, pop my own socks over the top to keep them in place, and watch TV for an hour. Then I remove them and rinse off any residue. Over the following week or two, dead skin starts to flake off – a bit gross, but so satisfying.
I get through two packets in the summer. Then I just need a polish that will stay chip-free for as long possible. For me, it’s Essie Nail Polish in Lacquered Up* (15ml). A bright, poppy red, it’s the shade I wore on my wedding day – and every summer holiday for the past 15 years!’
‘As a goth, I loathe summer. Every element of it ends up ruining my beauty regime, from the visible sweating on public transport, to the lipstick melting across my face. However, I do love the fact that everyone is generally sprightly and merry – and that I’m safer from hair-ruining rain. I start my routine with an Eco Tools Sustainable Bath & Shower Mitt to slough off dry, ashy-looking skin, along with a dollop of Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil* (200ml). This is followed by a speedy shave with a razor that has a moisturising strip (i.e. no need for shaving foam), such as the NEW Gillette Venus Platinum Extra Smooth. CeraVe Moisturising Lotion* (236ml) has changed my life – this lighter version of the brand’s body cream is a godsend in warmer weather. I finish with a religious devotion to a transparent SPF spray, such as Garnier Ambre Solaire Clear Protect Spray SPF30 (200ml) – because, did you know that sun fades tattoos?! Plus, as this spray is talc-free, it doesn’t turn my dark skin a Smurf-like blue. Always a bonus.
After five minutes in direct sunlight I start to look like Slimer from Ghostbusters (i.e. melty), so I keep my skincare and make-up minimal. I’ll use a light serum such as Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster* (30ml) to keep my skin hydrated so it doesn’t overproduce sebum, followed by Olay Total Effects Whip SPF30 (50ml), which is the best lightweight moisturiser I’ve discovered. For the past few summers I’ve gone for the ‘Sicilian widow’ look, which involves lots of black summer dresses and red lipstick. Make-up-wise, it’s simple: on my eyes I use a cream shadow, such as Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes in Lots O’ Latte*, which works on oily lids far better than powder; a little smudgy Benefit Bad Gal Liner Waterproof*, which sets and stays put; and lashings of Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara*. I ditch the foundation and just use Maybelline Eraser Concealer* where I need it, and finish with a matte-red, long-wear lipstick, such as L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Liquid Lipstick in I Don’t* (I put a tiny amount on my cheeks, too). Powder and highlighter seem to melt off my face when I’m hot, so instead I reach for blotting tissues a few times a day – I love CYO Blot & Go (30-pack) EXCLUSIVE, which come with a cool pressing tool. Minimal, but still with an element of goth-chic.
Make-up removal is really important in the warmer months, as we’re outdoors more and so potentially exposed to increased levels of air pollution. Plus, we’re generally more sweaty. I use an oil-based cleanser, such as Bare Minerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil* (175ml) twice, to remove all my eye make-up, followed by the gentle Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser (125ml) to wash away excess oil and grease. Before bed I’ll apply a lighter night cream, such as Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Power Night Cream* (50ml) to get my skin ready for the next day. Summer goth, sorted.’
‘I was a sun worshipper in my twenties, with the odd sunbed thrown in, too. Then it clicked: sunbathing can only lead to skin that looks like leather. My forties were about accepting that I’ll never have beach-bronzed skin, and I’ve now learned to love my pale, porcelain complexion. My prep is all about creating a simple, pared-back look that works with my complexion and stays put in the heat.
First, hair removal: because my skin is so pale, my dark hair really shows up. I’ll use Veet Sensitive Skin Wax Strips* (20 strips) on my arms (yes, really), a Gillette Mach 3 Razor †† for legs and underarms at home and a NEW Gillette Venus Snap Embrace Comfortglide* when I travel, as I like the portable size and travel case. But the most amazing hair-removal tool I’ve found is the Veet Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler Expert, with interchangeable, different-sized heads. I use it on my bikini area and to take off the fine downy hair on my jawline – I’ve even clipped the hairs just inside my nostrils. Oh, the glamour!
Exfoliation is also key for helping my skin look smooth. Body brushes don’t suit my sensitive skin, so I use Champneys Charcoal Infused Exfoliating Gloves (1 pair) EXCLUSIVE, and Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash (250ml) in the shower. I do this before putting on my all-time favourite product, Dove Visible Glow Self-Tan Lotion in Fair-Medium* (400ml) – a body lotion with just a hint of colour, which takes the edge off my pale skin so I look, well, alive. To make sure my face matches, I add a drop of Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster* (15ml) to my Clarins Double Serum* (30ml) for the lightest of healthy glows. I wear SPF year-round: while I opt for SPF15 in the winter, I crank it up for the summer. The NEW La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid Sheer Finish SPF50+* (50ml) will give my face a hint of colour and maximum protection. For my body, I like the Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist SPF30 (200ml) because it’s easy to use and is neither drying nor too oily.
I find my regular moisturiser rather thick in warmer weather, so I switch to Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray* (125ml), which I spritz on throughout the day. Every few weeks I use an Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Sheet Mask* (6-pack), which I keep in the fridge, to up the refreshment factor on really hot days.
Finally, make-up: my summer beauty bugbear is a shiny face (thanks, sweating), so I apply a thin layer of Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Shine Control Day Moisturiser (75ml) to help keep skin matte. I also stock up on Boots Skin Clear Shine Blotting Papers (50 sheets). Not being a bronzer kind of girl, I reach for a peachy blush (Bourjois Little Round Pot Blusher* FYI). And I can’t live without a liquid lippy, because they don’t melt in the sun – Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick* does what it says on the tin.’