Your summer beauty survival kit includes everything you need for your skin and hair to flourish in the sun.
The sunny, activity-filled summer season is roaring and by now we may have encountered our first tan lines that snuck in (with SPF, of course), some humidity-driven hair frizz, mini-wrinkles that formed from squinting, a few very late/very early pool parties or a long stroll at the beach. Being pro-gorgeous (and anti-aging) doesn't have to be a time bandit, and with a little preparedness we can still keep our youthful appearance from marching ahead of us. Here are a few new-to-market products and services that can fit into any schedule or travel plan.
In summer we simultaneously encounter sweating, direct sunlight on our hair and skin, humidity, then dryness from air conditioning -- sometimes all within minutes. Aside from fatigue and dehydration, this wreaks havoc on trying to make a good impression. So, if oxygen and water are the mother of all beauty wellness (and, trust me, they are) they're also the foundation of your hair, skin and health. This is why we (beauty expert folks) set out to pummel you with both earthly compounds. Oxygen breathes life into your lungs, skin, cells and brain for energy, circulation and positive thinking. That's why we feel so good after any physical activity. Water provides head-to-toe hydration, anti-wrinkling benefits by plumping skin, as well as flushing impurities from our body. Want to obliterate that Twinkie? A gallon of water helps you do it.
Now, let's get pro-gorgeous. Next time someone tells you to "breathe," forego the eye roll and pull out you personal atomizer. Yes. Oxygen Plus allows you to breathe instant energy and production into your skin and body. Dosed oxygen into the lungs digests food better in the stomach and intestines allowing nutrients to absorb into our bloodstream and bodily cells -- and even helps to break down alcohol. It's also great for post-exercise recovery or general fatigue. The best part? You'll look refreshed and smiley. Oxygen Plus comes in a home-based unit the size of a flashlight or in aerated canister packs and mini-travel sizes. I keep a six-pack in the pantry and one in my messenger bag for the afternoon. Being an "airhead" has never looked (or felt) better.
Keeping with the oxygen theme, the Orlane Paris brand has been trusted for decades as a results-oriented, top-tier beauty ambassador. Their Anti-Aging Oxygenation System is one very powerful month-long, pre-packaged facial treatment that should be indulged. You'll see why it's a secret weapon for celebrities before going in front of the cameras. Just like your car needs oil changes, your skin's appearance needs the occasional sparkplugs changed -- or everything slows down and becomes dull. I tried the four-week elixir and it proved to give me a bright, fresh, dewy glow. Additionally, I also put a few of Orlane's heavyweights to the test: B21 Extraordinaire -- Youth Reset (an amazing scientific serum release), Extreme Anti-Wrinkle Regenerating Night Care (for re-plumping and reversal) and Bio-Mimic Hydrating Masque for a weekly surge of lush, penetrable moisture. As they say, !Que rico! (how rich). You're most welcome.
NuFace's technology has not only brought the non-surgical microcurrent facial-lift into the mainstream, but into our homes. I admit I've slacked off as a daily user (as the benefits are cumulative), but during my three-month sessions the visible results were truly undeniable. The Trinity offers three attachments: The Facial Trainer microcurrent muscle and tissue lifting piece, the LED Wrinkle Remover (red light therapy) and the ELE targets eyes and lips. With NuFace's release of the "mini" we now have no excuse to lift on the go. Their Optimizing Mist contains Aloe Vera and hyaluronic acid to charge cells, plump skin and enhance the device's glide action. The serum collection is stellar and can be layered during the treatment or used with your daily skincare regimen. I'm also addicted to Collagen Booster with copper. This baby could be your new best friend. (HINT: Forget the naysayers, watch the online tutorials, don't forget the neck and be consistent.)
Now for something completely new: Mobile powder SPF protection in the form of Jane Iredale's Refill-Me Refillable Loose Powder Brush that combines compact luxury mineral powders-of-choice within a petite, luxe brush. Allowing reapplication touch-ups of powder/foundation or powder/sunscreen without messing up your makeup! My "Refill-Me" contains their Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen. L-O-V-E. (If your beau is rocking a shaved/bald head, get him one, too). Jane Iredale's philosophy of "travel lightly and carry a good powder brush" comes from one of the most beloved brands known as the "skincare makeup," producing one of the purest, safest formulas of mineral-based powders and foundations -- a critical step our just-applied, expensive skincare deserves.
Red Door Beauty Bar, NYC
Ever dream of going to Elizabeth Arden's legendary Red Door Spa? What are you waiting for? The most famous red door has never gone out of style and remains luxe, yet comparatively affordable. What really impressed me most at a recent treatment day was how finger-on-the-pulse au-current Red Door Spa has remained -- and continues to evolve. Three generations could not only feel right at home, but also confidently know there's an Elizabeth Arden product and service to accommodate, with highly trained and dedicated technicians at every turn -- whether you choose an all-day head-to-toe rejuvenation or the revitalized Speed Services menu. This summer, gift-card yourself or a loved one to Red Door's immediately transformative, cutting-edge hair treatments. Kérastase Chronologiste Caviar Ritual deeply infuses and strengthens every hair strand with an enormous concentration of "actives." I had the Advanced Glycolic Smoothing Treatment which gently plumped and tamed my curly lengths, giving me soft, silky hair -- that didn't require any cure time (you could actually wet hair in the shower immediately). This glycolic, botanical keratin infusion is also extremely safe. The Red Carpet Blow Dry is a pared-down express service that also utilizes formaldehyde-free keratin proteins to achieve glossy, smooth hair that lasts for up to three shampoos -- perfect for a weekend that requires your hair looking its social best. Be on the lookout for our online, in-depth coverage of Red Door's exclusive skincare range, facial remedies, body treatments and seasonal hair fashion updates via Twitter @CSGorgeous.
Nothing beats a professional, in-salon colorist. But if life finds you in a more remote location, and your hair color even more disconnected, consider eSalon, an amazing breakthrough home delivery service that will customize your hair color formula for around $20 and deliver it faster than your new roots can creep in. If your formula requires more customization, their licensed colorists are available nearly on-demand for feedback and update recommendations. Great for those that have to maintain their regrowth between color weaving.
Summer means a lot of outdoor excursions, wardrobe changes and hair tweaks due to pool, beach, exercise or a busy social calendar. As a 25-year veteran celebrity hair stylist and colorist, I find luxuriated, soft, shiny hair that moves has the very best endurance for long, multi-event days (and nights). I kid you not when I share my amped-up enthusiasm for the Davines line of hair care products. Made in Parma, Italy with more love and passion for purity than I've ever seen, I guarantee you'll find a few items that will permanently define your routine. Aside from being globally ethic and sustainable (green), Davines has honed such specific cures for hair that it will only take one feel of your hair to realize they nailed it. My daily (yes, daily) go-tos? Oil Non-Oil, Melu Serum (or MOMO Cream) and OI Absolute Beautifying Potion (also great for smoothed, bouncy blowouts). In that order. Followed by DeDe Leave In Mist in the afternoon if I have to refresh for an outing. The true test of a gentle, organic or sulfate-free brand is whether you can run your fingers through your hair immediately after rinsing shampoo -- or not. As I invite my salon clients to do every time. Depending on whether your hair is fine, colored or chemically treated (including sun, chlorine or harsh water), curly, dry or coarse, Davines has the solution. When was the last time your shampoo, conditioner or styling treatment contained spinach, fig, tomato, cherry extracts or olive butter, apricot, pistachio or roucou oil--in large (or any) quantity?
Never, that's when.
In respectful homage, I also want to salute one of the original skin and hair wellness brands that I still use to this day, Carita's Fluide De Beauté 14 ultra-nourishing dry oil for face, body and hair. It feels disappearingly amazing and smells rich and their Daily Protective Cream for dry, colored or damaged hair nourishes beyond expectation.
So there you have it: Your summer on-the-go pro-gorgeous survival kit. Now go out and have the time of your (beautiful) life.
Follow Marco Medrano on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarcoMedranoGWG