The temperature was forecast to hit 90 here yesterday, so even though it’s barely May it suddenly feels like summer—and I’m feeling ready to look the part.
It wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I learned the easiest way to freshen up my look for the new season isn’t with my wardrobe, but with beauty products: beauty updates give a lot more bang for your buck, and they’re not nearly as crazy-making (or spendy).
In years past, you’d find me looking for a new lipstick or bronzer this time of year. But this year—with so much else on my mind—I’m going straight for the nail polish. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s much easier to find a flattering shade.
It’s also cheap: even the fancy nail polish costs less than ten bucks for a bottle.
I detoured down the polish aisle at Target while I was picking up contact paper to line our new-to-us (and very dated) kitchen cabinets, and I loved what I saw. Essie is my favorite brand (pretty colors, on trend, hard to chip) but I often go for the cheaper stuff.
Polish shades that are catching my eye:
• Orange-y reds. They’re so much more fun than true reds, and are available in a bazillion beautiful (and widely flattering) shades this season. Catching my eye at Target: Essie’s Geranium, Fifth Avenue, and She’s Pampered. (I brought one of these home with me: a pretty Essie shade called e-nuf is e-nuf. Pro tip: it’s cheaper online.)
• Pale pastels (think pale yellow, baby blue, mint). Subtle and pretty, but make sure they don’t wash you out.
• Metallics. Fun, versatile, and easy to wear. I’ve almost used up a whole bottle of Loréal gunmetal grey, and I never use the whole bottle. I’m eyeing OPI’s All Sparkly and Gold for the summer.
• Blush pinks. Feminine, pretty, timeless. Essie’s Mademoiselle is the classic pick, but there are plenty to choose from.
• Mermaid colors. If you’re hitting the beach and a vibrant hue (ocean blue, orchid, magenta, tangerine) makes you happy, go for it. Especially on your toes.
Summer’s also a great time to update your basics: try a new mascara, find the perfect lotion, upgrade your cleansers (because goodness knows sun, sand, and chlorine are plenty hard on your skin).
I chose the first door, and replaced my empty tube of Benefit’s They’re Real! (love) with volume mascara by Sante, a new-to-me company that makes natural, luxury cosmetics. that meet the Certified Natural Cosmetics guidelines. I’m really liking it so far.
I got my mascara through Gloss48, which just got a new product I’m dying to try based on the name alone: literary lacquers, and the colors are called Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The duo is $20, but is on sale for $16 through tomorrow. (I believe new customers get a $10 credit, which makes them pretty darn affordable. Let me know if you try them!)
Share your favorite summer beauty updates in comments—and the quicker, easier, and cheaper, the better!
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