Summer Beauty Heroes To Get You Glowing

Friday, 28 June 2019


There’s something about summer that makes me want my beauty essentials to work even harder.

Perhaps it’s the feeling of being more on show or even the boosted social life that lighter evenings bring, but it’s a time where new product launches always seem especially attractive, in the hope of these hazy warm days that we’ve been sadly missing so far this season.

I demand a lot more of the products I choose to use at the moment, and there’s a mix of new discoveries and old favourites which come into play.

From anti-aging toners to multi-tasking hero creams, gradual tanners and terrific tools, here’s a little round up of the items I’m having a summer beauty fling with...

Lacura Healthy Glow Retinol Toner


Budget supermarket Aldi are well known for their brand ‘homages’ (if you want to be polite about it), and the magpie in me always seems to get sucked into giving them a go.

Last year they released some dupes for the Pixi Glow Tonic which had bloggers buzzing, and they recently expanded the range with a couple of variations, including this one infused with wonder anti-ageing ingredient Retinol.

At the same time, they also launched a version of the Rose Oil, which I wanted to try but couldn’t get my hands on for love nor money.

The highly annoying thing about it is that stock always sells out the moment it hits the shop floor (something I feel is a little deliberate) and as everything is limited edition only, you can really like an item and then you’ll never be able to get it again, unless you’re prepared to pay over the odds on eBay, which completely defeats the point of a high street dupe.

So although I never saw the full collection, there were a lonely couple of bottles of the toner knocking around last time I popped in.

Packaged in a clear plastic bottle with a pistachio-coloured lid, the packaging in a step-by-step reconstruction of Pixi’s Glow Tonic. There are a couple of ingredients present in the Pixi version that are missing from Lacura, and the percentage of active ingredients is also lower.

However, it still does a good job of brightening and softening the face, so clearly there is enough of the good stuff to make it effective. I also like the addition of Retinol, which is clinically proven anti-ager and something I already use in my skincare.

Where I see this product being really useful is for those who have never used an acid toner as part of their skincare regime before and are curious about the benefits – it’s a great way to try it on for size without spending a lot.

If you find you love it, it could be worth looking into the Pixi version or other brands – mainly because you probably won’t be able to repeat by this particular one.

Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Summer Edition 


One of the many strange side effects of pregnancy that they don’t cover in the antenatal classes is the fact that it can completely alter your hair texture.

Having always has relatively normal, unproblematic locks (which I completely took for granted), I now find myself facing a daily battle with extremely dry, frizzy locks with lots of crazy flyaway baby hairs that just won’t be controlled.

I haven’t helped the situation by having some lighter balayage for summer which has caused further dehydration – so I’ve had to completely change the products I use. Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer has been a life-saver for me – it really does transform the texture of my hair – but I was needing to use it at every wash and its fairly expensive.

Then I gave this budget alternative a try and found it has very nearly as good an effect for a fraction of the price (don’t you just love products like that?).

I use it in place of a regular conditioner and just whack it on post-shampoo for those magic three minutes, and my reward is more manageable, hydrated locks  with a far smoother texture.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush 


Not so much a discovery, as a rediscovery, and a brilliant one at that. For too long now, I’ve been completely wedded to BeautyBlender and while that does give a flawless finish ideal for a big event, on a day-to-day basis it feels a lot like hard work.

First world problems and all that, but having to go to the bathroom to wet it every time I want to use it is not the one when I have approximately seven minutes and a background chorus of screaming children to soundtrack my daily makeup application.

There’s something almost refreshing about going back to basics with a brush, especially when it delivers such a beautiful finish. I used to love the results from my old Expert Face Brush, but I wasn’t so keen on the bright, two-tone handle design, so I’m much more on board with the more refined single-toned metallic peach hue they’ve switched to, which sits much better with my Lily England makeup brushes.

The dense, fluffy, cruelty-free synthetic fibres lovingly buff cream and liquid products in to a smooth, flawless conclusion.

This brush is a daily essential now and I don’t know how I coped without it in the wilderness years!

Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived 


As someone with a big fear of self-tan (I have seen too many trainwreck tango tans to be entirely at ease with basting myself with mahogany dye), gradual tan lotions have always been more in my comfort zone. I have warm undertones to my skin anyway – all it needs is a little boost to keep it looking summer ready, and I feel like that is so much easier to control with a low-dose lotion.

And this one is the queen in my opinion – a bathroom shelf essential that is on constant repurchase, mainly because as well as providing a low-key but radiant skin finish, it’s a great moisturiser in its own right, leaving the skin smoothed and plumped up.

It uses ‘cell moisturisers’ to nourish skin from the deeper layers, and also handily doesn’t smell of stale digestive biscuits, or anything much really. It just delivers beautiful, day three in the Maldives skin. Ideal.

Eylure Most Wanted Gimme Gimme Silk Effect Fibres 


I’m an absolute sucker for a new lash launch, and these silk effect lashes were winking at me from the shelf in Boots, all gussied up in their shiny, rose gold packaging.

Soft, feathery and irresistible, they are definitely a bit more dramatic than the lashes I would normally pick, but I decided to go for it anyway. With silky tapered ends and a fanned out, eye opening finish, these lashes are handcrafted and can be worn multiple times.

I go back and forth between doing my own lash extensions and loving a bit of strip lash action for dressier occasions, and these certainly delivered on paper.

I did find the lashes a little too much for my eye shape though, which has recently altered to be a bit more hooded. They certainly look like you have lashes on, whereas I generally prefer mine to hover just on the murky edge of believability, as if some unholy combination of great genes and a killer mascara has magically blessed me with a Disney Princess-style flutter.

For this reason, I’d only wear them for an evening out as they’d just be too much for me on any other occasion.

Pretty lashes to add a bit of extra oomph to your summer party look.

Lacura Paradise Power Cream 


My other grab from Aldi’s blink-and-you’ll miss it drop was the Paradise Power Cream, which is a dupe for Sol De Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, an item which I absolutely love for its beautiful, uplifting scent, and dewy, firming skin finish.

Could this inexpensive alternative possibly deliver?

With antioxidant acai oils and firming ingredients, this rich cream sinks seamlessly into parched summer skin and delivers a lovely finish – and best of all, the scent is similar if not exactly the same, as its addictive expensive namesake.

It may not be quite as special as the original, but its very close and for a fraction of the price. I would be cheering from the rooftops at having found an affordable alternative, only this will presumably never be seen again after this summer – and is already on eBay for £20…at which point you may as well buy the original.

But if you can find these in your local store, then snap it up to try, and get those dry bits banished for the season.

So, those are my current summer beauty essentials. What have you found to love lately? 

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