An early-spring press trip to the glorious Grace Bay Club on Turks & Caicos was a welcome change from the polar vortex of 2014, but with the fabulous invitation came panic: which beauty products to pack? I decided to road test some of the latest offerings that had landed on my desk. Here, some favorites that proved to be not only Caribbean beach worthy — they’ll also stand up to what promises to be a steamy summer back home in NYC.
Say Yes To Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
This brand says yes to natural ingredients like green tea and shea butter and no to petroleum, phthalates, silicones and chemical sunscreen ingredients (which are unstable, and can break down in sunlight!). Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are the natural skin protecting stars of this water-resistant Skin Cancer Foundation-approved broad-spectrum formula ($11.99, yestocarrots.com).
Now here’s a concept: chic, waterproof silicone wristbands infused with enough mosquito-repelling citronella oil to keep the bugs at bay for up to six days ($3.99 each, mosquitnoband.com).
Chanel Les Beiges All-in-One Healthy Glow Fluid SPF 15
Tinted moisturizer sounds great in theory, but is so often a disappointment — too thick, not enough coverage, etc. Chanel gets it right with Les Beiges, with just enough coverage to perfect and even out skin tone without that “I’m wearing makeup” look or feel. Bonus beauty points for the SPF 15 ($45, chanel.com).
Sole Goddess Blister Protection Foot Balm
Great for the dancing the night away at your reception, of course, but keep this clever product in mind for your honeymoon, too, since hot humid weather can bring on sticky footwear and the blisters that follow ($18.75, solegoddess.com).
René Furterer Vegetal Styling Straightening Gel
Heat and seawater signal a need to step up the styling-product game stat. Applied to damp hair and air-dried, Rene Furterer Vegetal Styling Straightening Gel keeps strands safely in beachy, wavy territory. When coupled with a dryer, sleeker looks are achieved with ease ($26, beauty.com).
Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion
So-called “watery lotions,” long a fixture in the Asian skincare market, are popping up on our shores. To which I say: hooray! That I can apply a serious moisturizer without feeling as if every pore were about to clog is a miracle. The light, silky formula leaves skin feeling hydrated and fresh, rather than slick and weighed down. Available in two formulas: Skin Type 1 & 2 for extra hydration; Skin Type 3 + 4 for oil control along with lighter hydration ($32, clinique.com).
Bronze Buffer Self-Tan Remover
Even the best faux glow application can go awry, whether salon-applied or DIY. To the rescue: a star-shaped sponge designed to get to work wherever needed, whether to even out streaks or buff away too-dark spots on knees or elbows or between fingers and toes ($10 for two, bronzebuffer.com).
Klorane Makeup Remover Biodegradable Wipes with Soothing Cornflower
My eyes feel extra-sensitive upon arrival at my destination (thank you, dry aircraft-cabin)—with redness and stinging further exacerbated by strong sun and saltwater in the days that follow. It’s not a pretty sight (no pun intended). With a pH identical to that of tears, these wipes thoroughly soothe, depuff and cleanse in a few deft swipes ($12.50, drugstore.com).
Tell us: What are your go-to summer beauty essentials?
— Mary Clarke