WRITTEN BY Lesley Holland Downey
Charleston is one of those cities that just gets better in the warmer weather—everything is green, lush and lively. And because Southern women love their beauty products, I knew I’d find gold in some of Charleston’s specialty stores. They carry brands you already love and specialty lines that you may want to try. I visited Cos Bar, Bluemercury and Stella Nova in the shopping paradise of King Street. You could spend an afternoon or more in these stores alone—they are a delight to the senses, and chock full of treasures waiting to be discovered. Here are a few of my favorite summer finds:
How to handle hair in the summer humidity is a conundrum. The following all-stars help in the battle against frizz, flatness and color fade.
Orofluido Beauty Elixir
This product is a multi-tasker: Add it to damp hair for a smoother blow-out or mix it with gel in the palm of your hand for a wavy, air-dried do. It smells delicious!
Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder
Use this on days when you want to extend your style without shampooing or to freshen up after exercise. It adds lift to the roots of your hair and is undetectable, despite looking white coming out of the container.
Pureology Colour Max Antifade Complex
This spray-on, leave-in conditioner protects your color from the sun. Throw it in your pool or beach bag and protect that expensive color from fading or turning brassy. Bonus: It smells great and leaves your hair soft and easy to brush through.
Simpler is better for me so I concentrate on sunscreen and minimal makeup for most days.
Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
This sunscreen is a must-have on your face—every single day. Promise yourself that you will take the time to slather on this light-weight silky sunscreen this season. Pay special attention to your hairline, your driving side and your decollete. You will notice fewer brown spots by fall. Your skin will thank you!
Juara Rice Facial Scrub
Used a few times a week, this scrub helps gently remove dead surface skin without drying or irritation. It smells like summer and helps to clear all the residue that sunscreens can leave behind.
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick
After sunscreen, I swipe a little of this on my fingertips under my eyes, around my nose and wherever I need a bit of coverage. You can throw it in your purse without fear of melting, and it’s great for touch-ups.
MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil
If you love gloss but want a more grown-up version, this product is a genius combination of shine, color and definition. Try Spontaneous for a neutral pink or Teen Dream for a orange-coral, but all the shades are worth a look.
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Bronzing Veil
I love this non-orangey, ombre from light-to-dark compact that enables you to add depth around your face and to highlight your cheeks and eyes in one product. So silky and portable, this is perfect to pack for vacation.
MAC Warm Soul Mineralize Blush
This blush warms up fairer skin tones without looking muddy. It has a hint of tasteful shimmer that is flattering.
Because more of you is showing in the summer, make sure your skin is moisturized and that is smells great.
Tarte Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Face and Body Self Tanner
This self tanner is goof-proof with a handy applicator mitt for a believable sunless tan.
I discovered this use-it-everywhere balm while shopping for a swimsuit cover up, thinking it would encourage me to ban the flakey skin before stepping out in shorts or a swimsuit. It leaves behind a slight sheen until it sinks in.
Tata Harper Revitalizing Body Oil
This decadent smelling body oil is my newest want for summer. I had it slathered on me after a leg wax and it both calmed and smoothed my skin as it moisturized. A splurge, for sure, but the fragrance alone convinced me to spring for it.
I must have overdosed on fragrance in the 1980s because, since, I have never smelled anything I have wanted to buy…until I stumbled across this line of unique but light and wearable scents. Try the Grand Neroli, Trefle Pur or the Bois Blonds.
Polished toes are a necessity in the summer so why limit yourself to pink or coral? Check out these:
Essie Style Hunter
Typically, I think red looks too heavy in the warmer months but I am crushing on this non-shimmery, bright color for my summer pedicure.
OPI Cajun Shrimp
Coral is a universally flattering tone. This one is a fave of many of my pals for the perfect summer pedicure.
Essie Butler Please
Feeling bold? This cobalt shade is sure to delight those of you who love color and who love to have a conversation-starting color on your toes.
Butter London Trout Pout
This soft coraly-pink is a perfect, go-with-anything shade for summer.
L’Oreal Now You Sea Me
A deeper turquoise tone, this is borderline teal without looking wintery. I love the mermaid blues for summer pedicures.
Chanel Sweet Lilac
Lilac tones are so flattering on cooler skin tones. This is also soft enough for fingertips.
OPI Taupe-Less Beach
If you are a fan of Essie Chinchilly, you will love this versatile neutral polish.