Favorite Summer Empties

As much as I hated every minute of those dreadful July heat waves, I am slightly bitter about the Connecticut summer coming to an end. The days are already noticeably shorter and morning coffee runs now require long-sleeves. Bye, flip flops. But before I make a seasonal switch to richer, more weather appropriate formulas, I want to share some of my favorite empties. From the most perfect shampoo through an unexpected deodorant find to shockingly impressive face wipes, below are my gone but not forgotten (and soon to be restocked) self-care hits. 

My Clarins Re-Move

If you’re looking for an everyday face wash that won’t trigger your overzealous oil-producing, more-enlarged-than-necessary pores, the My Clarins Re-Move purifying cleansing gel is it. This gentle gel-to-foam formula is infused with moringa and meadowsweet extract, the latter acting as a source of salicylic acid, which my skin desperately needs during warmer weather. In addition to the superb cleansing performance, I am all about its clean, fresh scent — could it be the skin-softening bitter orange flower water? $20 Ulta.com

MDNA Skin The Rose Mist

I’ll be the first to admit the MDNA Skin Rose Mist is crazy-expensive. With that said, if you are able to splurge, treat yourself because it’s probably one of the best face mists I have tried to date. Pop Royalty factor aside (it *is* M’s favorite product in the line, I hear), this spritz-on toner is infused with mineral-rich thermal water from the Montecatini region of Italy as well as spirulina, ribose, and Damask Rosewater. You can use it in any number of ways: as a traditional post-cleanse toner, to set make-up or to refresh, and to hydrate throughout the day. The bottle is equipped with a nozzle that dispenses the finest mist with each spritz. In addition to the intoxicating not-too-floral scent, my skin has loved every single drop of this luxurious treat. $120 barneys.com

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair super moisture shampoo

In the summer I often wash my hair 2-3 times a day. I thank Briogeo super moisture shampoo for keeping my hair and scalp clean and nourished without triggering dryness or irritation. The creamy, foaming formula is rich in cleansing agents and soothing botanical extracts, making it my recent favorite frequent use shampoo. Love the non-aggressive ‘salon’ smell of it, too. FYI, re: my hair. It’s thick and plentiful. It’s not (yet!) color-treated, but there’s a fair amount of flat iron-related heat damage. $36 at Sephora.com

Weleda Pomegranate 24h Roll-On Deodorant

When it comes to deodorant and antiperspirants, I admit to being influenced by what’s on sale. So when Whole Foods offered all Weleda at a 35% discount recently, I snagged the pomegranate roll-on while already standing in the check-out line. As someone who never embraced the Skin Food craze (one of the most popular dry skin moisturizers from the brand), I am beyond impressed with my find. This liquid solution goes on wet but doesn’t leave your underarms the slightest bit damp. It absorbed quickly and kept me fresh, dry, and smelling juicy fruity all day long. $7.99 at weleda.com

Milk + Honey Body Polish No 33

This indulgent treatment exfoliates the skin with a blend of organic sugar and sea salt while leaving behind an exotic aroma of coconut and lemongrass. Think tropical vacation in a jar. While this milk + honey creation does indeed provide a fair amount of grit (removes all traces of a summer day including the multiple layers of sunscreen), it is also rich in coconut and jojoba oils and shea butter. The faint cocoon of moisture the scrub leaves behind is sublime. It feels as if you polished your body and have applied your favorite body oil. $34 milkandhoney.com

Nubian Heritage Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed Body Wash

After going through multiple bottles of this creamy body wash, I may have officially found my favorite scent in this impressively wide range of products. Labeled ‘revitalizing & youth infusing,’ this particular formula contains amaranth extract and ginseng, both known for their regenerating properties. While I haven’t yet noticed any anti-aging effects, the creamy lather and clean aroma transform a quick shower into a spa-grade experience. P.S. It works great as a bubble bath, too. $12.99 nubianheritage.com

Dermalogica skin hydrating masque

Many masks in my stash come and go, but the dermalogica skin hydrating masque has been a summer staple for years. The gel-cream formula delivers an instant and lasting dose of hydration, which my skin craves after a day in the sun or during air travel. What’s in it? Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe, soothing cucumber and arnica extracts, and antioxidant-rich lycopene, to name a few. Completely non-sticky and borderline invisible, it’ what’s often on my face during morning coffee runs. $45 Ulta.com

Abhati Suisse Chambal Sacred Hair Oil

Fun fact: a few years ago, I gave up traditional conditioners. Since then, I have been adding a couple of drops of oil to damp hair and ideally, letting it air dry. Once a week, I massage a dropper-full of Chambal into the scalp and leave it on overnight as a moisture restoring treatment. This rich fusion is blended primarily with moringa and wild cherry oils and includes aromatic notes of pink pepper, coriander, lime, and basil. Two tips: When it comes to hair oils, less is more. Be sure to screw the top back on after each use so as to avoid toppling the bottle over with devastating results.  $79 credobeauty.com

Miriam Quevedo Platinum & Diamonds texturizing spray

What I’ve learned about my second-day hair: a texturizing spray revives yesterday’s look better than a dry shampoo. Sometimes. I’ve also learned that finding that perfect texturizing spray can be way more difficult than finding a great dry shampoo. The Miriam Quevedo formula helps absorb excess oil and delivers volume, texture, and a little bit of hold — all without a trace of the dreaded white residue. Used sparingly, the travel size bottle lasted me two months with consistent use. $25 – $50 SpaceNK.com

AMOREPACIFIC Time Response Vintage Wash Off Masque

Even those of us who constantly try the latest product innovations in skincare have that one product we ration on special occasions. Mine is the oh-so-decadent AMOREPACIFIC Wash Off Masque from the Time Response collection. The ultra-hydrating gel formula is studded with flecks of tea leaves, which purify the skin, help fight free radical damage, and deliver a seriously remarkable glow. Every. Single. Time. I may not reach for it often but when I do, a heaping tablespoon of product lands on my face. Rationing isn’t necessarily skimping. $170 sephora.com 

Collosol Milky Wipes

It’s beyond disappointing how many face wipes I’ve tried that never lived up to their cleansing promise. And then the Collosol Milky Wipes launched. Each soft yet sturdy towelette is perfectly saturated in the cult favorite milky solution that removes dirt, sweat, and makeup but also gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin. These lightly scented wipes kept my skin feeling refreshed on long haul flights and during all-day car rides on a recent trip to Italy. Unlike the plethora of French pharmacy imports that became ubiquitous Stateside, these aren’t easy to find. Grab them on Amazon as they are part of Prime with free shipping. $14 (25 count)

REN Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil

There’s just one thing I don’t love about the REN anti-fatigue bath oil: its size. I’d be much happier if the tranquil blend of Omega-rich oils and algae extracts were available in a gallon bottle. Thankfully, a small amount per bath is all you need to enjoy the relaxing benefits. As the botanical aroma helps you relax, the marine extracts de-stress muscle tension in just minutes. The sensory experience extends past stepping out of the tub as the oil leaves your skin nourished and delicately scented. $30 renskincare.com

Hello Naturally Whitening fluoride toothpaste

After having discovered the Hello range of oral care products, I may have tried every toothpaste in the line. I now have a favorite: the Naturally Whitening formula with fluoride in farm-grown mint flavor. It is formulated with tea tree and coconut oil, which means it cleans without damaging the enamel and keeps your breath fresh. They don’t include peroxide or sulfates so while it does foam lightly, don’t expect the wild froth you may be accustomed to from conventional toothpaste. You may luck out and find it at Target but I’ve been getting the 4-packs ($16) over at amazon.com

The Beauty Chef Antioxidant Inner Beauty Boost

Confession time: I really got into supplements this year. If I am being completely honest, I gave up on anything collagen (saw no difference) but The Beauty Chef’s Antioxidant Beauty Boost has been my favorite tasty drink most mornings. I eyeball a tablespoon and add it to my morning glass of water for a delicious dose of papaya, green tea, and pomegranate extracts, Vitamin E as well as pre and probiotics. It helps address the dreaded bloat. Gut flora is important for your digestive and overall health, you guys. No added sugar here and only 25 calories per serving. $50 sephorhttp://bit.ly/2K4R4tAa.com

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