Sorry, June 20; summer starts THIS WEEKEND, which means fun in the sun is a given. But with those warm rays comes the potential for sunburn (ouch) and peeling (gross), skin damage (read: making you look OLDER by the day), and the dreaded C-word (and I’m not talking about C U next Tuesday).
We ain’t in college anymore, gals. If you’re lathering yourself in SPF 4 tanning oil and roasting in the sun all day, you’re doing your body (and your beauty) bad. You can still achieve a gorgeous, bronze glow while wearing sunscreen, and the more you love your SPF, the more prone you are to wear it. I consulted an expert on this topic: Tiffany Terranova, a melanoma survivor and the owner of RAW Bronzing Studio (the best spray tan salon in the universe, duh), so she knows a thing or two about skin and sun.
Her picks are a tad pricier than your drugstore Banana Boat, but they’re totally chemical-free (many are certified organic) and actually improve your skin while they protect it. Think about it: You’re gooping on sunscreen, then literally BAKING IT into your bod with the sun’s rays. (No seriously. Picture that for a second.) Shouldn’t you feel good about what’s in it?
Tiffers, take it away…
1. COOLA Moisturizing Sport SPF 45 ($32): A high SPF combined with the silky, quick-drying lotion is sun protection perfection. Not only is it easy to apply, making it a prime pick for men (especially hairy-chested fellas), but it’s ideal for the whole fam. We recently took three bottles to Miami for a family vacation and everyone loved it (but more importantly, no one got burnt because it was so easy to put on).
2. COOLA Sport Spray SPF 30 Unscented ($32): Who doesn’t love a spray sunscreen sans chemicals and funky smell? This is a great go-to product for just about anyone. Not only do you get the convenience of a spray but it’s the purest you’ll ever find. It’s awesome for people who exercise outdoors (so you won’t get those pesky sports bra tan lines), for men who don’t like any type of lotion residue on their body hair (or, um, bald spots), or to take to the beach for quick and easy application. Bonus tip: This is the ONLY spray sunscreen RAW recommends post-spray tan because it will not strip the color. (Editor’s note: If you’re down with fragrance, the Pina Colada scented one is to-die-for.)
3. COOLA Mineral Matte Finish for Face SPF 30 ($36): This is hands down my all around favorite sunscreen for everyday and the beach. Between this and a (healthy) tan, you don’t even need makeup! It glides on in seconds (making it easy to reapply at the beach) without looking or feeling greasy. Bonus tip: Leave an extra tube in your handbag for easy sunscreen application on the go for hands/neck/chest throughout the day. (Editor’s note: This is a must-have for my mug. It gives a pretty, non-greasy finish on your face and you don’t need much, so it lasts forever.)
4. COOLA Liplux SPF 30 ($12): Not only does this slide on so silky-smooth, but it super-moisturizes your delicate lips with the “unique blend of fruit butters like raspberry and avocado” while providing broad spectrum protection (UVA + UVB rays) so there’s no chance of a burned, blistery situation (not a good look).
5. Vivesana Solar to Polar Baby SPF 42 ($32): This is the only sunscreen I would put on my child. It’s as pure as it can be, long-lasting, and has the strongest, synthetic-free SPF this side of a shady tree. It is gentle, hypoallergenic, 70% organic, and 100% natural.
6. Vivesana Solar to Polar Ultra SPF 40 ($29): Out of ALL the sunscreens I’ve tested and researched over the years, this is the most pure of ‘em all. It holds up in the elements, from extreme sweating during sports to exposure to salt water/chlorine/sand. I’ve never found a sunscreen that lasts this long without washing off. Not only is it the perfect carry-on size (under 3 oz.), the product doesn’t contain water so a little bit goes a long way.
All these products are available at Raw Bronzing Studio for those of you in Atlanta. For non-ATLiens, there are plenty of places under the sun to find them. COOLA locations, click here; Vivesana, click here.
Bring it, summer.
Since we’re talking music festivals, don’t read any further unless you’ve seen this:
I love The Obesity Epidemic. Such amazing energy. Can’t believe I missed them at Bonnaroo last year.
So I’m en route to the Hangout Music Festival as we speak (#ThankYouHotspot) and am super pumped to wear a hippie headband, some sort of obnoxious fringe getup, and impractical hipster boots whilst waving my hands in the air and swaying to the righteous tunes.
Here are the real items essential for the best fest experience:
1. Flowy/sheer/crocheted top of some sort. You can wear it over a pretty bra or bikini top for a Bohemian look that’s airy and comfortable. The blouse pictured is from Calypso St. Barth, but Free People has my favorite selection of Boho duds.
2. Jorts. Duh. They’re a staple for music festivals. The more worn-in, the better.
3. Comfortable/practical footwear. Girls that wear heels/high wedges for festivals…I can’t even. If it’s sandal weather, choose a pair you’ve already broken in so they won’t give you blisters or pinch pain, and some sort of support is ideal. I love Havaianas, but they suck for being on your feet all day. My Cole Haan Grove sandals (pictured) with cushy, supportive soles are made for walkin’. If it’s raining, consider there might be mud and you’ll need rain boots, which coincidentally, look awesome with distressed denim shorts.
4. Sunglasses. Another no-brainer. I’m currently lusting for these thick cat-eye Wayfarers. Meow.
5. Something to carry your sh*t. For a fest, you gotta’ go crossbody or backpack (or fanny pack, of course). You don’t want a purse slinging around while you’re trying to wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. This Navajo-print bag from South Moon Under is festival fab.
6. Fouta. Not to be confused with a FUPA, these European throws act as compact and cute blankets to sit on AND you can even find some that work as scarves/wraps like my obsessions at Huff Harrington Home for $42 (seriously, they’re amazing and I keep buying them in different colors–read more HERE).
7. Sunscreen. Do you want gross, painful sunburn? Maybe some skin cancer? How about both? When you’re outside for hours on end, you’ve gotta SPF it up, especially on your face (nose and forehead, especially). Coola organic suncare is my absolute fave (more on sun essentials next week) and this SPF 30 for face with a matte finish prettifies your complexion while protecting it.
8. Freshening towelettes. If it’s hot, you’ll feel gross by day’s end (or middle). Use cleansing wipes on your face, neck, arms, legs, etc. to make yourself feel fresh again. Even baby wipes work wonders.
9. Undercover flask. I’m not suggesting you break the rules. Okay, yes I am. You may as well try to sneak in alcohol in a flask that looks like binoculars, an iPhone, or camera to save yourself a couple $27 drinks. Or you could put vodka in a water bottle, wrap it in your fouta, and hope for the best. It’s worked for me (ssshhhh)….
10. GoGirl. Disclaimer: I’ve never used this. But if you’re weird about urinating in a porta potty and/or outdoors, this hygienic invention could help your situation by letting you pee like you have a D.
Now you’re ready for some good, clean fun.
Remember the tears in my eyes during my first bikini wax? (If not, click HERE.) It absolutely has gotten better over time, but let’s be real–you’re ripping hair out of your skin in a sensitive area, so (some sort of) pain is a given, ESPECIALLY if you’re going Brazilian. I consulted two of Atlanta’s top hair removal experts, Myka Barbato of WAX and Raquel Souza of Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio, to share their expert tips for less ouch factor.
1. Meds. Both pros recommend taking your normal dosage of ibuprofen/aspirin 30 minutes to an hour before. It can reduce pain but also help with potential inflammation.
2. Alcohol. You can have one or two drinks to take the edge off, but Myka says, “Not too many! Alcohol thins the blood and you don’t want to be more prone to bruising, etc. just from too many cocktails!”
3. Your period. Good Lawwwd, don’t go getting waxed right before your cycle is supposed to start as you’re more sensitive down there up to three days before. You can also be sensitive up to three days after, but once you’re past that point, it’s a perfect time for a hoo-ha haircut because as Myka says, “The grow-out period isn’t so hard to bear because the last week you are most likely on your cycle and probably not getting any action anyways.” #TRUTH.
4. Pregnancy. Myka says, “During the first two trimesters, it’s business as usual, but the last one can be more sensitive.” That’s not to say it can’t be done (hello, you’re going to want to be groomed right before you have a crowd of people down there cheering on your vagina), but just be sure to go to a top-notch salon (like WAX or Sweet Peach) as they know how to handle a delicate mom-to-be.
5. Exfoliation. Raquel recommends exfoliating the area within the 24 hours before your appointment for a smoother ride. As I’ve mentioned before, I die for the sugar peach scrub exclusively sold at Sweet Peach ($20). Also, if you can take a warm shower or bath prior to your treatment, it will help open up the pores for easier and less painful hair removal.
6. Distract yourself. Chat with your waxer, make a mental to-do list, or even text/email/Facebook on your phone (no X-rated Instagrams, please). I recommend asking politely if your aesthetician minds you using your phone during the treatment, but she won’t. She gets it. (Just don’t sext with your man; being turned on during a wax could get awkward quick.) At Sweet Peach, Sex and the City plays in the treatment rooms, so I actually get excited to go and see which episode is on. Nothing like seeing Miranda’s full bush while you’re getting yours removed.
7. Numbing cream + panties. If you’re really scared of pain, Raquel recommends Dr. Edna’s BareEASE prep kit ($18-$22, available online and at Sweet Peach). Forty-five minutes prior to the treatment, you put the topical analgesic cream on the area, then slide on the latex panty to isolate the application. It’s safe and doctor-developed, and many of Raquel’s clients swear by it. I tried it and did notice less pain, but nothing takes away ALL of the discomfort (except like, an epidural).
8. Post-treatment activity. Your “baby” skin is so sensitive right after hair removal that wearing tight clothing/working out or getting your freak on within the following 24-48 hours can irritate the area leading to bumps, pimples, and ingrown hairs (OUCHIE), so keep that in mind when making an appointment. With sugaring, there’s generally less or no irritation (I can work out within 24 hours with no issues), but still keep tabs on how your body reacts. And for the love of God, don’t go getting a spray tan right after a wax/sugaring unless you are wearing thick-ass panties that cover the entire treated area. Trust me on this one.
9. Wait time. Don’t go TOO long between treatments or it can make for a more uncomfortable experience the next time (in more ways than one). Everyone is different, but three weeks to a month is ideal. I think we’ve all pushed it past the limit during those winter droughts, but when you wait two months or more, you’re getting into scary territory.
10. Shaving. Ladies, I know the scenario. Some hot guy asks you on an impromptu date/your long-distance booty call flies in town unexpected/the ex shows up on your doorstep with flowers and a much hotter physique since the breakup…….and you’re rocking full ’70s bush. You could take a razor down there, but know that if you’re a regular waxer/sugarer, this could lead to ingrowns and make your treatment more painful next time. So what’s a girl to do? I say embrace the bush. He’ll understand; or better yet, he might really dig it and you’ll be getting down like Joanie and Chachi in no time. If he’s turned off by it, send that loser packing. Then put on Sex and the City and call it a (pain-free) night.
out down there, sisters!
**I’m giving away one Brazilian wax from WAX and one Brazilian sugaring from Sweet Peach. Head on over to the Witty + Pretty Facebook page to find out how to win!**
Presenting another glorious guest blog from the witty and pretty Hayden of Pretty In My Pocket (which you all have downloaded and are using to step up your beauty product shopping, right??). In this installment, she tells us how to keep our faces from looking like we moisturized with bacon grease once that serious summer heat sets in. Praise the Lawd for powder.
“Here comes the sun…and I say, it’s alright.”
Heck yeah it is. The Beatles sure knew what they were talking about when they came up with that wildly popular yet totally simplistic little diddy. But, one thing they left out was that obnoxiously shiny face you get while soaking up the warmer weather…’cuz that is NOT alright.
But have no fear; shine-control finishing powder is here! So if you’re one of the lucky gals (and uh, who isn’t?) who get a little too “shiny” in the sun, I suggest picking up this product STAT for the perfect, purse-friendly face fixer. Who really likes sweat ‘staches and greasy T-zones anyway? (Sorry for that visual.)
There are two types of finishing powders: Loose and pressed. It’s really personal preference as to which type you choose. Most are translucent (read: You don’t have to worry about matching to your skin tone), and the right one will work as a sheer veil to give you a smooth complexion and flawless finish. BONUS: Most finishing powders work to minimize the appearance of pores, so whether controlling shine is an issue for you or not, this product can give anyone a silky, airbrushed look. In other words, dry-skinned beauties, don’t worry: These powders will only help, not harm.
Here are my picks for this must-have cosmetic:
2. Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder ($30)
4. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder ($5)
On bare skin OR on top of full makeup, finishing powder can be used to complete just about any look you’re going for. As for brushes, I like a setting brush like this one available at Ulta for $8, or for a more compact option (read: will fit in your summer clutch), a Kabuki brush like this gem from Sephora ($36) is mini magnificence. (Note: Ashley uses the Sephora Kabuki brush and loves.)
Now grab your favorite lip stain and sunscreen, book a Caribbean trip on Orbitz, quit your job, and start soaking up the good life…sun-kissed and shine-free.
Don’t forget! You can find more product reviews and recommendations and just up your beauty game in general with the FREE Pretty In My Pocket app!
Apparently, there’s a sexy theme on W+P this week: Legs, selfies, and now the giveaway I’m announcing. Sorry if you’re a prude and/or are easily offended by riske chat, but I didn’t plan it this way. (But then again, if that’s the case, you’re reading the wrong blog.)
ANYWAY, I’m giving away three beauty + bedroom must-haves in the final W+P 1-year anniversary giveaway, but it’s ONLY available to email subscribers and I’ll be sending out the email with how to win shortly, so if you’re not signed up, hop on it with the form to your right! I’ll be giving away three packages (no pun intended) and they include:
1. The Wittiest + Prettiest toy ever. This FOUR SPEED vibrator known as “Hidden Drama” ($39) is disguised as a lipstick case so you’ll never be busted again when you want to pack the pleasure in your purse for those slow days at work. GENIUS.
2. Real lipstick. First things first: Don’t get this confused with the Hidden Drama or you’ll have a messy situation on your
hands hoo-ha. This is Pla Beauty’s Lovestruck ($22), my favorite red lipstick of all time. It looks good on gals of all complexions and hair colors; I’m a brunette and swear by it, but so does our blonde buddy Carrie Underwood who wore it on the ACM awards a few weeks ago (LOOK!!!). You’ll also get a Pla lip gloss ($20), and hear read me when I say: Best. Gloss. Ever.
3. THE panties. If you aren’t wearing Cosabella, you’re missing out, sister. I personally think Hanky Panky doesn’t have anything on these comfy, Italian-made, lacy numbers and we are lucky enough to have a flagship store right here in Atlanta (where they mysteriously seem to take all my money). The lingerie company is celebrating 30 years with the Trenta collection (that’s 30 in Italian) and we’re giving away THREE-packs of the incredible lowrider thong ($52)–super-fine lace designed to lay on the body for a seamless effect (read: no VPL!) and low-rise fit with wide stretch band (read: no muffin top!). So you’ll have a new pair of sexy stunners for every night of the weekend (talk about putting the fun in Sunday Funday).
So make sure you’re subscribed and look for further details in your inbox on how to win this provocative prize pack!