There are two things I didn’t realize that I really love having in my wardrobe arsenal, and they aren’t even pieces of clothing! But I think that all of you reading this will definitely agree with me when you hear what they are. You ready?
A go-to lipstick and a nice tan!
Right?! I mean really, I think these are must-have, hands-down, absolute essentials to make your outfits pop in the warmer months. Bright vibrant sun-kissed colors just make us HAPPY, and it is good to get away from our typical nude lip color anyway. Plus, something happens when you put lipstick on. It’s like it automatically says, “Hey I’m put together and ready to go places."
Over the winter I played around with wearing red lipstick, and I’ll have to say that I am truly shocked that it ended up becoming my go-to look for special occasions. I LOATHED wearing makeup, especially red lipstick, during my college years. But once I learned an easy way to apply and wear it, my confidence in the bold lip department sky rocketed and propelled me into finding a new vibrant lip color for spring and summer. I don't even remember what I googled exactly, but I'm sure it was something along the lines of "vibrant summer red lipstick". And this picture of DWTS pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd sent me on my vibrant red lipstick discovering journey.
Simple, dewy natural skin with an understated (maybe even just some eyeliner and mascara) eye, and BAM! That amazing sunkissed coraly redish goodness of a lip color was just calling my name y'all!
My search immediately began with Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids lipsticks because I adore the Color Whispers line for creamy subtle lip color. Based on the online color swatches, I had my sights set on the Shocking Coral shade, but when I actually swatched it in-store, it was much more pink than I anticipated. So I just walked my little fingers down the line to find Vibrant Mandarin and I knew it was the one...
...But it was almost $8 at Ulta, so I thought if I'm gonna spend $8 on lipstick, might as well spend $16 and get some awesome higher end stuff, so I looked at Urban Decay, Tarte, and Benefit. UD had nothing comparable, nor did Benefit. But I found this absolutely beautiful color from Tarte’s Butter Lipstick collection called Watermelon.
It was so smooth, and luxe, and gorgeous. But then I remembered, “Duh Cam! luxe|wise. Hello! You can’t be telling your peeps to buy some expensive lipsticks.” And I knew that I couldn’t justify spending the $16 when NYX has it’s own line of butter lipsticks that I already know I love that are a fraction of the price. I only needed to find the right color.
Before checking out the NYX Butters, I took a look through their $3 Round Case collection and found Femme.
It is definitely the most cost effective choice. Great color. Basically identical to the Maybelline and Tarte lipstick swatches on my skin. But I was still drawn to the lipstick I already knew. And behold, NYX Butter lipstick in Fireball.
Candy Buttons is the color on the left and was my first Butter Lipstick purchase from NYX for $6. These lipsticks glide on so easily and feel like a rich creamy lip balm while wearing. If you are still intimidated by vibrant colors, it is a FATNTASTIC option to bump your nude lip up a notch. Fireball is the tube on the right and is the perfect fit for me and my summer lip idea.
These are the swatches showing you how the colors look of my light/medium toned skin in both indoor and outdoor lighting. Fireball is on the left and Candy Buttons is on the right in the photos of the swatches. So get brave and go swatch a few vibrant reds and corals on your hand to find your pop of color for the summer.
And now to the ever coveted brazilian tan. Ok. Really, I am NOT saying you have to be a golden goddess to be beautiful. I have fair skin and rock it all through the winter months (and most of the other months of the year for that matter). But when it gets down to it, we all feel a little bit better and tad more confident when we have a nice healthy glow about us.
And I am all about finding HEALTHY ways to achieve that glow.
I will say it loud and proud that I do not advocate getting tan in a tanning bed or outside wearing no SPF. My mother is not only a victor over melanoma but also my inspiration to be intentional about taking care of my skin! It’s your largest and most amazing organ! Don’t mistreat it because IT WILL stage a revolt my friends.
The very first self tanner I ever used, and the only one I used for years, was the Jergens Natural Glow daily moisturizer. It was honestly the easiest stuff to use over 10 years ago and one of the least fowl smelling. So I would slather that stuff on hoping to look immediately bronze and to not sweat so the smell wouldn’t permeate every stitch of clothing I was wearing. Ha! But last year my self tanning experience was revolutionized. I decided to bite the bullet and spend some dough to explore other self-tanning creams/lotions/sprays/mousses, and I am SO glad that I did. I found two products that I thoroughly enjoy and am now trying one that just might take the cake. So the two that revolutionized my at-home tanning process were:
Fake Bake brand Airbrush aerosol spray tan and St. Tropez self tanning bronzing mousse. The Fake Bake spray has such a rich natural color and very low odor. I love that I can spray a light spritz over my face and have that healthy glow almost immediately. The downside to the Fake Bake is that after I have thoroughly moisturized, I can barely hold the can and depress the spray mechanism. So that gets tricky. And if you don’t have a spray tent or booth, you need to be spraying this stuff in your shower, which may not have the best lighting or ventilation for the job. The second product is the St. Tropez self tanning mousse. This. stuff. is. legit. You pump a dollop of dark bronze mousse onto a little foam mitt, and you can actually see where you are rubbing it in. So unless you can’t reach a spot, you won’t have any funky streaks. The color is also a rich natural bronze hue. And after ONE minute it is completely dry and virtually odorless so you can get dressed and go. The ONLY downside to this miracle mousse is the price. It is a whopping $18 for that tiny little 1.something ounce bottle.
I ALMOST had myself convinced that it was worth it until I found Ulta’s brand of self tanning mousse. It is only $12 for over 8 ounces of mousse. It goes on just as nicely as St. Tropez and even has a tiny hint of a smell that somewhat reminds me of Banana Boat … or maybe just summer in general. I actually took a leap of faith and tried the product on my face first, and I love the way the color has developed. So don’t be afraid to go get your tan on! (and then wash it right off…)
Whatever you decide to go with, you MUST make sure that your skin is well exfoliated and moisturized and legs freshly shaven to get the optimum result with your self tanner. And if you are in a pinch, you can always find a place that does spray tans for you. My all time favorite fake tan was from the Soderstrom Skin Institute last June. My skin had barely seen the light of day and desperately needed some color for photographs that I was going to be in. And this is how it turned out …
© Mark F Henning Photography
I loved it, and of course I’m always keepin’ it real for ya. Rocking some nonexistent guns and pretty sweet spray tan back in 2013 for one of my best friend’s weddings. Hope you get to enjoy some nice weather this weekend. And if you happen to have an awesome vibrant lip color for summer or a go-to self-tanner that you’d like to share, leave a comment or post a picture on instagram and tag us @luxewise or #luxewise!