Posts Tagged Summer

This Silky Mineral Sunscreen Doesn't Leave a White Cast – and I'll Never Turn Back

Not to brag or anything, but I have pretty good skin. I frequently get complimented on my complexion, which I appreciate, especially because I work hard at keeping my skin healthy. Whenever I get questions from friends regarding what they can do for better skin, I always mention two cardinal beauty rules that I never break: don’t go to bed with makeup on, and always wear sunscreen.

My obsession with sunscreen is almost comical, and many of my friends look at me like a psychopath while I’m screaming at them for tanning. Despite my dogmatic sunscreen habits, I’m also incredibly picky about sunscreen formulas. Luckily, the Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Sun Screen SPF 30 ($36) passed my test, and I have a new favorite item to add to my skin-care routine.

The tinted product is a broad-spectrum SPF with mineral sunscreen, meaning that its ingredients physically block your skin from being hit by the sun’s rays. This is different from chemical sunscreens, which use active ingredients that absorb UV rays. This creates a chemical reaction that changes into heat, releasing it from the skin.

Many people try to avoid chemical sunscreens because they are potentially irritating to the skin, clog pores, and cause skin discoloration. However, chemical sunscreens also are typically thinner and more comfortable to wear than their physical counterparts.

The problem with physical (sometimes called mineral) sunscreens is that the main ingredient, zinc oxide, tends to leave a white cast on the skin and have a chalky formula. Somehow, Drunk Elephant has found a way around this pitfall with Umbra Tinte. The physical tinted sunscreen contains 20 percent zinc oxide but manages to have a soft texture and matte finish and is a great base for the rest of your makeup. It’s not the least bit chalky and leaves behind no white residue or strong sunscreen smell.

The product comes out of the tube a beige hue but can be blended into the skin easily and is flattering on light-medium to deep skin tones. We tested the formula on both medium-light skin and deep skin, and the sunscreen blended in flawlessly on both. The lotion gives the wearer a glowy, filtered appearance with a light amount of coverage. If you have a very light complexion, Drunk Elephant recommends its nontinted version, Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 ($34).

In addition to sun protection, the cream is also packed with antioxidants to benefit and moisturize your skin. It contains sunflower shoot extract, raspberry seed oil, and marula oil, which help moisturize and prevent premature aging.

This is a great choice for those of us who prefer more natural beauty products, and I can’t wait to replace the white-tinted sunblock in my medicine cabinet with this one.

You'll Never Skip a Day of Sunscreen Thanks to These 12 Sephora Bestsellers

We’re constantly told to slather on SPF year round to protect our skin. But many women (us included) are guilty of skipping the step because, despite its multiple benefits, traditional SPF doesn’t always wear too well on the skin. Many sunscreens have a thick consistency, which leaves your skin oily and creates a slippery canvas for makeup when applied to the face. Sunscreen also tends to leave behind an unflattering white cast, which can translate as chalky in photos (and on people of color), that alone causes most of us to nix SPF altogether.

But the bottom line is: sunscreen is essential for minimizing the risks of skin cancer, sunburn, and hyperpigmentation . So whether you’re an SPF devotee or a sunscreen skeptic, we’ve rounded up some of Sephora’s top-rated formulas so you have no more excuses when it comes to protecting your skin. These will guarantee your face is moisturized, guarded, and white-cast free!

9 Mini Drugstore Products You Need For Your Next Trip – All $12 or Less

Between the price of airfare and lodging, travel can get expensive. But you can cut down on costs by purchasing drugstore minis that are just as good as the high-end versions. Having all your beauty and skincare essentials prepared before you take flight will only make things easier on you, too. So whether you need makeup or skincare products, we have top-rated drugstore items in tiny packaging. Feel glam no matter where you are.

According to Reviewers, These Are the Best Drugstore Self-Tanners

While a little bit of vitamin D is healthy in moderation, self-tanning is the best option if you’re looking to develop – or maintain – a tan without getting any sun damage. Whether you’re new to the world of faux glow or a seasoned pro at applying bronzed lotions, there are a ton of products to choose from. From sprays to lotions and everything in between, it can feel like an intimidating space to tackle. So we looked to reviewers to case the drugstore aisles in search of the best.

These 28 Travel Beauty Items Are the Only Ones You Need to Pack

Packing for a long weekend is one of the most stressful tasks a beauty junkie can endure. Editing down your favorite goods (do you really need a dry shampoo and a texture spray?) can be daunting and take hours if you’re not prepared. You also may be confused about what to splurge on (skin care!) and what to save on (hairspray, trust us) when it comes to buying travel-size products .

To help you get ready for long Summer weekends, we are offering up the ultimate selection of beauty minis. Basically, we made the good decisions for you, so all you need to do is decide which cosmetics case to put them in (the struggle is so real). Keep reading to see our travel picks for skin, hair, and body care .

One Black Girl Got a Spray Tan and Lived to Tell the Tale

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Siegel

I have always been a firm believer that black girls shouldn’t artificially tan . To me, using liquid enhancers on dark complexions just wasn’t necessary, and I’ve always feared that any form of enhancement to our natural complexions would end up in an orange Willy Wonka disaster.

So when POPSUGAR’s senior beauty editor Lauren Levinson approached me with an opportunity to get spray-tanned by the pros at Vita Liberta , my first thought was to immediately decline. However, after giving it thought, I wondered if my reaction was purely the result of a beauty myth. Out of pure curiosity, I decided to challenge myself and sign up for the spray tan to debunk the myth or confirm my theory that liquid enhancers aren’t flattering on dark skin.

When it was my turn to strip down (yes, down to my undies) and get into the tanning tent, I knew there was no turning back. I stood there as the cold spray latched onto my pores and anxiously closed my eyes. After a few brief turns and chills, the entire process was finished. Once my tan was complete, I gazed in the mirror and was overwhelmingly pleased with my glowing, toasty complexion. The tanning liquid coated my skin with a radiant shine that made it look like I’d just returned from an exotic vacation. I was visibly darker, but my complexion still looked completely natural.

Throughout the day, I was extremely aware of the tanning solution on my body. I personally couldn’t wait to rinse it off to see the hue once it was settled in my skin, but the experts at Vita Liberata said it was OK to skip a shower and sleep in your tanner to achieve a deeper tint (just avoid white sheets!). But that night, I opted to shower with a gentle exfoliating cleanser to lather away the first layer of liquid enhancer. My tan melted down to a more bronzed version of my typically pale, blotchy skin. I couldn’t wait to throw on a plunge-neck top the next day to show off my sexy complexion. To say I was obsessed with my tan was an understatement.

As it turns out, my earlier hunch was wrong. My belief that a certain beauty enhancement is made solely for one type of skin is just a myth that feeds into beauty stereotypes. I am a black girl, I got a spray tan, and I loved it. And after my first experience, I’ve learned that like your favorite bronzer or liquid illuminator , a faux tan will simply just lift your natural skin tone to transform it into a more radiant version of you. So if you’re like me and thought that spray tans and black girls don’t mix, I can confidently assure you that they do. With proper research into products and technique, you lower the risk of mishaps during your first tan.

I’ve gathered all of my learnings to prepare you for your first spray-tanning experience . Read along for everything you need to know before getting spritzed or doing it at home (especially if you have brown skin).

Preparing For Your Tan

There are a few general rules to follow before stepping into the tanning tent. The day before my tan, I was advised to thoroughly exfoliate with an oil-free body scrub to create a smooth canvas. I smoothed my skin with a brown sugar, honey, and lemon DIY concoction. I was also advised to not apply any moisturizer the day of my tan. So, the night before, I slathered on a thick layer of Ceramidin Body Cream by Dr. Jart+ ($35) so my skin would still be hydrated the following day.

If you’re going on vacation and plan on scheduling a bikini wax around the time of your tan, it is highly recommended to do all hair removal, including shaving your legs, 48 hours before tanning.

The week of your spray tan requires some prep for optimal results, too. CEO and founder of Vita Liberata Alyson Hogg recommends drinking lots of water and eating foods high in lysine (like kale, spinach, and avocado) to further enhance the brightness of your skin. In addition to being mindful of what you eat, wear loose-fitting dark clothing you won’t mind getting dirty, as color from the tan can transfer onto your clothing.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts

During Your Tan

Your chances of a flawless application are greater when you tan completely naked. If you’re not comfortable getting bare or if you won’t be in a bikini anytime soon, leaving on undergarments is also totally fine; just don’t wear any lingerie pieces you won’t want to dirty with the bronzing liquid.

Before applying any liquid, your tanning expert will cover the rougher areas of your body with a thin layer of lotion to prevent the liquid from settling into those lines. You can protect your hair with a plastic shower cap, and you’ll be given sticky slippers to protect under your feet. Your tanning expert will instruct you on how to stand and place your limbs. After two to three minutes of turns and large sprays, the entire process will be done!

After Your Tan

Most new spray tans are formulated to dry quickly, like the Vita Liberata one I experienced during my first time. So after your tan, you are able get dressed as normal and go about your day. However, you should avoid contact with water for six to eight hours so your tan can set. Also try your best to wait two hours before washing your hands.

If you removed any makeup prior to getting tanned, it is also recommended to wait two hours (or more) before applying liquid makeup to your skin. But if you’re headed to an event or errand post-tan and want to touch up your makeup, you can use a long-wear powder foundation to avoid reapplying throughout the day. I lightly dusted Esteé Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Powder Makeup ($40) on my face with a fluffy powder brush ($75).

To ensure that my “guide layer” and any dead skin rinsed off completely during my shower, I lathered with an extragentle exfoliating cleanser from Nubian Heritage . After showering, it is imperative that you keep your skin hydrated by moisturizing twice daily to avoid peeling and to help your color fade consistently.

For At-Home Self-Tanning

If you’d rather take your tan into your own hands, there are a few things you can do to have the most effective at-home experience. In addition to your essential prepping steps, a tanning mitt should be the first piece of your arsenal, along with a coloring agent and a thick moisturizer. (Check out which self-tan liquids POPSUGAR editors use at home .)

I consulted celebrity tanning expert James Read of James Read Tan by email, and he stressed the importance of applying the liquid to your body from shoulders to toe in sweeping motions to avoid blotchiness and streaking. He suggested to abstain from placing tanning lotion directly on your elbows, knees, feet, and ankles, as those areas are often rougher in texture and can cause creasing. Instead, protect that skin with a thin layer of moisturizer as your first step. And when tanning your face at home, use a lighter tanning liquid shade to achieve the most natural finish. You can even mix some tanning solution into your facial moisturizer to avoid going too dark!

When using self-tanner at home, be extra cautious of overapplying. To avoid an unwanted dark hue, make sure to spread a thin layer of the liquid or mousse and add more if needed. Most at-home tanning lotions will gradually darken, so try not to overdo it. If you still desire a deeper glow after your first application, opt for an overnight tanner.

Similar to getting tanned by a professional, carefully cleansing and moisturizing your skin is key to a flawlessly fading tan. In addition to exfoliating and hydrating your skin, aftersun products will help preserve the life of your lifted complexion. But no matter your skin complexion or race, protecting your body with SPF is an absolute step to gorgeous healthy skin – tanned or au naturel!

The Natural Deodorant That Weaned Me Off Antiperspirants

My longtime relationship with antiperspirants was like that of a social smoker and cigarettes: I knew they were ultimately harmful and comforted myself with the notion that I would one day just give them up for good. The problem is, I was never really certain when that day would come.

I started using more intense antiperspirants just before college, which was around the same time I got more invested in working out regularly. I was so frequently going from class to the gym to the cafeteria and wherever else life took me that I developed a preemptive fear of smelling bad in front of my peers and the people I was trying to befriend.

When I started interning at the start of my sophomore year, I grew to rely upon my intense deodorant habit even more. I was suddenly having to work in professional environments that felt so out of my league, and it kinda made me sweat.

Around the same time, I kept seeing stories about the harmful effects of common antiperspirant ingredients, which can include aluminum compounds and parabens. Antiperspirants than contain aluminum are especially risky because they can be absorbed into your bloodstream and have been linked to breast cancer , according to the National Cancer Institute.

Here lies my real problem and the source of a lot of paranoia. My grandmother, my mom’s mom, passed away from breast cancer in her 30s. Though she was diagnosed at a time when research and treatment were scarce, that’s certainly not the case right now. If there’s reputable information out there about the harmfulness of antiperspirants, then why the f*ck was I using them?

I gave it some thought and realized that my health and longevity were more important than the strength of my deodorant. My next issue, however, was finding the right natural deodorant that smelled nice and was still effective – although I was prepared to be let down by the effectiveness after years of using my stronger one. After arming myself with some knowledge about other aluminum-free deodorants , I ended up settling on Milk + Honey’s cream deodorant in coconut and lemongrass scent.

Image Source: Milk + Honey

I had a bunch of initial reservations. First of all, the deodorant is $16, which definitely doesn’t make it an economical choice. Also, the notion of a cream deodorant that you have to scoop up with your hands – and thereby rub directly onto your armpits – kind of grossed me out.

While I have to admit I still feel weird about applying it by hand, the price has become slightly more understandable since I realized how a tiny amount of the thick cream can offer a lot of protection. I’ve also become obsessed with its refreshing scent. It smells crisp, fresh, and gloriously lacking in weird chemicals that my body does not need or want. Just the other day, I got a whiff of my armpit as I was working out and it actually smelled nice, ultimately passing the most difficult smell test.

I’m sure I’ll try other types of natural deodorants, but for now, I feel at peace knowing that I can throw away my intense antiperspirant and rely on this pleasant option without fear of offending my co-workers and fellow gym-goers.

20 of the Hottest Drugstore Launches of Summer 2016

Summer is just around the corner, which means beauty routines are being switched up to better deal with everything from sun protection to frizzy hair. It’s a great excuse to try new products and edit your makeup bag – and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, a lot of our favorite beauty finds can be found at the local drugstore, which means two things: convenience and low prices. And who doesn’t love the sound of that? From a Katy Perry-curated line of matte lipsticks in the coolest colors to a new iteration of a cult favorite skin care product, here are 20 drugstore beauty launches coming your way this Summer.

5 Refreshingly Easy Ways to Detox Your Skin Before Summer

Your skin is your largest organ, so in order to properly detox it (i.e., get all of that gunk out of your pores), you need to start from within . You’ll notice clearer, cleaner-looking skin just from eating better, avoiding sugar, and drinking plenty of water . Once you have that part under control, then you can begin to really tackle the surface.

We spoke with a dermatologist, Dr. Mona Gohara , to find out how the latest “It” ingredients in skin care can help keep your face free of toxins and pollutants. And as gross as it all sounds, thanks to salt baths and charcoal masks, the skin detox is actually pretty pampering. Hello, Sunday night wind-down – aka Netflix and mask.

See the Bohemian-Chic Sephora x Mara Hoffman Collab Before It Hits Stores

If you’ve ever been to Coachella, you’ve probably worn one of Mara Hoffman ‘s abstract-printed dresses or bathing suits , and this Summer, you can bring that same free-spirited vibe to your beauty routine. The designer has teamed up with Sephora on her first-ever, limited-edition makeup collaboration dubbed Kaleidescape. The news was announced in February during New York Fashion Week , as Sephora provides the makeup for Mara’s runway shows. And now, we finally have a first look at the makeup, brushes, and cosmetics cases, which launch in July.

“I don’t want you to look like you’re wearing makeup,” Mara told us of her influence. “I’ve never really related to that. I think now as I get older, too, I love seeing a woman who is even more pared down.”

The minimalist products she choose were also inspired by her own hippie-chic beauty routine. “I feel like I’m my natural most comfortable state of being when I look – it’s not disheveled – but like I’ve been in nature on some level,” she explained. “That beach look is a really comfy space for me. A bit of salty, crusty hair. And sort of sun-kissed skin – but not really, because nobody needs a tan anymore.”

The offering reflects this with three do-it-all cheek trios in bronze, blush, and highlighter shades ($28); five slightly pigmented lip glosses that range from beige to coral ($28); and a tinted lip balm in a sheer rose hue ($18). A stand-out is a multitaking balm for face, body, and hair ($30) with the loveliest lavender scent. There are also Mara Hoffman–printed makeup brushes ($24-$64) and cosmemetics cases ($20-$110) that double as clutches.

What makes these items so exceptional is that they contain mostly natural and organic ingredients, such as sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter, lavender and rosemary leaf extract, and coconut oil. “When we sat down to talk about it, I said I wanted to be able to use my fingers,” Mara noted. “And whatever we made, I wanted it to be safe enough to use on my kid. Anywhere we could, we used organic or natural ingredients instead of synthetics.”

The packaging is Earth friendly, as well. Not only does it showcase her Spring 2016 prints, but it is also mostly made from sustainable materials. The brushes, cases, and makeup contain feature-coated organic cotton canvases and FSC–certified sustainable wood, and utilize low-impact printing.

Keep reading to see close-ups of the buzzy Summer launch!

10 Safe Sunscreens For Kids (Including Some You Can Find at Your Drugstore)

Slather on the lotion! If you thought the breast vs. bottle debate was polarizing, wait until you talk to fellow playground moms about sunscreen. Though lotions and sticks protect little ones’ skin from cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays, doctors advise new mamas to use physical barriers – SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shades – rather than lotions on babies younger than 6 months old.

Once tots reach the 6-month mark, though, we need to keep them protected from the sun without harming them in other ways. The Environmental Working Group’s recommendations for the best sunscreens for tots – products that do not contain potential hormone disruptors – is considered the definitive list of safe options. According to EWG Senior Scientist David Andrews, it’s inactive ingredients like retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and oxybenzone that parents need to look out for. “By and large, the ones that do well in our database are the ones that are mineral-based products with a higher percent of zinc oxide, as well as some of the products with titanium dioxide,” he said.

While parents have been getting the message about switching from chemical sunscreens to mineral versions, one of the group’s biggest concerns is how parents are using them. “[Consumers] are looking to buy higher and higher SPF values,” Andrews said. “When people use higher SPF values, we’re concerned that it leads to a change in behavior and an increased time in the sun and that you apply less of it. Those products may not be as effective in blocking both UVA and UVB radiation. So we steer consumers toward SPF 30 to SPF 50 products and lower and we really think those are the sweet spot of the products that are available in the marketplace.”

He went on to explain, “The active ingredients in SPF 30 and SPF 100 products may be quite similar. So we’re going to be doing more over the course of the next year, investigating the inactive ingredients like the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that may be reducing redness in the skin, but may not be reducing how much hits your skin. The way the SPF test is done is in changes in skin redness.”

So what’s a parent to do when trying to choose a safe sunscreen? First, check the EWG’s site and app for a list of the safest and least safe options for your family. If you don’t have that at your fingertips, Andrews recommends:

  1. Steering away from SPF products over 50. SPF 30-50 products depending on the situation are OK.
  2. Seek out products that use three percent avobenzone if they are chemical sunscreens or the ones that use zinc oxide as the active ingredient in natural versions. “[They] do the best job of filtering out UVA radiation across the spectrum of UVA radiation. Seek out products that use a higher percentage of zinc oxide – typically you’ll find 15 to 20 percent, or three percent avobenzone.”
  3. Look at inactive ingredients on the label. If possible, avoid products that use retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and avoid products using oxybenzone.
  4. Avoid spray products – they’re convenient but not the best choice. Why skip the convenience of spray lotions? “You don’t get a uniform coating on the skin,” Andrews says. Plus, “Given the concern about the ingredients in these products, we really don’t want to coat the inside of our lungs with sunscreen.”

Read through to see 10 of the EWG’s top picks (many of which can be found at your local drugstore – not just at specialty stores).

12 Sheer Sunscreens That Blend Right In

Listen, I get it. I have dark skin, too. But not being easily able to find a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a gross white residue on your skin isn’t an excuse to skip the SPF . Sunscreen formulas have gotten lighter and sheerer, and there are now more options than ever to try.

Yes, it might be annoying to have to date your way around different SPF to find “the one,” but with sun rays getting stronger and a rise in skin cancer cases among Hispanics , it’s worth it. This list of 12 sheer formulas is a great start. They promise to blend right in, and from my experience, they do just that. Scroll ahead to find your Summer shopping list, and don’t forget to reapply every two hour !

This Rosewater Face Mist Is the Genius New Way to Self Tan

It’s perfectly natural to be wary of self-tanner – especially if you’re pale . One false move and you could transform from porcelain goddess to uncomfortably Oompa-Loompa. Even worse, faux tans last for days, so once you’re orange, you’re stuck that way.

Luckily, bronzing products have seriously evolved in the past few years. Today’s instant self-tanners are much more natural-looking on the skin, and gradual formulas (which you apply daily for up to a week to build up your sun-kissed appearance) are better than ever before.

Personally, my only gripe with self-tanners is that they can be something of a hassle to use. Many require you to shower, apply, then shower it off. Lotions are less time-consuming, but are often streaky and challenging to put on evenly. Now, James Read, founder of his eponymous bronzing line, has created a genius, gradual facial tanner that is impossibly easy to use with no risk of tiger stripes or staining clothing. But my favorite part is that it’s something I think a model would use – and considering that Read has tanned Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, it’s entirely possible that models do use it.

James Read H2O Tan Mist ($31) is the first rosewater facial spray that is actually infused with DHA, the active bronzing ingredient in self-tanners. The liquid in the bottle is completely clear and is loaded with powerful ingredients like acne-fighting zinc, nourishing coconut oil, and (of course) refreshing, hydrating rosewater.

When testing it, I found that it had a clean floral scent, but I couldn’t smell any trace of DHA (which can often give off a “sweaty” aroma). It was designed to be used over or under makeup, so I spritzed it on my made-up face. The superfine mist felt supersoothing, and I could feel a bit of the coconut oil after touching my skin.

It’s very gradual, so you don’t have to fear overusing it. I’ve been keeping my bottle on my desk and applying it intermittently throughout the day to give my complexion a boost, as I would any facial mist. All I see is a light, subtle hint of color that looks perfectly realistic on my pale skin.

According to Read, it can be used as a makeup primer and setter, too, making this product a true multitasker. And as I’m always interested in adding some life to my tired face without the risk of looking dirty, this is essential for my makeup bag. If you’re a fellow pale girl, you’ll want to try this one out!

7 Dangerous Sunscreen Mistakes Not to Make This Spring Break

You know about sunscreen, of course. You walk down the aisles full of them in the supermarket. You see the commercials. You read about new formulas when they launch. Maybe you’re still making excuses not to wear it every day or maybe you’re following the rules and slathering on SPF without fail. But are you confident you’re doing the best you can to protect your skin?

With an increase of 20 percent in melanoma cases among Hispanics in the past two decades, it sounds like Latinas might be making more mistakes that we think we are. Keep scrolling to find out what the most common blunders are and how to avoid them from Flor Mayoral, MD, a dermatologist and L’Oréal Paris ambassador.