As we simplify our wardrobe and strip away extra layers of clothing, summer calls for a stronger focus on fabulous skin. From the beauty product you haven’t heard of, to exclusive breaking news on a wand of magic mascara, TODAY Style editor Bobbie Thomas shares the scoop on this summer's beauty essentials.
Protecting and perfecting your skin is clearly a priority, and now it’s even easier thanks to your local drugstore. CVS/pharmacy now offers exclusive brands and expertly trained advisors. In the past, this sort of knowledge was only available at department and specialty stores. Their revamped Healthy Skincare Centers come complete with a pen-sized camera and skin diagnostic tool that can determine your skin type, measures your hydration level, and analyze you skin's stage of aging. This tool can go a long way to helping you assess your skincare needs (log onto CVS.com for Healthy Skin Center locations). We need to practice what experts are preaching and protect our skin. Most women don’t reapply sunscreen for fear of messing up their makeup. If you're one of the many women who choose not to reapply, listen up. There’s a great way to avoid greasing up your face and ruining your carefully applied color. Mineral Powder with sunscreen is effective and easy, thanks to applicators with built-in brushes. Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral SPF is translucent and perfect for absorbing oil while providing protection ($30; peterthomasroth.com). ColoreScience offers a wide variety of powder brushes for the face and body. Some of ColoreSciences' products even contain double-duty benefits like color correctors and bronzers. ($22.50-65; colorescience.com)People are always buzzing about something when it comes to anti-aging, and currently it’s microcurrent technology. While it’s been around for a number of years, this scalpel-free procedure is being used more and more to visibly tone, tighten and firm the skin by providing low-level microcurrent impulses. Treatments such as the MuscleLift at celebrity-favorite spa Kate Somerville in Los Angeles, get quite busy before red carpet events. While these professional procedures are cumulative, and can set you back a pretty penny (or thousands of dollars in some cases), there is an at-home alternative that doesn’t involve a financial down payment, or immense time commitment. The F.D.A.-approved NuFace device is battery operated, and designed for at-home facial rejuvenation. ($379; mynuface.com)Self-tanning secrets
If you're looking to get tan without spending an exorbitant amount of time in the sun, here's some information you might find interesting. First of all, exfoliating before, and after, is essential. Before you get wet, try sloughing with a textured nylon sheet such as Spa Sister’s Twin Skin Polishing Towels ($10; bathaccessories.com). The scrub glove version of the same material is easier to manage in the shower. This will not only prep your skin, but help you remove color as well. It's important to not add self-tanner on top of your last application. For slip-ups and streaks, an overnight soak with a layer of petroleum jelly will help loosen skin cells and make exfoliating easier. For blotchy patches while you fade, be sure to have baking soda on hand. Just add water, and you've got yourself a homemade body paste for use in the shower, that'll clear the way for your next application.Whether you’re going to brush it on, or mist it upside down, you must have control over your tanning product. Two drugstore options make it easier than ever to avoid a disaster. Banana Boat’s EveryDay Glow SunDial Self-Tanning Lotion has a controllable color delivery system that you can adjust ($9-14 at drugstores nationwide), while Neutrogena’s MicroMist Tanning Sunless Spray ($11.49; walgreens.com) allows you to spray from any angle. One of Sephora’s top sellers, the Clarins Delicious Self-Tanning Cream ($40; sephora.com) has a slightly golden tint, so you can see where it’s already been applied. Guerlain, the company that pioneered the concept of sun makeup with the invention of its compact Terracotta Bronzing Powder in 1984, now offers a Bronzing Gel Brush that lets you even skin tone by painting tough to reach areas. ($46; Saks Fifth Avenue stores) Makeup under a microscopeThanks to Hollywood, everyone is getting a picture-perfect face. Now that the technology behind film and television is so crystal clear, makeup companies are using new formulations with everything from reflective properties to optical blurring in order to hide imperfections. While these products are absolutely necessary for those appearing on HDTV (which sees six times better than the naked eye), they’re still natural looking in person as well. Smashbox Cosmetics designed a High Definition Healthy FX Foundation ($38; smashbox.com), Cargo created an entire Blu_ray collection ($20-30; sephora.com), and Make Up For Ever is launching a high-definition line of foundations, primers and powders. ($30-40; sephora.com; the powder is available now, everything else starting August 1st) On top of their high-definition line, Make Up For Ever also offers Aqua Eyes, a best-selling waterproof eyeliner that comes in a rainbow of colors, along with a mini-kit for summer ($16; sephora.com).Mascara in motionFor a while, all mascaras were starting to clump together, but brand new technology, formulas and packaging has made mascara more exciting than ever. Available July 17, Estee Lauder’s TurboLash is poised to be the magic wand that women have been waiting for. Toted as an “all effects in one motion mascara”, this new vibrating lash enhancer is designed to deliver maximum volume, length, separation, definition and curl thanks to a micropulsing effect, innovative brush design, and new formula ($30; esteelauder.com). Another new battery-powered device, Spinlash, offers a rotating brush to remove clumps on your lashes by combing through, coating, and curling each individual lash. While it comes with a mascara formulation, it will most likely work with your own brand too. (14.99; spinlash.com)
Finally, RevitaLash, the cult favorite lash conditioner designed to lengthen and strengthen eyelashes, has an additional beauty benefit. Though many women don’t know it, this product is also being used to bring life back to eyebrows as well. ($150; revitalash.com)