Summer brings its own beauty routine – less mostly being more. Good skin becomes paramount.

Building a Foundation

ONE Triple Play
’s cleverly packaged gloss trio lets you mix and match like a toddler with a paint set. The pretty colors, in shades of “Cotton Candy” and “Cupcake” are subtle enough to impart shine without leaving behind a gloppy mess.

Sheer genius suits Perfekt’s Cheek Perfection Gel in “bronzed” to a T. The natural looking colors mimics a light kiss from the sun without veering into orange territory.

Great Gifts

A one size fits all kind of company, Burt’s Bees pleases all with their charming and unisex packaging. Old and young, male and female can appreciate Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Creme and yummy Coconut Foot Creme. Don’t miss the new tinted lip balms with a bit of rosy color.

Nifty and practical, Farmhouse Fresh’s Honeysuckle Blood Orange Custard Double Moisturizer literally looks good enough to eat. It comes in a jelly jar encased in a mini burlap sack and augmented with an adorable wooden spoon – now that’s rich!

Sparkly and girly in the best possible way, mark.’s Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes work as both a blush and a highlighter. Nine different shades can be swirled together or worn separately to brighten up any complexion.

Quenching thirst just got easier with Sip N’ Go’s great new water bottle. Designed to be folded up when empty, this lightweight container can be snapped right to your backpack or purse after each use.

With adorable packaging and all natural ingredients, the Soap & Paper Factory had me at hello. The Bella hand cream intriguingly scented with grapefruit, bergamot and black pepper kept me coming back for more.

Zensation’s Hydrating Moisture Cream SPF 15 comes in a charming box perfect for a friend’s summer birthday present. The addition of sunscreen makes the gift pretty and sensible.


Even hair can use a little TLC sometimes and Bumble Bee Studio’s All Natural Herbal Shampoo and Conditioner clean without stripping hair of moisture. The invigorating scents of lavender, rosemary and peppermint will sweeten your pillow like a slight whiff from a sachet.

John Frieda’s famous Frizz-Ease products have tamed many an out-of-control tendril. The styling tools offer equally tremendous result, especially the Tight Curls Curling Iron with advanced ionic conditioning for smooth, bouncy locks.

Scrumptious waves à la Blake Lively can be yours for the having with John Masters Organics’ Sea Mist. This sea salt spray, with a hint of lavender, mimics the look of a day at the beach.

Just for Fun

Greige, a sort of beige-grey hybrid has taken the world of nail polish by storm. Deborah Lippmann’s version, called Waking Up in Vegas, is the best one yet; perfect to off set a summer tan with a twist of sophistication.

The perfection of Hard Candy’s Hide & Glow Cheek lies in the duo of colors’ ability to impart just the barest hint of blush or be layered for a more dramatic pink. Perfection.

Pixi, make-up with an ounce of whimsy, a dab of color and a skosh of elegance, gives just the right amount wow for a great gift or a perennial fave in your arsenal of tricks. The Lip & Line in No. 2 Fresh Pink converts washed-out lips into the optimal shade of glowing health.

Flirty in a completely nonchalant fashion, POP’s nail colors add a bit of fun to summer pedicures. Reminiscent of Candy Buttons, the array of colors, like Brave, Strawberry and Radioactive, look good enough to eat.

Sometimes the ability to create a no make-up look feels tantalizingly out of reach. The Smashbox Sultry/Sweet Glambox pulls it all together for you with juicy and pretty basics, like Photo Op Under Eye Brightener illuminator and Lip Enhancing Gloss in tempt that will help you get your J. Lo on. From Sultry Smolder to Naturally Nude to Soft Smoke, Get-the-Look, from Smashbox, will take your eyes up a notch without looking overwhelmingly made up.  The creamy taupe liner is sheer heaven.


I have a theory that if you want to be safe from all nasty chemicals, like parabens and sulfates, use baby products. Perfect for adults, Babo Botanicals’ sensual 3-in-1 Bubble Bath & Shampoo & Wash features the sophisticated smell of Lavender and Meadowsweet.

Taking eco beauty to a-whole-nother level, ISUN Alive & Ageless Skincare sources are only “wildcrafted, organic and natural ingredients.” The Vegan Moisturizing Mask, incorporating raw cacao, goji berry extract and agave nectar transforms dry skin after one application.

Gentle and elegant, John Masters Organics offers quality, responsible skincare that you can proudly display on your bathroom counter. The Rose & Apricot Antioxidant Day Crème smells ever so faintly of the eponymous fruit, like the memory of a pleasant summer’s day.

Sibu’s line of beauty products uses a unique berry called sea buckthorn, to protect and repair damaged while evening out the tone and texture. Especially great is the Daytime Facial Cream that dissolves like magic, leaving behind a more hydrated visage.

Perfect Skin

Developed for medical reasons using Jasmine Absolute, Clark’s Botanicals combines science and beauty with nearly magical effects. The Smoothing Marine Cream not only nourishes skin but also combats inflammatory redness beautifully.

From cleansing to moisturizing, Dr. Alkaitis’ line of “holistic organic skin food” will transform your dermis immediately. Especially great are the target-specific masks that range from exfoliating to cellular repair to energizing to rejuvenating.

One of those lines that dermatologists love for its purity and its results, Dr. Hauschka converts skeptics into believers. The Melissa Day Cream for sensitive, combination skin, multitasks like nobody’s business.

As cool as a beachy breeze and also as rejuvenating, FIX Malibu’s skin regimen will whip tired skin into fighting shape. Especially great is the Wish Wash Exfoliating Powder Wash that both cleans and scrubs.

A recent convert to Juara’s phenomenal line, I have fallen in love with the Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer. Perfect for the hot and humid months, this light gel-crème won’t leave behind a greasy residue.

Skin Brighteners, long popular in Asia, have been storming the states recently, mostly powered with the chemical hydroquinone. Perle’s version, formulated with Melaplex, fades spots and makes skin glow as if lit from within.

Phytomer’s Hydracontinue Instant Moisture Cream summons the healing power of the ocean to quench dehydrated skin. Using the miracle marine ingredient, pheohydrane, this cream fulfills its promise without leaving a greasy residue.

Genius at eliminating dark under eye circles, Sue Devitt’s Microquatic Bioluminescence Illuminating Concealer with an SPF of 20 turns a problem area into a perfect backdrop for your eyes. Now anyone can fake a good night’s rest. Also great from Sue Devitt, the Tinted Body Moisturizer with helps fake a hint of glow.

As effective as an expensive facial, Verdure’s Rejuvenating Masque Peel with antioxidants, exfoliants and moisturizers includes everything but the kitchen sink. After one 10-minute application, skin transforms from tired and dry to plump and radiant.


A terrific line from nearby Laguna Beach, Smart Girls Who Surf makes wearing sunscreen fun and even a little bit cool. Free from chemicals and parabens, the SPF 30+ mineral sunscreen is water and sweat resistant, perfect for a day of outdoor activities.

Shady Dady Daily SPF Wipes put the fun back in sunscreen. With an easy and hygenic pre-moistened towelette, these are perfect to take with and apply anywhere.

SkinMedica’s TNS Ultimate Daily Moisturizer + SPF 20 fulfills two needs at once: hydration and sunscreen. Put it on every morning and start the day one step ahead of the game.

Another great brand for sunscreen, True Natural Cosmetics comes with a high SPF of 40 and zero chemicals. It is clear and water resistant, perfect for a day in the sun.


Feet, often an afterthought, get the full on star treatment from Comfort Zone. The Floral Foot Soak and Foot Balm promise to prepare your tootsies for the limelight.

The Nectar Bath Soak from Farmhouse Fresh fashioned of Pure Whole Milk and Chicory Root lives up to its claim of “buttery” perfection. Calming and luxurious, this product is perfect for a Sunday afternoon escape.

Indulgent without the requisite guilt, Garden Apothecary creates products from a horticultural collective, use natural ingredients and sprout from an actual farm. The Organic Water Refresher, in rose, can be used as a skin hydrator or, alternately, as an old-fashioned room scent on linens.

Equally yummy, Little Moon Essentials’ Oatmeal Heaven Bath Salts soothes and coddles like soaking in a bath of cookie dough. I’m pretty sure I heard my muscles say, “Ahhh.”

Sometimes hot baths, despite their many restorative qualities, are frowned upon because they dry out skin. A great remedy for this infraction, Primavera’s Ginger Lime Bath Oil, rehydrates while you soak.