Our beauty writer Ony Anyanwu is rounding up her top beauty picks for the summer and this is her verdict…
Depending on where you are right now, summer may indeed have arrived for you in all its glory. However, if you are in the UK and London to be exact, the following observation will resonate with you. The weather as of late has been awfully confusing, with full-blown showers in June and strangely low temperatures. However, it does seem as though things are back on track and hopefully it stays that way. The summertime is accompanied by its perks, not so great parts and of course, products that are perfect for the season. Whilst you keep your fingers crossed for sunnier days, take a moment to check out the following list of products to try out this summer, accompanied by my honest reviews.
Cm La Vie Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a staple for many and it is no wonder why. This particular brand of coconut oil by Coconut Merchant’s CM La Vie coconut oil is 100% organic, ethically sourced and designed to target a plethora of beauty needs. What I liked about the product is the fact that the lid included the uses for the oil; some of which I had not considered before. For instance, coconut oil can be used as a lip balm and also as a natural deodorant, which is of course, particularly useful for the summertime heat. The box also included a sheet with these uses on, with little cartoon drawings which I really liked.
The oil comes in a recyclable tub and the packaging, with its inclusion of leaves, is aesthetically pleasing. In addition, £2 from each coconut oil purchase goes back directly to the farmers. With this company, from the packaging to what is included in the packaging, you get the impression that you are dealing with a company that cares about what they do and about their customers.
Additionally, this coconut oil is raw which means minimal heat was used during the extraction process which makes this oil as natural as can be. It is also organic which means it has been produced without the use of pesticides or harmful farming practices. It is also cold-pressed which means it retains the nutrients found in the oil and last but not least, it is extra virgin coconut oil which means it has not gone under any processing in the same way a refined oil would.
I tried using the oil as a lip balm. Initially, I found it too glossy but upon more uses of the oil in this way, I have come to love it! I plan to alternate between using my regular lip moisturiser and this oil or even mixing the two! I like how the subtle coconut scent wafts into the air when I use the oil on my lips as well as the sheen it provides.
On the other hand, I enjoyed using the oil to deep condition my hair for 30 minutes or so and then rinse out for washing. It was also great for removing makeup. I found that after using regular make-up wipes, using coconut oil as a precautionary measure with cotton pads before washing my face ensured all make-up from my face had been removed. I definitely see this coconut oil becoming a regular part of my make-up removal routine. I also found the coconut oil great for massaging my face.
Axiology Natural Lip Crayon (In the shades ‘Bliss’ and ‘Keen’)
Axiology Beauty is a make-up brand that produces vegan and cruelty-free lipsticks.
The products I received were their lip crayons in the shades “Bliss” and “Keen”. I loved the packaging that these crayons came in; red writing on a white background; bold and yet simple much like their ethos which is to keep their products “100% Evil-Free”.
The crayon itself comes encased in a gorgeous, gold tube which felt and looked luxurious.
“Bliss” is the perfect name for the shade of this lip crayon; a coral with a subtle tint of orange. This colour is the perfect accompaniment for the easy- breezy style of the warmer months. The shade “Keen” is equally as summer appropriate. This lip crayon comes in a rich orange colour; a statement shade that is perfect for sunny days.
Both shades come with the right amount of shine that allows for a finish that is neither too matte or excessively glossy. I found the application process smooth and easy given the creamy texture of the lip crayons. Upon application, my lips felt plump and moisturised. The scent of the crayons was also particularly pleasant; a warm, natural and spicy.
An important caveat with these shades is that though they are beautiful colours in and of themselves, they are likely too light for individuals of a darker complexion like me.
This was particularly evident with the colour “Bliss”. Whilst I do not recommend these colours for darker skinned individuals if you purchased them by happenstance, simply blending the colour with a darker lipstick or lip liner will rectify any mismatch with your complexion.
What’s more is that I found the shade “Keen” actually looked better on me when I had the idea to try it out as an eyeshadow, so feel free to experiment!
These colours should work well on individuals with a lighter complexion. The good news is that as mentioned, if these shades don’t work for you, you can play around with blending to create an appropriate shade, but the even better news is that there are a variety of other shades available on the website. For example, I have added the shade “Intrigue” (described as a “deep, muted rose”) to my wishlist and it looks right up my street.
Smoovall Skin Contact Spray
Chafing is never pleasant. And this is even more applicable in the warmer months where your decision to wear that skirt or that dress becomes regrettable as you feel your thighs rubbing against each other. It can also happen with tight jeans, as you’ve most likely experienced. Smoovall is a skin contact spray designed to protect you against chafing.
First and foremost, what I really liked about this product was the fragrance. It smells so good you could mistake it for an antiperspirant! It has what I would describe as a light, sweet and refreshing scent. Upon application, the spray has a skin smoothing and cooling effect which is perfect for hot, summer days. What I noticed is that the areas I sprayed the product on felt different from those that had not been sprayed. That is, there was an extra layer there to serve a purpose, which of course, is anti-chafing. It also dried extremely quickly.
Although my use of the Smoovall skin spray was sporadic, I found that when I did use it, I felt slightly less friction between my thighs, particularly when wearing skirts with no tights. I am curious to see how this will play underneath a pair of jeans. In addition to this, Smoovall is not only for common areas of chafing such as the inner thighs. It can also be used around the shoulder or neck areas to minimise chafing from bras for instance or around the groin area.
Previse Hydrofoam Rejuvenating Hyaluronic Moisturiser
The final product in this round-up is the Previse Hydrofoam Moisturiser. This is a non-scented, vegan and paraben-free moisturiser that is designed to moisturise and protect your skin at the same time. It is a plant-based product and also contains hyaluronic acid which helps with dry skin and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
I really liked the design of the bottle. The pump feature was reminiscent of the Vitamin Foaming Cleanser by Simple that I use. I find having a pump to dispense the product more convenient than having to squeeze a bottle. I have not seen this pump design be used in a moisturiser, so it was refreshing to see.
The moisturiser itself was also unique in the sense that, when dispensed it is dispensed as a foam.
The moisturiser is made up of micro-bubble technology which is in essence very tiny bubbles which are negatively charged which allows them to attach to dirt and impurities in the skin which are positively charged and thus purify the skin.
Upon application, the foam dries into your skin quickly. There is a nice tightening sensation once it has fully dried. If you happen to apply too much, all that is required is massaging the product into the skin in order for it to sink in. The lightweight feel makes this a good candidate for the summer months, where nobody wants to be bogged down with heavy lotions or creams. The Previse Hydrofoam moisturiser can also be used prior to applying a make-up primer. The issue that I had with this product, however, is that the day after using this product for the first time, the skin on the left side of my face broke out. I decided to use the moisturiser for two more days as the product does claim to be hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin, however, the issue persisted.
After reading up on what micro-bubble technology entails, I have reverted to my initial theory that my breakout may indeed be the result of my skin purging as opposed to reacting to the product. I may give this product another try in the near future.