I purchased the Sephora Sun Safety kit  this year, just as I always do every year, to see if I can find my new holy grail of sun protection. The 2010 kit included Kate Somerville SPF 55 Sunscreen Serum, my new love. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, is great for my oily skin because it’s oil free and non greasy, and does not have a scent. I am so so so so hooked on this product that I had to go buy the full size. I had to order online, though, because my local Sephora only carries three Kate Somerville products. 

 The other suncreeens in the Sephora kit weren’t really anything amazing, though I did like the Jack Black Lip Balm in Lemon and Chamomile. I’ve been using the balm in Mint for several years and might switch to the Lemon version because the scent is uplifting. The kit also includes Bliss Best of Skintentions Moisturizer with SPF, which I have also been using since it launched. Another honorable mention goes to Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15, for its light weight formula that works well under makeup.

Bandeau swim top pictured above is from Vitamin A.

Men take note: rising temperatures and more humidity in summer can make your deep, rich, or bold winter fragrance smell more intense. If you love your current fragrance too much to change, consider skipping your regular eau de toilette or cologne for an aftershave, deoderant, shower gel, or body lotion in the same scent. Most brands produce these ancillary items to match their fragrances. Another option is to dillute your fragrance by spraying a bit into an unscented body lotion and applying to your body. You can also spray your fragrance into the air and step through the mist. If you do the latter, please take heed to spray only a little.

If you’re open to something  new, try switching to a cool, crisp fragrance during warmer months. You can often find similar versions of your winter fragrance that wear better when the murcury rises. Not sure where to start? Check out my suggestions below or hit up your local Nordstrom (I find their fragrance sales associates to be wonderful) or Sephora (look for or ask for a certified fragrance expert or peruse their Scentsa computer on your own).

Some of my faves for summer (or any time of the year because they are light) include:

1. Fresh Citron de Vigne, $18.50-$75; fresh.com and sephora.com: Founder Lev Glazman created this new and exciting fragrance inspired by sparkling notes of pinot noir. Its fresh and sensual notes of neroli, bitter orange, pinot noir accord, lemongrass, sandalwood, and amber make it optimal for everyday wear. I’m a huge fan of Fresh fragrances overall, and think that Lev, who is also a certified nose, has a very unique, fun, and sophisticated point of view in all of his creations.

2. Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme, $55-$75; bergdorfgoodman.com, sephora.com: Inspired by the sea and mediterranean, this summer-esque fragrance is both fresh and soft while still masculine. It features only five notes, four of which are unique (mandarin, petit grain, santolina, posidonia, mineral amber).

3. Kenzo L’eauParKenzo Pour Homme, $54-$72; sephora.com: Subtle, fresh, and light, this remarkable fragrance from Kenzo embodies leisurely summer days. Notes include yuzu (one of my favorite notes), lotus leaf, aquatic mint, mandarin, and waterlily.

4. Burberry Touch for Men, $57 for 1 oz, burberry.com; While this fragrance has some spicy notes of white pepper and nutmeg, it’s rounded out by cooler notes of violet leaves, and mandarin tree leaves. This is a great option for guys who like a heavier fragrance during the winter months.

5. Burberry Classic for Men Summer Edition, $60 for 3.3 fl oz, sephora.com; One of my favorites for men, this fragrance is pleasantly surprising. The top notes of pineapple, citrus, and frozen mint are a fresh and unique blend. I love that this fragrance is rounded out by woody notes and tonka bean.

Jellies!

March 20, 2009

jellies

Of all the times I’ve been to Monterey, I’ve never ever been to the aquarium. One of my friends lived there and we really didn’t do much touristy stuff. I wanted to go this time, and I did. My fave exhibit was Jellies: Living Art, which showcased several different types of jellyfish. My fave was the Black Sea Nettle (above). Their tentacles seemed to dance around and a florescent light in the tank made them glow a vibrant orange. I thought it was great you can photograph several of the exhibits. Some you can use flash, others are strictly no flash, although I kept mine off the entire time to be on the safe side. If you are ever in Monterey, the aquarium is totally a must see, and it’s a non-profit so ticket sales help to keep the facilities open.

The Ocean Rows Us Away

March 17, 2009

mtry

Adieu! I will be off again during the next few days for part two of my birthday celebration in Monterey.

While I’m away, check out my new fave fragrance line, Pacifica! My fave scent is Malibu Lemon Blossom, which is the perfect balance of fresh and floral. It’s very light and I think it’ll totally be one of my spring/summer scents. A close second is the Tuscan Blood Orange fragrance, which to me smells like gummy life savers. Included in the line is a solid fragrance, 1.2 oz fragrance, body wash, soap, body lotion, body butter and candles in several sizes.

beachtest

If I ever happen to win the lottery (even though I don’t play) I’d pack up my things, buy a little house near the beach, and spend my days surfing, writing, reading, and being completely lazy. Until then, I’ll settle for trips to the Pacific Ocean whenever I can sneak away from real life, weather permitting. Perhaps there will be a birthday beach trip in my future? The photos above are from the beach near the Point Montara lighthouse, along highway 1.