The Ultimate List of this Summer’s Must Haves

There are a few things that every girl needs to have to survive summer.  (Note: this list is for preparation purposes.  You know, incase summer ever decides to arrive)  Nobody wants to smell you, look at scaly shins, try to see through your fro at the movies, watch the skin on your back flake off, or see your armpit hairs, so a little preventative maintenance is important to keep yourself glowing and gorgeous, rather than sweating and well…European (shout out the our European friends.  No judging here, I’m just not down with braided armpit hair.  Personal preference.  That and my goal is to turn Corey on, not away).

I, being a girl am no different.  In fact, I’m pretty picky when it comes to necessary products.  It needs to be fabulous, work wonders, smell good and not break the bank (read: I’m cheap).  Almost 10 years spent working in the retail/pharmacy/drugstore business saw a lot of cosmetic application training, product knowledge and free samples to find products that give just those kinds of results.  Then add to the mix I’ve been out of the loop for a few years, and I’ve tried a few of this and a little of that – I’ve come up with a list of necessities that every girl should own.

And, since I’m all about “sharing the love”, here it is.  A girls ultimate list of summer must haves, let’s start in the shower (because cleanliness is next to godliness)

5. Shampoo and Conditioner – We all know the key to beautiful locks is the right diet (of nutrition, not weight loss ridiculousness) and the best products.  We already know that Pantene, Herbal Essences and the like aren’t the best choice,(they added waxes and fillers add extra build-up that are a short-term shine, long-term dud) and that many of the salon brands really are superior.  The problem is, while their superiority is nice, their price tag is not.

Introducing Renpure Organics.  Their “i love my hair” Shampoo and Conditioner is heaven!  It has a light citrusy smell (that reminds me of summer, not orange cleaner) that makes me feel awake – bonus!, and my hair is soft and silky after.  It doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, colors or dyes!  Meaning, my hair gets the good stuff and it shows.  Best of all at $4.99 each it doesn’t break the bank, leaving my hair and my wallet happy.

4. Body Wash – I would like to personally start a campaign against bar soap, for the soap scum it leaves in the shower alone!  I’m a body wash girl, the smooth silkiness on my skin, the rich lather, the smell…. Add it to the shampoo and conditioner and we’re talking a serious shower experience here.

I’ve hopped from one wash to another, whatever’s on sale, whatever’s available, it didn’t much matter.  That is until I met Olay’s Ultra Moisture Body Wash the Shea Butter leaves my skin feeling silky and soft, and once it’s all rinsed off I feel like I’ve got healthier skin, not a layer of guck (I once had a body wash that even post rinse and dry left my skin feeling like someone had left an oil slick behind.  It was gross, really, really gross).

3. Razor – Unless you are one of the clinically insane, who chose to wax their armpits and legs on a regular basis (we are NOT talking bikini area today, that’s a whole ‘nother ball of, well hair) then you probably own a razor.

I have had MANY razors.  I’ve had cheap disposables, I’ve had ones with replacement heads, with smelly handles (WTF?) and ones meant for men (they don’t work any better, seriously).  I’ve used shaving creams and leftover lotion (works well in a pinch), soap and just water, and I’ve had cuts, razor burns and ingrowns.

Until this year, I thought it was my skin, my lot in life, just the way it was.  That is, until I met Schick Intuition Razor.  Can I just say OMG (Oh my Goodness, in case you’re slang illiterate)!  It’s amazing!  The razor with the built in lather bar is incredible!  No more razor burn or foam everywhere (aim’s not really my thing…), my armpits are smooth and stubble free, my legs are softer and I have yet to have any ingrown hairs.  These razors are worth every penny.

2. MoisturizerOnce you’re out of the shower, it’s super important to slather the stuff on both your face and your body.  Moisturizing is proven to reduce the signs of aging, nourish skin and is a great habit to get into. 

I have changed facial moisturizers a lot over the years, I have very seriously sensitive skin, I had stage 4 acne and I’ve struggled.  I won’t tell you there’s one moisturizer for everyone, I don’t believe there is.  But I will say for me, the best thing I put on my face each day is Nivea plain, ol’, my Auntie wore it Nivea.  My acne has settled down, my flaky forehead (flakes are the theme) has disappeared and my make up smears leftover from a facewash vanish (thanks Christy for the tip). 

Then there’s the ol’ body.  Again, I’ve bounced around from cream to lotion, this kind and that.  But there are two that I swear by, two that I slathered all over my pregnant belly with each baby and two that I credit for not having a single stretch mark from my pregnancies, all 60lbs of them. 

The first is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks it again smells wonderful, it’s a little bit heavy so it feels like it’s working and I used an entire bottle during my pregnancy with Bethany.

The second is St.Ives Renewing Lotion.  I ♥ this stuff, again it smells delish, but it also is light and absorbs really quickly.  I used it all over the belly, but also on my hands everyday.  I still put it on underneath my cleaning gloves before I do the bathrooms.  That way the heat from the water helps my skin soak in every single drop. 

1. Sunscreen – I AM a broken record.  It’s so incredibly important to protect your skin, whether it’s SPF 30 or SPF 60, make an effort.  Let’s kick skin cancer in the nuts, throw early aging to the wind and prevent crisping.

This summer’s favourite Ombrelle.  So far even my ever sensitive Bethany hasn’t had a rash, and that, my friends says something!  It’s a little more expensive than the others but it’s got a better formula for those who’s skin is slightly picky.

That’s about it, those are the things that are in my daily arsenal.  They work wonders, the make me happy and best of all, they’re easy on the budget!

What about you?  What’s your must have summer item?

Disclosure: The opinions on this blog are my own.  All products were purchased by moi and I’ve received no compensation for these reviews.  I also reserve the right to change my mind or this list at anytime.  I am female after all.