Summer is officially here and normally, for a Scandinavian girl it is pretty much all we live for during the darker and colder months. For a Scandi in Dubai though, it is the part of the year to dread. The heat and humidity is sky-high and the air seems more filled with damaging particles than during winter. The only way to prepare for a beauty-full summer is to have your collection ready to save your skin hair and body.
One of the trends I’ve detected for our Middle East market when it comes to beauty (also well established worldwide) is that more and more “specialist shops” are opening up. Even though I’ll always love going to all of the well known beauty counters that grazes our beauty floors, I must confess that when I saw Bloomingdale’s Dubai unveiling their dedicated area for result-driven niche brands and pair it up with their very own treatment area my interest shot through the roof.
The department, called Destination Discover is designed to let the customer discover new brands that are not necessarily easy to find everywhere else. Once Destination Discover was all set up, I realised that many of those brands I had previously ordered from Cult Beauty now were availabe in store. I’m always excited to see high-quality brands establish themselves on this market and I’m proud to be a small part of these launches as the true beauty nerd I am. With so many brands represented and all these different beauty categories at hand, I thought I’d show you some of my absolute favourite picks for the summer! You know, those products that will keep me sane with the temperatures rising, treating me to frizzy hair, running makeup and sharp sun-rays.
Interested? As I’ve already stated over on the ‘Gram I’m positive you’ll all recognize my taste in the products I’ve chosen. Here we go!
The Destination Discover area is a haven for anyone who likes great technology in hair care, whether it is with the tools or the products. I could have picked so many great brands but as a Swedish girl I just have to start out by recommending SACHAJUAN. This Stockholm-based hair care brand is just something special. Their motto is so incredibly simple without being simple: “Style with Substance, Form with Function”.
Summer means that our hair and scalp most probably encounter pool- or beach water, strong sunshine, humidity and even sweat (not something my scalp reacts great to). I find it extra important to be careful what hair care products I choose and SACHAJUAN always makes life easy. The products are made and labeled to be easy to use and understand. They always make sure that what you see is what you get; never disclosing any ingredients or what they will do for you. I’ve tried countless of their products long before the brand got popular worldwide and they’ve never disappointed. For my summer essentials I’ve picked out the Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo and Conditioner in the small 100ml bottle. First of all: hey colour. These ocean blue bottles are so Instagramable and very neat to have on display. The design speaks to me with its typical Scandinavian clean lines and monochromatic touch. Secondly and even more important: what’s inside. SACHAJUAN talks about adding “Ocean Silk Technology” into their products, What this stands for is two beautiful cold water algae (Rhodophycea & Chondrus) who together works both from the inside of the shaft to the surface of the strand. All SACHAJUAN products comes with a cocktail of marine algae, some hydrolyzed wheat protein, minerals and ingredients to strengthen the hair without weighing it down. Gorgeous scent and a trick, luxurious texture means you actually don’t have to purchase the full size bottle as a little goes a very long way! That way, you can buy several of the smaller versions and test and try to find the best combination for your scalp and hair.
On top of a clean and well nourished hair, I also have to recommend the SACHAJUAN Protective Hair Perfume. Yes, I do love hair mists and perfumes in general but have a special place in my heart for this one. It not only makes my hair smell like a dream with notes of Green Apples, Rose, Cedar wood and Musk – it also protects my hair from UV rays. I know it is an expensive luxury product but I’ve had it in my collection since the day it launched and won’t be without it. It holds moisturising ingredients, makes my hair glossy without looking greasy and it definitely stops the frizziness. Well worth the money!
Bottom line: choose hair care that comes with good ingredients, a smart ethos and a nice design. I must say it doesn’t exactly hurt that all SACHAJUANs product development are made back home in Stockholm. You know me: always ready to root for my hometown.
Category: Face – Cleanser
Sweat, makeup, sunscreen. Yeah, its important to wash your face properly without stripping the skin. I’m a cleanser junkie so choosing just one brand and one specific type of cleanser was not easy. In the end though GROWN ALCHEMIST felt like a great pick. This unbelievably good Australian skincare and hair care brand specialises in the fusion between advanced science and natural ingredients. With R&D labs spread around the world they allocate a lot of money to research – the products speak for themselves. Nothing gets released until it is top-notch, some products took years and years to develop and having had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeremy, one of the two founders of the brand to see his passion in real, I’m simply amazed but what the brand has to offer for my routine.
This is my favourite GROWN ALCHEMIST cleanser: the Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser – Geranium Leaf, Bergamot & Rose-Bud. Surprise! I know I’m not often promoting you to use gel cleansers. Many of them are simply too drying (wrong pH), or just makes a lot of foam without actually taking the dirt off my face. This one is different. For one thing, it is gentle. As in super nice for my dry skin and for anyone who might have burnt their face in the sun. Made for sensitive skin I never get any break outs when I use this and the Chamomile, Willow Bark and Bergamot works great on any refined skin texture or enlarged pores. Polysaccharides from Aloe Vera calms the skin down and Cold Pressed Rose Petals are added to make the skin look even toned and soothed. Of course, with these ingredients you can all figure out that it also smells amazing.
Category: Skincare & Protection
When I saw that Sarah Chapman SKINESIS was launching here in Dubai I was so genuinely happy. I had previously tried two of her products which I picked up in London and instantly knew that my skin liked the formulas. What makes me want to recommend this particular brand is the personal and knowledgeable approach that Sarah takes with her clients. Not only are all packages equipped with a full INCI-list; it also comes with a personal note on why we should use the product and how. I’m always all for supporting female entrepreneurs who actually knows something and Sarah Chapman is well established in the industry for her facial techniques and numerous of trade marked high-performance actives. Basically: the products work because they are very well designed. First up is the Ultra Recovery Booster – soothing support for stressed skin. You can apply this booster straight onto clean skin or mix it with your skincare; either way you’ll feed your face and décolletage with Hexapeptides, Restoring Pre/Pro-Biotic Ecoskin®, Omega 3, 6 and 9 alongside Seabuckthorn Oil, Colloidal Oatmeal and Rice Bran Oil. It is more than soothing and restoring; it is a dream product for sensitive stressed out summer skin! Together with the next Sarah Chapman product, the Dynamic Defence it just makes my skin find its balance. The Dynamic Defence is a very lightweight day cream/fluid with some SPF15 in it. Not enough for me in terms of UV-protection, but still better than nothing! Sarah’s note on the packaging reads: “My essential advice to all my clients is the importance of supporting the skin’s defence with supercharged levels of vitamins, antioxidants, omega rich oils and broad-spectrum SPF-15”. I think this pretty much sums it up for me: it is a must have no matter what skin type you’ve got. This is all about That Luxurious Feeling and I’m so happy to see the brand available at Bloomies.
Category: Skincare, Protection and Body care
You who know me well will not be surprised to see Alpha H (also known as my deserted island brand) amongst my summer essentials. It just had to be done. I simply can’t live without this fantastic Australian skincare brand who’s been on the market for over 20 years! It is through hard work and excellent formulas that the brand has grown to be so much more than only a niche brand. To see it in the Destination Discover area is the most natural thing in the world – everyone should discover the brand! For this article I wanted to emphasise the importance of protecting hair, body and face all through summer. Instead of just choosing any random SPF, I’m focusing on the Alpha H Protection Plus Daily SPF50+ because it provides a 3-in-1 solution: day cream, SPF and Primer all in one! When the Sarah Chapman SPF15 needs a stronger companion, this is my choice for the face. Filed with Pomegranate Nectar and Mango Seed Butter, both natural ingredients that absorbs UV radiation, the cream gives great sun protection without leaving any white cast or sticky film on my face. It is fabulous underneath makeup, nothing slides and slips!
While Vitamin E and Aloe Vera calms the skin and provide antioxidants to fight off any free radicals the cream also brightens the skin’s appearance and protect it against premature ageing with some help by super antioxidant Pycnogenol. I love how this light cream texture absorbs quickly but still leave my skin feeling soft and supple. A great buy that works under the assumption that less is more; you don’t need three layers of three different products to achieve a good, protective result. Oh! And did I tell you that this little gemstone is sweat and water resistant too? Hepp!
Continue on the Pomegranate track while also making sure that the entire body gets treated during summer, a beautiful and effective body cream is a must. Aaaaaand…we are back to GROWN ALCHEMIST! Not only is this such a chic tube to have on your dressers, the Intensive Body Cream Rosa Damascena, Açaï & Pomegranate is just the kind of thick, smooth and nourishing product that your body is craving after a day in the sun. As always with this brand, you’ll get healthy skincare without any nasties. They never test on animals and all their trendy but minimalistic packages are recyclable. It’s very hard not to like GA.
Hair, body and facial done. Did you seriously think I’d write a Summer Essentials article and leave out the makeup? No no, that’s not going to happen.
Category: Paint that face
Well. I thought I’d show you that these specialised areas are not only designed for skincare junkies. There are many niche makeup brands to look for and fall in love with and I’m pleased to present three of my favourites (all of them featured on @thatluxuriousfeeling over the years). I tend to wear very little makeup unless there is an event to attend or a special occasion. I’m a lazy beauty lover, I know. Although these three products (or any versions of them) are always in my bathroom:
Mascara. In this case a very reliable waterproof version. I adore EYEKO London, all of their different mascaras and brushes holds super high quality and with their brilliant squeeze tube there will not be any excess product left inside that you won’t be able to scrape up. The Sport Waterproof Mascara comes with a catch & curl wand that lifts my lashes just high enough. With triple gel coating and fibre-enhanced formula boosted with collagen I get full black lashes that will stay gorgeous even if I spend the day outside. For those living in colder climates, it’s great to defeat the rain too…
Last, but by no means insignificant: some color to lips and eyes. I don’t feel that these pictures are doing any of these products justice. They apply so incredibly soft and beautiful with the most luxurious touch. ByTerry always creates makeup that stands out for their premium textures and supreme longevity. I could honestly buy the entire counter; the brand is equally divine in skincare and makeup. For my summer lips I picked a Hyaluronic Sheer Nude Hydra-Balm. Once again: we are all about protection here and you shouldn’t forget your lips. This lip balm comes with beautiful UV-protection as well as pure concentrate of Hyaluronic Acid to melt into your skin and plump up your lips. I love the smell and taste of it, almost rosy and the sheer color of 3 Nude Pulp is the perfect “my lips but better”-color. It is impossible to go wrong with these lip balms.
Then for the eyes (and actually not all that bad for my cheeks either) the TOP release of Summer 2018 if you are browsing Instagram: the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette. As you already know I never leave the house without using the ABH eyebrow products. They are my eyebrows. Simple as that. You also know that I really don’t like eyeshadow palettes! Which should make you see just how much I didn’t want to fall in love with this one. But I truly did. And keep on doing every time I open it up. The name Soft Glam says it all.
The luxurious velvet suede box opens up to fourteen shades, mattes as well as glam shimmers but ALL of them so wearable and just amazingly beautiful. The amount of looks you can get out of this palette – from soft day looks to intense but elegant nighttime makes – simply forced me to include it! I haven’t bought any of the previous ABH palettes, I guess I was waiting for the right one and this is it. I love the fact that this palette is cruelty free and made up of lovely textures. Some shades are harder to blend than others and demands a little more time to work with, but all in all I think if you only want to invest in one single palette for this summer; this is it!
Phew! If you made it all the way down here: Congratulations! I hope that some of my Summer Essentials will match your own idea of beauty or make you want to discover something new. There are still many more brands and products I wished to include but let’s face it: we would be stuck here all day. Now I’d like to know about your picks for the summer! Come say hi over at Instagram or leave me a comment below!