Summer Essentials: Beauty, Fashion, Life


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It's summer time! (Apparently). In between the occasional thunderstorm and heavy downpour, there have been quite a few warm, sunny days recently so it's time to crack out those summer essentials once again. Here are a few of my top picks for beauty, fashion and general life.

I'm not usually much of a fake tanner because I am laazzzzyyyy, but every summer I decide to give it another go in order to look a little less vampire-like. My current favourite tan is by Cocoa Brown, who kindly sent me their 1 Hour Tan* and Tough Stuff Body Scrub* recently. I was a little alarmed when I opened the parcel and saw the word "DARK" on the bottle, but I needn't have worried as this actually gave a very subtle, natural looking tan. With this tan, you apply it and leave it on for between 1 to 3 hours, then rinse it off in the shower and it will continue to develop slightly after this, leaving you with tanned skin for up to a week. 2 hours of developing time is plenty for me to get a noticeable tan that still looks natural, but with this you can easily adjust it depending on how dark you want to go. I'd especially recommend Cocoa Brown if, like me, you're not a pro-tanner; it smells nice, is easy to use, looks good with super pale skintones and it fades evenly so you don't look ridiculous and patchy. I really love the exfoliator too, it's one of the best I've used and is a bit of a bargain too!

There's nothing worse than feeling hot and sticky with a full face of makeup on, so I like to make sure I have some of Jurlique's Rosewater Balancing Mist on hand during the summer months. I use it before I put my makeup on to perk up and hydrate my skin for the day, and then I also use it throughout the day to give my skin a little refreshing spritz. The formula is very light so it doesn't disturb your makeup, it just cools you down and tones your skin.

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You can't get through a summer without donning a pair of sunglasses at least once or twice, and in my opinion you can't go wrong with a pair of Raybans. Iconic for a very good reason, the Wayfarer frames are a classic shape which suits just about everyone and instantly makes you look a little bit cooler than you actually are. This black pair pretty much never leave my handbag during the summer months.

Another summer must-have is a good pair of sandals that will see you through numerous days out. I love my Lotta from Stockholm Highwood Clogs which are ideal for slinging on with a summer dress or a pair of jeans. Unlike flimsy Primark sandals, these will last you for plenty more summers to come! They're really comfy too so (as long as you're not doing looooads of walking) they're great for everyday wear.

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Now, I'm sure you all know by now that I love a good cocktail. And when it's hot outside there's nothing better than a tipple of the frozen variety to cool you down. Parrot Bay* recently sent me a little goody bag full of their frozen cocktail pouches which you shove in your freezer, wait a few hours until they're frozen and then squeeze into a glass for instant frozen margaritas (or daiquiris or pina coladas or mojitos or caipirinhas... yum!). Making cocktails at home can be a bit of a palaver, but the Parrot Bay pouches are so easy to use and taste great too. Their fruity spirit drinks are lovely too, perfect for making some summer punch or cocktails for a barbecue!

And finally, it wouldn't be summer without some good books. I love reading but never seem to make enough time for it during "normal life", but when it comes to the holidays I race through as many books as I can. One of my favourite summery reads is Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) which is part memoir, part story and part general musings on life. It's just as funny as you'd expect (if you're familiar with Mindy already, if not go watch The Office and The Mindy Project!) and is such a quick and easy read, perfect for a lazy day in the park or by the pool.

What are your summer essentials?

Gillian x


  1. I really want to try some frozen cocktail pouches, I see them in tesco all the time. One week I'll actually buy some! I'm waiting till it gets really hot again! I've tried the cocoa brown tan before and did like it. However my go to tan for the moment is actually the sally hansen leg colour. I just use it on whatever areas of skin are visible! I get loads of comments on it!


    Fancy read? Check out my latest post My Summer 2015 Bucket List. x

  2. I've just started with fake tan this year too. Mainly I was tired of my legs blinding people and then I liked the look. I've only used the St Tropez one though, and I'm not sure if I want to branch out because I like it so much! I need someone to do a comparison for me, haha.

    Aisling | aisybee.

  3. Those clogs are fantastic, such an ace colour!

    Maria xxx

  4. Well those cocktail pouches look like fun! I have a friend coming over tot stay soon so will pick some up! xx

  5. Must start tanning!! x

  6. Ray-Bans are definitely my summer essential ;) also loved the Cocoa Brown self tan and was left surprised at how well it turned out on my pale skin, lovely tanner x

    Jenny | Krystel Couture


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