Friday Five: Here Comes the Sun

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAs a child, spring cleaning meant a trip to my grandma’s house to help her clean the baseboards, dust her beautiful tea service, and shine my Easter Sunday shoes into sparkling white submission. As an adult, spring cleaning has taken on a dual meaning–yes, definitely baseboard cleaning, but also taking time to overhaul my beauty routine for the change in seasons. I use spring as a primer for summer, a time to repair my winter weather beaten skin, hair, and sun and prepare them for the coming of (sometimes fleeting) warm weather months here in Seattle. Here are the five products that help me shift into high gear for the return of the sun.

  • Caudalie Eau de Beaute ($18 for a 1 oz bottle, $49 for a 3.4 oz bottle) This darling of the beauty blogger world is actually all it is cracked up to be. I like to think of it as a combo toner/liquid version of the smelling salts fancy ladies use in movies about the Victorian era. It’s filled with essential oils and the soothing smells of mint and lavender, and leaves your skin feeling refreshed, while adding a wonderful glow to your skin. After a winter of loading my skin up with moisturizer, it’s nice to use something so lightweight.
  • The Body Shop Almond Body Butter ($20 for a 6.75 oz tub) I wandered into The Body Shop one day a couple weeks ago–I hadn’t set foot in a store for years and years, but the smell of an Almond Body Butter sample being distributed out front drew me in. Despite the name, this will not clog up your pores. I use it after I shower–it doesn’t leave a greasy film and it’s actually lighter in weight and texture than the body moisturizer I use in the winter. I think the scent is a good spring scent–light, bright, refreshing.
  • The Body Shop Shea Body Scrub ($20 for a 7.9 oz tub) I recently read some horrible statistic on Twitter (one of those accounts that has “facts” without sources, so I definitely should’ve taken it with a grain of salt) about the amount of dead skin cells that make a sort of layer of filth on top of your actual alive skin. That, coupled with my increasingly gray winter pallor, creeped me out on a level I’m not totally comfortable with, so when I saw that body scrubs were on sale during my trip to The Body Shop, I snatched one up immediately in the hopes that I could make my skin feel totally clean and new again. This scrub does the dirty work of essentially dusting (exfoliating) your skin, but also rehydrating it, and boosting it with Vitamin A and E. Perfect for the spring cleaning your skin so desperately needs post winter weather.
  • Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil ($36 for a 1.7 fl. oz travel-sized bottle, $48 for a 3.4 fl. oz bottle) During the winter, I generally use one of Oribe’s Leave-In Conditioners as my hair moisturizer. But in the spring and summer months in Seattle, when the moist, humid, marine air returns, the leave-in conditioner becomes too heavy and leaves my hair a little greasier than I’d like. So I switch to Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil–it’s lightweight but packs a heavy punch in terms of protecting your hair from heat damage (I love my flat iron) and also keeping your hair shiny and healthy looking, without being too heavy. It’s not cheap, but I only need to use a pea-sized amount for my thick, curly hair.
  • Julep Nail Kit (Free With Julep Manicure) I am not really a mani/pedi kind of girl. I categorically loathe not just all feet, but mine in particular, and because I am incredibly clutzy and hard on my hands, nail polish chips away in record time (yes, I have tried Shellac manicures. EVEN THOSE CHIP.). But I still see the importance of well-groomed nails, so I recently stopped into a Julep Salon for the first time. The whole experience was blog post worthy, so I might save that for another time, but one of the things I loved most about the service was that they send you home with some of the tools the technician used on your paws–a nail buffer, nail brush, and nail file. After a few months of shoving your hands deep into gloves and pockets for warmth, your cuticles and nail beds could probably use some love. And this mini kit sets you up nicely with all you need to make your hands worthy of warms rays of early spring sun.

Sweetness: The Best $40 You’ll Ever Spend on a Hair Product

When I was 10, I decided I really wanted a bob. At that point, my hair came down to my waist, and I thought that long hair made me look like a little kid. Short hair would surely make me a more official member of the double digit club.

Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray
The patron saint of curly haired girls with Winnie Cooper bangs

The only problem with this idea was that I had/have really curly hair. With a head full of thick yet inexplicably fine hair, the bob was basically the worst possible hair cut for me. My mom told me she’d let me do it, but I’d probably have to relax my hair (something she really didn’t want me to do). I insisted on a bob, and then spent months with hair like The Simpsons’ Selma Bouvier. So, I took my mom’s advice, and I got a relaxer and my hair took on a more manageable state.

In the years since, my hair has still fallen victim to humidity–it always reverts to its natural state whether I’ve relaxed it or not. And now that I’ve stopped relaxing my hair entirely (because my hair simply couldn’t take endless applications of lye–a subject for another blog post), my hair is even more susceptible to the sadness of whatever weather conditions I’m enduring. But my desire for hairstyles that seem verboten for curly haired ladies has not ceased.

In December, I decided to get bangs. My hairstylist advised me to get a Keratin express treatment on just the bang area, which keeps the hair from curling up and making me look like I had a particularly unfortunate run-in with a pair of scissors. She also urged me to purchase Oribe’s Anti-Humidity Spray. And with a $40 price tag, I was super hesitant. But you know what? This sh*t is for real. It doesn’t leave my hair chunky or dry, it smells nice, and it has successfully withstood the weird breed of Seattle rain that finds its way to your hair despite the presence of an umbrella.

It’s not cheap, but things this good rarely are.

Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray available online ($39 for 5.5 fl. oz. or $19.50 for 2.2 fl. oz.), or, if you’re in the Seattle area, at Gene Juarez Salon and Spa.