Welcome to From The Beauty Desk. Every month, the Red team presents their must-have products. Whether it’s a fail-safe skincare they’ve been buying for years or a breakthrough new discovery that’s earned a precious spot on the bathroom shelf, they’re here to recommend the products that really get your money’s worth.
sandals. Tick. Sunglasses. Outfits by the pool. Tick. Next: beauty. If you haven’t quite nailed down your warm-weather repertoire, we’re here to help. We share the products we swear by and will buy again and again, both for sunny days at home and hot holidays abroad. We talk about our tips for glowing skin, transformative hair purchases, hard-working makeup and innovative sun protection factors. Plus a lusty scent to add to your wish list. Happy Holidays.
Eve Cameron, Beauty Director
La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+, £18
Finding a sunscreen that I can wear every day during the summer that doesn’t clog my pores, leaves a white cast, feels sticky, or gets sticky under makeup is a challenge, but I have a few that I rotate use. This is one of them. It contains a new filter that protects the skin even better from harmful UVA rays and feels so light as a feather that it is a joy to use. I apply it over my serum or sometimes over a moisturizer when my skin is feeling dry.
Legology Sun Lite, £38
I’m not good with self-tanner, mostly because I tend to frantically apply it the day before I’m baring sticky, fairly venous legs. For me Sun-Lite is a much better option. From a brand founded by former beauty journalist Kate Shapland, it’s a wash-off tint that gives an instant, soft touch of tan with a subtle iridescence. The effect is just enough to even out the skin tone and make it look a little bright and radiant, but not glittery. The addition of caffeine helps against swelling – useful in the heat.
Alexandra Friend, Senior Beauty Editor
Supergoop (Re)setting 100% Mineral Powder SPF 30, £28
I already know this will be one of my product of the year. It’s an incredibly sheer SPF 30 sunscreen in the form of a translucent face powder that can be applied to bare skin or over makeup. It gives a flattering semi-matte finish and unlike some powders doesn’t feel drying at all.
On light days I apply another SPF product underneath: first an SPF serum or lotion, then my makeup, then Supergoop. When it’s not that bright or I’m not out for long, I wear it alone. It’s small enough to carry in my purse and great for touch-ups on the go.
Byredo Vanilla Antique, £235
Bryedo perfume is worn by some of the coolest women I know. So if you haven’t quite found “the one” yet, it’s worth checking out the brand’s fragrances. I’ve just transitioned to wearing vanilla antique from the Night Veils line which delivers a smoky touch of grandeur. You get vanilla in its most earthy, raw, and low-sugar form. There’s no denying that it’s expensive, but this is the kind of perfume that makes it hard to stop sniffing your wrist. It also lasts all day and well into the night.
Fleur Fruzza, Beauty Editor
Dolce & Gabbana Solar Glow Universal Radiance Drops in Sunrise, £38
As much as I love a sun-kissed face, I try very hard to keep my face exposed to as little UV as possible, and I find the mix of makeup and skincare really helps me resist the temptation. When worn over SPF, these non-shimmering, vitamin E-enriched drops give skin a natural-looking holiday glow without sun exposure. The pretty packaging and the fact that they smell like vacations are a bonus.
L’Oreal Professionel Tecni.ART Beach Waves, £16.50
My fine hair comes into its own on the beach – a little moisture and salt water works wonders for its volume and I always try to reproduce the effect. Unlike some texturizing sprays, this one, which contains sea salt, never feels crunchy or sticky and is gentle on fine hair, leaving it feeling light and soft. That’s where I come closest to reality.
Anna Lao-Kaim, Acting Beauty Editor
Christophe Robin Hydrating Cream Scrub, £34
“Exfoliating” and “soothing” aren’t two words you’d normally put together in the beauty dictionary, but they’re appropriate descriptions for this gentle, aloe vera-based scalp scrub. A dollop worked into a hot summer scalp after a day in the sun feels heavenly – add water to work into a lather and leave on for five minutes before rinsing and rinsing as usual shampoo. It eliminates itching and also helps hydrate lengths.
Sol de Janeiro Beija Flor Elasti Cream, from £20
If you prefer a subtle and functional body lotion, look away now. The scent of tropical flowers emanates from the lid of this little pink pot as soon as you open it; Applying this vegetable oil-rich cream to your limbs eliminates the need for a standalone holiday scent. A little goes a long way in terms of hydration too, but the texture is nice and light.
Phoebe Lee, beauty writer
Fresh soy facial cleanser, £31
Although I tend to wear less makeup during the summer months, I find my cleanser has to work harder than ever. Multiple layers of SPF and a busy commute mean it needs to remove every residue of makeup and sweat without damaging my skin. An impossible feat? Not when this cleaner comes into play. It’s a lightweight gel texture that, when combined with water, emulsifies into a frothy, makeup-melting milk for satisfyingly clean yet hydrated skin.
Charlotte Tilbury Quick & Easy Makeup in Pretty Fresh, £55
My approach to summer makeup is resolutely laissez-faire – anything I can scribble, buff or blend with my fingers piques my interest. Unsurprisingly, I adore Charlotte Tilbury’s latest launch: three mini cream sticks neatly housed in a case. There’s a buttery eyeshadow to define the eyes, a double lip and cheek pencil to add both color and shine, and a non-glittery highlighter to add a subtle glow to the cheeks. All are refillable and there are five shades to choose from depending on the look you want. My top pick is Pretty Fresh for a flattering pinky glow.
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