Thursday, June 14, 2012


Boracay Island, Philippines. My own photo.
Summer has officially started in China and I like to say that the madness has begun...the umbrellas are out (Chinese women would not let the harsh sun touch their beautiful skin), the humidity and heat are unbearable, and there's the endless yearning to get away for a few days to a really, nice stretch of beach.

The search for the perfect beach getaway doesn't come easy in Mainland China though. Northern cities such as Dalian and Qingdao have some pretty nice beaches but the water on the east coast tends to be quite cold almost year round. A much better alternative would be heading south to the beaches of Hong Kong (which are quite beautiful and underrated) or to the numerous beach resorts in Sanya on the Chinese island of Hainan where the sun simply doesn't stop shining. 

When it comes to beaches though, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Boracay Island, is found in my hometown of the Philippines. It is at this time that I miss it the most...its clear tranquil waters and powder soft white sand. There's just simply nothing like it in the world. However, it is the monsoon season right now in the Philippines and not the right time to visit. November - May (the dry season) would be the best time to visit.

Boracay Island, Philippines. My own photo.

While hunting for the ultimate beach getaway this summer, it's important to always arm yourself with the right products to beat the heat and protect your skin. Summer often calls for a few extras you wouldn't otherwise use the rest of the year. Here are some of my favorite products this summer, which have become essentials to me this season and I believe are perfect for everyone!

Summer Armor: my product essentials

Clean & Clear Oil Control Film ($3.59)
Neutrogena Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser (US$3)

In the summer, my face gets so oily that only one facial cleanser will do: Neutrogena Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser. I've tried much more expensive cleansers over the years but I still come back to this one a lot. This affordable drugstore find is a true gem! My face feels squeaky clean after cleansing and doesn't feel dry at all. I also love the light, citrusy scent. Likewise, I cannot leave the house without Clean & Clear Oil Control Film. This product is awesome and very easy to carry around at all times. The thin sheets absorb oil, grease and shine on your face completely and is fantastic for quick touch ups. I also love the uplifting grapefruit scent. It makes you look and feel fresher in an instant.  

Alba Botanica Natural Pure Lavender Sunscreen SPF45 (US$10.99) (113g)
Jason Sport Natural Sunblock SPF45 (US$9.87) (113g)
These two natural sunblocks don't have any harmful chemicals and are made with certified organic ingredients. Alba Botanica Natural Protection Pure Lavender Sunscreen SPF45 has a nice light, lavender scent which I love! Jason Sport Natural Sunblock SPF45 is sweat and water resistant which is perfect for me since I really hate reapplying! I know I should always put again after swimming but I sometimes forget which is why I also like getting an SPF of 30 or higher. 

Inoherb Olive Oil Hand Cream (US$1.50)
I am really loving this hand cream right now. Chinese brand Inoherb Olive Oil Hand Cream has become a staple in my bag this summer! It contains olive oil, honey and shea butter to moisturize hands. I love its light olive scent and its silky creaminess. I can't even believe how insanely low the price is! It can be addicting as I find myself putting it on many times a day! 

L'Oreal Nutri-Sleek Multi-Effect Protection Spray (US$7)

I discovered this the other day at Walmart and me and my hair are hooked! L'Oreal Nutri-Sleek Multi-Effect Protection Spray contains Argan Oil to moisturize your hair and keep it silky smooth. It also provides your hair with intensive protection from the sun's UV rays. I believe they only sell the spray in China. In other countries, the serum version is available.

Clinique High Impact Lip Colour SPF15 in Honey Blush (US$15)

I cannot get enough of Clinique High Impact Lip Colour SPF15 Honey Blush right now. It is the ultimate summer lipstick. It has SPF15 to protect your lips, moisturizes and is described as a warm pinkish nude with golden flecks. Really beautiful shade!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Shimmer Gloss in Racy Raspberry 

My mother-in-law gave me Estee Lauder Pure Color Shimmer Gloss in Racy Raspberry and I love it! You can see I’ve used it up quite a bit. It’s a light coral pink with a subtle shimmer. It originally comes in a set of two lip glosses so I don’t think you can buy them individually in the same particular shade anymore. However, there are many similar ones in Estee Lauder’s Pure Color range like Pure Color Gloss in Impulsive Coral (US$22.50) which is perhaps the closest color to this one.

So, what are your product essentials for summer? Send me a note and would love to hear about your choices. 

I don't really wear a lot of makeup in the summer but I never
go out without lipstick! Here I am wearing my favorite lipstick now,
Clinique High Impact Lip Colour in Honey Blush.