It’s that time, friends: brace yourselves for my annual lecture about sunscreen. I know, it’s all very “After-School Special” of me. But truly, more than anything else you can do for yourself, SPF will save you from nearly everything that’s awful about aging. Wrinkles, rosacea, age spots, moles, freckles, you name it. Not to mention skin cancer, which is no laughing matter. And while I firmly, no exceptions, believe it’s a 365-days-a-year necessity, summer is when I get particularly militant about the whole thing. Because hey, we’re not kids any more. And that dewy complexion that used to bounce back from any kind of abuse needs a bit more TLC than it used to.
The problem is that sunscreen isn’t sexy. It doesn’t always smell great, can cause breakouts (or rashes on those of us with sensitive skin), and no one ever applies enough. Some formulas are greasy, some are chalky, and it takes ages of trial and error to find one to love. But friends, I’m here for you. I’ve done the trial-and-error, I’ve suffered the breakouts, and I’m here to deliver a list of my all-time favorites, the best sunscreens for summer. Read on
editor’s note: the drawing for that stunning pallie croc wallet closes thursday at midnight…have you really not entered yet?
let me preface this guide with the following: despite their rep, gift sets can be really lovely, thoughtful gifts. added bonus: once you make up your mind, they’re easy to track down, and usually require no wrapping at all. for me, the key to succeeding with the gift set give is to make sure (drum roll) it’s a set of something the recipient will actually use and enjoy, and something you obviously put some thought into. heading to the drugstore on 12/24 and picking up a box of coty perfume with a matching scented scrunchie is not thoughtful…and it comes through. but, below are my picks (and general thoughts) on giving a gift set that’s sure to be a hit.
this holiday, diptyque has released a limited edition set of its three most popular holiday candles. girls, if you aren’t familiar with diptyque, well, let’s just say these aren’t any ordinary candles. the scents are positively other-worldly…incredibly unique and sophisticated, and a great gift for just about anyone. the holiday “black box” set includes their pomander, feu de bois (firewood) and spruce scents – burning them individually or together creates the most amazing holiday scent in your house. give them to your favorite hostess, or anyone who loves the finer things – just don’t give them to your great aunt who collects yankee candles…there is such a thing as wasteful luxury.
jo malone, my other favorite this year, is a perfectly luxe gift option. to keep it from being generic, make sure you pick a set that reflects your friend’s tastes. if she loves to wear perfume, there’s nothing better than jo malone’s “tasting kit” – they really have pioneered the concept of mixing scents to create a custom fragrance, and this set is the perfect way to help her really have some fun. i also happen to love the fragrance combining collection for anyone who really loves the finer things, even if they aren’t familiar with the line. sadly, it’s sold out online, but should be easy to track down at your local saks or neiman marcus.
for someone you know a little better, i love the idea of a well-thought-out beauty sets. but do reserve these for good friends, as they’re definitely a trickier gift to give well.
for your friend that’s always raving about her new yoga instructor, or that great vegan restaurant that just opened up down the street, look no further than suki. this is a product line i’ve raved about before, and their holiday offerings are a wonderful way to introduce someone to the line. because skin types can be tricky, stick to something that offers universal benefits, like their gorgeous deluxe moisturizing kit (that wooden case the set comes in is gorgeous!).
if you have a friend or a mom who’s constantly bemoaning the fact that she can’t afford/is terrified but overwhelmingly curious about botox, i can think of no better gift than the eye coffret set from darphin (please, please, don’t get this gift for someone unless you’ve actually heard her express discontent with her eyes. no self-improvement suggestions via holiday gifts, ever). ladies, you know how rarely i’m thrilled with an eye cream…but darphin’s products work actual wonders, and are completely splurge-worthy. your friend will thank her lucky stars that you know her so well. (tip: this is also a great set to put on your own wish list…i have a hard time splurging on darphin for myself, but adore receiving it!)
for the friend whose feet are more likely to be 30,000 feet overhead than planted on terra firma, get her a beauty set that’s designed to repair travel-weary skin and make it through TSA safely. my absolute favorite is the organics to go set from juice beauty – this is another line i just love. best of all, this set is highly budget-friendly: pick it up for just $29 at your local whole foods!
and, if all else fails, gift sets from bliss are always fun and lighthearted, and guaranteed to please. their products are harder to track down than, say, philosophy, so it feels more thoughtful. my pick is the “you look spa-velous” set, which is a great set to introduce someone to the bliss world (the oxygen mask alone will make them a convert). tack on a gift certificate for a mani if your friend has a bliss spa nearby, and you have one seriously satisfying gift.
so, those are my picks this season. what do you think – was i convincing? will you be giving any gift sets this year?