Summer is officially here, and when it comes to beauty and fashion, this season is undeniably haute.
I've cut through the clutter (and the who-would-be-caught trends) to bring you the top beauty and style tips for summer, from cheek to chic.
Notes on a sandal
While some would say that the bikini is summer's mascot, for me it's the sandal. From flat, gladiator sandals to mile high, strappy slides, 'tis the season to bare those pretty little toes (all perfectly polished, of course). By day, pair Miss Trish of Capri for Target's Lion Sandals in gold with city shorts, a simple tank and layers of necklaces ($29.99 at Target). By night, L.A.M.B.'s "Lita" Sandal is flirty and feminine, boasting ruffled T-straps that add drama to your little black dress ($355 Nordstrom International Mall).
Another hallmark of summer style is the seasonal resurgence of turquoise; turquoise stones adorn clutches, bracelets and swimsuits, and jewel-toned hues of blue and green turn up in sun dresses, scarves, tees and more. A chunky turquoise necklace can turn any outfit into a scene stealer, as Eva Mendes proved at this year's Golden Globe Awards. Head to Neiman Marcus at International Plaza and shop the Jose & Maria Barrera collection of breathtaking turquoise necklaces, earrings, bangles and more priced at $240 and up.
Looking for something on trend and bargain priced? Target also boasts a stylish collection of reasonably priced jewelry, such as their Turquoise Chandelier Earrings for $7.99.
The moody blues
Fashion takes its traditional turn to blue and beauty follows suit with a variety of aquamarine products made exclusively for lips. Why blue? Not only does this shade lend a whiter sheen to teeth, but blue pigments complement the red naturally found in lips. The end result is sheer and shimmery, and not at all lonesome. Benefit's California Kissin' Lip Shine serves up sparkling lips and minty-fresh breath ($18 at Sephora) while Kevyn Aucoin's the Liquid Cyber Lip Gloss in "Alurabliss" creates the look of glitter under glass with touches of metallic color ($27 at beauty.com).
Frolic about in your summer skin
As the season heats up, it's time to amp up your own beauty I.Q., especially when it comes to protecting your skin and the oh-so-tender skin of your bambinos. Everyone's buzzin' about physical sunblocks these days, but what the heck are they? A physical sunblock contains ingredients that rest on the skin's surface and reflect away ultraviolet rays. Physical sunblocks cannot be absorbed into the skin and proponents say that this makes physical sunblocks safer than chemical sunscreens.
Not for the faint of budget, Kinerase's Daily Defense Cream with SPF 30 is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and includes 6 percent titanium dioxide and 7 percent ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate ($135 for 2.8 oz. at kinerase.com).
For the budget-minded, Burt's Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 sells for just $15 for 3.5 oz. and is available at most local drug stores as well as online at burtsbees.com. Boasting a high level of titanium dioxide (8.58%) and no chemical sunscreens, this sunscreen continues in the Burt's Bees tradition of offering up natural and effective products priced right.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.