Emily’s Summer Essentials

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There is an old saying that goes a little something like this:

“Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.”

Ben Stiller might have said so in jest, but as far as skin care is concerned, nothing, in my opinion, is truer. I would rather be “oily” than “dry” on pretty much any part of my body. Want proof? Look no further than my new passport picture [6]. A full 10 years later, my forehead still catches the light like a cyclist’s reflective vest. And I am A-OK with that—in fact, I encourage it.

This brings me to my summer must-haves, which, as you can see, revolve heavily around an arsenal of products from Biologique Recherche. Ladies and gentlemen, I am fully, unapologetically hooked on a product line. This stuff has taken over my medicine cabinet. I find tester tubes in my carry-on, under my sink, in my purse. What’s more, I can’t even tell you if it’s a singular product that’s “working” or the whole kit and caboodle. So here’s the whole kit in my caboodle: Lait VIP O2 (milky cleanser), Lotion P50 (exfoliating toner), Amniotique E. serum, Fluide VIP 02, and Crème Dermopurifiante. In that order, day and night.

Here’s what you should know about Biologique Recherche: it is French (duh), it is made by OG skincare people who use what some may believe to be “questionable” ingredients (organic, this isn’t); it stinks (my boyfriend has taken to calling me “trash face,” in the most loving of ways) BUT! It is a game changer. I’m pretty sure the P50 toner alone is responsible for clearing up some pesky acne around my chin, and the combination of other products, with regular use, produces an overall “glow” like you can’t imagine. When I don’t go through the motions, I see a difference. Do I feel slightly trapped? Yep. Is this routine sustainable in the long-term? No way. But I’m pretty into it at the moment.

Aida Bacaj, a facialist in New York, only deviates from the cult of Biologique for one other line: Future Beauty, an itty-bitty collection out of Israel. The Cream Extreme is good, but the Beauty Drops are great. A nice, moisturizing ‘herbal refreshment’ post-face washing and pre-moisturizing.

As far as hair goes, for the first time in my life, I feel like I have a leg to stand on in recommending products for “dry and color-treated hair.” Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil and its cousin—Nourishing Oil-In-Cream—smell divine, pack a punch in the moisture department, and don’t turn you into a grease-ball. I’m on to bottle/tube #2 for both of them (they are expensive, but last a while). But step #1, post-shower, is Pureology Color Fanatic treatment spray, because it seems like it's doing something…21 “essential benefits to prime, protect, and perfect” is all I want for my hair, really. I’m down to the final drops of this product. Usually I’ll finish things off by rubbing a bit of Alterna’s Caviar CC Cream or Living Proof’s Targeted Repair Cream through the ends before letting everything air-dry, or blow-drying when absolutely necessary.

For shampoo, I am head-over-heels in love with Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt. After having just googled it, I am now also in love with the video of Christophe Robin showing you how it’s used, because few things in life are better than a nice head massage. I want one right now.

For conditioner—well, we’ve been through this. Purple + platinum = better platinum.

Makeup! I’ve been of the skincare-as-makeup persuasion, or, lately, fragrance as makeup. My fragrance history, at a glance, has been: Clinique Happy, Gucci Rush, Michael Kors (high school); Stella McCartney (college); Le Labo Rose 31 & Gaiac 10, Byredo Accord Oud (mid-twenties). Roses and woods, mainly. But following a party for Hermès recently, I found myself in the cab home clutching a white origami rose spritzed with something magical and floral-smelling. It’s Jour d’Hermès Absolu and it smells like exactly who I want to be right now. In the mornings, I walk through a cloud of it, over to my mirror in the living room, sweep my eyebrows with Sherani Protein Mascara in Clear and my upper lashes with Covergirl LashBlast Length in Black Brown, and I’m ready to face the day—clean, clear, and moisturized.

—Emily Weiss

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Suzanne

    Is Jour d’Hermès Absolu very different from the original version? I have that one & love it.

    • IntoTheGloss

      I haven't smelled the original actually. But this one is, as perfume marketers like to say but c'mon, intoxicating. It really is. I spray on way too much every time in a frenzy of excitement. xE

    • Imola

      It's not THAT different, but definitely heavier and doesn't have that light freshness which I adore in the original. For me it feels more like an autumn-y perfume, so I wear it for summer nights by mixing the two.

  • Miss Y.

    You look so cute in your new passport picture! And much younger than you probably are ;-)
    I'm very much looking forward to trying that new Hermès scent myself!

  • Miss Y.

    P.s. Juliette Has a Gun - Anyway is a very fresh barely there perfume that's not overpowering (perfect for hot summer days) and leaves you feeling squeaky clean!

  • therealblonde

    I've missed your voice and your face around here Emily!

    • http://petyagrady.tumblr.com/ Petya K. Grady

      Love the rest of the crew but I liked this site because it was Emily point of view. Now... it's a (great) shopping experience.

  • Eleanor Rigby

    Zoolander's quotes forever. I usually like Brunettes over blondes, but you're really good at making me confuse about my own personal preferences! Ps: Sharing your addiction with Créaline. Oh and I wear Voyage d'Hermès. It's unisex but I get wayyyyyy more compliments since I use unisex/men's flagrance!

  • Amanda Raponi

    Obsessed with BR! I use the P50V, Creme Dermopurifiante, and tb both of those masks as well and they make such a difference in my skin.

  • B

    Biologique is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! Glad to see that you're loving it as much as I do!!! x

  • Aubrey Green

    You haven't aged a day.

    • Bertiebeetle

      seriously. she looks amazing, feeling better about my oil slick face if it gives me the perma 22 face!

  • http://vanitytalkbeauty.blogspot.com Addison Cain

    It may be technically a cologne, but lately I've been using Terre D'Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche and loving it.

  • softy

    i know this isn't the first time BR has been mentioned on this site, but now that it's part of emily's essentials i'm obviously going to buy their products now. and i can't wait!

    • Jenny

      You want to test it before you buy it though. I splurged on the Crème Dermopurifiante about two years ago and I had to throw it away. It was VERY rich for my skin and broke me out like nobody's business. If you have dry skin or don't mind your skin feeling oily, then you're good to go. The smell is another bummer - if you intend to use it as a night cream then fair enough, but when Emily says it stinks, trust her, because it REALLY does. What's worse, when I applied my usual sunscreen atop this, I ended up with tiny white rolls on my face. All in a llm it was about $100 down the drain.

      Again, this is just my personal experience with it. I have sensitive, combination skin - those with drier skins might get along with it just fine.

      • softy

        thanks! i don't know where i'd be able to test it though, since it seems hard enough to get a hold of actual products already. i was going to start with the fluide vip o2 - it seems like it's a safe bet and not too heavy. the cream does sound too rich for my skin though, so i probably won't be purchasing that. thank you again for your input!

  • Farah

    Am i really the first to comment? Are we all just dumbfounded? So Emily obviously looks amazing with this skin regime but aaaaaack is she really wearing no make-up in this photo? Just mascara? My mascara of choice.... but really?? Personally i dont know what to think....do i need this skincare? Maybe....that skin looks AMAZE. It seems you have to log in to a website to even access the prices which i find a little worrying..... Are you really wearing no make-up in that photo Emily?? What the what??!!!

    • Cee Jay

      Totally just scrolled down to say exactly that! I way prefer the Top Shelfs that feature a billion make up products...so much more interesting and realistic. As much as I love Emily and her approach...

      • Janine

        I normally wear a lot of product on my face but come summer, it gets so humid here on the East coast sometimes that I hardly wear anything. It's very obvious she's not wearing makeup...and looks perfect. Her dark brows and lashes frame her face well. I might wear a cream blush and mascara in the day and eye liner. But that's it. Anything else moves around my face. And forget foundation. Blecch. It feels like sticky egg whites on a hot humid day.

    • Aubrey Green

      Lighting is everything...?

    • IntoTheGloss

      First off, thank you! And secondly, see below from @nicholegreen:disqus-- it's true: lighting is everything. "Overexposure tho". Thirdly, probably the biggest change in my skin occurred not via the BR routine itself but as an indirect result of it. So inspired by this product cult, I finally began washing my face day and night, without fail. That in and of itself calmed down inflammation and regulated redness. Of course, the right products help--but just, general hygiene. + "golden hour" sunlight for no-makeup photos. xE

  • Geraldine

    Amazing post!! Thank you!

    xx,

    G

  • Poulette

    And with all of that expensive exfoliation, no sunscreen to protect all of the hard work being put into your skin? Or is there a secret stash somewhere that we're not privy to? :-)

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    Jour d’Hermès Absolu sounds like a winner! I'm not a huge jasmine fan but anything with gardenia and apricot I'm down to try. I've been very interested in P50 but I think I might take CH's advice and try Pixi Glow Tonic first.

    • Suzanne

      P50 is great! For the first couple weeks, it seemed very strong, but then my skin acclimated to it. I only use it at night, but it definitely works. It smells pretty terrible, but I've gotten used to it. :)

  • Lee

    Hey anyone at ITG, how does Biologique Recherche compare with Somme Institute?

    • ITGNick

      BR is much more $$$ but also more customizable--there's only one serum, one moisturizer, and one exfoliating pad in the Somme regimen whereas BR makes dozens of serums and creams and lotions, which a licensed BR aesthetician 'prescribes' you based on your skin type and specific needs.... Like, so many things. An entire book-full.

      • Cranberry Street

        Thanks Nick, that's really helpful and makes me think that if Sommes is working for my skin, I should stick with it!

  • Jani

    Emily, what sunscreen do you use?

    • IntoTheGloss

      I have to say, and DO NOT FREAK, please--I get it enough from mom!!!--I'm not a huge sunscreen person. SPF always smells so much like...SPF, and that makes me crazy, BUT I do like Anthelios by La Roche-Posay.

      Are there any sunscreens that don't smell like a day at the beach/make you feel like you're 'wearing something'? For face and/or body. I'm all ears! xE

      • Firn

        Try Shiseido's Perfect UV Protector SPF50. The Japanese make the best and most makeup compatible sunscreens in the world. You'll probably have to order it online though.

      • Kay Ann

        Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection Sunscreen

        http://www.chantecaille.com/skincare/sun-care/ultra-sun-protection-sunscreen.html

        Worth every penny.

      • Ayaka

        I picked up a bottle of Biore Perfect Milk (in the blue bottle) when I was in Tokyo 7 years ago, and have used it consistently ever since. It's spf 50+ PA+++, about the consistency of, well... milk, and dries to a powder finish. No white cast and absolutely no greasiness. It does, however, have quite a hefty alcohol content, but if you're ok with that (and the idea of chemical sunscreens) then this thing is your gal. It doesn't smell like sunscreen either. It's has more of a unscented face lotion smell to it.

        I can't buy it here in Australia, but it is readily available on ebay, etc. I usually just stock up whenever I/someone I know goes to Japan.

        There are a few different types in the Biore range that are probably more suited to drier skin types (there's one called Aqua Rich Watery essence that I use in the winter time because it has more of a gel texture that gives a dewier (but not greasy) finish. Still feels like nothing on the skin). Maybe just check out Asian brands in general. They take sun care really seriously over there, so the products are naturally a little more sophisticated and tailored to the cosmetic market.

        • Liz K

          I second the Japanese sunscreens. They don't stink and they work. They are also the only things with alcohol that I put on my skin as I tend to be sensitive. I do have to add extra moisture when I use the Biore one but I like the HadaLabo UV Creamy Gel best. I have an order in for some Korean stuff too and some of the sunscreens sound good. I know the Missha and Skinfood ones are said to be excellent.

      • Bells

        I personally love Clinique City Block. The sunscreen is physical, so it's great for you sensitive peaches out there (like me). It's lightly tinted, so it evens out your skin a bit and gives it a healthy glow :)

        • kt mo

          Seconded heartily. i have pretty jacked up skin, so i HATE wearing sunscreen because it feels like so much on my face. But City Block is perfect or super close to it.

        • thunderlegz

          ha! Sensitive Peach is how I will now refer to myself in 3rd person (as I have want to do).

        • Solange

          Beware that the spf40 is a mix of physical and chemical sunscreen, it's just the spf25 that is physical only.

      • beeswaxnoneofyour

        Skinceuticals for the face, girl! Doesn't smell of anything at all, and not greasy. I use a separate for body - usually Shiseido's, in the blue bottle, or the one in the white tube.

        • http://beautyleaks.jimdo.com/ beautyleaks

          +1

      • Jani

        I prefer physical sunscreens. Dermaquest SPF30 with Zinclear is good and the new Elizabeth Arden Rx TPF50 is a nice tinted one. Suntegrity makes good sunscreens too. None of them have that tropical scent. BTW, got out my sample of Jour d'Hermes and I am in love.

      • Lauren

        I really like Laura Mercier's Daily Face Shield SPF 40. It doesn't smell at all and it goes on really easily and is super nice!! Plus at only $45 it's a great deal!

      • Josef Šlaich

        YES! New SPF 50 by EVE LOM is DIVINE! I also love LRP Anthelios but this is even BETTER! Trust me Emily! xJS

      • GTFO :-)

        I felt the EAXCT same way about sunscreens. Then I found Murad's sunscreens (yeah, just regular Murad, I like the orange vitamin C one or the anti-aging one, both about $50) and they don't smell like it at all. They smell really good. And Clinique City Block is great too like the others have said. I HATE that sunscreen smell.

        Please elaborate: What do you mean by "questionable" ingredients?

      • Kyla

        Sunday Riley's sunscreen is AMAZING. I promise you, Emily. Growing up in Asia, I've always been an SPF nut, and nothing I've ever tried compares. Definitely pricey, but OH SO WORTH IT.

      • andee

        The Anthelios Oil (Euro formula, not the US version you can get in any drugstore) has no odor. If you're oily, it might be too much for your face though. The Anthelios Gel-Crème Euro version doesn't smell too strong and is wearable under even foundation. A couple of the upscale NYC chemists like Zitomer Bigelow's carry the Euro version, so you could smell them there to decide if the smell doesn't bother you. You can get them a lot cheaper online of course. Also, for sunscreen, though not a big Kate Somerville fan, I'm currently using her SPF 50 CC cream, which comes in 4 colors. It's light, gives a little glow and protects. BTW, I get BR facials in Philly and am becoming an addict too. I use the P50 without phenol, cause I'm a scared cat.

      • http://beautyleaks.jimdo.com/ beautyleaks

        I find the Skin Ceuticals mineral SPF50 great, its not greasy and gives you a little natural color. Great stuff. And the smell is ok :-)

      • Ana

        Mecca Cosmetica's To Save Face is the best sunscreen, and I've used Anthelios by La Roche-Poasy as well. It smells so good, is broad spectrum SPF 30+, and super light too!

  • IntoTheGloss

    Ah, Natura Bisse. I gave a year of my life to their Oxygen Cream once and gained...a year of skin vitality in return. Great stuff. xE

  • Laura

    Elta contains silicones...

    • amySF

      Hi Laura! I think that most of their formulations do, but this particular one seems to be silicone free…unless there is a sneaky one in there that I'm not seeing in the ingredients list. The ingredients that I am always on the lookout for end with 'cone; they always break me out.

      Active Ingredients: 9.0% Zinc Oxide, 7.5% Octinoxate
      Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyisobutene, Polyether-1. Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane.

    • thunderlegz

      Yeah! My derm hated all the products I painstakingly researched and dropped major bucks on (elta, biologique recherché, the essence from the Korean skincare post, Origins, embyolisse). She basically told me to toss almost all of it except for some Dr Jarrt serum, the Elta, and a dab of the BR exfoliating toner. I couldn't understand why-the ones my face likes, she didn't. Anyways, yes to Elta-although I still burn-it doesn't smell like the banana boat of yore.

      • Maggi

        I hope you didn't toss the missha FTE! I use it and my skin loves it. It calms inflammation and my breakouts have been almost nonexistent since I started using it. If your skin liked it you should keep using it.

      • JY

        Sometimes products that are effective in the short term cause long-term damage.

  • softy

    i have never found a phrase that accurately describes my passport photos until now.

  • Guest

    I'm all about a dewy (aka oily) face! Especially in the summer.

    And if you want amazing glow, check out derma rolling. Seriously. Game changer. (I use a 0.5 mm roller 2x a week) You will not get a glow like that from a bottle.

  • Kel

    Another sunscreen rec is Elta MD Clear - lots of zinc and no white residue or beach scent.

  • TE DORE

    Does anyone know where in any European e-shop can I buy Biologique Recherche products? Thanks for helping

  • http://beautyleaks.jimdo.com/ beautyleaks

    Love the Shu Uemura oil also.So you dont wear make-up at all?

    • JY

      Gucci Westman is a makeup artist, and she wears barely any makeup at all.
      Shy Uemura has some of the best packaging in the industry.

  • softy

    hahahaha ugh your comment just scared me into wearing sunscreen daily again. like emily and kathS, i have been leaving the house without sunscreen in the past weeks because i just really hate it and hey, we do need vitamin d. but i need to think of my future as a brown-spot-free woman.

  • http://clemenceconsiders.blogspot.com/ Clémence

    second the Cerave rec!

  • Jessica

    I'm thinking of investing in the Christophe Robin scrub and purple conditioner... how often are you washing your hair and are you using them exclusively?
    PS. I'm obsessed with your platinum

  • Kim

    I couldn't agree more with your Biologique Recherche obsession! It truly is a transformational line. I had been combating acne since my teens and it wasn't until I started a BR regimen 6 years ago that my skin finally balanced, so don't worry the results are long term! I continue to use BR daily and I can speak volumes to it. It's not easy to find but it is available on our site shoprescuespa.com. Danuta Mieloch, the owner of Rescue Spa, is a good friend of Aida Bicaj... as you can imagine she is an amazing esthetician as well :)

    • Liz

      Hi Kim! I've been using BR products that I purchased through Aida's website for about two weeks now... and my skin is looking pretty dismal. I've always struggled with acne, but since I've used Accutane a few years back, I've been able to harness some control of my blemished skin. Before you ask, I've already contacted customer service (they're extremely helpful and kind!), who have assured me that my break outs are a normal reaction. In you personal experience, Kim, did you suffer from acne flare ups when you first began using the BR products? My skin has never looked as good as Emily's--not even close--but it certainly hasn't looked this bad in quite some time. I'd very much appreciate your insight! Thanks!

  • Ona_in_Barcelona

    "She is attractive. You are not." - I'm DYING! Border agents should never comment on passport photos, full stop!

  • JY

    Yes. You need to use a lot of sunscreen to get any protection. If the sunscreen costs more than $15, I won't use enough.

  • JY

    Sometimes reputable and trendy are mutually exclusive. Sadly, it seems that way with skincare. See if you can get a facial from your dermatologist or esthetician.

  • JY

    Don't feel left behind! There's a difference between having healthy skin and exploring the world of beauty. ITG focuses more on trends in skincare. When Emily tries a new regime, she's reporting more on the aesthetic experience. Does that make sense? It's hard to explain. ITG doesn't focus so much on basic skincare habits because, fortunately, you probably already know everything you need to know.

    Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Wear sunscreen. Moisturize. Sleep enough. Don't stress. Don't scrub your skin roughly. Skin heals and repairs itself with time. It's okay to rely on makeup when you don't feel confident in your skin. Trustworthy brands for skincare products are CeraVe, Olay, and Paula's Choice.

  • JY

    Avoid alcohol, fragrance, essential oils, and rough scrubs. Read Paula's Choice for thorough, unbiased information. Take Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion, a cult product, for example. It dries up pimples effectively, but the irritating ingredients cause redness.

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

Alterna
Alterna Caviar CC Cream
Alterna
Pureology Colour Fanatic
Sherani
Sherani Protein Mascara
shu uemura art of hair
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Essence Absolue
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 W
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Lait VIP02
Shu Uemura
Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil-in-Cream Nourishing Oil-In-Cream
Living Proof
Living Proof Restore Targeted Repair Hair Cream
Christophe Robin
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt
Christophe Robin
Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care, Baby Blond
davines
Davines Alchemic Conditioner Silver
Le Labo
Le Labo Rose 31 Eau de Parfum
Byredo
Byredo Accord Oud
CoverGirl LashBlast Length
CoverGirl LashBlast Length Mascara
HERMÈS
Hermès Jour d`Hermès Absolu
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