My Summer Beauty Essentials | une femme d'un certain âge

On The Beauty Beat: My Summer Routine

A few of my favorite summer beauty products. Details at une femme d'un certain age. #beauty products #summerbeauty

I haven’t done a comprehensive beauty post in a while, and have since found and incorporated some new products that I’ve been meaning to share. With summer here, seems like as good a time as any.


I keep vowing to simplify my skincare routine, but keep finding new products I really like! 😆 While I don’t switch up my routine completely with a change of seasons, I do make some adjustments. Our summers, which last well into fall, tend to be drier overall than other seasons, so keeping my skin hydrated (yes from the inside too) is a top priority.


I don’t use a cleanser in the morning, just rinse with water.

  1. Hydrating toner. Ok so this one from Tata Harper is a splurge, but it’s a product I really love using, both for the fragrance and the feel. A bottle usually lasts me several months. I’ll mist my face after rinsing and drying, before applying serum. I’ll also sometimes use it as a refreshing mist later in the day. Here’s a budget-friendly option to try.
  2. Serum. I’ve been trying to switch out my beauty products to cruelty-free brands, and have been using Drunk Elephant C Firma serum. I use this one in the mornings, when I haven’t used Retin A the evening before.
  3. Moisturizer. I tend to switch it up depending on what I have on hand. French pharmacie favorites are Eucerin Hyaluron Filler and Filorga Time-Filler. When I had run out of both of those earlier in the year, I tried a sample of Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream and really fell in love with it. (Charlotte Tilbury products are cruelty-free.)
  4. Eye cream. I’ll admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time or energy researching eye creams. I don’t have significant dark circles or puffiness, and I tend to be skeptical about “firming” claims. The most effective eye creams I’ve tried often have Retinol, which I find irritates the skin around my eyes. (Though I use prescription Retin-A on the rest of my face without problems, go figure.) A few weeks ago, Brian at Makeover Workshop gave me a bottle of his new “Illuminate & Contour Eye Treatment” to try out, and I’ve been using it ever since. This one gets two thumbs up!  After a couple of weeks, I noticed a big difference in the texture of the skin around my eyes. It’s much smoother and less crepe-y. This eye cream also moisturizes well, doesn’t irritate, contains no parabens, and isn’t tested on animals.
  5. Neck cream. I’ve been using Makeover Workshop “Firming Neck And Throat Creme” for over a year now. As with the eye cream, I noticed a difference after using twice daily for a couple of weeks. It definitely improves the texture of the skin on my neck with regular use. I re-order this one as soon as I start running low.
  6. Sunscreen. Perhaps the most important step of all! I prefer mineral sunscreens, which my dermatologist feels are more effective. And I try to avoid chemicals that are harmful to the environment. (Some chemicals in sunscreens can destroy coral reefs and are harmful to other marine life.) But the downside to mineral sunscreens is that they can look ashy or cakey after a while. I discovered Supergoop! when we were skiing earlier this year. I first bought the stick version to reapply while out on the slopes, then tried the liquid mineral sunscreen once I was back home. I wear this every day. It isn’t sticky, goopy or ashy, and works well under makeup. It’s a cruelty-free product and contains no parabens.


  1. Cleansing. If I’m wearing makeup, I’ll usually remove first with a cotton pad soaked in Micellar water. Then I’ll wash with a gentle cleanser, using either a Konjac sponge or my Clarisonic.
  2. Retin-A. I use a prescription Retin-A most nights. It’s expensive, but effective.
  3. Serum. I don’t apply serum every night. It just depends on how my skin is feeling. I picked up another bottle of Ahava “Time to Revitalize” Night Treatment at City Pharma in Paris. Another cruelty-free, paraben-free product.
  4. Moisturizer. My girl Charlotte again. I got a travel size of this night cream as a gift with purchase last year and was hooked. I like it even better than La Mer, and it’s a fraction of the price. A little goes a long way, and the jar lasts for months.
  5. Eye Cream and Neck Cream. Same as mornings.


Regardless of the season, I lean toward le No-Makeup Look.* But during the summer especially, I mostly avoid thick or heavily pigmented products.

  1. Foundation. I really thought I was done with foundation until I tried the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation. It’s sheer and luminous, looks natural and evens out my skin tone. A little goes a long way.
  2. Brows. Even if I don’t wear any other makeup, I always fill in my brows. For a casual, natural look and easy application I like Makeover Workshop Brow Pencil in “Blondi.” If I’m going out in the evening or just want a bit more definition, I use Chantecaille Waterproof Brow Definer in Light Taupe.
  3. Mascara. Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes. Love this stuff!
  4. Blush. Mostly for evenings. I like something light and sheer, have been using Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in “Moon Beach” for a bit of subtle color.
  5. Lips. Most days I’ll wear a My Lips But Better color, in a sheer and moisturizing formula. My favorite is Chantecaille Lip Chic in “Amour” or “Tea Rose.” This time of year when I do wear red, I opt for something bright, often with coral or orange undertones. Favorites include Bobbi Brown Art Stick in “Sunset Orange,” Chantecaille Lip Chic in “Amaryllis,” and Chanel Rouge Coco in “Arthur.” To keep my lips looking smooth and full, I apply Makeover Workshop Re-Creation Lip Treatment 2-3 times daily. (Allow to absorb a few minutes before applying lipstick.)

*with the exception of a bit of red lipstick now and then.

I have some new fragrance finds to tell you about, but am going to save those for another post. 😉

What changes do you make to your skincare/makeup routine for summer?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Nancy
    July 9, 2018 / 4:10 am

    Can you please explain Micellar Water? I have been curious about exactly what is in it? Is it really water? Does it remove both face and eye makeup? Also do any stores sell the Makeover Workshop line? I would like to try it but need to see the colors, etc. Finally…I know…lots of questions…how moisturizing is the Charlotte T. Magic Cream?

    Thank you. Loved this post.

    • Susan B
      July 9, 2018 / 6:44 am

      Micellar water is a type of no-rinse cleanser. I think it’s a water and oil mixture? It’s been popular in Europe for some time. It removes makeup, oil and dirt. Though some may use it as a single step cleanser, I find I like to follow up with a cream type cleaner.

  2. July 9, 2018 / 5:16 am

    I’m so glad that you’re trying to go cruelty free and have relevant links for this, as I’m also shifting my skin care regime this way and need a new eye cream. Very useful post, reviews by 18 year olds aren’t that relevant to a 48 year old. I’d also love to see a review of light weight Tinted moisturizers that can stand up to exercise. I fence or go to the gym nearly every day, but still like something light for work, so trying out various samples at present.

  3. July 9, 2018 / 5:26 am

    I’ve been using Klairs Supple Preparation toner for several months and love it! I had a flaky spot on my face that no moisturizer or exfoliating could fix. Two weeks of this toner and it’s gone. Very reasonably priced, too.

  4. Cara
    July 9, 2018 / 5:40 am

    I really like Andalou Naturals Vitamin C Beauty Balm (SPF30). It’s a sunscreen that disappears on me. Also, Andalou is cruelty-free and non-GMO. I also like their Lemon Sugar facial scrub after getting sweaty & dirty working in the garden.
    Thank you, Susan.

    • July 9, 2018 / 7:26 am

      Seconding the recommendation for Andalou. I’ve been very pleased w/ their tinted moisturizer/sun block combos.

  5. Brandi
    July 9, 2018 / 6:48 am

    Thanks for the informative and timely post. For cruelty free serums, Drunk Elephant, Sunday Riley, & Murad all have vitamin C options that I’ve found to be non-irritating. Dennis Gross also makes one that is quite effective but I find it to be a too strong for my sensitive skin.

  6. Weezie Fitzhugh
    July 9, 2018 / 7:35 am

    Chanel’s Arthur is the best red lipstick ever! I’ll have to be put to bed if it’s ever discontinued.

  7. July 9, 2018 / 8:02 am

    Excellent line-up here Susan and I agree 100% about the no make-up make up look for Summer. One thing I was surprised by though is you like Goop sunscreen. I really didn’t get on with it all, very greasy on my face. Luckily I was only trying a sample sachet that came with their large spray on 50+. Now that I do like 😉

  8. Lyn
    July 9, 2018 / 10:15 am

    This is all way too complicated for me. My secret for the no-makeup look is: no makeup. Am I the only one?

    • Beverlypesacov
      July 9, 2018 / 9:13 pm

      I’m pretty minimal.. Origins Vitazing & Lancôme Ombré Hypnos Stylo eye pencil & Burts Bee lip balm.. if I want a little more something, I use a little Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze… have loved this for years

  9. July 9, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been wanting to change up my skin care routine (adult acne has been a problem for me again at 69! ) and it’s helpful to hear about products others like. A friend recently shared that she uses Jan Marini products for her facial skin care … and she loves them. I’m curious if anyone has tried Jan Marini products?

  10. RoseAG
    July 9, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    I just returned from the shore with a peeling face, and it wasn’t because I got a sunburn. It was my sunscreen — mineral sunscreens with high proportions of zinc oxides and other minerals have an astringent effect, they’re drying. I’ve got rosacea and dry is not the way for me to go. I was so frustrated, a consult with my dermatologist and I find out that chemical sunscreens, even though they’ve got that dreaded word, “chemical” in them, are better and less drying for those of us with rosacea.

    • Maria
      July 10, 2018 / 12:58 am

      Roseag, I also have rosacea and my dermatologist said not to use chemical sunscreens, mineral only. Elta MD tinted works well and Colorscience makes a mineral sunscreen specifically for rosacea. It is pricey but IMO is worth the money.

  11. Susan
    July 10, 2018 / 12:54 am

    Love that you encourage paraben-free and cruelty free products. I am enjoying “5 year? window” where acne has finally gone but not many wrinkles yet. Must try some of these products though NZ is heavily taxed on “luxury” items like skin care and makeup. If your photos are anything to go by these products are working well.

  12. rose floyd
    July 10, 2018 / 5:53 am

    As time marches on, my makeup does, as well–off my vanity top.

    This summer I’m using a light application of Dr. Jarts or IT Cosmetics BB cream, a sweep over the entire lid of light gold MAC eyeshadow, Gimme Brow to fill in, a bit of mascara and MAC highlighter on cheeks. Lipstick is light and neutral, but this minimal face also works well with a brighter red/orange lipstick –Mac Lady Danger is an attention getter for summer evenings but works well with the minimal makeup look.

    Skincare is the same as winter, but a lighter moisturizer.
    I met a lady several years ago where I go to hike, who was in her late sixties and had the most beautiful complexion. We spent some time together and she shared her secrets–all natural ingredients on her
    skin and all natural food consumed, changes she made later in life. She swore by Dr. Haushka products and I’m loving their Revitalising Day Creme for these warmer months, followed by La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 sunscreen. No reactions for sensitive skin and no clogging of pores.

    Night is Retin A or fresh Vitamin C followed by Creme de la Mer. I read the reviews of the Charlotte Tilsbury
    Magic Night Creme, which are quite good—I may try it. It is true about needing better moisturizer after fifty.
    Neck cream is always Nectifirm, day and night, all year.

    There have been such advances in products the last decade that a reliable, effective
    routine for great skin and a natural but enhanced appearance of the face we present to the world is available without much time or fuss.

  13. Nancy
    June 2, 2019 / 6:49 am

    You introduced me to the Chantecaille Lip Chic a couple years ago – it’s my favorite!

    • Susan B
      June 2, 2019 / 4:49 pm

      Still my favorite too! 🙂

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