“It’s like someone’s holding on to the tail of the sun.”

As the back-to-school madness at my neighborhood Target is dying down, yells of “Touchdown!” can be heard from the tv in the local sports bar as patrons cheer, Oktoberfest brew already flowing from the taps into their waiting mugs.  It must be Fall.  Or at  least Indian Summer–probably my favorite time of year.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always been one of those weird kids who loves learning, and going back to school in the fall pulled me from the odd sleeping schedule that had settled in over the Summer and back into my desk, books open, pencil in hand.  This would be reinforced in college, when fall brought on Buckeye football season and the reunion of some of the best friends I’ll ever have after Summers spent working, interning, and studying abroad.

Nevertheless, as exhilarating as the first cool breeze hinting at Autumn’s approach may be, there’s always that pang of regret as I scan my mental Summer to-do list.  There’s all the traveling I’d hoped to do, the books I’d vowed to read (or re-read), the days at the beach, the new skills to acquire, the old skills to revisit.  These last days–Summer’s last gasp–are a tease; the sun beats down mercilessly and invites me to imagine I can still complete my to-do list.  But I know, now, after years of experience, that the minute I set to my list the leaves will begin to fall.  Summer will make way to Fall.

Rather than lament things I didn’t get to this Summer, let me celebrate some of the things that have made this Summer rich, warm, glowing, and memorable.  A few of these products will even help me feel like I just stepped out of Summer long into the Fall.

For Summer shimmer & glow:

Soothe sunkissed skin with Softsoap Spa Radiant Body Wash which contains sea salt.  It smells like the ocean while gently exfoliating for soft, glowing skin.  Seal in moisture with Vaseline Aloe Fresh Moisturizing Body Gel.  Sure, aloe vera has been the go-to for sunburns for generations, but it’s cooling and super hydrating–a great refreshing treat for all skin, ravaged by the sun or not.

After drying and styling, spritz hair with Oscar Blandi Olio di Jasmine Shine Spray.  This spray has a hint of jasmine scent, and all of it’s protective properties.  Protects hair from sun damage as well as other environmental polutants that can leave hair dull and lifeless.  Plus, it gives a sun-lit shimmer to almost any shade of hair–instant highlights!

My new must-haves for my daily beauty routine all contribute to a healthy glow that makes me feel like I’m finally getting the hang of this California Girl thing.  After a moisturizing foundation (with SPF!!) like Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer, I dab Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Fast Fix Concealer, All-Over Brightener in the corners under my eyes and along my cheekbones towards my temples.  The Sally Hansen Natural Beauty collection is all designed by makeup artist Carmindy of TLC‘s What Not to Wear.  It’s smooth texture blends flawlessly, and it’s light pink hue counteracts blueish undereye circles just as well as its light shimmer highlights cheekbones.

I finish my face with a quick sweep of Cover Girl Eye Enhancers eye shadow in Mink across my lids.  This shade is close to my skin tone, with just a hint of gold that really contrasts my blue eyes nicely.  The finishing touch is Aveda Lip Glaze in Bronze Blaze dotted in the center of my upper and lower lips, alone or over another lipstick or gloss.  The bronze gives warmth and the shimmer places in the center of the lips gives the illusion of a fuller pout.  Mwah!

I’ve always taken pride in smelling fantastic, but for Summer I like a lighter fragrange.  This year I’m in love with the light floral notes of Victoria’s Secret’s ‘Delicate Petals’ scent.  Layering this with Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Fragrance Mist creates a slightly more sophisticated, sultry potion.  It works every time!

As for yummy treats that make me glow from within?  There are a lot to choose from, but a new product I’ve really enjoyed this Summer is Crystal Light Skin Essentials drink mix in Peach White Tea or Pomegranate Lemonade flavors.  I started experimenting with various Crystal Light On-the-Go flavors when I was putting together a care package to send to my best friend who is currently serving in Iraq.  They’re all great, but the Peach White Tea and Pomegranate Lemonade flavors from the Skin Essentials line happen to be my favorites!  I recently read that the skin-enhancing ingredients (mainly Vitamin A) in these isn’t concentrated enough to show a real effect, but anything that gets me chugging more H2O will definitely leave my skin hydrated, refreshed, and glowing!

And finally, no list of my Summer favorites could ever be complete without mentioning my very favorite thing about the season:  Tomatoes!  We grew red and yellow heirlooms in our garden as a kid, and during Summer months I become completely addicted!  No pink-fleshed hothouse tomatoes for me!  If you’re lucky enough to have access to some of those treasured last-of-the-season gems, be sure to try one of my favorite Summer salads that celebrates the tomato:

Heirloom Tomato Salad
Caprese Salad
Tomato & Watermelon Salad

What are some of your favorite things from this Summer?  Or are you already making your list of favorites for Fall?

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