20 Must Haves for Summer 2011

With June 21, 2011 brings in the first day of summer and what I hope will be a wonderful bit of sunrise for each of us at the end of a very long winter!

It’s been an … interesting winter that’s for sure. So to bring in the sol, I’ve complied a list of some of my summer essentials and why I like them!

In no particular order, here we go:-

  • 1) Havaianas

My pink wedge Havaianas and toes are in Essie's Luxury Lapis

I don’t know about you — but no summer can be complete without your flip flops and as of late, my obsession has been with these Brazilian lovelies caressing  my footsies 🙂

’nuff said.

  • 2) MAC  Cosmetics Studio Fix Boldblack Lash Mascara

This a new product MAC came out with this year in April.

As anyone who reads Little Pink Blog or knows me personally knows, I’m a huge fan of Christian Dior’s Diorshow BLACKOUT Mascara and once I started using it four years ago, I never went elsewhere.

But recently, I decided to take a swap and try this out.  It’s literally as light as a feather, stiff as rock and as bold as Tammy Faye on my eyelashes.

I flippin’ love, love, love this stuff!

Be warned, however, this isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t a Diorshow fan — and can’t handle/know how to use heavy duty, thick mascara, stay away or you’ll hate it.

  • 3) OPI Shatter

I was super excited when Black Shatter came out earlier this year for the Katy Perry collection. Soon after, OPI debuted Shatter in a few other colours — white, red, blue, turquoise etc., to name a few — but my favourite was the silver.

Silver debuted in the US market with the film nail polish collection for Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides.

Either way, I love the texture, and how these take your nails from simple and sweet, to wild and sexy!

One warning though, or rather two, make sure to apply Shatter on top of completely DRY nail polish (preferably a bright colour), and also, use a good top coat on top of your Shatter to seal the deal.

You can thank me later 🙂

Get the 2-pack here.

  • 4) Citron & Lip Butter(s) by Crabtree & Evelyn

This is another launch from earlier this year that I really, really love.

First of all, in full disclosure Crabtree & Evelyn is one of my favourite brands. Their Rosewater products rule my bath and body care life.

Anyway — the Citron line is inspired by the fragrances from the Mediterranean, where a lot of citron flowers flourish. Citron is actually one of the first cultivated citrus fruit flowers, FYI.

The fragrance in this collection also contains extracts of honey, coriander, juniper, cypress and various extracts of lemon (rind, leaf etc.)

It really is the quintessential scent of summer.

If you’re a fan of citrus, this is definitely a must.

I have the refreshing body bar, skin smoothing scrub and skin indulging body souffle.

On that note, I also own three of the lip butters from C&E — Vanilla Brulee, Citron and Creme de Menthe.

I love the smooth texture of these, and my favourite has to be Vanilla Brulee — it tastes like a cookie 🙂

Visit C&E here.

  • 5) Diane Lai

So when my face was oddly peeling from the horrendous weather we had this past winter in NYC, I found out about Diane Lai’s face care. The Canadian brand has two products that I used —

  1. Rejuvenate
  2. Soothe

What I really like with these is that I used them before bed, and they not only helped heal my face, but I woke up refreshed and not zombie looking — especially, when I was working 80-hours weeks around that time.

All of the winter burns slowly began to heal and the pain on my poor nose was alleviated.

Granted, like all things, nothing is instant.

I used this for about two months before I was confident that it worked.

I suggest this for summer, because you will be in the sun a lot — and like winter burn — sun burn isn’t fun either.

Get it here.

  • 6) Lancôme Rénergie

This little number I’ve been testing out on myself since January and I really do love it.

Lancôme suggests that it lifts your eyelids, erases lines, fades dark circles, protects your under eye area, erases dark shadows and deflates bags.

Now, considering I don’t have wrinkles or lines (…. as yet), but I do have shadows, dark circles etc. I can attest, that this baby made me look less like a zombie over the period of a couple weeks.

I spent time using this under my eyes, while I was using the Diane Lai products on my face at night.

  • 7) Borghese’s Bel Viso Facial Skincare Set

So while the set is no longer available — the individual products are and they are worth every penny.

  1. 2.5 oz Esfoliante Delicato
  2. 1 fl oz Fluido Protettivo advanced spa lift for eyes
  3. 4 fl oz Effetto Immediato spa soothing tonic
  4. 2.5 oz Fango active mud for face and body
  5. 1 fl oz CuraForte moisture intensifier
  6. 1 fl oz Crema Straordinaria Da Giorno SPF25
  7. 1-oz Dolce Notte re-energizing night creme

What I love about the set — is that it’s a complete facial treatment. It’s suitable for all skin types  and really great depending on what you are using it for.

Like the reason I have Diane Lai, my face was in shock over the past few months because I’m not used to a real NYC winter.

These really helped.

Between the tonic, the eye lifting serum, and the facial active mud for your face and body — I was one happy girl.

Even if you don’t want all the products, give any one of the above a try — I think they are all great for a first time Borghese user!

  • 8.) Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman

I really love my MAC Cosmetics makeup brushes, all of my brushes are from them and I refuse to switch.

But I had the opportunity to try out the Real Techniques set by Samantha Chapman, and I must say I really enjoyed it and most of all I was really impressed with the quality, textures and softness.

The bristles felt gentle and soothing against my skin, but were obviously sturdy. This something not common at all in synthetic brushes, unless you are using a line such as EcoTools (which we also love here at Little Pink Blog.)

The shape of each brush is perfectly suited to what it’s intended to be used for and that’s really nice. Sometimes, not all brushes are shaped exactly to how you need them, but you don’t really have that problem with these.

Furthermore, one of the best things about Real Techniques is that their brush sets will cost you less than the price of one brush from MAC or a similar upper-market makeup brand.

I also own their Kabuki brush, and it’s the cuetest thing. It’s super tiny and fabulous. I use it for my beauty powders or sheer, iridescent bronzers.

Take a visit to the website here.

  • 9) Triple Love from SABON

Last November I attended SABON’s grand opening for their new store on Broadway in New York City. It was seriously one of the most fun launch events I’ve attended in a long time and I really have to commend their public relations agency (Polina Fashion LLC.) for such a job well done.

Anyway, while I was there, I bought three products and I’ve been using them over the past eight months:-

  1. (Ker) ROSE perfume
  2. Creamy Scrub in the Patchouli scent
  3. Rose Body Oil

Now, as someone who had never heard of this brand before the launch event, I didn’t write anything on the event as it would have been nonsense having nothing to base a real review on.

Since it’s been awhile, and I’ve been vigorously using their products, I have to say, I really enjoy what I purchased.

I find that the body oil was absolutely perfect for me in the winter because it kept my skin moist and supple, not drying out as quickly as most body lotions do. Also, it has this incredibly lovely “Rose Tea” scent to it, which is simply divine.

The rose (Ker) perfume isn’t too sweet or intense, but it has a long-lasting, soft and very feminine flavor to it.

If you a fan of Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One or Bvlgari Rose Essentielle, which are two of my favourites, this will cost you about one-third the price, and will have a less intense scent to it.

I would probably use SABON during the day and the Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One or Bvlgari Rose Essentielle at night to stick with a “Rose” scented theme on your skin.

As for the Patchouli scented creamy scrub, a little bit goes a long way and it’s made up of grounded almond, which provides the “scrub” part. It’s very smooth and when I come out of the shower, I find that skin is exceptionally soft and it feels really silky.

SABON is a true must!

Visit their website here.

  • 10) Essie’s Braziliant

My nails in Super Bossa Nova with OPI Shatter Black and Silver

This is Essie’s new colour collection for summer 2011 based on the colours and themes of the country of Brazil.

They’re pretty fabulous, incredibly bright and extremely vibrant.

My nails in Braziliant!

For my skin tone, I have Braziliant and Super Bossa Nova (above) and I really do adore them 🙂

  • 11) Global Keratin Hair Taming System with JUVEXIN Serum

I normally use leave-in hair treatment oils from Farouk Systems (Biosilk) as well as Chi Oils to calm my frizzies, deliver shine etc. I use it when I leave my hair curly as well as when I flat iron my hair.

Recently, I did get the opportunity to try this from GK and I really do love it.

I’ve been wearing the product a lot lately without adding any other product to my hair (i.e., hairspray, gel, etc.) and I’ve had less frizz, it’s tamed my flyaways and makes my hair not only smell really nice, but look shiny too.

This serum also has Juvexin in it, which is the GK protein blend exclusive to their brand.

If you do decide to purchase this make sure that you use it on clean hair after you shampoo and condition, and smooth it all the way through to the ends.

I tend to use a bit extra on the ends of my hair to lock in my curls and prevent damage.

Also, like with Biosilk and Chi, a little bit goes a very, very, long way!

Enjoy 🙂

Get it here.

  • 12) Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Oil Control Lotion

I’ve written about this before — but it deserves to be written about again, because I think it’s the essential face lotion for working women during the warm, summer months!

This product will do three things for you:

  1. Hydrates oily/combination skin without clogging pores
  2. Helps reduce oil and blemishes
  3. Leaves skin velvety smooth shine-free

… and it does.

I use it a lot when it’s hot and disgusting outside or on a day when I know it’s going to be one of those “on-the-go” type of days where my face will sweat.

Typically, I’ve used this before I put on my makeup in the morning.

It holds everything in place and I require less touch-ups (if any at all) during the day.

One of the reasons that I love this is because I’ve been looking for a genuinely healthy mattifying lotion to wear under my makeup and this one really does work.

Get it here.

  • 13) Regan Smith Clarke

I won’t lie or be shy about it — but I do tend to write about my genuine love for RSC ever so often.

And stepping into summer I think that this is a great brand for you to leverage in your wardrobe.


Because it’s versatile for men and women.

Also, the quality is good, the colours don’t fade from the washer and dryer and the material maintains its soft and suppleness.

I own one of their sweatshirts too 🙂 … Heck, I’m wearing one of my jerseys while I write this blog post… no lie, check out my random TwitPic.

Check them out here.

  • 14) Zara Scarves

I have more than one from Zara and I think they are seriously the best.

Like MANGO, I discovered Zara when I was studying abroad and living in London in 2006 and since then I’ve been a huge fan of both brands.

Specifically, for this summer though, Zara really does have a sweet selection of scarves.

For the price, quality and versatility (spring-autumn), they are wonderful!

Get creative, be fashionable and be fabulous!

After all, why the heck, not?!

Get them here.

  • 15) S’well

These are pretty much the best water bottles on the planet. I have a pink one (above) and I love it.

I use it all the time and take it with me everywhere as it’s functional, practical and pretty!

Basically, take your typical water bottle, now re-imagine it, re-engineer it and add some style to it. That’s S’well.

They are constructed of the highest-grade stainless steel (18/8 food grade), are non-leaching, toxin-free, pretty much unbreakable, lightweight and have a wide mouth for easy cleaning.

It holds 17 oz. of liquid and can be used for both warm and cold beverages.

When you think about that, and the fact that there are over 88 billion plastic bottles in the ocean and over 1 billion people in the world without water — S’well is pretty damn amazing.

It is elegant, useful and for each bottle you purchase, proceeds go to WaterAid, an organization who aims to provide easier access to safe drinking water and sanitation around the world.

So don’t be wasteful this summer and purchase all those plastic bottles, get yourself a proper S’well bottle here.

  • 16) Earrings by Laurel Wells

If you know anything about me, I’m set in my ways, not adventurous (much), and difficult. I admit this. So I kind of don’t venture out of the island of Manhattan for my own reasons.

On my first trip to Brooklyn (real trip to Brooklyn, that is, going to Target doesn’t count), I went to a craft show where I met the wonderful Ms. Wells and got a pair of these fabs little babies.

I hit the jackpot because they were on sale for $25, as opposed to the $80, they are retail. But either way, they are super gorgeous, inspired by Native American arts, and definitely Laurel’s style is the perfect accent to dress-up any outfit.

Four letters: L.O.V.E.

  • 17) Provocative Pink!

It’s Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte – 10: “Provocative Pink” and I bloody love it.

I had a whole post dedicated to this obsession previously, and I absolutely had to include it in my summer guide because it’s seriously just THAT awesome.

This is probably my favourite lipstick in my possession.

I promise, it’ll be the best $34.00 USD of beauty-investment you’ll make in the lip department…like ever.

You can purchase it online at a high-end, luxury retailer, such as Barney’s New York.

  • 18) Brazilian Sexy!

Okay, I am not a fan of self-help books, or those books that tell women how they need to be in order to exuberate “perfection.”

However, this thin, sweet, quick read is anything but that.

Brazilian Sexy gives women (over the age of 18, please*) the power of confidence by using the happy-joyful attitude that Brazilian women are known to have, as an example and catalyst  for internal change.

It’s something I think a lot of women take for granted and think they have. But while some of us do — sometimes it can get shattered and we don’t realize it.

What I really, truly love about this read was that it puts into words all the things that are so simple, that women should know… but we won’t say it, won’t ask for it, and take it for granted. This book also is very open about women’s health and wellness, in a “tell it like it is” style.

My favourite part of this book was actually about men — and just being yourself and not trying to be someone else. I mean I know it sounds so stereotypical, but the way that Janea Padilha phrases her advice, is well-meaning, real and literally, makes it sink in.

Take it or leave it.

But I suggest you take a read one rainy afternoon this summer and be the beautiful person that you are!

  • 19) The Art of Shaving … for HER!

The first time I saw The Art of Shaving, I thought it was the quintessential place for MEN.

Little did I realize that they, in fact, carry a rose-scented women’s line.

The results are perfect, sleek and uber smooth.

Their products really do prevent ingrown hairs, nicks/cuts and razor burn.

This is the perfect summer kit because I know you want to be out there in you teeny-weeny bikini! 🙂

I have the Rose Absolute shaving cream, after shave body milk,  the shaving stand and brush. (The brush is amazing, by the way!)

Also, it comes in the cutest box … the signature style of The Art of Shaving, tied with a cute little pink ribbon!

Purchase it here.

  • 20) Ray-Bans!

Whether you pick up Wayfarers, Aviators or any other style from this iconic brand — it’s summer 🙂

(or pick up some imitation ones and ROCK IT!)


Caipirinha at Tequila Chicas in Miami -- nails in Luxury Lapis by Essie

… and to top it off, just a few of my favourite songs for summer right now…they make me feel happiness! 🙂

Lady GaGa – Edge of Glory

Tomate РCora̤̣o

Shakira featuring Pitbull – Rabiosa

Paula Fernandes, Victor & Leo РṆo Precisa


Sasha H. Muradali runs the Little Pink Blog (formerly Little Pink Book PR). She holds a B.S. Public Relations from the University of Florida with a minor in Dance (’07) and an M.A. International Administration with a concentration in Communication from the University of Miami (’08). She loves Twitter (@SashaHalima), Harry Potter and the colour pink. Get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and find us on Facebook.

Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR are federally registered trademarks of Little Pink Book PR, LLC. © 2009-2011 Little Pink Blog & Little Pink Book PR. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Rmsteinman says

    Definitely love everything on this list!  Another thing to buy when I need some retail therapy!

  2. Love the nail polish! I was thinking about getting something blue from Essie.

  3. I’m glad. I hope you found it helpful! 🙂

  4. Hmm, try Luxury Lapis or Turquoise and Caicos from Essie. Those are gorgeous! I have them both and really like them!