THAT GRACE GIRL is an editorial endeavour dedicated to creating intelligent beauty coverage for women who are as passionate about prose as they are perfume. 




New York may be the city that never sleeps, but beauty writing is without a doubt the profession that never stops. Even when my annual summer holiday rolls around, my suitcase is stocked with seasonally appropriate new launches, and I keep a notepad and pen on hand at all times to jot down notes, whilst heading immediately to the beauty section of every foreign supermarket and department store. My latest trip [a week in France followed by two weeks travelling through Spain and Portugal] was no exception, and I made use of the trip to put a carefully curated selection of summer-inspired skincare to the test.


MORNING : VERSO Foaming Cleanser*, GLOSSIER Priming Moisturiser.
AFTERNOON : GARNIER Micellar Cleansing Water, EVE LOM Cleanser*, KAPLAN MD Daily Moisture SPF30 Concentrate*.
EVENING : EVE LOM Cleanser*, EVE LOM Hydrating Serum*, EVE LOM Eye Lift*, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser*.

Verso's new cleanser landed on my desk a few days before my departure so was automatically included in the mix. Its texture isn't at all 'foaming' in the traditional sense; it's actually much more like a gel cleanser, thick and pudding-like [think : a luxed up take on the [now discontinued] La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel]. In the AM I seek a cleanser that is both refreshing and effective yet doesn't dry my skin out, so it's perfect. I wore makeup today so used Glossier's Priming Moisturiser underneath my foundation [which is SPF30] - I adore its light, silky consistency; ideal primer material, and packed with skincare benefits to boot. The temperature was hitting the mid-30s by the time I got home so I removed my makeup straight away [I can't stand wearing foundation in excessive heat]. The Kaplan MD moisturiser is another new addition, and I adore it already. It doesn't feel like an SPF at all, instead it's completely weightless and absorbs really quickly, leaving a noticeable glow instead of the usual tackiness and ashen caste that come hand in hand with facial sun protection.


MORNING : VERSO Foaming Cleanser, VICHY Ideal Soleil Tinted BB Cream SPF50*.
EVENING : GARNIER Micellar Cleansing Water, KAPLAN MD Cell Renewing Microfoliant*, SISLEY Radiant Glow Express Mask*EVE LOM Hydrating Serum, EVE LOM Eye Lift, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser.

Even when I've only worn sun protection during the day, I always make sure to cleanse my face rigorously [starting with a micellar water] as SPF can cause me to break out. Garnier's micellar water is a personal favourite when it comes to removing the bulk of product from my face. In lieu of decanting it into a smaller bottle ahead of my trip I picked up this miniature version [FYI, it will last you exactly three weeks with daily use]. I'm super fussy with facial exfoliants as I have sensitive skin so I don't like anything too scrubby, yet at the same time I want something that really works. Kaplan MD's is quite unlike any I've ever used. The formula is a very light and silky clay texture [it could easily double up as a mask], wrought through with [just the right amount of] [finely milled exfoliating particles [jojoba and date seeds] which gently polish skin to a silky softness. It also contains soothing oatmeal, so doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or dry.


MORNING : VERSO Foaming Cleanser, VICHY Ideal Soleil Tinted BB Cream SPF50.
AFTERNOON VICHY Ideal Soleil Tinted BB Cream SPF50, GLOSSIER Soothing Face Mist.
EVENING : EVE LOM Cleanser, EVE LOM Hydrating Serum, EVE LOM Eye Lift, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser.

Soaring temperatures called for a day spent poolside, devouring iced drinks and magazines with equal fervour. Naturally, makeup was a no-show and SPF protection vital. Vichy's Tinted BB Cream combines both coverage [light, but enough to tone down redness and blemishes] and sun protection with a high hyaluronic acid count that plumps skin with moisture [a must in hot weather]. I made sure to keep it topped up throughout the day, subsidised with liberal application of Glossier's Soothing Face Mist; a cooling blend of rosewater, aloe vera, and glycerin - especially refreshing when stored in the refrigerator.



MORNING : VERSO Foaming Cleanser, GLOSSIER Priming Moisturiser.
EVENING : GARNIER Micellar Cleansing WaterEVE LOM Cleanser, EVE LOM Hydrating Serum, EVE LOM Eye Lift, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser.

My evening routine has remained consistent throughout the week [without the usual temptation of my at-home skincare stash and new products dropping through the postbox], and is all about hydration. Eve Lom's Cleanser is an all-time favourite, it deeply cleanses my skin without causing irritation or dryness, and is an absolute joy to use for facial massage. I spoke in more detail about it here. The Eve Lom Hydrating Serum is one of my favourite products to use in the summer months; it's designed to attract and lock moisture into parched skin, and is incredibly soothing [especially if you've caught a little too much sun]. It's without a doubt the best hyaluronic acid-based serum I've used. I'm rarely overly enamoured of an eye cream; my sensitive eyes wager most unusable, but this light and cooling option fails to incite irritation, and has noticeably improved the dry skin I was suffering beneath my eyes. Come summer I favour a water-based moisturiser over an oil-based one, finding them infinitely more appropriate for my [hot weather-induced] dehydrated skin. Nars' option is particularly refreshing, and absorbs quickly, so I can apply it right before bed without fear of it ending up in my pillowcase.


MORNING : VERSO Foaming Cleanser,  VICHY Ideal Soleil Tinted BB Cream SPF50.
AFTERNOON VICHY Ideal Soleil Tinted BB Cream SPF50, GLOSSIER Soothing Face Mist.
EVENING : GARNIER Micellar Cleansing Water, KAPLAN MD Cell Renewing Microfoliant, EVE LOM Rescue Mask*, EVE LOM Hydrating Serum, EVE LOM Eye Lift, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free MoisturiserMARIO BADESCU Buffering Lotion

Another day spent at the pool layering on SPF50 called for a much-needed deep cleanse. I rarely travel without a tube of Eve Lom's Rescue Mask; it's a real one-size-fits-all/all-in-one kind of product, no matter what your skincare concern [dehydration, blemishes, excess oil, redness, scarring, etc.] you can rest assured that this will fix it in one fell swoop. With a few breakouts popping up and my skin feeling a little worse for wear after a day in the sun, the soothing and refreshing blend of camphor and honey was just what I needed, leaving my skin suitably prepped for an evening routine tailored to intensive hydration. Over said breakouts I applied Mario Badescu's Buffering Lotion; a real hero product, it stops spots right in their tracks and depletes their size, pain, and appearance immediately, without leaving any marks or scars. A bottle will set you back just £13, and last you as many months.


MORNING : VERSO Foaming CleanserVICHY Ideal Soleil Tinted BB Cream SPF50.
EVENING : GARNIER Micellar Cleansing WaterEVE LOM Cleanser, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser.

A day spent travelling across the south of France and into the north of Spain [an 8 hour trip in total] called for a fuss-free and minimal base, I paired the Vichy BB Cream with just a little mascara, brow gel, and lip balm. Spending the night under canvas, and arriving at my destination under cover of darkness, I had neither the time nor the inclination to labour over my usual evening routine. However despite my exhaustion, the late hour, and a deplorable lack of warm water in the campsite bathrooms[!!] I made sure to double cleanse and moisturise [two steps which cannot, under any circumstances be excused in my book].

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MORNING : VERSO Foaming CleanserKAPLAN MD Daily Moisture SPF30 Concentrate.
AFTERNOON GARNIER Micellar Cleansing Water, KAPLAN MD Cell Renewing Microfoliant, SISLEY Radiant Glow Express MaskGLOSSIER Priming Moisturiser.
EVENING : GARNIER Micellar Cleansing Water, EVE LOM CleanserEVE LOM Hydrating Serum, EVE LOM Eye Lift, NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser.

Last night's paired-down evening routine was not without consequences, and my skin was definitely on the wan and depleted side of things this morning. I woke to temperatures already in the high 20s [and steadily crawling], so forwent even BB Cream in favour of Kaplan MD's skincare/SPF cocktail. Within seconds of application it literally feels like you're not wearing a thing on your face. A spacious marble hotel bathroom [with not one but two hot taps, bliss] was awaiting me upon check-in to my hotel this evening, so naturally I went all out and gave myself a lengthy facial in the hours before dinner [thankfully Spaniards eat late and our restaurant didn't open until 9pm!]. I reserve Sisley's Radiant Glow Express Mask for when my skin is in a generally 'good' state and isn't calling for any specific treatment, as the results [a noticeably brighter complexion and reduced pigmentation] are instantly noticeable on a clear complexion. It's perfect for adding a burst of radiance and finesse, so I often use it before applying makeup. It not only infuses my skin with a brightness and vitality that transcends consequent makeup application [particularly beneficial if you're wearing a low coverage base] but leaves skin so soft and smooth that foundation application is rendered flawless.

What products have starred in your summer skincare regime?