Words by: Edie Kim
Photos by: Anna Frumenti
Styling by: Abby Aranda
Photos by: Anna Frumenti
Styling by: Abby Aranda
An essential is defined as something “absolutely necessary.” A smart girl may not believe in absolutes and the discerning buyer may be weary of businesses hawking frivolities, but Taste Collection caters to both our curation and our clientele's trust conscientiously. New York City is expensive and summer in the city is swelteringly hot. We promise the following selections will help every girl make the most of the remaining summer days without compromising your budget. As always, summertime is fading all too quickly and these 8 essentials guarantee you'll be looking gorgeous as you bask in the final months of 8pm sunsets.
#1: Swimsuit/Bodysuit by Static. A timeless tip to help invest in your wardrobe instead of falling for every fleeting fad is this: prior to purchase, picture how many different ways you can style the piece in question. If multiple, go for it! If you can only picture a singular look, chances are, you're chasing a trend that will quickly be replaced. With this swimsuit, you can wear it to the beach with friends or to a family pool party because it's both sexy and conservative. You can also wear it as a bodysuit by pairing it with high-waisted shorts, a circle skirt, or your favorite pants. Want to carry this look into the cooler months? Add a faux fur coat with high-waisted pants and ankle boots. Six looks in one swimsuit instantly elevates this item into an investment (see first image below).
#2: Lipgloss by Naked Princess. A go-to lipgloss is a staple women have added to our repertoire since middle school. Naked Princess is primarily a boudoir brand so you can be assured their lip products will also prioritize making you feel feminine and sexy. They have a full range of nudes and pinks all created with cocoa butter, shea butter, and almond oil to maximize shine and minimize stickiness. Our personal favorite is “Truffle;” a decadent yet neutral nude that’s flattering to every shade and will quickly replace the chapstick or lipstick currently forsaken in your purse. Cross my heart, my own essentials are: PKWL – phone, keys, wallet, lipgloss (in Truffle) because I was converted by the Taste Girls and adopted a new absolute.
#3: Face Mist by Lapcos. NYC, I love you but you're a difficult mistress. Add the summer heat and we’re rewarded with perpetual perspiration and a pervasive veil of baked garbage in the air. A face mist may seem an impossible cure to alleviate the sticky stench of summer in our city, but Lapcos is a cruelty-free Korean brand and everyone knows Koreans are the age-defying experts of skincare-witchcraft who introduced us to B.B. cream and eternal youth. Their products are meticulously researched and their face mists, in particular, utilize distilled water from Northern European healing springs. Spray your face to reduce redness, to refresh after trekking through the hot, garbage air to the subway, before or after doing your makeup, multiple times a day, whenever you feel like it, because it’s too damn hot and the mineral-rich, cooling tingle just feels that good on your skin.
# 4: Beach Hair Spray by Beauty for Real. Everyone wants beachy hair in the summer but nobody has the time to commute to the last stop on the N or sit for an hour on the LIRR for the sake of good hair. Beauty for Real is just that – real beauty for real women through cruelty-free cosmetics. Beauty for Real was founded by a beauty expert who has worked with celebrities such as Shakira, Miranda Kerr, and even the resident diva herself: Mariah Carey. There are countless products promising the perfectly salt-tousled waves of summer but if Beauty for Real is good enough for Mimi; there's no higher endorsement to be found.
#5: Brightly Colored Nail Lacquer by Floss Gloss. Floss Gloss is like a girl party if all your best friends' personalities were decanted into rare, gorgeous lacquers that are cruelty-free (a common trend in the brands Taste Collection curates) but also free of the harsh chemicals that plague most nail polishes. Because these colors are created by a team of best friends/artists, their individuality shines through every shade; a quality seldom found in mass-produced brands. Pick a color to match your mood or find a shade that personifies each of your friends (they even have a zodiac collection) and maximize the carefree days of summer by throwing a pizza party, complete with polishes and polaroids!
#6: Leather Bag by Moda Luxe. Harking back to the advice dispelled via Item #1, determining whether a purchase is a frivolity or an investment is never more difficult than with a purse. Handbags tend to be expensive so they often result in a headache when mulling over whether to buy the cheap knock-off just to last the season, the moderately priced/fairly well-made knock-off, or to just sell your soul and spend the couple hundreds (if you get into the thousands, I exist on a lower echelon than you) for the real deal. Moda Luxe is a brand we vouch for because their handbags are affordable but last as though you spent twice over what they cost. The secret is in their high quality materials and with their range of intricate laser-cut patterns, beautifully embossed faux leathers, or sleek and classic silhouettes, you can find a new bag with both the craftsmanship and the versatility to last you years; not seasons.
#7: Sunglasses by Raen. Sunglasses are everyone's summer essential, but a pair of handmade sunglasses from Raen redefines a summer basic as an affordable luxury. This brand brings their timeless West Coast vibes to our East Coast store through their selection of meticulously handcrafted sunglasses that evoke an endless summer. Raen items are hand-cut and hand-polished by a team of Californians who combine their lifelong love of summer and the sea to produce the perfect pair of shades. Raen is also the eternal poster child for summer in our eyes as they recently partnered with us for an outdoor event in which we celebrated with free champagne and a sunglass giveaway, all to the music of D.J. Sasha Hart!
#8: Bralette by Knicker Luxe. Summers are so sticky that ideally, we'd love to spend them naked. Knicker Luxe is an intermediary between the necessity of clothing and the desperation to breathe in the summer heat because their garments are made of the most breathable fabric: cotton. Knicker Luxe products are delicately detailed like luxury intimates, but are lightweight and comfortable like your favorite tee shirt (which is a welcome feeling when most undergarments designed to make you feel sexy actually feel too restrictive instead). You can style their bralettes with a skirt or shorts on the street, or you can wear them at home with your A.C. on blast and abstain from wearing real clothes for the rest of summer.