It’s gonna be a weird ol’ Summer for us Brits is 2020. No holidays looking likely on the horizon both abroad or at home means we’re going to have to be thrifty with what we have. For me, I take a lot of joy and pride in utilising my favourite Summer beauty products to both pamper myself and evoke a feeling of joyous summer time to boost my mood. Let me introduce you to my absolute favourite brand to do so, and why I think you will also fall in love with this utterly happy-go-lucky body positive inclusive brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, just like I have.
*This post contains half product purchased by me and half gifted to me as PR. PR is disclosed with (*) symbol. No symbol means I purchased it. For more information on how this works, please click the Disclosure tab.
Sol de Janeiro instantly radiates happiness and Summer. It’s bold choice of bright yellow packaging stands out on any shelf, and not only does the product inside match up in joy levels, it stands up against the testing, too. Sol de Janeiro was founded by Heela Yang, a Korean-American who packed up and moved her life from New York City to Brazil. She noticed a difference toward head-to-toe beauty with the Brazilian women, rather than facial skincare, that of which she grew up learning from her Korean mother. She became enamoured and wanted to create a brand that encapsulated everything it meant to be a confident woman, like the women in Brazil were opening her eyes to.
Alongside two other co-founders, Sol de Janeiro was launched in 2015, with their cult product ‘Brazilian Bum Bum Cream’ becoming an instant best seller in Sephora. We’re British so we read that differently to the correct Brazilian pronunciation of ‘boom boom’, FYI. It’s such a big deal over there to celebrate their bodies just as they are, to the point where they hold an annual Miss BumBum contest. Obviously, I’m British, so I still call it Bum Bum cream exactly the same as you are reading it in your head just there. Unless you’re northern, which I guess you may say ‘boom boom’ anyway? Ugh, wish I had an accent.
I know what you’re thinking already, conjuring up images of gorgeous tanned Brazilian ladies, and a product called Bum Bum Cream? You may have already thought ‘nah I’m out sorry this is not aimed at me…’ but this is where you’re wrong! It is! The wonderful thing about Sol De Janeiro is, it’s so unbelievably inclusive and this comes across in every single product, packaging, marketing and even just on their website so clearly. The products are also proudly Cruelty Free, and every one of them – aside from the lip balm – is vegan, too.
So why is this so perfect for evoking a Summer feeling in your home? The scent. My god. The smell of this stuff. Trust me on this one. It’s utterly DIVINE. It’s a blend of pistachio and salted caramel and it smells like pure Summer in a bottle. It lingers on the skin like a fragrance, and for me makes me feel so sunny, summery and luscious. If I go to bed with it on I wake up still smelling incredible, and if the sun is shining through my window as I wake up I truly feel like I am on holiday. It’s been so comforting and boosted my mood tenfold whilst in lockdown. If your skin is sensitive though, don’t worry, they have released a fragrance free edition called Brazilian Nude Cream.
Brazilian Bum Bum Cream* (pr gift)
The absolute star of the show, my god. As you can see I have multiple Sol de Janeiro products – I’m incredibly lucky that when the PR noticed I was a genuine fan of the brand after purchasing it in Sephora a few years back, and keeps it topped up for me! – and ill get onto the others in a minute. First though, Bum Bum. Would you believe me if I told you this is my fourth tub? My husband George loves it as much as I do so in my household it goes down a lot quicker, and there’s good reason for it.
Despite the name, this is an all over cream but it does work fantastically on your, well, bum bum. I use it all over my body, usually before bed. It’s infused with guarana, a powerful Amazonian vine which has five times the caffeine of coffee. This gives a boost to the skin, stimulating circulation and encouraging a smoother texture. It’s got cupacu butter, acai oil, coconut oil, guayusa and Brazil nut in it too, which helps hydrate the skin and delivers a rich dose of antioxidants and minerals. It also has a very slight shimmer, which helps smooth skin tone and deliver that sun kissed summer skin look – yes – even when indoors during lockdown. What I love about it is while it’s thick enough to deliver that hit of moisture, it isn’t remotely clammy, sticky, or slippy. After it’s sunk in, it just leaves skin baby soft. I have not found another thick cream that delivers like this, without annoying me by how slippery it is. There’s a reason why I have pots and pots of it in my home!
It’s worth noting that George suffers from eczema on his body and this helps keep him moisturised without aggravating the sensitive broken skin. I wouldn’t necessarily advice applying it straight to areas like eczema, but George hasn’t reported any adverse signs from doing so over the last few years.
Other products I utterly love from the Sol de Janeiro range include the Glowmotions Glow Oils* (pr gift) – although I only really love the shade Rio Sunset as that’s the one that suits my skintone. This sold out within hours of its original launch, and delivers that same oil hydration from the bum bum, but kisses the skin with a shimmer so beautiful it will make you feel like you just returned from the day at the beach.
On my desk I keep the Brazilian Touch Hand Cream* (pr gift), which again delivers that same hit of the gorgeous fragrance, all whilst hydrating my hands with cupuacu butter and Brazil nut, it’s thick and luscious without sitting on the top of the skin. I also adore the Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter* (pr gift) for the exact same reasons. Starting to see a pattern? This brand knows what it does, and it does it well. Repeatedly. This is not a bad thing at all. I also love the Brazilian Bod Buff* (pr gift) and recently I just got hold of the Brazilian 4-Play Shower Cream* (pr gift) too, and I can confirm it smells gorgeous, and lingers just like the Bum Bum cream.
You may have noticed a turquoise packaged product amongst all the yellow, and that’s an entirely differently scented, different weight of moisturiser called the Coco Cabana Cream. I first bought this last October in Las Vegas, as I wanted something a little lighter for day time that I could layer with my SPF, on some long-haul dry skin I had. It worked fine! This product isn’t as heavily scented as the Bum Bum range and other products, but it does have a scent of sandalwood and vanilla. I prefer the scent of Bum Bum to be honest, and while this is also a nice cream, I think the Bum Bum steals the show too much for any other moisturiser to comfortably sit next to it. It did the job, don’t get me wrong – it’s a great moisturiser and I’ve almost used the small pot up. But it’s just not as special as the rest of the range. It felt like something I could have bought from other similar brands like perhaps The Body Shop, like products I’ve used and loved for years. For me the star truly is the Bum Bum. I will fight to the death for it. I think you can quite clearly see the difference in texture in the comparison photo below.
Look, it’s not a budget brand. For the normal sized tub of Bum Bum Cream it’s £44 which I know prices a lot of people out. But it works. My skin is consistently soft, and I always get compliments on the scent whenever I use it. It’s worth the money. It’s just so exuberant that you cant help but smile when you wear it! Their branding shows models of all skin tones, all sizes and from all walks of life. They keep a mantra on their website about loving your skin – every inch of it. This is a brand that truly means it. They don’t splash out on unnecessary marketing for the sake of selling more product. They don’t make false claims. Their website repeatedly states that Sol de Janeiro exists to help you celebrate what you’ve got. The thing is, when your product is genuinely so good it flies off the shelves in record time – and to this day is still Sephora’s no1 bestseller in the body care range – well, you don’t need flashy or false marketing. The smiles tell the story alone, let alone the thousands of genuine glowing reviews.
Note: I talk about first buying it in America originally, but it’s very readily available here now after it was brought over in 2017. It retails in Space NK, Cult Beauty and in Selfridges.
I originally bought Bum Bum Cream after seeing it in Sephora and smelling it – and instantly falling in love. I wore it on my wedding day and I felt so beautiful. I truly believe that you will, too.