It’s officially summer, and you know what that means: It’s HOT. Usually, that makes us want to do one of two things: Stay inside with the cool breeze of the A/C or wear our lightest layers and get into some fun and excitement. (There’s very little in between.) On the plus side, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do. Between The Little Mermaid live-action film, Across the Spider-Verse, and Barbie, I know I’ll be at the theater more often in one month than in the past three years.
With all the additional facetime being served this season, whether you’re indoors or out, it’s only natural to want to look and feel your best wherever you are. I rounded up our team to get insight on everyone’s favorite summer essentials of 2023, and they did not disappoint!
This article includes products personally selected by the offcultured team. It is not sponsored and does not earn commission.
Star Velvet Vitamin C Sleeping Mask
If you’re like many others who’ve incorporated vitamin C into their skincare routines, this is one you don’t want to miss. Facetory’s sleeping mask collection includes the yuja-infused Star Velvet Vitamin C Sleeping Mask that brightens, moisturizes, and evens tone while you sleep.
According to Facetory, the mask is best for those with oily, combination, or dry skin. It also helps to combat dullness and dark spots. Small enough to travel with, its smooth, creamy texture will close your skin care routine on a pleasant note.
Get it: Facetory, $21.95
KimChi Chic Beauty Teddy Kim Palette
There’s nothing wrong with being cute, and the Teddy Kim Palette from KimChi Chic Beauty is clear evidence of that. The bear opens up to reveal a jam-packed palette of eyeshadow, blush, and highlighter that can be used in a variety of ways. Plus, it comes with a sticker pack so you can decorate your Teddy Kim to your heart’s content with crowns, bows, stars, and more.
There are two palettes to pick from, one with neutral shades and the other with brighter tones. Or you can grab the pair for the best of both worlds!
Get it: KimChi Chic Beauty, $34
Color Therapy Nail Polish
Ready to feel like a mermaid this summer? Sally Hansen’s Color Therapy Nail Polish is a great place to start. It comes in a myriad of shimmery, glittery, iridescent colors from pearl to black that make it hard to choose just one, especially when you see how they sparkle under the sun.
The polish has a wide brush that’s easy to handle (less mistakes!) and is infused with argan oil to keep your lovely nails from drying out over time. As always, use a top coat to preserve the color as long as possible.
Get it: Target, $7.49
Elevate your beaded necklaces by picking up a piece from Cloud Haven. The Glisten Necklace is one of many eye-catching styles that’s sure to snag more than a few compliments. Its sparkling rainbow gradient is colorfully delightful, and the tiger and whale charms are a stylish reminder of what Cloud Haven is all about. A portion of proceeds goes toward helping animals in shelters in the United States.
The necklace comes in 5 sizes, from Small to Extra Large, so you can choose the right length for your personal style.
Get it: Cloud Haven, $120
Oui the People
Rose Gold Razor
Keep your skin touchably smooth with one of Oui the People’s sensitive skin safety razors. $85 might seem like a lot when you could easily grab a pack of BICs. However, when you get your hands on one of these bad boys, the difference is clear. Its solid weight and durability lets you know it won’t fall apart.
Oui the People is a Black-owned business with a drive to produce high-quality and sustainable products. Their razors are sometimes available in limited edition colors, such as black or brushed chrome. Additionally, they come with a 10-pack of blades that are sure to last a while.
Get it: Oui the People, $85
Barbie x Dragon Glassware Wine Glasses
Imagining your very own Barbie Dreamhouse gets even easier with this Barbie x Dragon Glassware collaboration. This 2-piece set of wine glasses is as Barbielicious as it gets, complete with two elegant shades of blushing pink.
In addition to the wine glasses, this stellar collab has a larger selection of pink glassware to help you complete the set. It includes martini glasses, diamond-shaped glasses, and coasters. Plus, there’s also a special pair of whiskey glasses themed after Ken to round it out nicely.
Get it: Dragon Glassware, $39.99
The Little Mermaid
2023 Soundtrack Vinyl
We couldn’t see the live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid just once, so getting the soundtrack was a must to relive every moment. What makes this vinyl so special is its gorgeous design. Depending on if you order it from Target or Walmart, you’ll get a vinyl that’s pressed with an ocean-like finish or one that resembles the sky.
Either way, you’ll have a beautiful blue record to add to your collection. Grab your Ariel doll (we know you got one) and settle in for adventure under the sea.
ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area
Need something to do on a lazy day this summer? Look no further than ValiDate, a visual novel game from Veritable Joy Studios with a diverse crew of characters, romance, drama, sex, and scandal. Oh, and it’s hella queer to boot.
Play as Malik, Inaya, Isabelle, and Emhari (try not to get a crush, we dare you) as they navigate life and dating between babies, Bopeye’s, and internal biases. ValiDate Vol. 1 is out now, and it provides hours of compelling entertainment to explore. Plus, there are mini games on the side to play whenever the mood strikes.
TWICE – Ready to Be
TWICE is on the road for the U.S. leg of their Ready to Be World Tour, and we had to show you this stunning Target-exclusive vinyl! Its pink marble design fits the album’s vibe, and the vinyl even comes with a TWICE slipmat and lenticular photo of the group.
Vinyls can be pretty expensive these days, but we were pleasantly surprised to see this one clock in at $25. Naturally, that was enough reason to pluck a copy to take home from the shelf.
Get it: Target, $24.99
With one of Wander’s Wet Bags on hand, a wet swimsuit after a dip in the pool doesn’t have to disrupt your whole day. Just throw your damp items inside of it, and keep it moving. Made from 100% cotton, the wet bag has a waterproof lining, reliable zipper enclosure, and is conveniently machine washable.
Don’t need it for a swimsuit? No problem! The bag can also be used to tote gym clothes, cover-ups, and keep your phone and wallet dry while poolside.
Get it: Wander & Perch, $44
POPFLEX Sloane Tote
POPFLEX is one of our new favorite activewear brands, and this dreamy Sloane Tote is a perfect example of why. First, the bag is adorably stylish with an all-over cloud exterior and baby blue interior. There are plenty of pockets to hold all of your stuff, and a hidden panel opens up to provide space for a yoga mat.
If clouds aren’t your jam, the bag also comes in solid black and taupe without losing any of its charm.
Get it: POPFLEX, $95
When it comes to summer essentials, it doesn’t get much cooler (er… hotter?) than Solo Stove’s Mesa XL. It’s slightly larger than the Mesa tabletop smokeless firepit and burns wood pellets just the same. That means it’s easy to use and saves a ton of space without killing the vibe.
The Mesa XL comes in five colors, and includes a stand and carrying bag for storage and portability. Take it up a notch with a Mesa XL Accessory Pack to have everything you need for s’mores and more.
Get it: Solo Stove, $149.99
SOMOS Salsa Macha
Mango & Pineapple
SOMOS’ Salsa Macha is the summer food upgrade you didn’t know you needed for serious snack versatility. Made with an avocado oil base, this mildly spicy Mexican chili crisp goes with just about anything from breakfast to dessert.
Nuts and seeds in the salsa masa provide excellent texture while dried mango and pineapple give it a surprising sweetness that hits every time. Just ask Britt, our editor, who puts it on ice cream whenever possible!
Get it: SOMOS, $25 for 2-pack
Goldfish Old Bay
In their original cheesy form, Goldfish make a pretty good snack. They’re bite-sized, portable, and go great with tomato soup if you don’t have the ingredients for a grilled cheese on hand.
Goldfish already come in a variety of flavors and shapes (like Mickey Mouse, for starters). However, joining the lineup for a limited time is a collaboration that just makes sense when you really think about it: Goldfish x Old Bay seasoning. Cheesy, tangy, and flavorful — oh my!
Get it: Target, $2.99 (ships with $35 and up store purchases)
Creamalicious Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
This Black-owned ice cream brand has crafted one for the books! We’ve only tried half of Creamlicious’ artisan ice cream so far, and the Porch Light Peach Cobbler kept us coming back for more.
Peach cobbler ice cream with dashes of cinnamon is tasty enough alone, but bits of peach and graham cracker pie crust take it to another level. Enjoying this on a hot summer day in the South really makes it feel like home in a bowl.
Get it: Creamalicious, $8.99 (4 pint minimum) or in select Target locations for $5.39
Header Photo: Thought Catalog