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The Essentials: 6 Must-Haves for a Non-Toxic, Easy, Breezy Summer

07/12/2013 12:12 EDT | Updated 07/15/2013 02:30 EDT
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Young Blonde Woman in a Green Dress and Straw Hat

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The sun is shining, spirits are high, and the nights are young. Summer is all about easy, breezy classics, keeping the layers light, and sticking to the essentials. I recently compiled a list of my top 12 year round clean and green essentials, but here are my top picks for the midsummer lull -- in a clean, green, and wear-it-forever kind of way.

A versatile white tunic: A hot day practically begs for a gauzy wear-everywhere tunic, and made in USA denim brand Imogene and Willie makes a light and airy cotton/hemp version. It's an easy dress up/dress down piece that can carry you through from season to season, but come on now, let's face the facts: this effortless classic is made for summer. (Imogene and Willie, $268)

A wide brim hat: This floppy quintessential summer hat keeps the rays out of your face, and adds instant style to even the most casual of your slapped together last minute sartorial choices. Made in the USA with recycled straw, it comes in a bevy of hues, but I'm partial to this blush that doubles as a neutral. (American Apparel, $38)

A bright lip colour: Summer is the time to go bare on the face, and statement-worthy on the lips. Keep the skin clean and simple and top off your done-in-60-seconds face with this bright coral red lipstick, made with organic ingredients in an ultra moisturizing formula. (Ilia Beauty, $24)

A beach-worthy sunblock: Having a strong sunblock on hand is important for our beauty and health, but most sunscreens are chock full of toxic ingredients. This water resistant formula contains 70 per cent certified organic ingredients -- including orange fruit water, coconut oil, and evening primrose oil -- and is paraben and cruelty free. Most important, it doesn't compromise on sun safety. (Coola Suncare, $32)

A light moisturizer: Just because we sweat more in the summer, doesn't mean our skin needs less moisturizer. I've been testing Josie Maran's 100 per cent organic argan oil for months now, and it has become permanently embedded in my skin care routine. I'm skipping foundation and concealer altogether now, always a plus in the summer when more layers just doesn't make sense. (Josie Maran, $48)

A bit of the outdoors: I had never heard of such a thing, but when I discovered campfire incense, it became an immediate fascination. Juniper Ridge, a company that creates 100 per cent plant-based fragrance products from sustainably harvested wildcrafted plants, tree sap, wood and bark (who knew?) makes a good thing even better. It's meant for the campground, but I think it's a great way to bring a bit of the outdoors back home, for days when we can't quite make the getaway. (Juniper Ridge, $10)