Beat the Heat: How to Look Fresh All Summer

- By Diana Minnocci -

The heat index has been hitting one-hundred degrees in Manhattan consistently for weeks, and with the summer season only now reaching its peak, similarly humid temperatures are sure to stay. Days like these pose perhaps the biggest beauty challenge; it seems nearly impossible to stop makeup from running, to prevent hair from frizzing, and to keep clothes from mussing – in short, to look hot while beating the brutal heat. From makeup, to hair, to clothes, here are our favorite tips for keeping polished and poised.
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It may be tempting to cut your makeup routine in half, but the application of primer is most important in these hot summer months; it’ll help your makeup to last all day long. But, instead of foundation, opt for a tinted moisturizer with high SPF in a lightweight, silky formula. Beauty experts are divided on whether its better to use powder or cream blushes; powder blushes have better staying power in the harsh summer heat than do their cream counterparts, but they can streak when mixed with sweat. Simply use whatever best suits your skin type: powder mattefies oily skin, cream moisturizes dry. If you want a dewy look, highlighter is a must-have, but be sure to use sparingly, as shimmer will catch easily in the sun’s direct rays. Do swap aggressive black eyeliner for a muted brown palette, and smudge to soften the look. Most importantly, be sure to have both a small package of oil-blotting sheets and your preferred face powder on hand to keep your forehead and chin shine-free.
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If you’re a gloss fanatic, remember to choose one that includes SPF to prevent sun-chapped lips. If you prefer bold color, a bright lip stain is especially fun on a summer day, but you’ll need one that’s long-lasting enough to endure through your frequent attempts at hydration. If you’d rather use lipstick, don’t forget to line with a lip pencil – a natural tone works with all shades – to keep your color from feathering.
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Topknots and variations of braids have been ubiquitous for some time, and they’re the perfect remedy to messy, heat-stricken hair. But if you can master a relaxed French twist for day, it’s a classic hairdo that, when released, will create subtle waves and body as you transition into your night activities. Prep with a volumizer. Grab your hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck, and loop it upward. First twist, then gather the hair as necessary, holding the style with large bobby-pins. With a little practice, the French twist will become a strong but easy addition to your morning beauty routine.
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The best fabrics to keep you cool are undoubtedly cotton and silk chiffon. Teresa’s suggestion to line the underarms of your light-colored blouses with baby powder to prevent sweat stains is invaluable advice, and another great idea is to stash a travel-size spray-bottle of fabric wrinkle release in your purse. If you find that the heat is encouraging unsightly lines, simply spray the solution directly onto the offending area, then gently pull the fabric taut both horizontally and vertically, and you’ll be wrinkle-free within moments.
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With a little bit of preparation and a clever arsenal of products, like those summer-specific cosmetics suggested by makeup artist Wendy Rowe, you won’t have to sacrifice your style as you wait for cooler weather to come.
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Diana Minnocci is a freelance fashion writer with graduate degrees in English and Women’s Studies. She’s particularly obsessed with fine lingerie and red lipstick, and is a lover of all things vintage. You can follow her on Twitter @dianaminnocci.
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Feature photo credit: Camilla Akrans for Vogue Nippon, May 2007
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