Quick Fixes for Common Summer Beauty Woes
From frizzy hair to tan lines, it’s hard to look hot in the summer heat. Use these tips to avoid the undesirable effects of the season
The Glitch: Swollen Feet
It's finally time to slip on those new strappy sandals you bought this spring, but now they seem too small and they're rubbing against your skin. Ouch!
Quick Fix: Give your tootsies some TLC. "We tend to be more active in warmer weather, standing and walking outside more," says Mayde Lebensfeld, D.P.M., a podiatrist in Boca Raton, Florida. "As a result, gravity pulls blood and other bodily fluids downward, which causes them to pool in your ankles and feet." Add in a bit of new-shoe-based friction and that swelling can result in sore spots and painful blisters. For relief, elevate your feet whenever possible and soak them in an Epsom salt bath (2 tablespoons of salt to a quart of warm water) for 10 minutes, three to five times a week. "The solution acts as an anti-inflammatory astringent, bringing down the bloat," explains Lebensfeld. One to try: Dr. Teals Epsom Salt Eucalyptus Soak ($5; drugstore.com). You can also use black tea bags (two per quart of warm water); the tannins they contain are an astringent. Finally, cool your heels (and toes) by slathering on a refreshing lotion, such as Dead Sea Essentials by Ahava Tea Tree Oil Foot Cream ($10; deadsea-essentials.com).
The Glitch: Tan Lines
That bikini with the cutouts and crisscross straps really accentuates your curves, but after one missed SPF application, you're left with tigerstriped skin.
To temper the look of two-toned skin, simply fill in the blanks with a sunless tanning product. Before you do anything, exfoliate skin to get rid of any dead cells that would prevent you from getting an even color application," says Vincent Kolb, a spray tan specialist at demandatan.com, a mobile spray tan company in NYC. Then apply the faux formula to the lighter areas only. (For thin strap lines, try Tanee Tan Line Corrector, ($7; thetanee.com); its sponge tip allows precise application.) Wait overnight, then apply an additional layer of tanning lotion or mousse headto- toe to blend the shades seamlessly, adds Kolb. Or blur the tan lines temporarily by patting on opaque makeup like Dermablend Leg and Body Cover SPF 15 ($27; dermablend.com).
The Glitch: Frizzy Hair
The heat has gone to your head-literally-and now your dry, porous strands are soaking up moisture from humid air, causing them to swell and fray.
"Start with a clean slate by scheduling a trim," says Matt Fugate, a stylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon in NYC. "It instantly makes hair look healthier and preps it for a season full of drying elements, like sun and salt water." Then hydrate daily to prevent strands from acting like a sponge. For fine hair, apply a leave-in remedy like Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Keratin Spray ($13; drugstore.com) after towel-drying. If hair is medium to thick, smooth on a deep conditioner twice a week and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. Since heat styling can rough up the cuticle, making strands more prone to breakage, spritz them with a thermal spray to provide protection. For straight styles, coax the cuticle to lie flat by holding the dryer downward, directing the air from root to tip. Curly types should use a diffuser on the highest heat setting but the lowest power, since strong bursts of air from the blow dryer can contribute to fraying. Too hot outside for hot tools? Create a smooth, wavy style by raking a frizz-fighting mousse like Shu Uemura Kaze Wave ($33; shuuemuraartofhairusa.com) through your hair with a wide-tooth comb and letting it air-dry in a braid. "This technique keeps the kinks uniform and controlled, instead of free-flowing and fuzzy," says Fugate. If flyaways arise mid-day, apply a pea-size dollop of John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Crème ($6; johnfrieda.com) from mid-shaft to ends to help flatten the cuticle and smooth your coif.
The Glitch: Shiny Skin
The forecast is 80 degrees and sunny, and your oil and sweat glands are in overdrive, making your complexion super slick.
"Warm weather isn't just a signal to lighten up your wardrobe, but also your skincare products," says Troy Surratt, a celebrity makeup artist in NYC and L.A. Look for formulas labeled "oil-free," "mattifying," or "antishine," since they nix sheen and help your makeup stay put longer. We like Peter Thomas Roth Clini-Matte All Day Oil Control SPF 20 ($48; sephora.com), a sheer lotion that contains silica to help sop up oil and sweat. (If you tend to perspire excessively in certain spots, like along your hairline, nose, or upper lip, Surratt suggests swiping an unscented antiperspirant over the pad of your index finger and dabbing it onto those areas before putting on your favorite moisturizer.) Another weapon in your shine-fighting arsenal: blotting papers. Ones with natural antibacterial agents, such as charcoal or bamboo, prevent clogged pores and breakouts as they mattify your complexion. Stash Sephora Collection Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Papers ($8; sephora.com) in your purse so you're always armed. "In a pinch, lay a tissue over your face and pat it gently," says Surratt. "This absorbs the excess oil and moisture without stripping the pigment from your foundation or tinted moisturizer." In other words, you never have to let them see you sweat.