Is it wrong for a beauty editor to admit that she doesn't wear much makeup in hot, humid months? Well, it's true. Summer's tricky for all of us when it comes to cosmetics. But looking polished is still possible. Here's a list of summer beauty tricks to do and products to try.
Put your best face forward
1. Exfoliate regularly to minimize blocked pores and breakouts. Sensitive skin? Try Origins Modern Friction exfoliating cream ($45, The Bay), which gently smooths with rice starch, or Clinique Turnaround 15-Minute Facial ($44.50, department stores), a non-abrasive mask.
2. Always wear SPF protection. Seriously, it'll keep your skin looking young. After moisturizing, try non-sticky, non-greasy Vichy Capital Soleil Ultra Fluid Protection SPF 20 ($23, drugstores). Protect lips with an SPF balm, gloss or lipstick.
3. Of course, foundation and humidity don't really get along. If you need it, perhaps for a special event, try a moisture-resistant, long-wearing formula that promises hours of enduring coverage. Matte formulas are also a good option; try Lise Watier Matifying Mousse Foundation with Breathable Cotton ($30, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques and select department stores), which contains powders derived from cotton fibres and leaves a velvety smooth finish. Always set with a dusting of loose or pressed powder.
4. You may still need concealer for slight under-eye shadows, redness around the nose and to hide the occasional breakout. Use a half-shade lighter than your current skin tone for under your eyes and one that matches exactly to cover spots. Try L'OrÃ©al True Match Concealer ($9.50, drugstores) to hide shadows, and Revlon ColorStay Blemish Concealer ($11.99, drugstores), which contains salicylic acid to deal with breakouts.
5. M.A.C Blot Powder is great on bare skin as well as over foundation. In compact form ($22, www.maccosmetics.com) or loose ($24), the sheer powder deposits no colour or texture, yet leaves an even, flawless finish. As time passes skin starts to look glowy instead of oily.
6. Add a pop of rosy blush as well as bronzer for a truly sunkissed look. The look is easy with DuWop Bronzerush ($39, Holt Renfrew), a powder bronzer and gel-based blush duo. Tip: put the blush on bare skin; dust with loose powder then bronzer.
7. If you like eyeliner, try a waterproof or water-resistant pencil, such as CoverGirl Outlast Smoothwear All-Day Eyeliner ($8.49, drugstores). Use a small angle brush to press eye shadow in a matching shade over the liner for extra staying power. Curl lashes and finish with a coat or two of waterproof mascara.
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Happy, healthy summer hair
1. Of course, humidity is enemy number one when it comes to hair. Charles Worthington London Smart Fixx products all contain a patented humidity guard; try the Curl Enhancing Cream ($9.99, drugstores) for frizz-free waves and curls. For all types of hair, Kiehl's Climate-Proof Shine-Enhancing Non-Aerosol Spray ($17.50, www.kiehls.com) provides humidity-defying hold.
2. Is limp hair your summer cross to bear? Fight flat with Sunsilk Anti-Flat Weightless Volumizing Cream ($3.99, drugstores).
3. Protect coloured hair with Redken Color Extend (from $15.99, www.redken.com), which contains UV protectors. Blondes might like to try Redken Blonde Glam Crystal Flash ($22.59, www.redken.com), which has UV filters plus iridescent mica to ramp up shine.
4. Soothe sun-dried hair with Schwarzkopf BC Sun Guardian After-Sun Treatment, an amino-formula leave-in with vitamin E and aloe vera ($17, 1-800-463-3081 for salons).
5. Wear a hat if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period of time. Your scalp needs sun protection, too.
Keep nails looking polished and strong
1. Protect your polish with Nailene Hard & Healthy Sun Shield UV Non-Yellowing Topcoat ($6.59, Shoppers Drug Mart) or Essie Sun-E Tanning Bed Top Coat ($29, www.essie.com), which you can use even though you never, ever go to tanning salons.
2. Wipe polished nails clean after applying SPF; sunscreens can make the polish finish sticky.
3. Need pretty, polished toes in an instant? Try Revlon Perfect Pedicure glue-on toenails ($11.98 per 48 in 12 sizes, Shoppers Drug Mart), a great quick fix for people with troubled toenails. Sounds funny, but when one of our staffers wore the red ones around the office, they looked so natural that everyone thought she'd had a pedicure.
One last thing -- you'll need a good makeup remover to get rid of waterproof or long-wearing makeup. Try Elizabeth Arden All Gone Eye and Lip Makeup Remover ($24, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques and department stores), a fragrance-free dual-phase formula.
Have a beautiful summer.
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