Summer heat and sunshine calls for a few switch-ups to your beauty routine. Before you fill your bathroom cabinets with summer necessities, find out which products work best when humidity, UV rays, and rising temps are involved.
FOR A BELIEVABLE BRONZE ...
- Slowly build up your (fake) tan. Gone are the days of sloppy orange streaks. New tinted self-tanners allow you to see where you're applying, making the process close to goofproof. "Use a gradual tanner for a few days, a bit longer if you're pale," instructs Polly Osmond, a makeup artist for Victoria's Secret. Exfoliate first, then apply a self-tanner as you would a moisturizer. "Once it's on, take a dry towel and rub it around your ankles and hands for a more natural tan line," says Osmond. We like St. Ives Mineral Therapy Exfoliating Body Polish ($6.99) and Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Sunkissed Bronze Instant Self Tan Lotion ($12). Maintain color by moisturizing skin daily. Try Olay Body Quench Advanced Healing Body Lotion ($7.49). For a hint of shimmer, we like Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Luminous Body Lotion ($32).
- Simplify your makeup. "You look most sexy on the sand when you're natural," advises Osmond. "Try cream bronzer along your cheekbones and forehead, down your nose, and on top of your brow bone for a nice sun-kissed glow." We like Hourglass Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo in Sunset ($40). Prefer powder? Try Guerlain Terracotta 4 Seasons ($74). Osmond recommends finishing the look with a pink gloss a shade darker than your lips, a light bronzy shadow, and waterproof mascara. We like the variety of pinks from Neutrogena MoistureShine Gloss ($8.99), Clinique Quick Eyes Cream Shadow in Muffin ($15), and Tarte MultiplEye waterproof mascara ($24).
FOR PERFECTLY HIGHLIGHTED, SHINY HAIR ...
- Try a keratin treatment. Jet Rhys, owner of the eponymous San Diego salon, explains this leaves locks smooth and frizz free for up to four months. If that's not an option, "nothing is more chic than tying a scarf around your head," she says. "Plus, it controls flyaways." Another one of her favorite 'dos? A side braid. Take this look into evening by undoing the braid, shaking out the waves, and setting them with Blow Blow Out Spray ($19.75).
- Get beachy highlights. All of the top colorists are raving about L'Oréal Professionnel Inoa, a new ammonia-free, moisture-adding salon hair color. Says Rhys, "I used to advise clients to color less in the summer, but now I have Inoa." Just be sure to protect your investment. "UV rays and chlorine bleach out color and zap moisture," warns Rhys. She suggests spritzing in René Furterer Waterproof Moisturizing Fluid KPF 90 ($23) and pulling hair back into a sleek bun.
- Keep strands hydrated. Give yourself a weekly conditioning treatment. Try Ojon Revitalizing 2-Min Hair Mask ($34).
- Gone green? "When chlorine binds to hair, it gives it a grayish-green cast," says Rhys. "Rinse hair with club soda." Or try Fekkai Marine Clean Detox Shampoo ($23).
FOR A SLIMMER AND SMOOTHER BODY ...
- Boost your workout. By now you've seen women sporting FitFlops - we like FitFlop Walkstar 3 ($59.99) - the thick-soled flip-flops engineered to tone your legs and butt with every step. No, you won't wear them on a date. But you can certainly commit to wearing them on your daily commute. Teddy Bass, the trainer responsible for Cameron Diaz's fantastic physique, is a fan. "You work your legs to keep your balance in them," he says. His other easy stay-slim tip: Wearing your belt a bit tight will force you to pull in your abs.
- Camouflage cellulite. Skeptical about cellulite creams? They really can temporarily tighten thighs, especially ones with caffeine, explains Gerstner. It takes about a week. We like Nivea Good-bye Cellulite Advanced Formula Gel-Cream ($13.49). "But," she warns, "you need to reapply to see results."
- Play with color. A body bronzer like St. Tropez Wash Off Instant Glow Mousse ($22.50) can hide a multitude of flaws, especially on your tummy. "Skin looks better when it's darker," notes Osmond. And don't forget a highlighter. "Create the illusion of thinner limbs by applying it down your shins and the sides of your legs and arms," says Osmond. Try Benefit Bathina body balm ($28).
FOR SAFE SKIN IN THE SUN ...
- Soak in the sunscreen. We can't say it enough: To prevent wrinkles and, most important, skin cancer, apply an SPF of at least 30 half an hour before heading outside, and reapply it every two hours. Look for both UVA and UVB blocking ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide. For your face, try SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 ($30); for your body, try La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 ($34). For a sweat-resistant product, try Coppertone Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 ($9.99).
Which beauty products do you rely on every summer? Have you discovered any new favorites recently?
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.