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With the changing of seasons comes a drastic overhaul to your beauty regimen. Out with the heavy moisturizers and flat irons, and in with the SPF and surf spray. And less is always more, unless you're talking sunscreen. Here's how to avoid making the biggest summer beauty blunders and keep your cool inside and out.
There’s nothing more obvious than orange hands or body streaks left over from self tanner, but thanks to celebs like Pippa Middleton and the cast of “Jersey Shore” tanning has never been more popular. After years of trying many brands, it seems like someone has perfected the application process. Apply self tanner before bed so the color has time to sink in. First exfoliate in the shower so your skin with be smooth and dead skin won’t flake off leaving uneven skin patches behind. Try the spray-on tanners which coat more area with less rubbing, but creamy lotions work well too. Use a pair of gloves to rub lotion all over your body, but think about where the sun naturally hits (go light on undersides of arms and wrists to avoid looking fake baked). Rub the tops of your hands together and don't coat in between your fingers. If you’re on the pale side, mix your self-tanner in equal parts with a moisturizer to cut the concentration in half. If you notice a few streaks in the morning, exfoliate again, and apply a little more product to even things out.
Faded hair color
Hair dye fades from the sun and chlorine, but there are a few things you can do to minimize damage. Use color extending shampoos and conditioner which will protect color. Wear a hat or headscarf when in the sun, and tie hair up when dipping in the pool. Or you could be one of those awesome ladies who wears a floral swim cap. Applying conditioner before swimming helps keep color intact and prevent snarls, and many hair care brands have specific summer products infused with SPF to protect color. To keep chlorine damage to a minimum, shampoo immediately after swimming, and try this easy hair mask from Spa Index: Blend one egg (to condition), a tablespoon of olive oil (to soften), and 1/4 peeled cucumber (to remove buildup and chlorine) in a blender. Apply to hair for 10 minutes and rinse with cool water.
You forgot to apply suntan lotion to the backs of your legs (ouch). You forgot to reapply after you went swimming. You were out on a cloudy day and didn’t feel the sun until it was too late. In the future, remember there’s no such thing as too much sunblock. Use an SPF 30 or higher. For now, apply aloe by the handful. If you have a real plant, awesome. Love the gel formulas and keep a bottle in the fridge all summer for extra cooling potential. You can take ibuprofen to help with headaches, pain, and chills. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting cotton fabrics that won’t rub on the affected areas. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and avoid showering in hot water. And most importantly: stay out of the sun until the burn fades. If you must be outdoors, keep the affected area covered and stay in the shade. Though tempting (while gross), do not peel off your shedding skin. Let it come off naturally, and moisturize a ton.
Bronzer is supposed to enhance your natural pigment, not create a tan where there is none. Find a powder (with or without shimmer, the preference is yours) that’s one or two tones darker than your natural skin color. Test them out at a department store. Be sure to apply on a clean, dry face with a wide bronzing brush to evenly distribute color. Think about where the sun would naturally hit like your forehead, temples, nose, and cheekbones, and apply ONLY on these areas. (Catherine Zeta-Jones clearly missed this advice.) Keep an extra clean brush handy to help blend of brush away excess color. You won't regret it.
Cracked, dry skin
When you’re revealing more of your epidermis, you want to be smooth and silky from head to toe. This means giving extra love to elbows, knees, hands, and feet. Use an exfoliating glove in the shower with a body scrub once a week to smooth out skin. A pumice stone can even out cracked heels and calluses. Lightly towel dry and apply lotion, or body oil while skin is still damp to maximize benefits and use less product. Use a light face moisturizer to keep skin from drying out. It’s easy to forget about your feet, but be sure they soak up the moisture too! Slather on a thick lotion before sliding them into some cotton socks before bed, or when hanging around the house. When you take the socks off, your tootsies will be infinitely smoother.
Caked on makeup
Let’s face if, some days even when you’re barely exerting yourself you’re still going to break a sweat. One swipe of the hand to the forehead could take a load of liquid foundation with it, so try and go as minimal on face makeup as possible, especially during the day. Try a tinted moisturizer that includes SPF to eliminate extra steps and product layers, or sunscreen with a powder foundation. Cream-based blushes will blend with your skin more evenly. Use light lip stains that look like you’ve just eaten a popsicle instead of goopy gloss. And set your makeup with a refreshing mist that cools you off and tightens your pores.
Heat and humidity are not only uncomfortable for your body, they can do a number on your hair as well. Once every week or two use a conditioning mask to heal damaged hair. Though difficult, please, please, please lay off the heat styling. We know you love your blown out/sleek straight/perfectly curled and coiffed hair, but in about an hour your hard work will be undone and your hair follicles will be extra cranky. Work with your natural texture, or apply a beachy surf spray to create easy waves. You can also apply a leave-in conditioning spray to the ends of your hair to keep it smooth and tangle-free.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides...