Q: Is wearing makeup at the beach wrong?
A: Not necessarily. Just beware of anything too obvious, says Smashbox makeup artist Lori Taylor. Swipe on a tinted moisturizer with SPF to cover up any redness, and go for natural colors on your eyes and lips — pink, peach, gold, and bronze offset a summery skin tone, explains Taylor. Avoid anything too sticky or creamy, as it will attract sand and break down faster in the sun.
Q: Sunscreen makes me break out. What should I do?
A: It’s simple, says David Leffell, MD, professor of dermatology and surgery at Yale University. Just use an oil-free, fragrance-free potion. We like Good Skin All Right Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30, $12.
Q: How can I stop sweating so much? I’ve tried every antiperspirant on the market, and I still perspire nonstop!
A: Put it on at night, too. That way, it will have plenty of time to absorb into your skin and start working, says Atlanta dermatologist Darren Casey. In the morning, shower and swipe on another coat as you normally would. Your pits should be good to go.
Q: My hair is fried from the sun. Any tips?
A: If summer fun has wreaked havoc on the health of your hair, pamper your tresses back to their prime with this daily at-home conditioning routine suggested by Gil Ferrer, owner of Gil Ferrer salon in New York City: Mix equal parts of a scalp-soothing mint-oil conditioner and a shampoo made for your hair type. Try Gil Ferrer CoolScalp Conditioner, $28, or Graham Webb Ice Cap Revitalizing Conditioner, $12. Suds up with this mane-moisturizing concoction, and rinse thoroughly. Follow with a deep conditioner, rubbing the ends of your hair as you let it soak in for a few minutes. Rinse, and apply a leave-in conditioner with sunscreen to shield your strands from do-damaging UV rays.
Q: I’m going straight from the beach to a party. What’s a no-fuss way to freshen up my look?
A: Look stunning as you go from seashore to dance floor with these get-foxy-on-the-fly tips from Beverly Hills makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle.
- Clean up with a premoistened face wipe. “This is key if you won’t have access to a sink. You need to get off all the sunscreen and oils or you’ll be slick (and not in a good way) all night,” says Sarnelle. Try Avon Clearskin Deep Clean Cleansing Cloths, $3.49.
- If your skin’s a little blotchy after your day outdoors, even out your complexion in one step with a dual-finish powder compact. Try Cover Girl Simply Powder Foundation, $5.27.
- Since you wore sunscreen all day, put a flattering flush in your cheeks with a petal pink powder blush. Try Bobbi Brown Essentials Blush in Soft Pink, $20.
- Line and fill lips with a neutral liner, then coat with a glistening rose gloss. Try Max Factor Color Perfection Luxe Lipgloss, $5.89.
- Brush your brows into place with a tinted brow gel. Try Valerie Beverly Hills Brow Tamer, $15. “When you have beautiful, defined brows, everything else falls into place,” says Sarnelle.
Q: Will wearing SPF free gloss in the sunlight increase the potential of burning my lips since the gloss is so shiny?
A: Believe it or not, going solo with gloss can indeed increase your chances of lip burn on sunny days. But it’s not because of the shine factor, says San Francisco dermatologist Richard Glogau. Gloss gives your lips a heavy-duty shot of moisture in addition to a sexy sheen. Although that moisture will prevent your lips from chapping or peeling, it also actually acts as a superconductor of damaging UV rays, allowing them to penetrate the skin more quickly.
To protect your pucker in the sun, stay away from clear gloss. Pick one with a bit of color instead, since the pigment is a natural sunblock. Try Senna Lip Lacquer in Orangeism, $15, or Urban Decay Lip Gunk in Burn Out, $13. You could also first line and fill in your lips with a nude pencil for the same protective-pigment effect. Or prep your lips with a slick of lip balm containing SPF 15 or higher. Try Chap Stick Lip Moisturizer SPF 15, $1.79.
Q: I want to look glowy — not greasy — this summer. How do I get a sexy hue?
A: Shiny eyes and lips are great in warm weather, when you don’t want to wear anything too heavy or slick. Here’s how to do the dew:
- Lids: Go for a colored eye gloss — the nongoopy texture won’t crease as quickly as a cream shadow. We like Mac Pro Longwear Gloss Coat, $13.
- Lashes: Use a smearproof clear lash gel to give your fringe a glimmering effect. A good one: Givenchy Lash Pearls, $22.
- Lips: A new crop of shiny sheer liners defines your lips without creating an obvious line. Try Clinique Sheer Shaper for Lips, $13.50, and Cover Girl Smoothers Lipliner, $5.89.
Q: My brows get bleached out in the summer! Will anything help that?
A: “Just like with the hair on your head, the only thing that will keep color from fading is blocking the UV rays, which alter color molecules in your strands,” says Marko Tomassetti, colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown. “Try rubbing a stick sunscreen over your brows — the SPF will keep the sun from penetrating, and the wax will keep hairs in place.” If they still bleach out, try a tinted brow gel to shade them in.
Q: My scars tend to be much more noticeable in the summer. How can I hide them?
A: Try body concealers like Dermablend or Cover FX, says NYC makeup artist Darac. New formulas are water-resistant — great for beach and pool trips. If you want a more permanent fix, ask your doctor about fractional lasers (like Fraxel). They can be pricey, but three to five treatments can fade scars.
Q: I love how tanning oil looks but I haven’t found one with enough SPF, are there any?
A: Yes — spray on True Blue Spa Miraculous Monoi SPF 20 Protective Deep Tanning and Hydration, $16. It’s a tanning oil that blends monoi oil, a natural Hawaiian oil, with high-octane SPF to give your skin and strands some serious sheen, minus the burn.
Q: How can I get my face to look like I have a true summer tan?
A: Follow these steps for a great gleam:
- Blend a face cream over your brow bones, under your eyes, and into the creases of your nose, then spray your face with self-tanner. “The cream keeps the tan lighter in those areas that don’t get that much sun,” says makeup pro Scott Barnes.
- Blend a bright red-toned blush onto your cheeks.
- Sweep a bronzer onto your chin and cheekbones. Try Scott Barnes Loose Bronze Powder, $28.
Q: My sunscreen always runs and burns my eyes when I’m jogging outdoors. Is there any solution?
A: Fear not: Armed with a few tips, you can be tear-free as you hit the paths in the park. There are two types of sun protection: chemical formulas (which absorb the sun’s rays before they hit your skin) and physical sunscreens (reflecting rays so they bounce off skin).
For the least amount of eye irritation, pick a physical block, suggests Mary Lupo, a dermatologist in New Orleans. Physical sun protectants (the main ingredients to look for on packaging are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) adhere better to the skin than the chemical kind (octyl methoxycinnamate) and won’t run as easily. If they do, they won’t sting since they’re chemical-free. Try Neutrogena Sensitive Skin UVA/UVB Sunblock, $8.99, or DDF Organic Sunblock SPF 30, $25. Be sure to let the formula dry before you head out the door, to further minimize run potential.
Q: Will my left-over sunscreen from last year still be effective?
A: Check to see if your bottle of sunscreen is stamped with an expiration date. If you don’t see a date, the rule of thumb is that the active ingredients in sunscreen (like zinc, titanium dioxide and Parsol 1789) should remain stable and effective for about three years, according to David Leffell, MD, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. But if it smells funny, feels lumpy or has a bizarro color, dump it. To keep your sunscreenas close to new as possible, store it in a dry spot at room temperature with the lid tightly fastened. Some of our favorites: Coppertone Ultrasheer Sunscreen Lotion, $11.89; Clinique Body Spray SPF 30 Sun Block, $17.50; Lancôme Soleil Expert SunCare SPF15, $27.50; and Banana Boat Surf Waterproof Sunblock SPF 15, $7.29.
Q: Do those SPF pills really provide protection?
A: No gimmick here! “By blending antioxidants, vitamins, and plant extracts that work at your skin’s cellular level, sun pills help support your natural defenses against the sun,” says Perry Robins, MD, president and founder of the Skin Cancer Foundation. But they don’t provide enough protection on their own, so combine them with a topical sunscreen. Try a 30-day supply of Sunpill, $29.99.
Q: Can I OD on SPF? It’s in all of my makeups and creams.
A: The risk of skin irritation from SPF ingredients is very slight and doesn’t outweigh the benefits of protecting your face from killer rays. Still, if you do notice some sensitivity, check the label, and stick with formulas made with physical protectors (such as zinc oxide), which are gentler than chemical blockers (like avobenzone).
Q: How can I make my curls stay defined, not frizzy, in hot, humid weather?
A: Rein in your runaway ringlets on steamy days by following this advice from Allen Edwards, owner of the Allen Edwards Salons and Serenity Spas in Los Angeles:
Since curly hair has so many bends and twists, each strand has tiny gaps in the cuticle into which moisture in humid air can seep and cause swelling [aka frizzing].
Curly hair is also naturally dry, so even though it absorbs water, it looks frayed, says Edwards. Always keep your hair coated with light moisturizing products to plug up these gaps and make each strand waterproof and smooth.
Start by switching to a supermoisturizing shampoo. Try Aveda Sap Moss Shampoo, $12. After conditioning and rinsing, define your twirls by applying a curl-enhancing cream on damp hair, winding chunks around your finger, then letting them air dry, says Edwards. Try Clinique Hair Care Defined Curl Enhancer, $14.50.
Q: I’m afraid of skin damage, but I want to look like I have a tan. How can I get a summer gleam without actually sitting out in the sun?
A: Here are four fantastic fine-tuned formulas:
- Pro fake-bake sessions: Mystic Tan offers you a range of intensities from light to dark. Looking for more personalized service? Thanks to a superpowered spray gun, you can get an airbrush tan job performed by a technician at salons doing California Tan Sunless treatments in only four minutes.
- Aerosol spray cans: Like aerosol hair sprays, these spew a continuous fine mist even when you hold them upside down. Try Lancôme Flash Bronzer Airbrush Spray, $28.
- Individual towelettes: These individually packed, presoaked sheets will coat your whole body with self-tanner. Try L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes, $10.
- Speedy mousses: Perfect for crunch times, these airy foams dry in five minutes. A great one: Coppertone Endless Summer Bronzing Foam.