Lighten Up Your Summer Look
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Lighten Up Your Summer Look

Easy, fresh ideas in hair, makeup and skin.

Hair

Warm-weather beauty means a fun, vibrant glow with minimal effort. Here, your guide to the breeziest looks in hair, skin and makeup.

The number one rule of summer haircare: work with your texture, not against it. "When it's so hot, the last thing you want to do is struggle with your hair in the bathroom for hours," says Richard Marin, stylist for Marcia Gay Harden and Brooke Shields and style consultant for John Frieda Brilliant Brunette. By applying one or two products designed to enhance what you already have, your hair will look its best -- no sweat.

Wavy

"Wavy hair is very trendy right now," says Zak Milligan, a stylist at Avon Salon and Spa in New York City. So pack away that flat iron and give your hair a much-needed break from constant straightening.

How to style: Look for texturizing creams for gentle shaping. "Just a dab of cream applied when hair is damp lets it air dry nicely into piecey waves," says Milligan. A sea salt spray delivers an authentic back-from-the beach feel.

What to try: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In Cream ($6.99) or KMS Turnstylr Sea Salt Spray ($9.95).

Curly

Save sleek blowouts for fall. Any extra moisture in the air will seep into your naturally curly 'do, returning ringlets to even the most perfectly straightened hair and even adding dreaded frizz -- ugh!

How to style: "Naturally curly hair looks gorgeous when you don't fuss with it too much," says Milligan. A gel, curl-defining creams or and anti-frizz serum will help ease the styling battle. Just scrunch it in and air dry.

What to try: Ralph by Ralph Lauren Saved By the Gel ($12.50), defines curls and has the same fruity scent as the signature fragrance. Run a bit through hair and you'll end up with fragrant waves. Paves Flawless It's a Wrap Repairing Defining Finish Cream ($5.99), gives dry hair sexy texture and shine. Alterna Caviar Shampoo with Age-Control Complex ($19) has sunscreen to keep locks protected and hydrated. Kusco-Murphy Beach Hair ($25) is slightly shimmery, and features coconut and crushed bamboo for a tousled effect. Matrix Curl.Life Contouring Cream ($12.95), enhances ringlets while battling frizz.

Psst... Few people know that straightening balm - intended to flatten hair - is the best way to quickly loosen curls and waves, resulting in minimal frizz and relaxed curls, says Marin.

Straight

Straight hair goes limp at the very first encounter with humidity. Help it along with easier-for-summer volumizing products.

How to style: "Stay away from sprays with alcohol, since they'll dry out hair even more in higher temperatures," says Marin. Or, twist your wet strands into a braid for a cute look that'll leave you with soft waves after you undo it.

 

Makeup

Starting now, you can kiss off to dark lips and heavily contoured eyeshadows. Instead, a glossy pucker and lightly shadowed eyes reign.

What to lose: Lip liners and cream-based lipsticks melt in the heat and sun and therefore require more touchups. Also, matte eyeshadows in dark shades such as charcoal and deep brown can look downright somber in the summer sun. And, not surprisingly, say so long to layers of foundation.

How to lighten up: Choose a lip stain, which is a long-wearing formula devoid of smeary waxes or oils. Although they can go from day to night without budging, they can feel dry to the touch, so slick on lip balm or gloss over the stain for extra shine. You can make you lips look fuller with highlighting shimmer. Charity Vance, founder of Luscious Cosmetics, advises dabbing white gloss in the center of the bottom lip for extra pizzazz. Also, lip glosses in fruity shades of apricot, peach and lime are a great option compared with traditional pastels, which can look dated against a tanned complexion.

As for eyes, "colored eyeshadows are very popular now, and their sheer quality makes them easy to wear," says Victoria Jackson, president of Lola Cosmetics in Los Angeles. Not only do these shades brighten eyes, but the textures are light and cool-feeling.

Psst... The secret to great summer eyes is to replace your traditional black mascara and eyeliner with a more delicate, yet equally flattering, combo of brown mascara ad gold eyeliner. Your eyes will still pop, and they will have flattering glimmer to boot.

A golden complexion is the epitome of summer, but instead of tanning, get the look with a bronzer. Start by choosing a shade that closely reflects your natural skin tone. Then, blend it all over your face, including your eyelids and neck, touching places that the sun naturally hits.

What to try: Agnes B. Touche de Soleil in Touch of Honey ($20) for a sunny glow. YSL Sweet Lip Marker in No. 2 Melon Granita ($24) is a sweet, summer-friendly shade that has incredible lasting power. Tony and Tina Everything Nice Eye Palette ($32) has a range of vibrant yet wearable colors. Hard Candy Lip Sorbet in Lime Kiss ($10) looks ultra-bright in the tube but leaves just a touch of color on the lips. Cargo Lip Gloss Duo in Twin Cities ($19) features both pink and peach shades. Benefit Georgia ($26) is a versatile peachy shade that work on every complexion. Clinique City Block Sheer Shimmer SPF 15 ($15.50) evens out your skin tone, adds radiance, and it also shield your skin from the sun.

Skin

In the height of summer, an involved skin-care routine shouldn't rank high in your list of priorities, but that doesn't mean you should abandon you regimen altogether. In fact, the heat creates its own set of issues, from breakouts to a perpetually greasy complexion, making this a crucial time to stick to a program.

What to lose: For the hottest months, ease up on potentially harsh anti-aging products, such as retinol and alpha hydroxyl acids. While these ingredients deliver real benefits, the glare of the summer sun can make your face extra sensitive, resulting in irritated skin.

How to lighten up: Simplify, simplify, simplify! Choose an oil-free moisturizer that also contains sun protection. Although SPF 15 can be found in many moisturizers and foundations, you're not entirely protected against the sun for the whole day without frequent touch-ups. A better bet is to top your protective moisturizer with a protective sunblock.

On the other end of the skin spectrum are breakouts, even for women with typically well-behaved skin. The culprit, says New York City-based dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., is sweat, which gets mixed with sebaceous oil from the oil glands; this combination can potentially clog your pores. The solution - aside from locking yourself up in an air-conditioned room until Labor Day -- is to gently exfoliate with a facial scrub at least twice a week and to be diligent about cleansing. If you use face powders, then look for one with built-in SPF, or carry blotting sheets with you when you are on the go.

Psst... If you can't bear to part with your favorite foundation, the pro suggest mixing it with a dab of oil-free moisturizer, such as Nivea Visage All Around Protection Lotion SPF 15 ($8.99). You'll get coverage that's light as air but still flawless.

Great to try: NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator ($70) is a light oil-free moisturizer. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiance Exfoliating Wash - part of the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiance System ($27.99), helps give you skin a clean sweep. Laura Mercier Hydra Soothing Gel Mask ($30) can cool sunburned skin. Lumene Energy Cocktail Pampering Drops ($17.99) are chock-full of skin-repairing vitamins.

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