William GarrettOn those steamy days, we bare more skin, wear less makeup, and let our hair go au naturel. But sometimes we want our laid-back style to have some extra polish. So we asked beauty insiders for their secrets to a beautiful summer lookwithout a whole lot of hassle.
Try a naked face … almost
Harsh summer light can coax tiny lines and spots out of hiding. What gives? “The sun kicks pigment-making cells into overdrive, highlighting faint irregularities,” says Kenneth Beer, MD, a dermatologist in Palm Beach, Florida.
But fight the urge to hide imperfections under a blanket of base, because it will only make them more noticeable. Instead, keep makeup minimal, suggests Fatima Olive, the Miami-based hair and makeup artist who created the looks on these pages. Using a gradual self-tanner on your face every other day gives skin a hint of color, allowing you to get away with less makeup.
When you need an extra boost, smooth on a tinted moisturizer with SPFitll even your complexion in the most natural way possible. Then, quickly scan for standout imperfectionsred spots, dark circlesand lightly pat on concealer. We like Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit ($32).
Get younger eyes with neutrals
Rim your eyes close to the lash line with a gel liner in copper or bronzesubtle, universally-flattering shades that make eyes really pop. “Gel liners are ideal for summer,” says Alison Raffaele, founder and creative director of Alison Raffaele Cosmetics.
“Theyre free of waxes and oils, so they set nicely and dont smudge or crease in the heat.” And since they dont run, they wont accentuate dark circles and lines.
Next Page: Airbrush your legs [ pagebreak ]Airbrush your legs
How to show off your legs without putting flaws (pasty skin! spider veins! scars!) on display? Try self-tanner. You may not think of it as an “antiaging” product, but by warming up your skin tone, tanner makes blue veins or red marks much less obvious.
Pick a formula thats easy to control and goes on in thin layerslike mousses and towelettesas they tend to give the most even result.
Use vertical strokes to avoid streaks and splotches, which will draw attention to whatever youre hoping to hide, says Regina Viotto, spa director at Paul Labrecque in New York City. Our pick: Kate Somerville Somer360° Tanning Towelettes ($48 per box of 8).
Make humidity work for you
There is an upside to humidity: It gives your hair the texture and soft volume needed to carry a low, loose updo. “High, tight dos are too severe and will age you,” Olive says. Instead, she suggests parting hair slightly off the middle, then twisting it back into a soft chignon. For the ultimate age-defying summer hair look, consider adding long, sideswept bangs.
Now for the downside to steamy days: Humidity can make hair revert back to its natural (read frizzy or limp) state. Conditioner can act like a cure-all by slowing the rate at which hair sucks up water from the atmosphere. “Even women with superfine hair should use a moisturizing conditioner in summer,” says Jeni Thomas, PhD, a senior scientist for Pantene.
Pretty up your feet
A walk on the beach naturally sloughs off dry skin. If seaside strolls arent in your future, soak feet in warm water and sea salts, then pare down calluses with a pumice stone or grainy scrub, Dr. Beer says.
Before bed, rub on a cream rich in urea, an exfoliating humectant, to heal rough spots and wrinkly cuticles. For a fresh pedi, try a bright, opaque shade of polish to hide imperfections and cover discoloration. For summer, we like Essie Cute as a Button ($8; ), Karma Organic Romance ($10), and OPI On the Same Paige ($8.50).