Yes, the summer heat can often make us think we look like the wicked witch of the West - with makeup streaming down our cheeks and limp hair drooping in our eyes - it's enough for anyone to wither and have a complete beauty meltdown.
But there are a few ways to beat the heat and treat ourselves at the same time. Here are a few of summer's best treats to stick into your beach bag - or your office tote, if you just can't seem to be able to fly away and get out of town right now.GEL OUT: Gels are light and easy to apply in hot weather. There's no stickiness, no mess. Take a tube of Stila's gel cheek color in your beach bag. Choose from pink flush or melon flush. Or, for easy two-in-one applications, Stila has a convertible color compact that acts as a lip and cheek cream. ( www.stilacosmetics.com)
PROTECT YOUR LIPS: Talk about plump lips - if you've ever had sunburned lips, you know you've got to take steps to protect them. Davies Gate has made protection delicious with its tangy lip balm loaded with shea butter and sweet almond oil that moisturizes and protects with an SPF 15. ( www.daviesgate.com)
SPRITZ YOUR FACE: - Keep cool with fresh spritzers that spray refreshing moisturizers with antioxidants on your skin. Caudalie, made in Paris, makes a soothing "grape water" purse-size spray that can easily accompany you to the beach or to the office. ( www.caudalie.com)
MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE: You may think your skin is wringing wet with moisture, but summer heat can dry it out. So make sure you keep your skin in good condition with a rich, nongreasy creamy lotion, ideally applied right after a shower, while your skin is still damp. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Pick up a good one, like Curel's new Ultra Healing Lotion, at your local drugstore. Many moisturizers now give you a subtle, gradual tan when you use them every day. Try Pur Minerals new body moisturizer, Get a Little Tan, ideal for women with sensitive skin. ( www.purminerals.com)
WATERPROOF: OK, it's a fact of life, that most of us sweat - especially if it's 98 degrees in the shade. So how do you keep your cool? Try a few of these beauty miracles: Bourjois Survolteel Waterproof Eyeshadow, Dior Show Waterproof Mascara and Vincent Longo Liquid Canvas Dew Finish Foundation - all at www.sephora.com.
GO FOR LIGHT SCENT: Put away the heavy fragrances of winter, and lighten up with a new scent for summer. Take a trip to your favorite department store and sample some of these refreshing mists: Gucci Envy Me2, Stella McCartney's Sheer Summer, Terre d'Hermes, Roberto Cavalli Serpentine, DKNY Red Delicious and Cartier's Deluces.
TAN YOURSELF: By now, you've got to know that broiling in the sun is reserved only for those with fish brains. Covering up is the name of the game, even while getting that bronze glow. There are lots of bronzers that can do the trick: Laura Mercier's Gilded Bronzing Book with color for eyes, cheeks and lips; Urban Decay's Baked Body Glow for a glimmering all-over sheen and Nars Body Glow for a coppery tint and a coconut scent. And don't forget the babies: California Baby's newest delivery, SPF 18 Moisturizing Sunscreen provides ultraviolet-A and UVB protection without the use of harsh chemicals. ( www.californiababy.com)
DON'T FORGET SPF: The Sun Protection Factor is critical when it comes to picking out all those lotions and potions that will defend your skin from harmful rays. Make sure the protection you stick into your beach bag will do the trick: Some of the products with the most defense: Lancome's Soleil Ultra Expert Sun Care with SPF 50 and Clinique's UV Response Body Cream, also with SPF 50. And if bugs (not your kids) are driving you crazy, take along some of Bull Frog's new Mosquito Coast Sunblock with Insect Repellant.
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Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.
Â© Copley News Service