As a meteorologist and host on The Weather Channel, Stephanie Abrams braves harsh elements during extreme weather, which suits the self-proclaimed tomboy just fine. “You can’t be a girlie girl,” she says, “especially when you’re covered head to toe in mud. There have been a couple of instances when I’ve seen myself on HDTV after working 36 hours during a hurricane and there’s not much you can do about your makeup or your hair. Basically, it’s me, a baseball cap and a microphone.”
While Abrams admits there’s no beauty secret that’s totally hurricane-proof, she never leaves the house without applying an SPF on her face, body and lips. A well-styled ponytail can take this brunette through the day into the evening. Her best beauty advice? “If you’re confident and having fun, who cares if you hair’s a little wet?”
Still, when the weather threatens to ruin your look, try these expert, camera-ready tips.
Rain and Thunderstorms
Hair: “If it’s raining, I don’t even bother blow-drying my hair,” says Abrams. “What’s the point if it’s just going to get wet?” West Hollywood-based hair stylist Billy Lowe suggests keeping those natural tresses in check by using anti-humectant products that resist humidity. “That’s where styling creams and pomades come in handy,” says Lowe. “They’ll tame the hair shaft and minimize the frizz.”
Skin: “While you may be tempted to reach for waterproof mascara, it’s no better than regular mascara and can be harsh on your lashes,” says makeup artist and educator Raychel Wade. “Most mascara is already water-resistant, and if you don’t rub your eyes, it will stay put.” Skip the liner and pair mascara with cream eye shadow that comes in a small pot. These shadows are water-resistant, easier to apply than liner, come in a kaleidoscope of colors and have great staying power.
Hair: When it’s hot and dry, boost the moisture content of your hair with a styling cream, says Lowe, and use a shaping wax to tame static flyaways. Hot and humid? Silicone serums can help smooth your hair and keep it looking polished. Or, opt for a simple updo to keep you cool.
Skin: There’s nothing like perspiration to ruin carefully applied foundation. Wade suggests mattifying foundation to diminish shine and control oil on your T-zone, and a waterproof concealer to keep eye makeup from running. If you still find your skin looking greasy, skip the powder -- adding more makeup will eventually look cakey. Absorb extra moisture by simply pressing a sheet of blotting paper against your skin.
To beat the heat and keep her skin protected, Abrams opts to wear long sleeves and even covers her neck when the temperature hovers in the triple digits. “When I’m in the desert or high heat, it’s unbelievable how much cooler I stay with loose-fitting clothing,” she says. “That way the sun doesn’t directly heat up my skin, because the fabric absorbs the heat first.”
Freezing Temps with Snow Flurries
Hair: Flyaways, a common winter problem, can be tamed with a spritz of hairspray. If you get flathead, pump up the volume with a volumizing mousse. The best defenses against winter’s drying weather, says Lowe, are the right fundamentals: a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
Skin: Abrams, who grew up in warm, sunny Florida, still hasn’t gotten used to cold weather. “There have been times when I’m covering a snow storm and my knuckles will split from dryness,” says Abrams. “Recently, in Alaska, my ear lobes began to peel.” Abrams religiously applies a good sensitive-skin moisturizer with SPF all over -- paying special attention to her hands and lobes.
To keep lips from cracking, Wade recommends applying lip balm under your lipstick. It creates a moisture base that will keep the color on longer. When the forecast is sub-freezing temps, swap your powder foundation and blush for a moisturizing base and blush in a stick or cream formula.
Hair: When you want something a little more fashionable than Abrams’ baseball hat solution, “Hair waxes can give you a spiky look or give your curls and waves more definition that can hold up to wind,” says Lowe. The thicker the wax, the more control it provides.
Skin: For a rosy-cheek look that complements a windy day, use a tint or stain blush -- powders will likely wear off. These products can be tricky to apply, so try this tip from Wade: Take a pea-size amount of primer or moisturizer, add a couple of drops of tint, mix together and then apply it to the apples of your cheeks. This will give you wearability and durability.
Stacie Stukin writes about health, beauty, design, food and travel for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Yoga Journal and Natural Health. She is co-author of The Alabama Stitch Book: Contemporary Stories, Lessons and Projects Celebrating Traditional Hand Sewing, Quilting and Embroidery.