15 Tips for Gorgeous Summer Skin, Hair and Nails

What’s more beautiful than a sunset on a summer’s eve? You! Just follow these easy tips to warm-weather gorgeous.

1. Try the wet look. 
This straight-from-the-runway ‘do is perfect for a summer weekend: Simply apply your favorite hair gel to your roots and comb through the crown of your head.

2. Explore the alphabet.
Try a new BB or CC cream. These multitasking foundations provide light coverage with sunscreen and skin treatment ingredients. You can find lots of choices that won’t bust your budget on drugstore shelves.

3. Reconsider bronzer.
If you have pale skin, why not follow the example of stars like Taylor Swift, Emma Stone and Cate Blanchett and embrace your peaches-and-cream loveliness. Skip the bronzer and simply apply a pop of blush in a summery peach or apricot on the apples of your cheeks. 

4. Try a new polish combo.
Instead of painting your toenails and fingernails the same color, opt for a playful combo like navy and white, silver and lavender, gold and coral. Which shade to wear on hands and which on feet? Anything goes!

5. Pump up wilted hair.
Fight summer’s limp locks with these tips from Jet Rhys, a San Diego salon owner and stylist. Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner daily. Follow with a root-lifting spray. When you dry your hair, lift roots with a small round brush. Aim the nozzle of your dryer at this section, and hold a few seconds before releasing the brush.

6. Hide sunburn.
Trying to cover sunburn with foundation will only draw attention to your scorched skin. Instead, first smooth flaking skin with an aloe vera gel. Then, suggests New York makeup artist Raychel Wade, neutralize redness and shine with a gold hue. Use a golden body lotion on your body and a sheer bronze tinted moisturizer on your face.

7. Smudge on some silver.
The smoky eye has been replaced with a hint of silver. Smudge a silver eye shadow on your lid, right next to your lash line

8. Choose bright hues in sheer formulas.
Wearing summer makeup shades like peach, tangerine, melon and coral can be scary, unless you opt for a sheer wash of color. Apply a bronze or apricot blush in a cream formula to the apples of your cheeks. Play up your eyes with peachy shadows that have a slight shimmer. Finish your look with lip gloss in your favorite citrus shade.

9. Brush on an artsy topcoat.
You may not have the patience or the skill set for nail art. But you can still achieve an artsy do-it-yourself manicure with the new special-effects topcoats that offer finishes like velvet, neon crackle and graffiti.

10. Sun-proof your smoocher.

Keep your lips kissable this summer by using a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher. Balms that contain glycerin are especially moisturizing, and you can find lots of tinted versions at the beauty counter.

11. Go for cream shadow and blush
When powder collides with sweat you can end up with a cakey mess. A better summer pick: blush and eye shadow in creamy formulas.

12. Tuck blotting sheets into your purse.
Got a shiny T-zone? Roll a sheet of blotting paper gently over your face. It will pick up the shine and leave your makeup intact.

13. Lighten your scent, along with your makeup.
Keep your perfume on your vanity table and switch to an all-over body mist. Tuck a purse-sized spray in your handbag for a midday cool-me-down and pick-me-up.

14. Exfoliate all over once a week.
To keep your faux tan from looking streaky and your pores from getting clogged with sunscreen and sweat, exfoliate body and face at least once a week. Choose a facial scrub with micro-beads and apply a light touch to avoid injuring your skin.

15. Protect your lashes. 
The upside to waterproof mascara: It won’t run down your face when you sweat. The downside: It’s tricky to remove, and tugging too hard can cause lashes to fall out. Minimize the downside by choosing a makeup remover especially formulated for waterproof makeup.

What to Look for in Sunscreen

The one essential beauty rule for your most beautiful skin: Apply sunscreen every day. You already know this, of course! But if you’ve strayed from this rule all fall and winter, now is the time to renew your pledge to protect your skin daily.

When you’re shopping for a new tube of sunscreen, you’ll notice that labels look a little different. That’s because new FDA regulations have gone into effect, making it easier to choose the right sunscreen from the scores of products on your drugstore shelf. “Not all sunscreens are created equal,” says FDA scientist Lydia Velazquez, PharmD. “Our scientific understanding has grown -- this new information will help consumers know which products offer the best protection from the harmful rays of the sun.”

Here’s what the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) advises you look for when shopping for sunscreen:

1. Broad spectrum:
This means a sunscreen protects the skin from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, both of which can cause cancer and premature aging.

2. SPF 30 or higher:
This lets you know the sunscreen will block 97 percent of the sun’s rays. Sunscreens with higher-number SPF block slightly more of the sun’s rays, the AAD says, “but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the rays.” Some experts think the extra protection is worthwhile. Jessica J. Krant, a New York dermatologist and clinical professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, is among them. In the summer, she switches from an SPF 30 to an SPF 50 for daily use on her face. “Even though there is less and less of a difference with the higher SPF you get, I still want that difference,” she says. “If SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays and SPF 55 blocks 98%, that's over a 33 % increase in my protection from ultraviolet damage. That difference is valuable to me.”

3. Water resistant:
Sunscreens can no longer claim to be “waterproof” or “sweatproof” (because they’re not!). Products that are “water resistant” will keep providing the full level of SPF even while you swim or sweat. The label must specify how long this protection will last, based on testing, before you need to reapply. Only two times are permitted: 40 or 80 minutes.

Here are some other sunscreen smarts to keep in mind:

  • Apply liberally. One ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, is the amount you need to cover the exposed areas of your body, according to the AAD.

  • Reapply often. That means every two hours if you’re outdoors; more often if your skin is getting wet from a dip in the pool or surf, or a strenuous hike, bike ride or tennis game.

  • Protect your lips with a separate lip balm that offers broad-spectrum SPF 30 or above coverage.

Apply in advance.

That means at least 15 minutes before you go outside. The exception to this rule: physical (not chemical) sunscreens, which are effective as soon as you apply them. These contain the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

  • Choose a formula you love. It won’t protect you if you don’t use it. With so many different formulations -- including lotions, creams, gels and sprays -- and scented or unscented options, even the pickiest among us can find a sunscreen we’ll want to apply. The best pick might be a sunscreen and moisturizer in one. That way, you won’t have to add an extra step to your skin care regimen to defend against damaging UV rays.

Weatherproof Beauty

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
: “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.

Heat Wave
: 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
: 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.

High Winds
: 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.

9 Ways to Get Beautiful … in the Shower

Why get just clean when you can get gorgeous? Here are some ways to turn your daily shower into a beauty boost, from head to toes.

1. De-tangle your hair before you shampoo. 
Lather, rinse, repeat. You know the drill. But in fact, there's a little bit more technique to getting salon-like shiny hair.

First, never step into the shower with tangled hair. Water will make those knots even knottier and can lead to breakage. Gently brush out tangles while your hair is still dry, paying attention to the layers underneath, where snags sometimes hide.

Then, prevent new tangles by applying shampoo to the roots and working it through to the ends, moving in the same direction as the water. A circular massage or flinging your head upside down under the showerhead may feel good, but it can lead to snarls.

2. Condition, starting from the ends. 
After rinsing out the shampoo, apply conditioner to the ends of your hair (your newly grown roots don’t need the repair as much). Then, using a wide-tooth comb you keep in the shower -- so it’s there when you need it! -- comb the conditioner through your ends, moving up the length of the hair. Leave the conditioner in your hair while you continue your shower regimen.

3. Use a moisturizing body wash instead of soap. 
Skip the deodorized soap (it can strip your skin of oils) and choose a moisturizing body wash, especially in the winter. “Darting from frigid temperatures outdoors to dry indoor heating compromises the skin’s body function,” says Dr. Glen Kolansky, a dermatologist in Tinton Fall, N.J.

“Without this protective barrier the skin isn’t able to hold on to moisture effectively,” adds Kolansky. “Instead, when water evaporates, skin is left dry, rough and itchy.”

4. Deep-clean your pores.
Rotating cleansing brushes do a terrific job of getting rid of makeup residue, dirt and oil that can remain trapped in your pores even after you’ve cleansed your face. But not if they remain unused on your bathroom sink! Follow the example of Dr. Tina Alster, a Washington, D.C., dermatologist who keeps her favorite sonic brush in the shower along with a tube of mild cleanser. “I use it on my face, on my neck and on rough patches on my shoulders,” she says.

5. Get a close shave.
Prep your legs for a super-smooth shave by letting your skin get wet for two to three minutes before you begin.  Use a moisturizing shave cream or gel and a razor that’s, well, razor sharp. 

“You’ll get the closest, cleanest shave with less risk of being left with nicks or dry flaky skin if you use a sharp razor that skims the skin instead of dragging against it,” says Dr. Jeanie Leddon, a Boulder, Colo., dermatologist. “A good rule of thumb is to replace the blade after five to ten uses.”

6. Soften your feet.
Keep calluses at bay by using a foot scrub every time you shower.  (The tickle will wake you up too.) Once a week, gently buff away dry skin with a pumice stone.

7. Rinse.
The last step while the shower is still on: Rinse out your hair conditioner, letting the water flow down your locks.

8. Moisturize.
Pat your skin lightly with a towel while you’re still in the shower then apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp. The hydrating ingredients will absorb more efficiently on skin that’s slightly wet, keeping your skin its most touchably supple.

9. Towel dry your hair.
Gently blot the extra moisture from your locks with a dry towel. If you rub vigorously, you’ll create tangles and set your hair up for frizz. Use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush to get your hair ready for styling.

Now, scrubbed and stunning, get ready to start your day!

Makeup Tips for Winter’s Bold New Face

To look beautiful in the winter, you have to use a makeup strategy that’s different from the one you use in July. Sticking with summer’s bronzer just looks fake. Winter’s light is whiter and less yellow than summer light, so it’s apparent your color boost came from product rather than the sun. What’s more refreshing and modern is giving winter its own signature face.

This year, the frosty shades and tinsel-like shine of winters past are gone. Elegant matte texture has taken their place, and lips and cheeks are swept with bright pops of candy color. Yes, it’s a bold statement that can look Cirque du Soleil rather than chic if you get it wrong. Here’s how to get it right!

1. Add richer moisturizers to your skin care regimen. Those whipping winds outside and dry heating indoors can leave your skin parched and chapped. Matte foundation can catch on these dry patches, so you need to make sure your skin is plumped up and well-hydrated. Applying a thick moisturizer in the morning can add sheen to a matte face; instead, hydrate before bedtime with a luxurious extra-emollient night cream.

2. Go matte with minimal product. Yes, you need a new foundation for winter. Stick with the dewy base you used in summer and you’ll have to layer on lots of powder to dull the sheen. Instead, choose a matte textured foundation in your exact shade and apply sparingly. Set it with a light dusting of translucent powder applied with a large, loosely bristled powder brush.

3. Flatter your eyes with subtle makeup. Winter’s bold, bright look is focused on lips or cheeks. While you don’t want to overlook your eyes, you will want to enhance them with neutral makeup. First, give them a bit of a boost by applying a thin black line with a cream or liquid liner very close to the lash line. Define the crease of your lid with a neutral shade of brown or gray shadow. Apply with a crease brush in a half-moon shape. Curl your lashes, and then apply two coats of black mascara.

4. Choose between your cheeks or lips for the bold pop of color. If you have full lips with pout to spare, go for an assertive mouth. If your cheekbones are high, do an amazing blush flush. Pick only one area or you’ll look overdone. For your color choices, think flowers and fruit rather than jewels -- juicy red, rosy pink, ripe peach. Fair-skinned ladies look best in cooler pastel shades, while darker beauties should choose warm, blue-based shades.

5. If you’ve chosen your lips for that extra oomph, apply a matte lipstick straight from the tube. You’ll want to skip the liner so the look is soft. A nice bonus: Matte lipstick lasts longer than satin textures, so you won’t need to touch up for hours. Balance a bold mouth with a soft, natural blush along the cheekbone.

6. Playing up your cheeks? Moderation is key. Apply too much color and you’ll look like you have windburn. Apply too little and the effect doesn’t pack enough punch. Most cream formulas have a sheen finish, so choose a powder blush, which layers beautifully over matte skin. With an angled blush brush, apply the color right along your cheekbone. Building up color slowly as opposed to heaping it on will keep you from looking clownish. Finish with a slight touch of color to lips.

Embrace bright color this season and you’ll beat the winter blahs gorgeously!