Summer Beauty Prep: 20 Moves To Master Now

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and with it come trips to the beach, rooftop cocktails, backyard BBQs, and a plethora of other social engagements that require you to look your breezy, effortless best.
Don't get us wrong: We love beach season, but the combination of revealing clothes, melting heat, and heavy humidity doesn’t exactly lend itself to looking flawless. Thankfully, there are tons of new services and products hitting shelves that are dedicated to making you look ahh-mazing from your head to your toes.
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Here, we asked the experts to share their tips on the most cutting-edge primping treatments around — plus, their at-home equivalents. Read on to learn all the secrets to unleashing your inner beach bombshell.
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Touchable Skin

Some of summer's hottest fashions also happen to be pretty revealing, so you want to make sure your skin looks soft and glowy like Rihanna's does, here. The best way to do that? Get scrubbing. "Exfoliation stimulates collagen production in the skin," says aesthetician Nina Patino. "This process promotes younger-looking and more even-toned skin."

While there are myriad ways to get your scrub on at the spa, our new favorite is the summery Ginger Coconut Melt at the Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa in NYC. The 60-minute treatment starts off with a top-to-toe scrubdown using an organic mixture of warm oil, lime juice, ginger, and brown sugar. Next, warm organic coconut milk is poured over your body and you are wrapped in a heated blanket for 30 minutes, which allows the milk and scrub to penetrate into the skin. Once you are rinsed off, your skin is left soft, detoxified, brightened, and hydrated.


"This treatment is ideal for summer because we use excessive amounts of sunscreen and self-tanner during the next few months, and they create a build-up that blocks your pores," says Patino.

Photo: Peter Brooker /Rex USA
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For a similar treatment at home, Patino recommends mixing up your own warm sugar scrub with heated oil and brown sugar. Rub it vigorously all over your body in a steamy shower, then rinse off in hot water. Choose a scrub made with sugar — Patino says salt scrubs can be too irritating and dry out your skin.

Caudalie Divine Oil, $48, available at Caudalie; Sunday Riley Disrobe Body Lotion, $65, available at Barneys; Me! Bath Shower Sherbet Exfoliating Sugar Scrub in Strawberry Kiwi, $29.15, available at Soap.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Caudalie, Sunday Riley; Via Soap.com
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Beachy Waves

The epitome of easy, breezy summer beauty is tousled waves, as seen here on the always-chic Chloë Grace Moretz. "It's a soft, casual, and modern look without being too hard to pull together," says stylist Nick Arrojo of Arrojo Studio. "Nobody should spend too much time styling their hair on easy summer days, and beach waves allow a girl to feel on-trend, without having to spend hours on her hair."

But for a style known for its simplicity, it can be awfully difficult to achieve. Many women lack the texture to support waves, and wind up with limp twists that just deflate when they encounter the heat and humidity. Arrojo wants to give fine-haired ladies their chance to rock this coveted style, which is why he created the new American Wave System.

It features an ionic waving lotion that alters the structure of the hair shaft, but doesn't dry out or damage the follicle. Hair is set with soft foam rollers to create a specific type of wave, then the lotion is applied. There are three different sizes to choose from, so you can customize your curl. American Wave can also be used to add volume to ultra-thin hair. Results last for up to three months and the service costs $400; it's currently being offered at Arrojo Studio affiliate salons nationwide.The treatment is safe for all hair types, except those who have used hair lightening services — bleach damages the hair cuticle and makes it difficult for the waving lotion to penetrate into the hair shaft.

For those of you having bad perm flashbacks, Arrojo says not to worry: Since American Wave uses an ionic lotion and soft foam settings, it won't give you the smelly, damaged, too-tight curls, or that dreadful '80s treatment.

Photo: Rex USA
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For those trying to sculpt their own waves at home, Arrojo says to step away from the hot rollers and curling iron — there's a better way. He recommends washing your hair before you go to bed and applying a styling creme from roots to ends. Braid your hair where you want those beach waves to be, then go to bed.

When you wake up in the morning, undo the braids and lightly (not too much; you don't want the waves to lose their shape) brush out your hair until the strands takes the shape of defined waves. Add in that tousled texture by spraying some dry shampoo or sea salt spray into hair, then shake it out with your fingers.

Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Holding Foam, $28, available at Bumble and bumble; Bangstyle Sea Salt Mist, $17, Bangstyle for salons; Mark Curl Commander Curl & Wave Defining Gel, $16, available at Avon.

Photos: Courtesy of Bumble and bumble, Bangstyle, Mark
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A Summer-Proof Mani

Our manicures always seem to have a short life span, but the summer only exacerbates that. It feels like we chip our carefully painted tips seconds after our top coat dries. Frustrating! What's the point of doing super-cool nail art like Zooey Deschanel's if it's just going to get ruined in a matter of minutes?

Gel manicures are a good solution for longevity, but they can be murder on your digits — the acetone removal process leaves nails brittle and damaged. That's where Dashing Diva's DesignFX and soon-to-be-launched ColorFX come in: They're long-wearing gel manis that don't require acetone for removal.

DesignFX comes in 48 patterns and ColorFX, which launches in the fall, will feature 48 permanent colors and 12 seasonal shades. The designs last for up to two weeks. The colors won't oxidize in the sun and are removed safely with cuticle oil, so there's no damage to the nail.

Photo: Greg Allen/Rex USA
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For those looking to give their summer manicures some staying power, celebrity manicurist Pattie Yankee has a few sneaky tips. "The summer heat makes it difficult to polish at home as the warmer temperatures make the polish dry faster, so it may streak or not flow as well," she says. To prevent this, Yankee recommends applying your nail color in a cool, well-ventilated area and sealing it with a top coat to hide any streaks or smudges.

Yankee also warns that the sun can oxidize lighter colors, causing them to fade or turn yellow. She suggests choosing a top coat that features UV protection to help guard your color and keep it fresh.

Avon Nailwear Pro Nail Enamel in Sunshine, $6, available in June at Avon; Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Fruttie Petutie, $5.97, available at Walmart; Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Color in Just Dance, $18, available at Nordstrom.

Photos: Courtesy of Avon, Sally Hansen; Via Nordstrom
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Fuzz-Free Stems

We've already told you how important legs are going to be in fashion this season, and Jada Pinkett Smith here is doing a fine job of demonstrating that. One of the fundamentals of bearing your gams is making sure they're fuzz-free — unless of course you're protesting unrealistic gender expectations, in which case, carry on!

For those sick of being stuck in the endless shaving cycle, laser hair removal is an ideal option: In just 6-12 treatments, up to 80% of your hair is permanently removed, and the remaining fuzz is finer and less noticeable. "Why spend your precious summer months having to wax every two weeks or shave every single day," asks Andréa Young, who, along with her sister Liza, owns Beam Laser Spa in Manhattan. "Laser hair removal is a far superior investment than other hair removal methods, as it provides a drastic reduction in hair growth."

According to Young, since the laser targets the root of the hair, clients need to stop waxing, threading or plucking four weeks before their treatment. Lasers focus on the pigment inside the hair, so the treatment works best on those with dark, coarse hair. You should also avoid being out of the sun or using self-tanner before your treatment as it could cause an adverse reaction. Just remember — while you can see a reduction in hair after the first treatment, it will take at least six treatments over the course of a few months before any significant reduction in hair growth will occur.

Photo: AGF s.r.l./Rex/Rex USA
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One downside of laser hair removal is that it's expensive, costing hundreds of dollars for each treatment. Thankfully, new innovations in technology means there are effective options for permanently removing hair at home.

Remington's i-Light Pro is an FDA-cleared gadget that uses light technology to remove unwanted body hair. "The technology is the same IPL technology used in doctors’ offices," says dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco. "In a clinical study, after just 3 treatments, participants showed an average of 37% less hair three months after the last treatment and 48% less hair six months after the last treatment." Sadly, the at-home gadgets suffer the same problems as the professional ones — they won't work on dark skin or light hair, so those who can effectively use these devices are limited.

If you're not quite ready to trust an at-home gizmo, shaving is your best bet for de-fuzzing. Make sure you have a great razor and a hydrating shave cream, so legs end up soft, smooth, and free of nicks and cuts.

Schick Intuition Limited-Edition Le Love Handle, $8.99, available at Drugstore.com; Remington i-Light Pro Professional IPL Hair Removal System, $249.99, available at Target.

Photos: Courtesy of Schick, Remington
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Soft, Healthy Strands

The sun, sand, and sea can be brutal on your locks. If you want your strands to look as healthy as Gwyneth Paltrow's, you need to protect and repair them with a restorative treatment. "To keep hair at its healthiest through the summer, it’s important to protect hair before and during the season," says Kattia Solano, owner of Butterfly Studio Salon in New York. "A conditioning treatment will give hair the strength and nourishment it needs to survive the elements at the beach and pool, and everyday exposure as well."

The new Kérastase Fusio-Dose is a super-concentrated hair savior that is custom-blended to fit your specific hair type and concern. The treatments can cover everything from moisture to fullness. "The best thing about Fusio-Dose is that it works as two or three treatments in one. The long lasting effect is ideal for summer months because people tend to be outside more often," explains Solano.

Photo: Andreas Branch/patrickmcmullan.com
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Your hair can also benefit from some extra TLC at home. Applying a mask just once a week will help you see a dramatic difference in the health of your hair. Find a treatment that addresses your individual needs, then try to make it a weekly ritual.

For the most effective application, Solano says it's essential to remove all of the excess moisture from your hair with a towel. She suggests making a ponytail with your hand and only applying the mask to the hair that falls below your hand — your ends are usually the most damaged and will benefit from an intensive treatment, while your roots could get weighed down by the mask's heavy texture.

Rusk Hydrate Replenishing Masque, $15, available at Sears; Pureology Precious Oil, $40, Pureology for salons; Living Proof Restore Recovery Regimen, $38, available at Sephora.

Photos: Courtesy of Rusk, Pureology, Living Proof
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Sunkissed Skin, the Safe Way

Skin that has just a hint of a tan, like Gisele here, is undeniably sexy, but not worth the risk of exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. Fortunately, you don't have to fry in the sun in order to get a golden glow — professionally-applied tans are a great way to score the bronze goddess look without getting baked.

Bliss Spa's Scrub & Color treatment is a two-for-one tanning treat that consists of a full body scrub-down to exfoliate off dead skin, followed by a shower. Once you are all dried off, an aesthetician then uses sponge brushes to paint on self-tanner, resulting in a streak-free, even tan.

Says Bliss Aesthetician Laura Ann Conroy, "It's nice to have a tan when you go to the beach for the first time and expose skin that’s been hidden for months. Self-tanner can make you appear slimmer and give you confidence walking out on the beach for the first time. Its best to get a professional tan if you want the best results."

Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages
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If you trust your tanning skills, there are plenty of options, from creams to wipes to lotions, that help you achieve a toasted complexion. According to Conroy, there are a few important steps — golden rules, if you will — to ensuring you get the best tan at home. First, be sure to use an exfoliator that doesn't contain creams or moisturizing butters — they'll leave a residue behind and prevent your tanner from absorbing into the skin.

Scrub your back using a body brush, then rinse and dry off. Apply a layer of body butter to your palms, the bottom of your feet, and any other areas that are dry and will absorb the product faster (knees, elbows, heels). Apply the self-tanner using gloves, or a sponge brush if it's a liquid. For your back, it's better if you have someone apply it for you, but if you're solo, Conroy says to use a spray tan and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Put some paper towels underneath you (so you don't stain the floor) and then start spritzing. It may require some reaching (hope you've been doing yoga!), but it should do the trick.

Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen, $8.49, available at Drugstore.com; Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pad For Body With Active Vitamin D, $18, available at Sephora; Philosophy Here Comes The Sun Age-Defense Gradual Glow Self-Tanner For Face, $26, available at Philosophy.

Photos: Courtesy of Jergens, Dr. Dennis Gross, Philosophy
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Long-Lasting Lashes

Long, lush, look-at-me lashes are the ultimate summer accessory — and a huge pain to achieve. Not many women can pull off Jessica Stam's full-on fringe without it melting or smudging off in the heat and humidity. That's why summer is the perfect time to try out lash extensions.

"When you get eyelash extensions, they make your lashes look fuller and longer, like you are wearing a coat of mascara and eyeliner," says Soul Lee, an eyebrow and lash specialist at Kiehl's Spa 1851 in NYC. "Most women tend to wear less makeup in the summer, so by having eyelash extensions and groomed brows, you will look great without doing too much to your face; you look done. Because the lash extensions and glue are black, your natural lashes look fuller and longer and give your eyes definition and lift.”

Eyelash extensions are glued to your natural lashes using a semi-permanent, waterproof glue. After they are applied, you cannot get your lashes wet for 24 hours. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as this will cause the lashes to pull off. Instead, when you wash your face, pat your eyes dry with a towel or your hands. When removing makeup, be sure to use an oil-free makeup remover and a cotton swab. Because the lashes are so long, they can get tangled, so Lee says it's important to comb through them every morning with a spoolie brush to avoid tangles. Lashes so luscious they tangle? That's a problem we don't mind having.

Photo: Everett Collection/ Rex USA
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A good waterproof mascara can do wonders for your summer beauty look — just be sure you choose one with serious staying power.

For those trying to achieve the lush lash look at home, Lee has a few tips. "Always curl lashes with an eyelash curler before putting on mascara. If you have short lashes, a lash primer is a good option to add volume before applying mascara. I also love using individual false eye lashes to enhance the outer corners of the eyes when going out at night. They only last for a day and they're easy to apply with tweezers. You can add three to four lashes on the outer corners, after applying mascara to add volume and lift."

CoverGirl Lashblast Length Waterproof Mascara, $8.29, available at Soap.com; MAC Extended Play Lash, $15, available at MAC; Napoleon Perdis Mesmer-Eyes Waterproof Mascara, $25, available at Ulta.

Photos: Via Soap.com; Courtesy of MAC; Via Nordstrom
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Get Glowing

Most people associate summer skin with freckles and a tan, but for some, the sizzling sun just exacerbates their dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Getting a smooth, even, radiant complexion like Ginnifer Goodwin's can be tricky: Lasers have proven an effective answer to treating fine lines and mild sun damage, but they can cause the skin to be extra-sensitive to the sun. Fortunately, there are new treatments on the market, like the Clear + Brilliant, which address these needs without putting skin at risk.

"Clear and Brilliant is a milder fractionated treatment that causes less redness and inflammation in the skin than stronger treatments, such as the Fraxel, says Dr. Anne Chapas, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York. "The more inflammation, the more cautious someone needs to be exposing the skin to the sun after treatment. Clear and Brilliant is a much safer treatment than more aggressive treatments and can be performed even in the hottest months."

Photo: David Crotty/patrickmcmullan.com
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To combat dark spots and unevenness at home, invest in masks, peels, serums, and targeted spot treatments to help dissolve away the excess melanin.

Vitamins and enzymes are great for brightening, and, according to Dr. Chapas, retinol is highly effective in erasing dark spots. Just be sure to use your brightening products at night and to wear at least an SPF 30 daily — many of these glow-restoring creams will make your skin sensitive to the sun and you will absolutely be more prone to burning.

M-61 Fast Blast 2-Minute Vitamin C Facial Mask, $50, available at Bluemercury; Nia24 Rapid Depigmentation Serum, $75, available at Nia24; Radical Skincare Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads, $80, available at Barneys.

Photos: Courtesy of M-61, Nia24, Barneys
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Brighten Up

While the sun naturally brightens up your locks, sometimes it's nice to give them a little bit of extra help. Just look at how flattering a warmed-up mane looks on Jessica Chastain! "Brightening your hair is essential for the summer because it gives you a sunny, healthy glow and refreshes your look for the season," says Marie Robinson, Clairol Color Director. "In the summertime, your complexion is bound to be a shade or two darker and you’re likely wearing brighter colors, so it's always great to ensure your hair color complements your tan and summer clothes."

But don't confuse brightening with going blonde — there are ways to warm up every hair hue that look natural and flattering. Marcy Cona, Clairol Global Creative Director of Salon Inspired Brands, recommends that redheads add some strawberry or golden red to their naturally warm hair with an all-over single process color. Brunettes should opt for a shade that's one to two shades lighter than their current color. Highlights are a blonde's best friend in the summer months, says Cona.

To make sure you get the look you want and don't end up with blonde streaks or a brassy base, Cona says you need to show your stylist what you are trying to achieve. Bring in a photo of the color you want. "From experience, I've learned that there can be a bit of a language barrier between the colorist and the client — the client might use descriptive words that mean something entirely different in the hair color world," advises Cona.

Photo: Rex/Rex USA
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You can achieve a brighter color at home, providing you don't try to go more than two shades lighter than your starting shade. Any lighter than that and you risk going orange or damaging your locks. Cona says it's imperative to consider tones as well as shades — cool/ash tones look better on women with fair skin and light eyes, warm tones are best suited for those with dark or olive skin and dark eyes.

Attempting highlights? Robinson says to pull your hair up into a ponytail (or pigtails if you have super-long or thick hair) and then pull random strands out from your hair line. Use a highlighter kit to paint those strands, plus a few randomly pulled ones from your midsections, and the ponytail as well. This will give you a natural, not stripe-y, effect.

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam, $7.99, available at Drugstore.com; Rita Hazan Foaming Color Gloss, $26, available at Sephora.

Photos: Courtesy of Clairol; Via Sephora
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Keep Your Cool

We've got to hand it to Mia Wasikowska — she looks fresh and cool in the blistering Cannes sun. Keeping your cool when the temperature soars in the double digits is nigh on impossible, especially if you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from hyperhidrosis — a medical condition that causes heavy perspiration. According to dermatologist Dr. Jeanette Graf, many of the anti-perspirants on the market aren't strong enough to solve this type of sweating problem. "By far the most effective treatment for hyperhidrosis, is Botox injections," says Graf. "It's a simple treatment administered by a dermatologist in-office."

According to Graf, many insurance companies are now covering it, but only after prescription treatments have failed. Each carrier has different rules, so check with your insurance provider to see if they cover the procedure. Results can last for up to six months and side effects can include bruising and, rarely, transient weakness in the upper arm.

Photo: David Fisher/Rex/Rex USA
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If you're just suffering from overheating of the non-clinical kind, the good news is you won't have to resort to Botox to keep yourself feeling fresh.

Stock up on cooling sprays, hydrating facial mists, and long-lasting deodorants to cool off, stay dry, and refresh your look.

Frédéric Fekkai Summer Hair Cooling Shine Mist, $25, available at Neiman Marcus; Secret Outlast Invisible Solid, $4.79, available at Drugstore.com; Josie Maran Rosey Mist Refreshing Rose Water, $24, available at Sephora.

Photos: Courtesy of Frédéric Fekkai, Secret; Via Sephora
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