Hear Me Out: Humidity Can Be Your Friend

003_Gabrielle_1Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.
"It's not the heat I can't deal with; it's the humidity," says everyone who lives in New York City. Humidity, it seems, has a really bad reputation. Each summer, as the humidity index rises, women can be heard cursing their oilier skin, frizzier hair, and sweatier pits.
I, however, happen to love humid weather. I realize I might be in the minority here; humidity is not necessarily the most comfortable thing to be in. But, honestly? I feel the most comfortable with how I look once the air becomes heavy with the threat of an inconvenient summer thunderstorm.
You know how when you steam your face, you get that super-glowy, damp look? That's kind of how everyone looks in extreme humidity. The problem is that we try to fight it — by using matte-finish foundation and powder and primer and whatever other miracle product we're told will make us look fresh and cool. Humid skin, though, doesn't want to be covered up. It wants to sweat off anything we put on it. It wants to make foundation a cake-y mess and blush look like a sad joke.
So, instead of trying to fight the inevitable, I find that just going with it yields much more attractive results. I use a liquid, tinted moisturizer with SPF — it has a "radiant finish," rather than matte, so it already kind of makes me look a little dewy (it's Eve Lom, if you're wondering). That damp finish is fine with me. As for blush? I do that in liquid form, too; it's all going to end up liquid, anyway, once I start sweating.
And, sorry-not-sorry for this over-share, but in hot, humid weather, my sebaceous filaments (those things that look like blackheads on your nose) literally wiggle out of my face. Obviously, pores don't actually open in heat, but they do loosen, making the gunk in my face free to escape. So, while sticky weather can make a lot of people feel like they're breaking out, for me, as long as I don't weigh my pores down with extra product, the humidity actually allows my face to clear up a bit.
The other inevitable effects of humidity are frizz and volume. But, many of us spend the colder months trying to recreate that voluminous, wavy, and, yes, frizzy style. It's a look that pretty much always appears on the runways and in editorials — so why do we resent it once it happens naturally? I love how people look with big hair, and frizzy baby-hairs are the icing on the cake. When it's not humid, I backcomb my hair with my fingers until frizz is created. The more texture, the better.
So, rather than fighting the frizz and the sweat, I like to focus my energies elsewhere — like on a bold, long-lasting lipstick and waterproof mascara. Sure, I'll look sweaty. But, it's summer. We're all sweaty; might as well go with it. Before you know it, we'll be trudging through the snow, wishing we felt warm again.


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