The City Girl’s Guide To Looking Good In The Heat

We may be in mid-August, but that doesn't mean the New York City heat has eased up. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that these past few days have taken heat and humidity to peak levels of grossness. We're hot. We're sticky. And while our bodies are pretty much begging us to shack up all day in an air-conditioned office, our hearts just can't let go of the fantasy of hitting the nearest beach (hello, A train to the Rockaways), rooftop pool, or outdoor hotspot. Because as much as we'd like to zone out and cool off, there's just something New Yorkers just can't get enough of when it comes to the magic of summer in the city. But how do you put that fantasy into play when your concealer might be melting and your hair (which you attempted to blow out in the morning) has transformed into a slightly frizzy, slightly wavy, slightly who-knows-what mess in a record five minutes? It's no wonder August in New York gets such a bad rap. It's time to kick the heat to the curb and show off just how easy it is to look good, even when the odds weather is against you.
Skin So where to start? With your foundation: your skin, of course. "The heat and humidity in New York City are a woman's biggest enemy when it comes to her beauty routine in the summer," says New York-based makeup artist Ren Nobuko. "Although it's great to keep your skin fresh and moisturized, it can be hell getting your makeup to stay put. One solution could be to simply not wear as much makeup as you usually do and let summer be the time for your skin to breathe." Throwing on a simple SPF like Avene's Rich Hydrating Cream SPF 20 (which Nobuko recommends applying to your face and neck in the morning) can keep your skin in check (and protected). If going bare-faced makes you uneasy, however, opting for a waterproof primer, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer can help create (and maintain) that ; for those with a more oily than usual complexion, a matte serum can help achieve the same results. Keep your favorite foundation tucked away until the winter months, and instead use a concealer (like Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer) to correct under-eye circles and blemishes. Finish off with a subtle brightening and lifting, courtesy of a contour kit like Tom Ford's "Shade & Illuminate" Sculpter Highlighter and Shader Duet. Even the slightest sculpting (which you can easily accomplish by blending with a duo-fibre brush) will enhance your glow, while making you look — and feel — totally natural.
Eyes Since dewy is in, Nobuko says to take advantage of the summer to achieve dewy eyelids naturally (yes, there might just be a bright side to that sweaty subway ride, after all). "If you have inherently oily skin and/or eyelids, though, be sure to use waterproof mascara [like this one from Dior] to prevent it from running," she notes. "I love a summer smoky eye, too! Simply apply a light-brown shadow [Nobuko is a fan of Tom Ford's Eyeshadow Quad to get some depth] as opposed to the normal black." Skip the eyeliner and instead use just a nice coat of black mascara. Though, if you're a liner addict, try a "super-thin line of Illamasqua's Precision Gel Liner, since it won't run or smudge." The key is to keep things simple and low-maintenance while still achieving optimal results. And when your eyes look this good (with no residue on your lids or under eyes), there's no excuse not to rock your sunglasses a little less.


Just as with your skin, when it comes to keeping your lips looking fresh all summer long, moisture is key, and Nobuku recommends Avene's Cold Cream Lip Balm. As for color? "I love a soft lip stain for the summer," she says, "but in more of a smudgy, tapped-on look rather than the crisp lines that we are all used to." A light, sheer color, like YSL's Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Levres Glossy Stain, can give "a more natural, lip-bitten look" when applied with your fingers.

"It's important to keep your hair hydrated in the summertime," says NYC hairstylist Matthew Tuozzoli. "One of the biggest issues New York women face during the summer months is finding a style that lasts all day in the heat without falling limp." Sure, you may spend hours in the morning devoted to your locks, but without the right products, your look is bound to become victim to New York humidity.
The first step to successful summer hair is, of course, maintenance. With an extreme amount of sun exposure, your locks can easily dry out. "I recommend using a deep conditioner once a week to counteract all the dryness," Tuozzoli says. "I also love a MINU Hair Mask by Davines. It's illuminating and replenishing for colored hair," which is already more susceptible to sun damage. And the only way to combat this damage is by starting from the inside out. It's no surprise, either, that the go-to look this summer is natural-looking beach waves (which can easily transition into fall). They're low-maintenance, look cool, and are practically made for too-hot-to-handle weather. To create the ultimate beachy look, Tuozzoli suggests Phyto Paris' Phytoplage Protective Sun Oil, which "will not only protect your color against harmful UV rays, but also add some much-needed moisture." Simply run it through your ends for a "luxurious finish." Completing the look with something lightweight yet strong, like Oribe's Impérmeable Anti-Humidity Spray (which you can spritz all over), will add another layer of protection from the sun. "Dry, texturizing spray works fast to dissolve any lingering moisture while giving bounce and life back to your hair and leaving no white residue." Don't let "the oppressive subway-platform sauna," as Tuozzoli calls it, get your locks down (literally). Instead, "make sure you are using the right products to protect your effortlessly beautiful hair (because we know you did not #wakeuplikethis)."

One may not think that nail care changes as much as skin or hair maintenance across seasons, but summer-specific activities, like swimming in a pool filled with chlorine, can wear on your mani-pedi. Like the rest of your routine, though, your nails should enhance your natural beauty. "Go with a nice, fleshy-looking, opaque nude color," says manicurist Rachel Shim, who's worked with the likes of Amy Schumer, Brooke Shields, and Diane Krueger. "It really helps to bring out the glow and true color of your skin tone, which is great in the summertime, when most people want to look as tan as possible." A clean, sheer manicure is also the secret to hiding chips, allowing your color to last longer than anticipated. And moisturizing regularly (when the sun is drying out your skin) can also help keep your nails and cuticles in check. Remember, summer may be almost over, but embracing your most natural self never fades.

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