As the warmer summer months approach, my personality goes less Melanie and more Wicked Witch. I’ve never been to Oz, but I’m thinking the weather there may have resembled our muggy Southern climate. A lot of the Wicked Witch’s shtick can be overlooked as coping mechanisms that we all use to survive summer beauty — she had to wear that pointy hat to control the frizzy mess sitting underneath; her green, warty skin was the result of a corrective mask; and who hasn’t screamed “I’m melting” when the temperature hits 90 degrees?
If summer has you chanting “chlorine, and tanners, and breakouts, oh my!” it’s time to follow our summer beauty advice and skip that witchy look. We spoke with our favorite Atlanta beauty experts to help guide us in getting tame locks and refined skin as gorgeous as Glinda herself. Here’s what they had to say …
For the Hair
When summer approaches, hair can be put through the ringer — dehydrated locks, frizz, oily scalp and chlorine-affected color changes. Though we do recommend throwing on a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin against sun damage, don’t rely on it to hide your unruly coif.
We spoke with Taylor Herbermann-Sellers, team educator for BLEND, a hair-styling product line from Atlanta-based Keune Haircosmetics, for her advice about how to tame tresses and keep hair looking great this summer.
“I’d say all hair types have issues in the summer — lighter and finer hair has the most difficulty staying hydrated in the sun and water, and the moisture is pulled out of coarser, curly hair,” says Taylor. “The biggest thing is to wet your hair down with a protein spray or shower water BEFORE jumping into the pool, so your hair soaks up less [damaging chlorine] — treat it like delicate fabric. My favorite products for protection include a two-phase spray (it’s like a heat shield for your hair), protein spray to keep it strong and satin oil for UVA and UVB protection,” says Taylor. If you forget to pack these products, even soaking your hair in old-fashioned shower water will help prevent the excessive absorption of damaging chemicals.
Another easy way to manage your hair AND stay cool is to chop it off! Choose a shorter summer ‘do to cool off, have a quicker air-dry time and look effortless. Taylor says try diffusing the cut with a salt mist spray and insert waves with a 1-inch curling iron, avoiding the ends (about 1-2 inches from the bottom) to give a more “lived-in look.” She says you can put half of it up in a top knot to get it out of your face. If you refuse to cut your hair, perhaps try a modern take on updos. For example, we’re in love with halo and crown braids — especially with a fishtail.
Summer can be a big sweating mess for your locks, so I’m personally in love with dry shampoos, like BLEND’s Refreshing Spray. The product totally absorbs oil and adds glorious volume without the need for water — a great item to keep around when humidity has your sorry hair looking a bit deflated. If you have any type of natural wave or curl to your hair (which I have been cursed with since birth), make sure to stock your hair care line with de-frizzing creams or serums. These products smooth hair, make it more manageable to brush and leave tresses feeling super soft.
If you don’t have the vacation time or the money to visit the beach, fake it! Bottle that look easily with a sea salt spray that offers beachy texture and volume without the pesky sand and sun damage. Think about it like this: Blake Lively can’t always be at the beach, but her hair sure looks like she has been. That woman must have a serious investment in beach-wave products!
For the Skin
Now that your hair game is on point, it’s time to address the ultimate accessory — your skin! It’s the body’s largest organ, so it’s important that you not only make it look good but that you protect it as well. Right off the bat, sunscreen should be in every purse, backpack, beach bag, picnic basket and just about any other vessel you carry during the summer. It’s THAT important.
We hit up beloved all-natural, Atlanta-based skin care brand Little Barn Apothecary (LBA) to shed some light on what to look out for this summer. LBA cofounders Joshua Morgan and Brad Scoggins say we should focus on “protecting skin from the sun with sunscreen and antioxidants, which have powerful protective qualities. Products should be lighter weight in the spring and summer since there’s more humidity in the air.”
Joshua and Brad continue, saying, “Sunning yourself is just about the worst thing you do to your skin. Every tan, even a slight darkening, is a sign of skin damage.” Chronic sun exposure also causes signs of skin aging, like wrinkles, sagging and drooping, brown spots, uneven tone and, most seriously, cancer.
Besides the sunscreen, try a moisture-rich balm, like LBA’s Matcha + Citrus Hydrating Butter Balm, a multi-tasking balm for lips, cuticles and dry, patchy skin. “Keeping your skin properly hydrated is key, and we love to transition to products that are lightweight and effortless. Our face and body oils provide optimum moisture and give the skin a healthy glow,” the pair agrees. LBA also recommends loading up on antioxidant-rich products and focusing on exfoliation (1-2 times per week) as a key way to nurture skin during the warm summer season. Slough away dull, dry skin with the Coffee + Mint Exfoliating Body Scrub. Bonus? The caffeine from the organic coffee fights cellulite and helps increase skin’s firmness!
If you love natural ingredients, another great brand is Luxe Apothecary. Their gentle Cucumber and Aloe Toning Mist is perfect for the warmer months. It’s an alcohol-free product, which will help to avoid drying out skin, and it combines the astringent properties of citrus fruit while aloe vera helps lock in moisture and offers soothing qualities if you do happen to get too much sun. It’s a refreshing way to feel revitalized and get that dewy look.
Since the heat and humidity can “melt your face,” focus on cosmetics that have you looking and feeling your best all day long. Keep things minimal and natural, with as much coverage as you feel comfortable with.
Invest in a quality, streak-free, self-tanner that you can use to create a lovely golden hue. Disclaimer: Self-tanners come as gels, sprays, lotions, mousses and even towelettes — make sure to follow your brand’s instructions implicitly so you don’t end up looking like a splotchy leopard.
Harness your inner Grecian goddess with a great bronzer that adds a layer of warmth and color. I love NARS’ new Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer line that diffuses imperfections with a light, silky texture. Also, try a light-catching highlighter (liquid or powder) on the bridge of your nose and brow bones to reflect available light for a youthful glow.
Other summer beauty must-haves include waterproof mascara, lip balm and a reliable razor (bumpy razor burn ain’t pretty in a bathing suit).
Just remember — be safe and have fun this summer! And of course, if the vacay gets to be too much, “there’s no place like home … ”
Keep up with us on Instagram. Click here!