Beat the Summer Gross

If you live in the New York City area, you’ve been either sweating your butt off for the past couple of weeks, or adding money to your electric bill by cranking the AC day and night. Earlier this month records were broken from Central Park to La Guardia Airport. Just this past weekend more heat records were set across the area, and we still have another 2 weeks of July. Even when records aren’t being broken, the temperature has been sitting at an average of 90 degrees each day, so it’s hard not to feel like this:

Maybe you’re one of those people who thrive in the heat, who soak up the suns rays with pleasure and feel invigorated by the sweat—if that’s you, I’m in total awe.

If you see a girl looking sweaty, angry, tired, sunglasses slipping down her nose, a halo of frizz around her head, blisters on her feet, and using her skirt as a means to fan herself, well that’s probably me. I was not made for the heat, I am of hearty eastern European and Irish stock, I flourish in winter and was born in December, heat and humidity have always felt foreign and unbearable to me.

What drives me nuts about the heat is that you can’t escape it, the air just bears down on you. When you’re cold you can add on more layers, drink hot tea, start a fire, snuggle up with a buddy, do some vigorous exercise—you have some (usually inexpensive) options besides turning up the thermostat. When it’s nearly 100 degrees outside and the air is wet with humidity, all you can do is turn on the AC, or bathe yourself in cold water.

What’s worse is dealing with the back and forth between superficially freezing places like office buildings or supermarkets and the baking heat of the outdoors, it makes you nauseous. Then you have the constant worry of bringing a sweater wherever you go, and having to carry it around since it won’t fit in your bag—and maybe you should just bring a bigger bag, ugh, frustrating.

I recently read in a magazine (I have no idea which one, I can’t keep them straight at this point) that around 75% of women feel more beautiful in the summer, I found that sort of shocking. I guess it makes sense when you think about it, people work out more because you end up showing off your body more, and if you tan then you feel better about yourself too. For me though, the summer means frizzy hair, shiny skin, visible sweat stains and eww—chafing.

Chafing is gross, and while it’s stigmatized as something that only happens if you’re overweight, it can happen to anyone at anytime. It occurs from sweating and rubbing and it can happen anywhere on your body. It can even happen on your feet when you’re wearing cute new sandals and decide that even though you haven’t broken them in, it will probably be OK to walk around the city in them all day—big mistake.

The summer makes me long for socks, and boots, and comfy sweaters, but come February it will be a different story. Anyway, it’s hard enough to bear the dumbing heat, but trying to look attractive on top of it—who even cares? Unfortunately there are also a lot of events in the summer; parties, BBQs, weddings, and when you attend these events you want to feel you’re looking your best. So, I’ve put together a list of a some products that help keep me feeling human when I can’t sit around the house in my underwear with the fan blowing on me.

If you’re going to wear make-up in the summer, you have to be prepared for it to slide off your face, so what I suggest is a tinted moisturizer with SPF because it’s very light and gives you sun protection too. Now the problem for me is that I’m incredibly pale, so even the “fair” shade in most tinted moisturizers is too orange for me. I don’t think I’m alone here, a lot of these products only come in 1-3 shades and people come in a lot more shades than that. Laura Mercier makes this one in a variety of shades, it has a nice light coverage, but is a bit pricey, there is also an oil free version available.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $42 for 1.5 oz.

I like to make my own tinted moisturizer by using my normal moisturizer and mixing it with concealer. This way you have control over how light you want your coverage to be, and it’s much cheaper. You can just mix it together on your hand and then apply it, or you can get fancy and actually mix it up in a container, just make sure it’s well sealed.

M.A.C Studio finish SPF 35 concealer, $16.50

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, Fragrance Free, $11.49 for 4 fl oz

I’ve spoken before about my love of powder, specifically Lush dusting powders, but they’re $11.95 for 3.5 oz and in the summer I go through powder fast. I always keep this Johnson & Johnson powder on hand because it’s inexpensive and with the lavender and chamomile scent you won’t have to smell like a baby either.  If you dust yourself with this stuff after a shower you will stay smelling sweet and you’ll minimize sweat too!

Johnson’s Baby Baby Powder, Lavender & Chamomile, $5.49 for 22 oz.

Frizz is the enemy. During the summer months it can be completely unavoidable, but I’ve found that if I use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and then while my hair is wet I work in an anti-frizz finishing creme, I manage to keep the poof under control. I also give my hair a blast of ice-cold water right before I jump out of the shower, it’s supposed to seal the cuticles and increase shine or something, also the cold water feels invigorating when it’s this hot out. I’ve also decided that the Fekkai glossing conditioner is worth the hefty price tag, because it really works. I’m still on a quest to find a conditioner that works as well for less money. That all sounds complicated, but avoiding frizz is a battle people!

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme, $5.99 for 4 oz.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, $35 for 16 oz

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner, $35 for 16 oz

Nexxus Humectress Luxe Ultimate Moisturizing Leave-In Spray, $11.49 for 5.1 fl. oz.

Remember when I mentioned chafing? Yeah, it happens whether you want to admit it or not, and Aquaphor ointment is a great way to sooth yourself after you’ve fallen victim to the rub. I love this stuff, it is great for chapped skin in the winter, chafed skin in the summer, burns, small cuts, even bug bites.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment $5.99 for 1.75 oz.

This one is more for after you’ve been in the heat and you’ve forgotten your sunscreen and are now suffering from a painful and unattractive sunburn. When you get home from the beach or a walk in the park and notice that your skin is turning a brighter and brighter shade of pink each moment, you’ll be very glad you bought some aloe gel and put it in your fridge. My mom always kept a bottle in our fridge year round, and it remains to be one of the most comforting things for a bad sunburn, you can also just put it on if you’re really hot, anything helps right?

Up & Up Green Aloe Gel, $3.49 for 16 oz.

Lastly, but most importantly—put your hair up! Seriously, this seems like a no brainer, but when I see girls with their long hair sticking to the back of their necks, it instantly makes me feel hotter. I think sometimes we’re willing to sweat our butts off and be miserable to avoid ponytail bumps in our hair. But for real, this instantly cools you down, unless you’re lucky and can sport a cute short hair cut, then you have us all beat!

Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics, $2.99 for 14 pieces

I’d love to hear what other tips people have for managing to feel human when you really just want to seek out the nearest air conditioner. Please give me more tips, I need them!!

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24 Comments

Filed under cosmetics, hair, shopping

24 responses to “Beat the Summer Gross

  1. we totally use the same products. I use that MAC concealer as my face makeup (no foundation), and I also use Aquaphor for everything ever as well as goody ouchless elastics 🙂

    I have been using Josie Maran SPF 40 with argan oil before I put a face primer on. it’s nice + light + smells like watermelons(?)!

    • Justine

      I love MAC concealer, I got hooked on it when I worked there, and I’ve never found another concealer that works as well, and it’s all you need—it has to be the one in the pot though, the others aren’t as good! Aquaphor is a miracle product too. I haven’t tried any Josie Maran stuff yet, I’m always skeptical about celebrity brands, but I’ll have to check it out!

  2. Kristen

    As a January baby, I’m not built for this heat and humidity either. I don’t have any tips. I’m miserable.

    • Justine

      I know Kristen, it’s so awful. I wonder if summer babies can handle it better? Try to stay cool, hopefully it will break soon!

  3. As I write this I have a huge pimple in the center of my forehead between my eyes like a bindi. I am convinced it’s the result of sunburn I had last week all over my face and profuse sweating. I always carry a fan! It’s essential. I need tips for on the spot facial cleansing!

    • Justine

      Oh no! Get yourself an extractor loop and go to town on that thing! Don’t squeeze it yourself or it will get angry and cause more. I hate sweat, and it totally causes pimples, also get a cream with salicylic acid. Toothpaste will help dry it out too. if worse comes to worst, get yourself a bindi and start a new trend!! You can pull it off John!

      I need to copy you and get myself a fan, it looks good and it’s functional too!

  4. haren

    We could all move to Scandinavia or Northern Canada but that will be real depressing in December when the days are five minutes long.

  5. sara

    putting aloe in the fridge is a genius idea!

  6. lizzy

    CHUB RUB! what a bitch! fyi, it happens to boys too. i’m not ashamed to admit i suffer from time to time.
    hmmm, i think my hot weather survival tip (being that i live in southwest florida and work at an outdoor restaurant and all) would be to not wear jeans ever, and when it gets really hot don’t even wear shorts, just wear the thinnest, most flowy skirt you can get away with. i feel that eliminates the chub rub. also, this is the shampoo and conditioner i use now http://www.beauty-mart.com/category/shop_by_brand.marcia_teixeira_/ (after getting the brazilian treatment) and i swear its made my hair stronger and less frizzy.

    • Justine

      I don’t even bother with jeans in the summer, unless they’re super lightweight, it’s just not worth it. I hate chub rub, it’s nice to know that guys get it too! Ohh, I have to check out that shampoo—looks good!

      • Gurl! AMEN on the Chub Rub, mmmmkay. I will tell you this though: FOR BOYZ the non-jean option is hard to do. ESP if you follow the Trinny/Susannah motto of “Shorts are only for the beach”. What happens to most of us is a mild case of folliculitis on your thighs. It’s not cool. I try to swap over to a light linen trouser at that point. I might just break down and do the flowy skirt and say it’s a kilt.

  7. i love your description of yourself. sounds a little like me right now…..

  8. Megan

    Poor little fried egg! Fall will be here before you know it.

    Another way to beat the heat is to never leave your air conditioned office. This strategy has other drawbacks though…

  9. Lucy

    Bodyglide is brilliant stuff. It’s anti-chafe cream in a stick, like solid deodorant. Put it on wherever you think is going to chafe – and it doesn’t. I discovered it a couple of years ago and I wouldn’t want to go through summer without it.

  10. oliveit

    Aloe in the fridge- Genius!! I’m totally doing this!

  11. Can you drink chilled aloe? That sounds good.

    Yesterday I ran to catch my train and I was pouring sweat for about 25 minutes. I think it was the worst public sweat I have ever had. It wouldn’t stop! It was science fiction bad.

  12. Wilberthe

    I was born in February…but I’m totally miserable in the wintertime. Summer is when I feel my best, sweat, frizzy hair and all!
    But wearing foundation in 90 degree weather sucks, and I will definitely try out the tinted moisturizer idea. I’ve never heard of the stuff before but just the name sounds lighter and more comfortable than sweaty foundation…

    • Justine

      Wearing foundation in the heat is just awful and eventually pointless once you sweat it off! Definitely give the tinted moisturizer a try, your skin will thank you!

  13. Mary

    It’s too darn hot. My hair’s been a pony for weeks. Just remember, July is hotter than August, so maybe it will getter cooler soon. You know, like, the low 90s.

    • Justine

      Haha, I keep praying for a day when it’s 80, or even 85, I think I’ve forgotten what cool breezes feel like! Ponytails are a necessity in this heat, hope you’re keeping cool! xoxox

  14. Pingback: Fight Winter Dryness | beauty dart

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