Sunday, May 24, 2009

Summer's Here! Cool Looks for Hot Days -- Part I

Summer's here! Staying fresh, cools, stylish, and modest in the heat.

Since I live in the mid South, heat and humidity are a part of my life for a good part of the year. I've long had to cope with the effects of humidity on hair, makeup that disappears into skin on a sweltering day, and other heat-related effects on comfort and appearance.

However, this is becoming an even bigger issue for me as 1) I'm battling some health issues, including being in the hot flash years. (I was already experiencing "my own personal summer" in January! and 2) even some fashions which are lovely and modest for those in great health and shape are a bit challenging for me to wear right now.

So, I'm making myself a list of reminders for summer beauty and comfort. If you have any other tips to share with me, please leave your comments:

1. A dress really is one of the coolest garments you can wear, and some of the loveliest and fun-to-wear dresses are in spring and summer fabrics.

2. Cotton and cotton blends really are the coolest fabrics you can wear. Of course, crinkled cotton and some cotton blends don't require ironing. But, to look your freshest in hot weather, while keeping your cool at the same time, you really do have to do some ironing. Sigh!

3. If your hair is long, wearing it up -- off of your neck -- really does keep you cooler. There are lots of quick and lovely summer updo's you can try. If you have hair with a little wave in it, like mine, you can scrunch it and let it air dry before putting it up.

4) Black is really not your best friend in summer, though it is otherwise one of the easiest neutrals to work with. Dark colors, such as black, absorb heat, while lighter colors reflect heat and are thus cooler to wear.

5) We all love to wear white in summer. However, not every one can carry off pure, stark white. One of my favorite summer outfits is a white embroidered top with white capri pants. However, I have to add color around my face to make it work. There is a white that is perfect for your skintone, however. For example, your best white might be "winter white" or soft white, oyster, cream, ivory, or ecru.

6) I learned by accident that using a small freezer pack (Peas is one name brand) on the neck can stop hot flashes and make a stuffy, overheated room bearable. I was really using it for a neck problem, but I discovered that it also works well for mid-life flashes.

7) Check whites to make sure that they are not too sheer, and be sure you have the right underthings to wear with white.

8) The key is to let your skin breathe. Wear only natural fibers -- such as cotton and silk -- in your underthings. Don't cross your legs at the knees. Keep knees lightly together, but cross your legs at ankles. Again, a dress allows air to circulate better than most other garments. Switch to lighter cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup. Try a powder spray on sunscreen. When it comes to facial powder, use only a light dusting down the T-zone of your face.

9) In hot and humid weather, your face will glisten. Piling on more powder or makeup will not change that. So, go for a dewy, feminine, light and natural look. Use concealer to cover imperfections; use a light blush; a flick of mascara; and some tinted lip balm for a natural summer look. Don't be afraid to splash cold water on your face and re-fresh your look during the day.

10) Some perfumes and scented products have a fragrance that is too heavy and cloying for hot weather. Switch to a lighter fragrance for the hot months. If you keep a bottle of perfume or cologne in the fridge and spray it on, you'll feel cooler -- at least temporarily.

Enjoy!

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