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Beat the Heat: Summer Makeup Tips

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2008

If you're a summer bride, your wedding can literally be a day in the sun. And although the warm weather is glorious, it can also pose a challenge when it comes to looking and feeling your best: Hot temperatures can melt and move makeup and turn complexions shiny, and high humidity can be downright hair-raising. But armed with the right strategy, you will prevail -- and look your prettiest.

On the following pages, top beauty and health experts explain how to prep your face, hair, and body to beat the heat. Enlist just a few of their simple suggestions, and you'll walk down the aisle a blushing bride, instead of a heat-flushed one.


For Your Body
The day before your wedding, cut back on dehydrating alcohol and avoid spicy foods, which can make you flush.

Lighten Up
If you have very dry skin, a hydrating body wash might not be enough to make your skin feel soft and smooth. Instead of a thick body cream, which can cause perspiration, try a fast-absorbing dry oil, such as Huiles & Baumes Gentle Dry Oil ($48, Its mist-on formula is lightweight yet potent.

Shower Smart
On your big day, give yourself two to three hours to get ready. Racing around only raises your body temperature and stress level. In the shower, use a moisturizing cleanser, like Dove Supreme Cream Oil Body Wash ($4, available at drugstores). It deposits rich emollients on skin so that you can skip heavy creams. Then rinse with brisk water. If you start to feel hot later, run your wrists -- which are pulse points -- under cold water for a quick cool-down.

Stay Dry
Dust a moisture-absorbing powder, like Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Cooling Cucumber Melon ($3, available at drugstores), from your bra line to your feet. And use a powerful antiperspirant. Try Secret Clinical Strength ($9, available at drugstores) the night before. Put it on the soles of your feet as well, to avoid slipping out of sandals.

Pour More
Water is key to feeling refreshed. Add a few cucumber slices, which have cooling properties, and keep sipping throughout the day.


For Smooth Hair
Choose a style that gets your hair off your neck -- a soft updo will ensure you're comfortable.

Top Knot
When deciding whether to wear your hair up or down, consider this: Updos stay neater longer, and they really flatter your bone structure and neckline. Equally important, hair left down can feel like you're wearing a scarf in the summer! For a modern look, opt for soft variations on the classic chignon instead of severe or product-shellacked buns. The style shown here is adorned with fabric flowers by Jennifer Behr ($185,

Smooth Moves
Frizz can be a problem on humid days. So avoid alcohol-based gels, which can dry hair, attract moisture, and give strands a fuzzy finish. Instead, apply a smoothing serum to damp hair before drying it. Giannandrea likes L'Oreal Professionnel Texture Gelee Rich ($21, To keep curly hair soft, blow-dry hair and recreate the curls with an iron, which seals hair's cuticle, preventing frizz. Style and set it with spray. Try Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Frizz Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray ($5, available at drugstores). Then blast neck and face with the dryer's cool setting. Avoid touching hair, and stay out of the heat until the last moment.


For a Pretty Face
Your wedding is your day to shine, but not literally. Stay photo-ready with sheer, long-lasting cosmetics that can take the heat without wilting.

Wear Light Layers
To make makeup last -- and stay in place -- layer on cosmetics; use eye shadow primer before brushing on neutral-colored shadows, and apply a cream blush (try Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks, $22,, then top it with a similar shade of a powder. Likewise, line your eyes with pencil first, then go over them with a thin liquid liner. Try L'Oreal Lineur Intense ($9, drugstores). For lips, apply a stain. That way, you'll have some color on even after you've been kissing a lot.

To create flawless-looking skin without piling on heavy makeup, use a foundation brush, which makes it easier to deposit the right amount of product, and Nars Oil-Free Foundation ($40, Use it only where you need it -- like on blemishes or the red areas around your nose and chin. Then finish with a light dusting of Laura Mercier Mineral Powder ($32, right before you head down the aisle.

Go to the Matte
To prevent shine, first apply an oil-absorbing treatment like Biopelle OC Eight Professional Mattifing Gel ($39, If you have very oily skin, consult your doctor about Accutane, which can permanently shrink oil glands.

Comments (8)

  • 7 Jun, 2010

    @corrin86 - are u sure ur not meaning roaccutane, the acne drug?

  • 2 Jun, 2010

    I wish they listed the name of the lip color the model is wearing, I love it! Anyone have any guesses?

  • 29 May, 2010

    I am very surprised they're not mentioning the important fact that make-ups or powders with SPF will reflect in photos and make your face look shiny!

  • 28 May, 2010

    I think it depends where you are in regard to getting Accutane. But these days you can't take it without going on birth control pills. You are monitored the entire time you are on accutane both by a dermatologist and the doctor. Accutante also takes many months to work. There are lots of other choices to try first before going on it so i would go for that : birth control, retin A, differen to name a few.

  • 28 May, 2010

    You cannot get acutane as a prescription unless you've tried at least 3 other acne methods. Prescribed acne methods like clyndamacin, tetracycline, etc. You can't just walk in and get acutane. It's extremely hard on your body and should be taken very seriously. This comment is like saying you should go on chemo because you are hairy. Irresponsible MSW.

  • 28 May, 2010

    Thanks for posting about the Acutane. My brother's oldest son is mentally handicapped and was born with many MANY different medical problems that the doctors attribute to SIL's use of accutane before she was pregnant. Please be careful!

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    Watch the Accutane. It will cause birth defects if you get pregnant while taking it, and doctors say not to get pregnant for at least 2 years after stopping the medication. If you want to start a family sooner than that, I would ask for a different acne or skin medication.

  • 19 Jul, 2008

    thank you ive learned alot from this very streeful day thank you martha for trying to make our day beautiful thanka a million