A Lifelong Floridian's Advice For Staying Cute In 90% Humidity/Hell

I've had my whole life to learn how to look pretty in hot, gelatinous air. Here are my top tips and product picks.
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Quincey
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I've had my whole life to learn how to look pretty in hot, gelatinous air. Here are my top tips and product picks.

Florida is the butt of most jokes told on the internet. On maps, it is clearly America’s wang. But whatever, haters. As a lifelong Floridian, I’ve got some valuable tips on how to look cute while dealing with the impending summer humidity.

For one thing, resist wiping!

For one thing, resist wiping!

In my beloved Sunshine State, we have two possible forecasts in the summer: hot with 90% humidity, and rain. It’s still hot outside while it rains, by the way.

I deal with this crap in September, too, and sometimes October. Two Halloweens ago, it was in the low 90s during the trick-or-treating hours.

I will say, there are places in America that, to me, are worse in the summer. I’ve been to Houston in August. Good lord, tough Texas ladies! I would not mess with you! St. Louis or Chicago during a heat wave? Save me. At least I can run to a beach for a breeze, and pools are abundant here.

If the last time you read about southern ladies keeping summertime-fresh was in To Kill a Mockingbird, listen up: Ignore Harper Lee’s gorgeous description of women powdering themselves throughout the day until they resembled tea cakes (I mean, read the book, but ignore that beauty advice). Let me help you benefit from my years of primping on soupy Florida days.

Your goals are to:

  • Let your skin breathe with light products.
  • Paint your face with stuff that can stand the heat.
  • Protect your skin without smelling like a laboratory.
  • Keep your hair looking cute.

PROTECTION

I am blessed with good skin, but I work at it. I’ve been religiously applying sunscreen since I was 14. Start now if you haven’t already!

I swear by Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer with SPF 15. Smear it on your chest and shoulders, too; it’s cheap enough that you can apply liberally.

But SPF 15 is low, you say? Yes. That’s why, after lunch, you reapply after a quick swipe of a toner. This technique both wakes and freshens you up--two things that are REALLY important so you can be productive at work through the summer afternoon.

MAKEUP

When I want some coverage while enduring Florida’s solid air mass, I apply some bareMinerals Mineral Veil over my Olay. I’ve tried other mineral makeup and, for me, bareMinerals is the best. The powder formula makes me feel like I’m absorbing some sweatiness if I can’t sit all day with my face in the AC vent like a dog.

Again, reapply after your afternoon toner swipe and you’ll feel fresh.

EYES

As a mostly-real blonde with REALLY blonde eyelashes and naturally sparse eyebrows, I have to wear eye makeup or I resemble some kind of subterranean mole person.

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I love Anastasia's Brow Pen. The only time this ever came off me was when I ran a 5K in 80+ temps; it is unfazed by normal 90-degree activities. It’s a miracle.

Let me just holla at the good folks at Urban Decay for a bit: In 2006 they debuted this genius product called Lingerie & Galoshes. This was a double-sided wand: one side was “Lingerie,” an under-mascara eyelash booster, and the other side was “Galoshes,” a clear formula you swiped over your normal mascara that MADE YOUR FAVORITE MASCARA WATERPROOF! I bought it before my outdoor Florida wedding (a cry-fest, naturally), and I’m pretty sure I ran around Sephora, chanting, with it held over my head like baby Simba. It was that life-changing. THEN IT WAS DISCONTINUED. I’ve been hoarding my last tube for a few years now, but UD needs to bring that stuff back.

I miss you so much!

I miss you so much!

In general, waterproof mascara is the devil. Yeah, I said it. I hate the watery formulas and the tugging that happens when you try to wash it off. If you MUST do waterproof mascara, Maybelline’s Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes. It works great for me. I wore it for the aforementioned 5K and while my eyebrows ran a bit, this stuff stayed put.

As far as eyeliner goes, my trusty Lancome Artliner stays put in the summer heat.

Do you really want to wear eyeshadow? In this heat? OK. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin (shimmery, golden champagne) looks cute on all skin tones and does not budge. It’s too damn hot to bother with anything else! But if you must, put this on first anyway, so your eyeshadow won't budge.

I’m a mom of two young girls. Read: I HAVE DARK CIRCLES AND BAGS. Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer is just that: flipping AH-MAY-ZYNG. Apply a tiiiiny bit with a concealer brush on your inner corners and under-eye area. It doesn’t go anywhere. You need so little of it I think my tube may last me a decade.

LIPS

Look, I’m not the damn makeup police. If you want to wear a dark red lip in late June, screw the haters and do your damn thing. But keep in mind that a heavy lipstick feels awful sliding down your face on a hot morning.

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To get the color without the weight, check out YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains. They're expensive, but they last and last without feeling heavy.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Lip Lacquer is a good drugstore dupe.

The most important thing for your lips, however, is SPF. Have you ever seen skin cancer on lips? Google image search it if you want to, but brace yourself.

To avoid all that, approach your lips like you dealt with the rest of your face: apply and reapply SPF.

My all-time fave for this is the Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soother SPF 20. You can layer it over your red lip and move on with life, or you can wear it on its own.

The best part: it’s COOLING. Yes yes yes! Summer officially starts for me when I leave one of these in my car and put the other in my bag.

Overall, I recommend an inexpensive lip product like this for the summer, because, let’s be real, there is a HUGE chance you will leave your lip stuff in a beach bag where sand will ruin it, or on a car dash where it will melt, or it will roll out of your pocket and get lost on a muddy field while you make out with a guy you just met at Bonnaroo. Girl, I’ve been there.

HAIR

Summer hair is a nightmare! Pity me: I deal with it from at least April to October. I have long, fine hair that hates to be curled but LOVES to frizz. And heating up a flat iron in the summer just sounds awful.

My solution: Living Proof Weightless Styling Spray. It’s kind of tricky in that you can’t use any other products with it that contain silicone, but damn, it’s worth it. Shower, spray it in, air dry 90%, blowdry the last 10% and BAM: minimal frizz.

Unless you are a short-haired lady, at some point in the day you will probably think "F ALL THIS HAIR" and try to get it off your neck as quickly as possible. I use one of those mesh donut things to amp up my sad, tiny bun.

So what if no one sees me with my hair down until November?

So what if no one sees me with my hair down until November?

And when I don’t have that with me I swear by the miracles that are Goody Spin Pins.

Do you have any other summer-tolerating beauty secrets I need to know about?