How to: Get Summer Pretty

Now that the weather’s finally heating up, it’s time to start showing some skin. If you’re like me, and still haven’t fully crossed over into full-blown summer mode (I haven’t even tried on one dress, and they’re one of my season staples), now is probably the time to start head-to-toe prepping for those long, lazy days. Even if you don’t step foot on a beach this year, the trick is to look like you basically live there.

Here are some tips to help update your look and infuse a sunnier, beachier vibe (a perfect match for both the dressier and more casual pieces of your summer shopping hauls):

GET GLOWING: Everyone knows how damaging the sun’s rays are, and that enough time spent basking in them without proper protection can lead to skin cancer (not to mention wrinkles). So, if you want to take care of yourself, sunbathing and trips to the tanning salon are out of the question when it comes to capturing that enviable summer glow.

Look sun-kissed, without the sun.

That leaves you with these alternatives:

a) you can leave your natural skin tone untouched, befriend an amazing moisturizer, use subtle shimmer-enhancing lotions and those of the firming variety and add colour to your face via bronzing powders and lotions.

b) you can opt to perfect the faux tan: there are plenty of different sunless tanning lotions and sprays you can pick up in drugstores and salons, or, you can brave the salon spray tan. If you are going the DIY route, I recommend L’Oréal if you’re on a budget, or VICHY on the higher end (if you’re really and truly up to all the prep and maintainance a long-lasting faux tan demands).

No matter what you choose to do, you should keep yourself hydrated, and practice daily (yes, DAILY) use of sunscreen–no matter the weather. I recommend both Neutrogena, and Aveeno for body, and for face.

Also try relaxing your make-up routine a little in the warmer months, especially during the day. If you opt to go bronze, you’ll need less and even if you do choose to wear a lot, it will probably just end up melting off (ew).

Beach-inspired hair is so summer.

MAKE WAVES: No other hairstyle screams summer like beach-inspired, wavy tresses. For those lucky enough to have been born with a little natural texture, this look is easy to pull off: just air-dry, and go. For everyone else, it takes a little work. Whether you use a texturizing spray (try beauty editor favourite Bumble and Bumble surf spray), simply curl the ends and pull your fingers through to blend (my personal fallback), or wrap sections around your flat iron, looking slightly undone in the summer is undeniably fitting, if not a little sexy (The Victoria’s Secret stylists know this). To completely nail this sultry look, keep the crown smooth, and make sure any movement starts below your ears.

Adding natural looking highlights is another hot summer hair trend. Beyond making it look like you just came back from months upon months spent lounging in paradise, subtle highlights around your face also help to soften and brighten up your overall look. Just make sure you stick to a shade that compliments your base (that way grow-out is not so blaring), and switch to a shampoo for colour-treated hair (avoid clarifying at all costs, it will strip your colour/toner). You may also want to pick up hair products that include sunscreen to protect your colour from fading or going brassy.

Add some pop to your finger and toes.

THE CHERRY ON TOP: With hair and skin covered, you can’t forget the little things, like hands and feet. Summer is the perfect time, if any, to experiment with bright bursts of colour. & when it comes to manicures and pedicures, even the most reserved can have fun with temporary flashes of bold corals, pinks, blues and oranges showcased gorgeously on the tips of fingers and toes. Alternatively, you can also opt to futher accentuate your faux tan with light, breezy neutrals and pastels. Nothing compliments bronzed skin like washed-out seashell biege.

My tried and true favourite nail polish brands: OPI and Essie. Both offer a huge variety of colours and finishes, covering your most basic needs to the most courageous, and anywhere in between.

To get more wear out of your main/pedi, remember to apply a top coat to help stave off the dreaded second-day chipping (never pretty, and beyond aggravating).


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About Melissa Hayes

Melissa is a freelance journalist, beauty/style blogger and ongoing contributor to and She graduated with honours from Humber College's Journalism - Print & Broadcast program in December 2010, and currently lives in Toronto.

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