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May 25, 201610:22 AM
Bon Vivant

Design, entertaining and good living with New Orleans Bride and Homes & Lifestyles editor Melanie Warner Spencer

Heating and Cooling

Tips for beating the summer — er, spring — temperatures

Around July of 2015, I offered up a list of tips on how to stay cool and still look good during these face, hair and soul crushing New Orleans summers. It’s only May and we are already shooting toward 90-degree temperatures, so I thought it might be good to revisit and update the list, and offer up a few additional tips.  

 

Watered down

Pretty much every single health and beauty tips article you’ve ever read advises to drink lots of water, so I thought I’d get that out of the way first. Make it cool water though, since that’ll help bring down your body temperature from the inside out. Bonus: Glowing, hydrated skin! Any cold, non-sugary, non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverage will have a similar effect, but make water your No. 1 pick. Place the cold glass, can or bottle against your wrists for a few moments to get a quick cool-down.

 

Hair of the dog days

A helpful hairdresser once told me its important to add lots and lots of moisture into your hair when you live in a place with high humidity. A leave-in conditioner, ultra-moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, coupled with a serum and a weekly mask, seems to be the magic combination for me. I wash and condition with Redken Extreme every other day. The once a week mask I’ve been using lately is Nexxus Humectress Moisture Restoring Masque, about $21. Recently, I picked up a bottle of Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In Hair Cream, which is about $7.99 at the drugstore and am really liking it. My favorite serum is Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid, which is about $28, but it lasts forever, since you only need about a dime-sized amount. I put two or three drops it on the ends of my wet hair after applying the leave-in conditioner and then about two drops on the ends once my hair is dried and styled.

If you have very thin hair, you may not need the leave-in and, or the finishing serum, so experiment and figure out what works for you. Also, I limit hair washing to every other day to allow natural oils to work their magic.

Another technique that has worked for me is keeping layers to a minimum. One or two very long layers at most will add enough weight to my hair to keep it from getting too big and frizzy.

Admittedly, there will be days when no amount of moisture or lack of layers will save you and your hair will look like Rosanne Rosannadanna. On those days, try a braid, messy bun or a hat.

 

Powder keg

Dusting powder may seem outdated, but hear me out. The best create a silky smooth feeling on your skin, making it easier to slide into your clothing, lightly scenting your skin and somehow simultaneously moisturizing and absorbing moisture. Last year, I found a container of dusting powder with a sifter and puff at Lovejoy Day Spa and Shop in Metairie. The Thymes Goldleaf Dusting Powder with Puff is talc-based, contains aloe vera and honey and has a light fragrance combination of jasmine, hyacinth, lily of the valley, oak moss and musk.

Gentlemen readers, my husband Mark recommends Zeasorb Excess Moisture “prevention” powder. It has been a lifesaver when he’s working on a film in 100-degree and up temps and has to run around non-stop for 14 or more hours. We’ve had luck finding it at Rite-Aid and CVS.

 

Protect yourself

Wear sunscreen every, single day. Kiehl’s makes one that doesn’t feel like you have grown fur. This is key, since you don’t want to increase your level of discomfort when you are already hot. 

 

Naturally cool

Natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen are your friends. Airy, breathable, absorbent and light, clothing made with these materials will feel comfortable and look stylish. Seersucker is also a great option.

 

Blot it out

Instead of piling on more powder throughout the day, consider blotting sheets to absorb oil and perspiration and reduce shine. Bobbi Brown sheets come in a handy little leather case for $20. Refills are $10, but I use Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, which are usually about $4 at Target or a drugstore. 

 

I declare

Go to the French Market and buy a hand fan for about $5. I now have two (one was a gift) and keep one in may purse at all times. It’s a handy way to create a breeze and once you feel the effects, you won’t care if you look like Scarlet O’hara, because you’ll feel much cooler.

 

Have a ball!

Proceed directly to your snowball stand of choice and get that ice in your body.

 

If none of that works …

When all else fails, start drinking.  It’s New Orleans, so naturally.

 

 

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Bon Vivant

Design, entertaining and good living with New Orleans Bride and Homes & Lifestyles editor Melanie Warner Spencer

about

Melanie Warner Spencer is a native Kentuckian, but says she got to New Orleans as fast as she could. For more than 16 years, Melanie has covered lifestyle, design and entertainment at various publications, serving as the design columnist at The Austin American-Statesman, a senior staff reporter at the Houston Chronicle and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Houston Brides magazine. Her work also has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post and Reuters in the United States and across the globe. In her spare time, Melanie is an award-winning fine art photographer and has been honored by the Texas Press Association for her editorial photography. She also has been honored by the Press Club of New Orleans for its Excellence in Journalism Awards and is currently serving as a media member of the board of directors. Cooking and eating fabulous food and taking road trips with her spouse of 16 years, fellow writer and filmmaker Mark Patrick Spencer however, is at the top of her list of favorite pastimes. Click here to like Spencer's Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @MelanieSpencer. 

 

You can reach her at melanie@myneworleans.com.

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