Beauty Fix: How to add volume to thin hair in hot weather, why you should embrace your shiny skin and a surefire way to avoid breakouts when you apply sunscreen

Just as you’ve mastered the art of keeping your dry skin healthy during the winter, summer temperatures come along and turn everything upside down. Humidity wreaks havoc on hair, makeup doesn’t want to stay in place and styling even a simple ponytail can make you break a sweat in an AC-less apartment. Well, Beauty Fix is here to help you keep your cool: from sunscreen that won’t cause a breakout to simple, heat tool–less hairstyles, we have all the answers.

Read on to get your fix! »

In need of a beauty fix? Email us at beautyfix@fashionmagazine.com.


The only reason I don’t wear sunscreen on my face is because it makes me break out. Can I protect myself and stay pimple-free?
I’m coming across this same problem on a regular basis these days. Just last week I was at dinner with a friend when she asked me why I don’t have any wrinkles yet—I’m 30 and it’s common to have developed a few fine lines by now. My reply was that it was partially due to good genetics and partially due to my rigid protection from sun damage. When I asked her why she doesn’t wear sunscreen if she’s so worried about wrinkles, my friend said she’d prefer them over pimples, which she believed she had developed by wearing SPF on her face. Now, I realize sunscreen isn’t solely intended for preventing wrinkles—it’s mainly for protection from the sun, but of course the two are inextricably linked. So how did pimples get involved? Probably because past product technology wasn’t as great as it is now: sunscreen used to be greasier, more pore-cloggy, and prone to leaving white-streaks behind. Honestly, SPF technology has come so far since the early days. Take Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer SPF 30 ($64, at select spas and salons) for example. It’s a primer-slash-moisturizer with a silicon element that manages moisture from penetrating the skin’s surface, which should help prevent pimples. It also has a neutral tint with thousands of little pigments to blend into any skin tone, no matter your shade. With no fragrance or dyes added, the SPF 30 is just icing on the cake.


I’m looking for a new scent to soften my vibe; my winter perfume is too sultry for summer. Have any suggestions?
Get this: not only do you want to change you perfume with the seasons, you sort of have to. Your body chemistry totally changes in the summer—you sweat more, you’re outside more often, you wear different fabrics, and you shower more frequently—and can totally alter the status of your scent. Fragrance designers often come out with summer versions of their wintertime scents to suit our summery lifestyles, but I like the idea of applying fragrance as a cream or oil, opposed to a traditional spritz, to ensure it stays on for longer. By applying a fragrance oil like Yves Rocher Pearly Water ($10, yvesrocher.ca, available in July), which smells sweet and salty like the beach, I’m guaranteeing that the scent is massaged in well so it can stay all day. The added benefit is that the shimmering texture totally flatters my skin, helping to enhance my rippling muscles in the sun. Just kidding! I don’t have bulging biceps, but the part about oil making skin look nice is totally true.


Some people get frizzy hair in humidity, but I get nothing but limpness. Are there products to solve this problem?
Curly-haired girls have trouble controlling their hair in the heat, while fine-haired girls have an impossible time feeding volume into strands that just hate the summer. The causation is completely opposite too: curls can’t retain moisture, while flat hair holds onto all of it. The result is hair that falls flat, especially if it’s characteristically straight and limp, and even more so if it’s weighed down by heavy product. The best thing you can do is minimize the amount of product you use on your hair, to leave the strands as light as possible. Try a clarifying shampoo like Rahua Voluminous Shampoo ($37, saffronrouge.com), which uses oil to cleanse and nourish your hair, and ungurahua oil, specifically, to strengthen follicles so they lift at the root. Skip the conditioner altogether, unless it’s clarifying as well, and use only a touch of styling product on the ends for control, but not at the roots where it’ll add weight.

With no air conditioning in my apartment, it’s way too hot to style my hair with heat! How can I create a style without it?
Sometimes our natural habitats make it impossible to maintain a blowout. I know my morning trip on transit, sans AC, calls for either a short crop cut or a pony and nothing in between. But I’ve recently become obsessed with finding a style solution before the sweltering heat returns, as I refuse to spend another summer with a lousy look. So far I’ve determined that the wet, slicked-back styles we saw on the runway for spring won’t translate well to my real office life, but that a beachy texture is totally do-able, as long as my hair doesn’t feel or look like straw. My wish has been granted by Osis Style Shifters ($24, at salons), which are little brightly-coloured purse-sized products that texturize your hair and have neither a shiny nor matte finish—it just looks like your natural hair. They serve up style without requiring any perfection, which, really, is perfect. The blue one, called “Style Shifter 3” offers the most texture—apply it to damp hair and leave it be for that “I just surfed, I swear” look.


What can I do about my shiny face in the summer? It’s not a cute look, I’m sure.
Well, sometimes a shiny face is cute. Actually, chic. Like I noted last week, dewy skin is often equated with wealth, or ladies who can afford regular facials, like Heidi Klum and Natalie Portman. Perhaps these ladies, in particular, don’t stay out too late on Saturdays, or drink three cups of coffee daily (caffeine can be dehydrating and clog your pores) but I can assure you they most definitely sweat. Personally, I don’t see the point in trying to cover a shiny complexion—it only makes makeup look more obvious. Why not work with your skin’s character instead? If it gets shinier in the summer, so what? We can work with it! Last weekend, for a wedding on a very hot afternoon I prepped the bridesmaids’ and the bride’s face with Pixi Beauty Flawless Beauty Primer ($31, ebeauty.ca) and skipped the foundation, opting for little amounts of concealer instead. Because the primer has truffle extracts (fancy, huh?) to neutralize moisture, and little pearl extracts to reflect light as it hits your face, the result is a complexion that glows, not shines. One of the oldest tricks in the book for concealing a shiny face is to apply powder, but the finish is cake-y and unflattering, unlike a moderately shiny face, which assists your cheekbones in catching light when you smile. Now that’s cute.