Show of hands! Who here has felt a little less-than-feminine when temperatures soar to sweltering triple digits? I love summer as much as the next person, but we ladies know it’s tough to feel our freshest during bedraggling doses of heat and humidity.
I adore the advice offered in vintage beauty articles, including a magazine column from 1939 called Fresh as a Daisy the Summer Through. It’s no surprise that women have faced this problem for ages, but it’s interesting to learn how yesterday’s women dealt with the hygiene hazards of summertime.
No use in fooling ourselves or anyone else, it’s a job to maintain that unwilted look on a hot summer day, but a job worth doing after all, the author writes. Not only is it a treat to the beholder to see a woman looking fresh as a daisy when the temperature soars to new highs and the rest of the world has that bedraggled and woebegone appearance that heat and humidity invariably bring in their wake!
In another classic resource, a fashion book by Mary Brooks Picken, I discovered more timeless tidbits for summer beauty. Look about at your neighbors in the homes, the classroom, the office, the club. You can invariably tell the woman who bathes frequently and the one who does not, wrote Picken, who describes cleanliness as the keynote of attractiveness.
Whether wise or wacky, most of the recommendations endure for today’s women. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Shower with tepid water rather than cold water, which tends to overstimulate and may not prove as cooling.
- Wash hair more frequently and style it as simply as possible so it will look well-dressed at all times.
- Go light on rouge, mascara and shadow.
- Cleanse your face frequently and use a skin tonic or astringent afterwards. Nothing is worse for your skin or more untidy looking than caked powder to which more has been added.
- Choose a perfume with a light floral or spicy scent rather than a heavier fragrance, and wear it discreetly. It should have an elusive quality now you catch it and now you don’t.
- Use corn starch as an inexpensive and delightfully refreshing face powder.
How do you stay fresh and cool during the hottest months? What are your best beauty secrets for combating summer swelter?