Beat The Heat

30 July, 2009

Here in Seattle, we are having a major heat wave. Every year we get maybe one day that’s in the mid-90’s…we are on day number 6 or 7 of 85+ degree heat, and yesterday topped 100 for the hottest temps in history, at least for Seattle. It gets hotter in the Tri-Cities, but still. And boy, am I wanting some rain! Anyways, with fans being worth their weight in gold, there are still many ways that people like myself who are looking to cool off can do so, relatively inexpensively. Also, I’ll talk about the makeup I am using-or more specifically, not using, in order to look good in this doggone heat.

First up, we have the dilemma of fans. Everyone needs them, every store is sold out of them. However, there are many other places that have them-office supply stores, drugstores, grocery stores, you name it-they all will have fans. If you cannot get one, the easiest thing is to get a spray bottle and mist yourself down. I recommend two sizes-a larger spray bottle, like that of which hairdressers use, for at-home use, and a 2-ounce spray bottle, available at any drugstore or store selling travel goods (I got mine at Storables), for in bed and when out and about. I constantly have to keep it refilled with the freshest water, however that’s no concern of mine. In addition, you need a paper fan. If you are stuck in a hot place, or if you are like me and you rely on the busses to get from point A to point B, you need one of these. Some people on my local bus even had straw fans, and you can bet that when I go to an outdoor concert this weekend I will have one. It’s an easy way to at least get air circulating when an electric fan is not feasible. I recommend either straw or paper, and paper ones can be found at any party supply store. If you don’t have that, a piece of cardboard or thick paper will suffice. Accordion-fold some paper, staple it at the bottom-voila, instant fan. I recommend using thick paper though, as thin paper won’t do enough.If you have access to a beach (ie, you can get to one in less than an hour and a half) go there. And I don’t mean tan-although you can do that earlier. I mean get in the water and stay there! The water on Lake Washington has warmed up, at least in the shallow ends of the swimming areas, so it’s actually pleasant-and when you get in, it feels amazing! If the water is colder (ie Puget Sound) still take a step or two in, although I would avoid those beaches. If you don’t have beach access, there are a few things you can do. If it’s really hot, you can do a Kid in the Can-fill up an empty, clean garbage can with water from the hose and hop in. You can also do the same with a little kiddie pool-and if you don’t have those? A Rubbermaid 55-gallon storage container. If all else fails, just dip your clothes in water, wring them out, and put them back on. It will help cool you off in a jiffy!

Foodwise, I find that I lack an appetite in periods of extreme heat, however you need to eat to keep the energy up. I love my typical Chipotle burrito, with two helpings of black beans and cheese along with lettuce, rice, and fresh tomato salsa. I also like Boca burgers with plenty of veggies-heirloom tomatoes, onions, lettuce-to get some water in that way. Fruit-based ice pops are a good way to go-and you can make your own easily: just mix up a pitcher of juice, add some berries, pour into an ice cube tray or an ice-pop tray (sold at many grocery stores-you just need popsicle sticks and the maker and you are ready to go), and let freeze. It’s not only cost-effective if you love ice pops, but if you’re watching your diet or hate the selection ordinarily available at stores, you can make it your way. Personally, I like pomegranate lemon or raspberry pomegranate pops. Times like this also make me want street food here in Seattle. Not cafe’s, but carts and window-side ordering. There are very few places in Seattle like that-one creperie, one coffee shop, and maybe some places in the U-District. Food that you can grab and go and eat on the street-food designed for portability. Although if they have an air-conditioned cafe, I’ll take that too! The most important thing, though, is to be drinking a lot of water. I can drink 2-3 Nalgenes a day at the beach, and if I am not at the beach I try and get 5 large glasses. Not only does keeping hydrated help you from passing out, but water is good for your skin, it helps flush your system-and for me, it helps reduce the appearance of my notoriously ubiquitous cellulite. (That, and the constant swimming)

Of course, I love my makeup, however with the heat and the fact that I am swimming/getting in the water, I need to have some durable stuff. Urban Decay’s Primer Potion is a very good, very durable base for the eyeshadows, as I used it yesterday with a brighter look and after 10 hours, it was only slightly faded! MAC’s Paints are fairly effective as well, although I suggest priming too. For the lips, I prefer a long-wear lipstick, or one of MAC’s Amplified lipsticks. Show Orchid is a good pick, as the lasting power is amazing. I also like a plain ol’ squeeze-tube gloss, like Sephora’s various different colours. And for the face? Leave it bare. However, the Cream Colour Bases may be a good option if you need something, and Blushcremes aren’t bad, either.

On the fragrance front, days like today are why body splashes/mists/sprays are so essential. You get the cooling sensation of the spray with a light burst of fragrance-and I recommend light fragrances. Avon’s Pomegranate/Mango and Papaya/Kiwi are good ones, and their new Coconut/Lemongrass is definitely not something I have ever smelled before (it’s not a common fragrance combination). If you like an actual perfume, many brands do “summer perfumes” which are alcohol-free, or they are lighter, frothier, and more citrusy, perfect for these balmy summer days.

Finally, we have to talk about bodycare-and I highly recommend a spray sunscreen. You not only get the cooling sensation, but it’s easier to get the back and hard-to-reach areas. I do NOT recommend Hawaiian Tropic’s dry oil spray (in the aerosol can) as it stains clothes and I hate the smell. (sticking to other oils from them) I also do recommend frequent lotion applications, because the heat can dry skin out like crazy! I would go for one of BBW’s Aromatherapy lotions or the VS Beauty Rush lotions, as they are a lighter consistency than the regular BBW ones. Avon’s are also great, as they are fairly lightweight but they sink in. I wouldn’t go for a body cream, though-a lightweight lotion applied a few times a day, and maybe a cream at night, will do wonders.

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