Make it Last

Summer can wreak some serious havoc on your hair, skin, sandals and swimsuits. Here’s our no-fail guide to keeping everything from your makeup to your crisp white jeans from fading off into the sunset.

See Our Guide

Keep your swimsuit from fading

Sun, sand, chlorine: the perfect storm for wrecking a bathing suit. But if you treat your suit before its big debut, it should make it through the summer swimmingly.

What to Do:

Prep your suit by soaking it in a mixture of vinegar and water (go light on the vinegar--one tablespoon will do) for 30 minutes to prevent the dye from bleeding. Note: This also works with white bathing suits too keep them from yellowing. After each wear, rinse the suit immediately under cold water. Any further washing should be done by hand using a delicate detergent, and definitely don’t wring it out. Instead, roll it in a towel to soak up excess water, then lay it flat to dry (out of direct sunlight) to help prevent stretching and fading.

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Protect Your Strands From UV Rays

Spending the day à la pool is one of the best parts of summer. Shame that it’s also one of the worst for your hair. Between the chlorine, the sun and that balayage you just had done (gorgeous, btw), your locks are basically doomed if you leave them untreated.

What to Do:

Protection starts at the roots, so incorporate a sulfate-free shampoo into your routine, like L’Oréal EverPure Repair & Defend Shampoo. It has antioxidants that fix any previous damage and will protect your hair from future sun-drenched days. After you wash, wrapping your wet mane in a T-shirt to dry will also help minimize frizz.

Clean-Up Your Sandals

After a day of walking in the sticky heat, your sandals may need some TLC. Get rid of grime with an antibacterial or baby wipe, or use a cotton ball doused with rubbing alcohol for dirt that’s really glued on. Next, sprinkle your sandals with baking soda to absorb the inevitable odors.

Got Scuffs?

Window cleaner will wipe any scuffs right off patent leather, and magic erasers work wonders on light-colored leather sandals. Use a vinegar and water solution (equal parts of each) to remove stains from those treated leather lace-ups you splurged on (hint: it’s the same process you used on your leather booties). And if worse comes to worst, take battered sandals to the cobbler at the start of the summer season and then again once August hits.

Maintain Your Mint Condition Manicure

It is possible to keep that manicure looking like it was done yesterday--even if it’s been weeks. Here are the do’s and the don’ts.

The Four Commandments:

Do: Oil your cuticles daily.
Don’t: Use hand sanitizer. The alcohol dries out your nails, making them more likely to break and chip. Washing your hands is obviously A-OK. (Seriously, everyone, suds up.)
Do: File down snags and chips, and then cover them with a really good topcoat.
Don’t: Be afraid to hit up the testers at the drugstore to touch up shades you don’t own. (It’ll be our little secret.)

Prevent Your Sunless Tan From Looking Splotchy

You’re getting ready to perfect your gorgeous summer glow (self-tanner, duh), which you justify as being a contribution to your long-term health (because no UV rays, obviously). It would be a shame to let it fade away when it’s easy to sustain.

What to Do:

Before you apply the self-tanner, prep your skin with an exfoliator (make sure it’s oil-free so that it doesn’t leave a film) and shave your legs (you don’t want the razor to strip the tan). For your first shower as a newly bronzed summer goddess, make it lukewarm so it’s not too harsh on your skin, and remember, no oils. They’ll degrade your tan faster than you can say, “I swear it’s not fake.” Using a lightweight moisturizer frequently is also key, because one of the best ways to ruin the look of a sunless tan is to have dry, scaly skin.

Hold off on the bleach when treating denim

We love bleach as much as the next prone-to-always-spill-red-wine gal, but it can cause some serious damage to white denim. Bleach can cause the denim to take on a yellowish hue, and it can deteriorate the yarn as well.

What to Do:

Instead, use Scotchgard to coat jeans and protect them from future stains. It’ll be the difference between that drop of olive oil wiping off your pants easily or really setting in there, like it normally does whenever you eat pasta…alone…on the sofa. If you’ve already stained a pair, pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into the washing machine and run a cycle without detergent. Then, wash them again with a little soap to neutralize odor.
The most important step: Dry your white jeans on low heat or air-dry them. Higher heat causes the yellowing effect of the alkaline in detergent to set in.

Sweat-Proof Your Foundation

The key to long-lasting foundation is the most commonly skipped step: primer. Seriously, the stuff works. All you need is a pea-sized dot of a lightweight, oil-free formula. Apply it to moisturized skin before putting on your concealer and foundation.

Stop the 2 p.m. Shine:

If you forgot the primer, you can use--wait for it--coffee filters as blotting sheets to soak up the sweat and oil. They work just the same as those pricey drugstore sheets and you probably already have them lying around your home or office.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Leather Tote

If you carry your favorite bag like we carry ours--that is, all the time and everywhere--accidents happen, from grass and grease to ink and wine. Thankfully, a good leather protectant can minimize the harsh stains.

Word to the Wise:

Don’t try to treat stains on your own. A leather specialist knows just how to remove them without ruining the leather or the patina it’s developing.

Avoid a Yellowing White T-Shirt

A basic white tee is a summer afternoon’s best friend--except for that whole unfortunate situation of sweat. Here’s what you need to avoid unsightly yellow sweat stains: A couple of lemons, water, a small glass and a cheapie spray bottle (table salt, is helpful, too).

What to Do:

Squeeze the lemons to fill the glass halfway with juice. Fill the other half with water. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle and give it a good shake. Then, spritz the solution onto the underarms of your tee until the stained area is soaked. Gently rub the liquid into the fabric and the stain will start to lift. (A sprinkle of table salt will help make it easier to scrub?-gently, of course, as to not harm the fabric.) Let the lemon solution soak into the shirt for about an hour, then toss the tee in the washer to properly clean it.

Fix Scratched Sunglasses

Um, this is genius: Baking soda can remove scratches from plastic lenses. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and rub it in a circular motion across the lens using a soft microfiber cloth. Repeat the process for stubborn scratches. This works because it effectively buffs away the scratch.

Need More Elbow Grease?

You can also use ordinary car wax to remove scratches from glass or plastic lenses. Cover each side of the lens with wax, rinse under running water and dry with a clean, soft cloth. With a little buffing (and elbow grease), you should find your glasses are good as new. Beep, beep.