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15 Summer Beauty Hacks to Keep You Looking Fresh (With Minimal Effort)

Melted makeup, parched strands, sticky thighs – what’s not to love about summer, right? Cool down with these simple tricks that will help you look fresh and pulled together.

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Lazy summer beauty

Carefree, effortless, flawless: These are the words we’d like to use to when it comes to describing our summer beauty routine. In real life, it’s more like sweaty, flat and flustered. But, thanks to these summer beauty hacks and multi-tasking products, summer living just got a whole lot easier.

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Minimize cellulite – no gym required

One of the first to introduce caffeine in its formulas, Elancyl Slim Design ($60 at Shopper’s Drug Mart) has a time-release formula that works to smooth and firm the skin. Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer ($13 at mass merchandisers) is also a cult classic and this year, tweaked its formula to include black tea (for improved colour).

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Tint your eyelashes

An in-salon eyelash tint will allow you to forgo the mascara for up to 4-6 weeks. Or, try Rimmel London Volume Colourist Mascara ($11 at mass merchandisers), which gradually tints your natural lashes. Expect results after roughly two weeks of use.

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Wash your hair less, not more

Humid days might send you running for a cold shower, but resist the urge to wash your hair daily-you’ll only dry it out. Instead, use dry shampoo to freshen your strands and soak up excess oil in between washes. Try Cake Tinted Dry Shampoo Powder Brush in Light, Medium or Dark ($22 at cakebeauty.com and Murale) for easy root touch-ups or Batiste Dry Shampoo-Ella Henderson ($9 at Shopper’s Drug Mart and Walmart), with soft scents of vanilla, coconut, sandalwood and musk.

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Prevent chafing

Unless you have thighs like a certain Brazilian supermodel who shall remain nameless, you know this struggle. Bodyglide Anti-Chafing Balm For Her ($11 at sportchek.ca) comes in a convenient stick format. It’s ideal for rubbing from sports bras, or between your thighs.

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Sunscreen you won’t mind wearing

Even on a cloudy day, up to 40 percent of the sun’s UV rays will still reach earth. Sunscreen haters won’t be able to resist Coppertone ClearlySheer SPF 30 ($10 at mass merchandisers) for its ultra-light formula and clean-skin feel. Try La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Anti-Aging Primer SPF 50 ($39 at mass merchandisers) for sun protection and complexion coverage, as well as anti-aging benefits. Avéne High Protection Tinted Compact SPF50 ($34.50 at drugstores) is perfect for reapplying at the office.

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Opt for a cool application

Stash your moisturizer in the fridge for a refreshing and cool application. Try Philosophy Take a Deep Breath Oil-Free Oxygenating Gel Cream ($49 at Sephora).

Combined with a smile, a rosy blush is all you need to look fresh and youthful in the summer. Try The Face Shop Hydro Cushion Blush ($15 at The Face Shop) for a wash of lively colour. Plus, the sponge applicator and liquid formula are slightly cooling.

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Buy pre-cut cold wax strips

Put the hairdryer away and forget about warming or rubbing these wax strips. Nair Wax Ready Strips for Legs and Body ($17) and Face and Bikini ($13 at mass merchandisers) are made with cold wax technology for an easy to use and easy to clean-up solution. The improved formula even works on hairs as short as 2 mm.

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Cut down on styling time

Once or twice a week, swap out your usual shampoo for Joico Color Co+Wash ($23 in salons and at joicocanada.com), a 2-in-1 cleansing and conditioning product for 3x more colour-locking protection. This whipped formula is sulfate-free and lathers into a rich, creamy foam that nourishes dry hair. Plus, you’ll cut down on the time it takes to wash your hair.

Post-wash, spritz hair with Shu Uemura Wonder-Worker ($42 at Sephora, Holt Renfrew and Hudson’s Bay) and allow it to air dry for natural texture and beachy waves.

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Pollution-proof your skin

UV rays aren’t the only things that can cause a war of free radicals. Pollution, especially in dense urban areas, is now proven to be a major cause of skin damage. Some of the particles in pollutants like smog can penetrate the skin, releasing free radicals, which speeds up the signs of aging. Protect your skin with an antioxidant-rich product such as Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defense Barrier-Boosting Essence Oil ($51 USD) followed by Mega-Defense SPF 45 Advanced Daily UV Defender Broad Spectrum SPF 45 ($41 USD at origins.com).

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Swipe away dirt and oil

Need to freshen up on the go? Keep some wipes like Yes To Coconut Cleansing Wipes ($10 for 30, at Shopper’s Drug Mart) handy for a quick clean-up post workout or on a particularly sticky day.

Life Brand Clear Action Oil Absorbing Sheets ($8 at Shopper’s Drug Mart) are great to remove excess oil throughout the day.

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Mind your manicure

While we love a bright pedicure for summer, it’s also a good time to go bare. Keep your cuticles moisturized and healthy with Revlon Essential Cuticle Oil ($7.50 at mass merchandisers) and swipe on Formula X The Fix 5-in-1 Nail Treatment ($19 at Sephora) to brighten nails with an iridescent wash of pink that enhances your natural nail.

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Protect your hair from the elements

Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs protection from the sun’s UV rays. Sun exposure can leave hair dry and damaged, so be sure to protect it with a leave-in treatment. Hask Kalahari Melon Oil Shine Oil ($4 at Walmart) features Colour Shield Complex, which is a UV absorber that helps protect colour-treated hair from damage and fading.

Chlorine can also do a number on your strands, and especially your colour. John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects + Serum ($16 at mass merchandisers) can help seal the hair shaft and prevent it from absorbing chlorinated water.

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Build a gradual (and safe) tan

Vita Liberata Self Tanning Anti Age Serum ($55 at Sephora) is a powerful anti-aging serum that pulls double-duty with its gradual tanning abilities.

For the ultimate lazy girl, St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion Golden Glow ($35 at Shopper’s Drug Mart and Murale) is the product you’ve been looking for. Simply apply to wet skin while you’re in the shower, wait three minutes and then rinse off.

Need a fast fix? NARS Monoï Body Glow ($76 at Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, Holt Renfrew and Murale) nourishes skin while adding a bronzed luster.

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Travelling? Choose all-in-one products

Méreadesso Travel Ease + Kit ($54 at mereadesso.com) comes with two weeks worth of the brand’s popular All-in-One Moisturizer, Face + Neck Cleanser and Beautiful Body Balm-all in resealable sachets. The All-In-One Moisturizer is your day and night moisturizer, eye cream, toner and primer. Basically, it covers all your skin care needs aside from sunscreen.

Graydon Superfood Mask & Scrub ($40 at the thecureapothecary.com) comes pre-portioned is single serve capsules making it easy to travel with. Simply twist open and blend the contents with your favourite creamy cleanser to gently exfoliate skin.

Also worth tossing in your travel tote is Rodial Stem Cell Magic Gel ($75 at Murale). This multi-purpose 10-in-1 hydrator gel can be used as an intensive moisturizer, night mask, makeup primer, and more. Bonus: It helps protect against pollutants and environmental stress.

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Spa at home

One of our favourite staycation ideas is to create an at-home spa. Treat yourself with Ole Henriksen Power Bright ($66 at Sephora), a professional-strength three-step brightening system. A high concentration of vitamin C delivers maximum radiance after just one use-so you can skip the foundation and go makeup free for the rest of the summer.

Related:
How To Do Your Favourite Spa Treatments At Home
Your 4 Best Options for a Fuzz-Free Summer Body
Never Skip the Gym Again: 10 Workout Motivation Hacks