Ebony | 15 Tips to Keep You Sexy

Article by: Janell Hickman
Published: May 14, 2013
Topics: Shobha Tummala, Tips
Photo Credit: Ebony

1.  Select Multitasking Protection
Using SPF year-round is an absolute must—even for us. “It’s so important for people to understand they are susceptible to sun exposure every day of their lives,” says Miami-based Flor Mayoral, M.D. Simplify your routine and protect beautiful brown skin by using an all-in-one product with built-in protection. Mayoral recommends a UV-protecting finishing cream that blurs fine lines, wrinkles and pores for a flawless finish. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream ($24.99; drugstores)

2.  Get Your Glow On
To find your perfect self-tanner shade, celebrity spray tanner Jimmy Coco, who works with the Victoria’s Secret Angels, advises testing shades on an inconspicuous area, such as your inner thigh. “Then wait four to six hours to see which one best suits your skin tone,” he says. Try bronzing spray to add some shimmer to your faux glow. St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Spray ($40; sephora.com); Victoria’s Secret Instant Bronzing Shimmer Dry Oil ($15; victoriassecret.com)

3. School Yourself on Sunscreen
Think you’ll be more protected using a higher SPF? “[If applied correctly], SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays; an SPF 45 blocks 98 percent. After level 30, the difference is incremental,” says Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., also of Miami. Apply at least a shot glass-sized amount of protection as an alternative to regular lotion each day. COOLA Body SPF 30 Plumeria Moisturizing Sunscreen ($32 for 5 fl. oz.; coolasuncare.com)

4. Exfoliate
Pre-Tan “Always exfoliate a day before self-tanning to ensure your skin is fresh and even for application,” says St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Fiona Locke. Use an exfoliator that isn’t too abrasive; nicks may cause self-tanner to look darker post-application. FarmHouse Fresh Coconut Beach Shea Sugar Scrub ($34 for 12 oz.; farmhousefreshgoods.com)

5.  Abide by the Rules
Warmer weather means it’s time to flaunt that oh-so-touchable skin! Whether you decide to shave, wax, laser or sugar your hair away, make sure you follow our expert’s guidelines. Before shaving, allow hair to soften in the shower for two to three minutes. Use light, gentle strokes exerting as little pressure as possible. Good rules to follow when waxing : Ensure your hair is lying flat on your skin (about ¼-inch) and try to avoid using lotion pre-wax. “You’ll get better results if your skin is less oily,” says Shoba founder and CEO Shobha Tummala.

6. Enhance Your Natural Texture
“Instead of blow drying curly hair, scrunch locks gently with your fingers and allow your hair to air dry,” says L’Oréal Professional Master Session Artist Rodnei Ferby. Ladies with chemically relaxed hair can benefit from curly girl products as well. “Anyone who lets her hair dry naturally, whether it’s relaxed or not, will pick up a wave pattern,” adds Clairol Professional Celebrity Hairstylist Kiyah Wright. “A good gel or curl product will give it that natural look without heat.” Curl Care by Dr. Miracle’s Strong Hold Gel ($7.99 for 8 fl. oz.; curlcarebydrmiracles.com)

7.  Maintain Your Sleekness
If saying goodbye to your flat iron is completely out of the question, at least treat your hair to some extra TLC while styling. “A thermal spray is a really good protector for the hair,” says Wright, whom Gabrielle Union and Tyra Banks keep on speed dial. “Spray each section before flat ironing to help tame flyaways and extend the life of your style for up to a week.” Redken Satinwear 02 Prepping Blow-dry Lotion ($18; visit Redken.com for salons)

8. Find An Easy (and Heat-free) Style
Your curling iron deserves a vacay for a few months, too. Neal Farinah of Neal Farinah Salon in Brooklyn is a fan of no-fuss styles during warmer months. “I think a woman looks so sexy when [her hair] is not overworked. I especially love messy braids! They’re so unexpected and sexy,” shares the in-demand stylist who keeps Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige’s manes in check. Farinah recommends creating body with sponge rollers placed in any direction for 10 minutes on dry hair, then gently shaking out curls as an alternative to heat styling. Conair Multi-sized Foam Rollers ($10.99 for pack of 48; Walmart)

9. Hydrate Your Hair
“During the summer months, it’s best to monitor your hair’s exposure to the sun to prevent frizz and moisture loss,” says Ferby. The drying effects of salt water and chlorine can wreak havoc, so be sure to wash your tresses with a hydrating shampoo and conditioning treatment post-swim. Ferby also suggests coating your strands with a deep conditioner before taking a dip to keep strands from absorbing excess salt and chlorine. Clairol Professional Color Safe Repair Daily Shampoo ($9; beauty supply stores); Ojon Rare Blend Deep Conditioner ($34; sephora.com)

10. Try a Leave-in for Lush Locks
“I’m really a big fan of leave-in conditioners, especially for trips to the beach or swimming pool,” says L.A.-based Wright, who has worked with Brandy. “It’s one of my favorite products because it softens the hair and coats it [with extra moisture].” Look for options that offer sun protection benefits—a bonus for those with color or chemically  treated hair. Phyto Plage “L’originale” Protective Beach Spray ($22; beauty.com)

11. Get Wet and Wild
Splash around without the dreaded “raccoon eyes” by upgrading your standard mascara to a waterproof version. Keep in mind you’ll need more than your daily cleanser before bedtime. “To remove waterproof makeup, use an oil-based formula and apply only where the product is,” says makeup artist and licensed esthetician Latasha Wright. “Use a moistened cotton pad so the oil does not spread to the rest of your face.” Khroma Beauty Eye Fidelity Waterproof Mascara ($9.99; ULTA)

12. Add a Pop of Color
Don’t let the sun steal your shine! Paint your pucker with a bold, juicy hue for a warm-weather beauty statement. “When in doubt, go for a pink lip gloss. It complements all ages and skin tones,” explains celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal of Mally Beauty. “Complement color-kissed lips with a vibrant blush to look refreshed and ready for sunny summer fun.” Above, from left:  Fashion Fair Lip
Teasers in Chocolate Raspberry ($18; Macy’s); Burberry Beauty Lip Glow in Mallow Pink No. 19 ($27; Burberry.com); Sonia Kashuk Ultra Luxe Lip Gloss in Coveted Coral ($8.99; Target.com)

13. Highlight Your Assets
Want to get your glow on without looking sweaty? Try a highlighter for radiant, luminous shine. “Sweep highlighter across eyelids, cheekbones, the tip of your chin, center of your nose, on the cupid’s bow of your lips and dab just a little bit on the inner corners of your eyes,” shares Roncal. Boots No7 Skin Illuminator ($9.99; Target.com); Bobbi Brown Sheer Color Cheek Tint in Nude Beach ($26; bobbibrowncosmetics.com)

14. Find the Perfect Bronzer
“On dry skin, a gel or cream bronzer may feel and look better, says Wright. “If your skin is on the oily or shiny side, a powder will help balance your look.” When choosing a bronzer, go a shade or two darker than your natural skin tone. Roncal recommends applying it only where the sun would naturally hit. “Add blush or highlighter to the top of your cheekbones to mimic a natural-looking tan and pretty flush.” Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzer in Maldives ($28; sephora.com); Mally Beauty Blush Single in Pink Glow ($18; mallybeauty.com)

15. Prime to Perfection
Add a secret weapon to your cosmetics bag to give your makeup a boost of staying power. “Primer is my absolute essential!” says Roncal, who has worked with Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez. After you moisturize, spread on a lightweight primer to create a smooth base. “It creates a fabulous, seamless canvas for your makeup by sealing in moisture, which
is so important!” Dermablend Skin Perfector Blemish and Oil Clearing Primer ($45; Macy’s)