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If Hades is indeed hot, I’m 100 percent sure the weather on my sister’s wedding day exceeded that times one thousand. To be fair, I expected high temps since the wedding did take place just outside of Atlanta, GA at the start of hurricane season and the height of summer. It’s one thing to imagine the humidity; it’s another to actually experience it while standing under a cloudless sky in a full-length David’s Bridal gown that looks better in person than on the website (thank goodness). Having the best humidity beauty products on hand wasn’t merely an option—it was a non-negotiable.
The upside of my second bridesmaid adventure in less than a year is that I didn’t have to leave my carefully-curated survival pack up to chance. In the days leading up to the momentous occasion, my mother, little sister and I embarked on our annual stateside road trip, with the southeast being our 2019 target. With stops in Washington D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, and Savannah, GA, I had ample time to actually test-drive what I ended up wearing that Sunday, along with others that ultimately didn’t make the cut.
The contrast of hours spent in a driver’s seat with air-conditioning blowing directly on your face and walking outside for hours in 100+-degree heat stewing all around you leaves the skin, for lack of a better word, conflicted. At one moment it can be slicker than car grease and hours later, it can be red and parched. There really is no happy median point, so you have to work with the conditions you’ve been basically trapped with.
Because I’m borderline-lazy, but also slightly Type A, I didn’t bring many supplemental face masks to combat all that I was dealing with. Instead, I focused most of my effort on nailing a wedding day routine that wouldn’t leave me exhausted before the day really got started. Thankfully, the products I used required little effort to apply (highly recommended for summer wedding season), but were also packed with ingredients that kept my face from getting irritated while I ran around setting tables, catching up with family, and having a mini photoshoot with one of my fellow bridesmaids.
So without further ado, here’s every single thing I used from head-to-toe to not only survive but thrive. To be honest, my only regret is that I didn’t take enough selfies.
Dove Dry Spray Deodorant
I knew before hitting the road that I didn’t want to deal with a stick deodorant. It almost always leaves a wet, slimy mess after a few minutes outside and I didn’t want any of it transferring to my dress. Spray is always the best bet. It dries and it dries fast. Plus, my pits still smelled fresh at the end of the day–score.
$5.99 at Target
Becca Cosmetics Collector’s Edition Glow Dust Highlighter
Because I was sporting major cleavage (thanks to this $20 bandeau), I knew there would be some attention on my decollete. However, I am so not #teamshimmer. Thankfully, this powder highlighter not only kept me from looking shiny; it also delivered a very subtle amount of glow that elevated my road trip tan without going overboard.
$42 at Sephora
Diptyque Philosykos Eau de Toilette
In my opinion, floral perfumes are so cliche come wedding season. Instead, I opted for this fig tree-inspired spray that had a little weight to it, but still felt light and fresh for the season. Plus, it got me all the compliments.
$65 at Nordstrom
Innisfree Jump PlayGreen Balancing Toner With Green Tea
My face routine hasn’t changed much from winter to summer, with my toner being the exception. I can’t remember the last time I was this obsessed with a toner. Maybe it’s the gel-like texture that feels amazing at the end of a hot day. Perhaps it’s the green tea component that tones down the redness on my cheeks. Either way, I’m convinced it’s the one product that kept my skin moisturized or in other words–the perfect middle point between dewy and matte. It made me feel good about going full-coverage in such unbearable heat.
$27 at Innisfree
Yensa Full Coverage BC Foundation With SPF 40
Speaking of full coverage, I was wholly convinced that I would end up wearing my go-to BB cream, but after realizing that I wanted a bit more security in front of professional cameras, I landed on this superfood foundation. Yes, it has SPF, which is always important, but what made the biggest difference for me is the 8 superblack essences that really nourished my skin and gave it a healthy, non-cakey glow. Thankfully, they had a shade that worked for me (Tan Warm), though I would love to see more included in the future.
$38 at Yensa
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
I normally don’t wear concealer, but after days of driving down the coast, my under-eye circles were more prominent than usual. This one is a cult-favorite for a reason. It blends seamlessly, dries down pretty quick, and stays put. Stress. Eliminated.
$30 at Sephora
Becca Cosmetics Limited Edition ‘Champagne Pop’ Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter
It was really hard to not go H.A.M. with Becca’s best-seller because I am obsessed with finish. What I love is that it is truly buildable, so someone like me can feel comfortable with just a little and still get that shimmer that blends easily into foundation without altering your skin shade.
$39 at Sephora
NARS Endless Orgasm Eye Palette
I knew from the beginning that eyeliner would be off the table because it almost always smudges, even if it’s waterproof. Instead, I decided to focus on my lashes and lids. This limited-edition palette complimented my dusty rose gown perfectly and didn’t feel intimidating to work with. I used a small eyeshadow brush to apply the bottom middle shade to the crease of each eye and then went to town blending in the top right and bottom right shades underneath the crease and all over the lid. By no means did I achieve a fancy cut-crease, but it looked like I did something and that made me happy. Unfortunately, the palette is sold out, but the “Wanted” palette is a similar color combo.
$25 at NARS Cosmetics
Kat Von D Go Big or Go Home Mascara
Again, because I decided not to wear eyeliner (or faux lashes–too much work), I knew I needed a mascara with intense color payoff. This one definitely checks that box. Also, because the ingredients are plant-based, it wasn’t a headache to remove, though it did also give me the long wear I wanted for such a long day.
$23 at Sephora
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Lip Luminizer
Lipstick was also a no-go. As the day-of point person and a bridesmaid, there would be no time (or patience) for reapplication throughout the day. The original shade delivers an opaque pink shade that I’ve always loved, so I felt confident walking down the aisle and smiling while wearing it.
$18 at Sephora
tarte Stay Spray Setting Spray
I tried setting powder during the road trip and it always left my face looking cakey, regardless of the amount I applied. So I decided I would take my chances with setting spray. After trying 3 different ones during the week, this one came out on top, thanks to the applicator that dispensed the product in a light, even pattern and actually kept my makeup in place.
$25 at Ulta
Burt’s Bees Hydrating Facial Mist
Truth be told, part of me has always though that face mists were sort-of a scam. However, after being in the South for an entire week, I can confirm that this is the only thing that kept me sane. The bottle got passed around our rental car every hour on the hour. Most of it was gone by the time we got to Atlanta. Trust me–it’s the real deal.
$12.99 at Ulta
CHI Aloe Vera Curls Defined Humidity Resistant Leave-In Conditioner
I recently big-chopped, so my hair routine is thankfully super minimal. All I knew is that I wanted my curls to look moisturized and defined. It took me the entire week to get comfortable with using just two products and this one was the base. Every time I applied, I would stare in the mirror because I literally could not believe how good my curls looked. Now I can’t put it down.
$20 at Ulta
Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray
This spray has been my go-to for years, so leaving it home would have been disastrous. It does its job without leaving a white residue or crunchiness. What more could you want in a hairspray?
$18.95 at Ulta
essie Stirring Secrets Polish
Initially, I thought “ballet slippers” would be the shade of choice since that’s everyone’s shade of choice. However, once I picked up the bottle at Walgreens, I realized that it was a bit too pale for my skin tone, so I opted for something slightly darker.
$8.99 at Target
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