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This summer I will turn to the arts for my inspiration-- specifically ballet. For a while I have been seeing beautiful flat shoes (not ugly eraser pink but gorgeous shoes in rich metallics or with intricate beading) and full feminine skirts and flowing tops rich with lace or embroidery. Beauty for this summer is just as sumptuous and detailed. Is it in anticipation of the coming return of black for fall? I don't know, but let's enjoy the sun today!

An easy way to keep cool this summer is to put your hair into a chignon or 'bun'. Not the slick neo-classical Balanchine egg-head; think about those Degas paintings. The hair was up, but loose, with many tendrils or baby hairs happily waving free. If you don't know Degas, think YSL, casual yet elegant. Want to update and add texture? After putting your hair into a low pony tail, loosely braid your hair and then twist around. Be sure to keep the braid flat and close to your head or you might end up looking like you have a pine cone coming out of your head. The braid is very practical because the loops of the braid make natural hooks to secure with pins, and if you are dancing away and your hair should come undone, there won't be a complete hair explosion; just a loose braid.

Try using rubber pins to secure hair, or these great Japanese pins. Specifically made for 'slippery', heavy Asian hair, these pins are beyond tight. Yes, you will need fingers of steel but once you get them in, they are NOT moving.


The beauty of the 'bun' is that it gets hair out of the way and lets the focus go to the face. Not to say that the bare face look for summer ever goes out of style, but with so many great products to add beautiful color, why not? Here's some of my favorites to help bring out your inner Sugar Plum Fairy:

For glowing cheeks, try a Cheek Stain from the Tarte collection. Featured here in Flush, these oil-free cheek colors come in a gel form which are very easy to use; just push up, dab and go. Available in six long-lasting, sheer and easy to blend colors.


Want an all-over glow? Try Star Bronzer by Lancôme. A lightly shimmered highlighter, you can use this to give yourself a glow anywhere; shoulders, cheeks, or all over just by adding a little to your foundation. Because it is a liquid, you don't have to worry about little sparkles flying all over your clothes. Star Bronzer is also oil-free and comes in a convenient pump.

For beautiful eyes, try the Mediteranee duo from the NARS collection. These two colors will look great on anyone. The cream color has a bit of shimmer and is great either as a highlighter or by itself. The apricot color has a sparkle to it which will make blue or green eyes "pop" and brown eyes sizzle. Apply with a light hand for a sunset glow during the day, or go full strength at night for eyes with fire.

Want luscious looking (and feeling!) lips? Try Capucine from the NARS Lip Laquer collection. New this summer, it is a strong orange color, but like the Mediteranee eyeshadow, it can be applied with a light touch for a little color and shine--or a little heavier to make your lips look juicy and amazing.


Still the most important thing to remember this summer beyond any color is sunscreen. Use a moisturizer and/or foundation with an SPF of at least 15, even on cloudy days. Sunscreens have come a long way in the last ten years. Oil-free, gentle ingredients can be found in formulas for people with sensitive, break-out prone skin; so save yourself from pain and peeling. Wear it!!

NARS, Tarte, and Lancôme cosmetics can be found at most fine department stores.
Rubberized hair pins can be found at most beauty supply stores.
Japanese hair pins can be found at Japanese grocery/variety stores in most major cities.


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