Summer in the City

05/31/2011 11:36 am ET | Updated Jul 31, 2011
  • Louis Licari Beauty expert, Contributing Editor, 'Today Show'

I immediately felt the heat and humidity as I walked the streets of New York this past holiday weekend. I thought the city would be quiet, but to my surprise there were more people in town than I had expected. Almost everyone was smiling as they ambled by, probably because the cool and rainy spring weather had finally ended. The women looked beautiful, their hair shining in the radiant sun. This was our first picture-perfect weekend of the summer.

I was wandering through Bergdorf Goodman, shopping for a friend's birthday. The chic women of Fifth Avenue maintained their confident and cool summer look, even as the temperature continued to rise. Not one looked like she was melting in the heat. I immediately realized how important it is to maintain a casual and fresh look no matter what the temperature. What did these women know that the rest of us damp and sticky mere mortals did not? I immediately started to take note.

1) The best looking hair has a definite shape, whether short or long. This means that it's a good idea to start the summer with a haircut.

2) Hair should looked controlled but never done. This might seem to be an impossible challenge in the heat and humidity, but the solution is simple: Styles that incorporate the natural texture of your hair work best. This minimizes the effects of humidity and lets you maintain your style. Don't fight the loosing battle of styling wavy/curly hair smooth or attempting to add curl and wave to straight hair. Humidity will almost always cause your hair to revert back to its natural state.

3) Use styling products minimally. Excessive use of creams and gels will weigh down straight hair and make curly hair look coated. To add volume to straight hair, a spritz of root lift styling product with a quick hit of the blow dryer works best. A touch of hair cream is a good way to hold curly hair in place. Arrange hair and don't touch curl until dry. This will keep the curl controlled and not frizzy.

4) A surefire way to look carefree and add shape and style to hair is to wear it in a partial or full up 'do. A twist, braids or a simple headband will hold hair off the face while allowing the rest to fall free. Loose buns and low ponytails will keep all hair up and off the face.

5) Keep your hair color close to natural. Changing your color dramatically will guarantee brassy hair in the fall. The sun will quickly make your hair lighter and brighter, especially once it's been color treated.

6) Faking the tan is the best skin plan. A suntan looks good for too short of a time considering the skin damage that occurs from even minimal exposure to the skin. Wear tinted moisturizers that contain vitamins and SPF protection. My favorite is "The Glow by Enid'O." Eyes look best in a light, barely-there palette of creams, peaches and tans. Lips should be sheer with a touch of color.

Staying in town on a holiday weekend is a real insider's secret. It is easier to shop, go to the movies or theater, and snap up the most difficult restaurant reservations. The sidewalk cafes are perfect for people-watching, which is my favorite sport and best learning tool. There is always something to see and learn whether you are uptown or downtown. Keep your eyes open, and look good all summer long.