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Don’t Rain on My Prada!

I remember Woodstock even though I was there. Still, I have no plans to mosh my way through any rain-soaked music festivals this summer. Instead, all I want for May Day is a watertight beauty-and-style plan.

Why’s that?

Because, according to the Farmers’ Almanac, we’ll be needing a rain check or three for the hot, humid months stretching ahead. If you’re like me — wondering, that is, how to prepare for “air you can wear” — consider these four protective measures:

Retrench. Toss those cheapo ponchos and flimsy anoraks, and treat yourself to a superlight summer trench coat. Look f

or something tailored but  feminine and drapey rather than stiffly structured. The ideal selection will be breathable, wrinkle-proof and water-resistant — or at least water-repellent — in a nylon, microfiber or polyester blend.

As a result of this upgrade, you’ll feel swell, not sweaty — and look divine even when drenched. Knot the belt at the waist, then just let the fit-and-flare shape do its body-flattering thing. Good models to try include Zara Drapey Long Raincoat (shown here), Glamorous Drapey Trench or Soia & Kyo Roll Sleeve Drape Front Long Trench Coat.

Go with the flow. Rainy days (and Mondays) used to get us down because of their power to smear eye makeup. The new gel liners, by contrast — to say nothing of long-lasting cream shadows and waterproof mascaras — could make even a mermaid ha
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40

What we really need at 50 and beyond is face makeup that won’t cake (or pool in facial lines) as the humidity rises. Thankfully, here come serum foundations in updated formulas designed to “float” over your expression grooves and creases. Yes, that strikes me as marketing mumbo jumbo, too, but trust me here: Ultrafine pigments in these products can give mature skin an airbrushed, almost Photoshopped look, with just the right balance of color and coverage. Try Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF40, DiorSkin Nude Air Healthy Glow Ultra-Fluid Serum Foundation or bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF20.

Don’t fret the frizz. There’s just so much an umbrella can do to save a blow-out or fight frizz. So when caught by a cloudburst, you have three options:

1. Pull medium to long hair back in a glam ponytail or a knot at the nape.

2. Let your naturally curly texture work for you. Just add a drop of styling oil or cream to your palms, then rake your hands through your hair
LL Bean San Diego Fedora
to enhance waves and shine. (This treatment also gives bobs and shorter cuts a tousled look — very contemporary!) Emollient styling products buffer frizz without giving it the crunchy or hard look that gels, waxes and mousses tend to do. Try L’Oréal Paris EverStyle Alcohol-Free Smooth & Shine Creme or Pantene Ultimate 10 BB Creme.

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3. To leave nothing to chance — my preferred alternative — always carry a woven fedora or a panama. Not only is it stylish, but it reduces your level of moisture contact. Test-drive a J. Crew Panama or, shown above, an L.L. Bean San Diego Fedora.

Jelly up.
No need to ruin your good shoes or wear tall rubber boots in a drizzle. Ladylike flats (such as the Kate Spade pair shown at left) or fashionable sandals in PVC or rubber will puddle-proof your pedicure. Elegant enough to stand in for shoes, they are also easy to stash in your tote, car or desk. I happen to love all of these: Hunter Original Tour Ballerina, Kate Spade New York Jove, Ted Baker London Issan Jelly Flat or Michael Kors MK Plate Jelly Sandal.

For more beauty and style tips for women 50 and up, please check out my Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age.


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