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Beat the Heat: How to Survive New York City's Music Festival Scene in 100% Humidity

Hot and sticky? No problem.

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What we love about festival season in the city: big-name headliners, rosé all day, and a reason to check out all those NYC "barrier islands." That 98% humidity that causes makeup to drip and gives your hair a mind of its own? Not so much. This summer, show the urban swampland who's boss with our no-fail guide to looking and feeling cool—(spontaneous) rain or shine.

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1 Start Fresh

The key to keeping your hair from looking like a Pomeranian's is tons of moisture, says Anabel Santos, a hairstylist at the Sally Hershberger|Tim Rogers Salon in New York City. That means starting in the shower with hydrating products to help seal the cuticle and boost shine. We like Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.49 each). The combo is rich enough to tame dry curls, but won't weigh down fine strands.

2 Light Layers

To avoid melting in triple-digit temps, choose a festival-friendly outfit that's easy, breezy, and unfussy like this Bella Dahl billowy nautical-striped top ($92) and matchy-matchy pair of shorts ($84). The look is versatile and comfy, but chic enough to take you straight from first set to after-party.

3 Smooth Sailing

A leave-in smoothing product like Garnier Fructis Style Smooth Blow Dry Anti-Frizz Cream ($4.29) works overtime to keep strands sleek. Towel-dry your hair (blot, don't rub), then rake a quarter-size dollop of cream from roots to ends with your fingers. Blow-dry if you must, or try an off-the-neck braid and call it a day.

4 Lighten Up

Hours in the crowd and steamy streets can induce serious sweating. To prep skin, switch to a lighter moisturizer. "As we move into warmer months, it's often necessary to swap in lightweight skincare products that don't form a barrier on the skin so it can breathe," says NYC-based dermatologist Jennifer Chwalek of Union Square Laser Dermatology. Try a super hydrating, but fast-absorbing option that's oil-free like Vichy Aqualia Thermal SPF 25 24hr Hydrating Fortifying Lotion ($31).

5 Fun in the Sun

Applying sunscreen is not a one-and-done job. You need to reapply every two hours, and put plenty on each time—about a teaspoon on your face and neck and a shot glass worth on your body–for solid coverage. For long festival days, Dr. Chwalek recommends a water-resistant formula like LaRoche-Posay Anthelios Cooling SPF 30 Sunscreen ($35.99), which will do the job even when you're drenched in sweat.

6 Spray Away

Come summer, dealing with humidity hair is a full-time job. To keep frizz and flyaways in check, spritz a healthy dose of a smoothing spray like Garnier Fructis Style Frizz Guard Anti-Frizz Dry Spray ($4.29) on fingertips and run them gently over your hair. Boom—sleek city. Stash it in your cross-body bag for easy touchups.

7 Golden Eyes

Nothing screams "festival" like retro-style round frames. They not only up your sunnies game, but a polarized pair like Ray-Ban Gold Copper Flash Round Lenses ($175) reduces glare (so you can actually see the stage) and blocks harmful UVA/ UVB light to protect your eyes.

8 Prime Time

Two melt-proof makeup rules to live by: 1. Skip powder—it'll just turn into a cake-y mess the minute it collides with sweat. 2. Swipe on a water-resistant base like Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($54) underneath your foundation or tinted moisturizer, says Washington, D.C.-based makeup artist Carl Ray. It will "slip-proof makeup, blur pores, and absorb oil throughout the day." So by the time the night sets start, your makeup will still be on point.

9 Hats Off

A floppy, broad-rimmed hat like this Forever 21 Pom Pom Floppy Straw Hat ($17.90) is a festival win-win: It helps fend off damaging UV rays, plus hides the horror of three-day unwashed hair grease. Multi-colored pom-poms get the party started.

10 24/7 Tint

Anything creamy or glossy has the potential to slip and slide across your face, says Ray, who suggests matte textures and stains. Pick pink and coral hues to avoid constant touch-ups. If zero-maintenance lips are your jam, opt for a tinted balm like It Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment in Rose ($24) instead.

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