NEW YORK - It's not a question of if you'll be caught in a springtime shower; it's a question of when.
The key to looking your best when it does rain is taking a relaxed attitude, experts say. On those days, don't try a complicated hairstyle or a dramatic smoky eye.
"Enjoy the moment to be simple," says Melissa Silver, Maybelline New York makeup artist. "Why fight it?"
The important thing - no matter how your look turns out - is to make it seem purposeful, not like you were caught off-guard, says Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine. It's better to start with, say, tousled hair than try to undo or redo a manicured, sleek style on a day that the weather will win.
That's not to say you should give up altogether, says Bliss Spa President Mike Indursky. Once you put on the old clothes and scuffed shoes, skip your hair and makeup, and use the broken umbrella, you'll find your mood nosedives and cannot be fixed with a reapplication of mascara. "There is no reason not to be the ray of sunshine when you walk in somewhere. The weather could be bad out, but that's already happened. You can walk into the office, to a restaurant, to a party, and say, 'From this point on, everything is going to be fantastic.'"
Some pre-emptive steps - and quick easy fixes:
-Pay attention to the forecast. "When you see it's going to be raining, you won't wear a white chiffon dress, you wear something more durable. Do the same thing with your makeup," Silver says.
-Next, know your hair type, says Ammon Carver, artistic director for Matrix.
Surprisingly, curly or wavy hair is going to be easier to deal with, he says. Use a defrizzing gel on wet hair and then let it air dry. Then you can use a curling iron to seal natural waves and curls and limit frizz.
For straight hair, you need to control the roots and the ends, he says, suggesting a product with at least a bit of oil, which will repel water.
-If you have fine hair and fear flatness, Wells recommends dry shampoo at the roots to add volume, but you'll want to keep it dry outside to keep the texture right. Keep running your fingers through your hair throughout the day for bounce.
-Wear your hair in a braid or a bun when you're going out. You can take it out when you get to your destination and you'll have more of the wave you want anyway, but less hair will have been exposed to the elements.
-For makeup, revisit waterproof products, which have been modernized with smoother textures and creamier formulas, says Maybelline's Silver. A bonus, she says: Waterproof mascara holds curl better, so she'll also use it for indoor photo shoots or when her day turns into a day-to-night schedule.
-Simplify the color palette. One application of a single shade of a long-wear, cream-gel eye shadow that's highly pigmented will take you much farther than mixing and matching powders in humid weather, Silver says.
Powder products, and this goes for blush, too, will get streaky when wet because the water will clump together with dry powder.
For cheeks, she likes a silicone-fortified, oil-free gel blush (such as Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush).
-Silver steers clear of lip gloss on rainy days because with the rain often comes wind, and hair will get stuck in the gloss and then create whiskers when they're freed. Wells says a lip stain doesn't run the same risk of smudging as lipstick.
-Take the pens at the bottom of your purse and replace them with cotton swabs, maybe even the kind with preloaded makeup remover. They'll remove a smudge without taking off too much.
-After a drenching, go to the restroom that has a hand dryer. "You hate them when you have to dry your hands, but you'll love them for your hair - and they'll reactivate your styling product," Wells says.
-When all else fails, carry a headband and ponytail holder in your bag, says Matrix's Carver, and make sure they have a more Bohemian than refined vibe so they'll better match the less controlled condition of your hair.
Bliss' Indursky says the ultimate fallback is getting a pedicure or an eyebrow wax - something that's not weather related. "You would be amazed at the strut women walk out of here with."