No AC, No Problem


There are two kinds of New Yorkers: Those who flee with the first sign of summer and those who claim the empty—albeit muggy—season is the city’s best. The first group is lucky; the latter is lying. I work from home, where the dinner table is my desk. This arrangement was particularly advantageous during the polar vortex and the ensuing weeks of bone-chilling cold. My roommate would trudge off positively miserable, and I’d be sitting in my pajamas, smugly chomping on toast and checking Twitter. After a midday nap (a habit that got completely out of control and had to be curtailed), I’d luxuriate in the weather updates from beneath my quilt before heading back to my “office.”

The tables, as they say, have turned. There is no sweater tucked lovingly in my desk drawer, no commiserating about the corporate-induced cold with coworkers; it’s just me, compulsively watering my plants, beginning to melt. Watching my roommate head to her office/human freezer every day inspires nothing but jealously.

Even though it hasn’t even gotten that hot (yet), I’ve already ironed out my AC-free beauty routine. It’s the only comfort I take as I prepare for weeks of looking and feeling like a human slug.

When it comes to where to source your products, I’m more inclined to trust what’s coming out of places where it’s actually an issue. That’s what got me to try LA-based Odacité's Clair de Lune duo comprised of their Revitalizing Mist and Radiance Serum. I will not get out of bed before spraying the aloe and rose mist. OK, fine, that and checking my email.

The heat makes my non-morning-personhood even more pronounced, so I’ve switched to Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soap in the shower. It's quick, it's cooling, and it smells good—an important note when you want to avoid using too much deodorant (natural stuff doesn't always work, but antiperspirant just seems like a terrible idea most of the time). I’d rather sweat than feel like my pores are all blocked up.

Still damp from the shower, I massage a few drops of Odacité's Clair de Lune serum, skip moisturizing, and dab on Indie Lee’s Blemish Stick as needed. Next, I add a thin layer of Sunday Riley’s Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer. At this point, sunscreen is the most necessarily, but it's also the last thing I want to put on my face. That being said, I really do care about protecting my skin because I tend to burn easily. The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Foundation Compact feels like a good compromise. It’s super light but has SPF 50, so with a few swipes from the space-age sponge, I don’t feel the need to hold a magazine over my head as I sprint across the street from one shaded corner to another.

At night, I don’t really want much of anything on my face, but I do think the instinct to let it breathe needs to be tempered by the fact that humidity, sun exposure, and grime do a number on the skin. I’m all about being supportive without going to bed covered in goop. I soak two round cotton pads in Dr. Hauschka’s Eye Revive and let them sit on my eyes while my roommate gives me the update on her day. Once a week, I'll add Mario Badescu’s Silver Powder to combat subway air-clogged pores.

Nothing in my medicine cabinet makes me happier to see than Herbivore’s Lapis Facial Oil. I might be inclined to keep this beautifully bottled blue-green stuff for looks alone, but it also happens to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties thanks to the azulene.

Before bed, I track down my Odacité Aloe and Immortelle Refreshing Toner Mist, which has usually migrated from my bedside table to my workstation. I return the herbaceous spray to its rightful spot of honor next to my cell phone and whatever I’m reading. Then I hit the lights and dream about what it would be like to have my own AC.

—Alex Ronan

Photographed by Tom Newton. When you do sweat, make sure you have some wipes readily available.