As a self-admitted makeup junkie, I love nothing more than revamping my routine for a new season…and summer just so happens to be my specialty. After testing hundreds of products over the years—from pricey sunscreens to cult-favored bronzers—I’ve narrowed down my recommendations to a list of the very best. These summer makeup products and expert tips will guarantee you’ll look glowy and golden all season long.
16 MUST-HAVE MAKEUP PRODUCTS FOR SUMMER
SUMMER MAKEUP TIPS
1. Try a non-matte bronzer with hints of gold.
Matte bronzers are great for contouring, but if you’re looking for a warm wash of color with dimension, try a shade with fine flecks of copper and gold. I’ve sworn by Kevyn Aucoin’s Bronzer for years—it sculpts your cheekbones, isn’t “sparkly,” and gives you that just-out-of-the-sun radiance (even if you’ve been inside all day.)
2. Choose a sunscreen that pulls triple duty.
There’s a reason why this tinted non-chemical sunscreen has garnered something of a cult following. For starters, it’s not greasy. Plus, the subtle tint miraculously blends into every skin tone, and as an added bonus, the product’s primer-like consistency helps lock makeup in place all day long.
3. Experiment with dewy skin.
Over the years, I’ve tested an embarrassing number of products—oils, serums, highlighters, illuminators, liquids, and gels—all in an attempt to mimic the enviable glow of women like Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston. Last month, I finally found the one: Charlotte Tilbury’s “multipurpose primer-highlighter complexion booster.” The name pretty much says it all—wear it under your makeup, on top of it, or on its own for the subtle radiance you thought only celebrities could achieve. So far, everyone I’ve recommended it to agrees.
4. Swap your foundation for a medium-coverage tinted moisturizer.
When I asked my Instagram followers to share their favorite summer beauty products, this Tarte BB cream seemed to be on everyone’s list. After trying it for myself, I can confirm: the product lives up to the hype. It’s perfect for those who want to go foundation-free in the summer but still need sufficient coverage.
5. Use a light moisturizer in lieu of heavier creams.
Don’t let the word “cream” fool you—the hyaluronic-rich lotion is actually super light, and serves as a great summer swap for the heavier moisturizer you’ve been using year round. It promises to keep skin hydrated for 72 hours, and while I’m not entirely convinced that was the case for me, I do think its skin-quenching capabilities are unmatched.
6. Choose neutral, shimmery eye shadows.
Heavy shadows have no place in your summer makeup rotation – which is why this Huda Beauty New Nudes palette is so perfect. Use the subtle nudes as a base, the shimmery shades for a pop of color in the center of the lid, and the darker shadows as a smoky liner under the lower lash for a night out.
7. Skip lipstick in favor of a high-shine, moisture-rich gloss.
Nothing says summer quite like a glossy, popsicle-stained lip. To get the look (sans messy popsicle) try a hydrating formula, like Dior’s Lip Glow Color Reviving Lip Balm. Lancôme’s Juicy Shaker is another great option if gloss isn’t your thing—the tinted lip oil feels like an ultra-luxe balm, and it comes in an impressive range of 23 shades.
8. Use a setting spray to keep makeup in tact.
I recommend using this top-rated setting spray by Urban Decay if you need “stay all day” makeup. I’ve raved about this stuff before, and it is an absolute must of my everyday makeup routine year round—not just during the summer.
9. Add a hydrating under eye brightener to your routine.
If eye cream and concealer had a love child, it would look something like Tatcha’s undereye illuminating treatment. The product is a great option if you’re looking to pare down your makeup routine in the summer—and even if you’re not, it can be layered underneath your everyday concealer as a brightening base. The same goes for Origins Ginzing Eye Cream and Becca Undereye Brightening Corrector, which both have ingredients that reflect light and help conceal dark circles.
10. Go for a liquid highlighter.
Moisture is the name of the game come summer. Ditch your powder highlighter in favor of a liquid, like L’Oreal’s glow drops (which can also be mixed in with your moisturizer) or Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Light Wand (which has a cushioned tip for precise application.)