As the temperature rises, you may find your old winter faithfuls just aren’t cutting it anymore. While this can be annoying, it’s also a great time to make some new beauty discoveries—and truly, is there any greater pleasure on Earth? If you’re struggling to make your warm weather beauty routine work for you, we’ve got a round-up of our very favorite summer-ready products.
Our first recommendation is potentially a boring one—the Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in the peppermint scent. Put simply, there is no more refreshing way to clean your sweaty, sticky body. It foams up wonderfully, leaving skin feeling cool, refreshed, and tingling.
Moisturizing your body in the summer can feel like a total chore, but Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Oil makes everything easier. For one thing, it’s almost a liquid, so it spreads without effort and absorbs almost instantly. It also smells like the best cake ever, which makes using it undeniably enjoyable. Oh, and it’s totally affordable, too. I stand behind this product as the most effective way to get an R&B video girl glow.
On to the topic no one seems to want to discuss—feet. I’ll keep this brief, but the Baby Foot is absolutely amazing if you’ve been neglectful after a winter spent in sneakers. To stay on top of your feet’s appearance, I recommend going for a hand (rather than foot) cream. They tend to be better at moisturizing and skin-enhancing. If you fancy blowing the budget, Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Hand Cream is the best I’ve tried. But (and I can’t stress this enough) put it on your feet!
Fragrance-wise, summer absolutely calls for something fresher. An oldie (but a goldie) is CK One—in my opinion, still the best citrus on the market. It also has a hint of ‘90s cool. If you want something a little more complex, I’m obsessed with Commodity Book. It’s still mouthwateringly sour, but with a sandalwood twist that really elevates the overall effect.
Now, let’s talk skin-care. In the summer, you’ll likely want to feel fresher and cleaner. The Innisfree Sea Salt Perfect Cleanser is absolutely amazing for this. It’s super purifying without ever feeling overly drying. It also has a beautifully thick, whipped, luxurious texture. I use it to remove makeup and clean skin afterwards.
A surprise hit for me recently has been the Acne Free Witch Hazel Mattifying Toner. This combines two of my skin’s faves—witch hazel and glycolic acid—to give a smooth, glowing finish. I also think it helps with the pore-blockage symptomatic of a sweaty summer.
Nonetheless, moisture is essential, and I (like everyone else on Earth) have been loving the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. There’s not much to say about this cult product which hasn’t already been said: it’s amazingly hydrating, plumping, smoothing and reparative, and looks beautiful under makeup.
Atop this, I enjoy a product which offers SPF alongside some superficial benefits. The Juice Beauty CC Cream serves this purpose perfectly, offering sun protection alongside a serious boost of glow, plus some minimal coverage. It won’t blank out any areas of skin problems, but it will make your overall complexion look healthier and, well, juicier.
If you want a little more in the way of concealing, the Purito Snail Clearing BB Cream is a fantastic choice. Again, this is loaded with summer-essential SPF, but it also offers surprisingly high coverage. It applies and blends perfectly with fingers and offers a perfected but natural-looking finish. It also lasts a long time, and fades off well, without any patchiness or cracking.
For extra glow, look no further than the Noto Botanics Hydra Highlighter. In a world of dew-effect highlighters, this one stands out for being exceptionally non-tacky. It melts into skin, almost like an oil, and gives the most plumped, hydrated, sheeny glow. If you want to look like you’re not wearing makeup, but have unbelievably amazing skin, this can absolutely get you there in a matter of seconds.
In terms of color, I feel I’ve waited my whole life for a product like the Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze in “Sunkissed.” I’m pretty fair, and bronzers often look way too obvious on my complexion. This shade cleverly straddles the boundary between red and brown, giving an effectively sunburned (or sunkissed) look. I apply over the cheeks and across the bridge of the nose for an undeniably cute vibe.
Over everything, the SW Basics Peppermint Hydrosol is an absolute godsend. It’s a finishing spray, helping makeup look more natural and well-blended, but the peppermint scent means it’s instantly cooling and refreshing. Throw this in your bag for moments when you’re feeling flustered.
I love glitter all year round, but in summer, it truly feels right to be reflective and ethereal. Liquid glitter eyeshadows are the most fuss-free way to achieve a super shiny finish. The Nyx Glitter Goals Liquid Eyeshadow in “Metropical” is a perfect, surprisingly natural, sheer baby pink, while the Too Faced Twinkle Twinkle Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow in “Guava Glitz” is more of a sheer, duochrome look. Apply either over the lid in a slapdash manner, pat the edges to blend, and voila. The easiest summer eye look, ever.
For something a little more intense, though, I love a matte, neon lid look. The Viseart 08 Editorial Brights Matte Eyeshadow Palette, while pricey, is certainly the best way to achieve this finish. The chartreuse green shade is enough to make any boring makeup and outfit suddenly look high-fashion. The quality of these eyeshadows is also second to none.
For lips, there are really two ways to go in summer. The first is to lean in to the sticky, shiny vibes of the season with a gloss. The best ones out there are Essence Shine Shine Shine Lip Glosses. They’re uber reflective, but feel soft and never sticky. The shade range is also fantastic, from retro shimmers to cute nudes—plus, it has the best clear lip gloss on the market (Shade 01).
The other option is to go for a sheer wash of color. And though they’re often imitated, I don’t think you can do better than the Glossier Generation G Lipsticks. They offer just enough to look like you’ve made an effort, but are never obvious or difficult to wear. The shades “Like,” “Zip,” and “Leo” are my top three, but you really can’t go wrong with any.
I have one final tip which I’ve been totally obsessed with. The Essence Shine Last & Go! Gel Nail Polishes are incredible—and incredibly affordable. They apply perfectly, last for ages, and come in shades you’d only expect from a high-end brand. “I Am What I Am,” an olive green, “Forget The Rules,” a bright chartreuse, and “Hakuna Matata,” a ‘70s terracotta, are going to be on my fingers and toes all summer long.
Annie Walton Doyle
Ameerah de Chabert