By Marissa DeSantis
Admittedly, we got a little lazy with our beauty routine last summer. But now that most Covid restrictions have been lifted, and even masks aren’t quite as essential, makeup (and skin and hair care!) are making a major comeback. If you’re like us, you’re just as excited about refreshing your beauty products as you are to be spending more time outside of the house. And the hotter summer days mixed with spending more time in the sun (and hopefully, a pool), require a bit of a strategic approach to your beauty arsenal.
Whether you’re making up for missed vacations during the pandemic or staying local as you catch up with friends, we’ve curated a list of the 10 most essential beauty products for your summer plans.
Switching to a lightweight moisturizer in the summer is a given. But this latest launch from Ole Henriksen amps up your average moisturizer with a gel-like formula that feels cooling as it’s blended into the skin. It was also formulated with oily, acne prone skin in mind, as ingredients like salicylic acid and lipohydroxy acid help to control surface oil and clear out clogged pores (which can minimize the appearance of pores).
Peachy makeup tones are always in, but the warm summer months are when they really shine. While it can be tricky to pull off peach in the winter (unless your skin is naturally on the warmer, olive side), a hint of matte or shimmery peach blush on the cheeks can highlight even the subtlest glow you’ve gotten from being out in the sun.
This blush duo from celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta (his clients include models like Bella Hadid and Adriana Lima) combines cream and powder blush formulas in peachy-coral colors that are intensely pigmented and long-lasting.
You already know that you need to wear sunscreen every day. But even those of you most dedicated to your daily SPF are probably forgetting about your scalps (or maybe you’re just avoiding the greasy hair that comes with applying a conventional sunscreen lotion to your scalp).
To make scalp protection mess-free, Supergoop! developed this mineral SPF powder that works like a dry shampoo to absorb excess oil. After you shake the bottle, spray the powder through the roots of your hair, blend with your fingertips, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours.
Few beauty products can bring as much satisfaction or devastation as a fake tan. When it’s good, you’re left with an even, golden glow that has an instant mood-boosting effect. But when it’s bad, you can end up with color that’s streaky, more orange than bronzed, and requires a little creativity to cover up while you wait for it to fade.
St. Tropez’s Self Tan Dark Bronzing Mousse guarantees a natural-looking tan every time—it’s so reliable, in fact, it’s been a staple in my beauty routine for over five years. The mousse formula easily blends into the skin (just make sure to use one of their tanning mitts!), and the guide color ensures that you don’t miss any spots. Leave it on for at least eight hours before showering away the guide color (which tends to look a little green, but don’t worry, it’s only temporary) for the full bronzing payoff.
This face mist is better than your typical makeup setting spray. Not only does it help to set your makeup, but it also has unique soothing abilities because it’s made from mineral-rich thermal spring water found in the south of France. If you have skin conditions like rosacea or eczema, or if your skin is just irritated from too much time in the sun, this mist calms redness and stinging as it moisturizes.
It even comes in a miniature 1.6 oz bottle that you can throw in your bag and spray on-the-go for a quick skin refresh (or cool down if you find yourself melting on the subway platform).
Victoria Beckham perfected her sun-kissed glow back in her Posh Spice days, so it’s no surprise that when she developed a bronzer for her own beauty line it became an instant hit. Launched just in time for the summer, the chic (and refillable) bronzing compact comes with two matte pressed powders: One to add all-over warmth to the skin and the other, darker bronzer to sculpt and contour.
Each duo was designed to complement a specific skintone from fair to deep, which makes finding your match much easier. And the powder provides serious pigment that blends seamlessly for a streak-free finish every time.
Most SPF-infused makeup provides so little coverage, you may as well just apply a regular old facial sunscreen. Not so with this IT Cosmetics CC cream, which wears like a medium-to-full coverage foundation with SPF 40 for added sun protection. It includes other good-for-skin ingredients like collagen and peptides, but it’s the oil-absorbing charcoal and colloidal clay, which give this CC cream a matte finish—and extra bonus points in the summer months.
To complement a more minimal approach to makeup in the summer, swap out your standard lip balm for this glossier take from celebrity makeup artist Gucci Westman (whose clients include Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon). Available in six sheer colors, you can wear the liquid lip balm on its own or layer it over lipstick for shine without the stickiness.
Either way, ingredients like organic jojoba, almond, and argan oils make this a nourishing lip treatment that leaves lips softer and more hydrated even after it’s removed.
If you spend a lot of time in the ocean or the pool during the summer, you’re doing some serious damage to your hair—especially if it’s color-treated. This water-resistant mask was developed by trichologist (that’s a hair and scalp specialist) Philip Kingsley to protect the hair from the drying and color fading effects of chlorine, salt water, and UV exposure.
Formulated with castor oil, olive oil, and hydrolyzed elastin, Swimcap works like a hair treatment as it protects so that after you remove the mask with shampoo, hair is shiny, soft, and tangle-free.
This translucent setting powder is a favorite (it has over 6,000 five-star reviews on Sephora) for locking makeup in place and extending its wear. It’s especially great in the summer for absorbing oil and reducing shine—yes, even along the eyelids—leaving behind a matte finish. But its ability to soften the appearance of fine lines and pores will have you adding this into your makeup rotation year-round, too.