My approach to summer beauty is simple: less is more.
And because of this, I’m all about those products that give you bronzed, glowy skin and tousled hair without looking like you’ve spent hours trying to achieve that look. Who’s with me?
To achieve sun-kissed skin that appears just as beautiful as it does natural by purely reaching for a bottle or two, my usual morning skincare routine consists of sunscreen alongside SPF-infused demi makeup as opposed to a standard foundation. I then add flashes of bronzer to elevate the look.
Whether you’re already on a Greek island or want to look like you’ve just been on one, read on for my 10 summer beauty essentials to bring out your inner glow.
1. HL Always Active Sunbrella Demi Make-Up
Firstly, once the winter season is over, I always end up pushing my heavier foundation to the back of my makeup bag and swapping it for this unbelievable demi makeup cream by HL Always.
Containing UVA and UVB, this product works best when it’s blended into clean skin after you’ve applied sunscreen. The end result? Natural coverage that will also protect you against the sun’s rays. Win-win.
Pro tip: Whatever product you’re using before you apply demi makeup cream, make sure it fully absorbs into your skin, especially if it’s sunscreen. Also, perhaps apply a thin layer of moisturizer and sunscreen when you’re using demi makeup cream on top as extra hydration and protection.
2. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Stick Compact in Bronze
Next up, this best-selling compact by Bobbi Brown is undeniably chic and versatile. Not only can you use every shade separately for your eyelids, but you can also use it all together as a bronzer.
Pro tip: When you’re choosing a bronzer, opt for a shade that’s one (or maximum two) shades darker than your skin tone. Then take a wide brush (I use La Mer) and apply the pigment to your forehead and cheeks, taking your face shape into consideration. Dust lightly over your jawline, chin, neck, and chest before dotting the brush on the end of your nose as the finishing touch.
Once you step back and admire your handiwork, you might just find that you wonder who the glowing goddess is in the mirror.
3. Bobbi Brown High Shine Liquid Eyeshadow in Copperhead
For me, this water-based liquid shadow by Bobbi Brown creates the perfect eye makeup look for lazy summer evenings where I’m heading out for a leisurely dinner or a walk in the Ljubljana Old Town – and ending the evening with ice-cream, of course.
I like to apply the product directly to my lids using the applicator to give them a lustrous sheen and make my blue eyes pop against tanned skin.
Pro tip: Sweep it all over your lid for that cute, sparkling effect – and if you overdo it? Just take away the extra product with your index finger. Oh, and don’t forget the V corner of your eyes for that fresh look.
4. StarSkin Orglamic Pink Cactus Serum Mist
Did you know that hydrating the skin from both the inside and outside is even more imperative during summer time compared to the rest of the year?
That’s why I swear by this serum mist by StarSkin that doubles up as makeup setting spray and mid-day hydration shots.
Pro tip: Shake the product well and use it a few times a day. Spray it in the morning and evening on your cleansed face, neck, and chest before moisturiser. You can even use it on your hands – especially the wrist, which we tend to forget about until we start noticing wrinkles!
And the bonus when it comes to this summer beauty essential? It’s both cruelty-free and vegan. Awesome.
5. StarSkin Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Face Mask
Another champion product from StarSkin, this face mask aims to intensely hydrate your skin to make it look smoother and feel more rejuvenated.
The fact that it’s made up of 70% coconut, has cooling properties, and is paraben-free means it has an abundance of skin benefits.
Pro tip: Apply this summer beauty essential to cleansed skin for 20 minutes once a week or at least twice a month for best results.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s cruelty-free and vegan too?
6. Pure Cocoa Butter
There’s no doubt about it: pure cocoa butter is a magic-like skin moisturiser for the body and face.
I remember using it for the time as a teenager and treasuring just how much it nourished my skin. Alongside protecting and restoring the face, it also works well as a revitalising after-sun product.
Why? Well, cocoa butter contains compounds called cocoa mass polyphenols, which some studies have found can help diminish signs of aging. In addition to soothing sensitive skin that’s suffering from dermatitis or rashes, polyphenols are types of antioxidants that promote health both internally when eaten and when used topically on the skin.
Plus, if you opt for a completely natural product, the chance of irritation for people with sensitive skin is extremely low. It simply locks in moisture, since it’s free from additives, fragrances, colours, and the dyes used in most commercial products.
Pro tip: Prior to application, you can warm a small amount of butter in between your palms to soften it, but I prefer to melt it by leaving the can out in the sun for an afternoon. I then apply it to wet skin for optimal results.
Are you also from Slovenia? If so, I highly recommend Cocoa Butter from Gorenjska Pharmacies. As well as improving the structure and appearance of my skin, it makes it feel soft and supple. I’m obsessed.
7. Eve Lom Rescue Mask
Looking for a miracle-like emergency treatment mask that works as a weekly deep cleanser to treat blotchy, irritated, and congested skin? Well, it’s time to call off the search.
This award-winning rescue mask by Eve Lom is ideal for skin that is prone to breakouts and redness, especially during the summer months. Simply include it in your nighttime routine to get your stressed-out skin back on track. You’re welcome.
Pro tip: The texture of the mask is honey-infused kaolin clay and contains cooling camphor, so the texture separates a bit. Before use, the tube needs to be shaken lightly – I actually squeeze the tube while it’s still closed. Proceed to apply the product on dry, post-cleansed skin two to three times a week.
8. Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip in Lychee Baby
If you were lucky enough to be born with rosebud lips, make the most of what your mama gave you by investing in this liquid lipstick by Bobbi Brown that produces bold, glossy colour in an instant.
As well as having a balmy texture that feels wondrous on your pout, the Lychee Baby shade is a pale pink nude that will work well for dreamy summer days or nights.
Pro tip: Apply it directly by starting on the bottom lip, and then blot your lips together. Afterwards, apply it to your top lip by filling in any gaps. If you get any extra product on your skin, wipe it away with your finger. For creating lovely, pouty lips check out my top tips here(5 min makeup routine link).
9. OFRA Cosmetics Red Carpet Kolour Luminous Body Glow
Even though I’m not usually a self-tanning products lover, my light skin sometimes calls for shimmering body tint.
This airbrush-effect lotion by OFRA Cosmetics gives you an all-over body glow that lasts all day. I use it specifically on my legs to elevate my look when I’m wearing cute summer dresses or skirts.
Pro tip: Apply this summer beauty essential on moisturised skin to lock in the colour. Heading out for date night or a meal with the girls? It can also be used as a luminous base for a rich makeup aesthetic.
10. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Shaka Fluid SPF50+ Sunscreen
Of course, I couldn’t get through a list of summer beauty essentials without including the holy grail.
It’s like hotshot Makeup Artist Fiona Stiles says: “Ask any makeup artist what the best beauty secret is and they will say sunscreen. It’s your best defense against wrinkles, sun spots, and sun damage.”
Even though sunscreens have been around for more than 70 years and were originally designed to protect you against sunburn and ultraviolet radiation, the effects have now broadened to include prevention of idiopathic photodermatosis, actinic keratoses, skin cancer, and photoaging.
And it gets better.
Ultra-resistant to water, sweat, and sand, this high-protection sunscreen by La Roche-Posay shields skin from UVA and UVB rays while also preventing damage caused by Infrared-A and pollution.
Do you have sensitive or sun-allergic skin? Not to worry – alongside having an invisible, lightweight texture, this summer beauty essential is also hypo-allergenic. You can even apply it around the eyes without it stinging in any way. Result.
Pro tip: If you’re using a sunscreen that’s staining your clothes, baking soda is an excellent remedy. For light-coloured clothing, place your items in warm water and apply baking soda directly to the stains. Then apply alcohol vinegar straight afterwards and leave it for at least a couple of hours. Proceed to place your items in the washing machine and add a bit of baking soda or Vanish to the detergent section—and you’ll soon find that the pesky stains have disappeared. When it comes to dark clothing, dab the stains with rubbing alcohol, leave them for 30 minutes, and wash the items normally. Voila.
Finding Your Summer Beauty Essentials
It’s true that what might work for one person might not work for another; having said that, the makeup and skincare products on this list are renowned for their popularity.
Creating a natural incandescent aesthetic yet simple to use, each of these summer beauty essentials helps you to look and feel your best by bringing out your inner glow – and, the truth is, I’d be absolutely lost without them.
Spread your wings,
What are your favourite summer beauty essentials? Have you used any of the products on this list before? Let me know in the comments!