I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this summer definitely hasn’t gone according to plan. With travel plans, romantic entanglements, and social lives mostly on pause for the foreseeable future, it can be hard to feel like you have control of anything. But amid this miserable roller coaster of a year, one small thing we can stay on top of is our skin care. Instead of focusing on how lame this summer is compared to years past, put that time and energy into getting your summer skin care routine on lock.
If you don’t normally put much thought into your skin care regimen, switching up your products every season might seem extra, but it makes a lot of sense. While you might spend the winter fighting dry skin with heavy creams and moisturizers, summer is a whole different ballgame. Of course, each person’s skin care needs differ based on location, climate, and skin type, but generally speaking, summer skin care is all about keeping it light and breezy. Here are some must-have products that will keep you glowing (not from sweat) all summer long.
If you know about Laneige’s Cream Skin line, you KNOW how exciting this launch is. I admittedly was never a huge mist person until my friends coerced me into keeping a spray in my bag at all times, and now I’m actually unsure how I survived without one. The Cream Skin Mist is great because it gives your skin a natural glow, with or without makeup. A product like this is particularly important in summer, especially during quarantine, when the chances of me wearing makeup are about the same as the odds of me shaving my legs in the winter. This final step makes any routine feel complete, and the mist itself is super hydrating, long lasting, and perfect to bring on the go. The formula is lightweight, and enriched with amino acids from White Leaf Tea water.
If you’re looking for a clean, natural mist, look no further. When I heard the Limited Edition of the cult-favorite Beauty Elixir is back in stock, I had ~a moment~. There is something about this pretty pink bottle that makes this already great product even better. If you can’t relate to my passion for packaging, that’s fine. This product is filled with natural plant extracts that help visibly smooth the skin and tighten the pores. As someone with pores the size of planet Earth itself, this is quite important to me. This product preps and sets makeup, which is extra important in the summer months, because as you can imagine, sweat + makeup = a dangerous combo.
I once won a giveaway for a year’s supply of Kiehl’s, and have since considered myself an expert on each and every one of their products. In winter months, my skin literally feels like sandpaper, so a heavy moisturizer is a MUST. But come summer, the Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream is my number one. I’ll be honest, this little guy is on the pricier side. That being said, if you know me (or if you’ve read any of my articles) you know I am cheap AF and that me splurging on a product means it is the real deal. The water cream claims to boost radiance (I see this claim from all brands, IDK what it actually means, but I do know that my skin is dewier using this product), reduces redness (can confirm this is true) and helps improve dry skin by softening and hydrating (also can confirm this is true). This is the kind of product that makes me want to skip foundation because my skin is actually glowing, and despite being ultra-hydrating, it’s lightweight and breathable. As I reread this *passionate* rant, I hope Kiehl’s sponsors me. My DMs are open.
I’ve got to say, this name is very overwhelming to type, but this Hyaluronic Cloud Cream is my other go-to in summer. Even if you’re into skin care at all, you still know hyaluronic acid is ~all~ the buzz right now, and for good reason. It’s hydrating, it’s not heavy, and it’s most definitely summer-approved. I love using this moisturizer after a beach day, because it’s cooling to the skin and helps calm any burning or peeling I may have obtained. It’s lightweight, super moisturizing, and wears well under makeup. This, like the previous cream, is worth the splurge.
If you don’t already know this, SPF is the most important thing in your skin care routine. As someone with textured skin (again, pores the size of planet Earth), I am very picky about my sunscreen. If sunscreen has any sort of white cast, it’s an instant horror show. If the sunscreen doesn’t agree with my skin type, my texture is exaggerated and it’s not a good look. And with that, I find myself reaching for my Supergoop! Glowscreen on the regular. It’s dewy and pearly (great for my dry skin pals) and allows for the true no-makeup makeup look (because you literally don’t need makeup). It’s hydrating, too, which is not always true for sunscreen.
Something that is not spoken about enough is the fact that SPF should be worn inside. Yes. Groundbreaking, I know. bUt ThE sUn DoEsN’t ShInE iNsIdE! Correct. However, now more than ever, our skin is exposed to harmful blue light. From scrolling for hours, to being glued to our computer screens on work days, and of course binging Netflix, I am excited and impressed to see that TULA has launched Protect + Glow to protect you from damaging pollution and blue light. If you’ve purchased blue light glasses, add this to your list of must-haves. Even if you haven’t, still add this to your list of must-haves.
Retinoids are the industry’s best kept secret if you ask me. Summer is fun, but sun exposure leads to skin damage and wrinkles, and I for one want neither of those. I never knew (or cared) what Retinoids were until I was introduced to a local NYC business, Peachy (support local!). Retinoids are the prescription version of Retinol—and clinical studies show that they both increase collagen production and prevent collagen degradation. Increasing collagen results in plumper, stronger skin and the minimization of fine lines and wrinkles. So, in less science-y words, Retinoids are the botox of skin care (without the needles). It’s important that you get the right prescription from a trusted dermatologist and still take care of your skin in the sun (USE SPF), but this product is my secret weapon.
“Foundation, but make it skincare” are the first words that can be read under Kosas’ Tinted Face Oil description, and it sums this product up flawlessly. During summer months, a cakey foundation is awful, to put it simply, and this has been my personal solution. The product does a great job of giving your skin the “blur effect” but doesn’t overdo it. Think “is she wearing makeup or does she just have amazing skin???” type vibes. Overall as a brand, Kosas has multiple products that dabble in both the skin care + makeup category, but this stands out above the rest for me.
Summer Fridays is one of those brands that is actually worth the hype. Their products are great, their branding is great, their social media is great, their packaging is great, even their p-page images are great (few will understand, but those who do will appreciate this callout). Anyway, during summer months I often love replacing my lipstick with a clear balm and letting my lips go natural-ish. This Lip Butter Balm is actually considered a mask, and it’s created to soothe parched lips while sealing in moisture. I’m a big fan of this product because it’s not like other lip balms that feel amazing for the first 10 minutes and then leave your lips needing more soon after. This lasts what feels like hours, and it makes my lips look glowy like a gloss, but without the sticky feeling.
If you prefer a little color in your summer lip look, an oil lip color is a great way to go. YSL Beauty launched their new Milk Tea collection (I’m fittingly sipping on milk tea as I write this) and the colors are reaaalllyyy pretty. I feel like we’re all on the permanent hunt for the “perfect nude” and this just might be it. The hydrating formula drenches lips in moisture while leaving a high-shine finish. Think lipstick-meets-balm. All day color and comfort? Yes please.
Summer brings an excess of oil and enlarged pores (sorry, I know you’re sick of hearing about my pores). SheaMoisture African Black Soap is THAT product that will help you maintain your natural glow while conquering oil and sweat (we all have it, so don’t pretend you’re better than me). More importantly, the soap won’t dehydrate your skin, which for obvious reasons is important here. This face and body bar is super affordable ($4.99) and is specially formulated with organic Shea Butter, Oats and Aloe to cleanse, moisturize and comfort irritated skin.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I used to think body scrubs were a myth, but then I tried one and realized it wasn’t. Thrilling, I know. I’m a big fan of Sol de Janeiro’s OG Bum Bum Cream because it smells like vacation—even after being trapped inside for 100 days. The Bum Bum Body Scrub texture is soft yet gritty, and literally leaves my skin glowing. I think it’s important to be careful with body scrubs, because while you do want to exfoliate the skin, you don’t want the product to be abrasive. I think that BBBS (I’ve made up this abbreviation because Bum Bum Body Scrub is a mouthful) is the perfect happy medium, and the scent alone is enough to keep me coming back for more. WOULD recommend for *summer smooth* skin.
And there you have it, summer skin care, head to toe. Check back in winter for my 100-step routine.
Images: Margot Pandone / Unsplash; Provided by Laneige; Caudalie; Kiehls; Peter Thomas Roth; Supergoop; TULA; Provided by Peachy; Provided by Kosas; Summer Fridays; Provided by YSL Beauty; Provided by SheaMoisture; Provided by Sol de Janeiro
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Say goodbye to bare eyelids, pale pink lips, and tirelessly trying to perfect the
bare minimum I-just-woke-up-like-this look. It’s almost fall, which means it’s time to start darkening our beauty routine, just like we do for our wardrobe. Now, the true me will emerge from hibernation this summer so I can wear my lack of heart on my sleeve again. Although it’s still a learning process for many, we’re prepared to hide our hangover lack of sleep with a good ol’ smokey eye. We’ve already got our first fall manicure picked out, so now it’s time for our guilty pleasure: lipstick. We all get weak in the knees for a lipstick that’s yet another nude you’ll insist is different (it’s not), or a really intense vampy red. The darker, the better—fucking duh. Even if you’re the type to settle with your fucked up coffee order rather than complain for the barista to make it again, it’s at least fun to pretend you’re intimidating af with the right shade of lipstick. Whether you’re a true lipstick guru or recently turned Kylie fanatic, you’ve come to the right place for the best lipstick shades to get you psyched for next season.
1. MAC Lipstick Matte in Diva
Cherry red lips are always a basic look for fall since we’re turning away from true reds and looking for something deeper in color. MAC’s best-selling lipsticks are v creamy, highly pigmented, and dry matte. The wine lip goes hand-in-hand with dark eyeshadow for that trending vampy look you’ll soon be seeing everywhere. Why this Twilight thing is a fad next season, I couldn’t fucking tell you.
2. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Nude Kate
A classy elegant nude never goes out of style
which is why I’ve saved my nude pics from back when I was skinny in college and with all the dull colors you’ll be dressing head to toe in, you’ll need a simple nude to go with them. This shade is the most ideal and won’t wash you out or make your lips look pasty or diseased. Like, summer is just finishing, we need to make some of your racial ambiguity lasts, damn it. The modern collection is full of pinks and reds made for every skin tone. Each lipstick protects against cancer-causing rays, leaves them hella moisturized, and contains brightening pigments so both you and your lips stay looking ~lit~ all night long.
3. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Femme Fatale Matte
NGL, any dark lip color makes me think you’re channeling
my spirit animal an inner homicidal Wednesday Addams, but in girl world, the fighting has to be sneaky this silky-smooth plum shade is considered a v trendy twist. Bruised/borderline hypothermia-looking lips look cool as temps begin to drop because like, fashion, and the color def pops in all your Instas. If you’re too hungover to do any other makeup, just swipe on a bold lip and no one will ever question it. It’s literally the best last-minute accessory.
4. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Interrogate
Since pale pink is already sooo last season, swap the basic betch shade for a slightly darker replacement like a peachy rose. It’s not too pink or too light, so go for a shade that’s more on the orangey side for a luscious combo that looks something like peach and rosé. Yeah, I’m also going to need that in a bottle like, pronto. When your lipstick matches the color of your drink, you know it’s going to be a good fucking night.
5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in Cool Brown
Finding a brown for every skin tone can be tricky because we’re not trying to walk around with something that resembles shit on our lips, so be sure to go for one that’s on the warm beige-y side like this warm tan shade… even though it’s called Cold Brown. IDK, I don’t make the rules here. The color cools down your look for an effortlessly chic style that doesn’t have a totally nude lip but gives a subtle enough pop where you’re not getting stared at on the street. This lipstick literally has the most smooth application ever, so it’s def non-drying and is guaranteed to stay on for multiple rounds of shots.
6. NARS Lipstick in Heat Wave
Fall is all about going darker (fucking obviously if you haven’t caught on by now) so if you can’t let go of a bright red, at least don’t go for the firetruck red. Try not to be basic for like, two seconds and find a color that’s more on the orange-red side. The orange pigment will really warm up the rest of your face, regardless of skin tone. Pair with a deep pink blush to make yourself look so much tanner, even if your equivalent of spending time in the sun this summer was walking to work. This lipstick is only semi-matte so if mummy lips aren’t your thing, no stress. It still glides on super soft and leaves a sheer finish for a duckface-worthy Snapchat to your Bumble boy. Priorities.