The devil-may-care summeriness of a floaty, beachy Lemlem caftan or a gypset-chic Bardot mini from Pampelone looks best with fresh, glowy skin—and not much else. A little goes a long way this time of year, so keep a light touch, and devote serious energy to skincare, which makes all the difference.
“Makeup in summer should be about beautiful, radiant skin,” says top makeup artist/Burberry creative consultant Wendy Rowe, whose new book, Eat Beautiful, launched in the UK this summer. “It’s about looking your best—but not as though you’re wearing loads of makeup.”
You don’t need a professional if you’re willing to do a few easy steps at home. The most important element is a thorough but gentle exfoliation—at home or on vacation, do it with the goop Exfoliating Instant Facial to clear away salt, sand, sunblock, pollution, sweat, dead skin cells, and excess oil, revealing fresh, smooth skin beneath. Next, plump skin with moisture—May Lindstrom’s The Honey Mud mask is beyond amazing, or Rowe likes to do a simple mask with a rich moisturizer—her favorite is Weleda Skin Food—leaving it on for about 10 minutes before wiping it off with a wet washcloth. Oilier skin would do well with a calming, detoxifying mask like the Blue Tansy one from Herbivore, which is heavenly.
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facialgoop, $125
The Exfoliating Instant Facial instantly brightens and softens skin to reveal a glowing, smoother-looking complexion. Natural alpha- and beta- hydroxy acids sweep away dead skin cells, and plant-based cellulose beads exfoliate further while releasing soothing vitamin B5—leaving skin supple, soft, and utterly revitalized. The Exfoliating Instant Facial is formulated with USDA-certified organic ingredients and contains approximately 86% total organic content.
May Lindstrom The Honey Mudgoop, $80
This clay, plant oil, and raw honey concoction smells… beyond delicious. It’s also kind of the richest, most major daily cleansing experience we can think of, especially when applied with the brand’s facial treatment brush–it gets rids of every trace of dirt and leaves skin baby-smooth. Good for all skin types.
Herbivore Blue Tansy Maskgoop, $48
Clarify and calm skin with this gently exfoliating, anti-inflammatory mask. Blue tansy oil soothes inflammation; aloe leaf gently unclogs pores; and natural alpha-hydroxy and salicylic acids plus fruit enzymes gently resurface skin to leave it clear, smooth, soft, refreshed, and practically poreless.
The most important skincare step—clean, mineral-based sunblock—is easily combined with primer or a glowy skin tint in the summer. Or you can mix the two together, which Rowe says give the ultimate glow. “I like to combine Burberry Fresh Glow Golden Radiance with foundation to create fresh, naturally radiant-looking skin.” she says. We’ve put our favorite primers and tints on a sort of continuum, from least coverage to most, below:
Kypris Pot of Shadegoop, $68
This broad-spectrum, beautifully translucent formula is perfect for everyday protection. Boosted with moisturizing botanicals (and no essential oils so it’s ideal for reactive and sensitive skin) and non-nano, non-whitening zinc oxide, it’s brilliant as primer, leaving skin radiant, plumped, and smooth. It feels incredible going on, blends like a dream, soothes any skin type, and makes serious, long-lasting protection a luxurious daily ritual.
de Mamiel Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectargoop, $115
This silky, ethereal daily moisturizer manages to be light, incredibly hydrating, and supremely protective, all at once. It shields against pollution, the formation of free radicals, and UVA and UVB radiation with a delicate mineral (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) formula that allows skin to breathe. Hyaluronic acid and avocado extract moisturize skin deeply, while quercetin detoxifies and strengthens, and the bespoke, signature de Mamiel blend of rice bran oil plus 14 herbs (comfrey, yarrow, calendula, marshmallow root, arnica, astragalus, nettle, elderflower, licorice, red clover, and horsetail, to name a few) calm, moisturize, heal, and protect the skin. Used every day, this skin self-defense should keep your skin beautiful pretty much forever.
Coola Matte Face Tintgoop, $36
Coola’s Matte Tint SPF 30 has the freakiest (and coolest) feel ever: It goes on like foam dust, leaving nary a trace behind. It has a very sheer universal tint and matte finish that hides imperfections and evens skin tone, too, meaning it’s kind of magic in a bottle.
Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizergoop, $45
This glowy, translucent, instantly perfecting SPF 20 has to be the ultimate no makeup-makeup of all time. It’s less about masking flaws, and more about looking and feeling like you—but better. The delicate, deeply hydrating formula smoothes in like a dream; zinc oxide soothes and protects all day; black currant, peony-root extract, and vitamin C address age spots and enhance brightness, and hyaluronic acid promotes firmer, smoother-looking skin. If you’re looking for coverage, this is not your product—but we guarantee it makes anyone’s skin look instantly more beautiful. It’s so sheer that different shades work for many different skins; if you’re in doubt, try No. 2, which works for practically everyone who tries it.
Kjaer Weis Foundationgoop, $68
This is an exquisite compact cream foundation that leaves all skin types with a flawless, velvety-smooth finish. It layers beautifully—a small amount leaves you with a perfect, utterly natural translucence, or you can build for more coverage that invisibly smoothes even the signs of rosacea or acne. Coconut, sweet almond, and jojoba seed oils increase elasticity while reducing fine lines; pure, high-grade pigments adjust to your individual skin tone for a gorgeously blendable, complexion-perfecting, semi-matte finish. Apply with fingers, a sponge, or with the Kjaer Weis Foundation Brush; buy the compact only once, then refills thereafter for optimum sustainability.
If you’ve got a breakout, redness, or dark circles, spot-treat with concealer rather than layering on tint or foundation. The more pigmented the formula, the less you need to use; dab it on with a brush and you’ll use even less. Dab only on the spot you want to cover, then pat softly to blend—don’t rub, or you’ll simply move the concealer off the bit you want to cover and onto another part of your face.
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Upgoop, $36
This moisturizing and healing cover-up smoothes blemishes and blends easily, leaving flawless skin behind.
Vapour Illusionist Concealergoop, $24
While the natural mineral pigments and stay-put consistency are potent enough to stand on their own, this soothing, antioxidant-packed concealer stick blends beautifully with Vapour’s Soft Focus foundation—just match up the numbers to get the ideal shade pairing.
Once your skin is in great shape, you may need nothing else—or add or subtract eye, cheek, and lip options as you please. The most flattering blush option is often a mix of two—mix a bronzer shade with a blush or a neutral, cedar-rose-ish blush with a shade that really pops on top. Rowe likes cream formulas: “I always think cream is more flattering—it’s more undetectable. I like Chantecaille’s cream blush, and Aerin by Estee Lauder has some really nice colors too,” Below, two foolproof cream-blush color combinations:
Tata Harper Very Bronzinggoop, $40
The natural way to subtly contour your face, this tinted balm is packed with skincare ingredients like peptides to plump and smooth skin as the pigments sculpt and tone. In a pinch, it makes a great, natural eyeshadow, and it can be used for an all-over bronze as well.
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheekgoop, $36
This is the ultimate multi-tasking product: You can use these ultra-flattering shades on both lips and cheeks, making it a go-to for women who want to streamline their morning routine. (It’s pretty great in a gym bag, too.)
Beautycounter Color Contour Matte Bronzergoop, $39
This hydrating, antioxidant powder creates an ultra-flattering sun-kissed glow—and can also be used to contour the face. For all-over radiance, brush it wherever the sun would hit, at the tops of cheekbones, browbones, forehead, and chin. For contour, brush under cheekbones and around jawline.
Kjaer Weis Cream Blush Compactgoop, $56
Developed by makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, this line wins huge points for its gorgeous (and refillable) packaging, as well as its pretty perfect formulations.
Lashes—unless you’re very blonde, always pick black, even in the summer—shouldn’t go on too thick unless you’re having a major night out. One swipe of Juice Beauty’s brilliant mascara should do it. If you feel like your eyes still don’t pop enough, ink the very base of your lashes with a bit of black liner; Rowe likes MAC’s Blacktrack: “It doesn’t move.”
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascaragoop, $22
You won’t believe this mascara is as clean, natural, and organic as it is: The intense pigment, high shine, and serious volume-building capability rivals that of any conventional mascara. Plus, it leaves lashes lush, long, and feathery-soft without the toxic chemicals commonly used in conventional mascara; the formula is ultra-smooth, clump-free, and it doesn’t smudge or flake. GP’s personal tip: Smooth on one coat, wait a few seconds for it to dry, then build color and length with a second coat for a look that instantly wakes up your whole face.
ILIA Pure Eyelinergoop, $24
This eyeliner is made with coconut and shea butter, plus vitamin E and sesame oil so it glides on effortlessly. Wear it crisp or smoky; build for more drama. The color twists up from the pencil and comes with a built-in sharpener—easy to care for, easy to use…a perfect essential.
If you love to finish with powder, use a brush, not a puff, says Rowe, who’s devoted to Burberry’s airy formula: “Technology has moved on, so you just don’t need that much powder.”
RMS Beauty “Un” Powdergoop, $34
Free from talc, silicone, perfume, and parabens, this powder sets any base without leaving any toxic residues behind.
Glowy, healthy skin looks good with just about any sort of lip, from a your-lips-but-better stain/balm like Olio e Osso in Currant—wear it when you’re not wanting full-on color, but more a tint—or the sheerly pigmented lip/cheek pots from Tata Harper (we love Very Popular) to a full-on, highly pigmented hot pink like the gorgeous Liquid Lip in Kate from Juice Beauty. Rowe says not to worry too much about lasting power: “Bulletproof options can be very drying on the lips.” Indeed, for summer, think super-hydrating, dashed-on, and above all, easy.
Olio E Osso Balmgoop, $28
This citrusy, super-moisturizing tinted lip/cheek balm delivers all the cushy hydration of the original No. 1 Balm, with the addition of the most flattering-to-all-skin-types sheer pigment out there, period. It’s the sort of your-lips-but-better color that brightens up your whole face, yet doesn’t read as “lipstick” or even “gloss”—just all-natural prettiness, pure and simple. Bonus: The stick fits the shape of your lips perfectly, so it feels especially fantastic going on.
Tata Harper Lip and Cheek Tintgoop, $36
Strictly natural pigments and added anti-aging elements earn these hard working two-in-ones pride of place in every purse, desk drawer, and makeup cabinet. Whether applied to cheeks or lips, the color goes on sheer for a natural yet sexy, flushed look.
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Liquid Lipgoop, $24
Liquid Lip is exactly that—a gorgeous, intensely pigmented liquid lipstick with the vividness of a stain and the hydrating shine of a gloss. The plant-based color is rich and beautifully long-lasting, organic shea and grapeseed oil moisturize like crazy, antioxidants protect and reduce the appearance of fine lines, and the shine is just so pretty.