The Italian-Girl Beauty Formula
Written by: Jean Godfrey-June
Updated: October 18, 2019
If the quintessential French-girl look involves a smoky eye, the perfect trench coat, and a chic pair of ballet flats, the Italian counterpart might be identified by an expertly angled cat eye, a waist-nipping sundress, and gold hoop earrings. The sexy, summery ease of Italian-girl-inspired beauty (think Monica Vitti, Claudia Cardinale, and of course, Sophia Loren) has a universal appeal, whether it’s June in Amalfi or—sigh—February in New York.
The key elements are glowy, fresh-looking skin; the aforementioned eyeliner; and a hint of sheer color on the lips and cheeks. So start with skin care, both inside and out, and go light with makeup—except of course for the eyeliner. Add a dash of orange-blossom-infused perfume and clean, neutral polish and the sexy, sunny, polished-not-done, La Dolce Vita vibe will make not just your day but everyone else’s.
FRESH, GLOWY SKIN
goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator goop, $125/$112 with subscription
The Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator is a dual-action microdermabrasion exfoliator that delivers the benefits of both physical and chemical exfoliation, instantly polishing away roughness, smoothing uneven texture, and revealing a healthy-looking, glowing complexion. The air-whipped, almost marshmallow-like formula is densely packed with a blend of four powerful glow-inducing skin-polishing minerals (quartz, garnet, alumina, and silica) plus glycolic acid to help slough away dry, dead skin cells and refine the appearance of pores for skin that is visibly softer, smoother, and more radiant.
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum goop, $185
It’s not surprising that this oil has a cult following: It’s an infusion of twenty-two active organic botanicals mixed with powerful essential oils. Phytonutrients and minerals help balance skin; phytoceramides, nourishing fatty acids, and antioxidants stimulate and brighten dull complexions. The revolutionary formula beautifully sinks in, leaving skin smooth and glowy.
goop Beauty GOOPGLOW goop, $60/$55 with subscription
Drink your way to glowing skin with a megadose of skin-supporting ingredients: grape-seed proanthocyanidins, vitamins C and E, and CoQ10, along with the critical carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. A power shot of antioxidants designed to reduce the free radical effects of the sun, pollution, stress, and more, it helps face down oxidative photodamage, which can lead to signs of premature aging like dullness, uneven tone, fine lines, and loss of firmness.* Drink as part of your healthy morning ritual: It tastes of oranges and lemon verbena and looks a little like a sunrise as you mix it with water. The single-dose packets fit easily in a gym bag and travel effortlessly, so you can get the goop glow just about anywhere.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Vita Liberata Invisi Foaming Tan Water goop, $39
This clear tanning water is an absolute dream to apply. It foams into a thick, hydrating mousse that sinks right into skin when applied with the Vita Liberata Tanning Mitt—and the clear solution means there’s absolutely no residue or transfer to clothing or sheets. The quick-dry formula is infused with organic botanicals to moisturize skin while it works.
Vita Liberata Tanning Mitt goop, $6.50
This super soft mitt makes applying flawless self-tanner easier than any other mitt we’ve tried. Dispense tanner onto the mitt and smooth over skin in circular motions. It protects your hands from stains, but it also makes any application smoother and more natural (it works especially well with Vita Liberata’s mousses).
Balmyard Beauty Baby Love Balm Lip + Cheek Tint goop, $32
This sexy, just-bitten lip and cheek color gets its gorgeous pigment from Caribbean hibiscus; the color is buildable from a sheer flush to a deep stain. Made with deeply nourishing coconut oil and cocoa butter, it’s also super moisturizing.
goop Beauty GOOPGLOW
Body Luminizer goop, $48
For a soft, flattering glow, this featherweight lotion is instant magic on skin. A luxurious luminizer for legs, shoulders, décolletage, collarbones—anywhere you want a candlelit glow—it smooths on in seconds and sinks right into skin. Light-reflecting minerals create a radiant, imperfection-blurring sheen, while Australian kakadu plum (a superfruit that’s one of the world’s richest sources of vitamin C) and hyaluronic acid plus sugarcane-derived squalane work together for a sexy dewiness.
RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer goop, $28
Designed to be a far cry from some of the more orangey powder-based bronzers on market, RMS Beauty’s Buriti Bronzer is made from buriti oil, a source of vitamin A and beta-carotene that’s pressed from the nuts of Brazil’s moriche palm tree. It leaves a gorgeous sun-kissed glow.
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Liquid Line and Define goop, $24
This liquid liner—intensely black and dramatic—has a short felt-tipped brush that makes applying super easy. From a subtle flick to a full-on cat eye, the long-wear formula defines eyes, makes lashes look fuller, and stays put all day (or night).
Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara goop, $62
It’s GP’s favorite—and you won’t believe this ultraluxe hydrating mascara is clean and nontoxic. It leaves your lashes gorgeous, blackest black, sexy, and super defined in a single coat. It gives you the most voluminous, glossy, can’t-believe-your-eyes lashes you’ve ever had. Larch tree extracts hydrate and condition lashes, chicory root extract helps boost volume and thickness for fullness, and sunflower seed, carnauba, and beeswax keep the long-lasting inky-black mascara from clumping, smudging, or flaking. A unique light-blue nylon brush helps separate and evenly distribute mascara from the root.
Heretic Dirty Neroli goop, $65
Summery orange blossoms combine with fennel, rosemary, and sweet-geranium absolutes in this sexy, unexpected fragrance that’s part Portofino afternoon, part midnight in a Sardinian garden. Natural perfumer Douglas Little mixes light and dark, earthy and airy for a scent that’s wild, unexpected, and utterly original. The gorgeous glass bottle is travel-size, brilliant for the makeup bag or suitcase.
Behnaz Pure Neroli goop, $125
This water perfume—made simply of fresh orange blossom flowers and water—from groundbreaking fashion designer Behnaz Sarafpour is one of the more gorgeous ideas anybody’s ever had. Spritz the pure, airy essence everywhere—pulse points, all over your body, on your sheets, and especially in your hair, where it’s surprisingly long-lasting (and, tip from Sarafpour, blooms into a fleeting, beautiful cloud of scent when you take a shower). This is a perfume people can smell only when they’re close to you—it doesn’t announce itself—and gentle enough that even new moms feel good about wearing it around their babies. A modern take on the ancient Persian tradition of flower waters, the scent is simple, clean, and so pretty.
BOUNCY, SHINY HAIR
Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Shampoo goop, $52
Made with nourishing camellia seed oil, soothing calendula, and energizing ginseng root, this shampoo leaves your hair shiny, healthy, and faintly scented with cedar, sandalwood, and bergamot. The shampoo envelops your hair and scalp in an amazing lather to gently cleanse and lightly hydrate. Bonus: The chic (and gigantic) pump bottle looks fantastic in the shower or by the tub.
Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Conditioner goop, $52
Made with ginkgo biloba, avocado, and jojoba oils, this incredible conditioner moisturizes and smooths hair, leaving it shiny and healthy. It smells faintly of cedar, sandalwood, and bergamot, and the chic (and gigantic) pump bottle looks fantastic in the shower or by the tub.
Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control goop, $26
Made with organic shea butter, rooibos tea, and honey extract, this is the ultimate styling cream for smoothing and strengthening curls. The weightless formula hydrates and defines your natural texture without weighing it down, and the scent—plumeria essential oil—is tropical and sexy.
AND EVERY SO OFTEN: A PONYTAIL
Slip Silk Scrunchies goop, $39
Made of pure, long-fiber mulberry silk, these gleamy black hair ties somehow manage to be tough enough to hold a ponytail during a ten-mile run, and so satin-smooth that they protect your hair from breaking, snagging, or even getting a ponytail dent. They’re both miraculous and look great with any outfit, from workout to work to dressed-up.