Longer days, higher temps, and the sudden appearance of sandals can only mean one thing: Summer has arrived. Maybe it’s leftover nostalgia from those school-aged summer vacations, but we’d argue that the blissful stretch of time between spring break and September is the best of the year. With pool parties and backyard barbecues, outdoor movies and all-day music festivals, summer brings with it endless opportunities for fun. Having a few great summer makeup looks up your (metaphorical) sleeve can help ensure that no matter the event, you look and feel your best.
If you need inspiration on that front, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ve rounded up eight of our favorite makeup looks for summer. Whether you like to keep it cool and casual or are someone who’ll never say no to full glam, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover a few of (what we consider to be) the best summer makeup looks to try this year.
The pinkish flush of a subtle sunburn across your nose can be super cute. But damaging your skin for the aesthetic isn’t the best idea. Instead of subjecting your skin to the sun’s harmful rays for a little color, you can fake a burn by applying blush to your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose (and blending it well). While you can use any blush you want for this look, we think a cream formula, like our Wonder Stick Blush, creates the best results. This blendable blush melts into the skin like a wonder, delivering a natural-looking flush of color. Wear the blush alone or add a bit of highlighter to the high points of your face for an extra-glowy finish.
Sweet, cooling, refreshing—popsicles are the ultimate summer treat. We’re especially fond of the way they leave your lips looking subtly stained once you’re done eating them. But you don’t have to eat a popsicle just to get the stained lip look. You can also recreate it with products you probably already have on hand. Here’s how to achieve this summery makeup look:
Step 1: Apply Lip Color
First, grab your lip color. We recommend using our Smooth Whip Matte Lip Cream in the shade Cherry Crème (it’s practically a perfect dupe for a cherry popsicle), but any shade you want to use works, too. Use the included applicator to apply your chosen shade to your lips, concentrating the color on the center of your lips. Try to avoid extending the color to the edges of your lips—we’re after an ombré effect here.
Step 2: Line Your Lips With Concealer
Next, line the outer edges of your lips with a concealer that matches your natural skin tone. Because the lip cream from step one has a matte finish, we suggest using a matte concealer, like Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer, for this step.
Step 3: Blend Well
Lastly, using a damp makeup sponge (or your fingers, if you don't have a sponge on hand), lightly blend the concealer toward the middle of your lips. The goal is to blend it with the lipstick to create a seamless gradient of color, leaving your lips pigmented in the center and gradually fading out toward your lip line. Done right, you should be left with popsicle-stained lips—no popsicle needed.
If you’d rather a glossy lip look than a matte ombré one, reach for our Fat Oil Lip Drip. It’s available in eight universally flattering tinted shades that deliver glossy color, sans stickiness. Plus, the vegan squalane-infused formula helps keep your lips feeling hydrated for up to 12 hours. Wear the tinted formula alone for a hint of sheer color, or layer it over your favorite lipstick for bold color and tons of glossy shine. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal so your lips are the star of the show.
Glowy Bronzed Skin
Tanned skin and summertime go hand-in-hand. But you don’t need to lay out for hours to get that bronzey glow. Instead, follow this tutorial:
Step 1: Moisturize and Prime
Because this look is all about that “been out in the sun” glow, you want your skin to take center stage. That’s why we recommend starting your routine with moisturizer. Our pick: Face Freezie Cooling Primer + Moisturizer. The ultra-refreshing formula preps, evens, smooths, minimizes pores, tightens, hydrates, sculpts, calms, and revitalizes skin. It’s the ultimate multitasker. You’ll want to let the niacinamide-infused formula absorb fully before applying any other makeup.
While you wait, chill out (literally) with your pre-chilled Face Freezie Reusable Undereye Patches. When popped in the fridge before use, these silicone patches help depuff and reduce the appearance of dark circles—plus, the cooling sensation is an excellent pick-me-up on a hot summer day.
Step 2: Apply Your Bronzer
Next, add color to your cheeks, nose, and the top of your forehead with our classic Matte Bronzer. The powder formula comes in five russet shades that leave your skin with a healthy-looking honeyed glow.
Step 3: Finish With Highlighter
For an extra dose of summery glow, complete your look with highlighter. You can use the highlighter end of our Wonder Stick Contour and Highlighter Stick to illuminate the high points of your face (specifically, the top of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow). Don’t forget to blend it well for a natural-looking finish.
For those who love a classic cat eye but want to try something new, there’s the underliner trend. This summer eye makeup look involves drawing a thin, defined wing that extends from your lower lash line to visually “lift” the outer corners of your eye. The effect is edgy and unexpected—and, in our opinion, it’s perfect for those who love bold, playful makeup. This is what you’ll do:
Step 1: Trace Your Lower Lash Line
First, grab your eyeliner. For this look, we recommend the Epic Wear Waterproof Eyeliner Stick—the eyeliner’s pigment-packed formula is ideal for graphic eye looks. Plus, there are 33 shades to choose from, including soft neutrals, bold brights, and metallics. Once you’ve chosen your hue, line the outer three-quarters of your lower lash line (avoiding the inner corner of your lower lid). When you reach the outer corner of your eye, you’re ready to move on to step two.
Step 2: Draw a Wing
If you’re comfortable with drawing wings, this step shouldn’t be too difficult: You’re just drawing a wing from your lower lash line instead of your upper lash line. For those that aren’t used to doing winged eyeliner, we recommend starting with a thin line. Draw upward and outward, extending the line toward the tail of your eyebrow. Once you have the shape down, you can go back in and thicken (or clean up) the wing as needed.
Step 3: Add Shadow For Dimension
Lastly, using an eyeshadow slightly lighter than the eyeliner shade you chose, trace along the bottom edge of your underliner for a soft, smoky effect. We recommend using a mini eyeshadow brush, like our Micro Blending Brush—the brush’s tapered head makes precise application a breeze.
Ocean Blue Eyes
When you think of summertime, what color comes to mind? For us, it’s blue. Whether it’s the pale blue of a clear summertime sky or the turquoise hue of cool water, blue just screams summer. Embrace the versatile shade with a summer eyeshadow look using various shades of blue. If you’re more of a fan of light blues, our Ultimate Glow Shots in the shade Blueberry Baller will be right up your alley. The shimmery, pale blue is especially flattering on those with lighter, cooler skin tones. Prefer dark blues? Try our Jumbo Eye Pencil in Blueberry Pop, or play around with the turquoise tones in our Ultimate Utopia Ultimate Color Palette.
Softly Sculpted Glam
Contouring is by no means new, but this take on the trend—complete with glowy skin, defined cheekbones, and artfully-arched brows—is perfect for amplifying your go-to summer makeup look. Here’s how to soft-sculpt your features for a quietly glam effect:
Step 1: Prep Your Skin
This summertime makeup look is all about making your skin—and your bone structure—stand out. And in order to do that, you’ll want to start with a great base. To prep your skin for your sculpted glam makeup look, we recommend applying a hydrating makeup primer, like Plump Right Back Primer + Serum. The electrolyte-infused formula grips your makeup for all-day wear and leaves your skin looking glowy, smooth, and radiant.
Step 2: Carve Out Your Cheekbones
Next comes the sculpting. Using the darker shade in your dual-ended Wonder Stick Contour and Highlighter Stick, draw a line directly underneath your cheekbone, starting at your ear and extending it about halfway toward your mouth. Then, use a damp makeup sponge to blend out the contour, buffing it out well so there are no obvious lines of demarcation.
Step 3: Add Highlight
With the lighter shade in your contour and highlight stick, illuminate the high points of your face—namely, the bridge of your nose, your cupid’s bow, and the tops of your cheekbones. You can also use a small eyeshadow brush to add a bit of highlight to the inner corner of your eye, or, for a super-precise application, use the Wonder Pencil to highlight your inner corners and brow bone. Blend all of the highlight well to give your skin a softly diffused, lit-from-within effect.
Step 4: Brush Up Your Brows
Last but not least, complete your sculpted-yet-effortless summertime makeup look by brushing up your brows with The Brow Glue Instant Brow Styler. The long-hold brow gel delivers up to 16 hours of non-sticky hold and comes in four tinted shades (plus one totally transparent version) to flatter a range of hair colors. Plus, it’s waterproof—a serious bonus on sweaty summer days.
There are few things quite as endearing as freckles. And though not everyone is naturally blessed with a smattering of freckles, you can fake them fairly easily with eyeliner. Pick a pencil eyeliner in a shade slightly darker than your natural skin tone and use it to draw small, irregular dots along the bridge of your nose and top of your cheeks. Then, use your ring finger to lightly smudge the dots—the warmth from your finger will help soften any sharp edges and give your faux freckles a more natural look.
To really lean into the fake freckle look, you can use two different shades of eyeliner to create dimension. Look for shades that have similar undertones, such as our Slim Eye Pencil in Cafe and Auburn.
Pro Tip: Help keep your summer makeup look in place throughout the day by finishing your routine with Plump Finish Setting Spray. It helps extend makeup wear for up to 24 hours while leaving your skin with a fresh, moisturized appearance.
Next: Want more summer makeup ideas? We’ve got you covered. Check out our article 14 Fun and Flirty Party Makeup Ideas to find inspiration for all of your summer festivities.