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The Beginner's Guide To Summer Makeup


Summer makeup is to regular makeup as Paris Hilton is to Nicky Hilton. Related, but also totally separate beings with unique personalities and tendencies. (This is where the extended comparison to the Hilton sisters stops because I do not intend for this to be some sort of character assassination; they’re great girls!)

Regular makeup comes with all the freedom in the world—use whatever works for you. Maybe that’s a full face of mineral foundation, matte liquid lip with non-waterproof mascara and brow gel, all set with powder. Sounds like you really know what you’re doing and look great. But! (There’s always a but.) Add 90% humidity and the blazing sun to that and you’re a flesh-toned, drippy mess. Let’s avoid that, shall we? Summer doesn’t have to mean no makeup; it just means different makeup. Things like:

Tinted moisturizer instead of foundation

No need to sacrifice coverage during the hot times—just make sure it's coverage that breathes. Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer is an obvious choice (and an ITG Top 25 winner) given its sunscreen and oil-free versions. I also have been really impressed with Mychelle Sun Shield Liquid Tint—blends in like a dream and the tint alleviates any natural sunscreen white cast fear. Then there's Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum, which has it all in the name: more skincare than makeup with antioxidant power and SPF 30, but tinted for barely-there-but-still-there-because-you-want-it-to-be-there look.

Waterproof mascara

I know. I know. It's a bitch to take off, but when you think of all the sweating, spritzing, and spontaneous pool-jumping that's awaiting you, it's worth it. Diorshow Iconic Waterproof gets namechecked to me the most (also a good pick for people who have a hard time getting their lashes to keep a curl). However, if you're someone for whom waterproof is just a means to an end and not a way of life, go drugstore. L'Oréal specifically. Their Voluminious line has never let me down.

Bronzer, obviously

This I know to be true: Everyone looks better after a bit of sun. But the sun is slowly killing us all, so we gotta fake it. Someone on Instagram told me they call it "catfishing a sunburn"—I thought that was very clever. Pick the shade that's right for you (anywhere from cool taupe to warmer browns), but avoid shimmer. Sitting out in the sun for 20 minutes never added an ounce of mica to your face. Benefit Hoola is nearly foolproof (it even comes with its own brush if you're truly a beginner), with no shimmer in sight. Swirl the brush in the powder, tap it off a few times, and start to dot it on your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, the high points of your forehead, and the eye sockets. This technique is about pushing the powder on, instead of traditional brushing. Keeps the effect where you want it. Then swipe the excess along your jawline to bring it all together and make it more believable.

Lip stain or something like it

Again, I know the sun is bad, but I love the way a sunburn looks on the lips. Sort of like chapped-lip-color, but plumper. I oscillate between throwing YSL Tint-in-Oil (like gloss, but more hydrating, and leaves behind color) or Dior Lip Glow (one of those magic, color-changing balms) in my bag. They're pricier, but you can't go wrong with either. The Kiko Milano Lip Marker is also pretty close to perfect in terms of affordable stains, too.

Mist for setting and refreshing

I love the Marc Jacobs Beauty Recover Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist. Like, really love it. It's a setting mist that doesn't give you any of that stickiness or overly dewiness (you're gonna be plenty dewy on your own, thank you very much). It just meshes all your makeup together, makes it last through all the summer elements, and refreshes your face, body temperature, and outlook on life. Plus it smells like coconut! For summer! Groundbreaking.

—Emily Ferber

Photo via ITG.

All set with makeup for the season? Look here for housewares and everything else you're going to need in the coming weeks.