Summer Makeup Essentials

During the summer, my primary makeup goal is simply that it end the day in the same spot it was originally applied. We have had a relatively mild summer this year, but there have definitely been days that this has presented more of a challenge than others. #Makeupgoals

If you peek into your favorite retailer right about now, you might think that Pumpkin Latte Season is just around the corner. But let’s be clear – summer is far from over in my neck of the woods. The harsh reality is that August (and often September) can be the hottest and most humid months of the year in the midwest.

In an effort to make this time slightly more bearable, I thought I would share with you the products that have been dominating my makeup routine as of late. I always love to know what everyone’s go-to routine looks like – if only for inspiration.

I have officially become “crazy sunscreen lady.” Not sure when this began, only that on a recent boat trip I found myself yelling “I have 3 kinds of sunscreen if you guys need any…Oh! And one for your lips…Oh! And another to spray on your face without disturbing your makeup.” This was not the first time I had halted fun for a sunscreen related public service announcement, and likely not the last.

You get one face people. Wear sunscreen or else the rest of your skin care regime is really counter productive. Obviously, you should be wearing sunscreen everywhere. However, I am particularly obsessive about my face, neck and chest. The neck doesn’t lie. Okay rant over.


All of the to say that while I will save my skincare routine for another post, my makeup is always applied over sunscreen. It has taken tons of trial and error to discover a sunscreen that protects my skin, wears well under makeup and doesn’t break me out. Cue, EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.

This is officially my holy grail sunscreen. I apply it a few minutes before my makeup just so it has time to fully absorb. The smell is not overwhelming, it dries down completely and does not leave a white cast. EltaMD UV Clear is the only sunscreen I have found that does not in any way upset my skin-definitely give it a shot if you’re seeking a daily sunscreen.


I have oily, textured skin and a good primer really helps to prolong the wear time of my foundation while smoothing out the skin. Yet, given my propensity for layering skincare and bathing in sunscreen, it can pill if I’m not careful. I have found that I’m happy with the way that my foundation has been laying over just my HG sunscreen, so I’ve been forgoing primer lately. If we are going out in the evening or for a lengthy indoor event, (less sunscreen) I’ll reach for the Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer. It’s a cult classic for a reason.


My skin and I are on speaking terms at the moment, so I have found myself not needing as much coverage as I have previously. To that end, I’ve been applying one of two foundations with a damp Beautyblender to thin out the product to an airbrushed finish. I’ve been alternating between the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+ – Light and the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15. (Also sold at Sephora.) Both offer a light weight, full coverage finish. I am in the camp of, buy medium to full coverage and thin it out if needed, versus building up a light coverage foundation. (And the answer to your question is no, I do not think that a foundation that also has SPF is overkill. To each her own.)


The Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer is every bit as fabulous as it is reported to be and you will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands. It is full coverage (foundation theory applies to concealer as well) and blends out beautifully with a Beautyblender. I recommend a bit around your nose and maybe your chin to ensure long lasting coverage in those areas that tend to become oiliest.


I have been testing out the Dermablend Loose Setting Powder (Colorless) since I received it in a Sephora Play Box earlier this year. The consistency is definitely more finely milled than your run of the mill drugstore powder, but seems to be a bit drying. Elsewhere, I use my trusty Coty AirSpun Loose Face Powder (Translucent). I purchased this product about a year ago after hearing a number of YouTubers rave about it, and am still on the same container. I like it aside from the smell – it’s a little perfume-y for my liking. Obviously it doesn’t offend me enough to stop using it, so, there’s that.


As a rule, being so fair I tread lightly around bronzer. I picked up the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer as a Sephora 100 points perk in the Rewards Bazaar. It has served me well all spring and summer. Like with any bronzer, always go in with a light hand and build up or else things can get Jersey Shore-esque really quickly.


I am a neutral lip and blush girl through and through. (I did the dark lipstick in the 90’s and trust me it’s best left there. I still love the look of a dark brownish pink lip, but it can look really aging on women after a certain point.) I adore the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Risque. It produces a gorgeous natural flush. Exposed from that line is also a great choice.


If I am cautious with bronzer, I am neurotic about highlighter. I definitely fall into the less is more camp here. No, I do not think a good highlighter should appear as a strip on my cheek easily seen from a satellite. I use it lightly and rarely. In the past, if someone suggested a liquid or stick highlighter, I would have immediately backed away slowly… But, I discovered the TrèStiQue Highlight & Perfect Multipurpose Stick and it is the ideal summer highlighter. I apply it directly to the upper portion of my cheekbone and gently blend out with my finger. I do this before applying powder so that it can meld with the foundation.


Confession – my eyeshadow game could use some work. That being said, I still make a noble effort every day hoping that practice will indeed make perfect. (That and watching countless YouTube tutorials.) I’ve been keeping things light and warm most days with my Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette. It’s filled with warm neutral mattes and three wearable metallics to spice things up a bit.


Again, the goal here is: DO. NOT. MOVE. The It Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner has been making dreams come true all summer. No transfer to my upper (oily) lid and no raccoon eyes. What else can a girl ask for? If you work quickly (always one eye at a time) you can blend things out a tad with a eyeliner brush to ensure an even application. No cat eyes are happening here.


As a rule, I don’t use waterproof mascara. I don’t care for it and can never escape the feeling that I have crap in my eyes due to the dryness of it. I had been hearing wonderful things about the new L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara and decided to try it out after a few particularly sweaty days. It lives up to the hype. I can tolerate the waterproof-ed-ness of it all, but will likely invest in the regular formula once I finish the other mascara in my rotation. That mascara, is the It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara. (Again, thank you Sephora Play Box!) If I am going to go through the trouble of applying mascara, I do not want my lashes to look “natural.” I want drag queens to stop me on the street and beg to know what eyelashes I apply. (Hasn’t happened yet, but I still hold out hope.) Point being – It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara provides that level of volume.


I am naturally blonde and the downfall is that my eyebrows and eyelashes are as well. Come the middle of summer my eyebrows are virtually translucent. I don’t like to mess around with coloring in my brows and I have found that Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel adds a hint of color, volume and control to my otherwise non-existent brows. The wand is really small and helps to avoid scary “instagram brow” caused by other products of this type. If you like a pencil to fill in things a bit, I use the It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil. Shockingly, it really is universal. If I want to pretend I have a slight arch or maybe fill in the ends that never fully recovered from the 90’s – I use this.


I am amazed by the number of people who have yet to fully embrace the power of lip pencil. This provides some shape to our lips as we age, and helps to layer color to increase wear time. I swear by Rimmel London Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Stay On Lip Liner Pencil in Nude. It’s neutral coloring allows it to be paired with a variety of lip shades. Most days, I apply my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne Rose. (You can read more gushing about it here.) If I want a glossier finish, I apply Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Amy.

Setting Spray

Finally, I want to ensure that all of this work was not in vain, so I finish with 4-5 mists of the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray. This stuff is gold. There have been an influx of setting sprays released in the last year, this remains my favorite.

If you have any questions at all, please comment below! I would love to hear what you summer fav’s are! I have linked to all of the products mentioned in a gallery below so that you can click for more details.

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