Summer Makeup Picks – 2016


Happy Friday-Eve!

Since summer is here (finally!) I thought it may be a good time to share some of my makeup picks for the season. Summer makeup calls for lots of sun-kissed colour, light (or bright) eye makeup, dewy skin, and some sort of staying power to keep that all on your face in the sunshine, ocean spray, or just through the sweaty, muggy weather we get here on the east coast. If you’ve already read my previous beauty posts (check out my Spring Makeup Faves or Give Me Some Lip) you know that I like getting a glam look for little effort. I find that this batch of beauty products gives me an easy-to-apply look, and stays for most of the day!

Please excuse my well loved bronzer compacts – someone needs to shop again soon 😉


In the summer months, I tend to look for a lighter foundation or BB Cream that offers some coverage, but isn’t as heavy as some of my full coverage favourites. Rather than smother your skin and clog your pores when its not needed (I’m talking everyday wear), opt for something a little lighter that not only lets your skin breathe a bit, but also won’t end up melting off your face in the sun and heat (hopefully!). My two picks for this are Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream (my colour is medium-dark) and Tarte Rainforst of the Sea Water Foundation (my colour for summer is Tan Sand). The Garnier BB cream is light, not greasy, blends well, and offers just a touch of colour to even out my skin tone. This stuff can be found at nearly every drug store under the sun – my link is to Wal Mart, but it can be found at Shoppers, other drug store chains, and sometimes the larger grocery stores. The Tarte foundation is great because it offers buildable coverage should you need it, and it has a high water content to hydrate your skin with 12 hour wear time. I prefer to apply these foundations to my moisturized face with a beauty blender, but they both go on nicely with fingers or a brush as well.

Bronzers & Blush

In my opinion, summer makeup is not complete without mention of bronzer! Bronzer is a smart way to add some sunshine and colour to your face, without the risk of sun damage and can be used year round if its done right. I once read a pro-makeup artist’s tip in a magazine that said to always add some blush to your bronzed cheeks to make it look more realistic – and I totally agree to this! While it is nice to have a nice tan, there is always a little bit of a red/pink undertone to that tan most of the time, and by adding this slight blush shade onto your bronzer, it really does brighten your face – and make it look like you’ve spend the day on a beach chair instead of in your office cubicle. Try it out the next time you do your makeup, and see if you agree with me. These are my favourite bronzers and summer blushes: NARS Bronzing Powder (I’ve used both Laguna and Casino and loved both), NARS Blush (in the cult-favourite colour – Orgasm) – or if you want to have both, you can get NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo . I also love MAC Bronzing Powder for its colour, and ability to contour with – as a bonus. Another blush option is the fun and hydrating Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelée which is a gel that can be lightly swept on the cheeks for just a touch of colour or added onto your lips as a light stain.


To Make It All Last

For me, the battle in the summer is to not only make my makeup look good, but to keep it from melting off my face when I get sweaty during the day. I take two approaches to locking my hard work onto my face: 1) priming and 2) setting your work. There are a million and one primers for every part of your face out now, but I usually stick to just priming my face and my (very oily) eyelids before putting makeup on. If I am just doing my everyday makeup, I typically skip the primer on my face unless I know a long or extremely hot day is ahead of me, just because I don’t like to take the risk of clogged pores and a big pimple, but that is just my opinion. My primer of choice is Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer (not pictured) and for my eyelids, I use MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre. Both of these products may seem like a bit of a splurge to use for the summer alone, but I use them all year – making your makeup last isn’t just for the summer after all! I especially like the MAC paint pot as my eye primer, as its shade also helps amplify any bright colours you may be using, but also provides a blank canvas for nude shades as well. At the end of your makeup routine, but preferably before you put mascara on (so it doesn’t smudge) you can set your work with a finishing spray. I have had great luck with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray, and NYX Makeup Setting Spray (in Matte or Dewy). Some folks may think that priming and finishing sprays are just a gimmick, but I am a firm believer that they work!

I hope this summer makeup breakdown helps you out when you’re getting ready for your next summer event – even if that’s just a backyard BBQ or a drink on a patio. Summer makeup is meant to be easy breezy, and nobody has time to re-apply makeup or check to make sure their eyeliner isn’t running down their cheeks. Hopefully you can give some of these products and tricks a try soon, and as always, let me know what you think!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and happy Memorial Day to my US readers! 🙂


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