I don’t change up my everyday makeup too often, but after swapping in a new foundation and bronzer for summer, I’ve gotten so many compliments on the resulting look! I used to gravitate towards matte everything, as I thought it looked more age-appropriate. Lately, though, I’ve been loving a little luminosity to add dimension to my makeup. And based on your comments, the effect apparently passes as “pregnancy glow!”
I’m partnering with Sephora today to share my summer makeup regimen, which includes both very old and new favorite products. Some of these are on the splurge side, but they literally last me months if not years (especially the bronzer and brow powder)!
After washing my face, I apply facial moisturizer then sunscreen, and will get dressed or do my hair while the sunscreen sets. I’ve found a few great sunscreens over the years and will do a separate post on that! I also apply Bite Beauty agave lip mask (in lavender) before bed, so my lips are hydrated in the morning and serve as a smooth base for lipcolor.
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (I use “Fiji” regularly and “Punjab” when I’m tan)
Foundations get very mixed reviews, because it can be so personal based on your skin type. My former holy grail was sadly discontinued, so I picked up half a dozen samples at Sephora hoping to find a long-lasting, lightweight foundation with buildable coverage.
This NARS foundation worked best for my skin type – it looks natural and stays put all day (with setting powder), even in super humid conditions like in Bermuda! Warm a little up in your hand, then apply using either your fingers, a brush, or a beauty blender sponge for increasing levels of coverage. Despite the words “sheer” and “glow” in the product name, it actually provides decent coverage, and the finish is just very slightly luminous. I got a little foundation on my lips in these photos, and you can see how the coverage level makes them look nearly nude.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (I use “custard” – also comes in a mini size)
This is still the best concealer in my arsenal, creamy enough for the delicate under-eye area and with enough coverage for redness around my nose and chin. I dot this on and pat it in with my fingers after foundation.
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (also comes in a mini size)
I don’t need to say much about this iconic favorite! In the summer, this has been critical for keeping my foundation in place all day. It’s also key for providing a smooth, set base before applying powder products like bronzer and eyeshadow. I gently press this powder on with a large, fluffy brush.
Here I used shadows from my Kevyn Aucoin contour book, concentrating the color toward the outer corners of my lids. For a very similar look for less, I LOVE Tarte palettes – the neutral shadows in this Tarte Tease mini palette are beautiful!
Anastasia Brow Powder Duo (I use “ebony”)
I’ve bought every format of Anastasia brow products (pomade, gel, pencil) and find the powder duo to be the best value. It lasts forever without risk of drying out, and looks natural when applied with a light hand. To save time, I use a slightly fuller brush to quickly sweep some color along the center of my brows, then use this more refined brow brush to outline my arches and complete filling them in. Finish by brushing the powder through with the spooley end of the brush, to make brows look less stark.
Too Faced Better than Sex mascara
Despite some very mixed reviews online, this is still one of the best mascaras I’ve tried. It makes my nearly nonexistent lashes look fuller and longer. I don’t use a lot of mascara, so I always buy the mini size to keep it as fresh as possible.
NARS velvet matte pencil in “red square” (a vibrant, flattering red-orange)
My favorite, bold summer color never fails to garner compliments! For longer-lasting color that survives hours of eating and drinking, I’m still obsessed with Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick for everyday wear. I’ve tried a few lower-priced liquid lipsticks and the staying power is just not the same (and looked more caked on the lips)!
Amongst Kat Von D’s colors, “Lovecraft” (see this blog post for swatches) has been my everyday go-to, and they also have a shade, “Malice,” that’s almost a perfect dupe for NARS’ Red Square! These liquid lipsticks are very pigmented – you only need to use a tiny bit so one tube lasts a looong time. TIP: A Sephora Beauty Advisor showed me how to “sheer it out,” which has been my new favorite way to use these! Simply paint a little dab of the liquid lipstick along the center of your lips, rub your lips together to blend, and then use your fingertip to finish spreading the color out. This looks very natural for everyday wear, and is quicker to apply as it requires less precision!
I know Becca highlighters are a cult favorite, but as a highlight novice, I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on a standalone one. So when I saw their gorgeous new gradient Sunlit bronzer (I use “Sunrise Waves”), I may have gotten just a little excited! This has been my secret lately for that soft, sun-kissed glow. The gradient compact contains 3 of their regular Sunlit bronzer shades, enveloped by one of their pressed highlighters. It applies silkily on the skin and is quite versatile, since you can angle your brush at different shades of bronzer depending on how dark you want it, or pick up some highlight on the sides for extra glow. If you don’t care for the highlighter part, their regular Sunlit bronzer in Capri Coast looks beautiful and natural on!
Another longtime favorite bronzer that has just a hint of radiance to it is this Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Bronzer in “Tropical Days.” I’ve raved about this before and wear it in most blog posts. It was a splurge, but I used it nearly daily for two years and there’s still lots of product left! Compared to the Becca bronzer in Sunrise Waves, this has less of a highlighter sheen (which may be preferred for professional / work settings) and the bronzer end applies a little darker in color, so is great for contouring under the cheekbones as well.
Aside from the bronzer itself, a good application brush makes ALL the difference for me between murky brown splotches vs a luminous glow. A few Sephora Beauty Advisors used this soft, fluffy #50 flawless powder brush on me to test bronzers in-store. I picked it up and have been so happy with the natural-looking touch of color that the brush deposits! (In this post I’m using #50.5, the mini travel version that may have been discontinued). TIP: another benefit to #50 is it’s angled on both sides, so you can use each half of the brush for a different product (ie one bronzer, one blush). I also love using the tip on this brush for contouring cheekbones.
Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover + Farmacy makeup meltaway balm (both are holy grails!!)
I love makeup with great staying power, but also want the quickest nighttime removal process possible. I start with Lancome’s Bi-Facil to wipe off my eye and brow makeup. It’s so gentle on the eyes, yet effective taking off even waterproof makeup. Nothing else compares! I then apply the Farmacy cleansing balm and wash everything off with a warm cloth. I raved about this balm in this blog post and showed how it easily takes off even tough liquid lipcolor!
Thank you to Sephora for partnering on this post.