I always dial back my makeup when the summer heat rolls around and even now I am really into minimal, super glow-y makeup and skin when I find myself getting ready on certain days. I’ve been testing a variety of new products lately and found some new favorites that are perfect for that minimal-effort, maximum pay-off glow we often want in warmer months. Today’s post features some tried and true favorites of mine along with some new noteworthy finds.
The Best Products for a Summer Glow
Ever since I brought this part-serum / part-primer gel I can’t quit it. I *love* this stuff and have turned so many friends onto it. It looks amazing under the Erborian BB Cream and just gives the most beautiful dewy finish to your face without much work. It is easy to see why it is a cult favorite of the brand.
I use the Starglow shade and I have also written a full review of the Saie Glowy Super Gel.
This product needs no introduction at this point because I’ve talked about it extensively and use it nearly every day. It is my holy grail filter-for-your face glowy bb cream. You can read my full review here. Truly one of the best makeup products I have ever tried.
I don’t use it every day of the summer if it’s going to be hot and humid (read on for what I reach for instead!) but it remains my #1 most days.
Not convinced yet? Ulta sells travel sizes of this BB cream you want to try it out for half the price!
It has SPF20 in it but I don’t rely on SPF in makeup. Instead, I opt for one of my favorite Supergoop SPF 40 sunscreens as a last skincare step before applying primer + BB Cream or a tinted moisturizer.
In 2021 this was one of the best and most unique products I tried out and now it is my go-to makeup for hot days. Several summers later it remains a favorite for hot and sticky summer days.
I’ll admit – I didn’t like this stuff at first – but then when I saw how it held up in humid summer months here in NYC? I was hooked. It evens out skin tone, adds a slight bit of sheer coverage and doesn’t have the melt factor that so many base products have in the summer. It is ideal for Quick Makeup Routine days.
Don’t bother with the brush they send with the product – it’s garbage. I recommend instead using an Artis brush to blend it out.
Related: 29 Best French Beauty Products
If you’re not big on bronzers but want your skin to have a tanned glow this summer, add 1-2 drops of these tanning drops to your favorite moisturizer and apply all over your face and neck. It’ll develop gradually and give you a glow without the sun damage. I wrote a whole review here.
Instant glow can be yours when you mix these glow drops with your favorite moisturizer. I tried it alone (the instructions say you can use it both ways) but thought it was a bit much solo but I got multiple compliments a few days later when I tested it mixed in with my daily moisturizer. It’s a bit more of a mega-wattage glow than the Tan Luxe glow drops I’ve also included so it’s definitely more of a use it on special occasions kind of product unless you just use just a teensy drop.
The drops are made with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and sea kelp and lemon fruit water so you really get a major dose of radiance with just a drop or two. You could also mix this in your daily SPF if that’ll help you be better about wearing SPF daily but I’d use no more than a drop for daily use.
Exfoliating is one of the best ways you can get a glow as it’ll help all of your other products work harder and more properly. This body scrub is so great for sloughing away dead skin all across your body and it is my go-to before I do any sort of tanning. It also helps any and all body oils and body lotions work better so get in the habit of using this in the shower. The Eucalyptus scent is to die for.
Related: Necessaire Review
Body self tanner that makes it so easy and so much less annoying. I absolutely love the spent-the-weekend-at-the-beach vibes this lotion gives you and the fact that it is easy to apply and usually doesn’t cause any tanning nightmares. I wrote a whole review here. It’s truly so good.
8. Saie Sun Melt Bronzer and Big Brush
This bronzer + brush (which I bought as a duo) is my go-to for a summer bronze sun kissed look. It’s a super unique bronzer that melts into your skin. Despite looking a bit tricky to apply, the Big Brush really makes it effortless to get a “I summered in St. Tropez” kind of glow. The brush will buff and blend out Sun Melt into a glowy finish that’s buildable. Highly, highly recommend this for your summer makeup looks.
Related: Saie Beauty Review
Glowy, filter-like skin is achievable with this Instagram famous product. I like to dot it all over my face and then add my bb cream above it.
My favorite, favorite glowy blush. I use the shade Lost Angel. It gives a really beautiful radiance and is buildable depending on what look you’re going for this summer.
For less hot and humid days I will layer if over a favorite cream blush.
This cream highlighter is the dewy glow of my dreams. Add it to your cheeks, your cupid’s bow, down your nose and your brow bones and you’ll look like you just spent a week in Greece. It’s such a gorgeous flush of highlight without being obnoxious and blends out so beautifully for a natural glow. Bonus points: It’s refillable!
Related: Kjaer Weis Beauty Review
Liquid gold. I often find body oils too sticky or too slick but this one absorbs in gorgeously right away and leaves skin glowy and hydrated with little effort. It’s super lightweight and smells amazing. A little goes a long way so it’ll last you all summer and beyond. Whenever I slather this all over my body I get compliments on how my skin looks. Win/Win.
You can use code WITWHIMSY10 for 10% off your order.
Related: Osea Malibu Review
I bought one of these lip balms to try it and then promptly bought two more. Lip balm feels like underselling it as it is so plush, so velvety and feels almost like a treatment for your lips. The shades are so flattering and work like a balm but have the payoff of a non-sticky, super lush gloss.
I absolutely love this product and now own all shades. Glowy, hydrated lips that are perfectly summer ready. My love for Westman Atelier really knows no bounds.
This body scrub is heaven-sent. It is a match made in heaven when paired with the Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil – your skin will never be as soft – trust me! You can use code WITWHIMSY10 for 10% off your order.
I picked this up on a recent trip to Paris after the sales associate told me you can use it on your body, face and even your hair. I love the shimmery finish it has to give skin an added boost of radiance – particularly on the décolleté. I like to mix a few drops into the Osea Undaria Algae Body Oil.
I never leave the house without a setting mist to keep my makeup intact and this one from Credo Beauty’s Exa line has a really nice dewy finish to it making it perfect for an extra dose of glow.
Related: The Best Credo Beauty Products
Full of nourishing oils, I adore this medium-coverage, hydrating lipstick with a high-shine, balm-like texture that conditions and moisturizes the lips. I have shade 09 which is a lovely sheer nude that just makes your lips look so healthy and shiny.
I never travel without this duo as it is foolproof for getting bronzy and glowy all summer long. Apply the powder bronzer wherever you’d like a bit of contour and then highlight the high points of your face with the powder highlighter. Pro tip I love? I apply the powder highlighter over my favorite cream highlighters included in this post for even more extra glow.
When I want a highlight that can be seen from space, I reach for this cream highlighter. We are talking major wattage from this highlighter. I have shades Phosphene and Solar Flare and whenever I wear one of these highlighters I get compliments. A little goes a long way so apply sparingly!
I adore these cream shadows that go on seamlessly. I reach for the Champagne shade on summer days when I want glowy eyelids without a lot of effort.
This highlighter packs some major wattage and is multi-purpose. You can swipe it on your cheeks, your cupids bow or you can add it on your eyelid. Apply it with your fingers or use a brush to pick up as little or as much of the super-loaded tint as you’d like.
I have all three shades but Peau de Peche is my favorite in summer for a bronzy-glowy finish.
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