My Summer Beauty Essentials

Summer is just around the corner but it’s on my mind right now. For the beauty world, seasonal collections launch ahead of season so many of you have probably already started to update your makeup wardrobe for warm weather. For me – I love wearing summery bronze shades year round, it’s a color I like to incorporate in bits to add warmth and life. I’ve teamed up with Nordstrom to share some of my summer beauty favorites covering a bit of everything from lips, eyes, cheeks, skin and fragrance. They have an entire page dedicated to Sexy Summer Must-Haves if you’re looking for something new. Up first are fragrance and body must-haves.

Sunnies by Marc Jacobs here, hat from Nordstrom here

First up are items for the skin and body. In the summer I love a bright nail polish whether it’s bright coral, red, orange or pink. My current obsession of the moment is Chanel Espadrilles which is a bright orangey-red cream. Two coats give full coverage and the new formula is a huge improvement in terms of lasting power over the original (even though I was a fan of the original). For fragrance, Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is the perfect white floral for summer but if you want something lighter the new Neroli Portofino Acqua (c/o) is really quite amazing. I’ve been wearing this for a few months now but haven’t felt like I was ready to talk about it just yet – it’s one of the lightest Tom Ford scents to date but still has very good lasting power. If you found the original Neroli Portofino too strong, the new Acqua version is the best one yet.

For self tanners – I’ve tried quite a few and they either smell really bad or cause an allergic reaction on my skin. A long-time favorite for a very natural gradual glow is the Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster which you mix in with moisturizer, but the effect is very natural. I read a ton of reviews online to find another one before deciding to cave and try the Soleil de La Mer Face and Body Gradual Tan. It’s quite pricey but worth every penny. I’ve only tried on the body so far, but it gives a nice golden tan and smells amazing for a self tanner. You can use until you get the color you want, I found it worked for me after 4 days of use. Color lasts several days while fading gradually afterwards. It’s streak free, didn’t stain white jean shorts and non-orangey.

Protecting your skin with sunscreen that lasts is important. I have very sensitive skin and most sunscreens cause tiny little bumps to form on my skin by the end of the day. Two that I swear by are the Supergoop! Sunscreen Oil with SPF 50 and Coola Sunscreen Sprays which range from SPF 30 to 50 and come in unscented or scented options. I like the Coola because I can apply to my back easily in harder to reach areas. It’s weightless so you don’t feel like it’s greasy or heavy on the skin. I ask my husband to try out sunscreens I use as well – he’s really particular about products having a non-greasy feel and he approves of the Coola line.

For the lips, even though many associate summer color with brights or bronze shades, I love pinks, nudes and corals for a softer look. The best nude I’ve tried in a long time is Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me (c/o). It looks boring in the tube but on the lips it’s so so good! The Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Colors (c/o) are perfect color-wise and come in six options ranging from a soft gold nude, deep copper, berry, coral and a few neutrals. The one I’ve been reaching for the most is Pipa (I bought back ups of both shades).

Chanel launched new Glossimers in the summer collection. I’ll have a full review on all the shades soon, but they are a new formula called Aqua Glossimer which comes with a slightly different applicator and a sheerer almost jelly like finish.

In an attempt to find more affordable color options to the Tom Ford I picked up a few other formulas. The Bobbi Brown Sheer Lip Color has a similar finish and feel to the Moisturecore Lip Colors but feels so much smoother and glide on the lips. I picked up Boho Bronze which is similar to Cala di Volpe and is $27 vs the $55 price tag of the Tom Ford. MAC Huggable Lip Colors have been a favorite (Touche is a really good nude) for an effortless kind of lip color that adheres well to the lips and makes them glow with a natural hint of color. They launched a few more shades recently and I picked up Seoul-Ful, Bare Hug and Bonsai Bloom.

Last but not least I was really excited to see a new Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss in Sunlight. It’s one of the prettiest bronzey shades I’ve tried. However when I got home I found it really close to Chanel Unity Glossimer.

For eyes I love shimmer. Even neutral shimmers add a little something that’s fun but wearable for every day. I’ve been on the hunt for a good copper nude shimmer. Many coppers are too warm or red for my eyes/skintone. Bronze has been a go-to but I have been on the hunt for something a little different.

Long-time readers know Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold is a staple of mine. Shadow sticks are so easy to use and convenient to apply – you just smudge and blend with a finger. If you’re looking for something a little more glitzy, the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink is more shimmery and more visible on the skin. If you want something lighter for an all over wash Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Opale (c/o) is really one of the best there is.

For other shadow sticks, the Burberry Eye Color Contour Smoke and Sculpt Pens are really good. Pale Copper is more of a bronzey taupe on my skin but still very pretty. A more affordable option is the new MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Color Sticks which are pretty much budgeproof after you apply them.

In terms of golden copper shades, Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette is one of my favorites. I know a few of you have mentioned you found it too emollient for your skin type in which case I’d recommend you try Tom Ford ones or the Burberry Eye Color Creams which has a harder stiffer texture and more suitable for oily lids.

My perfect copper shade is the Kevyn Aucoin Loose Shimmer Eyeshadow in Sunstone which comes with a rollerball applicator. Just glide them across the eyes and then blend with a finger or brush.
The hunt for the perfect bronze eyeliner ends with NARS Larger than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia for me. No matter what other colors or brands I try, this one is my tried and true.

For complexion I love glowing skin. I wear bronzer year round so when summer rolls around I’m happy that bronzer is “in.” I’ve already reviewed a number of these shown below on the blog – some of which are back-up worthy in my mind which is why I have pristine new ones featured below. I’ve added other swatch shades as well for reference.

If you ask me what one bronzer I would recommend – it would be a very tough choice for me to pick just one. If you like a luminous glow, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzing Powders are really good because they mix highlighter and bronzer in one. They can pull warm and if you are fair you may find them too dark or too warm in which case I’d recommend Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra which is a cooler-toned matte. My personal favorite is Gold Dust (shown below) because it’s the perfect mix of tan and gold in one. Both are goof-proof – the texture is really smooth and easy to layer without overdoing it.

NARS Laguna Bronzer is always a classic staple you can’t go wrong with. They launched a Liquid Laguna Bronzer this year which is easier to control for a soft sheer warm glow. Also new is a Laguna-Tiare Bronzer in a scented option which smells heavenly!!

If you’re set on bronzer and just want something to add to your cheeks for a glow, Tom Ford Fire Lust is hands down the best liquid illuminator I’ve tried. It’s subtle but one of the prettiest I’ve tried. It’s steep in price but worth it. You get a lot of product so it will last a long time.

In terms of blush, two that I deem absolute must-haves are Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand and NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Sexual Content (c/o). Pink Sand was limited-edition last year but brought back again this season. It’s a really special pink gold cream that is oh so pretty. NARS Dual Intensity Blushes aren’t new but there are two new shades for summer in Sexual Content (shown below) and Liberation. The best thing about these is they have a unique cream to powder texture which is good for warm weather – it holds up on my skin without getting greasy or oily looking.

Last but not least – for foundation, I think finding the right one depends on skin type, coverage preference, color options and humidity levels. I’ve been loving the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (c/o) for months now – it offers natural medium coverage and blends perfectly into the skin. I wore this over the holiday weekend – we went to the desert in Borrego Springs and it was almost 90 degrees (it was dry vs humid). The foundation stayed put all day long without needing a single touch up. This is my foundation of choice right now and I will be taking it with me while I travel later this month.

Above: hat from Nordstrom here (I bought it in both colors because it’s a perfect fit)

I hope you enjoyed this summer beauty roundup! I tried to include swatches of multiple colors as a reference guide in case you’re looking for a specific color or formula. Sometimes you’ll find the perfect color in a lipstick or eyeshadow but want it in a different formula (ie powder vs cream). Or you may find a bronzer formula you like but want it in a matte version vs shimmer. I love mixing things up. Many of you have asked for a dedicated summer bronzer post so stay tuned for that one in the upcoming weeks. I’m still testing out a few to see if they will make the cut for what I would recommend.

As always please share your favorites for summer below. Especially if you have sensitive skin, would love to hear about what you’ve tried and love for sunscreen and self tanning! I’ve seen a few sunscreen sprays pop up that are new for the season  but would love to hear about your favorites too.

Many thanks to Nordstrom for partnering to sponsor this post. Some items in the post were press samples marked with a c/o next to the product names. More information in my Disclosures.

  • This post is so detailed and helpful! The Laguna-Tiare bronzer sounds amazing, that's an awesome idea. The Velvet Matte Skin Tint sounds like something I'd love using in the summer, I'll have to check it out as I'd never heard about it before, thanks! 🙂

    Julia x
    Last post: How To Feel Happy When Things Aren't Right | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.fr/2016/06/how-to-feel-happy-when-things-arent.html

  • great post! love your pics!

  • I picked up Bobbi Brown's Boho Bronze a couple weeks ago and really fell hard for it. So much so I ordered the other two summer shades online and just got them not an hour before reading this! Loving both Peach Sorbet and Pink Gold as well. I was also looking for Tom Ford dupes and Pink Gold is reminiscent of Skinny Dip, but more shimmery and, of course, not quite as good, but a decent dupe at half the price!

  • Tarte's sunscreen is really good as is the sunscreen/setting spray from Supergoop!

  • You always have the best suggestions and I love your beautiful pictures.

  • Ooooo . . . Some of my favorite things! TF Pippa, Pink Sand, Fire Lust, and Terra. Chanel Tanami, Adenium, and Sahara. These are all quintessential summer colors. Golden peaches, tropical pinks, rosey corals, and Hawaiian Punch (Pipa–LOL). I have yet to try a Nars Dual Intensity, but that Sexual Content looks promising 😉 As for sunscreens, because of my overall sensitive skin and mild rosacea, I cannot tolerate chemical sunscreens and stick to strictly physical blocks like TIZO2 and MD SolarSciences mineral sunblocks in SPF 50. As for bronzers, for a warm but very natural look, I adore Guerlain in 00. For subtle sculpting, Terra has been my favorite for the past few years.

  • Revolve Around Me looks beautiful, I love that packaging as well. You have the best swatches, I think I say this every time I leave a comment. Xx

    | http://www.noirettediary.com |

  • By the way, Sabrina, I forgot to say how much I appreciate that you mention how a color interacts with your skin one. Most bloggers describe the color in the pan, bullet, tube, etc., but ignore how it might read against various skin tones.

  • I'm going to have to try some of these out! 🙂

    S .x http://ramblingsofayoungprgirl.blogspot.com/

  • Have you tried TF Fluer De Portifino? I just smelled it this week and loved it!

  • Ana

    I have also tried that NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint and i so love it. In fact, I will be repurchasing it.

  • Stunning blog post. All the photographs are beautiful and the swatches are mesmerising. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Georgie
    xoxo

    TheLipstickDaily

  • I love how in depth you go in your blog posts! And that you take so many pictures so we get a real clear idea about what the product and packing looks like!! Love your blog! <3

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/

  • supercharged post! XD loved all the lippies!
    https://liferealcrystal.wordpress.com/

  • Oh, those summer shades are so beautiful!

    http://a-woman-of-a-certain-age.com/

  • great pictures! I loved the lipstick shades, but unfortunately lighter colours like them don't work on me. 🙁 Chanel Tanami is a beautiful shade though!

    http://GorgeouslyFlawed.com

  • Thank you as always for the thorough review and beautiful pictures. Bobbi Brown just got scratched on to my to do list for today 🙂

  • This is a monster of a post! I must agree with you on the Hourglass Bronzing Powders – leaves such a wonderful but warm, luminous glow! That being said, Tom Ford Gold Dust is definitely on my list of things to try when I chance upon a TF counter!

  • I absolutely love your photos and swatches 🙂 this is pretty much me all over – summer means gold or bronze eyes and sheer lips!

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty