Summer is a struggle. I mean, yes, the warm weather is great, half-day Fridays are amazing, and it’s basically mandated that you barbecue or vacation here and there, but beyond that, the best parts of summer escape the minute you graduate or leave your air conditioned apartment.
As someone who grew up in perma-85 degrees and the dry heat that constitutes the summers of Los Angeles only to kiss that wonderful desert away for the muggy, gross, awful humidity of a New York City subway platform, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way. Behold, the things you need to get through any day, no matter where it falls on the warm-sundress-cute-park-walk-weather to blistering-sweat-through-your-work-clothes-hell-on-earth continuum.
I know this stuff is a little pricey, but it’s the absolute best in terms of a face sunscreen, and also acts as a moisturizer, skin conditioner — the whole shebang. It doesn’t get greasy and soaks right into your skin so any makeup you put on top won’t smudge around. (Plus there are no harmful chemicals and it won’t irritate your skin the way other sunscreens might.)
It’s not summer if you don’t smell like Hawaiian Tropic — which is easily in the top 10 of Most Basic Things I Have Ever Said, but let’s just roll with it — and because if you’re prone to forgetting to reapply it in the middle of the day, the broad-spectrum SPF will help protect you that much longer. Plus, it’s like a lotion, so really, you’re buying a 2-for-1 product. And if there’s anything I love, it’s a product that multitasks.
A friend of mine once described this as “liquid skin,” and ignoring any and all Hannibal Lecter tendencies, it’s a pretty good way to describe what this stuff does to your complexion. It smooths everything out and gets you that dewy, fresh look with just a few swipes around your face. (If you’d like something with a little more coverage or would like something that’s a little closer to the powder you’re used to using, mix it half and half with your foundation. I like Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup, and the two buff together to make a really flawless palette that covers up my rosacea, folliculitis, and acne flare ups.)
Most eyeliner pencils are wax-based, which means that chances are good they’ll melt in the heat or smudge really offensively while you try to put them on. You’re much better off with a gel or a liquid liner, and this brush is a dream. I’ve mastered how to do a cat eye with this baby, and speaking as someone whose normal makeup routine doesn’t even involve liner because I know I’ll come out looking like a Picasso (not in the good way), that is saying something.
The biggest problem with waterproof (and therefore, sweatproof, yay!) mascara is that it clumps like there is no tomorrow. Not with this baby. The wand is made of these really awesome, stiff little bristles (sort of like a more affordable version of the They’re Real! wonder wand) that separate every lash as it coats on a super-intense, budgeproof waterproof formula. Layer two coats of this ON TOP of your favorite mascara — I live and die by Two Faced Size Queen — if you really want to go for a really dramatic, like-falsies-but-better look that’s still waterpoof. Nobody needs to be messing with lash glue in this heat. No one.
This stain leave a great sheer-ish pink that’s still natural looking, but like if someone turned up your lips juuust a notch. It soaks into your lips, so it won’t budge as you chow down on barbecue or sip your cocktail, and the balm is a great hydrator for parched, sun-beaten lips. (Another great version is the Just Bitten Kissing Balm Stain in Smitten, which leaves the same kind of color, but I prefer the felt applicator of the stain + balm combo.)
The cult favorite to end all cult favorites, this is like blush, bronzer, highlighter, Contour For Lazy Girls (so, y’know, me) and basically your dream come true. Whether or not you pair it with the equally as-cultworthy the Multiple or the Orgasm blush/bronzer duo, this stuff is basically like a natural-looking glow in a tube. It’s magic. It’s worth every penny. (They’re not paying me to say this.)
To be honest, I happened on this color because I fell in love with a limited edition lip color M.A.C released in the early part of this year — it’s Heavenly Hybrid if you know anyone who can hook a girl up with a stash — and, like a fool, I didn’t stock up on a few tubes when I could.
Anyhow, this version by Revlon (see a real-life application here) has the exact same blue-base that A) keeps a hot pink from looking like you went and tried on a Barbie costume for Halloween and B) fights whatever tan or redness you’re currently sporting due to the summer sun. It’s flattering on almost every single skin tone. There have been days when I’ve swiped this on with an otherwise completely bare face and still feel like I’ve done SOMETHING to look presentable. Yeah. You can wear it with a bare face. It’s. that. good.
(Pro tip: store it in the fridge overnight so that it can reset if the days are super hot. It’ll give you a much more solid stick that won’t smash into your face right before you leave for work.)
This is the most all-purpose salve I have ever, ever, ever come across. Ever. Whether you’re trying to get off that waterproof mascara, soothe an angry sunburn or want to tackle the rough edges of your feet, elbows and hands that always seem to crop up regardless of how humid and sticky it is, this stuff is a miracle in a container.
You’re going to go through packs and packs of this all summer long. It’s inevitable. But hey, at least you have these babies to save you, so you don’t have to cancel out that sweaty sheen by toggling all of the new-fangled options Instagram just gave us. #nofilter indeed, y’all.