Did you hear? Summer is officially here—and so are summer makeup looks. The warmest season has always been an exciting time to play with beauty, but this one hits different. After the year we’ve had, we’re more excited than ever to finally break out glitter eye shadows, glowy highlighters, and bold red lipstick.
And from the looks of our Instagram feeds, we’re not alone. From bright pops of color to unexpected finishes, everyone seems eager to have fun again with makeup. Sure, we’ve all been playing up our eyes for more than a year now—that won’t go away—but the rest of the face is again having a moment in the sun. Expect to see a lot of glossy lips and statement-making blush.
The one real trend this summer? Doing what makes you feel good. We even rounded up a few ideas to get you started. From lacquered lips to sunset eyes, here are the looks we can’t wait to copy this summer. And if you’ve gotten comfortable with a more natural look over the past year, don’t worry—we have that covered too. Scroll on for the best summer makeup looks to try between now and Labor Day.
While we would never endorse getting a sunburn on purpose, there’s no denying how cute sun-drenched cheeks look, which is why sunburnt blush is one of the summer’s top trends. The placement is what really sets sun-kissed blush apart from the other blush trends circulating right now, which focus on lifting and sculpting. Instead of up on your cheekbones, place blush on the spots where you naturally burn. “This look is achieved by carrying your blush high on the apples of the cheek and across the bridge of your nose,” celebrity makeup artist Cortney Hart explains. “I like to blend slightly downward to mimic the sun. It’s best to use warm rosy tones that look similar to how the sun or maybe some exercise would cause your skin to flush. It really does depend on your skin tone. I like to use creamy and slightly sheer formulas to keep the look glowy and natural.” She recommends MAC Glow Play Blush in Blush, Please, while TikTok likes Elf Putty Blush in Maldives. A lipstick or stain (like Noto Botanic’s) is also great for that natural, lived-in vibe.
When it’s a billion degrees out, a splash of baby blue shadow is all you need to keep your cool. Just use your finger to pat on an aqua shadow (makeup artist Emily Cheng used ABH’s Norvina mini palette on Barbie Ferreira, as seen here). Add a ton of mascara and you’re done.
For just a touch of glam, pair your go-to base with a quick flick of eyeliner (we like Glossier’s Pro Tip). Don’t worry too much about getting your wing perfect on the first try; you can always clean it up with some micellar water and a pointed cotton swab.
This summer the coolest place to play is under your eyes. Undereye details are having a major moment—perhaps thanks to the most recent season of Euphoria‘s makeup—from teeny-tiny rhinestones to Twiggy-inspired “lashes.” The easiest way to play up the area, though, is a dash of colorful liner like Hailey Bieber.
The return of parties calls for a classic smoky eye. A light touch and sticking to grays and browns makes darker shadow feel effortless, and pink lips give it a summer-ready touch.
A swipe of hot pink liner (or your shade of choice) brightens everything up in such a fun, summery way. Fluttery lashes and nude lips complete the look and are guaranteed to make your selfies pop off.
White Hot Liner
Bright white liner is a crisp twist on your classic cat eye. Stack a white liquid liner on top of your usual black wing to get the freshness of the white but keep all the definition.
If you’re feeling a little blah after a winter indoors, a wash of hot pink across eyes, lips, and cheeks will perk your whole face right up. The key to keeping things breezy is going for sheer textures, so opt for a glossy stain like InnBeautyProject’s Glazed Lip Oil.
Embrace the summer vibes with a warm terra-cotta smoky eye. It’s so pretty and couldn’t be easier to pull off. Grab a liquid shadow like Violette FR’s Yeux Paint in Cuivre de l’Aube and use your finger to smudge it around your top and bottom lash lines. Consider this your beach-to-dinner look.
If you prefer natural summer makeup looks, embrace glistening glazed-doughnut skin (you may as well lean into the sweat, right?). Cheng used Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation and concealer for Yara Shahidi’s dewy base, seen here, and kept the glow going with a touch of Mono Couleur Couture shadow in Gold Star on her lids.
Channel your favorite ’90s icons with matte eye shadow and deep lip liner. For this look, makeup artist Merrell Hollis used the Makeup by Mario Master Mattes eye palette and Make Up for Ever’s Artist Color Pencil in Dimension Dark Brown.
Chances are your eye shadow is going to crease anyway, so you may as well embrace it with a glossy finish. We love the pop of green on Vanessa Hudgens’s inner corners, but you can tap Danessa Myricks Beauty Dew Wet Balm over any shade you choose for that crazy shine.
A blend of copper and gold shadows perfectly mirrors the summer sunset. Try Pat McGrath’s Mothership V Palette in Bronze Seduction for a similar look.
Frosted eye shadow had a resurgence this spring, and for summer time the finish is moving down to the lips. Frosted lipstick was a ’90s staple, but done in a rose gold tone it feels totally fresh—and way cooler than a classic lip gloss. Try Byredo’s lipstick in Amber in Furs for a subtler shimmer, or MAC’s Frost Lipstick in Spanish Fly to take it all the way.
A classic red lip with a glossy finish oozes glamour. To get a similar look, start with a layer of Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet Extrême in Pivoine Noire for a base that lasts all night, and add a generous coat of red gloss like Rouge Coco Gloss in Rouge Carmin to bump up the shine and color.
This ombré eye is major enough on its own, but the blue mascara really brings it to the next level.
Shades of rich warm browns complement tanned skin better than smoky gray. A glossy brown lipstick like Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Rich Cocoa Brown completes the look.
When it’s too hot to try, slap on a red lipstick and call it a day. Take a cue from Zoë Kravitz and pair her collab with YSL Beauty with a breezy white top and not much else.
How cool is this dab of neon shadow? It just goes to show that eye-catching makeup doesn’t have to be complicated.
Another unexpected yet bold lip color? Bright orange. Paired with gold shadow, it screams summer. Avendaño used MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Style Shocked! for the above look.
Make any eye shadow feel a little more summer-ready with a pop of gold shadow in your inner corners. Some dewy blush and a sheer lip gloss complete the look.
Another high-impact, low-effort option is a dash of burnt orange shadow across your lids. We like Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Wild One.
For a 2022 spin on the graphic liner trend, keep things softer and subtler. Use a grey pencil instead of a black liner, and blur the edges for a look that’s still cool, just a little less bold.
Coral often slips under the radar, but it’s really the perfect summer shade—it has a little more oomph than pink or nude, but is more easy-going than a full-on red. Here Pheobe Denver wears Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and Tinted Love Lip & Cheek Tint in Blushed Rose for the perfect pool day pout.
Originally published in Glamour.com