Has anyone else felt overwhelmed by the bombardment of “best” beauty products on social media the past few years? Like – whoa – do I really need an anti-aging elbow cream overnight mask…? HA. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but that's seriously how it feels sometimes!
There are SO. MANY. new things that claim to be the best of the best. I think it's safe to say we're all a little skeptical when we see new products… but it's also SO hard not to wonder if they really are that good!
Well, Nancy Drew, if you find yourself trying to solve the mystery of what beauty products will actually change your life this summer – I've done allllll the investigating for you!!! I ONLY ever post about items that I think are absolutely 110% worth investing in, and everything in this post is what I'm actually using in my beauty routine all summer long.
That really means something, because I have reviewed tons of beauty products over the year – I mean TONS. These are the items that have truly become my summer staples!
Keep reading for my thorough list of the best beauty products that I would label as “must-haves” for summertime; things that will make you feel that confident, summer glow, all the way into September (and even beyond!).
In a hurry? Go straight to my picks below!
The best beauty products of the summer
- Red Aspen Nails
- Body Blur
- Free People Straw Visor, similar for less
- Fenty lipgloss
- IT Cosmetics CC Cream
- tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
- tarte Brow Gel/Pencil
- Billie Razors
- Setting Spray
- Hair Ties
- Towel Scrunchie
The very, very first thing I think everyone needs to invest in when it comes to summer's best beauty products is SUNSCREEN. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! I can't express it enough! Especially facial sunscreen.
Applying sunscreen (on the daily, not even JUST in the summer when you're going out for the day!) has been found to be THE difference when it comes to aging gracefully and slowly. It protects your skin from dark sun spots, prevents wrinkles from developing early on, and also protects from the possibility of future skin cancer.
I'll be coming out with a post ALL ABOUT sunscreen in the near future – but really, when it comes down to it, just making sure that you apply SOME type of sunscreen on your face every day is going to be something you're so glad you did in the long run.
And if you're just looking for a universal sunscreen perfect for the whole family this summer, Trader Joe's spray sunscreen is tops!
Red Aspen Nails
There is NO better time to treat yourself to some pretty nails than in the summertime!!! It's this time of year that I feel like I can really go bold and fun with a cute mani. And you already KNOW that Red Aspen Nails are my new forever favorite – one of the BEST beauty products of the summer for sure!!
If you haven't heard of Red Aspen Nails before, they're press-on nails that ACTUALLY WORK. I used to be a loyal nail salon goer, but once I found Red Aspen Nails I've never been back for a mani. I'm able to put these on and take them off as much as I desire, they don't ruin my natural nails, ANNND they're under $15 a pack! WAAAAY less than when I used to get my nails done at the salon.
These press-on nails feel like an amazing gel manicure or a really good, thin acrylic nail. They are NOT stickers! When I first heard about these, I thought they were stickers and I was SO pleasantly surprised to find out that they really do feel and look JUST like the gel nails I've been getting for the past decade!
Red Aspen carries petite sizes, short, medium, and long lengths, and TONS of colors and patterns. It's the perfect place to find some really cute patterns for the summer months. And the best solution to not having time to pop into the nail salon with all the summer fun you're trying to pack in.
We're going to get into self-tanners in a minute – but if you're looking for a product that just gives you a really pretty natural glow when you go out for the day, Body Blur is IT.
Body Blur gives your skin an even, glowing look while moisturizing at the same time. It's not glittery, but it does have such a pretty shimmer to it. It's something I've used for a while and I still love it just as much as before!
If we're talking summer GLOW, Body Blur ALWAYS has to be in the conversation! Next time you're going to be in the sun (maybe at the beach or poolside) you've gotta wear some Body Blur – when it's caught in the sunlight, it's at its prettiest ever!
Free People straw visor
I think I just coined a new favorite saying the other day… beauty is SHADE! Seriously though, covering your face from the sun is even more helpful than just applying sunscreen… give me ALL the full coverage to protect my skin from wrinkles and dark spots developing a lot earlier than I want them to!
Not only does this visor protect my face from the sun, it also helps to keep me cool! I have thick hair so whenever it's underneath a hat I just get way too hot and sweaty to keep it on all day. This visor makes it possible for me to have my sun hat without the heat! A MAJOR new fave of mine that's pretty affordable, too.
I always want a really great lipgloss for the summer, and one of my faves I keep reaching for lately is this tube of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna!!! In the winter I'll wear a bold lip a lot of the time, but in the summer I usually just want something easy and light. My favorite shade right now is $weetmouth, which is a really light pink. This lipgloss is AMAZING, which I'm sure you can tell by the crazy high reviews!
IT Cosmetics CC Cream
This stuff is straight-up a makeup bag MUST. Definitely one of the world's best beauty products hands down. I wear it all year round, but it's especially my favorite in the summer when I want some really easy, lightweight makeup coverage! Not to mention… it’s SEVEN products in one!!!
That means you can literally skip your moisturizer, primer, color corrector, anti-aging serum, dark spot concealer, full coverage foundation AND SPF 50 because this bottle whips it all up into one easy little formula. Literally made for summer days and I'm here for it. And I'm here for how healthy it makes my skin feel all summer long!
If I need a quick coverage on my way to the beach or pool, this is the go-to for sure. I feel confident and protected in it all day!
tarte Amazonian clay full coverage foundation
If you're searching for a foundation that looks like you're wearing NOTHING but is sneaky enough to still cover everything, THIS IS IT! THE foundation of the summer. Multiple reviewers have labeled this as their new go-to foundation and it’s becoming one of mine, too! It’s right in between a tinted moisturizer and your typical thick, full coverage foundation. I absolutely love it, especially for the warmer months where I still want some coverage, but I also want a natural look!
Don’t let the light texture fool you. I’m serious when I say this foundation totally does provide full coverage – it just doesn’t feel like full coverage. Which is the BEST type of full coverage if you ask me! I also really love that it has broad-spectrum SPF 15 in it because it really does protect your skin while making it look good, too.
TBH the first time I tried this foundation I didn’t love it. But I finally realized why: I was using the wrong color!! Once I used tarte’s color matching chart, I found the perfect match (medium sand) and now I’m obsessed; this stuff looks SO good on my skin. Super natural and effortless and totally that “no makeup” makeup look.
The Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation has over 7200 AMAZING reviews and includes tarte's famous Amazonian Clay technology. What even is that? It’s nature’s ingredient for a longer, truer wear in makeup. This ensures a better color match and all-day wear!
tarte sketch & set brow pencil & tinted gel
I super duper love this product!!! The tinted gel is AMAZING, especially if you are going for the laminated, fluffy look (my current look as of late!). This gel is one of the BEST beauty products to help fluff up those brows and make them stand out.
My one tip is to not apply TOO much. When you get the spoolie out of the tube, clean off the end a bit by scraping any excess on the brush back into the tube, so there’s not excess product that will catch onto your brows. It’s the classic rule – you can always ADD more, but if you have to take some off, you run the risk of having to start your brow process allllll over again (and NOBODY has time for that).
The pencil side of this set is perfect for filling in any bald spots or anywhere that needs a little more color fullness and coverage. I know I always have to fill in a couple bald spots when doing my brows, and I love this product for that!
I got mine in the medium brown shade and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect for my coloring, but I also really like their taupe shade. I’ve used the taupe a lot in the past for my brows and I think it’s really flattering on LOTS of different blondes to brunettes.
Reviewers love this brow product as much as me, saying that it looks super natural and lasts all day. Literally the perfect product to add to your summer makeup lineup!
Tan Luxe tanning products
Tan Luxe self-tanning products are really top of the line, cream of the crop when it comes to self tanning!!! SO, so good, and they even have a 52% off deal still going on that you can read all about here!
First, let's talk about their famous tanning drops. Tan-Luxe tanning drops are easy to mix into a moisturizer you love, small and easy to store, and less intimidating to apply because they mix-in to lotions or moisturizers you already have. These hyaluronic acid tanning drops from Tan Luxe are THE BEST ones I've tried because they do NOT dry out my skin!
They give the most even, pretty, natural-looking glow. If you want ONE face self-tanner that has never ever let me down – THIS one is it. It's my go-to #1 pick, hands down.
These drops are SO nice to travel with (vs. a huge bottle of self-tanner that could explode all over your stuff!) and they're so easy to use even with a hotel lotion.
Tan Luxe The Big Butter
I started using this stuff a few weeks ago and it is my NEW summer self-tanning staple! There's a couple of reasons why this formula is so different from every other self-tanner on the market:
- This is perfect if you love a really natural, pretty, gradual tan – which I think is perfect for the summer since I'm already out in the sun so much! It does not have a bronzer in it so it will never ever transfer to your clothes or on your sheets if you choose to wear it at night.
- It's really fun to wear during the day, because it has a super pretty shimmer to it that gives a perfect summer glow! It adds a little bit of color with each application that you can build on according to what you like.
- The color develops gradually but beautifully. No orange streaks or orange hands!
- NO WEIRD SMELL. Maybe one of the best parts of all because you can totally wear it on the daily without feeling like you have to cover up the smell.
Right now you can get The Big Butter AND the tanning drops for 52% off here!
When I was packing for our current trip to Utah, I realized I forgot my Billie Razor. I went to the store to get the highest, top-of-the-line Venus Razor and even after giving that a whirl, I still REALLY missed my Billie!!!
I've been a subscriber of theirs for years and I seriously think they have the best razors on. the. market. Worth every penny, especially if you are worried about shaving a lot for beach or pool days. Billie is the best razor you can get!!
tarte Miracle Mist
This spray is one of my favorites! The non-aerosol is so super fine, it dries quickly and sets my skin perfectly. A lot of other setting sprays come with a squirt nozzle and can come out in spurts. The maracuja mist distributes evenly every time and MAKES YOUR MAKEUP WATERPROOF! The maracuja oil makes skin firmer, brighter, and smoother, while the cucumber and rose are super soothing.
L. Erickson hair ties
My sister is the type of runner who has done triathlons, and an Iron Man (a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, with a 26.2 mile run (a full marathon) tacked onto the end – insane right?!). She used to complain about how she ALWAYS had to put her hair up in two holders in order for it to stay. But now, she’s converted to these – not only for running, but also for cooking and for taking care of her babies!
The last time I visited I asked for a ponytail holder and she handed me an L. Erickson… I told her to not give me her nicest one, and she said those are the only ponytail holders she owns now. Essentialism at its finest. Everyone needs hair ties in the summer, and these are the ONLY ones you need for actually keeping your hair out of your face!
Okay, now that we talked about the best maintenance hair ties – how cute is this towel scrunchie?! When it comes to fun hair accessories for the beach or pool, this has to be my ultimate fave. It's perfect for swimsuit season and I love the unique and fun touch it adds to any summer outfit.
Summer (beauty) lovin'
Summer is even better when you feel beautiful and glowing for it all! I'm all about being happy in your own skin and stage of life. I've stuck with these products over all others this time of year because they do just that by enhancing your natural beauty, AND they make getting ready quicker and easier – a summer MUST.