From Upper Left, 1. Sigma Bunny Foundation Brush ($21) // 2. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Foundation ($47) // 3. Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($15) // 4. Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara ($32) // 5. Bobbi Brown Cheek Duo ($42) // 6. Maybelline Color Tattoo Shadow ($7)
1. Sigma’s Bunny Foundation Brush is changing my life. It gives me smooth, flawless coverage with less product than I ever believed possible. It also cleans up like a dream. And despite the name, is cruelty free. If you want a great set of brushes, Sigma’s travel kit is $86 and contains everything you need.
2. My love for Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra Foundation cannot be overstated. As you know, I have problems with acne, acne scars, and uneven tone. This medium to full coverage foundation covers everything. I’ve only had to break out the spot concealer three times since I started using it. I even bought a lighter shade to use under my eyes in place of concealer.
If you don’t need full coverage every day, I’ve been mixing it with Laura Mercier’s Radiance Primer. The ratio is 2:1 primer for a dewy, light finish that still covers and evens out skintone like a dream. Also, if you’re concerned about cost, this technique will make it last forever.
3. Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer is an oldie bit goodie. So many bronzers have shimmer or an orange base that it can be hard to find a good one. This is a great one.
I’ve been using it as a contour in the hollows of my cheeks, my temples, and the tips of my nose and chin. It looks lightly sun-kissed, totally natural, and gives my bone structure more definition. If you prefer more of a rosy bronze (doubles as blush), try Benefit’s Dallas shade. Also, I’m applying it with Sigma’s Angled Kabuki brush.
4. I’ve never been a big fan of designer mascara. It’s expensive, and usually no better than the drugstore stuff. But Armani’s Eyes to Kill Mascara, different story.
The mascara lengthens and volumizes. It also separates with zero clumps, zero clumps! And if you have an issue with smudging, which I always do, there are no smudges, ever.
Now, I understand if you don’t want to make the jump to $32 mascara, it’s a slippery slope. If you need a drugstore dupe, the Internet recommends L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara.
5. Wearing two blushes seems silly, until you see how Bobbi does it (video link) with her Blush Duo Palette. The darker shade (plum, in this case) is for the cheekbone, the lighter shade (sand pink) is for the apples. It gives you a defined, flushed look that makes it hard to argue with her technique.
I apply the dark product with an angled brush, and the lighter one with a fluffy blush brush. Then, to soften the lines, I buff in Hourglass’s Mood Light highlighter around the edges. The pinky hue of the Mood Light blurs the lines and blends flawlessly. Looking for an Hourglass dupe? Try boohoo’s Get Gorgeous.
6. In the summer, I want easy. I want light shimmer. And I want a color palette that looks one step above natural. So for the eye makeup I like Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows. These are from their Metal color collection, and the hues are Inked Pink and Barely Branded.
I apply the gold hue all over my lids, and the pink into the crease for a bit of definition. I also set with a translucent powder to prevent creasing. Prefer powder shadow? Try Stila’s Oasis and Trish McEvoy Rose Quartz. Need more definition than pale pink can provide? I am loving this Bare Minerals Power Neutrals Palette with shades of brown, pink, purple, and shimmer.
So those six products are what I’m using everyday. I throw in some Tom Ford eyeliner on occasion, or a bit of Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor. But that’s it.
If you have a makeup product that you’re loving this summer, leave it in the comments.
My must have for the summer is a setting spray. I have oily skin and the UD all nighter spray is AMAZING. It even made my makeup last through hiking with temperatures in the 90s in Black Hills area of SD a couple of weeks ago on vacation.
Jenn S. says:
Chiming in to extol the virtues of UD All Nighter. It is incredible! Around the holidays Sephora and Ulta usually have a 2 for $40 deal, too.
It is a good one.
AMEN to the Armani mascara! I was a Diorshow devotee but this one makes my lashes longer and thicker without looking too insane. I agree it’s much better than anything I found in the drugstore. Definitely worth a try!
Okay I’ve been a diorshow devotee for 6 years now … I guess I need to try the Armani?! Thanks for the suggestion Belle, and this comment, A.
I bought it on a whim because I saw a makeup tutorial that used it and I was like…WHAT IS THIS?!?!
I started using Garnier BB cream skin renewal for simple workday make up. Gives nice coverage,feels great on the skin, looks natural,and it’s moisturizing without being greasy. I also love Benefits Hoola Bronzer!
My cousin introduced me to this eyelid primer and it has made such a difference in my eye makeup this summer. Shadow doesn’t crease or budge, even when we’ve gone for a hike or it’s 95 out… https://www.arbonne.com/Pws/adriennemarquand/store/AMUS/product/Prime-Proper-Eye-Makeup-Primer-6723,9258,265.aspx
I love Urban Decay’s eyeshadow primer — makes your colors more vibrant, stay on longer, and you need less product. Even if most of my makeup is gone by the end of the day, at least my eyeshadow is still there.
I wear eye primers year round. Milani makes a great drugstore version. I find it comparable to Urban Decay and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
I love the Teinte Idole foundation but for some reason it doesn’t play nicely with the oil-control primer I started using at the beginning of the summer and wears off rather quickly which I never experienced before. Love your suggestion to mix it with primer.
Any recommendations for a bb/cc cream for olive/medium skin tone, preferably with spf? I want something light for outdoor activities but i have dark spots/acne scars that i want to cover. My everyday foundation is Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme which is great for everyday – but looking for a sportier alternative (is that a thing? lol). Sephora overwhelms me so any tips to help narrow down the options is much appreciated.
I tried the Clinique, it was more like a soup’ed up tinted moisturizer, but it was good. I have heard the Estee Lauder Day Wear is really good for dark spots.
Hi Nina, I have some tips for you! I love BB/CC creams but also need SPF and coverage. I really like the premium BB cream from Dr. Jaart. Try the darker of the two shades. It was physical SPF which I love. You may also like the CC cream by Stila. I believe they make several, but I use the one in the black packaging. Too Faced used to make a tinted BB cream with very good coverage and SPF 20. It was recently discontinued but I just scooped up few at Nordstrom Rack. It is called “Tinted Beauty Balm” and the packaging is baby pink. Linen Glow or Nude Glow work on olive tones.
I LOVE Dr. Jaart’s Premium BB. I’m fairly pale with both red and yellow undertones, and the lighter one somehow manages to blend perfectly with my skin. It seems to just smooth out imperfections. I was stuck outside for about an hour in the blazing sun a few days ago. My shoulder were bright red with a lovely farmer’s tan, but no burn at all on my face (I didn’t even have sunglasses on). You could even see a line around my hairline and temples where the BB cream stopped and my skin was unprotected.
EEP! Sorry to hear about the burns but glad to hear the spf in the BB worked!
Thank you, this is great – I’ve been going back and forth on whether to try the Dr. Jaart (mostly bc the brand is new to me)- I will give it a try! Will keep an eye out for the too faced as well. Thanks!
I always have blotting paper on hand. I use the ones from Clean & Clear, but have also had good luck with the Target store brand. Perfect for reducing shine without disturbing makeup.
I am loving the new Burt’s Bees lipsticks. They are hydrating with good pigment. For summer, I am wearing 523 sunset cruise (I have fair to olive skin and very dark hair, eyes, and eye brows). Enjoyed reading this post.
Jenn S. says:
The color tattoos are great and pretty easy to use, too. You can apply with a finger if you like, but the Real Techniques Shading Brush is good if you don’t want product on your fingers.
Supergoop CC Cream. Coverage + SPF and it feels great. I have problems with breakouts and have had none with this one (the Clinique made me breakout like crazy.)
Ditto this. I’m super fair (but not pink), and love the lightest shade. Mineral sunscreen, so it doesn’t irritate my skin, and I apply it with a damp beauty blender. Perfect for good skin days/weekends.
You once recommended a product that basically made makeup stay on like glue. I think its intended purpose was actually a face antiperspirant. I forget what it was called… I don’t necessarily always want my makeup to stay on like glue, but if I’m going to an outdoor summer wedding, this is a must!
I’ll third the recs for the UD setting spray, I can’t live without that! I find it also works really well for making a powder foundation look more velvety. And the Color Tattoo in Inked in Pink is my one-and-done eyeshadow, no primer needed when I use that one.
My must-have summer products this year are good SPF (I like Endurance Shield SPF 45, available on Amazon) and the L’Oreal Infallible gel eyeliner. So easy to use and stays in place all day!