4 simple steps to a naturally radiant summer makeup look

Thank you, multitasking makeup

Digital Beauty Editor / December 09 2021

If you were to dream up the ultimate summer makeup look, chances are you’d envision a glowing but natural base, a pop of colour on the cheeks and full, fluttery lashes. Perfection, right?

The only problem with this ever elusive ‘no makeup’ makeup aesthetic is that it can actually take a lot of work to make you look like you’ve done nothing at all. Unless you have the right products in your makeup kit, that is.

The secret to success? Reaching for multitasking formulas. And boy oh boy, have we found some of those. Here’s how to achieve the ultimate summer makeup look using only four products...


Create your base

Summer is all about embracing a natural-looking complexion, so opting for a luminous-finish foundation is the way to go; it'll give you convincing-looking coverage that won't look out of place, even on the sand. But while you want your base makeup to give you a glow, it’s also essential that it doesn't slide away the minute the sun comes out. NARS' Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation ($70 at MECCA) ticks all the warm weather base boxes, and it lives up to all three of its name's claims – it looks like real skin, just a lot glowier, and it promises to last all day without the need for touch-ups (shout out to its sweat-resistant nature for that). Don't stress if your skin runs oily, either; this foundation is actually formulated without oil, so it wears like a dream on every single face.


Double up on glow

One makeup trend that’s showing no signs of slowing down (partly because it's incredibly easy, and partly because it just looks damn good) is using the same colour on your cheeks and eyes to create a cohesive look. Bronzer and blush work a treat in this department, sure, but since it's summer, we're swapping them out for something a little brighter: hello, highlighter. After applying your highlighter to the high points of your face, add a swipe of product across your eyelids, using your finger for a natural 'your-lids-but-more-luminous' finish. We recommend RMS' Magic Luminiser ($54 at MECCA) for the task –  the glow-boosting balm leaves a subtle wash of radiance on the skin, without looking over the top or too iridescent. The best bit? Adding brightness around your eyes (especially if you concentrate the colour on the centre of each lid) will help in the 'not-packing-on-concealer-but-needing-to-look-alive' arena, as well. A welcome win.


Delicately define your eyes

Sometimes the goal is for your mascara to make it look like you're wearing fluffy falsies reminiscent of a Kylie Jenner statement look. This, however, is not one of those times. Instead, you'll want to reach for something super natural-looking that's able to effectively (yet subtly) lengthen, volumise and curl lashes, to open up the eyes without leaving even the slightest sign of clumps (they're a dead giveaway, after all). The other top tier requirement for a summer-friendly mascara? Its ability to stay put, whether you're swimming, sweating or anything in between. Basically, waterproof status is a non-negotiable. Forget what you've heard about smear-resistant formulas being drying, though; the Tarte Sea Surfer Curl Volume Mascara ($35 at Sephora) features a nourishing algae and vitamin E mix that puts those rumours well and truly to rest.


Apply a pop of colour

Instead of piling on heavy contouring or bronzing products, reach for a lightweight cream blush this summer. A buttery balm like the MECCA Max Off Duty Cream Blush Stick ($18 at MECCA) is absolutely perfect –  it sinks in seamlessly to mimic skin's real texture while also imparting just the right amount of glossy-finish colour. There really aren't any limits as to where you can apply (blush sticks are true multitaskers through and through), but for a low-key look, we like to just dab a little onto the apples of the cheeks, the bridge of the nose and the centre of the lips. Whether you opt for a juicy strawberry shade or a tawny terracotta, however, is completely your call – there are tons of sheer shades to choose from. Just get ready to blush for real; there are going to be a lot of compliments coming your way once you've mastered this look...

Main image credit: @serenawylliemakeup

Looking to get your hair sorted for summer? Here's our ultimate warm weather hair survival guide...