Guide to summer blush, bronzers according to makeup artists

Is it just us, or is everyone a bit paler than normal? Don’t let that get you down, though. Luckily, there are plenty of products on the market that can help you get that summer glow even if you haven’t been able to spend much time outside.

a close up of a device: Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

© Sephora
Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

According to celebrity makeup artist Liz Castellanos, the first step to achieving that glow is hydration. She says to “drink lots of water” and “exfoliate so your skin is not dull and smooth.” Beyond this, you’re going to want to amp up your arsenal of shimmering, glistening products to give you the natural glow you’re searching for. But don’t be overwhelmed by the variety of options. New York City-based makeup artist Delina Medhin recommends you “start small and build up. Layer products and only add glow to the areas that you don’t have a lot of texture.”

Ahead, we’ve rounded up some makeup artist-approved beauty products and tools that will deliver that summer glow.

Skin care

Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 ($33;

Medhin says the key to the perfect summer glow is moisture. “You need to start out with a good moisturizer that suits your skin type,” she explains. “I’d definitely include SPF because summer skin to me means that you’ll be outside and need protection.” Add this one by Paula’s Choice for sun protection and hydration without the white cast.


Kitao Matcha + Chia Essence Lotion ($25;

“This is a newly added product to my kit,” says Castellanos. “This will give anyone a radiance boost! It creates a more lively look to the skin. It not only has antioxidants but also prevents clogged pores.”


Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops (starting at $50;

Professional makeup artist Mali Thomas emphasizes that healthy skin should be at the core of achieving a summer glow. “A great skin care regimen is essential,” she says. “Dr. Barbara Sturm has an array of choices for all skin types to see positive results.” We’d opt for the brand’s Glow Drops that are meant to deliver a glow from within.


Supergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50 ($25;

The Supergoop! Glow stick is basically the best of both worlds. According to Medhin, it “gives skin a glow while also containing SPF.” Talk about two birds with one stone. Also, because it’s a stick, it’s portable and easy to apply.


Augustinus Bader The Body Cream With TFC8 Moisturizer ($165;

“Augustinus Bader not only creates a gorgeous glow but also repairs the skin through a number of renewing, clearing and hydrating ingredients,” explains Thomas. Prepping your skin with this rich moisturizer will help create a glow like no other.


Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream ($68;

We already love the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream for nourishment on our driest skin days, but now we have reason to love it even more because Castellanos says that it “enhances a dewy look but also makes the skin look and feel hydrated with a healthy glow.”


Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops ($34;

Let the glowing reviews of the Glow Recipe Dew Drops speak for themselves — one reviewer even says that it legitimately changed their life. It’s meant to hydrate while reducing the look of hyperpigmentation for a dewy glow. Get your hands on this if you want to say goodbye to dark spots and discoloration.


Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream ($49;

“This is super hydrating and works well for normal to dry skin,” explains Medhin. It’s meant to prevent dehydration against any circumstances, whether that be temperature changes or environmental stressors.

Face and body makeup

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo ($48;

“I love this because it has two sides,” says Medhin. “One is completely clear and the other side has your highlighter — meaning you can totally customize your look by adding as much (or as little) pigment as you want.”


Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer ($20;

Thomas recommends Tower 28 for its assortment of products that’ll deliver that glow. We at Underscored are huge fans of this cream bronzer for buildable, blendable coverage and rich pigment. The brand is committed to nontoxic, vegan beauty products, so you know this won’t irritate your skin.


Armani Beauty Fluid Sheer Glow Enhancer Highlighter ($38;

What’s so great about this Armani Beauty highlighter? Castellanos says that it “adds a soft glow to the skin and can be used solo or added to foundation.” You’re going to want to get this in the travel size so that it travels confidently in your carry-on straight to vacation. In fact, this is her go-to liquid bronzer, applying it after foundation to the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, Cupid’s bow and forehead area.


Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick ($26;

Want that Rihanna-type glow? Look nowhere else than the queen’s own, Fenty Beauty — a brand Thomas has grown to love. We’d opt for one of the Shimmer Skinsticks for highlight, blush or an illuminating pop of color.


Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish ($38.99;

“Vita Liberata Body Blur is another staple that I use personally or for my kit,” shares Castellanos. “The payoff is a beautiful golden shade and stays on all day. It is creamy in texture and blends so great!”


Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($20;

The Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush is for sure our blush of the summer. Available in either a matte or dewy finish, the pigment and blendability of this blush will shock you. This is the healthy flush of color you’ve been looking for.


Nars Tempted Blush ($30;

Described by Nars as a shimmering midtone beige, Castellanos thinks this is an extremely versatile shade. She says that she “can use it on most of [her] clients and it gives off such a beautiful shimmer. It is perfect to enhance any glow.”


Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions Glow Body Oil ($35;

What does a top makeup artist reach for for body glow? Thomas recommends the Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions Glow Body Oil. The brand describes this as a luminizing, hydrating, soft-shimmer glow oil for the face and body, even including nourishing ingredients for silky smooth skin.


Gucci Poudre De Beauté Éclat Soleil Bronzing Powder ($62;

This Gucci bronzing powder is available in five shades, each of which has a perfect warmth, according to Castellanos. “It enhances a bronzed look with a soft fragrance and blends beautifully,” she says.


Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil (starting at $34;

You’ve been stuck inside for a year, so maybe now is the time for a little splurge. Let this Tom Ford Shimmering Body Oil be your pick, recommended by our beauty expert Thomas. With this, not only are you getting glistening skin but also warm summer scents of bergamot, cardamom oil and ylang-ylang.


Melanie Mills Hollywood Gleam Body Radiance (starting at $34.99;

Haven’t been able to get that spray tan you’ve been hoping for? Maybe this Melanie Mills Hollywood Body Radiance is for you. According to Medhin, “it doesn’t transfer and adds a beautiful color to the skin.”


Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder ($48;

“For summer glow, Bobbi Brown highlighting powders are great,” says Thomas. “They offer a nice variety of colors to match all skin tones. It creates a skin-like finish that looks beautiful and subtle.”


Nars Monoi Body Glow ($59;

One reviewer shares that this Nars Monoi Body Oil “adds moisture and a bit of color and sparkle to [their] skin without being greasy,” while plenty of others gush over the amazing smell. It’s no wonder Thomas recommends this oil.


Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body Highlighter ($65;

“Charlotte Tilbury is one of my faves for a glow and bronzed look for the body,” says Castellanos. “Olivia Culpo introduced it to me and I have been obsessed with it ever since. It is the perfect amount of shimmer for every day wear, for a red carpet event or a party. I love to mix it with body makeup as well.”

Makeup tools

Artis Elite Oval 8 Brush ($70;

Artis is known to create the Rolls-Royce of makeup brushes, so it’s no surprise our beauty experts love the brand. “I use the Artis Oval 8 for my bronzing powders,” says Castellanos. “It blends bronzer seamlessly and is larger, so it can be used on the body as well.”


Morphe M500 Deluxe Pointed Blender ($11;

“The Morphie M500 brush is great for applying blush, bronzer and highlighter. At less than $15, it’s an affordable tool,” explains Thomas. Get your hands on this if you’d prefer not to use your fingers.


MAC 116S Synthetic Blush Brush ($37;

“I use the MAC 116 Synthetic Brush for blush and highlighting the cheekbones,” says Castellanos, who thinks the medium size of this brush is perfectly suited for those areas. “It has been a staple in my kit and for personal use. I tend to bring blush higher on the cheekbone and temple area. It is soft and has a smooth and streak-free application.”


Beautyblender Original ($20;

We’ve been loving applying our bronzers and blushes with the iconic Beautyblender. It really comes in handy if we’ve applied too much product or haven’t properly blended everything together. Like, who wants a harsh contour?

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