Top Summer Makeup Looks

Summer is that special time of year for breezy clothes, strappy sandals, and lightweight makeup looks. Natural summer makeup not only fits in with the weather, but also sidesteps the potentially sticky  mess that can happen if cosmetics start to melt off your face in the heat. Not sure how to get quick summer makeup looks? Read on to learn six essential tips for summer makeup for women of color to add to your beauty routine.

#1 Exfoliate, Moisturize & Repeat

Your skincare routine is an excellent place to start when it comes to great makeup tricks. Many of the summer makeup tips below are enhanced by proper skin care. Skin that is well exfoliated and moisturized is central to any beauty routine, as your skin serves as the canvas for makeup application. Like any good artist, you should prep your canvas before getting to work. 

Creating an even template for your cosmetics is especially important in the summer when you’ll typically wear less makeup. Most summer makeup looks are founded on the “makeup that isn’t there” premise. To pull this off, you’ll need your best skin.

A product that can help you achieve this is an exfoliator. Exfoliators come in all shapes and sizes: 

  • as creams, gels, or powders
  • with granules or without
  • with exfoliating acids, peptides or enzymes
  • as a cleanser or mask

Whichever you choose, be sure it is for your skin type and make sure to use the product as frequently as suggested. You’ll want to exfoliate regularly, usually a couple of times a week, but don’t overdo it. The idea behind exfoliating is to remove dead skin and bring newer, more supple skin to the surface. If your skin becomes dry, irritated or red, exfoliate less frequently or try a different product. Always moisturize after exfoliating and cleansing your face. 

Pro Tip: Don’t leave out the lips! Exfoliating your lips can help make them smooth and primed for perfect lip product application. Use a lip scrub designed for this delicate skin. There are plenty of options available at beauty stores or you can save money and make your own at home. Mix sugar with honey or grapeseed oil and gently run over your lips for several seconds. Apply your favorite lip moisturizer after exfoliating, as well as before makeup application.

#2 Tread Lightly with Foundation

A full face of heavy foundation is hard to pull off when the thermostat reaches 80-degrees, much less 100-degrees. Even with primers, powders and makeup setters, foundation won’t stay put when it’s incredibly hot outside. To help circumvent any potential issues, our best recommendation is to tread lightly with makeup application.

If you’re wondering about the best foundation for summer humidity, Mented makes buildable foundation sticks for women of color. In summer, or anytime you want light coverage, simply apply less product to your face. It’s that easy. You can blend the foundation in with your fingers, but a buffing brush is best. This method helps get the product perfectly blended into your skin so it doesn’t slide in the heat. 

Alternatively, you can skip the foundation altogether. Just dab some concealer under your eyes and over blemishes, which you can also easily achieve with the multi-purpose foundation stick by Mented, designed to be the go-to concealer for women of color. Blend in the concealer and voila, you’ve got the “no-makeup” summer makeup look perfected.

#3 Rosé All Day

No makeup shade quite says summer like pink. Light, flirty and feminine, it’s the perfect shade for the office, pool, or happy hour. A balanced pink summer makeup look would include pink on the cheek and eye, and a nude lipstick color. If you’re after a bolder look, go full pink monochromatic. Popularized in the last couple of years, monochromatic makeup is when you apply the same, or nearly the same, color to your eyes, cheeks, and lips. 

When picking out pinks, remember that a classic pink color has relatively cool tones. Sure, pink is mostly red mixed with white, but often it has blue in it too. This means that ladies with cooler undertones will look sensational in true pinks. On the other hand, ladies with warmer undertones should reach for pinks with orange or red notes to complement their complexion. Think pinky corals or a light salmon shade. Mented makes perfectly pigmented pink shades for all women of color, such as the Pretty in Pink Matte and Semi-Matte lipstick. This pink lipstick is a perfect balance of pinks, oranges, and browns that is designed to look great on all skin tones. 

#4 Bronze Like a Boss

Bronzer is the cornerstone of a sun-kissed summer makeup look, adding to your skin's natural glow. Some bronzers are more orangey or metallic, but all have the color combination of brown, orange and gold. Just be careful to steer clear of color too rich for your skin tone. It’s easier to layer up on bronzer than use a color that’s too-rich that goes from zero to 60 in a second. 

Since bronzer simulates a tan, you should dust it where the sun naturally strikes your face, such as the: 

  • Crown of your forehead
  • Bridge of your nose
  • Ridge of your cheekbones
  • Center of your chin
  • Touch at the neck 
  • Along your décolletage

For a classic summer makeup look, bronzer is best paired with nude shades. Throw on your favorite Mented nude lipstick and a shade or two from a neutral eyeshadow palette. 

As another tip, bronzer is actually best paired with a blush. Blush adds dimension to a face dusted with a uniformly warm-hued bronzer. Mented has four colors of blush, representing the four main color categories of blush: pink, peach, burgundy and a muted raisin-brown red.

For an on-trend summer makeup look, go bronze on the eyes. A bronze lid in a copper, chestnut or rusty hue will brighten up your bronzed face and load up the glamour, and make for the perfect summer eye makeup look. 

#5 Shadow, Shadow Everywhere

The last year or so has been all about eyeshadows on catwalks, in magazines, and on famous faces. Of course, you’ll still catch popular eye pencil techniques as well - colorful eye pencils, in shades like teal and hot pink, are making a comeback from the 80s. Additionally, the timelessness of the cat-eye, with its sweep of black eyeliner from the outer corners of the eyes, is a look that never really goes out of fashion. However, some examples notwithstanding, the last couple of years have been all about eye shadow.

One popular eyeshadow technique is taking a single bright and/or shimmery shade from eyelid to brow. To soften this bold eyeshadow look, you can mix a similar, lighter shade from eyelid to eye crease. Alternatively, fade the brighter color along the bridge of your eye to the brow. For a straight off the red carpet style, try pulling some color around the inner corners of the eyes and just below the lower lid. 

Another way eyeshadow has been making a big impact recently is by doubling as a highlighter. Take a shimmery shade and dust it just above your cheekbones. Start outside your eyes and follow the bone to about mid-cheek. Use a shade similar to your skin tone, or one with a touch of pink or peach. If the shade is very similar to your skin tone, you can also dab it in other places where highlighter is traditionally placed - namely, between the brows and fanning upwards, and also along the chin. Stay away from putting color darker or richer than your skin tone over your face, otherwise, it can look too strong or painted on. 

#6 Statement Lips

You achieve a true look of statement lips by applying minimal facial and eye makeup, but drenching your lips in color. The otherwise pared-down makeup look is contrasted with the bold lips. This is a classic look at any time of the year, but statement lips are arguably best for summer. Here’s why. 

When your skin is supple from the humidity and you have that summer glow from your sun-kissed skin, it’s likely in prime shape for the “no-makeup” makeup look that statement lips are set against. Plus, as we talked about above, summer is when we should ditch heavy makeup anyway.

It’s a cinch to get statement lips:

  1. Apply a little foundation, if any
  2. Dab on concealer where needed
  3. Dust on a light blush shade
  4. Apply some nude eyeshadow, if you like
  5. Stroke on mascara
  6. Outline your lips with a lip pencil
  7. Apply your favorite bold lip color

Statement lip colors are all about rich colors, usually a shade of red, but nothing too bright. Think creamy clarets, burgundies and raspberry colors, rather than electric pink, purples or charred browns. Mented’s Dark Knight Matte Lipstick, a brownish-red color, or our classic Mented #5, a purplish-brown shade, are fantastic statement-making lipsticks.

The all-time favorite statement-making lip color is, however, a classic red. Mented makes three red lipstick shades that are perfectly pigmented for women of color. Red & Butter Matte, with its yellow undertones, is perfect for lighter and warmer skinned women. Red Carpet Matte has blue undertones for cool-undertoned ladies. Red Rover features blackberry tones for women with deeper, chocolatey complexions.

There are all sorts of lipstick types out there, but when it comes to statement-making lips, matte is the way to go. Compared to other lipstick types, matte lipsticks have less oil in them and more pigmentation. They stay on longer, are less likely to smear, and the color really pops. 

A matte lipstick does require some know-how to properly apply. Without basic matte skills, it’s easy for unforgiving smudges of color to end up outside of your lips. The lack of moisture in the lipstick also means you could walk around with cakey lips. Avoid these problems and increase your matte lipstick application game to pro-level with this how-to apply matte guide.

Light, Shimmery, Fun Summer Makeup

It’s summer! Celebrate the season by thinking light, shimmery, and fun when it comes to your makeup. You don’t need to be a makeup guru to adeptly apply and play with makeup either. At Mented, we’ve created the makeup products and guides like this to help start you on your beauty journey and achieve your best looks. Browse our makeup collections today to start perfecting your summer makeup routine and feel confident all season long. 

Interested in learning even more summer makeup tricks? Check out our blog with top vacation makeup tips or our guide to makeup for tan skin!