How To Get Gorgeous Summer Skin In 6 Easy Steps

Coaxing out our best summer skin as temperatures rise isn’t always easy. We all have fantasies of buttery bronze, dewy (but not too dewy!) skin at this time of year, but in reality find ourselves closer to the flushed red or oily mark, and with all of our determinedly applied make-up long gone by lunchtime. 

Whether it’s a Sophia Loren-esque olive, a J Lo glow, or a rich Rihanna bronze you’re after, this is your foolproof guide to nailing summer skin – courtesy of Chanel’s global creative make-up and colour designer, Lucia Pica, who says: “Summer skin is all about being more glowy and bronzy and sun-kissed – all of the stuff I love!” 

Here, your six step guide to effortless summer make-up.

Prep the skin

Pre make-up, look to lightweight hydrating serums and lotions to ensure skin is primed and ready to go for the subsequent base formula. After cleaning skin (Shiseido’s Waso Smart Water cleans, hydrates and primes), apply U Beauty’s Resurfacing Compound, a one-stop shop for all skin’s needs thanks to its cocktail of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and a rather pleasing tightening effect that allows make-up to go on seamlessly afterwards. For those who like something ultra hydrating, Guerlain’s Super Aqua Emulsion Light is a must-try, and brilliant for all skin types. Always finish with an SPF.

Glow up

If you’re lacking a natural bronze glow, facial tanning has never been easier. James Read’s new Click & Glow Tan Drops deliver self-tan to the skin via a gel formula that’s designed to be added into your SPF or moisturiser – it also contains hyaluronic acid, soothing aloe vera and vitamin C to boot. Meanwhile, Isle of Paradise’s Hyglo Self-Tan Serum is also packed with hyaluronic acid and gradually tans skin, leaving it looking healthy and plump. And finally, Sisley’s Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skincare is a lightweight, non-comedogenic cream that leaves skin both supple and protected against the environment.

First base

“For me, summer (and even winter) skin is about transparency,” says Pica. “That’s why Chanel’s L’Eau de Teint is my foundation. It’s excellent because it’s got this way of making everything really uniform and homogenous, but you still see your skin through it.” Beautiful, fresh-looking skin shouldn’t look like it has anything on it, Pica says, and formulas should just be used to cover what needs to be covered, rather than the entire face. Look to disguise any redness, uneven skin tone or blemishes, but leave your natural skin texture to shine through wherever possible. L’Eau de Teint is excellent and offers a fresh, dewy glow for all skin tones, blurring imperfections and staying put for hours. Plus, its watery, serum-like formula means it feels comfortable on even the oiliest of skin types. Pica also recommends using concealer on the areas that might need extra coverage – try Stila’s Pixel Perfect Concealer.

Bronze and blush

Advocating the use of lots of different textures to mimic real skin, Pica’s next tip is to deploy bronzer and blush where it’s needed. Take your cues from Bella Hadid’s recent Instagram post – in which her bronzer is expertly applied in a ‘W’ shape over the cheekbones and nose – and use either powder or cream formulas, buffing them seamlessly into skin. Chanel’s Soleil Tan Bronze Universel is a Vogue beauty team favourite thanks to its natural finish, while Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer offers a good range of shades for all skin tones. Once bronzed, it’s time for blush. “When you’re bronzed, you still have that element of red skin coming through,” says Pica. “Yes, you get a little bit tanned and your skin starts to get darker, but you still have that redness from the first sun, and I love that redness.” To imitate that fresh-from-the-beach flush, she likes to apply a creamy blush either high on the cheekbones and lightly over the bridge of the nose, or on the apples of cheeks. Try Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Blush Stick or Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge For Lips & Cheeks.

Add light

For an extra hit of glow, avoid powdery highlighters in favour of liquid ones, which are better placed to melt into skin seamlessly. “I would blend it in like a foundation to create a nice veil of glow,” says Pica, who recommends Chanel’s new Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Highlighting Fluid for the job. “Again, everything has to become part of the skin for me – you don’t want anything that feels like it’s sitting on top, it doesn’t give you that natural effect of the summer glow. It’s a bit too fake looking. You have to look like you’ve just been in the sun, and magically, you’re shining.” Another brilliant liquid option is Marc Jacobs’ Glow Away Dewy Coconut Face Luminizer.

Freckles are a go

To really up the ante on the sun-kissed look, look no further than a smattering of (faux) freckles across the nose and cheeks – as per Emily Ratajkowski who is partial to dotting some on herself. “I love that fresh, ingenue type of skin, and I think freckles are a good way to make any make-up look fresh and modern,” says Pica. Freck’s XL Faux Freckle Cosmetics are excellent – just dot on haphazardly and leave to dry. Other alternatives are Colourpop’s Freckle Pen & Lime Crime Freckle Pen.

VOGUE article

5 Tips For Healthy + Glowy Skin

Following the post about K-beauty & skincare, I was inspired to write about tips for healthy and glowy skin. Following are my top 5 tips that should be added to the typical “drink more water & exercise” that we hear day in and day out.

  • Double-cleanse – to effectively break down all of the makeup layers that we wear, it’s important to remove the makeup first with proper removers, micellar waters, etc. followed by two cleansers (can be the same or different products). The first cleanse gets rid of makeup removers’ residue on the skin, while the second layer penetrates the skin more effectively.
  • Exfoliate – whether physical or chemical, exfoliants get rid of the dry skin layer and increase cell turnover. This should be done no more than twice a week, especially for people with sensistive or acne-prone skin. I have normal/combination/sensitive skin and I use exfoliants as needed, which is about once a week. For more information about chemical & physical exfoliants, check out my blog post:
  • Focus on your nighttime skincare routine – this is the longest period of time when the skin is able to replenish and recover, therefore make sure you’re using the most effective and beneficial products to wake up with better skin every day. Make sure to wash the nightime skincare off in the morning with a light cleanser and then apply daytime moisturizer.
  • Self-tan – this point can be controversial, but most of us enjoy the look of our skin when we have a tan on. It makes the skintone more even and gives a better feeling overall. This is especially beneficial for people who have quite thin, translucent skin, which shows veins a lot more. I recommend using products such as Jergens Tanning Lotion or Mousse, St. Tropez, or Loving Tan with a mitt, over tanning salons or prolonged exposure to the sun.
  • Highlight using facial oils – place a drop or two of a facial oil on the back of your hand, swirl it around and dab it with a finger onto the cheekbones and around the brows to give a healthy, glow-from-within appearance. Make sure to use an oil that will not disrupt the foundation underneath, such as the Moroccan Oil Pure Argan Oil.