Summer is on the horizon, and warmer weather calls for a beauty and wellness refresh. This time of year always inspires us to be more experimental with makeup, revamp our skincare routines, and switch up our hair care rotation. We're reaching for bold blushes that give our skin a sun-kissed glow, hydrating SPFs that don't leave a white cast, humidity-fighting hair gels, and more. Ahead, discover the products we'll be using all summer long.
Hallie Gould, editor-in-chief and GM
There is nothing I love more than a viscous toner—it’s the type of texture that’s thicker than liquid but not quite a serum, you know? It’s so refreshing to apply and really feels like it’s packing in the moisture. This particular variety is brimming with greens, including artichoke, broccoli, and matcha green tea, as well as centella asiatica extract and hyaluronic acid to smooth the look of pores, reduce redness, and offer antioxidant protection. I am obsessed with applying it after cleansing during my morning routine. It feels incredibly good and works even better.
Sensing a pattern yet? I love lightweight, feel-good skincare options once the weather warms up. Westman Atelier’s Skin Activator Serum offers up all the good stuff—hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamide—and visibly softens, plumps, and firms. All you need is a dime-size amount and a quick facial massage before your moisturizer.
This is my absolute favorite thing to throw in my bag on a hot (or particularly stressful) day. The mist is fine and cooling, the scent is a tropical dream, and it immediately offers calming, soothing benefits when you need a minute to relax. The ingredients are anti-inflammatory (aloe), hydrating (hyaluronic acid), and protecting (vitamin C c/o Kakadu plum)—so yes, this mist is a must-buy for your skin and your soul's sake.
Olivia Hancock, editor
I embrace more vibrant eye makeup looks during the summer and like to use fun colors along my waterline. I've been wearing The Lip Bar's Eyeliner in Blue, a striking cobalt shade that makes my eyes pop. This eyeliner glides on effortlessly. It's smudge-proof and waterproof, so you can count on it staying put all day.
My makeup look isn't complete without a touch of blush. Youthforia's BYO Blush Color Changing Blush Oil is one of my go-tos year-round, but I especially love wearing it in the summer because it gives my skin a natural flush of color (it reacts to your skin's natural pH to create the perfect shade) and dewiness. Plus, it's incredibly hydrating, thanks to ingredients like castor oil.
I'm either rocking a wash-and-go or braids during the summer. Either way, mousse is a must-have. This one from Kiss is a new favorite—it defines curls, tames frizz, and soothes your scalp. This mousse is also super nourishing, as it's infused with Jamaican black castor oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, olive oil, and biotin.
When I think of summer, I think of fresh, dewy skin. I like to keep this Mario Badescu Facial Spray on hand for this reason. It helps keep my skin hydrated and glowing all day. Three ingredients power this gentle mist—rose extract moisturizes and rejuvenates, gardenia extract provides antioxidant benefits, and thyme extract clarifies your skin.
Madeline Hirsch, news director
I'm ditching my usual ink-black eye makeup for chocolate browns that pair nicely with a summer glow. I'll always love my basic black, but something about the heat makes me want to pull back and embrace my softer side. These two are my current favorites—plus, you probably already know and love these formulas. Now, it's time to try them in a new shade for the sunny months ahead.
I'm obsessed with Suki Waterhouse's hair in Daisy Jones & the Six. It's the perfect combination of volume, tousle, and shape. So naturally, I went on a deep dive to find out what products she used on set (and on the red carpet) and came up with this leave-in from Jennifer Aniston's brand, LolaVie. I've tried it myself, and it's a multitasking hero if you're looking for that perfectly tousled look. Simply add it to damp hair after your shower and let it air dry for cool-girl effortless texture, or use it as a heat protectant for a high-volume blowout.
Bella Cacciatore, news editor
Every summer, I return to the "popsicle lips" trend—that blotted, stained lip that pairs so well with hot weather. I have a whole stash of products that give my lips a sheer wash of color, but this one has quickly skyrocketed to the top of my collection. As the name suggests, it's a tinted balm with a unique texture that's hydrating yet matte. It gives me the perfect hint of color that's more like a grape popsicle than a cherry one, and I've been loving the moody-yet-effortless vibe it gives my daily makeup. It also looks gorgeous on the cheeks for a natural flush. I'll be keeping it in my bag all summer long.
Skin is in every summer, but I'm typically a full-coverage girl, even in the hottest months. This year though, I want to ditch my usual foundation for a trendy skin tint—or no foundation at all. I've finally gotten my adult acne under control, but I have some scarring I want to clean up before I shed some coverage, and this serum has been helping immensely. It has a potent blend of alpha arbutin, kojic acid, and niacinamide to brighten dark spots and even tone, and I've seen a lightening effect in just a week of use. At this rate, I'll be all clear by the Fourth of July.
I've gone all in on "coquette" style, and now I'll be bringing the aesthetic to my fragrance. I bought a sample of this one and I can't wait to spring for a full bottle to wear all summer. The brand describes it as "a little dream potion to adorn your silky body and sheets," which is all you need to hook me. It's powdery and soft with notes of violet candy and musk, and it makes me feel like a princess instead of giving me old-lady vibes.
Star Donaldson, associate social media director
All year round, especially during the summer, I want to feel lighter and not weighed down by stomach cramps and bloating. So I recently added Rae's Pre + Probiotic into my morning routine based on a TikTok recommendation. Like most things on the app, I wasn't sure it would be worth the hype, but I added it to my Amazon cart anyway. The first thing I liked about this probiotic is that you take it before you eat anything. When I wake up, I take this on an empty stomach, and then I can forget about it for the rest of the day. It has a slightly minty taste upon swallowing, so it's easy to take before brushing your teeth in the morning. Most importantly, I feel less bloated within an hour of taking it and have found that I can stomach dairy better (I'm lactose intolerant) and am more "regular," if you know what I mean. This is the first probiotic I've tried that I actually feel a difference while using, and I look forward to taking it every morning.
During the summer, it almost seems like my period gets more annoying. It's super hot, I'm busy running around, and I get so caught up in living life that I don't want my period to be top of mind. I'm a menstrual cup girl all year round, so I know that not all cups are made equally. This Lola Menstrual Cup is special for many reasons. Menstrual cups are all about a perfect fit, and this one fit me well right off the bat. The brand formulated it in two sizes so you can likely find one that works for you too. It also comes with a plastic carrying pouch—major! Every other menstrual cup I have comes with a fabric pouch, which can feel unsanitary and difficult to find in my cabinet after my cycle. I've taken this while traveling, and so far, it’s helped the cup keep its shape and separated it safely away from my other toiletries. This cup is coming with me all summer long.
Aimee Simeon, senior editor
I don't typically use body glow-enhancing products because I'm usually at home in my NYC apartment for summer. Still, I love packing a glowy product when I travel and will be showing some skin. This new one from Kopari has SPF 50 to keep me protected and glistening during my upcoming vacation. In addition, it's lightweight and doesn't leave behind the sticky feel that similar products tend to.
Historically, I've been a powder blush gal, but cream formulas like this e.l.f. Cosmetics wand have been so good that I consider myself a convert. This gives you the perfect kiss of color to make your cheekbones pop. It also has a reflective shimmer that looks gorgeous in natural sunlight. It’s perfect for those summer days when you want a subtle yet noticeable glow.
Thanks to pregnancy hormones, my KP has gotten worse. To manage the bumpy texture on my arms and back (especially before bikini season), I've been using targeted body products like this new Cosmedix scrub. It's formulated with pumice and jojoba beads to physically remove dead skin, while lactic acid deeply exfoliates. I've been using it for a few weeks and am pleased with the progress so far, so I'll stick with it for the summer months, too.
Even before walking around while seven months pregnant, my feet would always turn into cocktail sausages in the summertime (especially in flat sandals). I've never had a remedy, and it's just something I've dealt with and hated. Hatch Mama sent me this foot relief cream that answered my prayer. It has aloe, chamomile, and ginger, giving a nice cooling sensation to achy limbs. I apply this generously to my feet and legs multiple times daily and go to town with my hands. My feet always feel less cramped, and the best part is that there’s no burning menthol smell or any lingering sensation.
Holly Rhue, associate editorial director
Come summertime, I'm always on the hunt for a lightweight mineral sunscreen—and this year, I can end my search early. The new DreamBeam SPF from Kosas goes on creamy with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, but dries down to be virtually undetectable. I also love the precision applicator, which makes it super easy to measure my SPF (two fingers' length, as a general rule of thumb) without making a mess.
I'm one of those people who wears mascara almost every day—even at the pool. But when I'm sweating and swimming, I need something that perseveres without running or flaking. For me, Uoma Beauty's Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Mascara is the only formula I reach for in the summertime. It's super pigmented to saturate my bleach-blonde eyelashes, actually holds a curl, and doesn't transfer when I'm sweating.
As someone with an oily T-zone, a full sheet mask can feel like a bit much in the summer. But I firmly believe there's no greater joy than a cold pair of eye gels—fresh from the fridge—paired with an iced coffee in the morning. Lately, the 111Skin Rose Gold Illuminating Eye Masks have been a staple in my bag. I love that they're big enough to actually treat my entire under-eye area, and that they’re infused with ingredients like colloidal gold to deliver some serious brightening to my dark circles.
Jasmine Phillips, social media editor
Sunscreen is a must 365 days a year, but I'm more diligent with reapplication during the summer. Vacation's Super Spritz SPF 50 Face Mist helps me reapply on the go, whether I'm in the office or hitting the beach. It quickly dries down on my skin and feels refreshing on hot days. I've had some issues with sunscreen irritating my eyes, but I'm happy to report that this formula does not burn.
There's nothing I love more than a luminous glow, especially in the summer. The e.l.f. Halo Glow highlight beauty wand leaves a radiant glow that would make the sun jealous. A little goes a long way, and the formula blends seamlessly into the skin. The cushion tip makes it easy to apply in all the right places.
Eden Stuart, editor
For many, summer sweat means lightweight tinted moisturizers, or perhaps nothing but sunscreen and a swipe of mascara. And while I applaud those of you for whom that is the case, that's simply not my ministry—I just don't like parting with my foundations. And with this primer, I don't have to. The online hype is real: Whatever you put on your face after applying this tacky, tight-gripping primer will stay put. When paired with a bit of powder and setting spray, my complexion products last well into the night (and when you sweat the way I do, that's a feat). This one is definitely going to be my summer MVP.
For me, summer means two hairstyles: Braids or wash-and-gos. While folks in my life know you can't get me to stop talking about my love of the former, I have yet to develop a great technique for the latter. Like many folks with type 4 hair, coil definition has proven elusive for me. So thank you, Aunt Jackie's, for providing me with something I never thought I could achieve: Great coil definition from one product. This gel helps my hair clump with ease, doesn't leave any white cast, and smells fabulous. I'm excited to keep using it and—just maybe—finally nail down my perfect wash-and-go routine.