How to Achieve the Perfect Summer Glow

Updated 05/25/18
Guerlain, GlamGlow, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

With summer less than a month away, it’s time to get our skin prepped and glowing for the sun-filled season ahead. Aside from eating plenty of avocados, drinking lots of water, working out, sleeping early, and stressing less (yes, we know–easier said than done), there are plenty of skincare and makeup options that can give us a helping hand to achieve a natural-looking luminosity. Summer complexions call for a less-is-more approach to skin—think a sun-kissed radiance highlighted with bronzer and a fresh coral blush.

Creating a smooth and soft surface for your makeup means exfoliating regularly and keeping skin hydrated. To get us prepped for summer, we turned to our favorite beauty retailer, Sephora, for the must-have (and highly rated) products to achieve the perfect summer glow.

ExfoliKate(R) Intensive Exfoliating Treatment 2 oz
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment $85 $24
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Exfoliation is essential for smooth, soft, and bright skin. Use once or twice a week to slough away dead skin cells and leave skin glowing. (Plus, exfoliation is a key step before any self-tanning.)

 

GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer Nude Glow
GlamGlow GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer Nude Glow $49
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If you're looking for a moisturizer with a luminous finish, then this is your match: a super-hydrating cream infused with hyaluronic acid and pearl articles that blur, reflect, and enhance your complexion to make you look instantly more radiant. 

Self Tanning Drops Dark
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops Dark $29
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For a natural-looking sunkissed glow, simply add these color-correcting self-tanning drops to your moisturizer. No streaks, smells, or orange tones in sight.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter $34
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Highlighter is your best friend in summer. Fenty Beauty's cream-to-powder hybrid highlighter has a weightless long-wear formula that instantly melts into the skin and blends with almost zero effort. Simply sweep onto your face, eyes, lips, nose, and collarbone for a gorgeous summer sheen.

Alpha Beta Glow Pads
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads $38
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Want a glowing tan without exposure to the sun? These glow pads are ideal. An exfoliator and self-tanner in one, they possess anti-aging properties and are packed with vitamin D and antioxidants. 

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick Unicorn 0.25 oz/ 7.10 g
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick Unicorn $25
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A makeup stick to lust over. This light-as-air shimmer formula is made to highlight, blush, enhance, and bronze skin. It comes in 10 colorful shades, but we particularly love Yacht Life–a glimmering peach-pink hue.

Terracotta Light Healthy Glow Vitamin-Radiance Powder 04 Deep Golden
Guerlain Terracotta Light Healthy Glow Vitamin-Radiance Powder 04 Deep Golden $53
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A natural-looking bronzer is a summer essential. Guerlain's has a unique blend of sunkissed tones enhanced with vibrant colors and infused with vitamins. Sweep over your face for a healthy glow.

 

Watermelon Brightening Serum
Milk Makeup Watermelon Brightening Serum $36
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We're currently obsessed with Milk's newest brightening serum. After cleansing, swipe it all over the skin to instantly revitalize and leave it looking luminous. 

Fluid Sheer
Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer $62
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A multitasking illuminator and complexion perfector, this cult favorite can be used as an eye shadow base, blush, or bronzer. It also blends easily with foundation or can be used alone as a makeup base—a favorite among our beauty editors.

Illume Sheer Color Trio
Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio $62
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No one wants to weigh down their straw bag this summer with tons of makeup. That's why this all-in-one bronzer, blush, and highlighter will be your go-to palette of the season. The sheer cream-to-satin formula leaves skin radiant—never cakey.

 

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask 1 oz/ 30 mL
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask $22
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Radiance while you sleep? Sign us up! This luxuriously refreshing sleeping mask hydrates, smooths, and boosts skins luminosity overnight. Think of it as a facial in a jar.

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