As soon as Memorial Day rolls around (okay, let's be honest and say a few weeks before), we can't stop searching "summer makeup looks" on Google. It's that in-between time when the days feel warmer, slower, and more sun-lit, and all we can think about is drinking outside and summer sunsets—and the makeup we'll be wearing. To make things easy, we gathered up all the biggest trends making waves this season, added a ton of pictures for inspiration, and listed them all here (with tips from experts to boot). Scroll through, enjoy, and try 'em all out yourself. Because summer is so close we can taste it.
Arguably the biggest summer makeup look taking the season by storm is one of our all-time favorites. Coined "shock shadow," the trend encompasses just that—a little shock value. All it takes is one bold color, albeit neon, holographic, or metallic, and wash it over your lid until the color is opaque. And that's it. Do the rest of your makeup as usual. "That '80s eye shadow is back, but trust—it's better the second time around," says trend forecaster Jane Buckingham. "Bold colors will reign supreme this summer. Think Studio 54 Diana Ross vibes (with a modern twist) and you'll be right on track."
Draping is by no means new. It came up in the '80s and has been going through quite the resurgence over the last few months. Only now it's going bolder, brighter, and bigger than ever before. Rather than using just blush, the trend calls for holographic purples (à la of Rihanna), bubblegum pink, and fuchsia shades.
"Ladies in the '80s loved to rock a full face of makeup," muses celebrity makeup artist Sir John. "That means eyes, lips, and blush. Full-face makeup is definitely a look that has come back, but it's a bit modernized." That's where draping comes in. Thanks to Marc Jacobs (and his lovely Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, $42), this technique is everything again.
"Ever since Claire's and Limited Too loomed large in many a late-'90s preteen vision board, wearable sparkle—usually in the form of body glitter, glitter makeup, and glitter body spray—has been a source of personal euphoria for many millennials," journalist Laura Dorwart wrote earlier this year. As such, you can't walk a single block down the street without a little sparkle catching your eye. It's a trend, sure, but it also speaks to a larger movement.
"I love that you can embrace glitter in so many different ways," explains Sir John. "You can rock a full-on glitter lip, or use your shadow to bring in different textures and shimmers. Choose a palette that features a couple different shades. Don't be afraid to add a little glint to your look! Just be careful with loose glitter—especially if you're a contact-lens wearer."
The Red Lip
A classic red lip will never disappear—it's the easiest way to look chic in seconds. This summer, the look is a swipe of red (whether it's orange-red, brick-red, or blue-red) and not much else. Brushed-up bare brows, glistening skin, and a classic red lip is all you need. "The key is to pick a red that's sheer with a hint of sheen," makeup artist Nick Barose tells us. "Not too matte or opaque—you want it to look fresh and not lipstick-y. It helps keep the look fresh and understated instead of full-on glam."
Sunset eyes are nostalgic and remind us of beach vacations, sangria on hot summer nights, and dancing with no shoes on. It's a way to paint our lids with the memories we want to relive. It's a blend of pinks, purples, golds, and orange—either alone or all together—and we can't wait to buy every single palette Sephora has on offer.
"Orange and warm-tone eyes are still around this summer," makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes says. We're feeling it, as these super-saturated shades allow for a graphic but still minimalistic makeup look when you pair it without liner or mascara. "It's so rich and chic," Hughes says.
A sheeny, healthy bronze is just what we need come summer. A slightly dewier take on spring's desert skin, this season's iteration of "no makeup" makeup is slightly more sun-kissed, with lots of shine. Less is more when it comes to our makeup routines come summer, and that dew creates a more effortless, less-cakey look.
"I wanted a natural but slightly unpolished warm-glow effect. … I used earthy and orangey colors so the girls looked like they've spent an afternoon in the sun and the wind," Peter Philips said of the look he created for last year's Dior cruise show. The only difference this year is the idea is more "fresh from the pool" than "windswept in the desert."
"This trend truly starts at the ground level," explains Sir John. "It's all about how you prep your skin. To get the borderline-emollient skin results, I tell my clients to follow a K-beauty–inspired routine mixed with their favorite highlighting products."