Before nearly the entire world was affected by a global pandemic—in which we continue to bear witness to a historical, global uprising in the ongoing pursuit of social and racial justice—summer makeup held a different meaning for me. My summer beauty looks were for creative expression, drinks on patios, attending local events, and spending time with friends on hot, sticky nights. As my city slowly opens up and conversations around dismantling systems of oppression continue, summer makeup is so much more to me than what it once was. This summer, makeup is a means of self-care and an unrelenting, powerful assertion of Black joy.
While taking a break from the often mentally and emotionally taxing news cycle, I searched for some of the warm-weather friendly makeup looks I could rock this season. Read on to see the five trends that will be in my beauty rotation as I cultivate all of the happiness this summer.
Trend #1: Watercolor Eyes
The inspiration: As temperatures rise, we may feel like experimenting with color. Try creating an eyeshadow look that uses unconventional color combinations. Seen on influencers and models at SS20 shows like Christian Siriano, Balmain, and Oscar de la Renta, bright colors and the summer season fit perfectly together. From pastels to neons, colors for this trend range in vibrancy and have no limits.
The look: After applying Anastasia’s Eye Primer ($13), I applied the shade ‘Supreme’ to the center of my lid and up to my brow bone from the Jackie Aina Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills ($32). Then, with the same palette, I used smaller brushes to add ‘Shookington’ to my inner and outer corners, and ‘Wiggalese’ to my under eyes. In addition to the Jackie Aina Palette, brands like UOMA Beauty and Juvia’s Place have a number of palettes that pop on brown skin and are incredible for combining colors. Let images of this multicolor field of dreams inspire you and have fun seeing what you come up with.
Trend #2: Float On
The inspiration: Floating eyeliner is just about everywhere and for good reason: this style accentuates eyes and looks like a minimalist piece of art. Spotted not only at shows by the likes of Chromat, Emilio Pucci, and Anna Sui, but also on influencers and celebs, I couldn’t wait to give this look a go. Aside from making sure your product of choice is pigmented enough to help with an easy and flawless execution, there are no rules to this trend.
The look: A trusted gel or liquid liner will help with precision when drawing your shape as well. Since I’m a gel liner fan, I reached for MAC Cosmetic’s Chromaline Gel in ‘Black Black' ($22). If cream liners are more your speed, Danessa Myricks Beauty’s Vision Cream Liners ($15) come in 12 stunning shades that can be used on your face and body. You can take a softer approach by donning a small floating line or take the abstract route and play around with unique shapes and colors.
Trend #3: Audacious Wings
The inspiration: For summer 2020, classic winged eyeliner takes a fearless twist. From Jeremy Scott’s exaggerated liner to the bright pinks and yellows at Helmut Lang and the golden, glittery wings at Valentino, liner at the SS20 shows were a whole vibe. They came in a range of colors, sizes, and had tons of attitude. Gels, liquid liners, and eyeshadows are all options for products that can be used when creating this look.
The look: I recommend using NYX’s range of eyeliners. Whether you’re a gel, pencil, or liquid liner person, the NYX pigments are vibrant, can be layered with other products, and the price point is amazing. For my version of this trend, I used NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in ‘Milk’ ($5) and packed Colourpop’s eyeshadow in ‘Sweet Spot’ from their ‘Uh-Huh Honey’ Palette ($12) on top. I kept the rest of my face fairly soft by subtly defining my other features and warming up my skin with blush and bronzer.
Trend #4: Bronzed Heroine
The inspiration: Nothing is more effortless than sun-kissed skin. Missoni, Etro, and Elie Tahari sent models down the runway with bronzed skin and soft, barely-there makeup on the rest of their faces. Historically, beauty companies excluded those of us with deeper complexions in the bronzer category. Thankfully, brands like NARS, IMAN, Makeup Revolution, and Fenty Beauty provide products for bronzer lovers of all shades because this trend is for everyone.
The look: My version of summer skin involves dusting bronzer on my cheeks, temples, forehead, and nose. I have a few bronzers, but I use Fenty Beauty’s Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer in ‘Caramel Cutie’ ($30) almost daily. It adds amazing depth to my skin and gives me a sultry glow. I then put highlighter on my cheekbones, apply false lashes, spritz my skin with Mario Badescu’s Rosewater Facial Spray ($7), and finish my look off with a clear lip gloss.
Trend #5: Vivid Pout
The inspiration: As a self-professed lipstick junkie (seriously—I have hundreds of lipsticks), I’m always happy when I see that a bold lip is on-trend. I liken lipstick to a perfect pair of jeans: I can dress it up or down, and as soon as it’s on, I instantly feel more confident. From the pigmented lips at Dolce & Gabanna and Louis Vuitton to some of our most cherished thought-leaders, we don’t have to look very far to know that lipstick is a hit and is never out of place.
The look: Command attention with bright shades like the one I’m wearing from Pat McGrath Labs in ‘Full Panic,’ ($30) or, if you want to try your hand at this trend a little more subtly, brands like Kosas and The Lip Bar have options for lipsticks that aren’t as opaque and full-coverage. Whatever you decide, lipsticks are always a guaranteed way to add a little polish and a ton of style to your makeup on any given day.
You can follow Khera on Instagram @beautyrevolver for more daily makeup inspiration and tips.