These top picks will help you make the most of the sunny season

There’s summer fun to catch up on, and these makeup and skin care products will have you sailing through the season looking your best. Beach days, music festivals, weekend getaways; don’t get caught unprepared just because we’re all out of practice. We’ve got you with these recommendations...

1. Aqua Bomb Brightening Vitamin C Cream by Belif, $56

BelifBelifFrom cult Korean skin care brand Belif, this vitamin C moisturizer has the same lightweight gel-cream texture as other creams in their Aqua Bomb range. Vitamin C helps boost the efficacy of SPF, making this an ideal layer under your daily sunscreen. If you love dewy glow, you’ll appreciate this product. If you have oily skin, you might not need as much.
Available online

2. Laguna Bronzing Cream by NARS, $50

NarsNarsThese creams were originally released as limited editions, but have finally been incorporated into NARS’ permanent collection with a wider shade range. Lightweight, matte and buildable, these bronzers are practically synonymous with summer. The cream to powder formula sets fairly quickly, so work on one area at a time, and blend out before working on the next area. Available in five shades, with varying neutral to warm undertones. It’s lightly scented with monoï de Tahiti oil, which dissipates quickly after application.
Available online

3. SunnyDays Lightweight Foundation by Tower 28, $38

Tower 28Tower 28Health Canada regulates sunscreens as a drug, hence each one requires its own DIN (drug information number), which is a costly process in itself, especially if a brand has already invested in product development in a different category, such as a tinted sunscreen. This is why you’ll often see a sticker covering SPF claims on products mainly originating from the U.S. These products are usually great cosmetics on their own, but they just haven’t been approved as a sunscreen by Health Canada.

SunnyDays falls into this category. (In the US, it’s called SunnyDays SPF30 Tinted Sunscreen). Good tinted sunscreens are hard to come by, so these really are sunny days now that this is finally available in Canada. The shade range is wide, the texture is creamy and like all Tower 28 products, this follows the (U.S.) National Eczema Association’s ingredient guidelines, and avoids known irritants and allergens for reactive skins. As a lightweight foundation, it provides light buildable coverage. As a tinted sunscreen, just remember to think of it as a sunscreen so you apply the correct amount for full sun protection.
Available online

4. Stay All Day Sheer Liquid Lipstick by Stila, $29

StilaStilaThis new sheer formula has the same texture and lasting power as the ironic original, but the effect is softer and translucent. It will stain your lips to a matte, natural finish without bleeding or transferring. With a touch of avocado oil and vitamin E, this is a formula that won’t dry out your lips.
Available online

5. Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Creamy Wash by PanOxyl, $11.99

PanOxylPanOxylBenzoyl peroxide (BPO) definitely has acne-fighting properties, but during the summer couldn’t we all use a cleanser that dries up excess sebum (oil), reduces bacteria from sweat and helps dissolve blackheads and whiteheads? 20 seconds of skin contact time from a BPO cleanser is long enough for this anti-inflammatory ingredient to make a difference, according to the National Library of Medicine. This cleanser is creamy, unscented and does its job very well, without extravagant promises or claims. It already has a cult following in the U.S. and U.K., and is finally available in Canada.
Available online

6. Tinted Moisturiser Blush by Laura Mercier, $36

LM1Laura MercierThis is a fantastic cream blush, but there are two things you need to know: it’s deceptively small in size and it’s deceptively called a moisturizer. The needlenose-tipped tube gives the first hint: this is very concentrated. The tube is small and it seems like you don’t get a lot, but this is highly pigmented so it will last a while. It’s also not as creamy as expected for a product labelled “moisturizer”. Once you get the feel for how this blush works, you’ll be rewarded with a natural flush that lasts the whole day.Start with a tiny dot, work it into a brush and then stipple onto cheeks. This sets quickly, so do one cheek at a time, blending out well before moving on. And true to Laura Mercier’s DNA, all 12 colours are natural and flush-like.
Available online

7. Microderm Polish by Alumier MD, $65

Alumier MDAlumier MDNot all physical exfoliators are the same. This one has a beautifully thick consistency that spreads easily and provides a good buffer as the hydrated silica and jojoba esters remove that layer of build-up on your skin. Smooth, baby-soft skin awaits. Polishing your skin helps skin texture by encouraging skin cell turnover and evening skin tone. It also helps your skin absorb your skin care just a little bit better.  
Available online

8. Age Perfect 4-in-1 TInted Balm by L’Oreal, $20.99

L’OrealL’OrealThere are a couple of reasons not to buy this: the shade range is extremely limited and those with oily skin probably won’t like this (which is more of us in the summer). That said, this is such a good skin tint balm (especially at this price point) that the cons can be overlooked. The texture truly is butter-like, melting easily onto skin and buffing into near-nothing. Because it sheers out so easily, each colour can work for a wide range of skin tones. It’s silicone-heavy, hence the incredible blurring properties, leaving skin very smooth. This will give you your perfect no-makeup makeup summer skin, if you can find a good colour match and don’t have oily skin.
Available online