10 Summer Beauty Essentials

The ultimate list of skin care and makeup we're obsessed with this summer

The ultimate list of skin care and makeup we’re obsessed with this summer

The beauty of summer is a constant that we can all find joy in, no matter what else is going on in the world. In the coming months, these skin care and makeup products will help you find creative inspiration for a season filled with hot sunny days and lazy technicolor sunsets. Have fun with your makeup and skin care, wherever summer takes youeven if it’s just the backyard.

Here are our top 10 picks…


1. Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer by Fenty Beauty, $42

Rihanna’s done it again. This creamy bronzer is dewy but not greasy, emollient but long-lasting, and bridges that perfect space between being pigmented but still natural looking. It delivers that impossibly sun-kissed glow that self-isolation has snatched away from us this summer. The lightest and darkest shades (Amber and Toffee Tease, respectively) were specifically designed to be contour shades so they lean on the grey side. The other five colours span an impressive spectrum of shades and undertones, which should work well from lighter to darker skin tones. Initial coverage is semi-sheer to medium and easily buildable. This product is best applied with a synthetic brush, using a light, sweeping touch.
Available at Sephora


2. Neo-Pearl Nail Polish Collection by OPI, $14.95

The pearl trend has reached your nails. OPI’s latest collection takes the chrome and metallic trend to a new dimension with iridescent pinks, duo-chrome greens and pearlescent nudes. Neo-Pearl offers 12 shades that combine the natural translucence and luminosity of pearls with a fun and modern palette that’s signature OPI.
Available at Amazon and Chatters


3. True Cream Aqua Bomb Aloe Vera by Belif, $50

Belif is a Korean skin care brand that’s always flown under the radar in North America. But they’ve recently landed at Sephora and received their “Clean at Sephora” beauty badge. Their new, limited-edition aloe vera Aqua Bomb is a fantastic, basic-not-basic moisturizer. It’s a lightweight gel-cream that truly works for all skin types. Those with oily skin will find it refreshingly light, while those with dehydrated skin will be comforted by all-day hydration. Formulated with hand-picked aloe vera and other natural plant extracts, this moisturizer also helps with inflammation. The only negative to this product is that it isn’t part of their permanent lineup, so don’t get too attached.
Available at Sephora


4. LiftActiv Peptide-C Ampoules by Vichy, $39.95

Vitamin C is equally notorious for its ability to boost collagen production as it is for its instability. It’s a hero antioxidant ingredient, and especially important during the summer as it boosts the performance of sunscreen. To address the instability issue, Vichy’s new vitamin C serum uses a delivery system borrowed from kbeauty (Korean beauty): individual glass ampoules. Created with minimal ingredients (none of which include fragrance, alcohol or preservatives), this 10 percent vitamin C serum with added plant-based phyto peptides and hyaluronic acid promises to “reignite radiance, restore firmness and smooth wrinkles.” These airtight ampoules protect the serum from UV rays, heat and oxidation. So how do you get the serum out?

  1. Using a tissue, snap the lid off the glass ampoule and attach the specialist applicator.
  2. Then twist off the applicator cap and squeeze the applicator to release half of the contents of the ampoule, before applying to clean, dry skin.
  3. Wait 30 seconds before applying your normal skincare routine. 

Each ampoule has enough serum for two generous applications to the face and neck. Use entire contents within 48 hours.
Available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Vichy.ca


5. Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30 by Dermalogica Anthelios, $77 & Ultra Fluide SPF 50 by la Roche-Posay, $29

It might not feel like you’re going to be outside as much this summer, but sunscreen is still necessary, especially if you want to avoid mask tan lines. The great news is that facial sunscreens continue to improve and there are a couple of excellent choices this summer that offer truly invisible coverage, even on darker skin tones. They’re cosmetically elegant, sinking into the skin without pilling and work beautifully as a makeup base.

Dermalogica’s new SPF30 for face is best for those with dry to dry-combo skin. It’s a physical sunscreen using non-nano zinc oxide. The cream has a lovely, rich texture that comforts skin and disappears into the background after about a minute. leaving a dewy, almost glass-like finish. Tap a little powder overtop to cut down the glow if it’s too much.

Those with oily to oily-combo skin will find La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios SPF50 more appealing, with its lighter, water-like texture. Be sure to shake the bottle well before each use. This is a chemical sunscreen that’s dermatologist-approved and should still be comfortable for those with sensitive skin.
Dermalogica is available at Sephora & La Roche-Posay is available online and London Drugs, $29


6. Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum by Fresh, $78

This is a bi-phase product that’s both liquid and oil, which needs to be shaken to combine before each use. Once emulsified, it becomes an extremely hydrating serum, which those with oily skin can probably use alone as their base moisturizer. It contains squalane oil, which closely mimics skin’s own oil, creating that lighter-than-air feeling. This serum smells divinely of fresh roses and leaves skin dewy soft.
Available at Sephora


7. Magic Cream Light by Charlotte Tilbury, $125

Just in time for summer, Charlotte Tilbury has launched a new, lighter version of her cult classic, Magic Cream. If you’re a fan of the original, but have to put the thick, occlusive cream aside when temperatures get warmer, this one is for you. Or if you have oily/combination skin and found Magic Cream too rich, Charlotte’s heard your pleas. This is an excellent makeup base and is upgraded with a pump housed in a sleek white and rose gold glass bottle.
Available at Charlotte Tilbury


8. Glow Cheek and Lip Stain by Evalina Beauty, $35

Vancouver-based cruelty-free brand Evalina has released two new gel-cream cheek stains this summer, available in peach and pink (and mixing the two will create a pretty coral). It’s incredibly lightweight and sheer, but buildable and never pills.  Both colours lean towards more of a pastel hue, with a white base probably due to the titanium dioxide (sixth on the ingredient list). The stains are an easy way to get a very natural flush but will only work on fair to light-medium skin tones.
Available at Evalina


9. Parfum Chronologiste Parfum Hair Oil by Kerastase, $70

It may have been months since you last saw your hairdresser, but just because your hair isn’t looking its best doesn’t mean you can’t fake it with a lot of shine and an intoxicating fragrance. This multipurpose hair perfume infuses your hair with an elegant blend of musk, jasmine, myrrh and light woods. But it’s not just pretty! It’s a fantastic hair treatment before or after heat styling. It imparts incredible shine and moisture to strands, smoothing cuticles and even soothing irritated scalps. Less is more with this: apply just one to two pumps, starting at the ends and working your way up.
Available at Kerastase and Sephora


10. Cleanance Serum Corrector by Avene, $42

Adult acne sucks. If there’s a silver lining to self-isolation, it’s that we have more time to devote to our skin care. The factors behind adult acne are very different from the factors that cause teen acne, so it’s important to treat the condition with targeted products. Avene’s new serum treats blemish-prone skin with a concentration of active ingredients that limit oxidation of sebum (which is responsible for those pimples), helps close pores and smooth overall texture.
Available at London Drugs and other pharmacies