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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Johnson

Effortless Elegance: Embrace Minimal Makeup Tips for Sun-Kissed Days

Updated: Feb 1

Woman putting on mascara

As the scorching summer sun continues to dominate our days (come on Fall!), the desire for a heavy mask of melting makeup has become a thing of the past. Most women across the globe are seeking ways to achieve a radiant and sun-kissed look without clogging their pores or causing unsightly breakouts. In this blog post, I will delve into the art of effortless elegance, exploring minimal makeup tips and products that are perfect for those hot summer days. As an added bonus, each of the products recommended are vegan and cruelty-free.

1. Start with a Clean Canvas:

Before you even think about applying makeup, it's essential to begin with a fresh, clean canvas. Cleansing your face thoroughly helps remove any impurities, excess oil, and sweat accumulated during the day. Opt for a gentle cleanser that suits your skin type to maintain its natural balance. Some good options are ILIA Beauty The Cleanse Soft Foaming Cleanser + Make Up Remover (for normal to dry skin); Paula’s Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser (for oily skin); and Dermalogica Cleansing Oil (for combination skin).

2. Hydrate and Protect:

The summer sun can be harsh on your skin, so it's crucial to keep it hydrated and protected. Apply a lightweight, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 won’t give you a white cast and provides skincare benefits as well as protection from the sun. Hydrate your skin with a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer to ensure a smooth and even makeup application. Try Paula’s Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer.

3. Minimalistic Base:

For that sun-kissed glow, a minimalistic approach to your base makeup is key. Swap heavy foundations for a sheer, tinted moisturizer, serum foundation, or a BB cream. These products provide light coverage while allowing your skin to breathe. Plus, many of these formulations also include sunscreen, like ILIA Beauty Super Serum Skin Tint with SPF 40 (read my review here), so you’re knocking out two steps in one. Dab concealer only where necessary to cover imperfections, letting your natural skin shine through. Try IL MAKIAGE F*CK I’M FLAWLESS Multi-Use Perfecting Concealer for a lightweight, long-wear option.

4. Embrace the Bronzer:

Bronzer is your best friend when it comes to achieving that sun-kissed look. Apply a bronzer lightly to the high points of your face – your cheekbones, temples, and the bridge of your nose. This will add warmth and dimension to your complexion, making it appear as though you've spent a day at the beach. MILK MAKEUP Matte Cream Bronzer Stick is a perfect choice for a creamy texture while Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer is the perfect powder option.

5. Natural Flush with Blush:

A touch of blush can do wonders for your overall appearance. Opt for a soft, peachy, or pink shade that complements your skin tone. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks for a fresh, healthy flush. Try Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, a long-wearing pressed powder formula.

6. Define Your Eyes:

Keep your eye makeup minimal by using neutral tones. A simple coat of lash -lengthening mascara will open up your eyes and make them pop without the need for heavy eyeshadows and eyeliners. There are so many great mascaras available, including ILIA Beauty Limitless Lash Lengthening Clean Mascara, Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara, and Glossier Lash Slick Lift and Lengthening Mascara, just to name a few.

7. Tinted Lip Balm:

Ditch the bold lipsticks for a tinted lip balm or a natural lip gloss. These hydrating options add a subtle hint of color while keeping your lips soft and kissable. Try Summer Fridays Blush Balm Lip + Cheek Stick for a natural matte finish and pop of color. If you prefer a glossier look, Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer is always a crowd-pleaser.

8. Setting Spray and Face Mists:

To ensure your minimal makeup stays in place throughout the day, finish with a spritz of setting spray. This will help lock in your makeup without adding weight or texture. Face mists can also provide a great way to cool down on those triple-digit days, plus they provide hydration and are a great way to refresh your makeup. Some good setting sprays to try are MILK MAKEUP Hydro Grip Dewy Long-Lasting Setting Spray and Hourglass Veil Setting Spray. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Sage & Orange Blossom is a top-rated favorite.


In the midst of scorching summer days, achieving an elegant, sun-kissed look doesn't have to involve heavy layers of makeup. Embrace minimalism and let your natural beauty shine through. By starting with a clean canvas, protecting your skin, and using lightweight products, you can effortlessly radiate confidence and grace. So, this summer, shed the heavy makeup and embrace the minimal makeup tips outlined in this guide, and you'll be ready to embrace the sun-kissed days with effortless elegance.


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