The Summer Makeup Our Beauty Editors Are Obsessed With

To simply say that the Refinery29 beauty team tests "a lot of makeup" would be a gross understatement. It's (quite literally) our job to try the latest and greatest mascaras, lipsticks, and blushes — so you can bet our makeup routines change quite often.
That being said, there are still products that have risen above the pack — the ones we stash in the top drawers of our vanities or in our daily makeup bags. These are the formulas we go back to time and time again because we know they're going to deliver. As you might expect, our favorites change dramatically based on the season. Right now we're reaching for sheer foundations perfect for humid weather, waterproof formulations for when temps skyrocket, and soft highlighters reserved for bright sunlight.
Want to know what our beauty team will be using this summer? We've laid out the holy grail products that will see us through the hot, muggy, sunny months ahead. Check 'em out in the following slides.
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Alix Tunell, senior beauty editor
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"This stuff isn't playing when it calls itself a 'tint': It's barely there, but it gives just enough sheer, glowy coverage for days when your skin doesn't need too much help. I'll be wearing it all summer, except on days I wake up with a pimple."

NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg Hydrating Glow Tint, $36, available at NARS.
3 of 68
"After the people of the internet said that I should never wear NARS Orgasm blush again, I took the criticism to heart (seriously, I'm grateful for you guys!) and started sniffing out other options. I've been doing bronzer and sculpting powder instead and it's made all the difference: I look so much more natural, and I don't have to worry about my lipstick or eye shadow clashing and upsetting others."

Guerlain Terracotta Sun Trio Palette, $56, available at Bloomingdale's.
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"Black kohl eyeliner that's long-wearing but also smudgy is my sweet spot. This one holds up fairly well through a Flywheel class, too, so it's a keeper for the sweaty months."

Dior Waterproof Eyeliner in Trinidad Black, $30, available at Dior.
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"I always have trouble finding a mascara that's great on the upper lashes, but also has a small enough brush to get the lower ones and not deposit too much formula in the process. This tapered wand picks up just the right amount of product and goes on clump-free, which solves the whole Goldilocks dilemma."

Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"I'm feeling very minimal with my beauty routine this summer (probably because I'm branching out from my all-black wardrobe and don't want to risk being too colorful), so this classic balm is my go-to. It provides just the faintest hint of pink I need to make my lips look slightly more alive in the morning."

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve Lip Balm, $5.50, available at C.O. Bigelow.
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Khalea Underwood, beauty writer
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"Seasons change, but one thing that remains consistent is my shiny T-zone...especially my forehead. This little tube makes a big difference, with its blurring powders and sebum-minimizing African whitewood. I tend not to wear foundation, so I'll slick this on by itself — and it still does the trick."

NARS Pore & Shine Control Primer, $36, available at NARS.
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"There are at least 13 different types of concealer in my apartment at the moment, because for a while, I could never find one that was just right. Turns out, my error was in not color-correcting beforehand. Thank heavens for Koyvoca. I apply this soft formula before hiding my bags, marks, and anything else I don't want anyone to see."

Koyvoca Orange Color Corrector, $12, available at Koyvoca.
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"It turns out that my hunt wasn't in vain. I swipe Nars' Creamy Radiant Concealer in Café underneath my eyes and along the bridge of my nose to highlight, and use the shade Dark Coffee to cover blemishes. No heavy foundation needed!"

NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer, $30, available at Sephora.
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"Yes, people still wear face powder. M.A.C.'s pressed formula, which I've been wearing for years, mind you, aides my fight in reigning in the out-of-control shine on my forehead and nose."

MAC Pro Longwear Pressed Powder, $27, available at MAC.
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"Maybe it's the 3-year-old in me, but I love anything that sparkles. This rose gold highlighter delivers enough shine to appease my inner toddler without making it seem like I was the recipient of a glitter bomb."

Dose Of Colors Supreme Glow Highlighter in Melonade, $28, available at Dose Of Colors.
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"I'm a matte lipstick girl through and through, but man, can they be drying. Whenever I use this primer before applying any formula — whether it's cream, matte, or liquid — it stays all day, even through a summer Friday happy hour."

Too Faced Lip Insurance Primer, $20, available at Too Faced.
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"During drearier months, I gravitate towards darker lips to go with my dark clothes. When my wardrobe gets brighter, my lips get brighter, too. This season, I'm on a pink kick: I wear this deep magenta créme nearly every day, to go with my highlighter."

Em Cosmetics Infinite Lip Cloud in Violent Magenta, $16, available at Em Cosmetics.
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"I've had this unopened tube for months, and only used it because I couldn't find my Better Than Sex (which is great, but goes on thick) before Saturday night drinks. Both mascaras have kinky names, but while it's warmer out, I think I'll stick with this lighter formula that still gives me the come-hither lashes that I love."

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, $22, available at Sephora.
16 of 68
"I could probably write an entire love ballad to this gel. When I'm running late and don't have time to put anything on my face, a few swipes of this makes me look human — and still gives me enough time to catch my 9:07 train."

Glossier Boy Brow, $16, available at Glossier.
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Sam Sasso, beauty editorial assistant
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"It's no secret how much I love looking tan — and this spray is my go-to step before I put any makeup on during the summer. I put it on top of a fake tan (I'm a bronze my head) or on my bare skin to rock a natural-looking, healthy glow that's sheer, but helps my complexion come back to life after winter."

By Terry Tea To Tan Summer Edition, $42, available at Blue Mercury.
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"For years this formula has been on the top of the list for beauty gurus as the foundation that offers a natural glow that's dewy, but never greasy. It's definitely not my first pick for the winter season, but I'm nearly addicted come summer."

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, $47, available at NARS.
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"Winner of our Beauty Innovator Awards last fall, this concealer is one I just can't live without. My undereyes, my pimples, my dark spots, it literally does not matter because this formula will cover it, but won't ever make my face appear cakey."

Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18, available at Glossier.
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"This summery palette from Sonia Kashuk is everything you need in a small trio, but the product I use the most is the Champagne highlighter. It offers up the kind of glow that looks natural, but still like your put in a bit of effort."

Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Face Palette in Pretty Cheeky, $19.99, available at Target.
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"No matter what happens to me in this life, I want this setting spray by my side. It doesn't even matter if it's summer or not, I spritz this on every single day. Unlike other sprays, the mist won't leave spots all over your face, which seems to totally defeat the purpose of a setting spray. Instead, with a safe 10 inches between you and the nozzle, All Nighter leaves my face smooth and seamless for hours."

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, $31, available at Urban Decay.
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"Hourglass' brand-new Lighting Blush combines its cult strobing formulas with the incandescent power of the blush powders that sprang to popularity a few years ago. This time, you get a two-in-one, which translates to a lit-from-within glow that never looks heavy on the skin."

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush, $38, available at Hourglass.
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"Mixing this with my Nars Sheer Glow foundation is a surefire win for my summer skin. I need my face to match my tanned body and this lightweight liquid bronzer is buildable, so I can add as much to my foundation as needed to create the right amount of bronze."

Benefit Dew The Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer, $28, available at Sephora.
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"I've been addicted to browsing Hung Vanngo's Instagram and it's covered in this highlighter. Whether I top off my self tan with this golden glow, or I pop it on my cheekbones without a stitch of makeup, it looks flattering."

Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, $44, available at Sephora.
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"After I bleached my brows this winter I had trouble finding a good brow pencil — until I found this. It's the exact perfect match for my hairs and the formula is just the right amount of glossy and soft. Quite literally, this brow pencil saved me."

Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Brow Pencil, $26, available at Sephora.
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"I hated eyebrow gels until I met this one. I've complained in the past that most gels tend to come out in thick blobs onto my brow hairs and never looked good. But this lightweight formula offers a minor tint and the formula is more like water than gel, so it brushes through brow hairs like a dream."

Eyeko Brow Gel, $24, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"I have long lashes, so finding a formula that caters to my needs isn't the easiest feat. This wand scoops my lashes all at once, brushes through each hair, and coats every bit on the perfect amount of product that leaves my eyes dark, but never dramatic to the point of looking absurd."

Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Mascara, $29, available at Kevyn Aucoin.
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"I heard Jessica Matlin rave about this shade on her podcast Fat Mascara a few months ago and I knew I had to try it. Why? The formula is easy to blend, but dries to a long-wear finish after ten seconds. And when I say long-wear, I mean it. These do not budge. The formula is very similar to a gel pot eyeliner, but in an easy-to-use pencil. It's practically dummy-proof."

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner in Brownie, $25, available at Sephora.
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Rachel Krause, beauty writer
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"I feel generally 'meh' toward primer, mainly because I don’t wear enough hardcore face makeup on a daily basis to worry that much about it staying on. I do like this one, though, when I remember to apply it — it’s really lightweight and smooth, and seems to help prevent concealer from settling into the fine lines around my eyes, which is crucial."

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer, $7.90, available at The Ordinary.
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"This tinted moisturizer needs no introduction. The sheer, barely-there coverage alone probably won’t be enough for anyone who doesn’t already have perfect skin, but it works perfectly for me since most days I like to have a lighter base — ideally with SPF! — that I spot conceal over rather than a full-fledged foundation."

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free, $44, available at Sephora.
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"This is the best, most brightening under-eye concealer I've ever — ever! — tried. A little goes a long way, and I swear I’ve seen a cumulative improvement since I've been using it over the past few months."

Lancer Studio Light Flawless Eye Concealer, $40, available at Lancer.
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"My preferred type of makeup is the kind I can smear on haphazardly with my fingers and still look polished. This is exactly that — a pretty, flattering rosy cream blush with a pleasantly dewy finish."

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Spell, $36, available at RMS Beauty.
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"I promise I don’t work for RMS (but maybe I should?) — I just love their organic ingredients, sensitive skin-friendly formulas, and, as previously mentioned, the fact that I can smear them on haphazardly with my fingers. This shimmer-free highlighter has a serious cult following, and I am a member of that cult. I dab it on my cheekbones and am left looking downright glowy, as if I got the recommended eight hours of sleep."

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $38, available at RMS Beauty.
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"I’ll be completely transparent: this fancy-as-hell powder compact is probably not something I would have purchased on my own without it being generously gifted to me for the low, low price of free. That said, if you’re in the market for a $179 powder, make it this one. It has a soft-focus effect that diminishes fine lines and makes skin look luminous while still absorbing oil throughout the day — and, perhaps most importantly, it never, ever cakes. (Plus, you can get a refill for the compact for $59.)"

Guerlain Meteorites Voyage Exceptional Compacted Pearls Of Powder, $179, available at Sephora.
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"My brows are very dark and my skin is very pale, and I have a hard time finding a brow product that doesn’t have a warm, reddish brown tint. This shade is perfect for me, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s waterproof, too — because who needs their eyebrows sliding down their face on the subway in the dead of summer? Not I."

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Granite, $18, available at Anastasia Beverly Hills.
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"I’ve tried all the buzziest brow gels, but this one is my favorite. It makes my brows look a little fuller and keeps them in place without feeling stiff or sticky."

100% Pure Green Tea Fiber Brow Builder in Medium Brown, $22, available at 100% Pure.
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"It got in my head recently that I needed a raspberry lipstick, and then I set off like a detective in search of the right one. Most were too pink, too cool-toned, too close to fuchsia — and then I found Kamikaze, and it’s been a staple ever since. It’s a bold shade, but because the formula has a sheerness to it, it’s very easy to wear. I keep it in my purse at all times, along with the warm nude Darlin’. The best part? They’re both crazy moisturizing and contain SPF 15."

Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Kamikaze, $26, available at Ilia.
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"I love an orange-red lip for both special occasions and when I’m wearing a t-shirt and jeans but don’t want to look like someone’s dirtbag 14-year-old brother. This one’s perfect — a bright, confident poppy shade that instantly brightens up my face and makes me look like I know what I’m doing."

Rodin Lipstick in Tough Tomato, $38, available at Rodin.
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Mi-Anne Chan, beauty writer
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"Summertime is pretty much the only season I consistently wear primer, mostly because my combination skin produces double the oil this time of year. This mattifying primer from Jouer has been a savior. It's incredibly lightweight and keeps my tinted moisturizer on longer. Plus, it's silicone-free, meaning it never leaves my skin feeling suffocated like many primers do."

Jouer Anti-Blemish Matte Primer, $30, available at Jouer.
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"Now, it may sound counterintuitive to layer a radiant, tinted moisturizer over a mattifying primer, but trust me, it works. Rather than leaving my skin looking matte and flat, the combo lends a beautiful, natural finish to my skin. On most days I'll wear this light-to-medium coverage base all over and skip concealer. I absolutely love the skin-care-like texture and its ability to diffuse discoloration and minor blemishes. Oh, and it has SPF, too!"

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, $45, available at NARS.
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"Thanks to my combination/oily complexion, I'm a year-round fan of setting powder. In the summer though, I ditch my lighter, pressed powders for heavier duty loose powders that can be packed on thick. This powder is amazing for baking. I pack a layer under my eyes, on the bridge and around my nose, and under my contour line and let it sit for a few seconds while I brush on my bronzer. Then, I sweep it off with a fluffy powder brush to set the rest of my makeup. Contrary to popular belief, my skin never looks dry or cakey after, just flawless, airbrushed, and matte."

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38, available at Laura Mercier.
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"This baked powder is one of the best bronzers I've ever tried. In the pan the shade looks shimmery, but on the skin it looks more luminous than it does sparkly. Because of this I can dust the shade under my cheekbones and onto my forehead to bronze and contour my face. It gives me the most beautiful glowy look, without ever looking patchy."

CoverGirl TruBlend Bronzer, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"What more can I say about Maybelline mascaras? I just love them so much. I usually alternate between my two favorites (The Rocket and The Falsies waterproof) because they tick all of the boxes: they beef up my limp lashes, lengthen, and hold a curl all day."

Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara, $6.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"I wear a cat-eye almost every single day, so having a liner that won't smudge, run, or feather on my lids in intense heat is a must. This one from Kat Von D stays put on my oily lids all day, even if I'm not wearing eyelid primer."

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $19, available at Sephora.
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"The final step in my face routine is typically highlighter. This one from RMS is like bottled sunshine, seriously. The dewy formula has super-fine shimmer that leaves my skin looking so healthy."

RMS Beauty Champagne Rosé Luminizer, $38, available at Sephora.
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"I live for bold makeup, but on most days (read: the ones I'm not doing crazy looks) I'll finish my face with just a swipe of matte lip balm. This one from ColourPop is a recent favorite. It leaves a gorgeous matte stain on my lips and feels like lip balm. Total win-win if you ask me."

ColourPop Blotted Lip in Deja Vu, $5, available at ColourPop.
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Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor
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"I've been wearing this foundation for the past six months or so — and I am still obsessed. It's slightly dewy, covers like a dream, sets well over SPF, and never feels heavy. I have no plans of ditching this anytime soon."

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation, $50, available at Nordstrom.
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"There's a common misconception that we don't have seasons in L.A. — which is just not true, they're just very similar to each other. For me, summer means a lot more time outdoors in the heat, so I tend to swap out my inky liners and sparkly highlighters for softer products that look great in bright light. This highlighter is gorgeous and never looks like too much during the day, plus it doubles as a dewy, glowy eye shadow — I just dab it on and go."

RMS Beauty Champagne Rosé Luminizer, $38, available at Sephora.
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"I can't get enough of this blush — it's so damn pretty and blends into the most flattering, flushed color you can imagine. I use a draping technique, which means I've completely given up on contour."

Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze, $18, available at Glossier.
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"Most mascaras irritate my sensitive eyes, so I've been trying every formula I can looking for great options. This one is my favorite so far because it rarely smudges or budges (it's not perfect, bless its more-natural heart), but washes away really well with just micellar water on a cotton pad."

Mineral Fusion Waterproof Mineral Mascara, $18.99, available at Mineral Fushion.
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"I gravitate towards a softer look in summer — like I said, it gets bright in L.A. and dramatic makeup starts to look very extra — so I've already traded my go-to Nyx Pencil in for this guy. It's so easy, I just brush it through my brows and go. Tip: Wipe the brush with a damp, clean paper towel every few uses or it starts to pick up too much product."

Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in 3, $24, available at Sephora.
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"My brows are unruly, so I swipe this through my arches ebfore my Gimme Brow fully sets to keep 'em brushed up."

Make Up For Ever Brow Gel in Clear, $20, available at Sephora.
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"Drugstore lip gloss tends to either dry out my lips or it feels way too sticky. (Remember getting your hair stuck in your lip gloss back in middle school? I'd like to avoid that as an adult.) This formula feels darn good on and doesn't suck the moisture out of my lips as it dries, but the best part is the pigment — it's bold and colorful, with a light sheen that works well in day or night."

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Gloss in Deep Cherry, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Cat Quinn, beauty director
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"In the summer, I swap out my foundation for something light and dewy — and this new cushion compact from YSL is my jam. It does for my face what Touche Éclat does for my undereyes. Everything looks brighter and more even — even the ruddy, acne-scarred areas on my cheeks and chin."

YSL Touche Éclat Cushion Compact Foundation, $48, available at Nordstrom.
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"One of the most common questions I get at parties is, 'What's your favorite product right now?' Lately, this has been my answer. The full-coverage concealer gives me supermodel skin, and there's a match for pretty much everyone."

NARS Soft Matte Complete Coverage Concealer, $30, available at Sephora.
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"I also stow away my berry blush in the hotter months in lieu of something warmer. I love this bronzer from M.A.C., which is shimmer free, so it looks like the real thing."

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural, $33, available at MAC.
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"This golden-bronze shadow takes two seconds to apply — just pat it on with your fingers — and looks so glamorous. I wear it with a touch of brown eyeliner and lots of mascara."

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Rigel, $29, available at Nordstrom.
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"These drugstore liners are as good as prestige formulas — and the three shades together is all you need for day and evening in the summer. I use the light bronze for day, the deep bronze for night, and the black when I'm really feeling myself."

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner Trio Nude Collection, $11.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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"I use this cream highlighter year round, but June is when I really get aggressive about it — swiping it on my face, collarbones, and shins for a pretty summer glow."

Glossier Haloscope Highlighter in Quartz, $22, available at Glossier.
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"I almost always layer two lipsticks on top of each other to get just the right balance of pink and berry — until I found this tube that does the job for me. Technically, you swipe it on for an ombré effect, but I prefer to blend it out with my fingers for a pretty, stained finish."

Givenchy Le Rouge Sculpt, $38, available at Barneys New York.
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"This is the bright, gooey, delicious-smelling gloss you loved in high school — all grown up. Even better: it moisturizes lips like a clinical lip balm would, only way sexier."

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Comfort Oil in Candy, $26, available at Clarins.
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"I like to load this mascara onto my lashes on days when I'm going a bit more bare with my face makeup. It's thick and black, and looks dramatic even with nothing else."

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $23, available at Too Faced.
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