I've Replaced My Heavy Makeup With Sheer Products—These Are My 18 Favorites

Fun fact about me: I live in the South, where humidity during the summer months envelops you every time you step outside and temperatures can hover around 100º for days on end. In my opinion, the summer heat is relentless enough to make me want to do a complete overhaul of my makeup bag. In the cooler months of the year, I'm perfectly fine with matte products and powder formulas, as well as more opaque shades, but come summer, I want all of my makeup to be sheer and light. Glowing skin is the name of the game for me May through August.

In the summer, I tend to favor tinted products and more cream formulas, as well as lip products that are subtle and moisturizing. If it's something I'd wear to the beach and not feel crazy doing so, it makes the cut. So what exactly have I ditched in favor of said sheer, glowy formulas? Well, I'll tell ya. Keep scrolling to shop the sheer, summer-friendly makeup products I've temporarily ditched my heavy ones for.


While powder eye shadows naturally look like they're sitting on top of your skin, cream eye shadows feel like they're a part of it. And if you're thinking, But the creases, I say embrace them (or just blend them out throughout the day).

Glowy makeup



I wear this pretty shimmery shadow when I know I'm going to be out in the sun.

It doesn't get more lightweight than this formula.

Glossier's sheer matte eye shadows are perfect if you're shimmer-averse (which many cream eye shadows have).

Replacing LIPSTICK with LIP TINT

Especially since mask-wearing is the new normal, I've put my lipsticks away for the time being. Whether glossy or more of a stain, sheer lip tints are the only lip product I plan on wearing this summer.

Summer makeup looks



Versed's new lip oils have the perfect amount of pigment.

This is my favorite like-your-lips-but-better tint.

This peachy shade by this wonderful natural brand can also be used on cheeks.


Nothing will suffocate your skin more than a veil of heavy foundation when it's hot out, so sheer tinted moisturizers that let your skin shine through are the way to go.

This face oil is as light as it gets, but it magically provides a surprisingly good amount of coverage.

Reviewers say this is one of the best drugstore tinted moisturizers you can get.

Given that all of Armani Beauty's foundations are amazing, I'm eager to try this new one that's referred to as "invisible makeup."


I'm sure I'll be back on the powder-highlighter train come fall, but for now, I'm only tapping liquid luminizer onto my cheekbones. Luckily, there are so many gorgeous formulas on the market. I had trouble narrowing it down for this story.

Sheer pink makeup



Fenty's highly praised highlight stick comes in a whopping 15 shades.

Cheap, beautiful, and you can get it on Amazon. Plus, it's natural to wear all over your face, either alone or mixed with foundation.

I've been tapping this blendable gel highlighter on my cheekbones for the past couple of months, and I'm hooked. It can even sub for blush.


If you've ever worn heavy concealer in the summer, you know that running and creasing the moment you step outside is a real possibility. So I'm reserving those heavy-duty formulas for winter and swapping them out for lighter ones that still provide good coverage. (Yes, they exist.)

Summer makeup



If you really want to embrace the no-makeup makeup look, this is the product for you. It blends beautifully and provides a surprising amount of coverage.

This is the concealer I've been wearing for years in both summer and winter. No matter how much you apply, it never looks thick.

The beauty of this concealer (from one of my favorite clean makeup brands) is that thanks to a dose of vitamin C, it's also skincare. 


I love powder blush, but it just doesn't always look right in the summer when you may or may not be sweating (or "glistening"). A creamy formula that blends seamlessly into the cheeks makes me feel (or at least look) so fresh in the summer.

Sheer makeup products



If you want to look beautifully sunkissed without ever going in the sun, I promise that BeachPlease delivers.

This sheer (yet buildable) formula is one of my favorites. It also makes for a lovely lip stain.

When I want something super sheer and natural (i.e., for daytime), I reach for this. It's pretty much the opposite of a heavy winter product.