I'm Summer-Proofing My Vanity, and These 8 Beauty Products Are Getting the Boot


(Image credit: @aemiliafay)

Well, team, the past several months have taken on a pretty somber tone. From making major life adjustments while we shelter in place to being confronted with some truly disheartening truths about the treatment of Black human beings in our country, we've all been challenged in ways nobody could have expected. The energetic shifts we're experiencing now are a lot. But I'm personally taking comfort in knowing that we're all in this together. It's a new day, and profound change is coming! While there's still a whole lot of work to do, I think the simple fact that this world will emerge a different and better place is cause for celebration. Let's keep going.

And you know what else is coming? A new season. Somehow, summer is just weeks away, and based on the weather I'm already hearing about from our WWW teammates in London and NYC, we're in for a hot one. And if you ask me, it's never too early to start thinking about how to update your beauty routine to reflect the turn of the season.

There's no denying that summer's going to look a little different this year, but if you ask me, summer is a state of mind. So whether or not I'll be adventuring in the ways I'd planned, I'm still going to shift my makeup and skincare to account for warmer weather and (maybe) more time spent outside. We've already discussed my affinity for summer skincare, so now I'm making it official on my vanity.

Ahead, check out the eight beauty products I'll be packing away until fall and the eight I'm moving to the forefront of my regimen as we approach the solstice.


Adding: Cream Blush and BronzerBooting: Heavy Foundation


(Image credit: @fongminliao)

One feeling really I can't stand, especially during the warmer summer months, is heavy makeup. Cakey foundation is always one of the first products I place on the back burner once summer hits, and instead, I focus on lighter cream blush and cream bronzer formulas to warm up my skin without weighing it down. Letting my skin shine through while accentuating it with softer formulas to add a diffused flush and a bit of dimension suits my summer mood so much better.

Adding: Tinted Moisturizer

Booting: Stick Concealer


(Image credit: @thetennillelife)

When the heat of summer sets in and makeup is put to the test, I've found that lighter formulas that move with my skin hold up a whole lot better than stiff ones that sit like a mask on top of it. I love concealers in stick form for the full coverage and ease of use, but their tacky textures tend to overwhelm my skin when it's hot out. Instead, I opt for lightweight foundation formulas or tinted moisturizers that even out my complexion while letting my skin look, feel, and breathe like skin. 

Adding: Sheer Lip Stain

Booting: Liquid Lipstick


(Image credit: @naturallykam)

I think it's pretty clear by now that my summer vibe is all about glowy, luminous makeup that's light yet impactful. Sheer lipsticks that make for that blotted, diffused wash of stain-like color over the lips fit the objective perfectly. They're low-maintenance, unlike liquid lipsticks that can be overly drying and even traditional lipsticks that can be finicky.

Adding: Multipurpose Primer

Booting: Setting Powder


(Image credit: @helenacuesta)

I'm well aware that there are plenty of people who don't subscribe to the whole primer thing. And I get it—our robust skincare routines already have enough steps! But makeup artists agree that primer can be the key to a more flawless finish while also helping to carry out other tasks like controlling oil and refining the look of pores. While setting powder does a perfectly good job of locking makeup into place, dusting it all over my face before stepping out into balmy conditions just isn't the move. I'd much rather encourage my makeup to stay put from the ground up. And hey, a thoughtful (and sparing) touch of setting powder on extra-slippery areas is still allowed.


Adding: Enzyme CleanserBooting: Harsh Chemical Exfoliators


(Image credit: @allisonmcnamara_)

I love a good chemical exfoliation as much as the next beauty lover, but as soon as summer rolls around, I typically take a step back from those acids. Along with all their benefits—which include evening out dark spots, smoothing skin texture, and refining the look of pores—AHAs and BHAs make the skin much more susceptible to sun damage. Wearing sunscreen daily is a must for protecting the skin from the sun's harmful rays, but I like to take it a step further by limiting my acid exfoliation to once or twice per week. Since clearing out the pores is still super important during the summer (and maybe even more so given the increase in sweat and grime that can build as the weather warms up), I like to use enzyme cleansers to make sure my skin is still getting that rigorous yet gentle cleanse.

Adding: Soothing Face Masks

Booting: Thick Salves


(Image credit: @evemeetswest)

Ointments and salves have a permanent spot on my vanity—except during the summer. My love of intense balms like Weleda Skin FoodBag Balm, and Glossier Balm Dot Com are well documented, but during the summer when a whole host of environmental factors can exacerbate skin irritations, I like to take a different approach. Instead of smothering dry or irritated spots in thick ointments, I'll use my favorite calming face masks at night to get to the root of any inflammatory skin issues. The goal here is to treat the actual problem instead of just trying to get rid of the symptoms. Plus, masking is super relaxing!

Adding: Body Oil

Booting: Body Cream


(Image credit: @naomielizee)

There's something about the summer sun that just dries out the skin in a different way. That winter chap is a beast, too, but the dryness that comes along with added outdoor time can't be discounted. I reach for oils rather than creams on my body during this season to really help seal moisture into my skin. I suggest applying your favorite formula to wet skin right after showering.

Adding: Active Serum

Booting: Retinol


(Image credit: @britcorreia)

Just like acids, retinol is sensitizing. The urge to spend more time outside all summer makes me really think twice about anything I might be putting on my skin that makes it more prone to sun damage—including my beloved retinol. I scale way back on that ingredient during the summer and instead focus on the other actives in my regimen that promote healthy, happy skin.

Associate Beauty Editor

Courtney Higgs is a Cancer sun, Libra rising beauty enthusiast with about six years of experience in the editorial space. She was previously Who What Wear's associate beauty editor after spending many years working on the West Coast edit team at InStyle Magazine. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a BA in communication studies and pivoted to editorial after spending her college years working in the legal field. Her beauty philosophy is simple: She believes there are no wrong answers and that discovering our favorite beauty products and rituals is a journey, not a sprint. When she's not geeking out over products, she can be found adventuring around L.A. with her fiancé; watching reality TV with their French bulldog, Bernie Mac; or relating way too hard to astrology memes.