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The 5 Summer Makeup Products I Just Can’t Live Without

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Summer is back, which means it’s out with your 20-step winter makeup routine and in with your tried and true sun-kissed basics. 

As I’ve been reviving the bronze, the glow, and the flush with every uptick of the UV Index, there are five products that I keep coming back to every time. 

They’re the kind of makeup products you can toss in a beach bag, apply with your fingers or dust all over your face and still look fabulous every time. Nothing says summer makeup like low maintenance application – you can sip a spritz in one hand and powder your nose with the other!

ilia beauty multi-stick

Nothing says summer more than a good blush; and as far as I’m concerned, this Ilia Beauty blush is the only one I’ll ever need.

Ilia’s Multi-Stick is the product I’m haphazardly swiping over my cheeks, nose, and lips when I’m halfway out the door but want to add a little something extra to my makeup look. 

The formula is so creamy and blendable, with a subtle shimmer that creates the same glowy, radiant effect you get from aloe over a sunburn. 

It’s a go-to. It’s a summer non-negotiable. 

Tower 28 beauty Bronzino Cream Bronzer

While this product is advertised as a cream bronzer, because of the shimmer, I prefer to use the Tower 28 Bronzino Cream Bronzer as a multi-purpose highlighter. 

In between finishing my base makeup and drenching my face in setting spray, I’ll stamp a fluffy brush into this product and apply it on top of my cream bronzer to further accentuate the high points of my face, and also swipe it over my eyelids for easy eyeshadow. I never finish a summer makeup look without it. 

It creates the most natural, warm glow – like your face has been been drenched in sunshine. 

Tower 28 beauty Tinted SPF 30

Until I got my hands on the Tower 28 Tinted SPF 30, I couldn’t find a sunscreen foundation that didn’t feel heavy on my face or dry out my sensitive skin. This product was my saving grace.

It was designed to suit “sensitive/problem-prone skin,” and has light to medium buildable coverage. I like to melt the product into my skin with my fingers, which creates a comfortable, natural finish. 

It also pairs stunningly with the Tower 28 Swipe Serum Concealer – a beauty influencer cult-favorite.


Never before have I loved a powder bronzer as much as I love the NYX Professional Makeup Buttermelt Bronzer.

This bronzer truly is buttery smooth, from the high-pigment formula to the way it buffs seamlessly into the skin. With the slight shimmer from this product coupled with that Tower 28 glow, you’ll be looking like a caramel glazed donut every time. 

This product is also perfect for setting your cream bronzer so your makeup stays on through all of that summertime heat and humidity. 

L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara

Ah, the tried and true of all tried and trues: *the* L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara

While this is a product I use year-round, it’s especially wonderful for my fellow daily Mascara-wearing dolls who can’t stand waterproof formulas. I’ve worn this mascara in just about every body of water imaginable and put it through countless sweat tests, and still, the formula very rarely runs under my eyes. It’s an undebatable holy grail.  

If you’re only letting me walk out of the drugstore with one makeup product, it’s this mascara.

This is your sign to go forth and develop a Fab 5 makeup lineup of your own this summer!

When in doubt, know that a little SPF, a hint of glowy bronzer, and a pop of blush will never fail you. 

Ellie is a second-year Global Studies major at UCLA, from Charlotte, NC. Her favorite author is Sally Rooney, and she loves re-reading books, playing field hockey, cooking for friends, and photographing them on her camera. In the summer, you can find her in downtown Manhattan peeking into a vintage store or writing in a coffee shop.