At last, summer has arrived and while the return of sunnier days usually has me ditching the contents of my makeup bag in favour of tinted moisturisers and lip balms, the easing of lockdown restrictions means that I'm actually raring to play with new products this season. In fact, after months spent mostly inside with nobody but my 1-year-old to dress up for, I'm more than ready to step outside my comfort zone and embrace a more colourful summer makeup look than ever before. After all, it's exactly what all the cool girls are wearing right now.
I'm not alone in this lust for brighter lipsticks and rainbow-slicked eyelids either. Four of the UK's most beloved beauty brands—L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, Nyx Professional Makeup and Essie—recently teamed up to find out exactly what consumers were looking forward to post-lockdown. Their research showed that 80% of makeup wearers are excited to wear more makeup after lockdown and a third of makeup wearers are feeling more experimental with their look because of the pandemic.
Thankfully, Instagram is already awash with all of the best summer makeup looks so if you're in need of a little inspiration then you're in the right place. From Crayola-inspired eye shadows to '80s-esque blusher, there is so much fun to be had with makeup right now.
Ahead, keep scrolling for five of the best summer makeup looks to try right now and the colourful products that you'll need to re-create them at home.
1. Hot Pink Shine
Although eye shadows are definitely having a major moment right now, let's start in my colour comfort zone: lips. For me, a bright lipstick feels like the natural place to start if you're not used to wearing much colour on your face—it's instantly enlivening and doesn't feel too out there compared with an electric blue eyeliner, for instance. This summer there are lots of trending formulas, from modern mattes to balmy glosses, but it's this contemporary hi-shine finish that I'm really into. As for the colour? While reds are my usual go-to when wearing a bold lip, this vibrant fuchsia shade feels fresh and fun and I can see myself wearing it lots this summer.
I have seen so many cool girls on Instagram stepping out in this playful eye shadow look. I am not a dab hand with an eye shadow brush so the thing I love most about this look is that unlike a traditional smoky eye you don't need to mess about with different brushes and techniques to get the look. Instead, just choose two of your favourite bright colours and apply one all over your eyelid and the other at the inner corner of your eye. Contrasting colours like turquoise and pink look amazing but you could go for the same colour in different tones if you want the look to feel a little less bold.
3. Coral Draping
Yes, at first glance this beautiful summer makeup look seems like it's all about that coral cat-eye but look again: I'm here to talk about the blush. Another great option if you're new to experimenting with colour is to switch up your blusher—specifically the technique with which you apply it. "Draping," is an '80s-inspired makeup technique that basically means contouring with blush. Rather than applying the colour just to the apples of your cheeks, you sweep it up and along your cheekbones towards the tops of your ears. (Much like you might do with your bronzer.) It's a fun way to play with colour and you can try it with dusky peaches like Amy or brighter raspberry or plum shades if you're feeling experimental.
4. Sea Green Eyes
Despite not having worn green eye shadow since my emo phase in the early '00s, there's something about this hue that is singing to me this summer. From seafoam to pistachio, I'm all about the pared-back pastel approach to green when worn on the eyes—although I have to say that chartreuse and shamrock looks pretty cool too if you're brave enough. I find that this colour looks best applied with fingers to keep it feeling low-maintenance and modern. Just slick it on and finish with a coat of mascara.
Last but by no means least I am all kinds of obsessed with this makeup look which just screams summer. The orange blush! The bronzy contour! The glossy '90s lip! It's all so good. For me, this look proves that by opting for more neutral tones in matte textures you can make colour work in a subtle way too. Oranges and browns are a great choice for deeper skin tones while pinks and taupes work well on lighter tones.