These 3 Makeup Trends Are the Secret to an Effortless Glow This Summer

Photo Illustration: Samantha Shin
Photo Illustration: Samantha Shin
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There's something to love about all four seasons, but it's fundamentally true that summer is a fan favorite. Most people would say it's because that's when their longest streaks of PTO begin, or because it's the one season a bathing suit is the de facto uniform, on and off the beach. But we beauty lovers appreciate the season for a different reason. Come summer, the year's top-tier makeup trends surface — and we get why.

With the higher temperatures and more time spent in the sun, the summer is largely defined by effortlessly radiant skin. It's when bronzer becomes everyone's best friend and those brighter blush shades get their day in the sun — literally. Even if you're not the season's number one fan, you'll be hard-pressed to find makeup more fun and flattering than what the upcoming summer has to offer.

Ahead, we break down three of the biggest summer beauty trends that revolve around warm and glowing makeup — plus the products from Ulta Beauty you can use to bring each one to life.

Baked and Bronzed
Ulta Beauty

Baked and Bronzed

What's summer without a few days (if not weeks) spent entirely in the sun? But, if you're doing it correctly (i.e. with a high SPF), there shouldn't be significant evidence that you had quality time with a UV index above 6. Sun damage isn't cute — but a sun-kissed glow can be. Luckily, you can mimic it using a really good bronzer — or, with a little patience, self-tanner.

Nars Laguna Bronzer Powder
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Nars Laguna Bronzer Powder

Nothing beats a classic, and the Nars Laguna Bronzer ($40) is no exception. This beloved bronzer adds natural warmth to the skin with ease. Some love it to contour and sculpt, but all nine shades work just as well on the high points of the face. You know, to flaunt a beach vacation glow without actually having been on a beach vacation.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Powder Bronzer
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Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Powder Bronzer

You know your bronzer is good when it melts into skin like butter — barely any blending required. See: the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Powder Bronzer ($36). Not only will this bronzer seem to last you forever (a little goes a long way on a fluffy brush), but it's also exceptional at creating a smooth, soft, and blendable glow that looks natural all year round.

NYX Professional Makeup Buttermelt Pressed Powder Blush
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NYX Professional Makeup Buttermelt Pressed Powder Blush

Real sunburns can ruin your entire day, but there's something flattering about a believable sun-kissed flush. A bright, buttery blush, like the NYX Professional Makeup Buttermelt Pressed Powder Blush ($10), can help you create an aftersun glow — itchy inflammation not included.

Ulta Beauty Collection Island Pineapple Gradual Self Tan Face Drops
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Ulta Beauty Collection Island Pineapple Gradual Self Tan Face Drops

Sometimes, you're looking for more than a quick bronzy boost — and the Ulta Beauty Collection Island Pineapple Gradual Self Tan Face Drops ($13) can help. This gradual self-tanner creates a natural, buildable glow that looks good with or without makeup. This formula is also skin-friendly and filled with nourishing oils and vitamin C to help soften and brighten the appearance of your bare skin.

Golden Hour Glow
Ulta Beauty

Golden Hour Glow

Think "pearl skin" but for summer, this glowy makeup trend is all about adding a lit-from-within radiance to sun-kissed skin. Unlike its springtime predecessor, a "golden hour" glow incorporates an ethereal luster with a dewy finish. The fresh look calls for lots of highlighter and, perhaps most importantly, a glowy foundation.

It Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40
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It Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40

Hypershiny skin begins with your base, and a glow-enhancing skin tint, like It Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40 ($47), is essential in trying the trend. Come for the medium coverage that never looks cakey, but stay for the skin-care benefits, like long-lasting hydration from hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and green tea extract. Bonus: it includes SPF 40 for added protection.

R.E.M. Beauty Interstellar Highlighter Topper
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R.E.M. Beauty Interstellar Highlighter Topper

Some like their shine to be subtle, but others prefer a glow that's a little more celestial. The R.E.M. Beauty Interstellar Highlighter Topper ($25) is available in five different colors, ranging from a cosmic iridescent purple to a rich bronzy brown. The multi-dimensional highlighter will have you down bad for this trend — fast.

Tarte Glow Tape Highlighter
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Tarte Glow Tape Highlighter

The Tarte Glow Tape Highlighter ($36) is packed with light-reflecting mineral pigments that can help create a soft-focus finish fit for the season. This liquid highlighter uses skin-conditioning ingredients to help restore and boost natural luminosity. Plus the applicator tip is foolproof, even for those not well-acquainted with highlighter.

L’Oréal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer
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L’Oréal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer

We don't experience FOMO very often, but that feeling will usually creep up when we see that everyone spent their day in the park or on the beach, while we were at our desks. The L'Oréal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer ($17) helps to quell the jealousy. The multipurpose hydrating lotion can be used head to toe to enhance a natural glow.

Espresso Makeup
Ulta Beauty

Espresso Makeup

One of our favorite makeup tricks is matching the color of our eyeshadow to the bronzer or blush we used on the high points of our face. Monochromatic makeup elevates your look, no matter the season. This is why the budding "espresso makeup" trend works just as well now as it did in the fall. Similar to the "latte makeup" trend, espresso makeup relies on creamy shades of brown and toasted neutrals that add warmth to the face, particularly the eyes. The best part? You can be as subtle or as intense as you please. And if you want to go the extra mile, finish off the look with a sweep of a brighter, light-reflecting shadow (or highlighter) beneath the brow. It'll accentuate your eyes and match the rest of your glow.

About-Face Shadowstick
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About-Face Shadowstick

What goes around comes around, and finally, eyeshadow sticks are reclaiming their former cult status — again. We loved the handy products in 2014, and we love them even more now. New formulas like the About-Face Shadowstick ($14) offer intense color in just one swipe. The result: a rich smoky eye in under five seconds.

Natasha Denona Golden Eyeshadow Palette
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Natasha Denona Golden Eyeshadow Palette

Neutral eyeshadow palettes will never become obsolete — they're essential in any makeup bag, no matter the season. But if you're looking to master the espresso makeup trend, the new Natasha Denona Golden Eyeshadow Palette ($69) should be added to your arsenal. Filled with both matte and shimmer finishes, this 15-shade palette has something for everyone.