The same way professional sports teams carefully pick their new starting lineup each season, we spend hours — if not whole weeks — thinking about how we can perfectly curate our summer beauty regimens.
Just like scouts, we have a list of priorities when searching for new products, but our main sources of inspiration usually vary based on what we need and where we currently source inspiration. Some of us scroll through TikTok looking for the under-the-radar finds that are bound to sell out, while others prioritize brands that are cruelty-free or use clean ingredients. Like we said, the search can take a while, so to save you some time we did the scouting for you.
Ahead, we scoured the shelves of Ulta Beauty and built four shopping baskets based on your sources for summer inspo.
This summer, you've decided to take a holistic approach and revise your entire routine, from top to bottom, including skin care, hair care, and makeup. So, where to begin? Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty™ is an initiative that offers up a level of transparency within the industry you've been dreaming of for years. Now, you can trust that when you're in search of beauty brands that share your values, you’ll have more choices than ever at Ulta Beauty.
Any brand participating in the Clean Ingredients pillar of Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty™ ensures their products follow a Made Without List, so you can make informed choices while shopping. Case in point: the Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, which uses a cocktail of soothing and brightening ingredients to deliver luminous results without ingredients like parabens or synthetic fragrances. Rotate this into your regimen and you'll be glowing every day this summer.
Haircare products take the cake for complicated ingredient labels, but the Curlsmith Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash is the exception worth considering this summer. Inspired by homemade hair remedies, this cowash is gentle but effective and doesn't include the sulphates and silicones that can contribute to future damage and lackluster results.
When you've got a busy summer, your makeup routine should be simple. Even if you don't have time for a full face, a tinted lip balm, like the Florence by Mills Oh Whale! Tinted Lip Balm, will help you feel put-together even when rushing out the door. Plus, it only uses clean ingredients to deliver nonsticky moisture.
With all of the advancements that have been made in the beauty industry, there's one that tops your list this summer: cruelty-free formulas. This means that your makeup, skin-care, and hair products aren't tested on animals. Luckily, Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty™ has prioritized making your search for cruelty-free products a breeze, so you can trust that any product you find here was not tested on animals. One of our top suggestions is the Bad Habit Wake Things Up Matcha & Mint Daily Cleanser, which uses matcha green tea, aloe vera, and mint to wake up and cleanse skin without drying it out.
We also suggest trying the Tarte Sugar Rush Positive Energy Eyeshadow Palette, which includes 20 versatile shades that range from matte to multidimensional shimmer finishes. (Revitalize, the metallic green, will be our go-to this summer.) But summer isn't summer without a lightweight base to rely on, which is exactly where the ColourPop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Moisturizer comes in. This cruelty-free formula helps to even skin tone while keeping your complexion fresh and glowy.
Don't be shy, tell us how many times a day your friends ask you for new-product recommendations. Everyone knows you have your finger on the pulse of the market and pay close attention to everything new and cool hitting shelves. You're looking for a rising star, especially if it's from an indie brand your besties don't know about yet. See: the new buttery palette from Persona. The 12-shade Identity Eyeshadow Palette may look ordinary, but one swatch will speak for just how essential these matte and shimmery shades are for summer (they will not budge).
Since you love finding the next big thing, you may want to consider trying Sara Happ's The Dream Slip, a replenishing overnight treatment that helps lips look plusher than a set of down pillows. Incorporate this rich cream into your regimen and chapped lips will become a distant memory.
Shampoo seems like a snoozefest to others, but you know there's something exciting to come from the category. Case in point: the SEEN Shampoo, a formula developed by a dermatologist with your scalp's health in mind. It's gentle and fragrance-free and won't ever clog your pores. Now, your wash days won't feel so daunting.
You now use your phone for two things: texting your group chat, and TikTok. Some people use the latter to learn new dances, but you're really scrolling for beauty discoveries. With the rise of skinfluencers, it's no surprise that skin-care finds, like The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% water-based serum, have everyone talking. If you're looking to address a shiny T-zone, the appearance of large pores, or uneven skin texture, this formula is what you need morning and night.
Another TikTok topic that's extended across everyone's FYP: skin tints. Whether these come in the form of tinted moisturizers or BB and CC creams, this trend is one anyone looking for a lightweight look this summer will be interested in. The E.l.f. Cosmetics Camo CC Cream epitomizes this trend and will help you ditch your heavier foundation. This CC cream is packed with skin-care ingredients like hyaluronic acid (to hydrate) and niacinamide (to control oil and even skin tone). Most importantly, it includes SPF 30, because sun protection is nonnegotiable this summer.
Raise your hand if you experimented with color while at home this past year because of TikTok. Luckily, this DIY trend has yet to fade out. In fact, we can't think of a better time to play with new colorful shades than this summer. A product like the Kristin Ess Hair Rose Gold Temporary Tint allows you to add instant color into your look without even stepping out of the shower, so you have more time for plans where you can expertly show off your new look.