The living may be easier in the summertime, but beauty is not. Fortunately, we have just the tools and techniques to help you. Here, everything you need to know to pull off four of summer’s key beauty trends, from neon nails to a beautiful bronze glow, and beach waves to a sandal-ready gel pedicure.
Beauty at the Beach: 4 DIY Beauty Looks
By now, we all know that a golden glow shouldn’t come from the sun, but that doesn’t keep us from wanting that sun-kissed look. Fortunately, with a little know-how and a new product or two, getting the perfectly bronze look has never been easier.
Step 1: Exfoliate
Just like a self-tanner, bronzers work best on freshly buffed skin. Add a gentle scrub to your skincare routine for bronzer-ready skin all summer long.
Step 2: Prime
Makeup artist Latisha Nicole, who works with singer Jordin Sparks, always prepares Sparks’ skin with a trio of products: Murad Oil-Control Mattifier, Dior Airflash CC Primer and Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. “I begin by applying the moisturizer first, followed by the primer, which I apply using a Beautyblender that’s been dampened with setting spray,” Nicole says.
Step 3: Perfect
A lightweight foundation or BB/CC cream is the perfect choice for summer. Use a light touch to create a smooth, even canvas.
Step 4: Choose Your Tool
The right tool for the job depends on the bronzer that you choose. A traditional powder bronze requires a wide, fluffy brush with a rounded top, while a liquid or gel bronzer is best applied with your fingertips, a Beautyblender or a foundation brush.
Step 5: Bronze
If you’re using a powder bronze, swirl the brush in the bronzer and then tap off the excess. For a cream or gel formulation, dab onto the skin where desired and then use a damp Beautyblender or your foundation brush to blend, blend, blend. Whether you choose a bronzing cream or powder, the most natural application is in the shape of the number “3” on either side of our face: Start by brushing across the forehead, down the cheekbones and then along the jawline where the sun would naturally hit.
- Hard Candy Glow All the Way Tropical Tan Instant Bronze and Gradual Self Tanner
- Hourglass Ambient Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light
- Sephora Collection Classic Bronzer Brush #44
A pretty pop of color is the perfect pick for summer, but there’s nothing more disappointing than applying a neon nail polish only to discover that it’s bolder in the bottle than it is on the nail. Here, how to get bright neon nails that start bold and stay that way.
Step 1: Prep
Clean and shape the nails. Of course, a bold lacquer like this draws attention to your hands, so you want your nails to look perfect!
Step 2: Base
While this typically means just base coat, the trick to making your neon manicure pop is to then apply a coat of white nail polish.
Step 3: Color
Apply two even coats of neon polish, allowing the polish to dry after each coat.
Step 4: Top it Off
Apply a protective, color-enhancing top coat to make nails pop.
- China Glaze Lite Brites in Whip it Good
- Formula X for Sephora in Paper White
Beach beauty trends are full of irony; those coveted waves, which are supposed to mimic the natural kinks we get at the beach, don’t come naturally to most of us. The look is actually trickier to pull off than it appears, but celebrity hairstylist and E! Style Collective Ambassador Marc Mena shares the easy techniques that he used to create Chrissy Teigen’s bombshell beach waves for the Oscars–and it will have you recreating perfectly tousled tresses in no time.
Step 1: Dry
Towel-dry hair to create body.
Step 2: Add Product
Apply a volumizing spray from roots to ends.
Step 3: Dry
Blow-dry hair in sections, using a round brush.
Step 4: Roll
Create 1-inch sections of hair and set each in large rollers throughout the head. Leave the rollers in for 15 minutes, then release the hair.
Step 5: Curl
Apply a flexible hold hairspray, and then use a 1 3/4-inch curling iron on low heat to curl the hair from mid-shaft to ends, alternating curling away from the face and toward it.
Step 6: Tousle
Spray hair a final time and then use your fingers to break up the curls for soft, loose waves.
* For a quicker approach to beach waves, try a texture spray. When sprayed into towel-dried hair and finger styled, a texturizing spray creates beach waves in a flash. For a little extra bend, try adding a few curls near the face.
If you’ve ever considered a gel pedicure, summer is the time to do it. Your toes are on display all season long, and a gel pedicure ensures that the color will last without chipping, dulling or premature touchups. Follow these steps for a beautiful, long-lasting gel pedicure at home.
Step 1: Prep
Give yourself a regular pedicure. Clean, trim and shape your nails. Gently buff the shine from your toenails, and then clean your toenails with a cleanser and lint-free wipe.
Step 2: Base
Apply gel base coat in a thin, even layer, and be sure to cover the entire nail. The gel base acts like double-sided tape, allowing the gel polish to adhere to the nail.
Step 3: Cure
Slip your toes under the light. Times vary depending on the gel polish system you use, but range from five seconds (LED light) to one minute (UV light).
Step 4: Color
Apply a thin, even coat of gel polish from the cuticle to the free edge, making sure to seal the free edge.
Step 5: Cure
Place your toenails under the light for 30 seconds (LED light) or up to two minutes (UV light). Repeat the painting/curing steps if necessary for full coverage.
Step 6: Top
Apply a thin, even layer of gel top coat and cure again as directed.
- Gelish Soak off Mini Gel Polish
Laid-back, breezier fashion means that beauty takes center stage–and now’s the time to step up your game! We hope these DIY beauty looks help you glow in style.