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9 Makeup Trends to Try During a More Normal Summer

It’s getting warmer out, so you know what that means: It’s time to break out the bright eyeshadows, radiant-finish foundations, and extra-glowy highlighters.

Even though summer 2021 is still going to be a little different than years past, it’s absolutely not canceled. With more people getting vaccinated and social-distancing restrictions loosening up, it’s the perfect time to debut the looks you’ve been experimenting with while staying at home for the past several months.

But when you do meet up with friends — given that face masks are still a part of our daily lives — this summer’s makeup trends are once again heavy on the eyes and light on the lips.

For those who are already fans of eyeliner, take the look to the next level by upgrading to a negative space cat eye. If eyeshadow is more your speed, skip the sheer finishes and try a bold matte shade. As for the rest of your face, flushed cheeks or a sun-kissed glow are always foolproof options.

Scroll through for our nine favorite summer makeup trends. Then, go try them out yourself.

1. Sun-Kissed Glow


Glowy skin is always a good idea, but nothing screams “summer” like sun-kissed skin and eyes. Here, Nam Vo — the makeup artist behind Dewy Dumpling skin — demonstrates how to do an allover radiant look.

Get the Look: Use the contour shade from Uoma Beauty’s Double Take Contour Stick as a bronzer and eyeshadow, then add your glow with the highlighter end.

2. Graphic Eyeliner

Love a cat eye? Great! A negative space is even cooler. Take a cue from this look celebrity makeup artist Nikki Wolff created for Yara Shahidi and lean into the trend by drawing a clean line just above the crease of your eye, then connect it to your wing.

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Get the Look: Reach for a fine-tip gel eyeliner like Bobbi Brown’s Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner. The creamy formula will glide on smoothly without smudging. If you mess up your line? Simply dip a Q-tip into some makeup remover and clean up the edges.

3. No-Makeup Makeup

Summer Makeup Trends
Credit: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images

It’s almost summertime and the living is easy — so simplify your makeup look, too. Makeup artist Pati Dubroff looked to sunshine-y days when creating Margot Robbie’s warm, bronzy no-makeup makeup look for the 2021 Oscars.

Get the Look: Dubroff used an arsenal of Chanel makeup products on Robbie, but the Palette Essential in Caramel is what tied the overall vibe together. The makeup artist used the palette around the star’s eyes and as a contour to softly sculpt her cheeks.

4. Bright Matte Eyeshadow

Like the rest of us, Tracee Ellis Ross is spending most of her time at home but that hasn’t stopped her from embracing summer makeup. She nailed this color-block eyeshadow look with the help of makeup artist Romy Soleimani over FaceTime.

Get the Look: The color combos are endless, so choose your own adventure. Juvia’s Place The Zulu Eyeshadow Palette has nine vibrant shades to start with.

5. Brushed-Up Brows

Maybe you haven’t felt inspired to wear makeup at all while social distancing. That’s cool. Copying this no-makeup makeup look by LORAC ambassador Kelsey Deenihan doesn’t require too much effort, plus the brushed up brows will enhance your grown-out arches and open up your eyes.

Get the Look: Use a brow pencil like this one from LORAC to fill in any sparse spots, then brush them up into place with a gel like Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dipbrow.

6. Purple Eyeshadow

Summer Makeup Trends
Credit: Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Images

Bold eye makeup is trending, but purple is a runaway hit. From lavender to violet, shades of purple look amazing on everyone. Take Dua Lipa’s violet smoky eye by Samantha Lua as one example of how to incorporate the color into your summer makeup looks.

Get the Look: Shimmery eyeshadow looks gorgeous in the sunlight. Try the purple shades from Pat McGrath Labs Mega Mothership: Celestial Divinity Eyeshadow Palette.

7. Satin Lips

Not quite glossy, not quite matte, satin lipstick is the most practical way to do a lip for summer 2021. The color is less likely to melt and smear if you’re wearing a mask, plus these lipsticks often are formulated with hydrating ingredients that keep lips smooth. Save celebrity makeup artist Hung Vanngo‘s soft and subtle makeup on Sophie Turner for reference.

Get the Look: Gucci has launched the perfect mask-friendly lipstick just in time for summer. The Rouge de Beauté Brilliant Glow & Care Shine Lipstick has the right amount of shine and color, and is formulated with flower oils, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter to hydrate and seal in moisture.

8. Golden Hour Eyes

That hazy hour before the sun sets isn’t just Instagram-worthy, the color scheme is the perfect eye makeup palette. Just look at Andra Day’s gilded eyeshadow with hints of burgundy from the 2021 Oscars.

Get the look: Makeup artist Porsche Cooper reached for Chanel beauty products to give the singer a golden hour eye makeup. Use the Longwear Liquid Eyeshadow in Rayon as a base, and the Les 4 Ombres eyeshadow palette in Codes Élégants and Warm Memories to recreate the look.

9. Poolside Eyes

Beat the heat (at least in terms of your makeup) with a cool blue eyeshadow look. The beauty of this trend is that it applies to any eye makeup style, whether it’s a sheer wash of pastel blue shadow or bold sea blue like Lily Collins. Better yet, take a cue from the star’s makeup artist Fiona Stiles and pair the eye makeup with a matte red lip for an extra bold look.


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