Beauty editor’s picks: Useful summer skin and makeup essentials

MiNDFOOD & STYLE Beauty Editor Megan Bedford tips her summer beauty must-haves for a season in the sun (or the shade!).

While a beauty editor always has an array of skin and makeup options to choose from, there’s nothing like a specific occasion, season or destination that inspires them to edit.

Of course, we should all revel in summer’s relaxed approach and adjust our beauty routines to suit. If you don’t feel like doing anything – may I suggest a good SPF and leave it at that?

However if inclined, as I usually am, a touch of sheer, luminous colour offers a perfectly insouciant addition. 

In summer we face a number of specific challenges when it comes to skincare and makeup, so I like to pare it back and choose textures that don’t overwhelm skin or feel sticky and products that wear off evenly, so if the heat or outdoor adventures disturb them, they don’t end up looking a mess. 

Here are the essentials I’ll be reaching for over the summer break and into the new year, as I make the most of the sunny season. 

La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF 50+

While I do have a selection of facial sunscreens to choose from, this is the one I reach for – and recommend – most often. It’s lightweight, feels fine on skin and isn’t too shiny, nor too matte, and plays well with makeup but makes my skin look healthy and fresh when I’m not wearing any.

Bondi Sands Sport SPF 50+ Lotion Spray

When you need full body coverage quickly, and to know it’ll be reliable, this is currently my go-to. Spritz on, rub in and you’re good. Don’t forget to reapply!

Isle Of Paradise HY-GLO FaceSelf tan Serum

I’ve always found fake tan on my face to be very drying or worse, cause breakouts so its nice to find options that don’t do either. This  also gives a really subtle colour that can be built up with consistent use. It also contains  avocado, coconut and chia seed oils to keep that dryness at bay.

Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF

Lips need protection from the sun too! These balms feel smooth and have enough tint to flatter your lips and make it look like you’re wearing a touch of colour, but not so much you need a mirror to apply, or reapply. I wear them year round but I live in them over the summer break. Here are 9 other similar options.

Naked Sundays SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist

This was designed to wear over makeup to top up your SPF protection and its a great option for ensuring your skin protection is up to scratch in the hours after you initially applied a regular cream or lotion SPF.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Oil

At the end of a long day at the beach I like to load my lips with a replenishing oil. This feels silky and contains hyaluronic acid so it rehydrates as well as the oil that locks in the moisture.

Stylerunner Terry Towel scrunchie

I swear by loose silk scrunchies for protecting my hair during my downtime at home as I find they cause much less damage to my lightened hair that regular elastics. Because wet hair is weak and salt water is drying, you have to be really careful with your strands after swimming at the beach so I use a large scrunchie to loosely bunch my hair up on the beach. I usually wait until it’s dried a bit and use a silk one, but these are great if hair is still wet.

Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

When skin is still feeling the heat from a day outdoors or just feels dry and tight, I love a gel texture formula moisturiser as they feel cooling and skin in quickly. This one is beautifully formulated to provide long-lasting hydration, and it’s light enough my partner uses it too. He finds it doesn’t leave him shiny and works well around facial hair.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara

Almost every mascara smudges on me so I tend to wear mascara like Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara that has a ‘tubing’ formula that doesn’t smear but for really humid or beach days, this one will endure some splashing around.

Moroccanoil Treatment Light

I apply a hair oil or cream treatment through my locks before I head to the beach and it helps protect from the elements and my bleached strands don’t soak up as much salt water when I swim. This one is a classic and you only need a few drops. I use the light version as my hair is fine.

L’Oreal True Match Serum Foundation

Extending the trend for comfortable, barely-there skin tints, this one skims over skin adding the lightest touch of colour while also delivering beneficial skincare ingredients at the same time. 

Corbin Rd Multi-Vitamin Restorative Face Oil + 1% Bakuchiol

Given the number of them on the list, the theme of this piece may as well have been ‘why I love oils for summer’, but there really is something about their restorative nourishment at the end of the day. Even if you have oily skin, they can help balance the production of excess oil and when you apply at night you don’t have to worry about looking too shiny.  This one is loaded with a host of beneficial botanical oils. Pop 2-3 drops over skin after cleansing and applying serums.

Aje Buckjet Hat

A great hat you’re happy to wear all summer long is one of the best beauty products you’ll invest in for the season, as it help prevents sun damage and potentially dangerous skin cancer on your face. This Aje one is on my list. Not only does it protect your skin, but wearing a hat will also prevent your hair from colour fading and UV damage.

MECCA MAX Off Duty Blush Stick

Stick makeup products are so handy in summer when effort-levels are low. I like this one as it doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky, sets to a soft matte and is relatively affordable at just $20.

Emma Lewisham Illuminating Face and Body Oil

If you can’t be bothered with the faff of fake tan, and your skin on your body is looking a little dry, add a pump of this to your palms and massage over your skin for a a radiant glow. The tinted oil has beautiful way of creating the illusion of of smooth, healthy skin and the ingredients, like  oil-soluble hyaluronic acid, ensure its no longer an illusion after a couple of days use. The tint washes away with body wash.


Best celebrity beauty moments of 2021

Following a relatively quiet 2020 from many celebrities thanks to pandemic restrictions, we were hoping for a year of big beauty moments in 2021. There was much discussion and excitement at the top of the year about the hope and joy of stepping back out into the world and what that would look like from a beauty point of view. While the lingering effects of Covid meant the reality was somewhat muted – many of us, celebs included, spent a good portion of the year at home again – there was still plenty of looks and news to keep us inspired and excited.

In general the drama was turned down a notch as glowing skin remained key, accented by a bold liner here, or a defined lip there. The 90s became the era to emulate and a star undergoing a dramatic hair change, or just embracing their own natural locks, gave us plenty to talk about amongst ourselves while we waited out turn for our own appointments.

Anya Taylor-Joy at the Emmys

As the British-American’s star has ascended, so too her increased appearances on the red carpet. The Queen’s Gambit and Emma star had a number of memorable looks this year but it was this appearance at the Emmys that really stood out. What should have looked like a 90s school ball throw-back, somehow managed to look elegant and modern, owing to the 90s beauty revival and enough restraint with makeup that let her red lipstick remain the star.


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Amanda Gorman partners with Estee Lauder

Award-winning writer, poet and activist Amanda Gorman became the latest star to work with beauty giant Estée Lauder, but it wasn’t the standard spokesmodel contract. As part of the deal, Estée Lauder said it would contribute US$3m over three years to Writing Change, the company’s initiative to advance literacy ‘as a pathway to equality, access, and social change’. In addition Gorman will act as curator of Writing Change and ‘bring her voice of change’ to Estée Lauder campaigns from early next year.


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Billie Eilish goes blonde

Arguably the most talked about hair transformation of the year, the signer’s dramatic moved from her grungy two-toned black and neon green do, to platinum blonde garnered over 23million likes on Instagram when Eilish posted her shaggy new cut and colour in March. She’s recently made another U-turn, revealing a change to ‘expensive brunette’ a hair colour trend expected to pick up pace next year.


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Hailey Beiber at LACMA gala

Serving plenty of casual cool looks on social media this year, the Californian model is known for her low key vibe but it was this chic outing to  LACMA’s tenth annual Art + Film Gala in Los Angeles that we think made a real impression. Bieber chose creamy merlot lipstick and a subtle sparkle on her lids to pair with her striking white Saint Laurent column dress.


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Nicola Coughlan at the BAFTA Awards

The breakout Bridgerton star kept us captivated with a consistent stream of fresh, modern makeup looks this year, but this appearance in a swathe of blue shadow that contrasted her Valentino dress has a clear favourite.


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Zendaya at the Oscars

Our pick for the reigning queen of the red carpet, Zendaya’s inventive fashion looks are always accompanied with a perfectly complementary beauty look and she rarely wears her hair or makeup the same way. This minimal makeup and mermaid hair chimes perfectly with her yellow Valentino Haute Couture gown at this year’s Oscars.



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Sarah Jessica Parker and co stars

Influential for just showing up as herself, it was entirely refreshing the way Sarah Jessica Parker and her co-stars unapologetically emerged into the limelight prior to this year’s filming of Sex and the City spin off And Just Like That.  While much has been made of her greys strands, Jessica Parker points out it really is no big deal given it’s an eventuality for everyone.

“Gray hair gray hair gray hair. Does she have gray hair?’ she said in a recent Vogue interview, “I’m sitting with Andy Cohen and he has a full head of gray hair, and he’s exquisite. Why is it okay for him?”


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Gigi Hadid Met Gala

Gigi Hadid’s look at this year’s Met Gala brought together a number of this season’s biggest beauty trends – pastel eyeshadow, extended eyeliner, copper hair dye and hair accessories, with a touch of glamour.

Also relatable? Her makeup was mostly done with items from accessibly-priced brand Maybelline. Less within reach? Topping off the look with a Jacob & Co diamond necklace totaling 117 carats, reported by the New York jeweler to be worth around $12m!


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Dior signs Emma Raducanu

Another brand extending its reach beyond models to represent its brand, Dior announced it had welcomed 18-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu as the brand’s new ambassador for Dior skincare and makeup following her September US Open win.


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Jennifer Anniston launches Lolavie haircare

She’s been known for her hair for decades, so among the avalanche of other celebrity beauty brand launches this year, the Friends star’s haircare brand Lolavie was somewhat fitting.


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Dua Lipa for Versace by Pat McGrath

Dua Lipa made her runway debut at Milan Fashion Week walking for Versace’s Spring/Summer 2022 show in Milan for Fashion Week. Her electric look was created by legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath and signposts the way for bold and bright eye makeup looks to trend this summer and into 2022.


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Megan Thee Stallion at the Grammys

Megan’s Grammys look, particularly her hair complete with French roll and tendrils reminded us of everything we once loved about the ’90s, as well as signaling the era’s dominant return to the spotlight. The 90s has been key in influencing celebrity looks throughout the year and has emerged as one of the biggest ongoing beauty trends for next year too. Time to sharpen up that brown lipliner!


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Jennifer Lopez performs at the Presidential Inauguration

Was this J Lo’s year or what? We feel like she was everywhere this year, and her beauty looks were numerous, but a standout as got to be her performance at President Biden’s inauguration in January. Lopez performed a patriotic medley of songs that included a part of her own hit ‘Let’s Get Loud’ from her 1999 debut album ‘On the 6’, rocking a voluminous, flippy pony and her signature tonal makeup look.


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Images (top) @larryjarahsims, @mimicuttrell, @mugopus.