Sunny day beauty is all about celebrating that warm inner glow, a hydrated pout, mermaid hair, oceanic color palettes, and sun-kissed skin. We cut through the onslaught of new product releases to let you see which we’re loving most for the upcoming spring and summer ‘21 seasons, and below you’ll find out shortlisted must-haves to snag before your first beach day.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
We fell in love with lilah b. when sampling their stunning smokey eye quad a few months back (read more here), from the heavy white stone packaging to the seamlessly blendability of the fine-milled powder within. When they offered to send over a bronzer for testing just in time for summer, we couldn’t resist!
As expected, this bronzing duo is a winner. Perfect for warming up pre-summer pale skin, the deeper of the two shades adds just a hint of tan to the cheekbones, forehead, nose bridge, and chin–all the areas the sun hits naturally as you go about your day. The lighter side has a barely-there bit of color that can brighten the deeper tone by swirling your brush in both, or it can provide a subtle highlight by dipping your finger in and swiping on where you want an extra burst of glowiness. Together they provide the kind of minimal but gorgeous spring and summer look that lets you go from the beach to dinner with a few simple strokes.
The Bronzed Beauty duo is cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, and long wearing, and works best for lighter skin tones. Try with the lilah b. retractable bronzer brush for precise but fluffy application, which you can find here.
Rihanna really can do it all, and her enormously successful makeup line Fenty proves it. The buttery bronzers offered up by the maker come in a broad range of shades for optimal flattery on every skin tone, and the long-wearing matte finish promises to sculpt and warm perfectly with every swipe. It’s also cruelty-free, vegan, and a “community favorite” among Sephora buyers, so buy with confidence knowing you’ll be pleased with the end result.
One buyer, who picked up the shade Mocha Mami, raves:
“I’m definitely a fan. Just purchased this bronzer and gives me a beautiful red bronze glow. It’s very red but in a beautiful way. It’s almost like a blush and bronzer in one.”
Anyone who grew up watching the heart-wrenching tale of Bambi most likely holds a sweet spot on their heart for the film, and Colourpop’s latest collaboration with Disney pays tribute to the woodland story through a collection of gorgeous muted neutrals and pastel eye shadows, flirty false lashes, shimmering highlighters, and luscious lip glosses. While you can buy the products individually through Colourpop’s website, we highly suggest splurging on the full collection so you’ll be busy experimenting with soft glam looks now through autumn.
This gorgeously pigmented berry gloss is absolutely scrumptious and echoes the berries bursting with color as the sun comes out from behind winter’s shade. The company promise a non-sticky finish but juicy shine that will make your pout look plump with every application.
Nostalgia bites hard when you’re a girly girl whose coming-of-age came sometime around the turn of the century, and Juicy Tubes are the perfect thing to trigger it. Now back in their same iconic tube and formula, the mini set will only set you back $25 for four mini size shades of the famously goopy, delicious lip lacquer that will have you reapplying after every sip, bite, or lip lick like your gearing up to make eyes at your crush in 3rd period all over again.
The packaging alone is worth the splurge on this incredible palette, but the poolside and beachy shades within created to build mermaid-esque, retro, neutral, bright, and everything in between looks? We have to have it.
Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the palette’s whimisical beauty is the perfect mood-setter for fresher, brighter days. Each rich shade glides on like butter and blends ever better, and half are stamped with cute shapes corresponding to the suits in a deck of cards. Mattes, shimmers, and a bold blue glitter will make any eye color pop, so grab this and let the artistry of design and fantasy guide you.
If you’re going to be showing off a whole lot more skin soon (and you likely will), you might as well make sure every inch of it looks luscious and glowing with a fantastic scrub like this one.
Created with coffee grounds, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and sea salt, this scrub whisks away dead skin with effortless ease, revealing fresh, revitalized smoothness below. Reviewers love its earthy scent, and some even note it can help smooth cellulite.
You should be using a great SPF year-round, but in case you’ve been slacking: get on this one now. It’s a favorite of skincare lovers, perfect for sensitive, breakout-prone skin, and moisturizing skincare ingredients give you the plump, youthful skin you crave while protecting from further aging. Also great under makeup, the formula is light and silky, sinking into skin fully without leaving a gloopy white cast.
“My hair gets weighed down easily, my scalp is oil-prone, and my skin/scalp are very sensitive,” reports one happy user of this lightweight, curl-boosting conditioner. They continue, “Most curly products don’t work for me or cause issues with my skin, but the Curl Enhancer hasn’t caused any issues with these concerns! My skin is clear (no breakouts or irritation), my hair has volume and isn’t weighed down, and my scalp/roots aren’t an oily mess.”
The only issue there seems to be is figuring out the perfect amount and as many reviewers report, a little goes a long way. Start small and building up as needed, and count on this bottle lasting the whole summer and beyond when it comes to creating the gorgeous, beachy waves of your dreams.