My Summer Beauty Routine

I wish I could say in summer all I need to look presentable is a swipe of lip gloss and coat of mascara, but I turn 35 in a month and it takes A LOT more than a couple products nowadays. I try to keep it as simple as I can, but when it comes to skincare, makeup and hair I have a bit of an arsenal, as they say.
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Here’s a round-up of all the products I use right now and LOVE.  I hate it when I buy a fun new product and get home and decide it sucks and have to skulk back to Sephora to return it (why does that make me feel like a criminal every time I do it?)  This is my core arsenal that works well for me (but if you have a favorite you are obsessed with PLEASE share! I love finding out people’s favorites!


1. I love the refreshing feel and glow from this Origins Eye Cream.

2. I’m on my second bottle of this Aveeno face cream. Love that it has SPF 30 in it- if I’m going to the beach or spending tons of time in the sun I’ll add this Shiseido face sunscreen underneath. It’s super protective and feels like silk!

3. Gotta bring out the big guns in your thirties- prescription Retinol is a nightly routine. Ask your dermatologist. Over that I massage in some La Mer, I’ve been using it for years and it’s just the plain best at deep moisture.

4. & 5. I am still obsessed with the Shamanuti Charcoal Cleanser and Seaweed Toner. Straight up AWESOME, especially in summer as it wipes every ounce of grime away.

6. Lancome makes the best eye makeup remover.

7. When I’m too lazy to wash my face before bed (I know it’s bad, but you’ve had those nights) these wipes are awesome and I swear DO help you be more radiant. I buy a lot of things that promise “radiance” apparently.

8. I don’t have the time or patience for masks, but this two minute Vitamin C mini-mask is so awesome to do before getting in the shower and takes no time at all.  It does help you get a little glow and fight off sun damage!

9. This BareMinerals gradual face tanner imparts realistic glow you can build and no bad smell.

10. I’ve tried so many others, but I keep coming back to this Urban Decay Naked foundation– it has good-for-your-skin peptides and a glowy, serum-like consistency that covers flaws without looking mask-y. I use color 4.5 in summer and 3.5 in my Casper-white winter state.

11. I’ve posted this before, but this Laura Mercier concealer covers EVERYTHING. Including my stubborn sun spots that keep getting worse. I curse the day I ever baked in the sun/ tanning beds. If anyone wants to get me a birthday present, some lasers pointed in my face’s general direction would be WELCOME.

12. My #1 always must have is Bobbi’s Shimmer Brick in Bronze. I’ve said it 100 times but it bears repeating- genius.

13. As I age my brows aren’t quite as full (still full enough, as you can see, but they need a little fill here and there). Love this skinny tip pencil with built in brush for taming.

14. Just discovered this Dior Palette in Earth Reflections– such good, neutral colors! The light pearly pink is great to wake up the inner corners of your eyes and when traveling this is all you need for daytime AND night looks.

15. I am not a big lip color person, I usually use whatever gloss is kicking around my purse, but this L’Oreal liquid lip color in Molto Mauve is my new favorite! Part balm, part lipstick, part gloss the color is so subtle and natural! Addicted.

16. I tend to stick to powder blushes in summer because creams tend to melt right off- this Tarte 12-Hour blush really does stay all day! Love the Blissful and True Love colors on me personally.

17. Nothing says summer to me like a fresh bottle of Hermes Un Jardin Sur La Nil fragrance– it’s like flowers mixed with a lime-y gin & tonic. I buy a new bottle every year! I swear, it’s the best summer fragrance ever made.

18. Pencil liners also melt in the heat, so I stick with this Laura Mercier cake liner  in the brown color and and use a wet angled brush like this Nars one. Stay put liner!

19. This Tarte mascara makes my lashes HUGE. Love the brush- no clumps. Also rotate in Benefit They’re Real as well.

20. Urban Decay makes the best shimmery, metallic shadows– my favorite summer color is the bronze-y nude “Chase”.

21. I rarely use liquid liner because it tends to look like I’m trying too hard, but this super skinny Tom Ford one is awesome and not costume-y. And it stays PUT.



1. & 2. I know it probably seems like I am being paid by L’Oreal, but I am NOT. I just think they have stepped it up so big time with their product game- especially the haircare.  I still swear by this shampoo and conditioner to mend my damaged hair. It’s so good and acts like much more expensive brands.

3. For a nice summer scalp refresher I adore Malin & Goetz’s Peppermint Shampoo when I feel like my scalp needs to get really clean (dry shampoo build up, anyone? ICK.)

4. I take one of these vitamins everyday and I think it helps a lot with hair growth and health.

5. Another L’Oreal product I love- I work this oil into damp hair mid-shaft to ends.

6.  My beloved Sultra Bombshell curling iron. After I let my hair air dry I take one inch sections of hair and wrap it around the barrel. Turn your head upside down, shake the curls out a little to muss them up and go!

7. I air dry my hair only in the summer, and I love dousing my hair in this non-drying salt spray for body and waves.

8. For volume at the roots, second (or third) day hair or grip before doing an updo this dry spray is the best, best, best!

9. Always finish off with a hit of good old Elnett!



  1. With sunspots unfortunately, you will just have to get them lasered in the wintertime and also try and take lysine the amino acid which seems to help but only as long as you take them…

  2. That Extraordinary Oil really is extraordinary! It makes my hair feel so soft! I’m also a huge fan of the Oribe dry texturing spray. It’s a godsend to my superfine hair, for all the reasons you stated. Most prenatals have biotin, which is probably what helps the hair and skin. But they’re chock-full of goodness for everything else :)

  3. The word radiance on packaging gets me everytime too. I’m 35 and feel my skin gets a bit dull even in the summer. I am not a huge fan of highlighters but It Cosmetics Hello Light Illuminator really gives a radiant glow. I just put a dab on my cheek bones it’s an instant lift (plus it hides those pesky sun spots). I will also put some on my lids for an easy fresh wash of soft sand pink that works as a mom creasing eyeshadow!

  4. Gosh your hair is amazing. I love urban decay shadows too – my Naked 2 palette is really getting thin so I need to pick up a few individuals for summer – I will put that one on my list!

  5. I swear by this oil year-round:

    I use it after the shower — a few sprays goes a long way — and it gives my body a beautiful, healthy glow without feeling overly oily or cloying. And the smell is amazing. Hard to describe; it smells like a day at the beach. On the Cote D’Azur.

    In France, they use this product everywhere — face, body & hair — and I’ve done the same when traveling & it works well. But my love of my other products keeps me from using it everywhere on a daily basis.

  6. I see you’re still a fan of the Urban Decay Naked foundation and I must say I know why – you were the one who turned me on to it in the first place and it’s still a fave for me! I have to laugh (at myself) though when you mention that a 3.5 is Casper white – this girl is 0.5 all year round – ha!

  7. I just recently started using the temptu to replace my regular foundation/tinted moisturizer and I am in love. Super quick and easy and it stays put, even through the crazy east coast humidity. I will have to try out your concealer and eye liner picks – I’m always looking for ‘the one’ with those products it seems. Thanks for the list!

  8. Unfortunately sun spots go hand-in-hand with age and pregnancy will only make it worse. I’ve been doing microdermabrasion with some pretty good results. I swear by Vitamin-C and kinerase. I also use the Cetaphil cleanser which was recommended by two different dermatologists. Eye cream is a must. I’ve also been hearing a lot of good things about coconut oil for the hair.

  9. I love my Nars foundation, Benefit Bronzer in Hoola, and my Urban decay ” chill” setting spray for summer. The makeup stays put! Physicians formula waterproof mascara is great and you save some $$. It’s in the green tube. Go to Riteaid and you’ll find the best deals. Lastly, Maybelline lip elixirs. Love them!

  10. I LOL’d at the laser being pointed to your face. I think you and I are the same age and I loathe my sun spots! I recently started using the Bare Minerals Pure Brightening Serum Foundation and I love it!

    Thanks for this! I love seeing what other people use. As much as I love shopping for beauty stuff, I get overwhelmed walking into Sephora with the endless amount of choices!

  11. I agree, great picture! I’ve been using the Murad spot lightener with good results but I know the only way to get them 100% gone is lasers.

  12. I think it’s important to note that #3 (retin-a) should not be used by women who are pregnant/trying.

  13. I’m trying my best to use up the products I currently have in the house (we’re moving soon, and I don’t want to move boxes of products…trying not to, anyway). When I need to re-purchase/update some things, I’m definitely coming back to this post for ideas!

    Totally agree about L’Oreal – their products seem to have improved a lot in recent years!

  14. Hi Erin! Your picture is so lovely! This is a great round-up of products and I loved seeing a few of my own personal favorites on the list! I was in Ulta a few weeks ago and saw a display advertising NYX Wonder Pencil. I was intrigued because it showed the pencil being used in 3 ways: covering freckles/sunspots, lining the water line, and lastly, lining the lips. It comes in 3 shades (Light/Medium/ Dark), and I opted for the dark because I’m olive toned. It’s really fantastic! I use it to help conceal, sharpen lines, and highlight. Totally matte and transfer resistant. Gives me a flawless look. For only $4.59, I’d say give it a try!!

  15. LOVE the face blast. The whole M-61 line is fabulous from Blue Mercury. The Hydraboost is amazing and is the only moisturizer I need during summer. It’s a liquid/water form and provides so much moisture to your skin. The Power Glow peel is absolutely phenomenal as well.

    For sun damage, a friend swears by Rodan & Fields “Reverse” line which has a retinol application. She’s used it just for one cycle (60 days) and I already notice her skin looks brighter. I’m thinking about giving that a shot.

    For summer, Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer is all I use for “foundation”, plus her matte radiance baked powder for a non-shimmery radiance. Oh and Nars “orgasm” is my go-to blush for summer!

  16. Thank you for sharing all of this! I have been looking for some new products to incorporate to my current beauty supplies, your skin and hair always look perfect, so I’m excited to try some of these products!

  17. *Smashbox oil free primer
    * Clinique CC cream medium mixed with Loreal Visual lift foundation in Sun Beige (amazing coverage but dewy!)
    * Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder (ELF makes an amazing DUPE)
    * Nars Bronzer in Laguna
    * Amazing Cosmetics blush -in the buff
    * Sorme Waterproof Brow liner in Soft Blonde
    * Stila lip & cheek stain
    * Lancome Hypnose Mascara Waterproof
    * MAC concealer pallet in medium
    * Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

    Aqua di Gioia perfume***summer scent❤️

  18. Kiehl’s Avocado Eye Cream has changed my life – well maybe not literally – but seriously, it’s AMAZING. Also addicted to Malin + Goetz Rum body wash and Too Faced Shadow Insurance – brightens shadows and makes them stay put.

  19. Almost forgot! I hate lip stuff too – a swipe of EOS is my daily lip “routine”. But when I’m feeling fancy – Laura Mercier StickGloss is awesome. I have Cranberry when I need a power lip and Baked Earth for everyday. I’ve never loved a lipstick, but I seriously LOVE these.

  20. Erin, have you tried Arbonne products? I know you are concerned with being kind to the environment and you have written a lot about your struggle to be healthy. My sister also suffers from eating disorders. Being healthy doesn’t just include what we eat – although the green smoothies in the morning are awesome! If you are someone who reads food labels, exercises and tries to watch what you eat, then you should also consider what you put on your skin because within 26 seconds the ingredients will have gone through every major organ in your body. That’s 10x faster than what we ingest.

    Arbonne provides skincare, cosmetics, hair care, nutrition, baby care and sun care products that are vegan certified, PH correct, certified cruelty free and green. We use FSC-certified renewable sources and are certified carbon neutral company. Our ingredients are sustainably grown and harvested and we work with suppliers who share our green mission. The products are formulated without animal products or by products, parabens (linked to breast cancer), formaldehyde, phthalates (linked to infertility), mineral oil (bi-product of the crude oil industry), gluten, synthetic dyes, triclosan, articial colours/sweeteners/flavours, cholesterol and trans fats.

    If you would like more information, feel free to contact me at or my Facebook group Sarah Lynn La Rose. I would be happy to educate you further. **Full disclosure, I am a consultant with Arbonne.

  21. Erin – love this post! I think your eyebrows have a great shape and seem full, do you go to someone in the area?

  22. I also sip the Ginzing eye cream kool-aid! Love Drybar’s dry shampoo and flexible hold hairspray so I’ll have to try the Mai Tai spritz!

  23. I used to tan in beds all summer long – being insanely pale – until this year, turning 30 (NopeNopeNope!), I decided to embrace the pale for fear of wrinkles. (Being dark haired, it sorta works… As long as there’s bronzing powder, obviously.) I have some sunspots and old acne scars from battling bad reactions from birth control – they do stay forever when you’re pale – but the only thing that has changed the dark mark game is high concentration BHA acid. I use Paula’s Choice 2% BHA lotion 2x daily, and I swear it turns my skin cells over faster than when I was using Retin-A alone. Holy grail of consistently glowing skin. Mario Badescu makes a fantastic glycolic acid toner that has worked wonders for the brown spots as well. I just switched to Bobbi Brown’s CC cream, which has a high SPF, and is FANTASTIC for getting everything even-toned and glow-y without looking remotely cakey. Also – it sounds a bit dippy, but putting raw honey on dark marks supposedly works… At least, it brightens me up. I have a honey mask (raw honey, lemon for toning, a little water) smeared all over my face right now… Oh the perks of working from home. ;)

  24. Erin- you look wonderful! Longtime reader here, and as a physician, I wanted to echo that should you be “trying to conceive” it really is best to avoid retinol. It is a very well known teratogen (unfortunate because it is a miracle worker otherwise).

    Thanks for sharing this routine- love hearing from you! Good luck with the renovation too

  25. Wow, so many great-sounding products here! We’re still in the having kids phase so I only use very natural and certified-safe stuff but I’ll bookmark these for the future. And live with my wrinkles in the meantime :).

    I actually like my freckles, is that weird? I always wanted some haha.

  26. I had the IPL treatment a few years ago and it really worked but you have to keep up with using SPF everyday. My technician gave me a tip on how to apply SPF moisturizer correctly – the only rubbing that should take place is in your hands, you should pat the moisturizer on your face and let it sink in. When we rub our hands on our face, we tend to take a lot of it off. I also use Mario Badescu for all my skincare and adjust it depending on the weather and Vitamin E Oil for any cut, scar and sunspots.

  27. Australians such as myself do profess to know a thing or two about the need for sun protection and this post from an Aussie beauty expert changed the way I look at sunscreen.

    Basically mineral sunscreen stays on for longer, protects better and can improve your skin.

    I have been using mineral sunscreen for the past 4 months and I swear that it has improved my skin – perhaps could work for your sunspots? Solar Sense Clear Zinc is the brand I have been using. but there are many around.

  28. Number 17! I just “discovered” that scent last summer and now it’s the only one I wear during the season.

    I really wish Bobbi Brown products were sold in Italy. They are in London, why not Milan or Rome?

  29. Oooh, so many products to try. I can’t wait! My new favorites these days are Clinique’s (old habits die hard) All About Shadow Quad in Jenna’s Essentials — one of each of my favorite nude colors (and a black for smoky eyes, etc.) and Too Faced’s Luminous Bronzer in Snow Bunny (but they have a LOT of bronzers, so a trip to Sephora might be in order). Thank for the round-up!

  30. I started using La Mer after you wrote about it a while ago and I just wanted to thank you. It’s wonderful! I was recently at Sephora and was overhearing someone gush about a face oil. I’ve tried face oil and they weren’t my thing, but she was saying it helped with her acne scars and how it got a 4.5/5 star rating out of over 300 reviews…so I got a sample. I put it on my face before I put on La Mer and WOW. My skin notices! I just turned 35, too, and do the Retin-A Micro pump every other day, so on my off days, I do this oil and it’s been awesome.

  31. This is totally off topic but where do you get your hair done? I live in the Boston area as well and I have toyed with dying my hair and/or getting highlights on top of that – your hair is perfect!

    If you can please share! :)


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