When it comes to her makeup aesthetic, Kylie Jenner typically swings one of two ways: fully made-up and worthy of a red carpet close-up or au naturel with her adorable sprinkling of freckles on full display. And personally, we have a special admiration for the latter—especially this time of year when the thought of heavy layers of makeup is as unappealing as a piping-hot bowl of soup. Thus, when Jenner took to Instagram a while back to snap a makeup-free selfie, it was hard to take our eyes off of her admirably bare complexion.
After all, nothing feels more refreshing this season than embracing our skin in its most natural state. But sometimes, we're in the mood for a just a subtle enhancement—be it a touch more coverage, a hint of radiance, a pop of colour, whatever floats your boat. So with bare-ish summer skin in mind, we gathered the summer-perfect products which help us put our best face forward all season long yet allow beloved traits like freckles to shine through as nature intended them to. Inspired by none other than Jenner herself, here are 12 favourite formulas to use all over your face this summer to enhance—not cover—your complexion. Keep scrolling!
"If I'm going completely sans makeup, I like to keep my face looking glowy throughout the day with half-hourly spritzes of face mist," says Byrdie UK deputy editor, Shannon Peter. She's a fan of Lumene's brightening, vitamin C–infused Nordic C Valo Glow Refresh Hydrating Mist (£18) as well as Dr Roebuck's coconut-scented Bondi Hydrating Mist (£22).
"I always feel more confident when my brows are groomed," adds Peter. "So even if my dark circles are on full show, I like to plump out my brows with Hourglass' brow gel."
Blessed with freckles, features editor Amanda Montell often reaches for this sheer, glow-enhancing foundation from Stila when she seeks something for more natural-looking coverage.
If you want to go completely makeup-free, do like many a makeup artist and apply a couple quick dabs of this cult-favourite cream to your eyelids, Cupid's bow, and cheekbones. The result is a glossy, your-skin-but-better finish.
For a pop of colour and sun protection, we like this cheeky dual-action number from Supergoop!. Though the colour looks a bit intense, it actually delivers the most flattering of flushes.
In the mood for some luminosity? Assistant editor Maya Allen can't stop applying this team-loved highlighter on her cheekbones this season.
"This luminizer in Ghost Light just looks so cool on my deep skin tone," she explains. "I pat it on right before foundation. It gives the high points of my face such a light-catching glow."
As any makeup artist or beauty editor will tell you, there's simply no better (or more natural-looking) way to apply your makeup—especially in the summer when an invisible finish feels even more paramount. We love a good ol' Beautyblender, and this limited-edition sapphire one is officially on our summer wish list.
In addition to her favourite BareMinerals formula, dancer, model, and actress Larsen Thompson tells me she loves this sheer tinted moisturiser from Origins. Sure, the packaging is adorable, but she also commends its infusion of SPF 40, which she describes as "amazing."
Adding a few drops of this best-selling self-tanning oil from Tan-Luxe pre-bedtime basically ensures a uniform, sun-kissed glow come morning. It gives my consistently pasty skin a slight boost of colour and radiance—so much so that I feel 100% about going through my day without anything else on my face (except some SPF, of course).
Another freckle-enhancing recommendation from Thompson? This skin-improving moisturiser from Glossier which looks great underneath a tinted moisturiser, foundation, or just on its own.
"I love the combination of using this cream right after cleansing. It's SO good, and it really gets into the skin and keeps it moisturised. My skin is really dry, but whenever I put this on, I don't even need foundation," she told us.
Next up: a dermatologist breaks down the acids to use in every decade.