The best products for perfect summer skin

Laura Kennedy’s favourite liquid highlighters, foundation and bronzer

I love this time of year. The quality of the light changes and clarifies, and suddenly everyone just looks a bit better without having to do very much. One of the consequences of this brighter, butterier summer light, however, is that it reveals how the beauty sausage (as it were) is made. The sun mercilessly shows up all your make-up-related work.

Now, if you love to apply a lot of make-up and the “natural look”(every make-up lover knows it’s anything but) is not for you, this shouldn’t matter. However, if make-up for you is about visual manipulation and the construction of illusion – what else are we doing when we cover a mammoth spot? – then you’ll need to pare things back to keep your make-up looking like skin.

Luckily for my inherent laziness, this means less effort, less work and generally, less product on your skin. In warm weather, heavy layers will look obvious, but also melt and move, which is uncomfortable. The key to summer make-up is to choose light formulations that reveal the best of your skin and make the most of the light reflection offered by the sun.

VIEVE Skin Dew (€23 at is the best highlighter I have encountered in a very long time. Pleasingly gelatinous in texture and without glitter, which is generally too obvious in a highlighter and redolent of spending the night sleeping face-first in a sleeping bag at a festival, this just glazes the skin beautifully. Mix it with foundation or apply it on top – I've been enjoying exploring new ways to use it.


Meanwhile, & OtherStories Face and Body Dew (€29 at & Other Stories) is another liquid highlighter, this time with skincare benefits, and looks as nice on shins and shoulders as it does on the face. While highlighting is all well and good, you still need the right base for a skin finish that looks glowing rather than sweaty.

MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation (€32 at Mac) is the newly revamped version of their classic Face and Body Foundation, which is the one base I see in every single make-up artist's kit. The formula (which is perfection) hasn't been touched, thankfully. It still contains a film fixer which, if you squeeze some out and leave it for five minutes, allows the foundation to thicken and increase in coverage. I love to apply it immediately though for a sheer veil of pigment, and let my concealer construct the illusions where I feel I need them.

Light is nothing without the shadow to balance it out, and what is summer make-up without a great bronzer? I avoid sparkle or light reflection in bronzers, as in bright light they just look like mak-eup.

You may know Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream (€44 at Brown Thomas) as perhaps the most famous bronzer of all time. Now it has been released in Soleil Tan Deep Bronze – a deeper shade – which finally makes the iconic product accessible to darker skin tones. The new shade has the same flattering, natural finish, and perfectly blendable texture.

Product of the week

Verso Daily Glow merges potent skincare with a glossy highlight (€48 at