Summer Beauty Essentials

Functional products that do the hard work, so you can enjoy the sunshine without worry

Whether you’re taking a day trip to the local beach or leaving a frigid, air-conditioned office to hit a happy hour, keep your cosmetics bag light by packing just the essentials (like a lip balm with SPF). Here are a list of tried-and-true functional beauty products that’ll keep you spiffed up and in top form during the hottest, most humid days of summer.

consonant-perfect-sunscreen.jpg beneft-they're-real.jpg
Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen

There’s a reason why Consonant’s 100% natural, hydrating sunscreen was sold out the beginning of summer. Most physical (as opposed to chemical) sunscreens leave the well-intended user looking like a white ghost or greasy mess, but The Perfect Sunscreen distinguishes itself from the pack with its pleasant consistency. The SPF 30 sunscreen contains natural mica minerals (and therefore possesses a peachy-brown color) to even out skin tone and be quickly rubbed in—and because it’s unscented, you forget you’re even wearing sun protection. The lightweight and compact 50ml bottle makes it easy to stow in the smallest of handbags. $45

Benefit Eyeliner + Makeup Remover

Benefit eschews the small pot and separate brush planking most traditional gel eyeliners in favor of a simple pen with a soft, flexible tip for more precise control. Their smudge proof and waterproof They’re Real! Push-Up Liner doesn’t budge in any weather—meaning it requires some eye makeup remover or cold cream when washing up but is worth the added effort. $18-24.

philip-b-dry-shampoo-2.jpg patio-oil-jao-2.jpg
Philip B Dry Shampoo

When the sweltering heat has your hair in a funk, simply spritz on Philip B’s Russian Amber Imperial dry shampoo before hopping to your next rooftop party or clambake. The name sounds slightly high-maintenance, but application is a snap and gives tired, dirty hair a boost of volume while absorbing excess oil. While other dry shampoos can leave behind a white, powdery residue no matter how much it’s brushed or blown out, Philip B’s formula goes on clear and it’s also paraben- and phthalate-free. $28

Jao Patio Oil

Whether you’re hiking down a mountain, watching a concert outdoors or enjoying the sunset from a porch swing, Jao’s Patio Oil is a must for keeping outdoor activities bug-free. The body oil works as a moisturizer that cools upon contact—perfect after a brutal day in the sun—as well as a natural insect repellent (thanks to the lemon eucalyptus and soybean oils). Rub the oil (or spray their mist version) onto exposed skin and enjoy its complex woody, lemon scent. We tested out both forms in the bug haven that is upstate New York, and returned to the city without a single bite. $30-32

eau-de-minimes-deodorant.jpg tatcha-blotting-papers-japanese.jpg
Le Couvent des Minimes Everyday Deodorant

Smell fresh all day with this French-made, roll-on deodorant from Le Couvent des Minimes. Free of parabens and aluminum (meaning it doesn’t work as an antiperspirant, but it also won’t stain your clothes), the deodorant is great especially for those with sensitive skin and has noticeable staying power to mask any body odor. The mild yet lasting scent—a mixture of blood orange, lemon, mandarin and rosemary essential oils—can also be rolled onto the wrists as a freshen-upper. $14

Tatcha Blotting Papers

Leave the powder compact at home and soak up excess oil with Tatcha’s gold-flecked Aburatorigami beauty papers. Made from abaca leaf, they’re much larger than typical sheets (resembling square origami paper) yet paper thin; one sheet is enough to absorb the oil from the T-zone—without disturbing your makeup or leaving you feeling overly dry. $12 for a pack of 30 sheets.

prospector-co-leg-toner-2.jpg footgloss-1.jpg
Prospector Co. Aftershave Leg Toner

Though they make everything from beard oil to candles, Savannah, GA-based Prospector Co. specializes in shaving products. While leg toner might not seem like an essential, after using it that could change. This all-natural formula contains witch hazel, organic aloe, grapeseed extract, tea tree oil and provides super-light hydration perfect for hot days when lotions feel too heavy and sticky. The formula’s fragrance is delightfully fresh and floral, without being too heady, and it also has astringent properties to tighten pores after hopping out of the shower. $18


Bare feet slipping in sandals and heels can only mean one thing: guaranteed blisters. If you’ve been donning socks for prevention or Band-aids to cure annoying scabs caused by recent friction, try an invisible canvas. Resembling an oversized tube of chapstick, the all-natural, long-wearing FootGloss glides on clear and prevents chafing and irritation caused by harsh leather straps or other common shoe issues. $12

Photos by CH