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Dressed Down Beauty Essentials We’re Loving This Summer

Summer is here, at least in LA. And it’s just as hot as I thought it would be. I’m personally a big fan of extra-long evenings, when the ground is still warm from a day of sunshine and the air heavy with the smell of Jasmine that’s blooming everywhere. But when it comes to summer, I’m switching up my beauty and skincare needs. My skin isn’t as dry as it is in the winter, I’m sweating a whole lot more, and I’m craving light, fresh options in my routine. Anyone else with me?

I have a lot of recommendations, but I know that I’m just one person with a specific set of likes and needs. So I begged the rest of the EHD team to share some of their favorite summer essentials too. I even convinced two beloved EHD alums to share a few picks – Arlyn, my accomplice in skincare obsession (who also happens to be launching a blog of her very own soon, make sure you’re subscribed to her newsletter to stay in the loop), and Veronica, a lady with the best taste in eyeliner this side of the universe.

Let’s get into it . . .

Bath & Body

1. From Sara – LARO Perfume: If you’ve gotten to know me over the years here at EHD then you know I’m a SUCKER for anything olfactory. And perfume is at the top of that list. I love perfume too much to stick to one signature scent. I recently discovered LARO, and immediately ordered their Discovery Set, which comes with mini rollerballs of 11 unique scents (it’s also beautifully packaged, and comes with a 20% coupon for a full-size perfume once you decide what you like). My favorite scents are Stargazer Lily, Chanteuse, and Big Sur.

2. From Caitlin – Fur Body Fuller Frontal Set: Fur is truly for everyone with body hair – whether you shave, wax, or let it grow all-natural. Or maybe, like Sara, you’re a summer shaver and winter grower (her words, not mine, haha). I swear by this 4 piece kit: The scrub and ingrown oil is a lifesaver (and the ingrown oil comes with a little mitt, the size of your finger, to help you scrub off dead skin before you apply!), the lotion keeps your hair growing in soft (not prickly! Or at least, less prickly), and the signature fur oil keeps the body hair you do have feeling soft while moisturizing the skin underneath. This kit is my holy grail product and it lasts forever. It’s been a quarantine lifesaver.

3. From Arlyn – VERB Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner: My hair is both greasy and dry. I’m a medical marvel! I received a sample of this with my Sephora points and let it sit in my shower for weeks until I remembered to use it one day. Then I was mad I hadn’t used it sooner so I could buy the full-size bottles. It left my hair smelling so good, my strands were soft, shiny, and not weighed down. My ends felt hydrated, my scalp didn’t feel greasy. Complicated hair panacea! 

4. From Sara – Each & Every Natural Deodorant: I’ve been on the natural deodorant train for a while, and always love trying out a new brand. I came across Each & Every and was super excited to give them a try. BUT they had too many good scents to choose from, so I ordered their “Choose 4 Minis” option and got citrus & vetiver, cedar & spice, sandalwood & black pepper (my favorite so far), and coconut & lime (which is perfect for summer).


1. From Emily – PCA Nutrient Toner: I ran out of this a couple of months ago and went 6 weeks without it. The whole time I was trying to figure out why my skin was so unhappy. But once I got my refill and started using it again my skin brightened up pretty quickly and absorbed my moisturizer so much better. I’m a true devotee of this toner. Also ditto on their Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  

2. From ArlynSaturday Skin Pore Clarifying Toner 10% Glycolic Acid + Pore Control Complex: When I read a product description and it makes big promises about “smoothing and refining your skin’s appearance,” I typically follow with a swift “yeah right.” NOT THIS TIME. This toner has been everything I hoped it would be. I use it every other day, and within the week, I 100% noticed my skin transforming before my eyes. I have big juicy pores that are now tighter and generally, my skin texture is smoother.

3. From Sara – Versed Reusable Cotton Pads: I love a toner, and use one every morning and night. Which meant I was going through a lot of cotton pads. But, in an attempt to make small eco-friendly switches in my daily life, I ordered these reusable pads. They come 14 to a set, and I double the length of their use by using both sides. That means one set lasts me a whole month before I have to wash them!

4. From Mallory – Coola Organic Face Sunscreen: I only wear foundation or powder on occasion, but no matter what I’m always slapping this sunscreen on. I’ve been told it’s the most important thing you can do for your skin all year round, but especially during in the summer when we’re spending a little more time outdoors. This formula is super lightweight and smells amazing, but in a really natural way. It’s just the best!

5. From Caitlin – The Volition Must-Haves Set: I’ve asked about skincare before on the site because it’s such a BROAD and confusing topic for me, the kind of person who is only now slowly readjusting to a regular bathing schedule. I discovered Volition while researching for a post and decided to order this kit of 6 products because like, hey, they did all the hard work for me. It had a nearly perfect rating and 1,400 reviews so it must be good, right? IT IS. If you have dry or dull skin (I do), then this is literally everything you need to start a clean skincare routine. I LOVE.

6. From ArlynPaula’s Choice Water-Infusing Electrolyte Moisturizer: Paula’s Choice skincare products don’t get the internet fame they deserve. They are solid, affordable, and unfussy. My skin was feeling very dry lately and I read about this moisturizer in several places and decided to try it. I’ve only been using it about two weeks but my face feels so much better already, and no signs of new-product-induced breakouts. It’s really light making it great for summer wear, absorbs quickly, but fully quenches my thirsty skin without a mid-day oil slick in my T-zone. 

7. From Sara – Living Libation’s Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn Oil (as both a cleanser and moisturizer): I bought this oil after Emily’s friend wrote this post, and highly recommended it. And I have to say, I’m equally convinced by this oil. I use it as both a facial cleanser AND moisturizer. It’s light, herb-y, and doesn’t irritate my eyes (which is a huge issue for me). It’s all over my face constantly.

8. From Jess – Shani Darden Texture Reform: Friends, I am in really in love with this gentle retinol serum. I have talked about it before but now that I have been using it for over a month I can give you my full review. I feel like my skin looks brighter and fresher, thus making me feel better overall (I know it’s shallow, but I’m human). I am also relieved that, as someone with fairly sensitive skin, I’ve had zero problems with irritation. YES! I just made sure to follow the gradual use instructions : ) I can’t wait to see more benefits as time goes on. 5 STARS!

9. From Sara – Ayele Pumpkin Vitamin Mask: Now that I’m working from home, a hobby is the workday face mask. If I’m starting to get antsy I’ll pop up and slather one on, do a little dance, set a timer, sit down and work, and then go wash it off. It’s a great mental break, and my skin is loving it. This pumpkin mask is currently a favorite in my rotation. It smells so good, and legit leaves my skin brighter afterwards.


1. From VeronicaSteve Laurant Precision Tip Eyeliner: This black eyeliner make it super easy to get a nice cat eye wing, and it’s super smooth!

2. From Sara – 786 Cosmetics Nail Polish in “Chefchaouen”: I’m not a big manicure person, but I always love having polish on my toes. I’ve curated a small selection of polish colors for at-home pedis, and this denim color is summer perfection.

3. From Jess – Tan Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops: Fewer physical things make me feel more confident than a good tan. It’s THE summer/life essential for me personally (blame my mother). I mentioned wanting these tanning face drops in this post (no it didn’t go on sale, I just caved), to avoid needing to lay out in the sun and damage my skin. My review? Another 5 star purchase! Now I will say, that I let my ego get the best of me – I bought the darker shade because in my mind I tan easily and have more of an olive tone (just a really pale olive tone) and that is what the site recommended. I think that the color looks great but since my skin hasn’t seen the sun in practically a year I have to be VERY careful with the amount I use. I’ve decided 1.5 drops is my absolute max for a light natural-looking glow. My greatest fear is looking like a cast member from Jersey Shore. Next time I might try the lighter one just to see the difference.

4. From Sara – Ere Perez Rice Powder Blush & Bronzer in “Roma”: Like Jess, I love a little warmth on my skin during the summer. But it can get way too dark, way too fast really quickly for me. This organic bronzer blush hits the perfect balance of warm, but natural for my pinky skin. I prefer my bronzer shimmer-less, but they also have a version with the classic shimmer bronzer.

5. From Mallory – Ilia Limitless Mascara: This is THE ultimate mascara. It has a dual brush with one side that kinda combs through your lashes and the other that volumizes so those puppies (aka your lashes) just end up sky-rocketing and looking longer than ever. 10/10 recommend this!

6. From VeronicaNYX Eye Liner: Colored eyeliner is super fun and I have so many different colors that I can quite literally match my eyeliner to any outfit. Spices up my day a bit! (Trust V on this, her bright and bold eyeliners were always the envy of the office.)

7. From Sara – Glossier Skywash Eyeshadow: My lids are super narrow, and get real oily. Because of that I’ve always really struggled with eye shadow. But these cream-to-powder eyeshadows are like watercolors for your lid. They can be built up or kept super sheer, and they last all day. My favorite shades are Palm, Pool, and Pebble.

8. From Jess – Uoma Beauty Brow-Fro Blow Out: I’m not someone that wears a lot of makeup, but I am someone who loves a good brow. And I really love this brow gel! I like Boy Brow from Glossier, but I always feel like it vanishes off my face halfway through the day. Brow-Fro stays on the whole day! It’s a bit thicker than Boy Brow so you if you want a natural look you should use a lighter touch : )  

9. From Mallory – NYX Brow Gel: Speaking of brows, I ended up grabbing this once at the grocery store just out of sheer convenience since I needed some brow stuff. It was a real shot in the dark guess and now I literally can’t live without it. It keeps all those lil pesky eyebrow hairs in place!

10. From Jess – Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick: I am still pretty new to the contouring world (again not a big heavy makeup person) but a little contouring goes a long way if you ask me. I love how simple this double-sided stick is to use and gives me the perfect, slightly more sculpted glow I am always looking for! I say “slightly” because I don’t go full out, but you totally can if you want! I can throw it on and just go.

11. From Sara – NOTO Multi-Bene Stain Stick in Ono Ono: I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS. I got it after Caitlin recommended this brand in this post, and I honestly cannot believe I’ve lived so long without it. This is the perfect brick orange-red color, which is saying a lot because I have super pink skin, and generally have an awful time with red lipsticks. It can be built up for a super saturated look, but also lightly applied for more of a natural “popsicle stain” lewk. Plus, it can be used on both my cheeks and lips. A little CC cream with SPF, some brow gel, and this is all I need for everyday wear.

12. From Emily – Supergoop Glowscreen: So far this summer I’ve mostly just worn this with, a little bit of concealer. It feels super smooth and light, and makes my skin look just a little glow-y. I feel like I’m checking the box of SPF, foundation, and highlighter all at once. 

Alright, that’s it for our summer essentials (it’s a long list, I know, but we each have different priorities and ideas about what is “essential”). Now I want to know how all of your beauty routines change when it gets warmer out. Any stand out favorites you’re coveting this summer?

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Mariya Zafirova
3 years ago

Those Glossier eyeshadows sound amazing!

Mariya |

3 years ago

Nice to see a shout-out for Paula’s Choice products. The 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and the Lip & Body Treatment Balm have been staples for years.

3 years ago

I have kept up the same cleansing/moisturizing routine*, but I haven’t worn a stitch of makeup in like 15 weeks. It is weird Now to see pictures of my face with it on!

*CeraVe cleanser, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA gel, Rhe Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc, and Acure moisturizer in the purple bottle.

3 years ago

Does EHD pay Arlyn and Veronica for these contributions now that they are no longer on staff? Please say yes!

3 years ago

I feel like there’s something slightly wrong with me for how much I enjoy these posts on beauty products- like, clearly I’m a gleeful little pawn of the capitalist regime and whatnot because I love finding out about new things to try even if I already have piles of perfectly good enough crap filling my drawers… but the best part is that someone here is vouching for its awesomeness which REALLY gets my attention (ie. moolah. Sigh. Sorry wallet!) I’m soooo interested in that fragrance set😍 and Paulas Choice is the best- whenever I stray to try the latest trend I always end up running back to that line!

3 years ago

I feel like my entire beauty routine fell off a cliff during the shelter in place three last three months 🥴

I normally wear lipstick in public and had a job interview yesterday (literally the first time I’ve been into a building other than my house or the grocery store) and I agonized over what to put on my face but then everyone wore masks throughout the interview so it didn’t really matter after all!

3 years ago

Supergoop Glow Screen is burning my eyes. 🙁 Does this happen to anyone else? I am a long time fan of Paula’s Choice Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 and my eyes never burn but within hours of putting on Glow Screen (and touching my face -bad habit) my eyes are watering, burning, and my vision is blurry. It’s making me sad because it really is pretty……

3 years ago
Reply to  KS

Haven’t tried it, but anything with Avobenzone sets my eyes on FIRE. From the product description:
“Last but definitely not least, Glowscreen is packed with broad spectrum SPF 40, to protect from both UVA and UVB rays. It uses clean chemical sunscreen actives, including avobenzone, octisalate and octocrylene, to provide sun protection.”

3 years ago
Reply to  KS

Maybe try a physical sunscreen instead and see if it’s less irritating!

3 years ago

I’ve doubled down on my Skincare and pretty much gave up makeup: Dr Dennis Gross peel pads, vitamin C serum and Dr Jart Ceramidin cream moisturizer in the AM, tretinoin + rosacea gel (both from my derm) + same moisturizer in the PM. Love tinted La Roche Posay sunscreen for how fast it rubs in and the tiniest bit of coverage. And Coola organic mineral aerosol sunscreen for body (myself and the kiddos). Love reading all these and tempted to try some!

3 years ago

Hi, thanks for the article!
Just wanted to check if I missed something…is the blog now available only through a subscription? Every time I try to visit the blog I’m brought to a page that asks to pay a monthly fee to access the website? Is this going to remain in place for the future? I love your content…but not sure I can afford a monthly fee unfortunately.

3 years ago
Reply to  KM

Hi KM – no, the blog will still be free! They are adding an additional app for a paid service with extra things on it but its obviously totally optional and the blog will stay the same 🙂 I think the pop up is just to help spread the word. Friday’s post tells you all about the new part in better details than I can.