Why is it almost every article I read on how to get glowing summer skin leaves me feeling naked and vulnerable? Don’t apply powder, forgo foundation and just brush on a little bronzer, a quick coat of mascara and a nude gloss are all you need, or so they say.

I don’t know about you, but if looking fabulous with next to nothing were that simple, then why do I require a complete arsenal of makeup with a back up kit just in case I lose a loose powder or my mascara suddenly clumps? Which, if you do need to extend the life of your mascara, just add a drop or two of water to the wand. Swish, shake and apply. It will be like new for a few more weeks. But I digress…

In sticking with the less is more theme, especially in temperatures hot enough to melt an eyeliner application right off, here are a few tips to get the healthy summer skin glow without going bare:

Moisturizer: A good foundation before applying foundation is key. I love BioGel from Neocutis since it offers extreme hydration with no oily or greasy residue.

Tinted sunscreen: Some of the lucky few get to stop at here. LaRoche-Posay’s Anthelios SPF 50 sunscreen offers the protection and coverage you need. It’s a little pricey at roughly $35, but well worth the investment as it offers full spectrum sun protection and evens out skin tone.

Brush on base: If you’re like me and need more than a tinted sunscreen, then meet my new best friend: Visible Lift by L’Oreal. This liquid foundation comes with a built in brush for application and contains SPF 17. The brush applicator gives your skin a soft dewey look and your hands don’t get dirty in the process. The fact that it contains SPF 17 doesn’t mean you can skip sunscreen application. Makeup containing sunscreen is usually too minimal to give adequate protection. Afraid of picking the wrong shade? Just bring your current color with you and pick the best match. When in doubt, jump a shade up since you’re likely to be getting a little tan over the next couple of months.

Bronze and blush: The two are almost interchangeable, but best when used together. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Custom Glow duo is fabulous for giving skin a sun kissed glow. The bronzer can be dusted across eyelids for a natural shimmer of color without making them look too “done”.

Eyes: Waterproof mascara is imperative for those of us who perspire or tear up easily. Lancôme Definicils Waterproof Mascara is a bit of a splurge, but well worth it. My second choice is L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara. Both require some effort to remove, so keep a good silicone-based remover on hand, or rub in a dab of petroleum jelly and wipe off gently with a cotton ball before bedtime. If you need an eyeliner, try Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. It lives up to its name and can by worn minimally or dramatically dressed up for evening.

Lips: Lip stains are all the rage for a reason. They are simple and give a more natural touch of color that lasts. I carry Stainiac by The Balm because the tint can be applied to lips and cheeks. Just swipe on and blot in with your ring finger. I like to apply a bit of gloss to give it an added shine and the color lasts for hours.

Summer skin, like any other time of year, should be kept as simple as possible. A few well chosen basics like the ones I’ve selected should be all you need to put your best face forward. And don’t forget to smile!

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