Beach Week: How to Rock Brightly Colored Makeup, Even In the Thick of Summer

Courtesy of Mariah Leonard
Mariah Leonard

Summer is the perfect season to break away from your usual makeup routine and branch out into those daring, fun colors, but oftentimes, taking that first step onto the color wheel can be a bit tricky--especially when we're dealing with 80 percent humidity and 90-degree heat. Since it's Billboard Style Beach Week, we asked YouTuber/Beauty Influencer Mariah Leonard, who works with Michelle Phan as one of her "EM Cosmetics muses" and is known for her creative editorial-but-wearable looks, to lend a cooling hand. 

For Setting:

"When I’m wearing bright colors in the summer, I tend to lean more editorial and ‘smudgy-on-purpose’ rather than polished and made up," Leonard says. "L.A. heat is intense, and I don’t like to worry about keeping my makeup perfect when it’ll get a bit hazy throughout the day. However, I do lock my face down with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, always. It keeps the situation from going hazy to melty."

For the Eyes:

"I’ll either use a colored mascara like Maybelline’s Great Lash in Royal Blue, which is an easy way to incorporate color without really having to worry about sweating it off," she says. "Or, I’ll go in with a cream shadow stick. I have a ton of favorites, but the one I’m using most often right now is the Nudestix Magnetic Matte Eye Color in the shade Terra. It’s that perfect sand dune brown that compliments every other color, and it pairs amazingly with neons or primary hues. It also doesn’t crease or smudge and is pretty sweat-proof."

For the Cheeks:

"I’ve been really into illuminating bronzers and blushes, but tend to do one or the other," Leonard says. "I really like the Glossier Cloud Paints, they do not smudge, dry down completely, and give off a really glossy glow. [I’m also really loving] MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Give Me Sun! It is such a great illuminating bronzer because the highlight it gives is really subtle, but can be amped up with a little setting spray if needed. There are a lot of bronzy colors in that line, so there’s something for everyone."

For the Lips:

"I always go for something light on the lips, like EM Cosmetics' "Rose Nude" Infinite Lip Cloud, but when I'm doing something brighter, I'll still stick with a featherweight formulation. BITE Beauty has these new neon lipsticks that are so comfortable and light, but super pigmented. Neon Pink and Neon Orange are my two most-reached for shades. When I do a neon lip, I tend to just slap on some bronzer, mascara the top lashes, and then let the lip be the focal point. It’s the perfect effortless summer look!"