The Best On-Trend Makeup Looks (& Viral Makeup Products) for Summer 2023

This post lists all our favorite summer makeup ideas for this year.

Header graphic for Summer Makeup Ideas 2023 featuring photo of a model wearing white eyelinerHeader graphic for Summer Makeup Ideas 2023 featuring photo of a model wearing white eyeliner
Photo: @bellarmrz on Instagram

Summer is an amazing season for beauty — it’s the perfect time to experiment with a new look and go bold. And summer’s biggest beauty trends and newest makeup releases make it easy for you to glam up or add some subtle oomph to your look.

Below are all of our favorite summer makeup ideas for 2023, including our favorite products we’re obsessing over, with drugstore and high-end picks.

Related reading: The 20 Best Makeup Brands That Need to Be On Your Radar

Table of Contents

Makeup Trends for the 2023 Summer

Let’s kick it off with some of the most popular makeup ideas we’re seeing this summer, inspired by our fave influencers, celebrities, fashion brands, and TikTok viral videos.

The Modern Cat-Eye

my signature cat eye look

my signature cat eye look
Watch this video on YouTube

While cat eye makeup has been around forever, for Summer 2023 it’s all about the “modern cat-eye,” which is a lot easier to illustrate than it is to explain. (See the video above for exactly what I mean!)

The focus of this look is on barely-there eyeliner, done with eyeshadow instead of eyeliner, and often applied under the lashes instead of on top. Then, a light line is applied to the inner corners of the eyes to create a cat-like shape. Finally, false lashes are applied only on the outer corners to finish the feline effect.

Get this look:

Urban Decay naked reloaded paletteUrban Decay naked reloaded palette
Click to Buy at Urban Decay
Eyelure London wispy light 117 lashesEyelure London wispy light 117 lashes
Click to Buy at Ulta

Faux Freckles

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A post shared by Alix Ashley Earle (@alix_earle)

The faux freckles trend is having a major moment this summer thanks to “it girl” Alix Earle and her get ready with me tutorials. Alex loves to apply faux freckles at the end of her makeup looks to create a cute, youthful effect.

The #1 product for this look (and the same one Alix uses) is Freck Beauty’s “The Original Freckle,” available at Sephora. It comes in two shades, light-medium and medium-dark, so you can find one that works for your skin.

Get this look:

Freck beauty Freck XL the original freckleFreck beauty Freck XL the original freckle
Click to Buy at Sephora

Underpainting

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A post shared by Mary Phillips (@maryphillips)

Celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips is famous for doing Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber’s makeup, and one of the techniques she uses is called “underpainting.” This summer makeup idea has been having a major moment thanks to Mary’s viral TikToks on the subject.

The idea behind underpainting is that you apply your cream contour and highlight under your foundation and concealer, not on top. Mary likens it to creating the bone structure that will go underneath your base.

In her tutorials, Mary uses the Westman Atelier Contour Stick in shade “Biscuit,” but TikTok has widely reported that Rare Beauty’s Warm Wishes Bronzer Stick in shade “Bright Side” is a Biscuit dupe for about half the price.

Get this look:

Westman Atelier contour stick in BiscuitWestman Atelier contour stick in Biscuit
Click to Buy at Sephora
Rare Beauty effortless bronzer stick in Bright SideRare Beauty effortless bronzer stick in Bright Side
Click to Buy at Sephora

Dewy Skin Makeup

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A post shared by I AM RAYE (@itsmyrayeraye)

If you’ve been on TikTok at all this year, you know that dewy skin makeup is THE look everyone is trying to achieve. While the look appears effortless, almost like you just have a really incredible skincare routine, it actually takes some work to achieve.

Everyone’s favorite product for getting a dewy skin look is Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter. But thanks to TikTok, we also have a fantastic low-priced dupe for this product — everyone is obsessed with e.l.f.’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter, which is only $14 and gives the same effect!

Get this look:

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless FilterCharlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
Click to Buy at Sephora
e.l.f. Halo Glow liquid filtere.l.f. Halo Glow liquid filter
Click to Buy at e.l.f. Cosmetics

Mermaidcore Makeup

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A post shared by vevina ♡ (@makeupbyvevina)

Thanks to all the hype surrounding the live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, everyone is talking about “mermaidcore” this summer. This, of course, extends to makeup.

A mermaidcore makeup look is all about iridescent shimmer. Think pale pinks, blues, and purples. Pearl details, as seen above, further add to the mermaid vibes, though they’re totally optional.

Get this look:

Make Up for Ever Star Lit Diamond Powder in shade 103 Pink WhiteMake Up for Ever Star Lit Diamond Powder in shade 103 Pink White
Click to Buy at Sephora
Milani Hypnotic Lights Eye TopperMilani Hypnotic Lights Eye Topper
Click to Buy at Milani Cosmetics

White Eyeliner

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A post shared by Bella Ramirez (@bellarmrz)

Here’s another summer makeup idea that we can mostly credit to Alix Earle. The TikTok star is famous for using white eyeliner on her lower water line, and it’s a great look for everyone to try this summer since it’s universally flattering.

Pro tip: If you want a softer look, try a beige pencil instead of a stark white for a more natural feel. Alix herself uses the Tarte Fake Awake eye pencil for this. She also trades off with the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk for the more stark white look.

Get this look:

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in MilkNYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk
Click to Buy at Ulta
Tarte Fake Awake Eye PencilTarte Fake Awake Eye Pencil
Click to Buy at Ulta

Best Summer Makeup Products for 2023

Now that we’ve shared our favorite summer makeup ideas, here are our favorite summer makeup products for 2023!

There’s so much makeup trending right now that it’s hard to keep up with everything.

If you just want to add a few new products to your makeup bag, here’s a quick rundown of all the viral summer makeup products we’re seeing everywhere this summer.

Elta MD Tinted Sunscreen

Elta MD UV Daily Tinted Face SunscreenElta MD UV Daily Tinted Face Sunscreen
Button that reads Buy from Amazon.comButton that reads Buy from Amazon.com

If you’ve watched any TikTok makeup tutorials lately, you know that this Elta MD tinted sunscreen is the “it” sunscreen of the year.

A favorite of celebs like Hailey Bieber, who uses it in all her makeup tutorials, this sunscreen is light and airy and gives a beautiful glow to the skin while offering SPF 40 protection. It’s a perfect product for summer if you want some sun protection while also getting that “no makeup makeup” look.

Personally, I’ve been using this sunscreen for the past few months, and while I love the light texture, I’ve found it’s not quite as tinted as I’d like. (I have a lot of redness that I like to cover.) If you want more coverage with your tinted sunscreen, I highly recommend the La Roche Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ as an alternative. However, if you just want light, glowy coverage, the Elta MD will be perfect for you.

e.l.f. Power Grip Primer

e.l.f. Power Grip primere.l.f. Power Grip primer
Click to Buy at e.l.f. Cosmetics

A good primer is key when you want your makeup to stay on in the summer heat and humidity, and the most popular primer on the market right now is the e.l.f. Power Grip Primer.

Widely considered a “dupe” for the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer, the e.l.f. Power Grip is a hydrating primer that creates a slightly sticky surface on your skin to help your makeup adhere. And at just $10 for a large tube, this is a no-brainer purchase.

I also love that the e.l.f. Power Grip comes in two different formulations. There’s the classic version (above) and a pink version that contains 4% Niacinamide, great for oily and combination skin types. You can’t go wrong with this awesome primer!

e.l.f. Halo Glow

e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filtere.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter
Click to Buy at e.l.f. Cosmetics

Here’s another must-have summer makeup product from e.l.f. Cosmetics!

As mentioned earlier in this post, the dewy makeup look is in, and the e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter is trending like crazy for its glowy, skin-blurring properties. Many people consider it a dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter.

This product is perfect when you want some dewiness to your skin but don’t want full, heavy coverage. Wear it alone or mix it with the Elta MD sunscreen above, and you have the perfect summer skin look for everyday wear.

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in shade BelieveRare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in shade Believe
Click to Buy at Sephora

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past three years, you know about the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. This viral product from Selena Gomez’s beauty line has had us all in a chokehold since its debut, and if you ask us, this is still the best blush on the market.

The Rare Beauty blush is unique because it’s incredibly pigmented, super blendable, and honestly very economical — you get a large amount of concentrated product for only $23.

The shade range on this blush is great as well. It comes in thirteen shades, with both matte and radiant finishes, so you can find the perfect blush for you.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand in Pillow TalkCharlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand in Pillow Talk
Click to Buy at Sephora

If you ask us, you can never be too glowy or bronzed in the summer months, so adding an extra highlighter to your routine is always a good idea.

The most popular highlighter on the market right now is Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Highlighter Wand. A favorite of TikTokers and celebrities alike, this liquid highlighter imparts a beautiful, natural glow to the skin that isn’t glittery, powdery, or fake-looking.

Though this product is expensive at $42 for 0.41 fl oz., it’s absolutely stunning on the skin and lasts all day. If you want to add some extra glow to your summer makeup routine, this is the product to buy.

Benefit 24-Hr Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel

Benefit Cosmetics 24-Hr Brow Setter Clear Brow GelBenefit Cosmetics 24-Hr Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel
Click to Buy at Sephora

Full, brushed-up brows are in for 2023, and the best way to achieve the look (aside from brow lamination) is with a strong-hold brow gel.

The best brow gel on the market right now is the Benefit 24/7 Brow Setter Gel. It’s a strong-hold gel that gives your brows that brushed-up, laminated look and truly does last all day long. (If you’ve used other clear brow gels, you know that this isn’t often the case!)

This is one of our favorite products for no-makeup summer days: Just apply tinted sunscreen, brush up your brows with this, and go! Total clean girl vibes in 2 minutes flat.

NYX Fat Oil Lip Drip Vegan Lip Oil

NYX Fat Oil Lip Drip Vegan Lip Oil in shade SupermodelNYX Fat Oil Lip Drip Vegan Lip Oil in shade Supermodel
Click to Buy at Ulta

It wouldn’t be summer without a fresh, glossy lip look, and there’s no better lip gloss out there right now than the NYX Fat Oil Lip Drip.

This lip gloss is unique because it’s technically a lip oil meant to moisturize and hydrate the lips while adding a glossy finish and a hint of color.

As far as lip oils go, this product has excellent staying power, and as far as glosses go, it isn’t super sticky. It’s a “best of both worlds” type of product, and for just $9, it’s worth stocking up on multiple shades.

Setting Spray

Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting SprayUrban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
Click to Buy at Sephora

Finally, no summer makeup look would be complete without a good setting spray to make everything last all day long.

There are tons of setting sprays on the market right now, but our forever favorite is the Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray. It’s been the best setting spray on the market for years now, and still, no one has come close to matching its effectiveness. If you want your makeup to stay on all day, this is the product you need.

While it is expensive at $36 for 4 oz, in our experience, this spray lasts forever. (We’re talking a year or so.) Plus, it’s far above other sprays in terms of doing what it claims, so the extra money is very well worth it.

What do you think of these summer makeup ideas?

Have you tried any of these products? What’s your go-to summer look? Simply wanna talk makeup? Sound off in the comments!