Summer is all about easy makeup and undone hair, but vamping it up for night is still important. Fashion-world darling Mary Kate Olsen is the queen of Boho-Beachy Chic. I’ve searched through the MK beauty archives from the past few years and assembled some of her best summer makeup looks here; let’s discuss how to recreate them at home.
Smoky eyes & messy tresses:
This is a great look for date night, especially following a beach day. First things first: apply a light and airy tinted moisturizer all over your face, doubling up under the eyes for a dewy glow everywhere. I like E.L.F. tinted moisturizer with SPF, eyeslipsface.com, $1.
To achieve these bold, smoky eyes, line top and bottom lids first with an iridescent charcoal liner like Stila smudge stick waterproof liner in silver dollar (sephora.com, ON SALE from $22 for $5). Follow this base with a heavy-handed line of black liquid (try Smashbox liquid liner pen, beauty.com, $20) on top and bottom. For best results, I suggest false strip lashes like MAC’s Natural Length lashes (maccosmetics.com, $14), but if you prefer to go au natural, three coats of Maybelline Volum Express mascara in Very Black (beauty.com, $6.79) will do the trick. To achieve MK’s creamy beige lip, try a rich gloss like Estee Lauder’s High Gloss in Honey (esteelauder.com, $16).
For the hair, just take your beach-worn, sun-soaked tresses and enhance their natural look. A quick spritz of Sedu Beach Body spray (sedu.com, ON SALE from $18 for $9.99) will give you the added texture you need. Then, assemble the front half of your hair into a classic Alice-in-Wonderland, teasing out strands with the end of your comb for a perfectly messed up look.
Glowing eyes and soft, wavy locks could not be sexier. Start with loose copper shadow applied softly to lids (try Kat Von D true romance loose shadow in Rapture, exclusively at sephora.com, 16). Follow by using a finer brush to apply the same shadow thinly along the lower lash line. A dab of dark (even black) shadow like CoverGirl’s Eye Enhancers in shimmering onyx (drugstore.com, $3.19) in the outside creases will intensify the look for night. Follow with a heavy line of black (Revlon ColorStay eye liner, amazon.com, $8) to top lid and light line along the bottom lid, two coats of your Volum Express mascara, and you’re done. Try a nearly-nude pink gloss on your lips, like Lancome Color Fever gloss in Frosted Petal, lancome.com, $26. Try a dab of cream blusher on your cheeks and you’re good to go! I like Nars’ cream blush in Enchanted, narscosmetics.com, $26.
The hair could not be easier. Part your clean or day-old hair down the center. If you have natural waves, all you need is a quick spritz of Neil George perfect hold hairspray (neilgeorgesalon.com, $22). Straight hair can be easily adjusted to fit this style. First, wet it down with an all-over spritz of water from a spray bottle. Once damp, separate small sections and work into loose braids (about five braids per side). Set your blow dryer on its lowest setting and hold at arm’s length from the hair, softly drying it while plaited. Once it’s nearly dry, mist quickly with your hair spray, set style with one more blast from your dryer, then undo braids. Softly unravel with finger tips and allow your sweet waves to flow as they might!
I love this fresh, fun approach to summer beauty, and you can achieve it no matter what your skintone and hair type/length. The makeup is minimal and requires nothing more than a quick coat of foundation one shade darker than your natural color. Blend in along neck and hairline by mixing some light face cream in. You can get fancy with this by creating a 50-50 ration of cream and color in the cap of your moisturizer, stirring until even and then applying with a makeup brush. Or, if you’re an on-the-go girl, just mix the two directly on your cheeks until they look flawless. A solid duo: Clinique Even Better makeup ($24.50) and Youth Surge moisturizer ($49.50), clinique.com for both. No need for anything on your eyes except for your Revlon ColorStay black liner on top and bottom and a coat of Volum Express. Leave lips bare or try a hint of subtle gloss like MAC tinted lipglass in C-Thru, maccosmetics.com, $14.50. Add a hint of illuminating liquid on the apples of cheeks and just below the outside corner of your brows. I love Soleil Tan de Chanel sheer illuminating fluid in Sunkissed, chanel.com, $48.
Your braided crown is going to take some work, but don’t be discouraged! Whatever your natural texture, part down the middle and pull a few thin chunks from the front away from the rest of your hair. Then divide the rest of your hair into two sections, one on either side. Starting at the nape of your neck, create a loose braid on one side, pulling hair up instead of down as you go. Wrap braid on top of your head and place it where a headband would go. Cement with bobby pins. Repeat on the other side, laying second braid directly next to first braid. Pin everything again. Tug gently to pull out a few tendrils. Spray all over with your hairspray of choice. Step out into the world and don’t be surprised when everyone compliments your cool ‘do!
This is Old Hollywood all the way, and it’s a great transitionary look that will take you from late summer into early fall. Keep the makeup minimal on your face–no need for blush or bronzer. But remember, red lips can emphasize redness elsewhere on the face; if you have any blemishes, cover them up thoroughly with a heavy-duty concealer like Paula Dorf’s Magic Stick (beauty.com, $22). For the eyes, you can use your Kat von D copper shadow, but smear on some extra near your tear ducts to make the eye area appear larger. Follow with a quick smudge of charcoal shadow (Sephora Collection colorful mono shadow in Hit the Road, sephora.com, ON SALE from $12 for $3). A quick sweep of mascara will finish off your eyes.
Red lips are a little tricky. You need to make sure you’re starting with a moisturized pout so as not to allow for caking. I recommend exfoliating your lips by simply wetting your toothbrush and giving them a gentle scrub before applying any color. You can achieve a punchy red lip a few different ways, but my favorite for summer is a sheer, gloss-like stick to keep from appearing too heavy. Feel free to try a few different shades before you select yours–corals, blue-reds, cherry-reds–they’re all in style. I am a die-hard Chanel girl when it comes to red lips. Their Rouge Allure sticks are delightfully light, but hold their color stronger than any gloss will. My favorite is is Coquette, a classic, flirty red that works for every girl. Have fun playing at the Chanel counter, though. At $32, these sticks are a splurge, but well worth the investment. Chanel.com.
The hair is somewhat involved but with a little patience, you’ll get there. People say that dirty hair is easier to style, but I find that nothing beats a shiny curl. I suggest washing hair and allowing it to air dry without any additional product. Then, create a deep side part to allow some hair to cover your eye. If you have long bangs, leave them alone and let them fall as they might. If not, you can create a faux bang look with this across-the-forehead sweep and tuck it behind opposite hair to get it to stay on that side. Now for the curls! Lovely wringlets like these are easier to create than you might suspect. Try a clipless curling iron (Jose Eber’s gets my vote and it comes in a ton of cute patterns and colors, josecurl.com, $250) to eliminate dents. Working from the back to front, select small sections, hold curling iron upside down, wrap hair around shaft and hold for four or five seconds. Spritz each curl with a hardcore hairspray like ULTA ultimate hold hairpray, ulta.com, $8.99. Once you’ve created your luxe curls, flip your head upside down and spray underneath. You’re ready to go! And if the curls fall, keep smiling. After all, the best beauty is real beauty.
Remember MK’s beauty rules:
Trying too hard is never the best move, always choose hair and makeup that feels comfortable and pretty to you, regardless of season. And most importantly, have fun!