Costa Brazil $198
Your guide to a simpler beauty routine that’ll have you looking effortlessly-cool and leave you with more time to enjoy the season.
Written by ARDEN FANNING ANDREWS
Photography by GUY AROCH
Creative Direction by VICEN AKINA
Makeup by LAURE DANSOU
Hair by HOLLY MILLS
Styling by COCO CASSIBBA
Edited ByLENA RAFF
Nails by HOLLY FALCONE
Low-key beauty has officially arrived on the scene. A long time coming, we at VIOLET GREY are thrilled to see the fresh-faced natural beauty emerge as this summer’s lead character while we allow special-FX-level YouTube tutorials and reality TV contouring take a well-earned break and give us more time to soak up the sun (safely, and with appropriate SPF coverage, of course) and embrace new looks with fewer steps. And listen, we’ll never knock a full face, but consider this an invitation to make room for a less-is-more approach when the mood strikes.
The sense of ease in high-temp dressing (floaty, one-piece linens and silks, for example) can be channeled into making the simple choice, like skipping appointments to luxuriate at home—or in a hotel suite. Time that would have been spent in the salon waiting for a blowout can be more enjoyably spent bopping around the bathroom in a bathing suit, Tangle Teezer in hand, personal playlist blasting. There’s no need to kill hours scrolling on your phone in a pedicure chair when an effortlessly-cool stunner is sauntering around barefoot with a self-applied, crystal-clear coat of strengthening Nailberry’s Bare Essentials polish (perhaps trailing the notes of pink pepper and patchouli in Costa Brazil’s Aroma eau de parfum with every step).
PUT IT IN THE BAG
Macrene Actives $165
Ami Colé $22
The good life leaves room to roam, and enjoying it doesn’t necessarily require hours of prep. As we demonstrate here, you can achieve an easy, free-spirited summer look that is still polished and glamorous, in way less time and with way fewer products than you might be used to. Instead of toting that giant eyeshadow palette around on vacation, grab a shade or two of Jillian Dempsey’s Lid Tint for a sheer dab-and-go eye look, and pair it with a hydrating wash of color like Chantecaille’s Lip Tint Hydrating Balm. For hair, achieve that second-day cool, with the R+Co’s Velvet Curtain Cotton Texture Balm and let these sheer, easy textures take you from bare to barely-there glam in mere minutes, leaving you free to enjoy the season however you please.
Below, find our suggestions for the actual opposite of try-hard beauty–a dozen VIOLET CODE APPROVED reasons to chill.
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The benefits of Act + Acre’s hair cleanse are numerous–bouncy hair, scalp-stimulated growth, antioxidant-powered protection–but there is also something showstopping about the scent. From the shine-boosting amaranth oil, to the moisturizing ylang ylang and strengthening vetiver, every powerful ingredient treats and provides an olfactory note that creates a spa moment in your shower.
Created in collaboration with cool girl stylist-to-the-stars, Jenny Cho, a dab of this cotton-flower-infused, multi-use formula plumps, separates, and seals hair. Used as a dry styler, expect the lived-in texture and better hold of second-day hair without the wait.
This summer-friendly, weightless formula that keeps pores clear and unwanted shine at bay boasts staggering clinical results: hyperpigmentation faded by 55%, lines reduced by 45%, and hydration shot up a cool 213%. Plus, you can use it alone (except for SPF!) for ultimate ease.
A clean treatment/makeup hybrid, this true one-and-done product is packed with over 50 clinically-tested, plant-derived active ingredients that perfect skin with derm-approved results. This, plus beautiful, natural-looking, buildable coverage in six shades that adjust to match your skin tone make this product a minimalist’s dream.
A universally-flattering balm that was specifically designed to enhance melanin-rich skin, this highlighter stick reads more like a subtle golden glaze than glitter. Try it on a bare face when you can’t be bothered, or as a last step on the high points of your face after applying makeup to conjure a born-with-it glow.
When the idea of lining, defining, coating, and glossing sounds like too much, Chantecaille’s single-step balm feels heaven-sent. Cherry fruit extract delivers a natural-but-better flush that looks like you just finished enjoying a popsicle, while rose oil provides craveable moisture.
Makeup artist, Jillian Dempsey, made her organic, sheer, glossy Lid Tints “mistake-proof” so you can dab on and go for an easy and polished look. The shade “Dew” offers a completely colorless sheen, while a gently pigmented shade like Shell delivers a soft wash of color.
A light, refreshing strawberry scent and silky gel texture make Indie Lee’s best-selling all-natural cleanser a no-brainer for washing the day away in one simple step. Pro tip: Leave it on for a bit longer to experience its exfoliating mask effects–the nourishing recipe won’t strip skin.
Nailberry’s clear coat can be applied before and after color as a top or base while also acting as a nail-enhancing strengthening treatment when worn alone. Breathable and water-permeable, the 12-free formula is a healthier high-shine option.