Editor-Approved: Victoria Kirby’s Summer Beauty Swears

You could say Victoria Kirby has been recommending beauty products practically since birth. As a little girl growing up outside of Philadelphia, her mom would take her along on trips to the department store, and when picking out makeup, she relied on Victoria’s advice. “She’d try on a few lipstick shades, then ask me which one was the prettiest,” Victoria recalls. “This began when I was about six or seven, so at first she just did it to engage me—but years later, she told me, ‘Even back then, you always picked the color that looked best on me. You just had a knack for it.’” Victoria channeled that knack into a career working as a beauty editor at magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, and Redbook, where she learned to dig deep into formulation, ingredients, and technology to analyze a product’s performance. Now a freelance beauty brand consultant and writer, Victoria has tested thousands of products over the years, and says the ones that rise to the top all have one thing in common: “They make your life easier in some way, whether it’s by saving you time, money, or delivering a benefit you couldn’t get before from a single product,” she says. “That, and they’re fun to use! I don’t care if Einstein himself came up with the science behind a formula—if you don’t enjoy using the product, then it’s missed the mark.” Here, Victoria shares her hot-weather beauty must-haves that deliver the goods.

Bare Republic Mineral Mousse SPF 30

I love mousse sunscreens—their light, fluffy texture is so easy to spread on your skin and they’re not at all greasy—and Bare Republic is the only 100% mineral mousse sunscreen I’ve come across, meaning it uses only natural minerals—titanium dioxide and zinc oxide—for SPF protection, and no chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens are by nature a little thicker so you have to really rub this in, but it dries to a nice, matte finish with the prettiest subtle coconut-vanilla scent.

Rita Hazan Lock + Block Protective Spray

I’m fanatical about head to toe sun protection, and that includes my hair. Not only can UV rays ruin color, but studies show they damage the proteins in hair, making it dry and brittle. So I mist this lightweight aerosol spray by Rita Hazan (she’s Beyoncé’s colorist—and mine!) all over my hair before I set foot at the beach or pool. It shields against UV rays and humidity and is so lightweight that I can reapply it all day long (it works on wet hair, too) and it never makes my hair greasy or weighed down. It also smells amazing!

Maison Margiela 'Replica' Beach Walk

I actually get a little mood boost every time I spray on this scent, which smells exactly like a sun-drenched afternoon on a Mediterranean beach. Some beachy fragrances are overly sweet, but this one tapers coconut with crisp notes like lemon and bergamot, so it’s subtle. It also has a bit of pink pepper which gives it a slightly sexy edge. I keep the rollerball version stashed in my travel bag so I can dab this on during weekend beach getaways, and now I associate the smell with all my happiest summer memories.

Kiehl's Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil

Everyone thinks J.Lo invented the sheen-y body skin look, but Cindy Crawford deserves all the credit, because I learned about it from her back in high school while watching MTV’s House Of Style. In one episode, she rubs baby oil on her arms and shins to show how it reflects light to make your muscles appear toned. Ever since then, I’ve been copying Cindy’s move whenever my outfit shows a little skin. This Kiehl’s dry body oil mist does the trick beautifully and absorbs fast so there’s no greasy residue. I also love that it’s free of mineral oil and is loaded with antioxidants like grapeseed oil—plus, it leaves my skin smelling like heavenly vanilla almond.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer UV

Finding a great all-in-one daily moisturizer with SPF is tricky because my skin is easily irritated. I use this La Roche-Posay oil-free formula year round, but I really appreciate it in the summer because it’s moisturizing but not heavy. It also contains prebiotic-enriched thermal water that helps support your skin’s microbiome, which is its natural balance of bacteria. A well-balanced microbiome is key to healthy skin, because when the microbiome is off kilter, skin is more vulnerable to a whole host of problems including irritation, rosacea, and acne. Now that I’ve been using this moisturizer for a year, I’ve definitely noticed that my sensitive skin is calmer and less prone to redness.

Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Illuminating Face Primer

“Primer has evolved from foundation’s little helper to a standalone complexion perfector. On hot, sticky days when I can’t deal with wearing makeup, this oil-free primer is my makeup. I blend a pea-size drop all over my skin and it’s like FaceTune in a bottle: it smooths and evens out my complexion, and the subtle pearl-pink tint counteracts any sallowness so my skin looks a little brighter. If I apply makeup over it, the primer helps my tinted moisturizer and concealer go on even and last throughout even the worst humidity.”

Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops

I always tell women that if you’re going to spend money on one area of your skincare regimen, invest in a great antioxidant serum—the pricier ones tend to have higher concentrations of top-notch antioxidants, so they’re worth the cost. Next to sunscreen, it’s your best daily defense against UV and other environmental aggressors that contribute to skin aging. And it’s crucial in the summertime when we’re all spending a lot more time outdoors. This antioxidant serum by the incredible Dr. Barbara Sturm contains a superb blend of antioxidants that protect skin against airborne heavy metals and other pollutants that trigger inflammation. It’s also so lightweight, it’s like water—and it doesn’t irritate my ultra-sensitive skin.

NARS Liquid Blush in Torrid

The beauty of summer is getting away with as little makeup as possible, and this blush mimics that just-off-the-beach flush that makes my entire complexion look healthier. It’s ultra pigmented, so a pinhead-size drop on each cheek is plenty—which means the bottle lasts forever. I dab a drop on the top of each cheekbone, then rub it in with my fingers and blend away any edges with a makeup sponge. And the color seriously lasts all day and night, even when it’s scorching outside.

We think you deserve to buy only awesome things. We've asked the most discerning women out there to share what they honestly, truly swear by so you can get on with life and find your next favorite product, faster (and without all the sponsored BS).