We’re celebrating summer beauty from right here in the land of Stars and Stripes. Whether you’re a drugstore fiend or a bespoke beauty lover, we’ve got a homemade pick for you. Plus, we declare shopping from this list guilt-free since you’re doing your important part to support our local economy.
Founded in Los Angeles in 1931, Merle Nethercutt Norman was one of the first American entrepreneurs to start her own beauty line and help other women begin their own businesses by selling her cosmetics. We’re loving the vintage red Americana lipstick that features a plush hydrating formula to diminish fine lines, and the saturated cobalt blue eyeshadow with pearlized powder pigment that you can use as eyeliner or all-over shadow for show-stopping eyes.
These American beauty institutions make charitable initiatives and care for the environment top priorities year-round. For refreshing soap-free cleansing that doesn’t dry out skin this summer, try Kiehl’s calendula face wash to gently cleanse your complexion with herbal extracts in a creamy glycerin-enriched gel formula. And for body, check out Aveda’s sulfate-free wash that features an impressive 25 different pure flower and plant essences that bathe your body in nutrients. The babassu nut-based formula also helps reinforce the skin barrier and the iconic Shampure scent is to die for.
In the land of many dermatology brands, two US-based lines are among the most results-oriented. New York dermatologist and brand founder Dennis Gross is well known for his alpha beta peels, and has now created these radiance, hydration and purifying boosters to drop into your serum or foundation for glowing skin. Since the formulas are water-free, their active ingredients play well with other products. Meanwhile, top in-office brand Exuviance is increasing radiance with an impressively stable vitamin C powder that you shake into serum or moisturizer right before use to preserve its integrity for visibly brighter and younger-looking skin.
Eco-friendly fans will appreciate the clean, botanical-based formulas of these beauty brands. Tata Harper’s swivel lip treatment infuses your pout with super antioxidants like rhubarb, açai, green tea and date palm. Wheat extract deeply conditions while soft pigments imbue lips with a universally flattering rose tint. And for your skin, Juara’s popular anti-aging serum uses powerful ancient anti-inflammatories like turmeric and clove along with red algae extract and super goji berry fruit to encourage healthier and faster cell turnover for a more radiant complexion.
5Top Target Picks:
Your local “Tarjay” offers two awesome homegrown options. A San-Francisco-based brand, Yes To has most recently added deeply hydrating coconut to its legendary franchise of fruit and veggie-based body care lines like cucumber and grapefruit. (We can’t get enough of those wipes!) Or try Bodycology’s Moroccan Sunset Collection. It may be inspired by the delicious passionfruit and fragrant hibiscus flowers of faraway lands, but the blends are made in the good ol’ USA at budget-friendly prices that are almost hard to believe.
6Friday Night Beauty:
If home shopping is more your speed, turn to two of QVC’s best-selling American beauty brands that we often spot on the network’s weekly beauty show. Master of the “clean” fragrance category, Philosophy just launched Fresh Cream, which scents skin with a light, sweet accord that is never cloying. And known for her argan oil-based blends, model Josie Maran infuses the super ingredient into a mini chubby stick that nourishes lips and cheeks with a flattering flush of peachy color that’s perfect for the steamy days ahead.
Make someone smile with one of these sweet surprises made in the USA by hand. Our vote for cutest lip balm goes to Soap And Paper Factory’s adorable tins of carefully poured essential oil butters that hide a little mirror to peep into—all for under $10 a pop. Or if you’re feeling more generous, Brooklyn-based Meow Meow Tweet’s Summer Saviors kit includes tangerine basil and poppy seed soap, salt scrub, geranium basil toning mist for face and body and tea tree deodorant. Made from only whole, natural ingredients in small batches, we may just have to gift this one to ourselves.
We’re salivating over Demeter’s slightly nutty, cool and creamy Pistachio Ice Cream scent that captures the carefree spirit of the July 4th holiday. Like the rest of the New York-based fragrance line, it’s just one note, which means truer wear on skin. On the luxury end, indie niche brand Strange Invisible Perfumes creates 100 percent botanical and hydrodistilled blends with certified organic and biodynamic essences in Venice Beach, California. Their best-selling Aquarian Rose is a super light and crisp rendition of the flower.
A nostalgic teen favorite, Clearasil was invented in the U.S. in 1940 with the help of a chemist. It was the first brand formulated to fight pimples in young skin with sulfur as the original ingredient. Today, 2 percent salicylic acid is the active zit blaster, and the newest oil-free facial wash promises fast results. In the same skincare aisle, you’ll find Burt’s Bees, which was born in Maine in the 80s when a beekeeper and local artist teamed up to make candles and lip balm. The now iconic beeswax balm can be found in a fresh coconut and pear flavor this summer.
10Spa Skin Savers:
You’ll find these pampering yet effective brands at leading spas across the country. Created by dermatologists, Somme Institute products contain a proprietary vitamin and protein delivery system that targets and treats sun aging. Summer-weary skin will appreciate the gentle warming pumpkin mask that purifies and nourishes with kaolin clay, enzyme and minerals. And created by a facialist in 1991, Bioelements works closely with estheticians and chemists to develop products for the complexion obsessed. Brighten up with their newest antioxidant moisturizer that treats and prevents signs of sun aging with green tea and vitamin B5 while making skin more radiant.
Next time you’re at the salon, look for these newer American brands to bring professional results back home with you. If you’re a curly girl in need of some serious 4th of July humidity control, ColorProof’s TruCurl Anti-Frizz oil insulates and nurtures strands with a shiny, full-spectrum color and heat protective finish for smooth and defined curls. Or if chlorinated pool time and days spent in the sun and salt water have wrecked havoc on your hair, try Color Wow’s polishing balm that seals hydration into the cuticle with added mica for shimmer and shine. Bonus: Your hue will look livelier and brighter, too. There’s a reason they call this stuff shellac.
12For The Boys:
Even the manliest can feel confident keeping these two new picks on the bathroom sink. Juniper Ridge really ups the ante with its wildcrafted Trail Crew Soap, which is formulated with pure plant sap, pine resin and organic saponified oils of coconut, olive and jojoba. They all combine to smell so much like a fresh morning hike in the Oregon backcountry, it’s startling. Just don’t forget your sun protection while you’re out—Billy Jealousy adds radiance-boosting antioxidant extracts to its SPF 30 lotion that is so lightweight and easy to apply, you’ll no doubt take a swipe when he isn’t looking.