As a beauty expert I test sunscreen for a living and these 3 formulas are my go-tos this summer

Ultra Violette just reformulated its best-seller

Three bottles of Ultra Violette Queen Screen lined up
(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

As a beauty editor, I'm a sunscreen lover, but it wasn't always that way. Thanks to my rosacea, I've worn sunscreen every day for about six years. Before then, it was more something I reserved for holidays only. This was, in part, because I didn't realise just how much damage the sun could inflict and partly due to a lack of chic and enjoyable-to-use SPF formulas. There were more options out there but I still didn't have anything in my stash I could honestly say I looked forward to using in my daily routine.

Fast forward to today and the most full-to-the-brim area in my beauty cupboards are my three sunscreen baskets. It's one of the products I test the most in my job and so I'd like to think I know an excellent formula when I try one.

Enter: Ultra Violette's Queen Screen Luminising Skinscreen. The product was one of the first launched by the brand in 2019 but recently went through a revamp to include more skincare benefits. I tried out the new and improved formula, plus its sister products in the Queen Screen range.

Ultra Violette's Queen Screen Luminising Skinscreen review

Ultra Violette's Queen Screen SPF50+ Luminising Sunscreen

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Let's first talk about the star player, the reformulated Queen Screen Luminising Skinscreen. Starting with the bottle. Ultra Violette has totally nailed the packaging; it's fun, vibrant, easy to use and looks great alongside my other morning skincare and make-up products. The formula is lightweight and easy to blend across the face. Because of this thinner consistency, I find it takes a bit of work to fully absorb into my skin. I like to get my full amount on my face, taking extra care applying to my cheeks (where my rosacea and hyperpigmentation are most prominent).

It claims to be non-greasy, which I do agree with, but if you're on the oilier side, you might not love it. Because of that dewy, illuminating finish, it has the potential to look too dewy and I fear some might not apply enough product (giving full protection) because of that. The radiance that the formula delivers is impressive and replaces any illuminating primer I generally reach for when using other sunscreens. Since it has a slight shimmer, it's not a sunscreen I've found myself using when I have no make-up days, especially when heading to the gym where I want my skin to be a little more on the matte side. I know I'm going to adore using this throughout the summer though when I want that ultra-dewy finish.

The reformulation includes more skincare ingredients; specifically vitamin C, pink algae and Kakadu Plum for brightening, vitamins E and F for antioxidant protection and vitamin B5 and glycerin for hydration. It has a strong rose scent, which you'll love or hate. I personally love a rose perfume and don't find the fragrance negatively impacts my rosacea—a win.

Finally—and most importantly—it's SPF50+ with UVA and UVB protection, all are elements I look for in a sunscreen. Rarely do I use sunscreen below an SPF50 now so I'm always glad when new launches or reformulated products are a high factor.

It's definitely on the higher price range of sunscreens out there so if you can't commit to buying and using this daily but still want to treat yourself, I'd recommend using it on the days when you're going to be out and about and want to enhance your make-up whilst still protecting your skin.

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Super Glow Drops Bronzing review

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Super Glow Drops Bronzing

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

As someone who regularly uses an SPF and a bronzer, I was really excited to see how these worked together—and I wasn't disappointed.

The idea is that you either add these to your SPF - either the Luminising Skinscreen or whichever SPF moisturiser you're currently using - or after you've applied your sun protection and use these on top to add warmth.

Typically, I find bronzing drops in general to be a let down. I find that they don't work particularly well with other sunscreens, don't blend well and get all over my clothes. These, on the other hand, work beautifully with the Luminising Skinscreen and give a beautiful bronze that I crave on my pale, red-toned skin. I've seen them get criticism for not being bronzing enough, but I think this is what makes them great. Too much bronze and it becomes difficult to work with and tone down, but you can always dial up the bronze by adding more to your skin.

However, I'm not sure the bronzing drops would work for every skin tone; leaning a little orange-toned on pale complexions and not deep enough for dark complexions.

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Super Glow Drops Illuminating review

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Super Glow Drops Illuminating

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

The illuminating drops are your best glowing companion for the summer. They can be used instead of a regular SPF (just make sure you're using enough of it), mixed in with your Queen Screen Skinscreen, or over the top of your regular SPF as a highlight. The latter is what I've loved doing with these since my hyperpigmentation is most severe on the high points of my cheeks. With this, I'm both protecting and adding that extra shimmer.

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.