No one wants to be that girl on the beach with an obvious face full of makeup on. It can look tacky and like you are trying way too hard. But that doesn't mean you have to go bare-faced--the trick to rocking makeup and your bikini without looking like a reality show ho is to know what you need to wear and what you can do without. Read on for tips on how to be a natural beach beauty.
Of all the makeup you wear, mascara is the one that's the least noticeable, but that makes the most difference to your overall appearance. Just make sure whichever mascara you choose is waterproof: You don't want to emerge from the surf looking like a drowned raccoon. Urban Decay's Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara boasts a lightweight, gel-like formula that lengthens your lashes and makes them totally H20-proof.
While you shouldn't strut down the boardwalk with Taylor Momsen-levels of black liner on your eyes, you can get away with wearing eyeliner, providing you keep it playful and flirty. We love these waterproof, sparkle (yes, you heard right, sparkle) liquid liners--they're part of the Stila Loves Roxy line and come in fun colors like electric blue, bright purple and tropical green. Roxy's Pro Team of surfer girls tested them to make sure they could stand up to the sea, and boy do they--these babies won't budge, no matter how rough the waves get.
Foundation is a definite no-no at the beach--it can't stand up to the heat and will end up melting off, caking up and looking really fake. It's best to skip out on face makeup completely, but if you must have coverage, opt for a lightweight tinted moisturizer. This new one from Bobbi Brown features SPF 15 and an oil-free finish, meaning it will stay in place and won't make your skin feel greasy.
As long as you keep it subtle, there's no reason not to wear eyeshadow at the beach. Look for sheer, creamy textures--they'll blend better than powders, have better staying power and won't look so harsh in the bright sunlight. Bare Escentuals Prime Time Primer Shadows combine a long-wearing, waterproof primer with a creamy metallic shadow. Our fave: Sundance, a golden peach that looks stunning with sun-kissed skin.
When choosing a beach-appropriate lip color, remember that it's all about texture: Matte finishes will look too heavy and will dry out your lips, while glosses can be sticky and goopy. A tinted balm is your best bet--it will hydrate your pout and won't end up looking flaky at day's end. Jemma Kidd's Hi-Shine Hydrating Gloss-Stick gives lips a sheer wash of color and has SPF 15 to protect, plus a nourishing formula to keep lips supple.
Defined brows are hard to pull off as it is, and at the beach they end up looking way too severe and out of place. Put down the brow pencil and pick up this clear gel by Tweezerman instead--it tames and smooths flyaway brows without making you look like Cruella De Vil on vacation.
A touch of blush warms up your face and gives you a natural, healthy glow. Once again, powders are the enemy on the beach, so opt for a cream version like this one from Make Up For Ever. We love its waterproof formula, velvety texture and dazzling array of multipurpose colors--there's one to suit every skin tone!
When it comes to nail polish, the brighter the better. So go ahead, match your manicure to your bikini, or try out that cool new neon orange shade. Just make sure to swipe a coat of Orly's Sunscreen For Nails on your digits before you go out--it will protect your nail color from UV rays, ensuring it stays bright and glossy, not dull, yellowed and faded.