Beach makeup can look glowy and carefree… or, it can turn into a greasy mess. Our everyday makeup routine just isn’t enough! Celebrity makeup artists share the best tips for beach makeup that won’t melt or smear under the hot sun.
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before your makeup
- Apply a sheer, very liquid foundation
- Mix foundation into your sunscreen
- Spot-apply concealer
- Skip the powder
- Use darker foundation as a bronzer
- Use a tan or peach blush
- Get a brow pencil in a lighter shade
- Use lipliner instead of lipstick
- Use a cream, neutral eyeshadow
Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before your makeup
Don’t rush or skip this step! Apply a generous layer of sunscreen and let it soak in your skin for 20 minutes. If you apply foundation or concealer immediately, it will start smearing once you start to sweat. (Besides, sunscreen always needs at least 20 minutes to take full effect, so you’re also making sure that you’re fully protected from sun damage.)
Apply a sheer, very liquid foundation
Don’t use any heavy, high coverage foundations. Sheer, light and very liquid formulas will stick better to the skin. (Check out some of the best light foundations.) Apply with your fingers, and only where you need it. “Beach makeup – or makeup in any very hot, humid environment – lasts longer if you press it into your skin either with a sponge or your fingers. I prefer using my fingers because the body heat melts the formula even more, so I can really work it into the skin,” says MAC senior makeup artist Caroline Donnelly.
Mix foundation into your sunscreen
If you need high coverage, mix a little bit of foundation into your sunscreen. Instead of wearing two heavy layers of creamy products, you’re using pigmented sun protection.
Liquid concealers don’t stand a chance in very hot conditions. Use a very creamy concealer and apply with a stiff, small concealer brush. Try: Lancome Precision Concealer Brush, Mac 195, or Elf Precision Concealer Brush.
Skip the powder
Any powder products are just going to get cakey. However, it won’t hurt to bring a compact in your beach bag. Then, you can touch up if you decide to leave the water and head straight for drinks or sightseeing. Apply powder only on the T-zone, and use the press and roll method: wrap the sponge around your three middle fingers, then push into the skin as you twist your wrist. You use less product, but you work it into the skin.
Use darker foundation as a bronzer
Get a water-resistant foundation that is a few shades darker than your skin tone. You can use this as a bronzer or for subtle contouring. “There are liquid bronzers, but more brands carry waterproof or sweatproof foundations at affordable prices,” says makeup artist Sam Go. “And if you come home from the beach and realize you’ve gotten a tan, you can mix dark foundation with your regular foundation to adjust its shade to your new skin tone. It gives you more bang for your buck.”
Use a tan or peach blush
The heat will bring out the redness in your cheeks – so you just have to work with it! Use a cream blush that’s peach (if you have fair skin tone) or tan (if you have medium or dark skin tone). Pick from the best cream blushes that give you natural-looking rosy cheeks.
Get a brow pencil in a lighter shade
Overdefined brows just don’t fit the carefree beach makeup vibe. You want your brows to look soft and natural. Fill in the gaps with a brow pencil. “Choose a shade that’s lighter than your brow colour. It gives such pretty, natural definition – like your brows are perfect, but you didn’t try too hard,” laughs Gucci Westman, who does the makeup of Cameron Diaz. To make the colour last, set it with a clear brow gel or even clear mascara.
Use lipliner instead of lipstick
Lipliner gives an intense, highly pigmented color – but since it doesn’t have any oils, it’s less likely to smudge off in hot weather. Just exfoliate your lips, apply a waxy lipbalm, blot off with tissue, and colour in your lips.
Use a cream, neutral eyeshadow
This evens out discoloration and brightens up the eye area. Pick one that’s close to your skin tone, either in matte or with very subtle shimmer. Apply eye primer and then just sweep the cream eyeshadow all over your lid. “I think beach makeup should be both natural and easy to do. You’re on vacation – you should be having fun, not fussing in front of the hotel mirror,” says Sam Go.