How to Wear Beach Makeup

Channel your inner beach goddess by learning how to wear beach makeup with tips from Gucci Westman, a New York City-based celebrity makeup artist and the former global artistic director for Revlon, and her clients include Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz (just to name a few). Westman shares her insights on how to keep your beach makeup light, bright, and bronze.

How to Wear Beach Makeup

Never Forget Your Sunscreen

Before you apply any makeup, slather on a generous coat of sunscreen. Give it at least 20 minutes to soak in — it needs to dry for full effectiveness and so that anything you put on top won’t smear. When you need to reapply, try a powder sunblock, such as Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 Brush, which won’t disturb your makeup.

Avoid Thick, Creamy Foundation

In humid weather, anything that is creamy or greasy — like foundation or concealer — is going to smudge almost instantly. If you absolutely can’t imagine going without coverage, try mixing a bit of foundation into your sunscreen and applying it that way. Any products you put on should be light and sheer — you want to look like a sunnier version of yourself. “I prefer powder-based products, like a light dusting of translucent powder to combat shine. If you need to cover a blemish, use a stiff concealer brush or a Q-tip to dab a little pressed powder onto the area,” says Westman.

Apply a Matte Bronzer

Any makeup you do wear should enhance your skin’s natural color. Choose a bronzer in a shade that looks like a natural tan and doesn’t have any shimmer since it won’t look as natural in the bright sun. Dust the bronzer on your eyelids, just above your cheekbones, and on the apples of your cheeks. You can also put a little on your forehead, temples, and chin. Follow with a tiny bit of pink powder blush on your cheeks.

Use Waterproof Products

Don’t let makeup get in the way of taking a dip or rolling around in the sand. With waterproof makeup, you can splash and sweat without worrying about mascara streaks or smudged concealer. Here are some over favorite, editor-test products that stand up the sun and sand.

  • Concealer: Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer stayed put after a dip in the pool—and after hours of perspiring.

  • Mascara: Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara didn’t flake or run after getting wet and re-drying.

  • Eyeliner: Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners come in glittery shades and are water-, tear- and sweat-proof. Make 15 different beach makeup looks with 15 different colors.

Illuminate the Areas of Your Face the Sun Hits

After a day in the sun, your forehead, upper cheekbones, chin, and the bridge or your nose will naturally be aglow. Give them a little help early on by applying an illuminating cream or stick to these areas. You can use illuminator instead of bronzer for a more natural look, or you can use them together to amplify the glam.

Avoid Lip Gloss

Consider a lip stain or a matte lipstick, since glossy formulas will slide right off in the heat. “I like bright colors, such as cherry red or vibrant fuchsia, which flatter tan and pink cheeks. Dab just a bit in the center of the mouth,” says Westman. You can also use chapstick or lip balm if you want moisture without the color.

Use Blotting Paper

Westman’s general rule is that when you apply beach makeup, you do it before you leave the house and whatever fades, fades. The beach is not the place to reapply. If you get sweaty or your makeup feels clumpy, just dab your face with blotting paper.

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  • Insiders’ Guide: How to Style Wet Hair

  • Beyond Bronzer: Surprising Summer Makeup Ideas

  • Daily Beauty Reporter: Check Out M.A.C.’s New Surf-Inspired Makeup

  • Daily Beauty Reporter: Beach Blanket Touch-Ups

  • How-To: Insiders’ Guide: How to Style Wet Hair

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