How to Create a Makeup Look for the Beach — and Keep It Looking Fresh

June 23, 2022
Alyssa Kaplan
By: Alyssa Kaplan | by L'Oréal
person with naturally curly hair in afro
We’re all for hitting the beach bare-faced (with SPF, of course), but we recognize that a face of makeup can be quite the confidence boost — so there’s no reason you can’t sport a makeup look while lounging in the sand. However, a beach makeup look will require some different products and techniques than your daily makeup routine. So, ahead, we’re answering your most popular questions about wearing makeup to the beach and sharing a breakdown of two looks that are perfect for the occasion.

What Makeup Should I Wear to the Beach?

Considering that the beach is typically accompanied by some pretty intense weather conditions — wind, extreme heat, humidity and tons of sun — you’ll want to keep your product choices top of mind. Opting for as many formulas that contain SPF or hydrating ingredients as possible is key. It’s also important to remember that regardless of what makeup look you go for, it will likely smudge and fade a bit throughout the day. Because of this, it’s best to choose waterproof formulas for your eyes because they often run at the beach. For your cheeks and complexion, choosing more malleable products that you can easily blend and touch up over heavy duty formulas is a good idea too, as these are the areas that will fade the fastest. 

How Do I Keep Makeup on at the Beach? 

Keeping your makeup looking great all day at the beach can be challenging, but like we mentioned, wearing waterproof formulas, especially on your eyes, can help. Hot, humid conditions will likely make your complexion makeup fade regardless. While it probably sounds counterintuitive from a weartime perspective, opting for cream formulas that can easily be touched up is a good idea. For example, it will be easier to fix smeared blush if it’s a cream formula over powder because creams are more blendable. Then, just set the most oily areas with powder to increase longevity. 

How to Create a Minimalist Beach Makeup Look

Step 1. Apply SPF

Start by applying a facial sunscreen. We love the SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 because it brightens the skin while offering broad-spectrum sun protection.
SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 30

Step 2. Conceal 

If you prefer to keep your face makeup light when heading to the beach, skip foundation and simply spot-conceal any areas that you want coverage. The NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Concealer Serum is great for this because it has buildable coverage that’s incredibly hydrating and lightweight. 

Step 3. Apply Lip Balm With SPF

Protect and moisturize your lips with the Cay Skin Isle Lip Balm SPF 30. Not only will this lip balm give your lips a luminous finish, but it’ll keep your lips protected from the sun with its added SPF. 

Step 4. Add Mascara

Finish off your look with a coat of waterproof mascara, like the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara

How to Create a Maximalist Beach Makeup Look

Step 1. Even Out Your Complexion

After applying SPF, even your skin tone with a hydrating skin tint, like the IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40. In addition to providing more SPF protection, it leaves the skin looking blurred and radiant. If you need additional coverage, apply your favorite concealer where necessary. 

it cosmetics cc cream glow serum

Step 2. Apply Blush 

Give your cheeks a flush with a cream bronzer, like the Giorgio Armani Beauty Neo Nude Melting Color Balm. This is a great beach pick because the cream formula isn’t overly emollient so it won’t slide right off of your skin when you encounter extreme heat. 

Step 3. Bronze Your Skin 

Feeling tan at the beach sans the sun damage is an incredible feeling — and you can easily fake it with a cream bronzer. We love the Rose Inc Solar Infusion Soft-Focus Cream Bronzer because it has a creamy, blendable formula that dries down to a powder-like finish, meaning it won’t slip and slide around.
rose inc bronzer

Step 4. Set Your Skin 

Using a lightweight, translucent powder, set the most oil-prone areas of your skin, like your forehead, sides of the nose and chin. Then set your entire complexion with a refreshing setting spray, like the Urban Decay All Nighter Vitamin C Setting Spray

Step 5. Give Your Lips Some Glow 

After applying a lip balm with SPF protection, give your lips some shine and plumpness with a nourishing gloss, like the L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss. This is a great formula because it’s lightweight and can be reapplied throughout the day without getting goopy. 

Step 6. Apply Mascara

Define your eyes by applying one to two coats of waterproof mascara to your top and bottom lashes. If you like extreme volume, try the Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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