Choose a non-stick, sand-proof SPF
Even the most basic sunscreens protect your skin from sun damage and ensure you won’t burn, but finding the right texture can be a challenge. You want a formula that glides on like a dream, sits seamlessly under makeup (think a subtle hit of blush and bronzer, if any at all) and works for all skin types. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Sun Drops SPF50 has a melt-in texture and can be applied directly to bare skin for a matte, non-tacky finish, while Supergoop!’s Unseen Sunscreen doubles as a weightless makeup base. For the body, transparent and oil-free formulas are ideal for avoiding sand-streaked sunscreen smears. We love how Sisley’s Super Soin Solaire Silky Body Cream SPF30 is effortlessly absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave a white cast.
Refresh skin frequently
Even when reapplying a quality SPF formula, it inevitably leaves skin feeling tacky. You can prevent any residual stickiness with a skin refresh in between applications. One spritz of Omorovicza’s Queen of Hungary Mist acts as a balancing toner and quick pick-me-up for all skin types. Alternatively, try one with salicylic acid if you have oily skin and are prone to breakouts. After misting, use Face Halo Makeup Remover Pads or a muslin cloth to reset your complexion. Then, tap a hyaluronic-acid serum over skin to hydrate before re-applying your SPF. Remember, this is not the time for actives: cooling, hydrating and calming formulas are essential here.
Stick to minimal makeup in lightweight textures
A successful beach look is about feeling pulled together, and a subtle, fluttery lash works wonders to add a hint of polish. A light, waterproof mascara is key here. Cue a clear-gel formula that, when applied over a single sweep of your favorite mascara, locks color in place without flaking. If your lashes are already dark, use it over bare lashes for instant definition. Meanwhile, to add a pop of color to dry skin, blend a balm formula over both cheeks and lips for a glowing finish – combination or oily skin types will love Charlotte Tilbury’s hyaluronic acid-infused Tinted Love Lip and Cheek Tints for a sheer wash of hydrating color.
Try sleek, pulled-back hairstyles
To keep sweat and humidity out of your hair, you need moisture – especially if your locks are extra-curly or unruly. “Run Hair Rituel By Sisley’s Restructuring Nourishing Balm through your hair before you head to the beach,” says top London-based stylist Belle Cannan. “The balm texture transforms into an oil, which slips through hair and tames those flyaways around the hairline.” Next, she suggests plaiting two sections either side of a center parting and leaving braids out when securing a high ponytail. “Then, I join the braids to my ponytail with another band. It makes a simple style more interesting and elevated.” Whether you opt for a sleek look or prefer to keep your hair dry, you’ll still need to use a protective sun spray. “Apply it all over, especially along your parting, as this is the area that can get burnt and visibly red,” adds Cannan.
Prep to boost your body confidence
A little pre-beach prep is worth the effort, since a well-applied faux glow can mask lumps and bumps as well as spider veins and an uneven skin tone. “Everyone just looks healthier and more radiant when sun-kissed,” says celebrity makeup artist Florrie White. “Whatever self-tan formula you prefer, you’ll need to have exfoliated and moisturized your skin first for the best streak-free results. I use a cream formula with a mitt on my clients to really rub the product in.” While they often go unnoticed, cracked, calloused heels will soak up color, and sea salt can throw off your beach-beauty game, too. Use a dedicated foot balm or oil daily in the run-up to sitting on a sun lounger for visibly smoother skin from heel to toe.