Now that the sun is finally starting to shine, it’s the perfect time to update (or start from scratch!) your beach-inspired beauty regimen. Whether you’re landlocked or free to play in the sea, you can rock the beach look as we move from spring and summer. Just a side note, but were you as surprised as I was that Memorial Day is less that two weeks away?! Oh. Man.
For this beach inspired post, I thought I needed to pull in the big guns, and let a true “beach professional,” cover this story. Meet Marisa Kronenberg. Marisa is based in sunny Los Angeles but grew up between Geneva, Switzerland and Washington, DC. She’s half Thai, half Lithuanian, and having traveled all around the world, she’s always been influenced by a mix of international cultures. While attending school, she worked under interior designer Kelly Wearstler (please just get involved in her Pinterest!) where she continued to develop her tastes and aesthetic and further cultivated her love for things of beauty. She also happens to live less than 20 minutes from the Pacific Ocean and tends to play with different beach looks all year round. So here are your She’s in the Glow approved, Day to Night Beach Beauty Essentials.
Depending on the particular occasion and my mood, I’ll go for a strong and exotic Bond Girl vibe a la Olga Kurylenko in Quantum of Solace, or do a more minimal stranded-with-Leonardo DiCaprio-on-an-island-in-Thailand type thing not unlike the chic and French Virginie Ledoyan in The Beach.
Days at the beach can often extend into sunset cocktails and then into a long dinner with friends. While these days are always a blast, it’s a little tricky when you leave the house at 11AM knowing you’ll be out for the next 10+ hours. I’m all about multifunctional products for day to night beach beauty to keep it easy and travel-friendly, and these are the essentials that I’m using quite liberally right now:
SKINCARE: I can’t stress enough the importance of skin prep before a day at the beach. Start with an exfoliator to remove dead skin and residue for a smooth and even tone. I got Laura Mercier’s Flawless Skin Polish from an award show gift bag a few months back, and it quickly became one of my favorite magic potions. It’s not at all abrasive so it’s great for sensitive skin like mine, and really leaves your complexion feeling fresh and radiant. Next I lather on a moisturizer with SPF like Dior’s HydraLife Pro-Youth Protective Creme with SPF 15. It’s the perfect summer moisturizer because the texture is light but rich, and gives your skin a nice supple plumping, while protecting your skin from the harsh elements. My skin tends to get super slick in the sun, so I always use some kind of mattefying substance to combat the grease. Freeze 24/7’s Instant Smoother and Brightener is the savior when it comes to absorbing excess oils without over-drying your skin. It also acts like a primer to even out discoloration and reduces the size of large pores on contact. I use just a little bit over my problem areas and my entire face looks more refined. You can also apply it over makeup for touch ups throughout the day.
FACE: Once in a while, I want a little coverage even if I am going to the beach. Right now, I’m using Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundation for those days when my skin just isn’t looking as flawless as I want it to. It’s a light, matte liquid foundation with SPF 15 and lasts all day without touch-ups, so it’s perfect for those long afternoons in Malibu that turn into indulgent nights full of red wine and broken plates at Taverna Tony.
I use just the smallest amount on my t-zone so my freckles still show through, and it neutralizes my redness and oiliness while still looking beachy and natural. For a little contour and color, NARS Matte Multiple in Vientiane is my latest bronzing fixation. It glides on so easily and can be applied straight from the tube. I apply a few light strokes just under my cheekbones then blend upwards and outwards for a coppery, watercolor-like glow.
EYES: Aside from the cheekbone area, I’ll also use the Matte Multiple in Vientiane on my eyelid up to my brow bone and blend out to my temples for some depth and an overall deep yet natural-looking, monochromatic glow. I guess it goes without saying that NARS Matte Multiple is my ultimate beach staple of the moment. I’ll probably end up getting the other two nude colors (Altai and Cappadoce), too, just because I love the effortlessness factor and the simplicity of a monochromatic look in general.
I typically don’t wear any mascara to the beach because a) I spend a considerable amount of time in the water and don’t want to worry about black streaks all over my face, b) I’m not a fan of waterproof options, and c) I actually think a beach look is more optimal sans eyelash coating anyway, but I’ll pack a tube into my beach bag so I can apply a few healthy coats later on. I’m currently using up the last of my Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara in Black Satin. It’s definitely a solid purchase, if only a little too wet in texture, but I’ll most likely go back to DiorShow or try something entirely different once I run out.
EYEBROWS: I leave my brows pretty untouched for a day at the beach, but I’ll go through them with a little Rodial Glam Balm MULTI just so they don’t look totally unruly. I typically save the rest of my brow grooming for when I’m transitioning into the evening hours, but sometimes I want a fuller brow for the day, too, in which case I’ll use Make Up For Ever’s Brow Pencil in Blond 1 every so slightly. Because I’m just filling in sparse areas and not creating a full line with the pencil, I’ve realized that the lightest shade actually works best for creating the most natural look even though my brows are really a few shades darker.
LIPS: For the most part I forgo the use of any tints during the day and simply use Rodial Glam Balm MULTI for smooth, naturally glowy beach lips. I love it for its list of hydrating and anti-aging properties, and also for the fact that it doubles as my eyebrow gel and an intensive moisture-rich eye balm for later. It’s like a super luxurious, non-greasy Vaseline of sorts. But lip color is one of the easiest ways to transform a casual daytime look to that of sultry, coastal put-togetherness, and when you’re at the beach and in need of a quick and easy boost to the pout, Ellis Faas’ line of Glazed Lips is so prime. It gives you high-intensity color in wearable tones with an ultra-wet transparent finish that I’m really into for the warmer months ahead. When everything else is more mattified and monochromatic, a pop of glossy color on the lips adds a really nice, subtle contrast. The Sheer Orange shade is a unique tomato red and goes perfectly with a bronzed complexion. And the texture of this one is somehow more amazing than any other gloss out there.
HAIR: Beach hair is one of my all-time favorite effects of spending a day at the beach. I love the Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse to help achieve that perfectly imperfect, undone look pre-beach. I like it better than the brand’s Apres Beach Spray because you have more control over the product and you get piece-ier, more authentic ocean hair. The key with this product is that a little goes a long way…use too much and you’ll end up more “hot sticky mess” than “gypsy chic.” I pump a golf ball-sized amount into my palm and gently pat it into both palms before I start scrunching it from root to tip into my slightly damp or dry hair. After that, I take one(ish)-inch pieces of my hair and wrap it around my finger to make little twists everywhere so it almost looks like the starting phases of dreadlocks. I finish off the look by turning my head upside down and spritzing Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray all over, whipping my hair back and forth a few times for that windswept effect.
Braids are also the perfect beach hair staple because it can pull your whole look together without seeming like you tried too hard. Sometimes post-product application, I’ll braid the two pieces of my hair that frame my face and casually do a few more random ones throughout and tie it in a low ponytail/messy bun.
SCENT: On a recent trip to Miami I discovered Carner Barcelona’s Tardes perfume and I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new scent but now I literally can’t leave the house without it on. I spray it everywhere because it’s what I want my whole world to smell like. I feel like if I use it enough there’s a strong possibility I could walk into a Gabriel Garcia Marquez love story, a situation I’d graciously accept. It’s a blend of androgynous floral notes with standout ingredients like cedar wood, almond, celery, and plum, a combination of scents the brand describe as “a tribute to the peace and harmony of a late summer afternoon; a fragrance that is pure, serene, and enveloping.” I can only describe it as perfection in a neo-modern cubic bottle.
Now just throw on a beach cover-up, grab a pair of sunglasses, and head for the sea. Take in all the natural beauty around you and don’t forget you are one as well! Oh, and if you’re on the west coast, avoid the 405 like sunburns (no but seriously though).