By Alene Dawson
So you've broken out of that cubicle and away from winter's death grip to bask in the beauty of the beach. Nice work. But all that (delightful) sand, sun, and salt water can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. Be prepared with this handful of products that will not only help you look terrific, but also protect you so you can have fun in the sun with confidence.
1. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Face, SPF 30+
By now you know that the most important beach beauty basic is sun protection. So don your big, floppy hat and sunglasses (bring other protective clothing if you need it) and put on a sunscreen that complies with the newest FDA sunscreen regulations. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a terrific sunscreen guide that ranks sunscreen based on efficacy and possible toxicity.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Face, SPF 30+ and Nature's Gate Aqua Block Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 ($9.19, drugstore.com), designed for active beach goers like surfers and scuba divers, both rank well on EWG's list.
Whichever you choose, be sure to use a sunscreen with UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection and SPF 30 or higher. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, more often if you're sweating or swimming.
2. Aveda 'Sun Care' Protective Hair Veil
Toss a Frisbee, spike a volleyball, or just daydream looking at the waves without worrying that your hair will fry or turn brassy. This water-resistant mist has UVA/UVB filters to help protect hair from sun exposure that can make hair change color and cause damage and dryness.
Use a hair mask when you get home specifically formulated to hydrate and replenish dried-out, after-beach hair like Frédéric Fekkai Summer Hair After Sun Daily Mask ($25, fekkai.com).
3. Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara
This volume-inducing mascara is made with a film-forming polymer designed not to dissolve in water. Bat your lush, beautiful lashes at the beach without fear of looking like a raccoon, whether you're catching waves or rays.
4. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes #12L Metallic Teal Blue Eyeliner
Black eyeliner is just so landlocked. This eyeliner, refreshingly highlighted with blue and green, is a refreshing pop of color that reflects the ocean in your eyes and won't melt or fade as the day heats up. Aqua Eyes was created for water ballet performers. MAKE UP FOR EVER is also the official make up sponsor for Synchro Canada and provided all the makeup, including Aqua Eyes, for the Canadian Olympic Synchro Team that competed in London last summer.
5. Nars The Multiple Multi-Purpose Stick in Riviera
Ditch the heavy foundation and powder. At the beach it's all about a natural glow. A dab of fuchsia or red on the lips and cheeks flatters tanned skin. Choose a product that does double duty as both a lip and check tint to lighten you beach bag haul, like Nars multi-purpose stick for cheeks, lips, and eyes. Go to the counter to find out which shade is best for you.
If you need something a bit more waterproof, Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose-Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain ($30.00, benefitcosmetics.com) is a good option. Just bring a pretty lip gloss for after-sundown cocktails.
Pre-Beach Prep: Lastly, you don't want to feel like you have to hide your toes in the sand—get a good mani/pedi before you head to paradise. Also, whitening your teeth before your trip adds extra glow in photos and compliments dazzling tan skin.
Photo credits: Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen courtesy of Blue Lizard; Aveda 'Sun Care' Protective Hair Veil courtesy of Aveda; Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara courtesy of Lancome; MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes #12L Metallic Teal Blue Eyeliner courtesy of MAKE UP FOR EVER; Nars The Multiple Multi-Purpose Stick in Riviera courtesy of Sephora