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Anina Abola, Contributor
April 05, 2010

Should You Wear Makeup on the Beach?

Do you feel naked without your face, or prefer going au naturel? FN offers some tips either way. By Anina Abola
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beach_makeup_pineda.jpgAll ready for your trip to the beach? You've decided on all the details of your vacation save for one: does the makeup truly make the beach bunny?
It doesn't matter if you're off to a seaside resort with the girls and boys you see for happy hour, or the significant other, or even good ol' mom and dad—a vacation is definitely an opportunity for to strut your royal fabness or even to be a relaxed and more adventurous version of yourself. We know half the fun is getting the garb and the shoes, but when you're done with that, do consider the entire look. That boils down to a single simple question—will your getaway gear contain your beauty arsenal?

The answer to that depends on the person. Some people say yes to makeup—as long as it's done right. Others say no, that sunscreen is all you need for your face once you hit the sand dunes. Check out these arguments for each side to help you decide which team you're on:



Beach time is break time—from everything!

You've declared this a vacation, and you want to shed your high-maintenance reputation! So leave that makeup bag behind, along with your styling tools. If you're feeling extra daring, do away with the need to make everything match. Just make sure your outfits are cool and casual, not sloppy. You want to forget your responsibilities, not your style.


There are better things to do with your time.

If you feel trapped by a need to always have a full face, then by all means, let it go! It's not called a vacation for nothing. Use the extra hour or so you gain sans makeup rituals to have a longer meal, a more relaxed conversation or even more sleep. Just remember the sunscreen—trust us on the sunscreen because it’s absolutely essential. If you’re not sure which product to use, why not check our article on sunscreen products for beach and everyday use? You might find that you like the natural look so much that you'll start showing up to work, bare-faced and—wait for it—with air-dried hair! Or you may not, and you may actually be thankful for that extra hour you take preparing in the morning—just think of it as a daily fun indulgence than the prerequisite war paint ceremony.


It isn’t appropriate for beach activitiesor the heat.

The beach isn't necessarily cruelty-free to cosmetics. The extreme temperatures usually stretch the limits of your makeup and go beyond what the manufacturers had in mind. You could always argue that makeup was designed for klieg lights and the strong artificial lighting of the stage, television, and film—but remember, the stage requires that your face be readable from the last row, and there's always someone waiting in the wings to touch up the slightest sign of shine or meltdown. If you take on the retouching duties yourself, that's time away from swimming, beach soccer/volleyball, and all the other things you went on vacation for in the first place.





You're prettier and more confident.
If makeup helps you feel more confident, then by all means bring it on! But consider what the balmy sea air and the strong sun can do to your daily cosmetics' formulations (for more information, check out the Female Network article on summer makeup tips), and be prepared to deal with that. The only melting you should be feeling should only come from the shake you're holding, from seeing that hot guy flash you a smile, or from engaging in a little lip-locking with your honey.

Here are some things to remember when putting on your face before heading out to the beach:
Use a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation. If you use foundation to even out your skin, consider a tinted moisturizer. They're lighter and better suited to the weather. The plus to this is they usually contain SPF (which is always good), apart from giving you more moisture. Your skin can easily get dehydrated in the intense heat.  Remember that reapplying frequently is more crucial than higher values—SPF 15 can suffice if reapplied religiously. For more on sunscreen, check out Female Network’s SPF guide.

Use a concealer to hid blemishes. Spots getting you down? Consider just using concealer and a light dusting of loose powder to set the concealer, even out your skin, and most happily, absorb excess oil. You may not need to do your whole face. The operative word is light dusting! Feel free to explore translucent mineral powders, but be aware that flash photography may reflect a whitish cast. 

Contemplate your skin type. Seaside conditions can bring out the worst in your skin—the harsh heat ups the oilies and the brisk cold night air can dry out your skin. Consider which effects are most likely to manifest on your skin and choose your products accordingly. Creams, gels, mousse, and stain formulations are fantastic if you need the extra moisturizing, while powder formulations are great if you need something to absorb excess oil. If a product makes claims to being waterproof, by all means try it out! Just remember that a light hand and a lot of blending and buffing will keep you looking natural.


Color is fun!
If your inner diva is restrained by the corporate environment, then a vacation is the perfect time for getting your groove back. Take advantage of summer's characteristically bright and punchy colors, and leave the neutrals and midtones at home—let them give way to greens, blues, and violets, and consider bright pinks, corals, even orange! The hues and tints you choose should be guided by your skin color, so ask your favorite makeup artists for their suggestions. Don't forget the metallics—golds, silvers, coppers and bronze.

Be a beach goddess and revel in your fabulous deified self with our quick color guide:

Line your eyes. If you're not sure how to use these loud pops of color, you can ease in through the eyeliner route. Just make sure to seal liner in with an eyeshadow in the same shade or color family or a translucent setting powder; apply with a pencil or detail brush so they don't get hopelessly smudged. Try limiting the application to your upper lid to avoid raccoon eyes (candy-colored Ophelia is not a good look, especially so near a large body of water).

Glam it up—but not too much!
If you're brave enough to take on the entire lid, work with a base to avoid creasing, but curb the urge to go up to your eyebrow—think boardwalk, not catwalk. 

Focus! With all things bright and beautiful, focus is not just a battle—it's the entire war. So pick a feature to play up, and balance it out by keeping everything else neutral. Opt for a bronzer or a nude lipstick which both look great on tanned skin.

Pucker up! Go ahead and try that fabulous shade of fuschia pink lipstick or that idiosyncratic mauve as an adventurous makeup choice. Just top it off with a balm that is both moisturizing and has SPF. Your lips do burn.


It gives you a sun-kissed look without the tan.

Even if you're a fan of whitening products, you can't spend your vacation hiding under an umbrella. You're on the beach, after all, and a tan is the thing. Yet you know that sun exposure is bad for you. So what's a girl to do?

Reach for the bronzer. You can bust out the one with shimmer since that is sun-kissed at its finest. Use it like a blush, and make sure you get a shade and finish that suits you. A bronzer, like a rosy flush, should brighten your face. If you go dull or gray, your bronzer may be too muddy. Apply it the way you would blush, except go higher on your cheekbones—remember, you're mimicking how the sun will grace your skin. So bronze the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and the brow bone. If you're extra adventurous, top it off with a gold-ish highlight. You might like it so much, you'll go back to rocking your hot tamale morena self even under the city lights!

Even with all these tips and tricks, remember that there are no hard and fast rules. It's really up to you how you want to play this. So do what you came to do at the beach and just have fun—worry not if that flush on your cheeks is the sun's touch or something straight out of a pan.

(White bikini photo by Paolo Pineda; black bikini photo by Jay Yao)

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  • marchineness09 Apr 05 2010 @ 08:17pm Report Abuse
    I'd prefer not to wear make-up at the beach. The natural look is still better. Anyways, I will be soaked in the water afterwards so I think it won't be necessary.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • pinkpie Apr 05 2010 @ 09:01pm Report Abuse
    I prefer not put anything aside from sunscreen protection. It looks pretty when your face is bare while walking in the seashore.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Vivian Apr 05 2010 @ 10:34pm Report Abuse
    I don't like wearing make-up on the beach, especially when the heat of the sun is too much to bear. I mean, it adds to that feeling of "heaviness" on the face when you're wearing make-up. Sunblock is the only thing that we should really apply on our face when going to the beach.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • mary Apr 05 2010 @ 10:35pm Report Abuse
    You should wear lip protection!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Mari Marivin Bolabola Apr 06 2010 @ 12:14am Report Abuse
    I'd rather not wear any makeup at the beach..since it's gonna be hot, i'm sure my face will melt in no time. =)
    Last modified A long time ago
  • ria villareal Apr 06 2010 @ 12:37am Report Abuse
    its the only time for our skin to take a break from make up. ako i prefer to wear sunblock because i need it to protect my skin. make up will be useless pag nabasa.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Mai Apr 06 2010 @ 08:35am Report Abuse
    I love make up! I will try to use bronzer for my next beach trip!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Bagel Apr 06 2010 @ 08:50am Report Abuse
    I think it is unnecessary.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • zyramae_12 Apr 06 2010 @ 09:27am Report Abuse
    I Go for natural looking one! as in NO MAKE-UP just SUNBLOCK, for me I feel awkward when I wear make-up in the beach or even just in a pool...because it's so hot, and gets fade away..sayang lang
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Lourdes Espanol Apr 06 2010 @ 09:35am Report Abuse
    I don't think it's necessary to wear makeup on the beach. It will just get washed off when you swim.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • meeeow18 Apr 06 2010 @ 12:49pm Report Abuse
    Yup, for me, minimal make-up. Sunscreen lang and lip balm.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • meeeow18 Apr 06 2010 @ 12:49pm Report Abuse
    Yup, for me, minimal make-up. Sunscreen lang and lip balm.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • erlhyn Apr 06 2010 @ 01:48pm Report Abuse
    only lip protection and sunscreen will do.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Maria Victoria San Diego Apr 07 2010 @ 03:37am Report Abuse
    I don't like wearing make up on the beach. And I'm sure it will melt on my face because of the scorching heat from the sun. I just wear sunblock and lipbalm for protection.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Cathrina Lim Apr 07 2010 @ 09:23am Report Abuse
    I'd rather not wear make-up on the beach. I grew up in Subic so I'm really a beach girl and all I wear is sunblock and I'm good all these years. For me, being in the beach is like the only time your skin can relax and breath from all what make-ups are made of and its the only time people can really see your natural beauty. I enjoy the beach with my friends because it feels like I see the real them in their most casual and natural look compared to when I see them at work.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • marian Apr 08 2010 @ 01:33pm Report Abuse
    Go for natural beauty. No need to wear make up. just my POV ;p
    Last modified A long time ago
  • marian Apr 08 2010 @ 01:33pm Report Abuse
    Go for natural beauty. No need to wear make up. just my POV ;p
    Last modified A long time ago
  • SHIRLEY LIM Apr 08 2010 @ 07:23pm Report Abuse
    Dith the make up, just put on Sunblock and Lip balm with SPF.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • chirstine cometa Apr 08 2010 @ 10:38pm Report Abuse
    for me, i prefer a little make up. this is to hide those imperfections! syempre not too much naman! a dab of mineral powder can do! blush?!?! no need! since you'll get the natural blush due to heat! lipgloss? definitely to heal those flaky lips!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • katrina Apr 09 2010 @ 02:12am Report Abuse
    I don't really like putting make-ups when I'm at the beach especially if it's really too hot. It causes irritation around my skin. I'd prefer to put moisturizer and when your at the beach,simple face is much guaranteed.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • vodka4breakfast Apr 09 2010 @ 02:59am Report Abuse
    i wear red lipstick at the beach. but then again, i wear red lipstick everywhere. apart from that, just sunscreen!
    Last modified A long time ago
  • Liza Padilla Apr 11 2010 @ 08:50pm Report Abuse
    I think it would be a great break for your pore not to wear make on a beach, but be better off with protections like sunblock for your bod, lips and face and all that are exposed. The sun's rays are very damaging now,so don't ever go out without it.
    Last modified Apr 12 2010 @ 10:17am
  • january Apr 21 2010 @ 11:04am Report Abuse
    definitely no, that is not appropriate after all.
    Last modified A long time ago
  • anggeh Apr 22 2010 @ 03:46pm Report Abuse
    no makeup except for sunblock. ;)
    Last modified A long time ago
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