5 Tips for Wearing Makeup at the Beach

StyleSprinter Katya Bychkova

I was never a girl who wears makeup to the beach, but since my obsession with makeup progresses, this trip to Miami I started thinking, why not? At the end of the day, it takes only a few minutes to do a light beach makeup that will elevate your entire look. If you know how to choose the right waterproof and sweatproof products, beach makeup is super simple and lasts all day long. In this post, I share some of my tips as well as favorite products that will help you to create your best beach makeup ever!

TIP #1 // Never Forget Sunscreen

I might sound like a broken record, but if there is just one thing you learn from reading this blog is to wear SPF non-stop and with no exceptions. It’s the most recommended strategy by every dermatologist that I’ve talked too and for a good reason. Basically, without wearing sunscreen your skin ages faster—and who wants that?

I know that for many people avoiding sunscreen the main excuse is that SPF products are greasy. My response to it would be, if you think so you just haven’t found the right product for your skin. For the last decade, I’ve experimented with so many sun protective lotions, sprays, and serums that I feel confident recommending you some of my all-time favorites. But again, it’s up to you to re-apply SPF every few hours.

My favorite drugstore sunscreens:

Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 30 ($9.99)

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen For Acne-Prone Skin SPF 30 ($9.00)

La Roche-PosayToleriane Double Repair Moisturizer UV SPF 30 ($19.99)

High-end sunscreens that are worth your attention:

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Super Fluid Facial Sunscreen ($39.99)

Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($43)

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($34)

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($69)

TIP #2 // Powder Your T-Zone

I’m not using blotting paper that much, but I always have a mineral powder on hand. Powder works the same in terms of absorbing the oil, but it’s less likely to move your foundation of a BB-cream if you decide to wear one. I also love the idea that a mineral powder contains SPF which adds an additional level of sun protection. Finally, a powdered face looks so much better in photos—if you decide to organize an impromptu photo shoot on the beach.

Mineral powders I love:

ColoreScience Sunforgettable Loose Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($64; check out full review)

Physician Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter Trio BB Powder SPF 30 ($7.49; check out full review)

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF50+ ($35)

TIP #3 // Skip on Blush, Use a Bronzer Instead

I used to avoid a bronzer at all costs as it often looks muddy on my paper white skin. Instead, I would apply blush with sun-reflecting pigments. Lately, I’ve changed my strategy because wearing too much blush on the beach looks unnatural. In fact, every time I look back on my old beach photos, it looks like my cheeks are burned—because of the amount of blush that I’m wearing. This time around, I’m all about bronzers—but very light ones, that are designed specifically for pale skin girls like me.

Best bronzers for pale skin girls:

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer in Light ($40)

No7 Match Made Bronzer in Golden Sand ($12.99)

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Bronzer in Nude Bronze Light ($50)

TIP #4 // Ditch Eyeshadow, Go Big on Lashes

Another makeup product that you don’t necessarily need on the beach is an eyeshadow. I know, it looks so pretty when you match the color of your swimsuit with an eyeshadow—and add some glitter on top, but with all the swimming and re-applying sunscreen, wearing an eyeshadow is just not practical. This vacation season, I’m skipping on eyeshadow at all and concentrate on finding the best volumizing waterproof mascara. Big lashes are always a great idea, and it’s an even better one when we are talking about the beach beauty

My favorite waterproof mascaras:

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes™ Waterproof Mascara ($23)

Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara ($29.50)

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara ($9.99)

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Big Shot Waterproof Mascara ($7.99) 

TIP #5 // The Eye Brow Strategy

Finally, the only feature of your face that is worth applying a full makeup on is eyebrows. Trust me: even if you are not wearing an eye makeup at all and don’t bother to apply a lipstick, defined eyebrows will make your entire face look fresher and put together. There are not many waterproof brow products out there, but I rounded up a few that proved to work for me. Hope you find on this list some of your new favorites.

These are my go-to durable brow products:

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse ($29)

Sephora Collection Retractable Brow Pencil – Waterproof ($12)

TIP #6 // Avoid Lip Gloss, Use Tinted Balm Instead

One of the major beauty pet peeves for me is a sticky lip gloss. Especially, when I’m wearing my hair down. I just can’t stand when my hair sticks to my lips and ruins both my makeup and a hairstyle. It’s a bit too much to wear a liquid lipstick on the beach though so I found the solution to avoid both of those lip products. This vacation season, I’m wearing either a non-sticky tinted lip balm or a lip stain that looks more natural than a lipstick and doesn’t leave a weird sticky finish at all.

Lancome Matte Shaker High Pigment Liquid Lipstick ($22)

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 ($24)

Givenchy Le Rouge Perfecto Beautifying Lip Balm ($36)

Eve Lom Kiss Mix Colour ($24)

Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm ($34)

TIP #7 // Illuminate Strategically

In my humble opinion, there is no better place to wear a highlighter than the beach. This illuminating beauty product brings the dimension to your face and makes it look naturally glowing and illuminated. The trick here, of course, to find the right type of highlighter that looks great in natural lighting and offers a beautiful, subtle glow. No worries though, after years of experimenting I finally found a few that work perfectly in natural lighting conditions.

Pixi Beauty Glow-y Powder in Santorini Sunset ($16)

Benefit Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter ($30)

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That was is with my best tips and tricks on what type of makeup to wear on the beach. I hope these recommendations were helpful for you and you were able to learn a trick or two. If so, please let me know in the comments what was the beach makeup lesson from this post that you haven’t heard before. Also, let’s discuss any beach beauty tips and tricks that you might have!
  • sunscreen and some nice, tack-y textured highlighter – perfect beach look!

  • Denise

    Very good tips, indeed! I always wear sun screen, since I have problems with sun – even 2 seconds start making harm to my skin 🙁 And a tinted lip balm is a very good recommendation! Hope you have a nice week!

  • These are all such good tips!.
    Charlie | http://www.charlieswonderland.co.uk

  • Awesome tips!! I also hate sticky lip glosses! So, these tinted lip balms are a great idea!

    Have a great week!


    Seize your Style

  • Great tips! Totally need to try going big on the lashes when it comes to makeup!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • these are some really great tips!will definitely try them.

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Annie Robinson

    Love these tips! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Shauna C

    Great tips and you look perfect!



  • Allie Mackin

    Oh yeah it is ALL ABOUT sun screen, so stupid not to wear but people who do not will regret it in the end. I always wear it all year long. Don’t do makeup at the beach but these are some great tips maybe I will try them!

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  • Nicolette

    I love all of these picks! Thank you for sharing. I am going to try them this summer!



  • Len Dela Peña Parent

    Absolutely stunning! I always adore your perfect and flawless skin, Katya. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Much love, Len

  • I am so agree with all the tips and it works very well ! Dramatic lashes and sunscreen are perfect match for beach makeup. Maybe we can also add on red lipstick ?
    Let’s keep in touch anyway 🙂



  • sunscreen is key for beach makeup! great tips babe!


  • Corinne C

    Makeup, the beach, and me just don’t go together. I’m the type of person that lives in the sea with my face in the water looking for fish!

    Corinne x

  • Missy

    Some fab advice here!


  • Never forget sunscreen! Great advice to keep the skin young

    Nicolas from Dresscape

  • Such a great post. Love all these tips and products!

  • I love doing a quick swipe of waterproof mascara, too- a little definition and a big pair of sunnies!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • I couldn’t agree more about tinted lip balms, I used to dislike them but have since learned to embrace the sheerness. I freaking love that Dermalogica moisturizer! I use it as moisturizer though instead of last step sunscreen. The only thing about it that makes me frown is the scent. it reminds me of nutmeg!

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  • These are definitely great tips hun. I am all about illuminator and highlighters for the beach its’ erally the only makeup I wear at the beach. Thanks for sharing, lovely. x

  • These are definitely great tips hun. I am all about illuminator and highlighters for the beach it’s really the only makeup I wear at the beach. Thanks for sharing, lovely. x

  • Good tips. I never know what to do.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • love the idea of lashes for a beach day!


  • Looking gorgeous with that one-piece dear! So fab, chic, and sexy! Oh how I miss the beach.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  • These are all amazing tips! I don’t go to the beach that often, but I think just wearing only the products you mentioned would be the perfect makeup look. And thank you for sharing bronzers for pale girls! I never wear any for the fear it will look too orange or unnatural, so I’m going to give the ones you suggested a try.

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net/

  • My goodness you look INCREDIBLE in that swimsuit and chic sunglasses! You truly look wonderful. Thanks for sharing your makeup tips! I found a great bronzer, the one you have in this photograph is a favourite by Estee Lauder, and also I like Benefit’s Hoola, and there’s Hoola Lite for paler skin.

    Your sunglasses are incredibly chic by the way and really do make your overall look here pop!

    Thanks for sharing your makeup picks, some great choices that’s for sure!

    Laura xo

  • Whitney V

    I’m totally with you on the bronzer! And the SPF OBVSSSS! Love Eucerin too!

    With Love from London,