The Beach Makeup Ideas & Tips That Celebrity Makeup Artists Swear By

Plus, products that will give you a golden goddess glow.

Beauty, Skin, Gravure idol, Undergarment, Black hair, Bikini, Lingerie, Long hair, Model, Photography,
(Image credit: Jonathan Storey)

Makeup can't be put into a box. There's no such thing as "the right time or place" for makeup. Makeup is a form of self-expression, and you have complete liberty to wear it as you please. Including, if you want, to the beach. Whoever banned beach makeup needs to let that notion go, like yesterday. If you want to live your best life on the beach with sun-kissed makeup, be my guest—and enjoy this breakdown of tips to ensure the sun and sand cooperates with your glowy glam. From application tips to go-to products, celebrity makeup artists Alix TaylorMegan Lanoux, and Stephanie Ward share the ultimate beach makeup routine.

Tip #1: Never Skip Sunscreen

This is the most important rule. And, sorry but, no, products with SPF don't cut it, especially on the beach when you'll be directly in the sun. You must must apply SPF before applying your makeup; sun protection is a non-negotiable. "ALWAYS wear a sunscreen under your makeup," Ward stresses. "Even if the makeup has SPF already in it, it is very important to apply that extra layer of sunblock. Did you know 90 percent of aging comes from the sun?!" Taylor agrees, adding that you should reapply your sunscreen, too. "Ideally use SPF 30 or higher, and remember that you need to reapply SPF every 90–120 minutes. I personally like to use mineral SPF’s that have either Zinc or Titanium Dioxide, rather than chemical sunscreens." (Read more about the different kinds of sunscreens here.)

Tip #2: Put Powders Aside

Photograph, Beauty, Summer, Photography, Fun, Happy, Photo shoot, Smile, Beach, Sand,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let's talk pores. "When you are deciding which kind of makeup to wear to the beach remember that your skin is going to heat up, which means your pores will open up and you are probably going to sweat," Taylor explains. "When your pores open up, more makeup gets into your skin and can clog your pores, get into your bloodstream, etc. Cream, gel, and liquid-based products are best for beach makeup because you can keep reapplying them without looking cakey. If you have powder on and you keep reapplying, the makeup will start to get thick. Lighter products look natural."

Tip #3: Waterproof Products Will Literally Hold It Down

Blue, Water, Beauty, Skin, Swimming pool, Leg, Model, Leisure, Blond, Summer,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"If you are going to be going in the water and you are a 'don’t leave the house without my brows' girl like me, then use a waterproof pencil or gel on your brows," Taylor suggests, adding that the same goes for everything else on your face. "There's nothing worse than raccoon eyes—so, either go mascara-less or opt for a waterproof formula." In the same vein, Lanoux points out the power of water-resistant foundation: "I like to add a few darker drops of a water-resistant foundation to give skin a more bronzed, sun-kissed effect." In short: a little goes a long way at the beach.

Tip #4: Lip Balm Is Your Best Friend

Facial expression, Skin, Hat, Clothing, Sun hat, Smile, Nose, Headgear, Fashion accessory, Beige,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lip gloss stans: You might not want to hear this, but please leave your lip gloss at home. Why? Well, beach, sand, and waves will just turn it into a sticky mess. Try a tinted balm instead. Says Lanoux, "Use a balm with a tint. I like the balms from Fresh Cosmetics, they feel great, smell great, and contain SPF with a great color selection." Taylor agrees, adding that lip and eye skin is the thinnest skin on our whole bodies, so always make sure they are protected with SPF.

Tip #5: Pat, Don't Rub, When Reapplying

When the scorching sun is beaming down on your skin, you gotta be strategic about how to touch-up your makeup, if necessary. This is another reason why it's best to stick to cream, liquid, and gel-based products—it's easy to build upon the texture with your fingers. "Always pat your products on top of each other, and remember that rubbing things around can make you look cakey," Taylor says.

Skin, Beauty, Lip, Model, Photo shoot, Headgear, Sun hat, Photography, Hat, Sun tanning,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tip #6: Toner Will Keep Your Glow on 100

"To referesh my makeup at the beach I use SkinbySyd's Rehydrating Vitamin Toner," says Ward. "I spritz this before I head to the beach for a dewy glow, and then throughout the day to keep my skin hydrated, fresh, and extra dewy." Having the complete opposite problem and feeling oily? Lanoux recommends keeping blotting papers in your beach bag to control the shine.

Tip #7: Try These Makeup Artist–Approved Favorites

Lanoux's beach bag essentials: "At the beach, I love wearing IT Cosmetics CC Cream; it provides great coverage and also has SPF 50," Lanoux says. "I also love using the Paul & Joe Gel Blush for the apples of my cheeks and Chanel’s Soleil Tan De Chanel for bronzer. If you want to enhance the bronzed look, dust Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer on all the spots where the sun hits: nose, top of your forehead, cheeks."

Shop Lanoux's Favorite Products for the Beach

Taylor's beach bag essentials: "My favorite SPF is the Supergoop Smooth and Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Sunscreen," Taylor notes. "I also love the Tata Harper Lip and Cheek blushers. These give you the flush look without all the fuss, just use your fingers and blush away! For brows, I personally love Anastasia’s Dipbrow Pomade. That stuff does not move, and you will not have to worry about swimming or sweating your brows off. My go-to waterproof mascara is L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara—talk about solid and affordable. As for the lips, Fresh Tinted Sugar Lip Treatments in Candy and Poppy are my faves because they offer a great color pay-off without being opaque or looking too done-up."

Shop Taylor's Favorite Products for the Beach

Ward's beach bag essentials: "The Brush on Block is perfect for the beach because you can wear it on top of your makeup and it acts as a setting powder," Ward explains. "It's also just a great oil absorber and mattifier throughout the day, and you are adding more sunscreen when you apply it. I also keep Joey Healy's Brow Lacquer close by. It's an all-in-one brow shaper that fill, holds, and lasts all day in the heat and humidity. Plus, it's super waterproof. Having bold brows really gives you that amazing no-makeup, make-up look at the beach. I apply Bobbi Brown Cream Blush on my cheeks and lips because it's a great two-in-one product."

Shop Ward's Favorite Products for the Beach

For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.

subscribe here


marie claire logo

(Image credit: Marie Claire)
Maya Allen
Former Beauty Editor

Maya Allen is the former Digital Beauty Editor at where she covered makeup, skincare, haircare, wellness, you name it! She has a 15-step skincare routine, owns over 200 red lipsticks, and enjoys testing the latest and greatest in beauty. On most weekends, you can find her at her happy place, which is her makeup vanity. There, she’s usually blasting her speakers while singing along to lyrics at the top of her lungs, and making sure her highlighter is on point.