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How to do makeup that will stand up to a long beach day

24th December, 2023

Summer goes hand-in-hand with long days at the beach but it can often pose a bit of a challenge in the makeup department—how do you apply makeup in such a way that it stands up to sun, sand and swims? You could skip it altogether of course, but sometimes you may just want a little extra coverage or you may just want to go directly from your towel to drinks and you don’t want to be fussing around with having to apply a full face.

So, is it possible? Yes—if you approach application strategically. Enter makeup artist Nigel Stanislaus. Nigel has painted faces for editorials in prestige titles such as Harpers Bazaar and Elle; worked with uber models such as Coco Rocha and Erin Wasson and has directed countless fashion shows and was even a judge on Asia’s Next Top Model. In other words: he knows his way around how to do a makeup look for the beach. Read on for his tips.

What products are a must for makeup at the beach?

“I wouldn’t promise any makeup to last at the beach, it’s probably more of a mindset of what is more manageable. We want makeup to look good as it ‘melts’ into your skin. Start with a good sunscreen, then a matte gel primer. Instead of foundation, use a concealer with less slippage. When your skin is warmed under the sun, makeup will start to move, the magic is, you want to be able to press blend your concealer by tapping it back into place.”

What are your tips to ensure makeup stands up agains heat and also the water?

“A long-wearing primer is great, as well as a fixing spray at the end of the makeup. Remember, keep it all sheer and for the love of god, skip all the harsh contouring.

If it’s water you want to fight, op for water resistant foundation, like M.A.C face and body. It’s light and water resistant.”

How do you achieve the polished look of having makeup on but without looking too done?

“Always keep it sheer. If you really need to dramatise, the only thing I would dramatise is probably a matte red lippy, but keep everything minimal.

Certain products work better at the beach than others
Can you talk me through step-by-step, what order makeup should be applied for going to the beach?

“[Apply your makeup in the following order]:

1. Sunscreen 

2. Primer

3. Concealer / foundation or BB cream 

4. Waterproof gel liner + mascara. 

5. Powder bronzer 

6. Lip balm/ gloss

Are there any things people should avoid when wearing makeup at the beach?

Skip the metallic highlights and contouring, they only work under studio lights. With daylight, you can easily see all the tell tale signs of makeup. You don’t want that. Always aim for the sun-kissed, natural look.”


Shop the look: Beach Essentials

2nd December, 2015


Now that the warmer weather is officially here I’m all about ticking off all the essentials on my summer checklist. This is what I’ve got on my mind at the moment:

A sporty black bikini

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a black bikini. I love neutral colours such as black, navy, white or khaki because they work with everything

A sarong 

I love bringing a sarong on holiday because it’s so versatile. It can be used as a sarong or a scarf or a beach cover up. A sarong in a monochrome is even better because it’s really easy to wear it with multiple outfits.

A sun hat

Sun protection is always really important to me which is why I always have a wide brimmed hat whenever I’m heading out to the beach.


This summer 70s style round frames are going to be huge. It’s an easy way to update your look.

Black slides 

I love the simplicity of black slides. This particular pair will work equally as well with a sun dress as they will with a skirt and top or a pair of denim shorts and a tee.

A cutout bikini

A girl can never have too many bikinis, right? This particular pair is ever so slightly more glamorous than your average bikini which I love.