A couple of my tried and tested beach beauty tricks.
How to (hopefully) achieve a polished look poolside or while beaching/boating.
False Eyelashes: M2 Eyelash Activating Serum
I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you girls that boat trips and false eyelashes don’t mix. A pool party, maybe, at a push. But not boat days… The unpredictable amount of salt spray catching you in the face would almost certainly mean those little spiders migrating their way down your face in no time. Never fear, however, there is one little magic weapon to keep your lashes thick and glossy – even without mascara (although a quick slick of waterproof would be even better!) I warn you – this is a long-term investment, but you do start to see results after just a couple of weeks. What is it? I hear you ask… M2 Beauté Eyelash Activating Serum. My beauty guru recommended it to me in the lead up to my wedding (I was obsessed with thick and gorgeous lashes – and still am!) and she was absolutely bang on the money! They say that you should start to see results after 6-8 weeks, with optimal results at 16 weeks, but it was a lot faster than that for me.
Apply morning and evening (until your lashes are as long and luscious as you desire – then cut back to once daily for maintenance) apply all the way out to the outer corner of your eyelid, but avoid getting too close to the inner corner otherwise you will encourage those tiny lashes that can grow around the tearduct. (Anyone else get this? No. Just me then.) Soon your lashes will look like you are permanently wearing extensions. A relatively hefty price tag – but I’ve been using it for months and it shows no sign of running out. Costs around the same as two sets of extensions but lasts much, much longer and you grew them all yourself… albeit with a little help!
Natural Mosquito Repellent:
Vitamin B12 capsules – available at all good healthstores
Nothing ruins your favourite après beach cocktail outfit like ugly, red and swollen mozzie bites. Bug repellents are somewhat of a necessary evil in the tropics – but I am wary of using too much DEET and they aren’t always entirely reliable. Another long term beauty measure is vitamin B12. My rudimentary explanation of the science behind it is that they simply don’t like the taste of it in your blood – they may still bite, but they don’t stick around, meaning that your bite will disappear just as quickly. Unfortunately B12 is not found naturally in many foods – so unless you are a Marmite fanatic, chances are you aren’t getting enough. Start to take the supplement at least 2 weeks before your holiday and continue for the duration of your trip. Then look smugly down at your unblemished limbs, as those around you are suffering.
* This should also have the added benefit of making you less likely to succumb to one of our dreaded mosquito-borne diseases – Dengue, Zika or Chikungunya. No guarantees, but less bites = less risk. Oh the joys of Island life…
While we are on the topic of the evil biting b@stards, another budget-friendly and DEET-free tip is the use of Avon’s Skin So Soft bath oil. No one knows quite how or why (or if you do know – please tell me) but it seems to act as a particularly effective mosquito repellent. I was skeptical, but I’ve tried it and I was impressed. Sheeny, smooth and bite-free legs. For those that remain uncertain – a small study was conducted in Canada. They deduced that it wasn’t quite as effective as DEET (ASSS was 85% effective as DEET) but I’d still say that the results speak for themselves: Study Comparing DEET to Avon Skin So Soft
Flash tattoos: Sheebani Flash Tattoos
No longer reserved for six-year olds, temporary tattoos are back and they are grown up and better than ever…! Generally speaking jewelry and seawater don’t mix. I’ll wear my engagement and wedding rings (I’m irresponsible like that…), my watch and a couple of other key pieces but the majority of my statement necklaces etc. are not going to stand up to repeated saltwater exposure. So how is a girl supposed to accessorize and glam up her beach outfit without the bling…? Enter Flash Tattoos. Having tried the original brand (Flash Tattoos) along with various drugstore contenders, I can honestly say that the Flash Tats are the only ones worth your money. Easy to apply and long-lasting (varies depending on how heavy traffic the area that you apply it to is, ie. they will last longer on your back or side than on your inner arms/hands). Flash Tattoos will last several days, but I should note that they do change appearance. On day one they are super metallic and shiny, days two and three they are still there but have faded to a pleasant metallic glitter as opposed to a shine. I actually prefer the latter – but that’s just me.
Hair Treatment: Moroccan Oil
It goes without saying that sun and seawater (or chlorine, if you are staying poolside) can wreak havoc with your hair – add humidity into this mix and let’s just say that there really is no such thing as a good-island-hair-day. Having said all that, (and I’m positive that I am preaching to the converted here) a teeny, tiny dash of Moroccan Oil’s nutrient-rich argan-oil formula can do wonders for the ends of your hair after being ravaged by the sunshine and salt. Don’t get me wrong – all the Vitamin D in the sunshine over here causes your hair and nails to grow thick and fast – but the same sunshine can also leave them brittle and they tend to need a little help. Ensure that you stay away from your scalp and just massage a drop into the ends of your hair to help bring back your glossy locks.
Tinted Sunscreen: Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Sunscreen Multi-Protection Tint SPF 50
Ditch the cake-y foundation…!
I do not need to tell you that a good quality facial sunscreen is a must for the Caribbean. In fact arguably it is a must for EVERYWHERE, silky smooth and with just the right amount of coverage the Clarins tinted sunscreen is my number one, hands-down favourite product (I use the Medium shade) and I get asked about it a lot as it barely looks like you are wearing anything – it looks like your skin but better! A little goes a long way, so a bottle lasts a long time even with daily application.
Bonus – for an extra light and glowing complexion mix a little of Mac’s Strobe Cream in before you apply.
Gel Bronzer/Blusher: Chantecaille ‘Radiance’ Anti-Age Gel Bronzer
Aside from the fact that it is going to stand up to the heat, humidity, stickiness and perspiration much better than a powder your gel bronzer or blusher is also going to compliment your dewy, tanned and glowing holiday complexion. (Another holy grail find from my beauty guru! Thanks Laura)
Lip Balm with SPF: Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Balm
As with the sunscreen for your face, it’s important to remember your lips too. My favourites are the Fresh Sugar range (especially Rose) with spf 15. Super hydrating and smooth to apply with just the right amount of rose tint, I wear it daily. I’ve recently been giving the sets of minis to friends as gifts so that they can enjoy them too – Petal and Nude are next on the shopping list for me!
Tooth Whitening: Crest White Strips Professional Effects
When you’re wearing minimal make-up I find that it’s key to ensure your smile is bright and white. I only discovered these after my wedding (*sad face*) but now I swear by them. Easy to use and not abrasive, leaving no sensitivity. When it’s been a while since I’ve whitened I usually give them an intense treatment and whiten every two days for a week (until I reach a shade I’m happy with) and then drop back to once a week for maintenance.
Oil Pulling: Pure Coconut Oil – available from good healthstores
While we’re on the subject of whiter teeth, one thing that I’ve been trying to diligently practice recently is oil pulling. This might seem like a bit of a random beauty hack but along with naturally whitening your teeth it is also credited with clearing up your skin, in that it removes the toxins from your body that might otherwise lead to rashes, spots and other skin complaints. These detoxifying benefits also improve your overall health in a host of other ways leaving you looking good and feeling great. A complete post on this soon!
Anyway ladies, these are just a couple of my favourite beauty tips – but I’m always on the lookout for more, so feel free to comment with any recommendations!