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How To Fake the Perfect Day-at-the-Beach Glow

By Kelly Atterton

It’s the great irony of beauty: We all look better after a day at the beach but a day at the beach is doing no favors to your skin. This means the best, healthiest, sunniest, glowiest skin is the kind you get from products.

The secret to glowing perfection lies in the intention. If you use bronzer hoping to create an even, all-over color, STOP and recalibrate. Your inspiration should be more like a light run along the shore, dancing at a beachfront bar, and vacation sex. You’re not going for tan lines here.  Mastering this vibe—and it’s really more a vibe than a makeup routine—requires a few steps, but only takes minutes to execute. And at the end of it, you’ll look great, even without a vacation.


Reflekt 1 Daily Exfoliating Face Wash $48

Formulated with jojoba esters, hyaluronic acid, and vegetable collagen, Reflekt 1 gently sloughs off dry skin without damaging the skin barrier, creating a smooth makeup canvas.


Iris & Romeo Best Skin Days $64

Sheer, but buildable coverage that’s also a serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, and blue light/pollution protector. Looks natural, and gives the skin a glowy, dewy finish.


Kosas Sun Show Bronzer $34

This Shea butter infused bronzer goes on with the ease of a powder, but feels creamy and feathers out for a natural look. Apply liberally around the hairline, cheeks, and bridge of the nose, with a light dusting everywhere else.


Balmyard Beauty Baby Love Balm Lip + Cheek Tint

Three made-for-everyone, lush shades, that add a sexy flush of color to the cheeks, and just-bitten, stained lips.


Ilia Color Haze $32

These earthy, warm-toned pigments are perfect layering hues to create depth and dimension.


Tower 28 Bronzino Illuminating Cream Bronzer in West Coast $20

Use this golden, pigmented gloss as your main source of color, or as a highlighter to catch the light and make the whole look pop. Dab on the top of your cheekbones, across the bridge of your nose, and on your lids for a natural dewy glow.


Livylavish Lavish Sculpting Mascara $28

Going to town on your lashes doesn’t work with this look. Instead, try accentuating your corner lashes for a more effortless flirt with this unique mascara that was created to sculpt each lash individually.


Freck Beauty Freck OG $22

For a playful look, add a smattering of faux freckles with this tiny tube of skin tinting magic.



Atterton, the beauty director of C Magazine and former west coast editor of Allure Magazine, owns a store in Los Angeles that specializes in small, independent beauty lines.

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