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How to Achieve That Perfect No-Makeup Makeup Look for Vacation

By Melissa Epifano

For some jetsetters, overpacking is their kryptonite, and the beauty bag often happens to be the biggest offender. But there are two reasons why you want to keep your makeup lightweight for vacation. One being that no one wants to spend an hour or more on their face when the ocean and sand are calling. And two, with a little leftover room, you get to bring that extra swimsuit or pair of strappy sandals.

But paring down your makeup collection to a curated lineup of products has proven to be difficult. Whittling it down to your absolute faves (when you probably have many) is hard. Plus, there’s always the “what if” situations, too — what if you’re craving your orange lipstick for dinner out or a pop of blue eyeliner before you head to the boardwalk? Well, when it comes to vacay, it’s worth living by the mantra that less is more.

No-makeup makeup looks are the perfect solution for paring down your makeup bag and your routine while you’re OOO.

Here are our best tips for achieving that perfect no-makeup makeup look and keeping it real from your flight there and back to every fun adventure in between.



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Swap Out Foundation For Tinted Moisturizer

It’s an unspoken rule when it comes to vacation that foundation should be left behind. Don’t take this the wrong way — we love a good foundation — but humid, warm, and tropical climates (even some colder getaways) don’t mix with the thick consistency of your favorite bottle. Instead, opt for a tinted moisturizer, CC cream, or BB cream for a lighter layer that still smooths and neutralizes. If you must bring that coveted foundation, opt for a buildable formula that lets you customize how much coverage you need.

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Find The Right Contour & Bronzer

For dimension and shading that still looks breezy and effortless, a good pouf of bronzer or a swipe of well-blended contour will do the trick. You won’t want to go overboard if you’re aiming for au naturel on vacation; just something that’ll give you a slight sun-kissed appearance without risking any burn. Cream formulas are optimal for this as they’re easy to blend and touch up.

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Get A Glow Going

Speaking of a sun-kissed look, you know that SPF is your real bestie, but if you’re craving a glow sans the UV rays, don’t forget the self-tanner. Even if you’re not partial to toting around a large bottle of it with you, it’s easy to find travel-friendly sizes or TSA-approved wipes to maintain your bronzed complexion and bod while you’re away. Depending on how long your trip is, don’t forget some form of exfoliation to ensure you keep everything even with reapplication.

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Stick With Neutrals Or Just A Splash Of Color

If skinimalism isn’t usually your forte, go ahead and pop a bright lipstick or eyeliner pencil into your bag. No-makeup makeup looks are always fun with a small splash of color and something like this makes for a great going out look without needing your full makeup arsenal. This pop of color can be as chill as a light pink lipstick or as vibrant as an electric lime liner — just get creative with it!

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Don’t Forget Blush

Blush may seem vivid or hardly an indication of “no-makeup makeup,” but in reality, it adds a much needed boost of color to your face. After foundation, concealer, or CC cream, you need to add back in the dimension and blush is perfect for assisting with that. Not to mention, it also gives you a gentle flush that’s fitting for vacation.

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Hit The Right Highlighter Spots

To make it look as if that vacation sun is eternally shining on your face you’ll want a good highlighter. This is a personal choice — some people swear by cream and liquid highlighters while others hold true to their powders — but pick a type and a tone and make sure it’s packed. For a getaway-approved look, apply highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones, along the length of your nose and a touch right along your cupid’s bow so you refrain from feeling shiny, but rather look glowy every time the light hits you just right.

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