There's a fine line between trashy by-the-pool beauty and, well, "CLASSY Lounging." For the former, think Tara Reid as Bunny in "The Big Lebowski."
You don't need to go there. Instead, have we all read F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender Is The Night"? You must if you haven't. Ohhh, how I love it: French Riviera ex-pat glamour is the chicest of the chic of the chic. It's dressed up a bit, and that means makeup. I'm talking lip color by the pool, babes. Oh yes.
(Lest you think I'm being uncharacteristically square, this is a book about a trashy, crazy, drunken, cheating filthy rich couple who spiral out Scott-n-Zelda style, 'kay? They just look pulled together.)
Usually I try not to harp on the French beauty ideal, because I think we've all had enough of that, but I am a sucker for the beauty look of wildly chic French women in bikinis and their good brows and brown tans. And their jewelry! At the pool and at the beach -- they wear beautiful bracelets and thing with their bikinis. Statement earrings. At the beach!
Like the right makeup, it's not tacky when it's done right.
This means no trashy Bunny Lebowski green nail polish; no Playboy Manson Grotto glitter; no greasy textures, etc. And lots of nice things: here are 5 sexy secrets to a vaguely French, grown-up but still flirty, flushed but very natural looking poolside summer look.
1) SUNSCREEN MIXED WITH FOUNDATION FOR SEAMLESS BUT PROTECTED SKIN.
About 50/50 is right. SPF should be above 30 if you know what's good for you, mademoiselles. Smooth it on with your fingers carefully all over your face. Extra attention around the eyes, please. Fine lines and all.
2) COMBAT SHINE AND CONCEAL FLAWS IN PROBLEM ZONES WITH POWDER.
Regular concealer will melt off. But be specific with your application --- only powder on zits or at the end of your nose or where needed. I like a pressed powder with me all the time just in general, so that's not a bad idea for this.
3) PLENTY OF MATTE BRONZER, BUT NOT IN AS DARK OF A SHADE AS YOU THINK.
The effect should be that the glow is coming from within you. Tawny bronzer close to your natural skin color is key -- when in doubt, buy lighter, always! And obvs the bigger the fluffy brush the better. Oh, and most importantly: NO SHIMMER in the bright sun please -- it'll look tacky. Sorry, I try not to judge, but it will!
4) NOTHING GREASY, GLOSSY OR SHINY FOR YOUR MOUTH.
A matte or stain finish is the chic thing you're after; plus, duh, it won't slide off. Bright colors like fuchsia and cherry red are obvs always hot. I'm a fan of poppy, but not too-TOO bright for poolside ... Muted matte brights. Shiny brights are overkill in the glaring sun! Ugh, plus the blue pool water -- TOO MUCH WET COLOR.
What is wrong with me? I dunno. NEXT!
5) YES TO WATERPROOF EYELINER AND MASCARA -- IN MODERATION.
Skip shadow or it will get all over your face. And no sexy rockstar liner by the pool! It's hard for me to say that, because I endorse unlimited eyeliner at almost all other times. But please, it's too obvious. You can't wear that poolside; how hungover reality star of you! Of me (hangs head).
•Add jewelry: statement earrings, or just ... gold hoops. Ew, in real life they sound so gross, but I keep looking at them in photos on girls wearing Missoni bikinis and things, and they look so elegant! I like bracelets most of all.
•Skip that belly necklace thing. Only Beyonce could do it. Also, I feel like a belly necklace is the toe ring of midriffs.
•Just because they are so obviously "DON'T"s now, I think I speak for all of us here at xojane.com when I say, TOE RINGS ARE BACK; WEAR THEM JUST TO BE LOATHED.
•Don't do that last one; ignore me.
•Nude nail polish, please. Not because I like you to look conservative, but because we're playing kooky make-believe-we're-hugely-glamorous-elegant-and-wealthy-European-whatevers and I was having fun being convincing.
•All, any neat braids are good.
•Read a decent book on your chaise, aka NOT xoJane.com Trashy Book Club debut pick "American Outlaw."
•For that matter, no bringing Jesse James to the pool. He is SO not French-looking, especially those, you know, Nazi tattoos. The French I believe were anti-.
Anyway, that was a nice mature trance I just entered, NON? Kay, so before I go weird again, let's wrap this up.
Add your favorite products, poolside and beach makeup and hair tricks in comments please.
CIAO. (Yes, that was Italian; whatever!) XO