How To Swim-proof Your Make-up For The Pool And Beach

Waterproof and water-resistant make-up has come on leaps and bounds since the limited options of old. Want colour, glamour and staying power? You’ve got it. Try a minimal look if you’re planning on a serious front crawl. A gentle swim on the other hand? You can be a bit more adventurous. Follow our insider tips for make-up that will outlast your swim session. With not a smudge in sight…

Step 1 – Prepare your skin

Great skin needs less make-up, so to achieve the “no make-up, make-up look” and get a natural-looking, radiant glow, prep your skin before you hit the pool or beach. Start the night before by treating your skin to a deep cleansing facial, or exfoliating treatment. This will help remove dead skin cells, allowing your face mask, moisturiser or serum to penetrate deeper and more efficiently.

Step 2 – Ace your base 

To cover up blemishes and imperfections, opt for a BB cream, tinted moisturiser or a light-to medium coverage foundation. Look for SPF protection and an oil-free formula. And don’t forget to protect your skin whenever you’re outdoors or exposed to sunshine – sunscreen or an oil-free moisturiser with an SPF is a must!

Step 3 – Frame your eyes 

If you fancy a bold eye look, an aqua-blue or sea-green eyeliner will make your eye colour pop (opt for a classic brown/black for a more conservative look). To avoid panda eyes, finish with a sweep of waterproof mascara.

Step 4 – Create a sun kissed glow

Enhance your look and create an instant sun kissed glow with a very light dusting of bronzer. For a natural-looking, professional-style result, lightly sweep across the areas of your face the sun hits naturally: the apples of your cheeks, your nose, temples and forehead.

Step 5 – Finish your look with lip colour

Complete your look with a slick of protective SPF lipbalm and follow with a light lip tint or lip stain in a soft natural pink/peach close to your natural lip colour. For a finish that lasts, look for water-proof or long-wear versions of your beauty favourites. If in doubt, head to your favourite brand’s make-up counter for advice. Voila! Ready to hit the beach.

Swim-proof make-up: Q&A

How can I prevent my make-up melting?

To prevent your make-up from melting, sliding or looking too shiny, try using a primer or mattifying lotion on your T-zone before you apply your make-up. It will smooth and balance your complexion while creating the perfect base for your make-up.

My make-up’s sorted… now what about my nails?

Choose a bright nail varnish as an accessory to compliment your swimsuit. If you’re feeling bold, clash the colours together for a fun look. A standard polish lasts a few days, but you can enjoy a longer-lasting finish with a gel nail treatment – think shiny and chip-free for up to three weeks.

Are some formulas more water-resistant than others?

Cream-textured products, such as cream blushers and eye shadows, are more water-resistant than powders and also leave the skin with a dewy, healthy-looking sheen.

I want a very minimal look for swimming. Any options?

Eyebrow and eyelash tints add definition and glamour and can last up to six weeks – just add clear mascara to ‘set’ your look in place. First, curl your lashes with an eyelash curler, then apply your mascara. For a more dramatic effect, try an eyelash perm or lash extension, which can last up to six weeks – perfect for holidays! For more beauty, wellbeing and lifestyle features, visit our Wellbeing section.



Writer and expert